Word of Mouth 2.0: Personal References by Google

When I started Vizibility last year, we hired accountants, lawyers and other professionals to help us get the business going. Very few of us choose a lawyer or doctor or realtor or [fill in the blank] based solely on the company’s television ad or website or phonebook ad or referral alone. We may start with one of these, but we validate what they tell us by getting input from friends, family, and past and current clients.

And Google.

For service professionals, the best way to find new clients will always be word of mouth and personal references. The Internet won’t change that. But it has changed how word of mouth is spread. Online due diligence is a routine part of evaluating service professionals, and ‘Googling’ is now standard practice.
Having a strong game plan to understand and manage what is being found about you online is just as important as having a good website. What do people find when they search for you? Does someone else share your name and dominate the results? Did the media run a positive story about you that just doesn’t show up for some reason? Did a disgruntled client post a comment somewhere that keeps popping up? Is Facebook showing up everywhere?

To help potential clients find accurate information about their attorneys, leading Intellectual Property law firm Novak Druce + Quigg recently decided to add Vizibility SearchMe buttons to the corporate profile pages of its attorneys (http://bit.ly/96UfBh). Vizibility ensures that their attorneys can be found quickly in Google so they don’t miss an important opportunity to validate their credentials and make a powerful impression. In short, Vizibility will help Novak Druce + Quigg get more business. And we expect to see to see thousands of other law firms and other professional services organizations follow suit by adding SearchMe buttons to the bios of practioners on their corporate websites.

Along with Vizibility, there are other tools that can help manage your online presence. But the single most important method of generating positive word of mouth will never change: deliver great service to your clients.


Guest Expert:
James Alexander is the founder and CEO of Vizibility. A serial technology entrepreneur, James has been involved with Internet search since starting eWatch in 1995.

Most recently James served as General Manager of Jupiterimages. Getty Images acquired the company in early 2009. Before that, James was Director of Product Management at Adobe Systems years where he created, built and managed Adobe Stock Photos, which served more than 7,000 creative professional customers in its first 36 months of operations. He joined Adobe in 2001 to manage and build the company’s early-stage electronic book (ebook) business.

Prior to Adobe, James led venture-backed Mibrary Inc., a New York-based software start-up founded in 1999 to make electronic books and other digital content easier for consumers to use. Prior to Mibrary, James co-founded the Internet brand monitoring service eWatch, which was purchased by PR Newswire in 1999.

James was awarded a patent for search innovations on Adobe Stock Photos and has other patents pending. He earned his Masters of Business Administration with distinction from Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Rockefeller College at the University at Albany in New York.

Google James at http://vizibility.com/james.

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