Earn Cash By Marketing To Local Business (Even If You’re Not ‘Local’)
Online marketing keeps moving, changing, shifting… It surely keeps you on your toes. While a lot of us (me included), find that kinda exciting – for most folks, this can actually be a bit of a pain in the ar*e!
It’s more than likely you’ve learned some marketing tactics yourself along the way, but turning that into money is usually a bit harder than people make it look on the sales pages. The good news is it’s not all been for nothing!
You see, that information you’ve picked up can be used to make you money without having to compete with the 10’000’s of people trying to do affiliate or online marketing… by approaching local businesses.
In this article I’m gonna share some strategies on marketing to local business, plus some ideas that you can implement and profit from easily.
Back in the day Yellow Pages advertising used to be the way to go for businesses, well that’s proper old school! Now people are moving online, which can be scary for the local businesses – because they know they NEED to be online and have a online presence.
But, they’re busy running their businesses, it’s a lot of work! They don’t have time to learn about internet marketing… which is where you come in!
You can help those businesses survive and thrive, while making money and a great name for yourself in the process. Use the skills you’ve learned for promoting online businesses to help offline companies and get paid upfront for the work!
The first thing you need to do is find clients. This is a lot easier than it sounds, I’m going to cover the most popular ones in here and some of them you might just think ‘hell no!!!’, but I’ll mention them anyway because some of these ways might work really well for you and horribly for someone else.
Anything in business, your success comes down to your personal preference, so find what works for you!
You’ll probably want to set up a website for your business so you can send potential clients to it for more information. Your web address will be on any printed material like flyers, brochures, and business cards.
Your website should include the following information:
- Examples of sites you’ve built
- A page about the type of marketing you can do
- A contact form so people can get in touch for a quote or to request your services
Once your website is set up, you’ll probably want to get some printed materials done. This can be anything from business cards and flyers (which are relatively cheap) to full-color brochures. If you can’t afford any printed material, don’t worry. It’s not absolutely necessary, but it will help a lot.
You can set up a WordPress blog easily – if you want help getting that set up, I’ve got some starter WordPress training videos you can access here. And if you need things printed, VistaPrint is the cheapest around.
Don’t get caught up in the details too much, you basically just need something up there so they can see that you are legit and have an online presence if you’re going to be handing out cards.
There are other approaches I’ll talk about later that don’t need you to have a website so if that’s more your thing then keep reading!
Finding Client Strategies
Walk In: The cheapest way to find clients for businesses where you live to is to walk into their businesses during slow periods and asking to speak to the owner or manager. Ideally, you want the owner, sometimes managers don’t have the authority to authorize purchasing advertising.
The quiet time for restaurants is usually 2 pm until 4 pm, so it’s the best time to walk in for most restaurants. Other businesses may have different slow periods, but this is usually a time when people are at work and don’t have as much foot flow.
Cold Calling: This isn’t ideal, and can be super awkward if you don’t do it right… but if you have no way to get to local businesses, it can work. Simply look through your local Yellow Pages for businesses that either don’t have a website or have one that isn’t ranking well. Give them a call and let them know you want to help them get more business.
Brochures, Flyers, Letters & Business Cards: It is less effective to send printed material (and it costs money) to a company than it is to speak to them in person, however it can still be effective if you reach a large number of companies.
Chamber of Commerce Meetings: Personally I don’t like ’em, but most areas have a Chamber of Commerce or other similar business organization. These meetings are full of business owners looking for ways to increase their business. Networking for business purposes is the major reason people attend these meetings.
NB: You’ll need to take a large stack of business cards with you. Don’t hard sell there, just keep it casual so you get good rep in your local community.
Facebook: A lot of businesses will have Facebook pages now, and sometimes they do a great job of them – but sometimes you’ll see they have a page.. showing they want to be on FB, but it’s empty, not updated etc. which is a great queue for you to step in and offer to help them set up and run it (or provide other services too)
Google: This is perfect for a wider range of local business than ‘just’ in your own local community. Now with the expanding acceptance of marketing online you can find targeted clients without having to ever meet them face to face.
Facebook & Google sources of traffic are ideal for simplifying things, you don’t need a website (although, if you have one it can lend more credibility, but… it’s not usually a full deal breaker)
It takes time but I’ll show you in a bit, some software tools that can automate the whole process.
Closing more sales marketing to local business
When you visit companies, there are a few things you can do to increase sales. Remember, not every company will agree to hire you. Some companies will have excuses, and others will just dismiss you completely. You have to learn to face rejection and realize it’s probably not personal. Rejection is a part of the sales process. But if you are prepared, you can minimize the likelihood of rejection.
Don’t just sell websites: If you’re using a software like XLeads 360, or Discover you can use their search tool to find out exactly what service your new clients will be more inclined to want to buy from you.
Services you could provide are:
- Create websites
- Create mobile apps
- Make videos
- Create/Manage Facebook pages
- Grow and manage Instagram accounts.
- Optimize and rank websites.
- Reputation management
All of these things are services you can provide with very little training – I’m pretty sure if you have a look at all of the software tools you’ve bought previously, or courses you’ve studied online – you’re plenty qualified.
Don’t advertise your services as website creation.
Many companies already have a website, or they’ve heard of other companies that had one and never saw any business from it.
Instead, sell your services as marketing. Let business owners know you’re offering a lot more than just a website. Sure, you can offer them a website if they don’t have one, or you could improve an existing site, but your services will be much more than that!
You will be offering SEO, placement in Google Local, social marketing services, and so much more! You can offer complete marketing packages for less than most companies charge for a single website! The service will practically sell itself.
Don’t bother with chains: Don’t waste your time with companies that are part of a chain unless the chain is small and locally owned. Franchises may be interested in local marketing, but most will have their marketing handled by the parent company.
Instead, stick with small, locally owned businesses. They will be much more receptive to this type of offer, and they won’t have the kind of marketing power a chain store will have.
Finding the right companies: Not every company is a good target for this type of service. A local manufacturing company may not be as eager for a website as a restaurant or locally owned clothing store, for example. Try to focus most of your efforts on companies that could truly benefit from this type of service.
- Locally owned restaurants
- Locally owned consumer goods shops like clothing stores, hobby shops, craft shops, bookstores, etc.
- Local delivery (food, groceries, flowers, etc.)
Go In with a Script
Never enter a sales presentation without a prepared script. Practice it, and memorize it well. You want to seem like you’re just talking to the prospect, but in reality you’re delivering a well practiced script.
Prepare a list of possible objections. Some of these might include
- Price (I don’t have money in the budget)
- Timeframe (I don’t time to sit with you and explain what I need)
- Urgency (I want it done yesterday)
- Effectiveness (will this make me money or am I just paying you for nothing)
- Trust (how do I know you can do this?)
More ideas for services you can provide
There are many different services you could provide to business owners. The most obvious, of course, is website design. You can build websites with WordPress using standard themes you modify for the company, or you can outsource the development if you aren’t very good at building sites yourself.
You should be sure to offer various online marketing services, because that is what will set you apart from standard web development companies.
Some of these services include:
- Submission to Google Local
- Email marketing setup and management
- Social marketing setup and management
- Search engine optimization
- Submission to online Yellow Pages sites
- Development of contests and giveaways
- Development of videos and submission to video sharing sites
You can put together various marketing packages at different price levels, and let business owners know how much each package would cost, along with potential monthly maintenance fees.
You can make additional money by referring them to hosting and domains with your affiliate link, charging a monthly fee to host them yourself, charging ongoing fees for managing their email marketing and social marketing, etc. Don’t overwhelm clients with services, but provide a thorough and well rounded package.