When some businesses think of the web, they think of instant success. They imagine the multitudes jumping in and out of their website and clamoring to buy their services. They think of stories like the ones I just finished reading in a “no holds barred” social media book (yes I type this with deep sarcasm) in which people create a modest video or social campaign and experience the influx of instant fame as a wildfire of social activity catapults their business into the lime light of the web.
Does it happen?
Will it happen for you?
Don’t count on it.
Will web services present crazy success stories to get you to sign on the “dotted line”?
Is “amnesia” a common trait among these providers?
Without a doubt.
The moral? Don’t chase rainbows. My approach is to look at the web realistically and if the magic bullet skyrockets your business, then its a great bonus.
The reality is that small businesses are often shocked as they learn that no one is coming to their website and the ones that do don’t call or buy their services. The small business usually expects an explosion and aren’t even greeted with as much as a cricket chirping or a tumbleweed blowing past their web page. They buy ads, send out email blasts, and pay for SEO with terrible results. In the end, the web service providers are the only ones making money.
Web hype is the place where captivating books are written, ideas are sold, and dreams are imagined. It’s also the same reason lotteries sell so many tickets.
If you want to benefit from the web, you need to have realistic expectations tempered with the knowledge that millions upon millions of people are having the same visions of unrealistic success just like you… And they are failing.
Real results are not as fun as the glittery success touted by authors and entertained in our own mind. You will have to fight the constant barrage of misinformation and be smart to actually benefit from the web.
Like the star quarterback that threw thousands of average passes, the ones heralded are the most dramatic. You know, the 40 yard hail mary pass for the state championship with no time left on the clock type of story. The web is no different. Professional web service providers love to share their version of the hail mary pass which may be that viral video that gained millions of viewers or the SEO optimization that rose to the top page after the first crawl. They often don’t share their struggles with an unfriendly, highly competitive environment like the Internet.
We all want a hail mary pass on the web, but you need the steady quarterback that can give you a chance to win. Not even the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game consistently throws game winning hail mary passes time after time.
The hail mary’s and super human feats performed by athletes that capture our imagination are only possible after countless hours of practice and a daily, steady regiment of hard work with predictable results. These athletes are paid because of their steady efforts given everyday and even though they don’t always win, they put their team in a good position to pull off a victory in those last second efforts.
Don’t bite on a service based on the “web providers’ hail mary stories”. Don’t expect the viral campaign that skyrockets your business to the top of the world. Don’t believe the hype and don’t think the web will change your business instantly. This is the sober reality of the web. The web is a never-ending process of fine-tuning, developing your website development strategy, and avoiding the costly, over hyped or unrelated services that will drain your vital resources.