February 8, 2010

Mailbag: An Email Shows Why You Need To Be Findable

If you're visible, will people really find you?

Here's an email from this morning. I made minor editing changes to preserve the privacy of the sender. Afterwards, we'll answer the question.

The Email
I hope you will forgive me for this personal e-mail, but I also think you will understand why I am writing to you.

I am starting my actuarial studies, having graduated and obtained a masters in engineering more than a decade ago. My career took an unexpected path. After a long struggle, I decided to embrace it and "make lemonade".

I decided to take the actuarial path for a few simple (at least for me) reasons
  1. numbers give me comfort
  2. I like quantifying the invisible
  3. I need to feel grounded by doing something that makes sense
  4. I appreciate hard work, and
  5. I like being an expert at what I do
Still, I was debating for a very long time --- should I do this? Am I too old for an academic adventure? What about the kids, my full time job?

I stumbled upon your web site while I was still in the research phase and your sincere personal perspective gave me a push.

And then, the unexpected - I failed the first exam. For the first time in my life I failed an exam. Mind you, I have a masters in engineering with grades all above 90% and professional designations in Canada, but I failed this one! It was a blow that strengthened my doubts. I asked myself all of the above questions again.

I visited your website this morning. It had the same enlightening effect on me and I just could not resist sending you this note. Thank you for putting your word out there. The books are waiting on my desk, untouched for a month, but I intend to study. Because I can. Thanks again.
This email shows that people have real issues that you can help them resolve. Since very few bother to write, many more also benefited.

Your Turn
Let's turn to your service or product.

People want what you offer. They may not be ready to phone you, email you or meet you in person. They probably won't appreciate you contacting them --- if you knew where they are.

Instead help people find you. Put useful information where they look: online. By investing a tiny sliver of your free time, you get results year after year.

Hide and you send potential clients to your competition.

PS I get business emails too. They definitely lead to revenue and endless referrals.


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