Why my permanent address is my website

When I decided to launch my advisory firm last March, the first thing my accountant asked was “where”. Tough question. My prospective clients are in Northern Canada, New York, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and soon, Asia. I told him I have a MacBook with no fixed address.

Reactions to the office of the Future

When you wire your office for the future, you quickly discover that there are two types of business reactions to the question “where can I find you”, (my answer is always my business url). For most accountants and lawyers, this is a contrarian answer. They insist: “But where are you physically located”. I rime off the name of all the cities where I do work. Accountants and lawyers go crazy with this answer. The “Doubters” believe the social proof of a business is its real estate.

The second type of reaction is thankfully, the most common. They are the “No Briefcase Type”. They react with, “I’m going to check you out”. When I give out my url, I basically give out the right to investigate me. They have the right to find out how I think, what I do, where I have been. Obviously, I am looking for that same reciprocity.  Oddly, most don’t understand that yet.

Most professionals do not own their own online identity

The majority of professionals do not own their own url. At best, they have an unfinished LinkedIn profile. I recently met a fascinating lawyer. I discovered during lunch he was doing innovating aboriginal finance work.  This never came up on my pre-meeting Google search on him (everyone Googles their lunch date, right?). The only thing Google revealed was his firm’s website identifying him as a partner, his expertise in commercial real estate and his old deals. That’s it. That is how he is marketed.

Be like Sidney Cosby

There are no contractual reasons as to why a franchised professional could not have his/her own blog, own url, and own stories. Take for example, Sidney Crosby. This Penguins’ franchise player has his own url, his own Wikipedia entry, completely separate from the Penguins.   If Crosby is ever traded or leaves the Penguins, his online identity will remain with him, will follow him to where he is going. Hence, if you are a franchised professional, you need to shape and own your online real estate. One day, when you leave the firm, it won’t matter one bit that the Penguins have traded you.

About sleclair

Suzanne is a "connected lawyer" and a cloud office fanatic. Suzanne helps other professionals like her, work out of the best espresso bars in the world. Suzanne runs, & runs her business anywhere.

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