I guess some businesses really don’t want to get found online. To some it just doesn't matter. It might be a good idea if you’re trying to minimize your customer support budget or keep leads from coming in. Maybe those companies are online out of some regulatory expectation or legal obligation.
For small businesses who need to generate leads and connect with potential customers, hiding is really not an option. The best generator of business for a “small business” is not advertising it is word of mouth. According to a survey published in Small Business Trends - 85% of Small Businesses Get Customers Through Word of Mouth. It's your job to provide the necessary words to the required mouths. Here are some strategic decisions you can take if you remain convinced that you don’t want to get found online:
I sometimes struggle to describe what I do for a living. Do you?
That's not good. In order to explain the value of my business, I have to explain the benefit my customers get from what I do - NOT how I do it. I've found that it's not as easy as it sounds.
Why is that hard?
When you are really familiar with how to organize content and the tools that are at your disposal are really cool, it's really difficult not to talk about them. Often times I would launch into how to create algorithms, filter content, build taxonomies, and other such technical aspects of the work. See … I saw your eyes glazing over with that horrible look of despair… What the heck is he talking about?
The tools are really, really, interesting to me. I don’t suppose they are so interesting to you though. So what can you do to explain the benefit those tools will bring. What I really want to do is describe the benefit my customer will get from having me use those cool tools. That means I need to tell you that I help my customers make more money, save more money, and get more business because I can organize and display the content they have in a way that is pleasing, very easy to understand and a breeze to sell.
That's what my customers have told me anyway. It's like putting the pieces of a fabulous mosaic together and you want to share how you did it with everyone. However, you don't want to start with how to make the pieces, draw the pattern, and the type of glue and grout you use. You want to lead with "This is a fabulous mosaic! I'll bet you love it! Not only that I'm sure you won't be able to live without it."
So, the pieces and the glue and the pattern really do matter to the me and the outcome, but what's important to talk about is not what's important to me. What's important is what's important to my customers. Only the people who do the work are interested in the work itself. Most people just want a great looking piece of art.
Of course, I love talking about the glue and the pattern as well…
I am an artist, an analyst, a researcher, and an online development specialist serving the online information industry.