When They Google You, What Will They Find?

Marketing guru Seth Godin asks in a recent blog post: Who answers the phone?

Godin’s point? That with marketing, we’re willing to prioritize considerable time and money on a new logo, a television ad (even a website!) – and yet often when it comes to the inbound telephone call, the prospect calling you:

the lowest-paid, least-respected, highest-turnover jobs in the organization now do the most important marketing work.

("The new rules mean that the most valuable marketing event is almost always an inbound phone call.")

The new rules.

The new rules also mean that you have an online presence, whether you’ve created one or not. Imagine: someone in your referral network mentions your name at a meeting or over dinner. What will that new prospect, that potential client, find when they follow up and Google you? You should be asking yourself this question. You should know the answer.

If someone goes online to put together a picture of you, what will they find? And have you done enough to influence the results?

For example, your website. It probably cost a lot to produce, but are you now doing anything to promote it – more importantly, to optimize it? Have you made the site easy to find? Is it listed anywhere? (Simple: the more high quality links, the better.)

What about all of the marketing collateral (newsletters and articles) you’ve spent enormous amounts of money producing in order to demonstrate your expertise? Any of it online? If not, why not? If yes, in how many places?

Do you have a professional profile? What does it say and include? Does it link to your website?

Can a prospect piece together a good portrait of you online – something substantive, demonstrating expertise and a level of quality? You should know the answer to this question, because in all likelihood they’re trying to do exactly that – right now.