In the world of bricks-and-mortar,
1. a spectacular building,
2. good signage and
3. an excellent location
are the best advertising money can buy.
In the binary world where Ones are bricks and Zeroes are mortar,
1. your website is your building,
2. your masthead is your signage and
3. your domain name is your location.
But that’s where the metaphor falls apart.
In the world of air and sunshine, an interesting building with a memorable sign on a high-traffic road will be noticed and remembered. But in the airless void of ones and zeroes, your building doesn’t exist until a visitor arrives at your specific street address, then WHOOSH, it is conjured from code in an instant.
Welcome to virtual reality, where no one sees you until they get there.
But in this vacuum of cyberspace, the laws of physics still apply. So the Great and Glowing Truth you can count upon above all other truths is this: Advertising will only accelerate what was going to happen anyway.
A purely online business lives or dies through its website and other digital interactions. But a brick-and-mortar business lives or dies through real-world interactions with its customers. Successful online businesses provide an exceptional online experience. Successful face-to-face businesses provide an exceptional face-to-face experience.
Wizard Academy is a face-to-face experience.
Wizard Academy was founded by an ad man, but the school has never spent a penny on advertising and the WizardAcademy.org website is unattractive, outdated and clunky. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the ugliest website in Virtual Reality.
Search engine optimization? Nope.
Pay-per-click? Not yet.
But we were doing Content Marketing before it had a name.
In 1994, when the internet was still a secret and the Monday Morning Memo was sent by fax, we called each tidbit flung into the world a Free Product Sample, FPS for short. And when we flung those tidbits from a microphone we called it a Free Public Seminar. Again, FPS for short. And then came email.
Regardless of the vehicle used for distribution, the idea remained unchanged: people will give you their time if you give them something valuable in exchange for it.
People value information, entertainment, and hope. If you give them these from an open hand and an open heart, they will probably forgive your unattractive, outdated and clunky method of delivery.
Our Number One Priority is to send you something each week worth reading.
Number Two is to build you a country home to which you can escape any time you feel the need to be free. That country home, the Wizard Academy campus, is nearly complete.
A new website should appear by the end of the year.
But there won’t be any time or money for that until first we’ve finished Bilbo Baggins House, the Lenhard-Murray Amphitheater, and the Jeff Morris Worldwide Invitational Bocce Ball Court.
Bittersweet: Late this autumn, when the miraculous Daniel Denny hangs up his tool belt and moves back to Oklahoma to build, at long last, a home for himself and his wife, Pattie, their adobe mansion at Wizard Academy will become additional student housing.
Your country home is nearly complete.
And thanks to you, it’s debt-free.
Imagine what we could have done if only we’d had a better website.
Roy H. Williams