Aside: If you know someone who still needs convincing, perhaps a business or professional or cause that has a less-than-effective online presence, this is the post they need to read.
The protestations of grumpy old men to the contrary, the internet is all about connecting people. Rather than being isolated, we use it to connect with people physically and virtually, across the street or across the planet. We’re more connected today in more ways than ever before.
This is especially important if you have a business, a message, or a cause to promote.
If you’re running a business of just about any form, your customers are researching you online.
If you’re a professional, your clients are looking for you online.
If you’re an author, your readers want to know more about you and your work, and they’re looking online.
If you’re a non-profit, both your clients and your donors are looking to online information to find you, and to decide whether or not to support you.
And if you’re a blogger, you already know it: your audience is online.
Regardless of your role, if you’re trying to reach people, be it the general public or some subset thereof, those people are probably already looking for what you have to offer, and they are looking online.
It’s a very, very simple equation these days:
How do people find you?
What does Google search?
In order to be found, you need to have a web site. Not just any site, but a site that gets found, and gets found for the right things, like the products, services, or ideas you provide, or the location at which your provide them.
And, of course, a web site that not only provides information and value, but does so in a professional way that elicits your visitor’s trust.
From there, you begin building a relationship.
Why aren’t you there?
And if you are there, if you do have a web site, why aren’t you doing a better job of it?
The internet is a mature medium. People rely on it daily to solve problems, find what they need or want, stumble into things that they didn’t know they wanted, or simply be entertained.
That’s a huge opportunity.
On the flip side, people like you – including your competitors, if you’re in a competitive situation – are using it to promote themselves in ways we couldn’t conceive of just a few years ago.
That could be you.
That should be you.
If you want to connect with people and stay connected with your audience, your customers, or your constituents, you must do a better job of managing your online presence.
The good news is that, as I said, the internet is maturing, so managing that presence doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Hopefully I’m preaching to the choir, but I’ll put it more bluntly:
I don’t care who you are, stop ignoring your online presence.
It’s your #1 tool to reach the people you want to reach.
(*) Or Bing. Or Yahoo. Or DuckDuckGo. But mostly Google.