Do Professional Organizers Need a Website?

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I’ve noticed that quite a few professional organizers don’t consider a website to be an important marketing tool. After all, they only serve people in their local area – why would they need to promote their services online?

Consider the fact that as of 2008, nearly 75% of North Americans were Internet users. Although the rates are lower in other parts of the world, for an increasing number of people, the Internet is the first place – if not the only place – they look for information. In other words, if you don’t have a website, you may be overlooked by prospective clients or media contacts seeking experts to interview.

The following statement appeared in Home Business Magazine:

“Customers and other people who come in contact with your home business expect to find reputable businesses on the Web, so don’t risk your credibility by not being present.”

This quote appeared in October 2003 – over five years ago! – but even back then, it was a question of credibility. Now more than ever, there’s a risk that you may not be taken seriously if you don’t have a website for your business.

Having a profile on social networking sites and/or listings on online directories is better than not having an online presence at all, but it’s far more effective to have your own website. Most people don’t want to waste time calling around to comparison shop – they would rather gather as much information as possible online, and then decide who to contact. If they are “surfing” outside of your regular business hours, they make a buying decision before they’ve even had an opportunity to speak with you. An effective website can work for you around the clock and put you on a level playing field with your competition.

Don’t make the mistake of letting your child design your website because he or she learned a little bit about it in school one day. Your business is not a class project; it is your livelihood, and although it doesn’t have to be elaborate, it should be professional and represent your company effectively. To see the difference between a good website and a bad one, stop by Web Pages That Suck. It’s pretty good for a laugh, as long as you don’t see your own site there!

I’m pretty proud of the websites I’ve designed for professional organizers over the past few years, and many of them appear in my online portfolio. If you’re thinking about setting up your first website, or refreshing the look of your existing site, let’s talk!

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A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. Julie Bestry Julie Bestry on April 13, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    I couldn’t have said it better myself, Janet. You’ve pinpointed it with the key word: credibility!

    Doing business without a professional-looking web site is like doing business with voicemail recorded by your children with that says “You’ve reached Mom, Dad and CutiePies 1, 2 and 3…oh, and Mom’s business, too.

    A solid site is what stands between a hobbyist/dilettante and a true professional. I certainly wouldn’t consider doing business with a bank, CPA, or any professional service provider who didn’t have a professional, detailed, and informative web site, and I’m not sure we’d want to accept as clients people who would feel comfortable hiring someone based solely on a phone number tab on a bulletin board or a listing in the phone book.

    If we are to be trusted as professionals who will treat our clients with integrity, we have to treat our reputations with integrity, as well. If we don’t protect our own confidentiality (rather than running crazy photos and spewing embarrassing talk on social networking sites), how can clients imagine we will know how to protect their confidentiality? Our public personas, which begin with our web sites, are key to building and maintaining our professional reputations.

  2. Avatar Janet Barclay on April 14, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Julie, that’s an interesting point about not wanting to “accept as clients people who would feel comfortable hiring someone based solely on a phone number tab on a bulletin board or a listing in the phone book.” I hadn’t thought about that, but I’ve had a listing in the Yellow Pages for several years, and although it has generated calls, I don’t believe even one of those callers has actually done business with me.

    What you’ve said about voicemail is another great point – maybe even the subject for another post!

  3. Avatar Alex Fayle on April 22, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    The number of atrocious organizer websites I’ve seen over the years astounds me. Every once in a while I take a look around at sites just to keep up on what’s going on in the industry and I think that the option of no site would be better for about 80% of the sites out there.

    And I don’t think I have that high of a standard! 😉

  4. Avatar Alex Fayle on April 23, 2009 at 7:15 am

    I wonder if it’s because a lot of organizers aren’t that computer/Internet savvy. I know when I was interacting with organizers on a regular basis even as late as 2006, a lot of them had no real idea about computers or the importance of the Web.

    Just today for example I went looking for an organizer in Montana (for a potential referral) and the person I wanted had no Internet presence at all other than a yahoo email account.

  5. Avatar Janet Barclay on April 23, 2009 at 6:55 am

    Alex, some of those sites are probably what inspired my comment about not letting your child design your website. Although it’s important to have an online presence, if your website is unprofessional and full of errors, it’s not going to do a good job of promoting your business!

  6. Avatar Janet Barclay on April 23, 2009 at 7:22 am

    Alex, that is exactly the type of person I hope to help via this blog. Unfortunately, they probably don’t use the Internet to get information either.

  7. Avatar Melanie Dennis on May 9, 2011 at 8:00 am

    An organizer I know was working on a brochure and THEN she was going to get around to a website. She asked me about my brochure and I said “Giving my clients MORE paper is not a goal of mine. They can’t lose my website!”

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 9, 2011 at 8:34 am

      Ooh, great point! Plus, wouldn’t she want to put her website address on her brochure?

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