Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Trouble Right Here in River City

I went to the IEEE (institute of Electrical, Electronic, Software, Hardware, and all other Engineers) National Capital Area Counsel Consultants' Network (NCAC-CN for 'short') meeting the other night. Not being an official member - nor qualified to be one - I don't usually go to these affairs. But it was part 3 of their "The Art of Consulting" series, and my DH was one of the speakers, so there I was with my flip cam, computer, tripod, etc. We need videos for our web site. These may never be appropriate, but I need practice before I even qualify as a lousy videographer.

Because I am fundamentally a nosy person, I nagged Bob early in his talk to ask how many folks - all consultants or folks who want to be consultants - to raise their hands if they already had a web site. Only about 25 percent did. Not even all of those already working as consultants have them!


Oh, we got trouble
Right here in River City
Right here in River City
With a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'P'
and that stands for 'pool'
That stands for pool
We surely got trouble
We surely got trouble
Right here in River City
Right here in River City

THAT was from the musical "The Music Man". Except in this case it's not River City, it's Avalon on the Potomac, and P stands for Piss Poor Performance. We've all heard that if you build a better mousetrap that the world will beat a path to your door. That's not really true - if they don't know you've built the better mousetrap or don't know where your door is, the world will beat a path to a mousetrap they know about and a door that they can find. The first place most mouse users look for ANYTHING is on the Internet.

If you don't have an Internet presence you do not exist to them. Sure, you might get some business from another engineer who knows you (maybe from attending the CN), and knows your skills complement his/hers but word-of-mouth doesn't really pay off until you already have an established business and reputation.

Even the most primative web site gives you some credibility. You will have your contact info up there, you will have information about what you do, you will have pictures of what you've built or screen shots of what you've programmed, you will have your picture, you should have a video, etc. [Monday's post about booting all 'shoulds' was about PERSONAL life shoulds, not business shoulds!] It tells people about your mousetrap and where your door is.

It's not as if a web site is expensive. GoDaddy sells sites for as low as $10 for a year, and I've had hosting at $10 per month. A cheap template and you're on the air, even if you won't be well ranked on the search engines. Get that up, and when you have slow times you can learn Search Engine Optimization and maybe learn how to use Joobla! to make a hot website.

But by all means, get on the air!

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