You've just started a business as a micro-entrepreneur and don't know how to go about communicating about your specialty and prospecting? To help you in this task, consider using online directories. They'll help you raise your company's profile and attract new customers.
What is a directory for micro-entrepreneurs?
There are three main categories of directories:
- General directory
- Specialist directory
- Local directory
1. General directory
All micro-entrepreneurs can register, whatever their field of activity. A generalist directory is organized into broad themes, each with its own headings and sub-headings, enabling users to refine their search. Registration is often free in this type of directory, which is why it attracts many self-employed workers keen to enhance their communication and attract customers. It is particularly recommended for micro-entrepreneurs who don't yet have a website, as it offers them the opportunity to gain visibility quickly.
2. Specialized directory
By choosing to appear in a specialized directory, you gain not only visibility, but also credibility in your field of activity. To register, you need to fill in a technical form, then wait for your application to be validated by the directory site administrator. This is a sign of seriousness for prospects who are looking for a reliable company, because they know that the information you've submitted has been verified. You increase your chances of reaching Internet users who are searching in your professional sector and who know exactly what services or products they need.
3. Local directory
It's the ideal tool if you can't conduct your business remotely, which is the case for hoteliers, cafe owners, restaurateurs, craftsmen, shopkeepers, service providers... On this type of directory, Internet users can easily find your contact details, the address of your website, your opening days and times, photos of your business...
What's more, some local directories, like Google My Business, allow you to appear in an excellent position on the search results page, as you benefit from their excellent referencing.
How do I choose the best directory as a micro-entrepreneur?
You need to select a directory with a good reputation. To do this, you can check that there are many positive consumer reviews of a particular company. By reading this kind of feedback, your prospect will have the feeling of being in the presence of a directory that selects serious companies.
It's essential to choose a directory that is manually validated and doesn't require a link in return for your listing. Avoid directories that are overloaded with advertising, and check that the directory :
- is active, i.e. it contains recent additions ;
- provides a durable link to your site;
- allows you to customize the link that redirects to your site;
- has a long history (its indexing by Google after several years of existence shows that it's a quality site).
Finally, if your business is located in France, register only in a French-language directory.
Micro-entrepreneur: how do I get listed in a professional directory?
Once you've selected a reputable directory and checked that it includes a section devoted to your area of expertise, all you have to do is fill in the membership form as precisely as possible. A good presentation of your business is essential. It should be concise and to the point. Don't forget that Internet users don't usually stay on the same page for very long. So you don't have much time to grab their attention and entice them to click on your site link or give you a call.
Once you've submitted your application, you'll need to be patient. It can take several weeks for your application to be validated or rejected. To give yourself the best chance of having your application accepted, be sure to reread the form carefully before validating it; rejections are often due to the fact that the professional's presentation is incomplete (lack of essential information such as your identity, that of your company...). A simple oversight can cost you a lot of time!
Good to know: once your registration has been validated, don' t forget to keep all your information up to date. If you change your schedule, or modify or cancel any of your services, you must update your file as soon as possible.
What are the advantages of a paid directory?
Directories with paid options generally contain less advertising than those that are totally free, which improves the user experience. Users feel they're browsing a real business directory, and tend to stay longer.
What's more, these options allow you to personalize your listing (add your logo, links to pages on your site, full information on how you operate). They also give you greater visibility in the directory.