I am the quintessential entrepreneur and as such am often flabbergasted by what I deem as excessive and unnecessary expenditures by marketing departments the world over. Depending upon the size of the company, I see waste in the hundreds, thousands, and even millions of dollars. If you’re an entrepreneur you recognize this too and you see it as a luxury you simply do not have. In your business every dollar counts and you work hard to optimize expenditures and parlay each effort into a repeatable success.
The importance of your web presence
It’s easy to underestimate the power of the web when it comes to your self-promotion but at time when yellow-page directories are finding their way more quickly to recycling centers, in order to survive and grow your company you will need to recognize and embrace new tools.
As an entrepreneur, it’s not just your company’s presence on the web it’s also your personal presence. At New York University, recruiters from about 30 companies told career counselors that they were looking at [personal web postings] on the web when considering candidates for employment. If employers are searching the web for personal information, you can bet that so are your potential and current clients.
Where are you now?
When you search using any of the popular search engines, the information returned is called the search-engine results or SER. When you, a business associate, or potential client, search for your name or your company’s name, are the SER favorable?
If you are an entrepreneur and have approached an important potential client are they able to find you on the web and come away feeling confident that you are an industry leader? Would they believe that you are very capable at providing the services that you have asserted?
Here you will learn to raise the level of visibility of your company, services, and skills, and just as importantly, lower the visibility of information currently on the web that may be incongruent or detrimental to the goals to which you aspire.
What is a spider?
A spider is a software application that browses web pages for the purpose of indexing content and providing results to a search engine. (Also called search spider or search robots.)
SER are often hit-or-miss propositions, but they don’t have to be completely arbitrary. There are thousands, maybe millions, of people and companies who specialize in manipulating web spiders to provide higher ranking for products. This process of manipulation is called search-engine optimization or SEO. To be effective at self-promotion, you must identify your current SER and affect that SER by populating the web with a great deal of positive content that is congruent with your goals.
This type of self-promotion is the SEO of you, the entrepreneur.
Opinion and review sites
In the pursuit of self-promotion, it often becomes necessary to give voice to what other people think. Opinion sites such as Yelp! provide a different kind of network where visitors leave comments, recommendations, and criticisms about businesses with whom they have had interaction. These comments, left by your customers as an endorsement or warning, can be a real boost in SER, especially when it’s a glowing testimonial.
Not all sites should be submitted to directories, it depends upon the service or products that you provide. Think about it this way: would my company benefit from a yellow-page ad? If the answer is yes, then online directories — the yellow pages of the twenty-first century — would likely be a good self-promotion vehicle for you.
Unlike search engines, many directories do not go out looking for new sites to add, you have to go to them.
There are hundreds of sites available and they vary in reach from city, to regional, to state, to nation, to world. Before you submit your site for consideration to these sites, be sure that the site’s target audience is also your audience. If you cannot provide services on a world-wide basis and you’re based in Denver, don’t submit your site to a directory in Yemen.
More visibility is not always good visibility.