Why An Online Presence is a Must For Professional Practices

I was visiting with an older active attorney the other day who mentioned that most of his business is still coming through the yellow pages. Curiously, I asked him how is his business doing? He replied “I am not getting any closer to retirement.” Does this statement sound like you?

Leaving The Dark Ages
Leaving The Dark Ages

The conversation continued for a little while and in the end I believe I was able to get him to understand the value of having an online presence. After some more thought I decided to share my thoughts on this in order to help professional practices, which are usually micro-enterprises, understand the misconceptions and value of having an online presence.

The Objections

The questions and objections attorney commonly have are:

  • Why do I need to use the internet, I am well known in this area. – Translation – I don’t like change.
  • I don’t have the time to set up a web page. Translation – I don’t know how and/or are unwilling to learn.
  • I don’t have the time to maintain a web page – Translation I don’t know how and/or are unwilling to learn.
  • I know everybody I need to know – Translation – my ego doesn’t allow me to realize I could make use of additional resources.
  • It is too expensive – Translation – I am unaware how inexpensive it actually is to do or I am too cheap.

The Reality Is

The reality is your telephone book is little more than a doorstop or is being thrown out almost immediately. Here are ten reasons why:

  1. Over 75% of the public have access to the internet, When people want to find something out they “Google” it. The information most seek is on the first few pages that are returned as a search result. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about getting on these first few pages (front page highly preferred). People “Google” questions, names, products, ideas and businesses. The people who have an online presence are infinitely more likely to be contacted based upon an internet search.
  2. You can create a web-site for free. Just look at my prior blogs. My entire site was done for FREE.
  3. Search Engine Optimization is FREE. Yes you can pay for ad-words and other tools but the bottom line much SEO can be done for free. If you don’t believe me, Google – The Entrepreneur’s Advisor, misspell the name if you want, I am all over the first few pages. This was done for FREE.
  4. Your web-site is the ideal venue to pass along information to your clients. Web pages can be set up to allow only clients to email you questions. This reduces your telephone time and free up courtroom time saving you considerable amounts of administrative and communication costs.
  5. Your business can advertise and publicize on the internet 24/7/365. How long does the radio ad or print material last? Once you are on the internet, your presence is permanent.
  6. Pre qualify potential clients with contact form submission questions. Your business now has an extra outlet for screening clients and streamlining business processes at the same time.
  7. Expand your reach. Someone new to the area or outside the area seeking local representation will find you first.
  8. Professionalization as you can now place your website address on your business card to enhance your image.
  9. Image control. Without a web-site it is likely that potential clients will think of you as a dinosaur. Your website, sets the stage for how you are perceived. Making it clean, concise and professional will suggest to people that you make use of the latest technology to stay at the top of your game.
  10. The final reason is that having an online presence gives you authority in your field. The web provides you an opportunity to showcase yourself, brand your personal or business name and tell the world what you do.

If time is the issue, then outsource the creation of your web-page. Ascertaining the knowledge to do it yourself should not be an issue with someone who has a graduate degree. As mentioned above, money is not an issue either.

Established professional practices will not grow as envisioned as long as the founders fail to understand that technology has changed the world in which they live and do business in. Attorneys, CPAs, doctors, dentists, therapists and every other professional will miss that wonderful ship to retirement until they realize this.

If you need help, send us an email and lets us see how we can help you establish an online presence.

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Next blog – How to Use LinkedIn and Other Social/Business Networks to promote your business

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