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What story will your prospects find when they search for you online?

Early last year, I listened to a pod cast by Paul Castain (Uncle Paulie) of Your Sales Playbook.  I'm paraphrasing, so Paul, if you're out there reading, please let me know if I got this quote right.  He said "People want to check you out online - safely and anonymously."  His comment has resonated with me ever since and often makes me ponder ... What will people find if they Google me? and what do I want them to find out about me?

Today, Paul's BLOG post ( You're Kidding Yourself  If You Think A Buyer Won't Do This ) reminded me once more that people are out there Googling.    Google yourself so you'll know what they're finding.  I say this to my clients ALL THE TIME.

The first time I Googled my name, I uncovered 12 pages of search results - all related to me.  I had spend a fair bit of time building my online story, but I was still surprised to see just how much someone could learn just by googling my name.

I am a 40 year old female business owner (5 years) and a mom who's lived in Victoria, BC for most of my life. I work in Sales. I build websites for financial advisors. I went to St. Margaret's School for girls and served on their Alumni Board for 5 years. My Economics Degree came from the University of Victoria.  I am the new secretary for the Kiwanis Club of Victoria and a member of the Swan Lake Trumpeters Toastmaster Club.   In my spare time I can be found on the dance floor with Laura Uppal Jazzercise

What can you tell when you look at my online story? Do I fit your target market? Can you find some meaningful way to use this information to connect with me? 

Search engines are powerful tools. You can learn a lot by googling your competitors, your clients, your prospects, and even yourself.

So Google yourself today! I triple dog dare you.  In my presentations, I talk to financial advisors about the importance of sharing their story online and in person.  If you aren't online, even that tells its own story.

Having a website and participating in social media is a part of doing business today. It's something that simply has to be done.  I cannot think of a single successful business that doesn't have a website or some sort of online presence, and I often challenge advisors to think of one. Given my own desire to check people out online - safely and anonymously, I am less likely to do business with someone who has no website - and given that I likely fit into many target markets, that's gonna hurt a few people.