A few days ago my friend Ronald Bradford sent me the following one-line email.

Even in my own city, I am unknown!

Ronald is a database scalability and performance consultant and has numerous accolades and awards to his name. Soon he will have four MySQL books published as part of the Oracle series (two presently). His clients have included eBay, Electronic Arts, Thomson Reuters, and numerous startups. Ronald is a database god—his work generally results in a better Web visitor experience!

Ronald is extremely active in the MySQL community: Community Member of the Year; Oracle ACE Director for MySQL; organizer of the Effective MySQL Meetup in NYC (276 members), etc. He’s also very savvy at search engine optimization. Do any search on MySQL and he’s likely going to be at the very top. Try it now: MySQL Expert.

None of that mattered.

Remy Arteaga posted to the NYC Tech Meetup site, asking if anyone knew how to hire a MySQL expert. Remy and Ronald live in the same city and probably know many of the same people.

Remy did not perform an online search for “MySQL Expert.” Remy did reach out to his network in a forum he believes he can trust.

Is your business known and findable where your customers are looking for you?

[P.S.: Ronald ultimately got some help. You can’t survive without net promoters.]