I find it interesting that I’m writing an article on how to find more business for your local online marketing agency using….uhm…..offline methods!
Let’s face it, belly to belly commerce will never entirely be replaced by technology. Sure, technology like video conferencing reduces the need to have face to face meetings, webinars replace seminars and Google is replacing the Yellow Pages, but some offline methods continue to have value in attracting new clients.
You can use all your favorite online strategies to find business for your own specific keywords in your local market, but many of the local business owners you are targeting never go online even though their customers are.
So, there is a large audience, today larger than the audience online, that you need to reach utilizing offline methods. You also need to educate these prospects that they in fact have prospective customers online. You can learn how to do this by using the Local Marketing Source SEO Sales Trail. Go to www.LocalMarketingSource.com to get my free report, “Profiting From Local Online Marketing,” which covers the beginning of our highly successful SEO Sales Trail. This is a system utilizing a unique solution selling approach to promote SEO services to a local business.
So, as a Local Marketing Consultant specializing in online marketing for local businesses, how do you utilize offline methods to attract leads?
This could be a one word article: Networking!
There are several ways to reach your potential audience, but before we do, let’s review who your audience is.
Your Audience is the Decision Maker.
You aren’t just targeting specific companies, but those in the company that truly can make the decision.
While this could be an article of its own, selling and networking specifically with the decision maker is pretty much you focus when prospecting any organization. In some cases, working with an influencer or user is important; however the core message is different. I discuss influencers in other material. For the purpose of this article, we simply need to know that you must be speaking with the person who makes the decision or move on. Period. Trying to network with any other person in the company is pretty much wasting your time.
Your Message describes Benefits, not Features.
As discussed in solution selling, businesses buy a service or product because they have a problem that needs to be solved. Perhaps they need more business so they invest in marketing.
A service feature, such as top rankings in Google for the service of SEO, does not solve a problem. Increasing qualified leads from the website solves the problem. This is the benefit! The business owners and decision makers who have the problem of needing more leads would much rather hear “We’re in business to provide highly qualified leads to you from the Internet” rather than “We can get your website to the top of Google”.
Get some Feet on the Streets!
Now we have talked about who to deliver our message to and what type of message needs to be delivered . . . now we need to deliver it. Your audience reads the newspaper perhaps. You could pay for an ad or write a press release or article for the local newspaper. For the purpose of attracting your audience to generate a lead, it doesn’t work very well. For the purpose of creating credibility, it’s still a good source to reference offline and online.
In my business we’ve done it all. I’ve been doing this for 17 years, so I’ve been around the block as to what works, and what doesn’t.
Since you need to educate almost all of your prospective audience before you even earn the right to bring them through the SEO Sales Trail, then your goal of networking is to drive your prospects to your education.
You need an arsenal of Education
Whether it’s an in house workshop, online webinar, recorded video or printed material, your goal of networking with prospects is to get them to listen to your education.
Webinars and Workshops work well. Each of these events you record, and build a library of recorded videos that you can email with auto-responders. The question is now, how to get qualified buyers to your education.
1. Join the Local Chamber of Commerce. Then attend their events. Personally invite people to your education. Make noise about who you are. Typically those attending these events are business owners who want to grow their business. That’s why they joined in the first place. You have fresh, ripe prospects. Most Chamber of Commerce memberships cost about $300 per year and they will typically allow you to pay monthly.
2. Visit the Prospect. Figure out perhaps 100 local businesses from the Chamber’s list that would be your best prospects. Grab the decision maker’s name, either by calling the office prior to your visit or from the Chamber. Walk right into the office of the decision maker, introduce yourself and say you’re just stopping by to personally invite them to your material, since you think they might benefit. No sales people cold calling on the phone can compete with this.
3. Call the Prospect. Everyone loves cold calling, right?! When you call a fellow chamber member and introduce yourself as such, oddly you remove all sales barriers. It comes across like you’re both a part of an exclusive club and it’s an easy way to get through the gatekeeper.
4. Facebook. Paid advertising. Facebook allows you to advertise to people within 5 miles of your education. Create an ad, target those very, very close to you who have keywords like ‘business owner’, ‘entrepreneur’, etc. Your audience on there will be extremely small so pay a lot to advertise to them. You still won’t spend more than $20 over a weekend in most areas.
5. Email Marketing. With all of the above methods, always, always, always at the very least, get an email address. The chamber won’t give these out. Build your own email list through your networking. For every education event you have, notify this list and you’ll begin to build a lot of local trust if you’re only trying to market free education.
There are a lot of networking opportunities other than the Chamber of Commerce. You will learn of other local events through the Chamber, such as events through the Rotary Club or the local educational institute. In future articles and in the Marketing Local Online Business – Coaching Course I will cover additional methods to reach local decision makers for your local online marketing services.
For more FREE articles and videos like this, simply give your name and email below and we'll send this TOP 10 Local SEO Strategies Report. We respect your privacy. We will NEVER sell, rent or share your email address.
Local Marketing Industry Weekly Update - Free Subscription