The darned lawn mower broke. Seems the flim-flam key sheared when the doo-hicky valve closed too early because the thing-a-ma-bob busticated. Or something like that. After several phone calls and a few choice colorful words I located the folks who could probably take care of the problem.
Here is a snippet of the phone conversation:
“Ok then. How do I get to your place?”
“You know where 4-corners is?”
“Well, it’s nowhere near there.” Oy, this was going to be a long conversation. “Hehe, ok you wanna take KGB road for about a mile, turn left at the mailboxes. Go over the creek and make another left after the third guardrail. Go past the Wheeler’s old red barn and turn right on the dirt road, I’m at the end of it.”
I found the place. The directions were fine if not unconventional.
These folks were the ones to do the job. Joe was friendly with a firm hand shake. Now, the yard looked like the aftermath of an explosion at a John Deere factory, but I could just tell that Joe knew what he was doing. We chatted for a bit and I left, knowing that my lawn mower was in good hands.
I imagine Joe was about as busy as he wanted to be. He didn’t have a fancy storefront with neon signs and a plush waiting room. His business was utilitarian by nature. He was not easy to find and he certainly wasn’t easy to get to.
Joe has a lot of luxuries that freelance writers just can’t afford to have.
We have to be easy to find. There are thousands upon thousands of storefronts competing for clients. If folks have to “turn right after the Wheeler’s old red barn” to find you then you’re not going to make it. And that would be a shame, because chances are you just might be the “Joe” of freelance writing – a warm handshake and a winning smile, all backed up by the best writing around.
Here are some tips to help make you easy to find:
- Make certain your web site is technically correct. What I mean to say is, be certain all of your behind the scenes meta tags and such are all in line. Have your site maps in place and make certain you are in the loop with Google, MSN and Yahoo.
- Have an attractive storefront so that if someone makes it to your site they want to stay and explore.
- Be an active player in your niche community. Visit other sites in your area of expertise. Learn from what they have to say. Comment on their blogs and directly contact them with a compliment or question.
- Get your name out there. Go get yourself Twitterized and Facebooked. Once you’ve signed up with social media, resign yourself to spending some time each and every day connecting with people and interacting.
- Build a local following. Become active in your local business community. Keep business cards with you at all times and hand them out at every opportunity.
- If you have the money, a little local advert in the paper or on the radio can’t hurt. You don’t need a huge budget necessarily. Work within your means and you will still derive benefit.
So, I went to pick up the lawn mower from Joe the other day. It worked just fine. I gave him my card and let him know that if he ever needed some great advertising copy, I’d be the person for the job.
What kinds of things do you do to make it easy for folks to find you?
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