A Phone Line? That’s Legit
Technology demands professionalism
About 6 months ago, I started working for Grasshopper, the entrepreneur’s phone system. Our product isn’t glamorous, at least from a writer’s perspective, but our mission—to help entrepreneurs out—is pretty cool.
We have a system that allows small business owners and entrepreneurs to field calls no matter where they are (lines can ring to offices, mobile devices, and home land lines) so that they can maintain a professional appearance, even if they’re working from Mommy’s basement. The system isn’t particularly expensive and it sounds super legit, like you’re calling Coca Cola.
When the engineering and network ops teams talk about VoIP and packets and whatever, my eyes glaze over, but I’m insatiably curious about professional appearance, and how today’s technological tools allow the average business owner to appear super professional, especially when they’re first starting out.
As a freelance writer and business owner, it’s pretty important to maintain the image that you know what you’re doing, even if all you’ve ever written is an article or two for a student newspaper, even if you’ve only had one client. How do I look legit? People ask me this all the time. Use technology. Duh. Get yourself a website. Order real business cards. Get a phone number.
I know it seems obvious, but some of this stuff falls by the wayside, especially when you’re a one-man show. It’s easy to forget about the importance of appearance, and how a first impression is the only window someone has into you and your company. Your professional appearance—your website, your copy, your attitude on that first phone call—is a front door, so to speak, and don’t you want people to knock?
It’s also practical. Would you want to answer the phone expecting your doctor with some test results, only to hear a potential client on the other end with some difficult questions? (Yes, this happened to me).
Shortly after starting my job I set up my virtual phone system line, mostly for fun, but also because I believe you can’t really write about and market a service unless you know what it’s about. Plus, I really needed to stop getting harassed by my online dating clients (on the side, I have a dating business). I got a voice artist, had the system direct my calls to my various extensions, and got going.
The ability to use services like Grasshopper to have a big girl phone number and Wordpress to have a big girl portfolio/website is not only proof of professional legitimacy, it’s essential. In a world where technology offers so much, we must take advantage or be left behind.
If you don’t believe me, call my line: 1-866-726-0253