The importance of Google when someone refers you to a colleague is vital to that new client contacting you.
Most people realise the importance of Google when applying for jobs or getting clients for their business, it's pretty obvious right. But from my experience of dealing with hundreds of business leaders, most don't know what Google says about them. So I ask you, have you Googled yourself lately? If you haven't, pause and do that now...
What did you find? Were LinkedIn and your website first and second links? If not, did your brand get confused with someone else with the same name? Perhaps you changed your name when you got married or moved countries or everyone knows you by your nickname. Maybe you can't be found at all!
In all of these situations, someone who doesn't know you, but has been referred for your service is making a snap judgment about you by what they find. So what do they perceive about you? If you can't be found, perhaps your not that good or successful. If there is negative links attached to your name, they might assume it is about you, when it isn't. If they got Facebook as the first link, does it help them make a decision to work with you?
They are likely to have had a few referrals for the service they want to purchase so you get about 5 -10 seconds to impress them. Or not...
You can't control their perception, but you can modify what they find in Google. In this, and the next few blogs, we will piece together a solution to this important problem. Here is the first few tips...
Do great work
Before you start to modify your Google links, it’s important to realise that you will only be recommended if you do great work. You need to delight your current clients, otherwise, they will not talk about you with enthusiasm. Without providing quality work as the basis for your referral, the Google effort will be wasted. So ensure you get this right first.
A great way to measure your referral readiness is to ask the ‘Ultimate Question’. This one survey question called the Net Promoter Score which trumps all others according to the creator Fred Reichheld, who wrote a whole book on the topic!
You can read a review of this book here, but to make it easy for you to adopt this method into your personal marketing, begin asking your clients this question:
‘Out of 10, how likely would you be to recommend me to your friend or client?’
If you score between 0-6, you get a negative point, 7-8 is neutral and 9-10 is a positive point.
Add them all together and you have an easily measurable score on how others perceive your work. This is a very short summary of a complex system, so check their website if you are interested in learning more.
Know what they are searching for
Most people don't realise that there are three ways clients can find you:
Your business name, and
Your product name.
It's important you can be found for all three but it depends on the type of business you run. For service providers in 85% of cases, they will refer you by your name. e.g. your local accountant, business coach or lawyer. For mid to larger companies it might be a referral to the organisation such as KPMG. For other companies that are more product based it could be the product itself, such as the Key Person of Influence Program (KPI). All of these are service-based businesses, the difference is what emphasis the owners put on which element of their brands.
The most compelling brand arrangement is to be referred and respected for all three! A difficult task to be sure but one worth aspiring too if you have ambitions of building a large business in the future.
The classic example is Steve Jobs, Apple, and iPhone. Or more locally Daniel Priestley, Dent, Key Person of Influence. Jules Lund, Tribe, Tribe Influencer app. (Luckily I have written blogs about all three!)
It's best to understand what Google says about all three brands you have. Furthermore, if you have multiple businesses and many products you will have a lot more searches to be known for.
Let me illustrate what I mean by using my brand as an example. I am a consultant and thus deal directly with clients so get many referrals for my name 'Andrew Ford' so if you Google me, I will come upon page one for LinkedIn, my personal website www.andrewford.com.au and a few other links. There are photos of my image on the page and also a Google Business Listing on the right-hand side. Hopefully, if someone is looking for me, they can easily find me.
I also get referrals for my businesses "Social Star" and "BYOB Social Club". When you Google those words the websites come up first due to natural SEO as they are a direct hit for the search term and not many people have the same names. That is why choosing a name that you can 'own' on the web is so important.
However, when we get to product searches this is where it gets tricky. Social Star provides personal branding services and BYOB Social Club is a business networking group. If you Google those words we don't come up high at all! In fact, depending on the geographic location you search from and your previous browsing history, we might not appear.
Therefore, if we were getting referrals for our products only because we failed to create strong personal brands or business, we have to spend a lot of money to stand out from the competition on Google AdWords or Facebook marketing.
Plus, these referrals don't have a preference for our specific service. They only want a product so they are more price-sensitive and less loyal than someone who really wants Andrew Ford or Social Star.
It’s important that you can be found for all three searches so over the next three blogs we will provide details on how to maximise each one.
PS Can't wait for the next blog to come out? Love your motivation! Head to our website and grab a copy of the eBook with all the content free here.