The Cold Hard Truth About Websites

Samuel P.N. Cook

Dec 14, 2020

Every once in a while a question comes along that completely rearranges the deck chairs of your brain and makes you see ordinary things from an entirely new perspective.

Sometimes the question is profound, and reveals a truth that’s been hiding in plain sight all along ...

... like when Jim Carrey's character in “The Truman Show” suddenly realizes that he’s been living in a made-for-TV reality show his entire life without his permission.

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Other times the question is decidedly less monumental, like the question I get ALLLL the time from small entrepreneurs who want to translate their expertise or passion into a thriving business online:

"Do I really even NEED a website?  I'm already on LinkedIn!  And can't I just use Facebook?  Aren't websites kinda 'over' anyway?"

Let's talk about this because I don't care if you're a coach, consultant, author, expert or anyone selling anything online ...

... this is critical to your long-term success.

First of all, sure, you can use LinkedIn and Facebook all you want ...

... but just know that your Facebook account can be taken away in the blink of an eye ...

... for NO REASON whatsoever.

And even if there WAS a legitimate reason, because you actually did something wrong, they won't even tell you what it is!

Do not think for a second this can't happen to you.

It happened to me.

True story: I once travelled from Ukraine to America where I was raising capital. 

I got locked out of Facebook. 

I'll spare you the details, but I literally had no way to get back into my account.  

None, nada, Zilch.

Facebook is where I was conducting a lot of my business deals at the time. I was so desperate, I literally walked into the Facebook office in Austin, Texas to plead with them in person.

No dice.  The best they could offer me was: "Here, fill out this form on an iPad, and you might hear back from us in two weeks."

::: facepalm :::  

::: followed by head hitting keyboard: zx@*&^%$%#DHg365 :::

I'm telling you, it was straight out of a Kafka novel.  

"The Trial" comes to mind:

kafka

Long story short, it was a full 30 days before I got my Facebook account back.

It was then that I had my "Truman Show" moment ...

And if that moment had a takeaway headline, it would be this one:

You Have No Property Rights on Facebook.

(Or LinkedIn.  Or Instagram.  Or Twitter.  Or any other social media platform.)

Which means your entire business and livelihood can be taken away in a New York minute. 

You should never put yourself -- let alone your business -- in a vulnerable position like that.

This is why you need a website.

A website is a property YOU own, no one else.

Look, I once taught Russian History at West Point, which is why I feel qualified to say the following:  

Mark Zuckerberg is essentially the online equivalent of the Tsar of Russia (up until Alexander II), where nobody had any property rights except for him. 

Yes, we are all just serfs (or, err Smerfs) on good ol' Zuck's digital plantation they call facebook.

We are unwittingly creating the world's most valuable resource for him to harvest, package, and resell.

...

which is our (yours and mine) collective attention.

And of course, we happily do this for him for no charge - and we thought it's such a great FREE tool, right?!?

You've seen the Netflix Documentary Social Dilemna, right? (If not, go watch it right away).

The joke's on us...

Never forget that you - and by extension your audience - have absolutely no "Data Sovereignty" on Facebook, none.

Which is to say: we need to wake up and build our own property online.

And that means your own website.

 

So, sure, go ahead and get on Facebook to bring people to your site (your own property) ...

...but not vice versa.

Capture them on YOUR platform...

...building YOUR email list

... which is an asset you own FOREVER and can never be taken away from you.

So then the question becomes ...

"All right, Sam, I'm with you.  I get it that I need an online property of my own ... a website.  But how can I create a site that truly reflects who I am 

... and also reflects my mission in an honorable way I can be proud to show others ...

"...a site that will actually convert that doesn't also make me look like a used car salesman?"

"And how can I do that without learning how to code ... or figuring out how to stick everything together using expensive apps, or paying a ton of money to get it all done?

It’s an excellent question.  And I have the answer(s) for you.

It turns out there IS a way to do all this.

And it's much easier (and way less spendy) than you think.

I'll tell you about that in my next email.

See you then

Written by:

Samuel P.N. Cook

CEO

Dec 14, 2020

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