For all the DIY Diva’s.
There are many business owners who want to save money through DIY – I am actually one of them. In some cases, doing it yourself can be one of the best learning experiences you will ever have. Done wrong though – you could lose some of the most important intangible assets that your business can own.
I am going to explain (unapologetically) why you must consider having a self-hosted website and how it can save your proverbial donkey.
What are Digital Assets?
Digital Assets are exactly that. Assets. They have Value. These are materials, designs, domain names, websites, flyers, databases, documents and content systems – in fact everything that can be stored on a computer or server – that is used to help promote, manage or sell your products or service. Good, bad or ugly – these assets can be as good as money in the bank or a client through the door.
You might just be starting out and think “but my business is worth nothing yet, I don’t have a website or any digital assets”. Or you could be thinking “That’s alright. I own a pumping Facebook page, I don’t need a website.”
What you may not realise is that your business’ Digital Assets (current or future) do have value, both perceived and monetary. If you don’t take steps to take control of it – your valuable asset may be lost, affected or outright belong to someone else if you are not careful.
Take for example, wix.com.
Now, we have all been smashed with their advertising. Build it for Free. A fantastic, magical website that you spend hours creating – for Free.
So you put your designer hat on and create a website – it looks great. But guess what? Now you need to pay, and pay you will if you want your own domain name attached or a shop function to sell your things. This is a great option for some but let’s get one thing straight. You do not own the design or in fact any part of your website. You can’t pack it up and take it with you when you decide you have had enough. Essentially, unless you like to copy and paste – you have given away your Digital Asset that you actually created. Unlucky. Even more so when you discover you pay $275+ (AUD) per year for their “free” website.
Don’t even get me started on Vistaprint.. Girlfriend, boyfriend.. please. Don’t succumb to cheap and nasty. I am likening it to face painting your customers with a toilet brush and can feel my nose wrinkling up in disgust as I type.
Now lets take a look at Facebook..
We all like Facebook because it connects us to people in an informal manner. It’s fun. It’s free. But did you hear the news? Facebook crashed the other day and to millions of the disgruntled, it became unusable. Pretty sad if your business relies soley on Facebook for your web presence.
Being a meticulous DIY Diva, you might be downright fanatical about preparing Facebook content for your enthusiasts, you may be following a social media plan to a tee. You do the right thing and upload unique and fresh stories, video and graphics for your followers, in the hopes of building a profitable online network of raving fans. You may even spend on advertising to target, just so.
And then.. the unthinkable happens. Facebook crashes. Your business can’t be found! Then someone has hacked into your account, stolen your profile and you must go through a lengthy process to get your stuff back (if at all) and redeem your business after a series of offensive posts have been submitted, apparently by you.
If you think this is just a worst case scenario – think again.
The time, effort and costs you have put into your Facebook page – gone in 60 seconds. Plus, if you read the terms and conditions – anything you upload that is your Intellectual Property, is still your I.P – but you have granted Facebook (any anyone else they deem appropriate) almost unlimited permissions to use your stuff – royalty free, for nearly any purpose they want to. This is non-negotiable even if you put up a copy and paste statement saying you don’t give them the right. You have already agreed to it.
But it still doesn’t sound too bad does it? I mean, sharing is caring, right?
Not when someone else is free to use YOUR digital assets for potential gain. Not when your data is not correctly attributed back to you. Sharing links from content posted from your own website first is just one way to save the headache. While using Facebook in itself is a fantastic and free tool for business, make sure that you balance it out by having your own, legit website. This is not to say that your website can’t be hacked but you have far more control to secure, protect and retain your data.
If you want to save yourself some money, effort and the possibility of getting royally gipped, here are the 3 things you need to do – right now to start acquiring and protecting your digital assets. It needn’t cost the earth but is a start to building your online reputation and your database. Remember, these are the resources and important data that contributes to your Brand and ultimately it’s profits.
What DIY DIVA’S need to consider, is how to lock down your asset and future proof your investment of time, money and effort.
Get your domain name. Do it. Before someone else does.
Get your own web hosting. It doesn’t have to be expensive.
Install WordPress. It is actually Free.
- Your website/SQL database can then store ALL your data and digital assets.
- It belongs to you, always.
- Change hosts and take your database with you. Anywhere, everywhere.
- Keep building on it.
- Change design any time your Alpha Diva decides to.
- Create posts from your website and then share the heck out of it.
- Setup authorship so your articles are properly attributed to you – the spunky little DIY DIVA.
- Link in your profiles so that you can be found on Google and in social media sites. Use your website as your main source of content sharing and you are building your asset and your brand.
- Secure it.
Take control NOW of your digital assets for as little as the cost of a domain name and web hosting if you a true DIY Diva.
If you need some assistance, there are plenty of WordPress companies that can get you started on the right track. If this is the case, make sure that in your agreement, you retain full ownership and transparent access to your hosting control panel, WordPress website and domain name. As long as you have these things – you have control of your digital assets to do as you please.
*BE WARNED – some companies will not let you have access to your Hosting Control Panel. Go somewhere else or pay to upgrade your hosting! You want to gain and retain control over your assets – and be free to export, import, upgrade, downgrade and sell at will.
Take control of your Digital Assets and be secure in the knowledge that you are protecting your Brand, your pocket and your time.