In case you missed the last post: 1 simple year-end tidying up task that will make you look your best. Here it is: synchronize the look and feel and messaging across all of your online and offline marketing platforms. If those platforms don’t deliver a consistent message about your practice, your leads and prospects may get confused. Confused minds don’t buy.
On to this post: Is it easy for someone like me to find someone like you? When I say “someone like me,” I mean a potential client. When I say “someone like you,” I mean a practitioner who says they can do what you can do. Being easier to find will make you easier to hire. Make being easier to find one of your top goals for this month.
And if you’re new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
Welcome to the first newsletter of the New Year. During the holiday break, I thought about my newsletter schedule. And given what other writing projects I want to tackle this year (e.g., my first book), I have decided to go from weekly to bi-monthly. It will be the same great content … but delivered half as often.
And please join me this Friday at 1pm ET on Practice Development INSIDER for my interview with Mark Zyla. Mark has been an incredible thought leader in the fair value arena. If you want to become a thought leader in your practice area or industry niche, you should understand how someone like Mark did it. Here’s your chance to do that.
A top goal for me writing about practice development strategies and tactics is to make it easy (or easier) for your audience of leads and prospects to find you and, ultimately, hire you. So let’s talk about getting found, being understood, and getting contacted.
Are you easy to find?
Clients and referral sources who know you now were once leads and prospects who didn’t know you then. So when a new prospect searches for someone like you on LI (and today, most searches for professionals like us start on LI), does someone else (regardless of their profession) with your exact first and last name pop up in the results?
If so, do you make yourself stand out with a headline that shouts “Business valuation expert specializing in X”? Or do you blend further into the search results with a headline that equivocates “Owner at XYZ, LLC”? My headline says exactly what I do … BVFLS Practice Development Coach: I help practitioners in 1-3 person firms who want to grow faster & smarter. Yours should, too.
Or let’s say someone met you in person at an event and wants to research you more – again, on LI. Do you have a current profile picture or one from years ago that doesn’t resemble how you look now? Mea culpa: I was guilty of this … I had a profile picture from 2004(!) that I was using until I had new headshots taken in May 2019.
Switching gears, if someone searches for your firm/practice name on Google, does it come up first in the results? This is usually not a problem if your name is part of your firm name. For example, I am Burkert Valuation Advisors … I am the only Burkert with this firm name … and so I am at the top of this Google search.
But if you have a “generic” name that involves a common keyword for your practice area, your firm name may not be popping up at the top of a Google search. In that case, you can hire an SEO expert to set up your website so it is strong for the keyword(s) in your company name.
Are you easy to understand?
Ok. “You” have been found. But now you need to decide what you want to be found for. So is it easy to understand what you do? And what makes you different? What makes you better?
Scrolling down through LI, is your profile up to date? I have a calendar appointment to review my profile quarterly. And I make frequent changes to make sure it is always optimized.
Do you have recommendations that prove you’ve done what you say you can do? Do you have endorsements for the skills you want to be known for? If not, ask for them! I know that seems obtrusive … but ever heard of the saying, “You don’t get what you don’t ask for?”. I have 25 recommendations, and I asked for every one of them. I even told people what I wanted to be recommended for to make the recommendation easier to write.
On your website, do you have case studies and testimonials that provide credibility? Or do you have an information dump about general BVFLS work that almost everyone else has on their website and that does nothing to distinguish you? On my About page, I come right out and say: “I am the person you should be working with because I am the only practice development coach serving only the BVFLS profession.” Then I include testimonials throughout my web pages from satisfied clients who have worked with me.
Are you easy to contact?
Ok. You’ve been found.
And prospects understand what you do.
Next step … can they easily contact you?
Some people don’t put their contact information on their LI profile. Or, more likely, they enable a privacy setting that only allows 1st level connections to see their contact information. (They might not even know this privacy setting is enabled.)
Let me ask, how many leads and prospects are 1st level connections with you? Probably few or none. So even if I decide you are someone I want to talk to, I can’t because I can’t see how to reach you.
Your contact information (phone number and email address) should be included throughout your LI profile (my details are in my Contact Info, About, and Experience sections) … on every web page (mine are in the page footers) … and on every email you send (that’s what email trailers are for).
Don’t complicate things. Before you start investing in expensive practice-building pursuits (including my coaching), tackle the simple stuff first. Making sure you are easy to find, easy to understand, and easy to contact is the simple stuff.
– If you like what I write about, tell a colleague.
– If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, email me.
– If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.
– If you want a sense of how well your practice is working for you, take this Practice Self Assessment.