By Lynnette Hintze
Daily Inter Lake, Kalispell, Mont.
The first title on Maria Phelps’ business card is Web gal.
Then she lists herself as a SEO’er (SEO stands for search-engine optimization), a content strategist, a promoter and a people connector.
What doesn’t show up on her business card is that she’s also an entrepreneur, a business owner, the president of the Flathead Area Young Professionals, a married mother of two young children and a homeschool instructor.
And somehow, Phelps makes it all seem effortless.
“I have a supportive network,” she said.
Phelps, 31, founded Find it Montana two years ago as an online directory of businesses and services and then added a marketing component called Find it Marketing to help businesses with cost-effective marketing and Web solutions. She just launched MontanaFeed.com as a companion blog to her other two online platforms.
MontanaFeed.com has a wide variety of contributors who write about topics ranging from places where visitors can spot moose in Glacier National Park to legal considerations for starting a business in Montana.
“I love Montana and its people, which is why my team and I are continually looking for ways to help build up our local economy,” she said. “MontanaFeed.com is a way for businesses to market themselves in a whole new and different way. My favorite thing is to see talents from businesses and showcase it.”
Phelps’ three online services operate under the umbrella company, Find it for You, LLC, and have been gaining momentum among the business community both locally and statewide. Becoming a self-described “web presence strategist” isn’t what Phelps ever thought she’d do with her life, but it has evolved into a perfect fit.
A 2001 Whitefish High School graduate who still holds the long-jump record for the Bulldogs, Phelps headed to Montana State University on a track scholarship after high school, but came back a year and a half later because she was homesick.