Let’s talk about professional research.
Being a professional genealogist is hard. Not only do you have to navigate the complex familial challenges of each new client’s family tree, but you’re also trying to operate and grow your business and oftentimes your livelihood.
Some try to lessen the challenges of running a business solo and opt to join a firm, yet few and far between are the research firms employing genealogists on salary. When they do, it likely removes that researcher's ability to interface directly with the customer and share in that client discovery together. An experience so special, it is often at the heart of why we do what we do as professional genealogists. Others opt to retain a day job and are forced to deprioritize the research they wish they could be doing full-time.
And most of the time, you’re probably tackling all of this alone.
In our hyper-connected society, professional researchers generally are distanced from their customers and other professionals by hundreds, if not thousands of miles. The professionals who, for a living, connect other people to their family all too often feel isolated and alone.
As professionals face these limits, the challenges of operating as a genealogist is compounded by the lack of resources provided by the industry. Simple tools and services that could greatly assist these professionals continue to fall short or are completely nonexistent. While we do recognize the industry has progressed the last few decades, we’re far from satisfied with the result and can no longer sit back and observe.
So we decided to be part of the solution.
We believe that supporting the professional genealogists of the world represents our greatest opportunity to further connect humanity through family history. We believe this will manifest itself in many ways in the coming years, but initially can be improved by the following five strategies:
1. Increasing connectivity of professional researchers by removing friction in R2R (researcher to researcher) communication and networking, no matter the geographical distance.
2. Democratizing the ongoing education and skill acquisition resources, for existing and beginner professional genealogists alike.
3. Reinventing how consumers can trust independent researchers. Credibility and trust stand at the center of the decision to hire a professional genealogist and frameworks used by many small businesses don’t encompass the nuance of genealogical research.
4. Increase demand for research expertise. Too often professional genealogists are pulled from their craft to market themselves and their business. We want researchers to be able to focus their precious time doing what they do best, research.
5. Take back time by running their business with technology. Many of the routine tasks of running a research business can be augmented or even automated with software that will free up more time for the professional.
This list is far from comprehensive but serves as a starting point in our efforts to further stimulate the research economy and empower the independent professional genealogists of the world to thrive in building and growing their businesses. We invite you to join us on this mission.
R. Wesley Eames
Founder of Genealogists.com