Let's face it, all attention is on the web these days. There's not a lot of people (other than your grandmother) who still uses a phone book, or reads reader's digest. Everything is online. All peoples' eyeballs and ears are online in some sort of fashion. If you're a business and you don't have an online presence, you're invisible.
If you have been doing business for 25 years and have been able to turn yourself to strictly word-of-mouth, then this does not apply to you. But for those of us coming up, word of mouth will come over time. Until then we have to climb to the top for attention.
Your website should be your core. You need to have a home base so that people can find you when they're searching for you. More often than not they will not end up finding your website unless they see you on another website and they click the link to go to your page. If you have a presence on Yelp, Google, Yellow Pages, Facebook, Twitter, Angie's List, Home Advisor, Thumbtack, Houzz, Bing, Instagram, etc...then it is a lot easier for people to trip over you while browsing. Once they do, often times the first action they'll take is click to go to your website. A lot won't, instead they'll just click your phone number and call you.
This brings up mobile optimization. Make sure that your website is optimized for smart phones. Most Squarespace and Wordpress templates are already set up for this so you're already good to go once you get the site created. People spend more time and do more on their handheld devices than they do on their desktop computers these days. My volume is about 75% mobile and 25% desktop currently.
If you're an electrician people are going to be searching your location + the word "electrician" so make sure you get your site listed in the google maps rankings. Get good reviews too, this helps rankings.
Please leave comments and let me know what you think of the episode!