Back in the day, a business needed to be listed in the Yellow Pages if you wanted to be found, but online search is now the main focus. However, most solopreneurs are not easily found online.
Solo professionals CAN be found online, much more easily than you think, with some simple steps that are free. Make sure you’re found in the #1 online business listing location: Google My Business.
Google offers a free and easy way to include your business in their search results. It’s designed for local businesses, but it works even if your clients are beyond local. Good news: You don’t have to have your address shown publicly.
Here’s where to start:
Get a local listing in Google. You need to follow all these steps for it to pay off:
- They will walk you through everything. Just read the instructions and answer questions.
Address?: If you don’t want your address shown because you don’t see people in person, look for the checkbox to say you see people at their location, so that a location won’t appear publicly. You will have to provide your address to Google, however, in order for it to work.
- Even before you have perfect words in there, go ahead and verify your listing to get the ball rolling. It can sometimes take a few weeks before it will show up. You can edit anytime later.
- Be sure to complete the verification steps or the listing will never show up.
- For increased effectiveness, include a good photo (or more) in your listing. Most typically you’ll want to put a photo of you for the main image.
- After you find it showing up online, send your public link to some of your happy customers and invite them to leave a review in there. That will help improve your rank in Google.
For ideas on optimizing your listing, see Google’s tips for creating a great listing.
Why This Matters So Much
After I added myself to Google’s listings, I became one of the top results in Google when someone searches for a coach in my local area. I immediately noticed receiving more inquiries and I continue to get leads from Google. For free.
It’s easy to be a big fish in a small pond so start local, even if you want a broader audience.
Make this is a top priority if you want more business. Fast, free, effective — the best kind of marketing task.
When you’re ready for more visibility, the next best place to be found online for your business is LinkedIn. See LinkedIn Profile Essentials. You don’t have to be active there, but at least be findable there.
Your Google Listing Helps with Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
You might have heard about SEO and again thought that was too hard or too technical for a solopreneur like you. Nope.
It’s actually one of the introvert-friendly ways to attract business that can work really well. And it’s more doable than you might think. It’s not to be ignored if you want a thriving business.
Getting listed in Google’s business directory is the best first step for SEO. So you’re on your way. Hey, if you can do this step, you can make progress on SEO. I provide marketing consults that include SEO help for solopreneurs. Questions welcome.
You’ll find a few more ways to be findable in the related posts below.