I talk with dozens of business owners and aspiring Internet entrepreneurs every week. Yesterday a prospective client asked me:
There’s so much information out there and so many people claiming to be “Internet experts”, how do I know who to listen to? Given my uncertainty, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give to someone in need of guidance who is new to the online business world?
My answer was that besides already having an excellent product or service and a realistic budget to work with; find someone with lots of experience!
An experienced Internet professional will cut through the BS to help you avoid mistakes, save time, and save money by not spending it on ineffective services and solutions.
But D.K, how can I tell upfront who that professional may be? Give me some indicators, something tangible I can use to choose a web pro.
“Okay, here’s one of my favorite techniques that I use all the time.”
Ask them to point you to the registration info for some domains they bought ten or twelve years ago when they started working online.
It’s a simple request that’s very effective for avoiding a wannabe.
Anyone working online for ten or more years should have a few good domain names that they’ve owned continuously.
Say to him or her, “It doesn’t need to be a domain you’re actively using… just tell me some domains you registered when you first began working online that you still own today.”
Domains were more expensive to register back then… but there were far fewer people doing so. If the would-be Internet pro can’t quickly answer, simply turn around and walk away… because there is no reasonable explanation for an experienced web professional not to still own at least one or two very old domain names.
Domain registration dates can’t be changed without a conspiracy between large corporations. It could happen but it’s highly unlikely.
Does continuously owning domains registered way back then guarantee that I’ll get good advice and guidance?
No… but it’s a good way to begin establishing trust. You’ll know that the person has been working online for the number of years they claim.
Try it… it works! I crack up laughing when I hear a long pause and then get some half-assed explanation for why no old domain names. I’ve even had people hang up without saying another word!
BTW, here’s one of my old domains.
I registered “GetCustomers.com” in April 1998 and our SEO company has been there since 1999 (an old HTML site that we’ll upgrade to a CMS one day… NOTE, upgrading as of 8/13). InteractiveBiz.com was registered in December that same year.
Want to see more of my old domains? Let know below.