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Unread 10th December 2011, 04:40 PM   #1
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Default City of 300,000 population...Offline ideas?

I've read just about EVERYTHING about offline marketing on the forum.

I obviously live in a city of about 300,000. I've got decent web design skills but not really wanting to try and find clients to build standard websites for. Not that I won't take on clients but I've never really liked the details that usually go along with building websites for businesses.

I've designed a few mobile sites and have read just about EVERYTHING on the forum about mobile marketing. I'd incorporate mobile websites, SMS or any other thing I could think of to sell to local businesses.
I love building websites for myself(Amazon affiliate) so I have thought about a local business directory, mobile website directory and/or local SEO empire(from a another forum thread).

My City
  • Tourism isn't really big here year round.
  • This is the type of city people never leave so the locals are really local, meaning they know the city inside and out.
  • The city is steadily growing.
  • Restaurants are mostly big chains. Not many of the small cafe's or local pizza shops fighting for customers.
  • Bars are pretty standard meaning the locals go where they go and even before I thought about offline marketing I couldn't remember the last time I had to look something up on my phone for the details because not much changes here.
  • Business competition is not really something locals worry about here. Meaning the small jewelry store or the out of the way breakfast place is not having to compete with someone else for business.

There are 2 large Universities here and I have thought about building a list BUT how do you build a list when you have nothing to offer before you try and sell that list to local businesses?
I think this might be the best way to make money by incorporating the massive influx of college students each year.

I've moved back home but have lived in big cities for 15 years. Should I maybe think about focusing on larger metropolitan areas that I know but are not necessarily where I live anymore?

Does anyone have examples of services, plans, etc that they are practicing right now in cities with about 300,000 people in them and making a FULL TIME living?

Any suggestions or thoughts are appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your time.

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Unread 10th December 2011, 04:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: City of 300,000 population...Offline ideas?

I know may posts are few, but one bit of advice for you to consider....local does not mean that it has to be local to you. There is a whole world of people looking for your services and ways to monetize your skill set, but you have to step out of your own box. If the people in your backyard are not looking for what you have to offer, then you gotta start digging in other backyards.

I have clients locally, but most of my clients are scattered throughout the US and Europe. That was the main reason I quit my local chamber of commerce.

On that note...have you tried attending local chamber of commerces, bni or meetup groups?
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Unread 10th December 2011, 05:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: City of 300,000 population...Offline ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by focusedlife View Post
I know may posts are few, but one bit of advice for you to consider....local does not mean that it has to be local to you. There is a whole world of people looking for your services and ways to monetize your skill set, but you have to step out of your own box. If the people in your backyard are not looking for what you have to offer, then you gotta start digging in other backyards.

I have clients locally, but most of my clients are scattered throughout the US and Europe. That was the main reason I quit my local chamber of commerce.

On that note...have you tried attending local chamber of commerces, bni or meetup groups?
Thanks...Yes I would certainly participate in the local chamber, meeting groups, etc. My main hurdle in my mind isn't the sales part it's the business model creation for this type of city. I know you learn by testing your market but sometimes I think you can get tunnel vision on your local surroundings and miss an opportunity so in this instance I'm not sure what direction to take to catch that opportunity.

I agree about local meaning a local area and maybe branch out to areas I don't live in. I wanted to focus on my living radius if I could find something to capitalize on. I'm certainly open to other regions but for instance attending local groups or being the go to guy in the city is something I thought would be beneficial if the businesses or consumers could shake my hand in person so to speak.

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Unread 10th December 2011, 06:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: City of 300,000 population...Offline ideas?

Targeting the local businesses that cater to the college students seems like a great opp. Every year you will have thousands(?) of new students who need to know where to go. There have been lots of great offline ideas on here to take advantage of this. Selling ads and coupons on free white boards, the mailer that was heavily discussed last week, local deal site/directory targeted at students etc. I have found it's always easier to start local to you to build your model and then scale it up once the model works to other regions.

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Unread 15th December 2011, 01:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: City of 300,000 population...Offline ideas?

This could also be a good plan to add to your arsenal

http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...l+offline+hero

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Unread 15th December 2011, 03:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: City of 300,000 population...Offline ideas?

With two universities you there must be a pretty good nightlife in your city, and plenty of students in need of guiding to the local restaurants, bars, things to do, cheap stores etc.

So why not make a like a local guide with a mobile app. Should be able to sell ads and get people to buy the app.

Or go for the businesses - but have clear restrictions on how you conduct business. Creative constraints. Be The Soup Nazi of website development!

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Unread 15th December 2011, 11:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: City of 300,000 population...Offline ideas?

Two universities (in my mind) = Salesmen!

If you are selling SMS/Mobile, offer them nice commissions, and a small residual on paying customers.

Something like %40-70% up front , %10-%20 residuals.

Especially if they are in the "bar scene/club scene" , they may already have relationships with management or just the "gatekeepers" ..

What college student doesnt want to make money going to bars they are already going to? Say they make a $400 sale / $200 residual (mobile site or sms or whatever) pay them $200 for the sale, and $40/month.. if they make 10 sales, they have made 2K upfront , plus $400 a month. You think they wouldn't be motivated to bring you more customers?

You're money maker is the residual anyways, so don't be afraid to treat them right.

It is what we have just started doing in a city, we have a sales team standing buy who are students, and knows seemingly all of the hot spots and a lot of managers/owners, hell some of their good friends are the bartenders, etc.

The only thing holding us back from attacking is our SMS platform, we are deciding soon which one to go with, as right now, our demos are set up with twilio/vbx, so we are completely hands on, and we can not manage the onslaught of customers the sales team will bring being this hands on.
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