We live in an age where the web is one of the leading sources of information. Today, Google isn’t just the name of a company, but also a verb used on a regular basis. As an entrepreneur, how can you make the most of this information tool?

Did you know that 75% of decisions have already been made by consumers by the time they contact us?[1] The world is transforming and evolving. Over the last few years, the way in which people find out about things has radically changed, and the web has become the leading source of information to which most people turn.

As an entrepreneur and as someone in charge of developing your business practice, your role is not limited to taking care of and offering quality service to your clients; it’s also your role to evolve to grow.

A typical scenario of today’s reality, let’s look at a concrete example.

Mr. Perspective Client asks someone in his circle if they know somebody to help with his need for “X”, because he isn’t 100% satisfied with his current provider. Mr. Perspective Client could have gone on to Google, but he is a businessman and he prefers to reach out to his network.

Ms. Accountant gives him the name of two professionals.

When he gets home, Mr. Perspective Client turns on his computer and does a Google search by typing in the name of the first professional. The results allow him to learn more about this individual, his or her approach, services, philosophy, etc. Satisfied with what he reads, Mr. Perspective Client decides to compare the first individual to the second. In this case, his research only turns up one result: a painter with the same name, who is in French Polynesia.

If they don’t find the second professional on the internet, most people naturally eliminate them as, nowadays, a web presence equals credibility and professionalism. It gives a centre of influence a chance to compare your specialisation with that of another professional, and allows a perspective client to gather information about you and the services you offer.

Here are a few tools to develop your web presence:

1: Create a website
Let’s face it: Having a website is an unavoidable prerequisite. Choose a domain name that is easy to remember and simple to write (without numbers). Take the time to create a site with easy and efficient usability (You don’t need to have 10 pages of content; in fact, you should avoid that–the ideal is five pages). The main goal of a website is to spark interest in people and to make them want to contact you.

To help you with the design and usability of your site, I personally like awwwards.com. You’ll find spectacular websites from all around the world there (even one for Harley-Davidson St-Jérôme, which is ranked as one of the most beautiful sites!)

2: Be active on social media
Search engine algorithms prioritize very active websites, which explains why your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. profiles show up higher in search results than your own website. Take the time to complete your profiles (especially LinkedIn) and to include your contact information in all of them.

3: Contribute to articles
Get in touch with publications (magazines, newspapers, blogs) and submit articles on different subjects. Contact journalists to give them your (value-added) point of view on one of their articles. Maybe they will reach out to you to contribute to a future column or to publish your own articles (this is exactly how I was able to gain a presence in a Canadawide publication).

4: Add your contact information to different directories
Are you part of professional associations? You’re a committee member or a member of a charitable organizations? Ask to have your name, picture and website address added to their directory. This will increase your visibility and allow members of these networks to learn more about you, your contributions, and your principles.

Having a web presence is no longer a luxury. As soon as one of our contacts mentions someone’s name, when we read an article by a person who seems interesting, or when we receive a LinkedIn request, we naturally turn to Google to get more information.

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Until next time! Stay strong, you never know who you’re inspiring!

Sara-sig

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1. Why Solution Selling No Longer Works.