At this point, we have covered a LOT of ground regarding Launching a Consulting Business. One thing I hope you are observing is that it all ties together. It is like we’ve taken a bunch of what may have seemed to be disparate puzzle pieces (along the way) and put them together into a beautiful picture (a.k.a. a money-making machine)!
In prior posts I promised to follow-up with other strategies you can use to leverage the Internet, which is our #1 Marketing Channel.
Here we go…
The beauty of the Internet is that we can hang out a very comprehensive “shingle” sharing what we do. However, if we don’t take appropriate steps it is like assuming our prospects (potential customers) will find a needle (us) in a VERY LARGE haystack.
Realize, that “most” people do their online research via Google and/or Yahoo! But, how are we to get our website to show up on the first page of search results (the goal)?
We’ve already discussed the following elements of your online presence (these are “merely” the foundation):
If you haven’t read these (or need a refresher) click on each of the 4 links above, before proceeding…Again, all this stuff ties together.
We will now “build upon” the above foundation.
After establishing your online presence, there are other steps we can take to be found. One that is very effective is: SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
SEO: The process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results.
First, I’ll explain my “very high-level” understanding of how SEO works.
Google and Yahoo! determine rankings of “where” they’ll list the results of searches (1st, 2nd, 100th page) based upon:
- How many places they can find reference to a website elsewhere on the net (within other search engines and other websites).
- The frequency of finding the specific keyword or keywords on a given website
- I’m sure there is more to it, but that is enough for now 🙂
So, how do we make the above happen? Leverage a Search Engine Optimization Tool / Service.
There are MANY out there. Early on, I began using a service called Submitnet.net. In a nutshell, you create an account / profile, including your:
- Company Name
- URL – Website address
- Keywords – The terms that you expect people to be searching on, when they are looking for you / your services
After subscribing to the service for 2-3 months, and doing the things outlined in the post on Hanging Your Shingle you will observe your website showing up MUCH earlier in search engine results. It has been a while since I tweaked my profile, but they have a great wizard / set of parameters that you can tune to increasingly improve results (to achieve higher rankings in search engines).
Case and point: When someone searches on “customer centricity” (which happens to be a business concept AND my company name) they are presented with a link to my website as the first “unpaid” link, on the very first page of search results from both Google and Yahoo!
What a great place to be 🙂
And, I’ll say, that this (being found by prospects who didn’t know me previously) has generated SIGNIFICANT revenue! In fact, that is how we landed our largest client who has been going strong since 2005!
The cost: $19.95 per quarter (every 3 months). Mere peanuts, for the return on investment!
Give it a try!