Marketing, Writing | Brett Wagner

The Dream Of “If You Build It, They Will Come” No Longer Applies

The Hopes and Dreams of Many in the Smallbiz World Seem to Be Hearing the Same Voice as Ray, Believing That if They Simply Build a Business, the Customers Will Come.

Tell me you’ve seen it. Costner and James Earl Jones? The cornfields and Shoeless Joe Jackson? You have to have seen it. Or at least you recognize the whispered phrase, “If you build it, they will come.” Actually, before you go all IMBD and correct me, it’s “If you build it, he will come.” Got it.

But you have to love the storyline. Ray Kinsella, the devoted baseball fan and struggling corn farmer hangs everything upon building this beautiful baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield. The satisfying resolution to the 107-minute drama is that Ray banked everything on this, and by persevering, going with his gut, and building it – he actually came. Roll credits.

Hearing Voices & Hoping For the Best

Unfortunately, the hopes and dreams of many in the smallbiz and entrepreneurial world seem to be hearing the same voice as Ray, believing that if they simply build a business, the customers will come.

Now perhaps, in a more nostalgic era, building up a reputable business within a small community and providing a needed service with a respectable work ethic would bring in the faithful customer. But I’m sorry to say that the dream has died.

Where Dreams Go To Die

Small-towns are no longer isolated unto themselves, they are now thrown into the mix with every other township and city through the webbed wonder of the internet. Leavenworth is connected to Seattle, Clovis is mixed in with Santa Fe, and Lancaster is thrown together with Miami.

The internet has made the world smaller and the competition just got a lot bigger. Your prized photography business is now lumped in with every other shutterbug who got an EOS Rebel for Christmas and starts a blog. Sure, customers can theoretically find you online, but will they?

Getting Lost In the Cornfield

The problem for every entrepreneur and small business owner is one of visibility. Having a website strategy that positions your angle, your reputation, or your unique offering will not come by merely buying a domain in the middle of the internet’s corn field. You must ensure the content of this website aligns with an overall strategy, that it is filled with quality copywriting that communicates not only what you do, but is optimized for search while actually being enjoyable to read and scroll through.

The name of the game is content development, analysis, ongoing evaluation, and adjustments, offering fresh content that all serves to promote the fact that you are here so that they will come.


Brett Wagner

Content Development & Freelance Writing

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