Many moons ago when working in Waitrose, I was running a food counter when a customer came up to acquire some meat. As I bagged up his request, he proceeded to make small talk, asking me if I was studying and what I wanted to do with my life. I explained my passion for web development and my study of digital design but he just laughed at me. “The internet…” he said “…is a phase”.
He continued to then pleasantly explain how my degree was a waste of time, “made up because arty farty folks got bored” and how these “kooky and pointless” degrees like graphics, media and film were popping up all the time now unlike “back in his day”. As he went to walk away quite smugly, I asked what profession he was in. “P.E teacher” he replied, to which I just laughed back. “Fitting” I thought.
But as my final paper addition of the Yellow Pages came in this week, it took me back to this memory. The need for a printed YP became obsolete thanks to the internet and whether you like that or not, it’s happened. With this prime example and, as someone who for years “kookily and pointlessly” studied this phenomenon, I can tell you folks, the Internet is not going anywhere (at least not for a very long time, until the next technological advancement takes over) and certainly is not just a phase.
In the UK alone, around 90% of adults (roughly 6 million) use the internet so your target audience probably do too. And when they search online for the products or services you sell, would you like them to find your business? If the answer is yes, then having a web presence is non-negotiable.
Don’t let fear hold you back
Many businesses are still scared to get online. It’s understandable. As adults we fear not knowing or looking stupid. But it’s such a shame given all the amazing possibilities created for a biz when they harness the power of the net.
The best way to combat this is to educate. There are millions of tutorials out there to help you harness social media and build a website (shout outs again to the internet who has made it easy for people to share knowledge globally).
With all things, you learn best as you go. You can read a tonne of books or watch endless tutorials but nothing beats practice so I advise you to be brave, take a deep breathe and jump in.
It’s powerful, not perfect
The internet came to public market in 1991. But despite growing up so fast, it’s still a relatively new technology. And because of its vast flexible uses, its integration with life and business has only just began. It’s opportunities are endless right now which makes it powerful to harness, but not without room for improvement.
You don’t have to like it. Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of Facebook. But since my audience is there, and as the biggest lead generating social network for my business, it’ll be silly to pass up that opportunity.
Can I help?
Now I’m gonna go out on a limb here but if you’re reading this article, you’re probably using the internet already :D But if your heads in a spin and the internet is still a mind field for you then please get in touch because your web presence is important, and will be for some time.
So ask yourself: will you grab these online opportunities or hide and wait for the internet to pass? If your answer is the latter, I just hope you’re sitting comfortably.