I have never been fond of offline cash cow proponents - but this made me sick!

166 replies
Yesterday I was lucky enough to be able to go out and visit one of my local shops.

I wish I hadn't!

Listen guys! I know that you all want to make money and I know that many of you want to do it in the offline arena BUT DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO RIP YOUR CLIENTS OFF?

The shop I visited is run by a brother and sister and sells sweets. The sweets they sell are of the pick and mix type, displayed in transparent dispensers that customers can make a selection out of. You know the style, a couple of those, a few of those and lots of those because I really like them!

Alongside these sweets they also sell a selection of proprietary chocolate bars, packets of crisps (potato chips) and cans of soft drink.

This little shop is their first commercial venture and they have received and acted on a lot of good advice - some from their immediate competition - in the six months they have been trading!

Because they know that I used to work with local shop keepers, they asked me to look at their latest 'investment' - a web site of their own that was going to transform their business! They were so pleased to be Nº1 on Google and were able to quote, almost verbatim, the b.s. that the marketer had fed them. They were going to crush the competition because every time somebody searched for 'sweets' online, their site would pop up and they would win a new customer.

I was absolutely livid! Never in all my days of spotting scams on this coast of Spain had I seen such a blatant rip off!

This sort of shop will never benefit from online marketing because they serve a very specific niche, the children of the local urbanizations, the parents of the children of the local urbanizations, the grand parents of the children of the local urbanizations and passing traffic. No matter what searches people did for sweets or confectionary online, this couple's web site was never Nº1 unless a very specific search term in quotations was used - IN ENGLISH!!!!! Since 90% of the people in this area are Spanish speakers . . . . . do I have to draw a picture?

This couple had been charged €1,000 ($1395.91) for their web site and €100 ($139.59) a month to maintain it and build a mailing list. With a POR of 9%, this web site has to provide €1,111 ($1,550.94) extra sales per month for the bottom line to be maintained. This simply WILL NOT happen!

If you are going to try to help offline businesses, help them, don't rip them off and make false promises or someone else, just like me, might call you to the shop and ask you some pertinent question while your client looks on and becomes more and more disillusioned.
#cash #cow #fond #local business promotion #made #offline #og¡ffline #proponents #sick
  • Profile picture of the author Magic Johnson
    This is so normal here, I suppose a wild spread concept, there are a lot of Hype going on, on this forum. "Excuste Me" but it has to be said.

    And I shouldn't have to excuse myself. I am soly for quality posts, and lessons, as teachers, not pikers.

    We can't abuse the system for as long, as it has been abused.

    We aren't all Experts, can we grasp this, will we ever get it?????

    After reading a book on offline gold, we can't assume that we know how to manage a company and work as an web consult, and set up a PROFITABLE web site.

    What do we know about business building and marketing, more than selling our own, then "over" priced services, I believe it's time we fire off bullets..

    This place, have become more about making quick bucks, than long term business, and strategic knowledge, marketing and concepts.

    I have been studying my ass in this field, since June, 2001.

    And people think they are an expert after they have read ONE ebook??

    And that's why I spend less time on here.

    There are a whole bunch of amateurs in this place.

    It's simple, I have out grown the majority of members around
    here, and then it's time to move on, for me, to find new
    adventures.
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  • Speaking to you as an offline business consultant, this is a prime example of why many small businesses don't trust "SEO Experts" and "Web Developers".
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  • Profile picture of the author prosperwithdnb
    We are trying to help business owners and with offline marketing. Major companies like y-pages are charging 2000 for a full page ad or 2000 for one video. So if you are so upset why not go to y-pages and tell them the exact same thing your upset about
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    • Profile picture of the author Magic Johnson
      Originally Posted by prosperwithdnb View Post

      We are trying to help business owners and with offline marketing. Major companies like y-pages are charging 2000 for a full page ad or 2000 for one video. So if you are so upset why not go to y-pages and tell them the exact same thing your upset about
      YellowPages obviously brings a lot of phone calls and business. And we know what we get for our money. Just as with all advertising.

      Web consults, and selling advertising, are two Different things. Apples & Oranges.

      But let me ask you a simple question, what do you know about YellowPages advertising? And if you have helped businesses generate sales, good for you.

      But Why are you now here defending yourself, you obviously don't have a idea how to bring in sales, if you have to defend yourself that is, otherwise you had shut you tiny mouth and continue on to "help" businesses.

      Trying isn't good enough. If you want to make any real money, learn the how to and stop trying.

      Otherwise you are just a rip off artist.
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        There is a lot of this going on and it's not pretty.

        The bottom line...as I've tried to tell people over and over...is to help businesses make real sales and profits.

        Getting hired is not especially difficult if you put in some effort.

        But if you really want a successful career working with businesses then it helps enormously if you actually help them make real profits...then they're likely to hire you over and over for project after project.

        Incidentally this kind of thing has been going on years before internet marketing was even conceived.

        In the early days of the internet many web design firms made a killing selling websites that did very little to businesses...many still do.



        I do have to disagree with you on one thing you say though.

        To suggest that a sweet store could never benefit from internet marketing just shows a lack of imagination.

        This store could be capturing the email addresses of its customers and following up with them periodically with special promotions and deals to drive their customers into their store.

        Many of their customers might also be great prospects for other businesses and they could be doing joint ventures with these businesses and arranging other gift offers for them sent by email etc etc.

        I doubt that it would make a serious enough increase in profits to be worth the time of an experienced internet marketer but for someone starting out this could be a good low fee project to do in exchange for the experience and referrals.

        The issue is not that internet marketing can't work for this kind of business it's just that what they've paid for is unlikely to make them a cent in extra sales and profits and it certainly won't cover the costs.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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        • Profile picture of the author ExRat
          Hi Magic,

          You make some strong points and have an unnecessarily unpleasant tone -

          you obviously don't have a idea how to bring in sales
          otherwise you had shut you tiny mouth
          And you do not, and you are the one, that have no clue of the circumstances on hand.
          You say -

          YellowPages obviously brings a lot of phone calls and business. And we know what we get for our money. Just as with all advertising.
          How many times have you tried yellow pages? I've worked for a similar business directory, and I've also placed adverts in the UK yellow pages that were a complete waste of time. It depends on the market. It's not obvious to me that with 'all advertising' 'we know what we get for our money.' That's obviously incorrect.

          And that's why I spend less time on here.

          There are a whole bunch of amateurs in this place.

          It's simple, I have out grown the majority of members around
          here, and then it's time to move on, for me, to find new
          adventures.
          That's fine. I understand some of your frustrations. But all business markets have scammers and hucksters operating in them and always have done. Unless I'm mistaken I don't think the OP was referring to a warrior providing the service, just a local shop close to him.

          If everyone adopted your attitude, there wouldn't have been a warrior forum when you first arrived here. Therefore, there must be some warriors who have managed to get over the fact that every market will have scammers and hucksters, and that at times some of them will infiltrate here. Some warriors must have been able to see past that and continued to offer the right advice here, regardless of how many others weren't.

          But if you feel that way about this place, fine. Just don't be surprised if you change your mind and decide to come back here for anything, if those of us with long memories remind you of your undignified and ungrateful sounding exit and parting shots.
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          • Profile picture of the author Magic Johnson
            Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

            Therefore, there must be some warriors who have managed to get over the fact that every market will have scammers and hucksters, and that at times some of them will infiltrate here. Some warriors must have been able to see past that and continued to offer the right advice here, regardless of how many others weren't
            I feel bad for business owners that has to close shop, we can always say, "they must know better, research more and yada yada" --

            Are we building a society, built on trust, or none. It's up to us to decide.

            But I can, and I will react, about things like this. Because I want a society built on trust, and were we can leave a suitcase with a million dollars, without fearing it will be stolen.

            Of course, we are not there yet. But I as many others has, dreams and visions.

            Now to my point, this "Know better" and "A good lesson" could we say of a lot of events, We must live in the better parts of a city in the best blocks, as crime is likely higher in the poor parts, shame on us if we get robbed, or get in to a fight because somebody wants or cellphone and money. Is this our own fault??

            We are dealing with human beings here, not bugs, rats or less intelligent creatures, human beings who grab their share from others and put down others as they see them as their own boards for their own lack of desire, to work harder.

            So we get sold a fairy tale, and get to live with our crushed heart.

            I am of the opinion that money is Evil, when it becomes more important than justice, and integrity.

            I guess(no that's my opinion, no guessing here) that's my opinon. Now if we want out to swim in the open seas with knowledge of shoals of jellyfish, then we are partly to blame if we get stung.

            I feel, and this is my way to see human life, human beings has to take more responsibility when they involve other families, friends, and partners as in this case, a business arrangement.

            I like to see more of us have the guts to say "enough is enough" and nail scammers, and low lifes.

            But it has become so normal to get scammed, and PUT DOWN, that we rather live with the guilt, than put up a fight. As the world moves in 110MPH, as we are here in the 21-century, we are used to get our
            share of negative impacts, and we feel feeble to the powers of others.

            As we see SCAMMERS get very often away with their evil schemes. We get numb, not only to them, but to violence and every type of negative impact.

            Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

            Therefore, there must be some warriors who have managed to get over the fact that every market will have scammers and hucksters, and that at times some of them will infiltrate here. Some warriors must have been able to see past that and continued to offer the right advice here, regardless of how many others weren't
            I know I must at least try to move on, as I can't do anything to change people over the Internet in a marketers forum. But I try to educate others to think differently about scammers, and people falling for their tactics.

            But Integrity, ethics, they are also fields I feel strongly for, and that have been starting to leak in a few societies.

            As socialism pave a way to a more open society, socialism also pave us to negative impacts on our lives, and as we are part of a pack, we like to feel accepted, scamming get under our skins but we fear the ridicule of others, as the process could get long.

            We react upon this, as we start to feel weak, without any impact to believe we can change how we live, and think -- and now, here I am trying to make some changes for myself. And Hopefully I can inspire one or two members here, to see victims as more human than the ones pulling their guns on them, so I take a stand. And I am not afraid to take a blow for others.

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            • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
              Originally Posted by Magic Johnson View Post

              Are we building a society, built on trust, or none.
              A lot of lawyers would be out of work.

              If you come into my shop and tell me that you are a business person and can provide a service for me then yes initially there is a certain amount of trust and assumption.

              I can safely assume right now that if I hear footsteps in my hallway that it is not an elephant and probably a person.

              But back to the sales person I'm about to do business with, before I write out a check I'm going to be signing papers with you right?

              That keeps us both honest. If one defaults according to the agreement then we have a way to rectify the situation.

              If I assumed incorrectly that you were going to design my website using our national language and you failed to satisfy my needs in that regard then off to court we go.

              This is called business. There are plenty of things that go into the "cost of doing business". Not just making sure you pay the light bill but also covering your behind in the event that Mary K. Suemaster decides to slip on your steps. Insurance.

              Or, the shoplifter. The employee who likes to pilfer.

              Maybe even the website designer that does not know what language they speak in Spain.

              It's not the end of the world. It's business.

              Get a good accountant. Get a good lawyer. And try to keep your head out of your ass and you might make a living.

              p.s. That last bit was not directed at you Magic, or anyone that participated or will participate in this thread.
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by prosperwithdnb View Post

      We are trying to help business owners and with offline marketing. Major companies like y-pages are charging 2000 for a full page ad or 2000 for one video. So if you are so upset why not go to y-pages and tell them the exact same thing your upset about

      MAN what a STUPID comment! Yellow Pages is generally LOCAL, and organized by main product. People LOOK there like PEOPLE! If you are off a few pages, people may STILL find you. Search Englines are such that if it misses your record, you will NOT be found!

      I am SICK of SEOs saying they will "get you in the top ten". That is nearly IMPOSSIBLE for a popular and proper term. If this is a custom candy mix shop, the proper search term should be like:

      +bulk +candy +mix

      NOT

      "The san pedro bulk candy mix shop"

      You got me how you even get SUCKERS to fall for that garbage. The yellow pages is such that you can look for "CANDY" and come up with so few companies that it is easy to search one by one. If your add is full page and color, people are almost guaranteed to see it.

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

        You got me how you even get SUCKERS to fall for that garbage. The yellow pages is such that you can look for "CANDY" and come up with so few companies that it is easy to search one by one. If your add is full page and color, people are almost guaranteed to see it.
        Yeah, but having an ad that's easy to see is of little value if so few people are using the Yellow Pages to make the cost of running the ad worthwhile.

        With a lot of people, the only time the Yellow Pages is touched is when new books are dropped off and you need to replace them! For more and more people, looking for a business in Google has replaced looking up businesses in the Yellow Pages.

        Plus, there are a wider variety of search parameters. Look at your candy example. Maybe the Yellow Pages has a candy category, but does it have a bulk candy category? And, if it does, I doubt it has a bulk candy mix category. I doubt it has a bulk chocolate-covered candy mix category. So, if I am looking for something specific rather than something general, the only way to do that with the Yellow Pages is by finding businesses under the general category, then search through their ads (if they have display ads) and, if that doesn't provide me the details I need, I have to go around calling them. As a consumer, it's much easier for me to look it up in Google. And, once you get used to that, eventually, you just use Google (or whatever search engine you prefer) as your starting point.

        I just did a bulk candy mix search for my local area. Found two on the first page of Google. Are there more? Maybe. I didn't check page two. Checking those two sites out is easy. I can see their selections. I can't do that in the Yellow Pages. I can get driving directions. I can't do that in the Yellow Pages either.

        Maybe the Yellow Pages would have had more results. I don't know. I found what I needed (if I really needed bulk candy mix) in Google. As far as I'm concerned, I have no need to check the Yellow Pages. Based on past experience, I know that the Yellow Pages is not going to provide me the convenience or the level of detail that a Google search will reply. A Yellow Pages ad cannot compete with a website.

        Again, based on past experience, I know that I am more likely to find what I need in an online search than by looking through the Yellow Pages. Perhaps there are areas where the Yellow Pages have more listings or where it might be easier to find what I need but, overall, an online search will be more effective. As such, the first thing I'll do to find something will be an online search. The Yellow Pages will be a last resort.

        Even with that, I know people who lived the majority of their lives using the Yellow Pages to find what they need and I use the Yellow Pages more often than they do. And it's because searching online has become so ingrained in the culture now.

        Unless you live in an area where Internet access is not commonplace, online search is likely to be utilized far more than the Yellow Pages. And, when people go online to search, it's not the Yellow Pages websites they use, it's Google.

        As a consumer, I use online search. And, nearly everyone in the "real world" that I talk to uses online search to find things as well. For many of us, we're no longer in a world where looking for things online is the geeky thing to do; it's mainstream now.

        So, as a business, if it comes down between a choice of spending hundreds of dollars on a Yellow Pages ad or hundreds of dollars on a website and SEO, I can assure you those dollars will not be spent on advertising in books that sit on shelves and gather dust.

        And, if another business owner asks for advice on the best investment for their advertising dollar, I am certainly not going to steer them towards a Yellow Pages ad.

        While it's true that an SEO company cannot guarantee you a number one placement, if you do nothing at all while your competitors are doing something, who do you think will fare better?

        The companies that advertise are the ones more likely to survive long-term and especially through tough times. And, right now, the Internet is one of the places most businesses really need to be, even if your business is local.
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        • Profile picture of the author Magic Johnson
          Yeah, that's what every other Internet Marketer tells themself. That's also why we stop learning, as we can't get rid of our own prset preferances, so do anybody wants to hear real factos from YP results.

          You are off base!
          And it may sting.

          What I know is that one YP ad in a local city generates in above 1000 phone calls a
          year for one lawyer I know.

          Now, this is basically also the kind of prospects he wants to have around him. As they just picked up the YP to find themself a lawyer. And they are all lukewarm prospects and many times agree on a deal during a phone conversation.

          Google can do a lot of wonders to businesses, but we not to compare it with YP as that's an mostly run offline business model, two different animals. Both very successful tools, if used for the right reasons.
          Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

          With a lot of people, the only time the Yellow Pages is touched is when new books are dropped off and you need to replace them! For more and more people, looking for a business in Google has replaced looking up businesses in the Yellow Pages.
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          • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
            Originally Posted by Magic Johnson View Post

            Yeah, that's what every other Internet Marketer tells themself. That's also why we stop learning, as we can't get rid of our own prset preferances, so do anybody wants to hear real factos from YP results.

            You are off base!
            And it may sting.

            What I know is that one YP ad in a local city generates in above 1000 phone calls a
            year for one lawyer I know.

            Now, this is basically also the kind of prospects he wants to have around him. As they just picked up the YP to find themself a lawyer. And they are all lukewarm prospects and many times agree on a deal during a phone conversation.

            Google can do a lot of wonders to businesses, but we not to compare it with YP as that's an mostly run offline business model, two different animals. Both very successful tools, if used for the right reasons.
            Sorry, but, over the years, many business owners have fallen "victim" to Yellow Pages ads, believing they had to be in the Yellow Pages because that was "the thing to do." And, that includes the days before the Internet was commonplace.

            When you're talking about lawyers, doctors, plumbers, etc., where people don't think of them until they need one, then it may have been commonplace for them to grab the Yellow Pages and look through the listings. But, for many other businesses, people used the Yellow Pages not to find a business but to find the phone number for a specific business they were already determined to buy from. In those cases, a display ad offers no benefit because all the people were looking for was the phone number.

            I know of businesses that dropped their Yellow Pages advertising not because they didn't think it was effective but because they tested it and discovered it wasn't effective.

            In many respects, the Yellow Pages were doing to small business owners what Internet marketers are accused of doing to small business owners in this thread.

            The lesson here is to test things, not to take at face value what any marketer tells you. But, from my experience, and my experience with others (and I should point out that much of my experience is with "offline" business owners and not Internet marketers), going forward, the better investment of advertising dollars for businesses is not in the Yellow Pages but in online media.
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            • Profile picture of the author Nathan Hangen
              If you are in business, you should be smart enough to do your own research before you pay someone that kind of money. I'm not going to pass judgment on either side without knowing all of the facts, but creating websites and maintaining them is no easy task.
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            • Profile picture of the author Magic Johnson
              So many biased opinions here. Yes I'm talking about lawyers, did I say people never get scammed, some of you seem stuck in your own bias of Internet marketing, as I said before.

              Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

              When you're talking about lawyers, doctors, plumbers, etc., where people don't think of them until they need one, then it may have been commonplace for them to grab the Yellow Pages and look through the listings.
              Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

              Yes I am talking about one Lawyer, what are you talking about??? Do you have poor experience with Yp. Yp is far from dead, but believe what you want to believe.
              My point as I stated before. It's that we know what we get when we Buy A YP ad, we have alternatives. It's a got damn ad, not an SEO scheme as we talk about Pr, rankings etc.

              I'm really on either side of the fence, but it seems you guys are super afraid to let go of this and see it from another more human perspective.

              In many respects, the Yellow Pages were doing to small business owners what Internet marketers are accused of doing to small business owners in this thread.

              Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

              The lesson here is to test things, not to take at face value what any marketer tells you. But, from my experience, and my experience with others (and I should point out that much of my experience is with "offline" business owners and not Internet marketers), going forward, the better investment of advertising dollars for businesses is not in the Yellow Pages but in online media.
              Are you talking to me or others??

              I have been in marketing since almost 10 years back in time. 2001 actually.

              I could probably smash your expertisé with my left pinky finger. You don't have to prove anything, because it's not a war between Yp and online marketing.

              I tried to point out ethical flaws here and someone had to rip on me because I wrote "humid" 3:00 AM in the
              morning.

              That's a common trait when you have low self-esteem and lack knowledge in a field. So we take the easy way out instead of trying to grasp a concept. Humid for all you want.
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      • Profile picture of the author AmyBrown
        Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

        I am SICK of SEOs saying they will "get you in the top ten". That is nearly IMPOSSIBLE for a popular and proper term. If this is a custom candy mix shop, the proper search term should be like:

        +bulk +candy +mix

        NOT

        "The san pedro bulk candy mix shop"

        Steve
        Are you saying that is how you think the average person searches? My experience is that people search for a local resource using "city search term" such as San Diego frozen yogurt or Burien plumber.

        This is veering off-topic but I haven't had a yellow pages in my home in years and neither have most people I know. I asked around recently because I wanted to compare sizes of the books and ad sizes for this year compared to last year and almost everyone said the book went straight in the recycling bin.
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        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by AmyBrown View Post

          Are you saying that is how you think the average person searches? My experience is that people search for a local resource using "city search term" such as San Diego frozen yogurt or Burien plumber.

          This is veering off-topic but I haven't had a yellow pages in my home in years and neither have most people I know. I asked around recently because I wanted to compare sizes of the books and ad sizes for this year compared to last year and almost everyone said the book went straight in the recycling bin.
          And WHAT if your connection goes down? What if the power goes out? I don't use the yellow pages either, but I have known people that DO! AND, for brick and mortar, they may even influence online ads.
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          • Profile picture of the author Ut
            Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

            And WHAT if your connection goes down? What if the power goes out? I don't use the yellow pages either, but I have known people that DO! AND, for brick and mortar, they may even influence online ads.
            Then you don't have to worry about anything Steve, coz our biz go down with it and we all die from the WF withdrawal
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            • Profile picture of the author seasoned
              Originally Posted by Ut View Post

              Then you don't have to worry about anything Steve, coz our biz go down with it and we all die from the WF withdrawal

              WRONG!!!!!!!! Is there even ONE decent company here that REALLY has their server at home and ONE point of failure? Out of those, if any, HOW many even run their client off it!?!?!?

              MORE to the point though, HOW many of those are running all their clients sites off of it, advertising other clients, and are their clients ONLY customers!?!?!? And how many of those business are brick and mortar yet run 100% off the internet? HECK, you DON'T have to answer that last question because if you say all of them, you should check yourself into a hospital right now!

              NOBODY CARES about how much trouble YOU have regarding their business. They don't even care if anyone can access their site! They DON'T even care if anyone can access their shop! What they care about is if they can SAVE THE SALE! If your customer can't contact YOU, they may well contact your COMPETITOR! If they can contact you, and you can't help them, you STILL may be able to get business. That has NOTHING to do with the internet. *******************NOTHING**********************! Sorry, business has been running for THOUSANDS of years WITHOUT the internet. The internet still FAILS to do most things. If you try to advertise a store, the internet is a SMALL part of it. THAT is why major companies STILL advertise, EVEN if only to advertise their company and website.

              Steve
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              • Profile picture of the author ExRat
                Hi Steve,

                Wow! I'm used to your asterixes and CAPS but that post topped the lot!

                When you said that 'nothing' I reckon you really meant it...
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            • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
              It is shocking what is going on in the name of SEO or webmarketing sometimes. What is even worse for me is that some local trade organisations have tie ups with some truly dreadful so called web marketing/web design/SEO companies. I recently had a conversation with a local tradesman that was paying nearly £600 a year ($1000) for a webpage with his name and phone number on it - no domain, no seo and no content. He was promised he'd get a load of new customers from it. I explained to him that 'his' site needed so much more to get customers. I just don't understand why this company didn't set these sites up right. They could have dominated the local search and made a small fortune as he suggested their were at least 30 trades people that got the same deal and he like others wouldn't be continuing to pay this company the $1000 a year. That's at least $30,000 a year this company could have made with a high percentage profit IF they'd done it right!

              Rich
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              • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                billyboy,
                Anyone here EVER gone online looking for a sweet shop?
                Yep. Looking to see if there were more local shops that made sugar-free chocolates than the one I knew of at the time. And that's just deliberately choosing local stuff. You'd be surprised at the things I've searched for online in the way of commodities. I'm not saying it's common, but the answer is yes, at least in my case.

                I have a friend who does pretty well with... are you ready... fortune cookies.

                Online. Really.

                Custom, Personalized and Giant Chinese Fortune Cookies

                Art,
                local services do not get searched for in Google!
                I believe you mean well, but I have to say it...

                You're nuts. At least as far as how things are done in the US. Couldn't say what happens in Spain, but you're making absolute statements that are not even close to absolutely true.

                I will say also that I really like your objection to the "cash cow" label. I don't think it's appropriate to think of clients or potential clients in anything like that way. Kudos are due for that position.
                it is humanly impossible to be negative
                No. It is not. You do it on a habitual basis. You're unusual, in that you normally use negativity to seek a positive goal, but you're negative nonetheless.

                You can be a pain in the ___, Art, but so can the swift kick we all need sometimes.


                Paul
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                • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  billyboy,Yep. Looking to see if there were more local shops that made sugar-free chocolates than the one I knew of at the time. And that's just deliberately choosing local stuff. You'd be surprised at the things I've searched for online in the way of commodities. I'm not saying it's common, but the answer is yes, at least in my case.
                  You have to consider post-local searches too. There's a "sweet shop" in my home town where I used to live and, before going back to visit, I might check their website to see what's new or in-stock.

                  Unfortunately, while they will ship across the country, they have no shopping cart on their website. They don't even have a detailed product list on their site. In fact, their website has fewer images than their full-color brochure they have available in the store! They do have a 1-800 number though.

                  Even if they did not ship across the country, there would be a benefit in detailing the products they had available, so that you could put together a shopping list before visiting.
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            • Profile picture of the author skydivedad
              It certainly doesn't help anyone here to paint Offline Gold Consultants with a broad brush of scamster. I've been involved with Small Business Consulting and Sales since the mid 1980's and have spoken to 10's of thousands of small business owners about sales and marketing both online and off. Specifically we've been offering online Marketing services since 2003. I only ever use the term "Offline Gold" here on the Warrior Forum and with our WSO offerings. Believe me business owners have no idea what "Offline Gold" means.

              Our firm has been a Charter Member and we're a Certified SEO Firm. Unfortunately many of our competitors are not especially in the last few years as SEO and many other services are being offered by offshore firms and people fresh to the business. I encourage every Warrior offering "Offline Gold" consulting to consider becoming "Certified" in SEO and other Sales and Marketing Consulting activities.

              Professional Certifications involve practicing and adhering to a Code of Ethics. Both certifications involve study and an ongoing commitment to stay current in the industry. It takes time and effort but your clients deserve the best "You" you can be. As an example if we're doing SEO for an Italian Restaurant how in good conscious could we enter into an SEO contract for another Italian Restaurant in the same market. You can't resolve that conflict of interest. Here's a small list of "Ethical" considerations an Offline Golder should always commit to practice in their consultancy. From the seocertification.org website

              Principles for SEOcertification.org Certified Members
              Disclose any conflict of interest as soon as you become aware of it.
              Be truthful and accurate in all statements and other forms of communication made for professional purposes.
              Accept responsibility for your actions, whether verbal, written or physical.
              Acknowledge the work(s) of others and give them proper credit for their work.
              Avoid false and misleading statements or malicious actions that might injure another person's reputation or bring harm to their person or property.



              Just because other companies in your area don't adhere to these principal is not an excuse or an open license for you to ignore them as well. Just because a prospect doesn't understand all the minutia of online marketing isn't a license to take advantage of them. Your job should be to be an advocate of your client and to act in their best interest, just because you can make a profit deploying a certain marketing platform doesn't make it a proper fit for their needs.

              All The Best
              Paul
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              • Profile picture of the author EdKirby
                I've been an e commerce consultant for about 10 years now working with large companies building middleware applications but I've recently turned my attention to working with SMEs to help them get online, the so-called "offline cash cow" business model. For years I've been searching for a way to "get local" with my own business and I think I've finally found it.

                But not once, though, did it ever enter my mind to fleece local businesses nor has it been suggested by the folks I follow in this regard. I guess it boils down to what are appropriate business practices and thinking of your client's needs first. I believe that this is more of a personal attribute of the individual rather than a shoddy business model and it's implementation.

                Before any consulting arrangement can be made a discovery process should occur to find the areas that are causing pain, what the prospects goals are and where the potential client may benefit by the services offered. The consultant should be prepared to walk away with their reputation intact if they can't bring value.

                I'll admit that there are individuals out there that will abuse their customers and it looks like that may be the case here but it's unfair to paint everyone with the same brush so I can understand some of the backlash to the OP. Heck, I certainly don't want to hurt anyone.

                That being said, Art, what are you doing for your friends to turn this around for them? I know that you said that they serve the local market but maybe it's time to cast a broader net? I'm legitimately curious. If they were my friends I would be trying to turn their "lemons into lemonade" as it were.

                On the local search question, I use Google exclusively. I haven't even opened a YP in years. The only reason we still have them around the house is that my daughter uses them to stand on to reach things. I suppose that if I were into chocolates and candy that I would search on Google for that too. Just my 2 cents on that.

                Cheers,
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          • Profile picture of the author AmyBrown
            Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

            And WHAT if your connection goes down? What if the power goes out? I don't use the yellow pages either, but I have known people that DO! AND, for brick and mortar, they may even influence online ads.
            That happened a few years ago and now I have the appropriate phone numbers on the cable modem and phone. Now I'd look it up on my cell phone.

            I was surprised that people I consider non-technical said they used Google rather than looking up businesses in the yellow pages.
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          • Profile picture of the author RainDrop
            Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

            And WHAT if your connection goes down? What if the power goes out?
            Directory Assistance aka 411 from the landline or cell phone. If the power is out, it's probably too dark to read the yellow pages, anyway.

            Interesting thread, I can see good points from all sides on this one.
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            • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
              It's internesting to note that many people have started using Google like a phone book.

              When they need a plumber they search for their town and plumber and call the first one that has a phone number in the Google search engine results (hint: put a phone number and USP in your Meta description).

              Personally I search on Google most of the time whenever I make any kind of local purchase or if I'm looking for a local business.

              Unfortunately the websites I find are rarely genuinely helpful...although they DO help me find a physical address for a business and then I can work out how to get there using Google Maps.

              Google Maps...that really cool application that shows you how to get from your home to any address...including any business address.

              That alone is just ONE reason many people now search for local businesses online...it's a whole lot easier to get directions using Google Maps when you do an online search.

              You can also do that search ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE.

              There are more people with mobile phones now than there are with personal computers.

              And if you're in a city or a town looking for a specific type of business what better way to find it than doing a search on Google with Google Maps to see which one is closest to you.

              The number of people finding local businesses by searching online is HUGE.

              We know this because we have clients who are getting clients this way in pretty much every different kind of business you can imagine.

              And the number of different ways you can help a business increase its sales and profits by integrating online and offline marketing is also huge and by no means limited to making them a website or getting them listed on Google.

              I'm not challenging your digust at an internet marketing consultant who doesn't get real results for their clients.

              What the people making posts here are challenging is some of your assumptions about the different ways local businesses CAN be helped with internet marketing and integrating online marketing and offline marketing.

              Kindest regards,
              Andrew Cavanagh
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            • Profile picture of the author seasoned
              Originally Posted by RainDrop View Post

              Directory Assistance aka 411 from the landline or cell phone. If the power is out, it's probably too dark to read the yellow pages, anyway.

              Interesting thread, I can see good points from all sides on this one.
              I don't know... what about during the day? What about most of the weekend?

              And directory assistance is often no good these days. They want a city and listing name. Sometimes the closest one is in another city. Besides, they charge for 411 now, at least in most areas in the US.

              Steve
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              • Profile picture of the author artwebster
                You aren't "defending" anything -- you're trying to do "controversy marketing" and "forum marketing" of your own info-product on the subject.

                Well, Vince,

                YOU have the absolute GALL to accuse me of being insulting!

                That is the most offensive, obnoxious and insulting thing that anybody has said about me. I am truly sick and tired of the abject inability of individuals in these forums to try to defend anything without having to resort to personal attacks.

                1 - My friends were ripped off.

                2 - No amount of IMspeak will ever justify the treatment that they received.

                3 - I reported their story here to try to get some understanding within the members of this forum of what they should not do.

                4 - I have insulted no-one. I have promoted nothing. I have been very surprised at the degree of support for the rip off merchant.

                That's the trouble, though, isn't it, I still trust people to behave honourably and I still retain a basic faith in people wanting to do the right thing.

                Stupid of me.
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                • Profile picture of the author Hamish Jones
                  Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

                  1 - My friends were ripped off.
                  You have never actually shown us the website that was built.

                  2 - No amount of IMspeak will ever justify the treatment that they received.
                  What IM speak? Disagreeing with you about local search possibilities

                  3 - I reported their story here to try to get some understanding within the members of this forum of what they should not do.
                  Again, you've given half a story. Did the person who sold them the site build a site. How long has it been online for? Do you deny the person who built the site the possibility of earning a good living wage?

                  4 - I have insulted no-one. I have promoted nothing. I have been very surprised at the degree of support for the rip off merchant.
                  Every time you post, your product related to this niche being discussed is advertised.

                  That's the trouble, though, isn't it, I still trust people to behave honourably and I still retain a basic faith in people wanting to do the right thing.

                  Stupid of me.
                  No one here has condoned scammers, but you have only given half a story.
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                • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
                  Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

                  [B][I]
                  YOU have the absolute GALL to accuse me of being insulting!

                  That is the most offensive, obnoxious and insulting thing that anybody has said about me. I am truly sick and tired of the abject inability of individuals in these forums to try to defend anything without having to resort to personal attacks.

                  1 - My friends were ripped off.

                  2 - No amount of IMspeak will ever justify the treatment that they received.

                  3 - I reported their story here to try to get some understanding within the members of this forum of what they should not do.

                  4 - I have insulted no-one. I have promoted nothing. I have been very surprised at the degree of support for the rip off merchant.

                  That's the trouble, though, isn't it, I still trust people to behave honourably and I still retain a basic faith in people wanting to do the right thing.

                  Stupid of me.

                  To be fair you have to agree your post called the people who did this:
                  "offline cash cow proponents".

                  Since the offline cash cow thread was right here on the Warrior Forum it does seem to infer both that whoever did this was a Warrior Forum member and that anyone else who follows that basic path...working with brick and mortar businesses...is also in the same category.

                  Which is VERY insulting to the honest consultants here who work VERY hard to ensure they make their clients real sales and profits.

                  I'm honestly not hoping that was the intention of your post but you can't deny the inference is there...it's right there in the title of your thread.

                  One other observation.

                  So far quite a few people have shared some quite valuable knowledge about integrating online and offline marketing and about using internet marketing in a brick and mortar business.

                  That is exactly what this forum is about...last time I checked the top of the page it says:
                  "Warrior Forum - Internet Marketing Forums"

                  You came to an internet marketing forum and posted in the "main internet marketing dicussion" section and got posts back about internet marketing...seems on track to me.

                  Unless you just wanted to gripe and not open up a discussion about internet marketing in which case you really should have posted in the "Off Topic" section...that's what it's there for.

                  Some people challenged some of your statements about internet marketing and local search...also on topic for an internet marketing discussion forum.

                  People challenge the things I say on this forum all the time and I try to answer them based on logic and my experience...I don't get upset about it.

                  Reasoned discussion is what helps us to put our case more effectively and genuinely persuade and educate people.

                  Getting upset really isn't helpful.

                  Kindest regards,
                  Andrew Cavanagh
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                • Profile picture of the author Chuck Staff
                  .
                  Originally Posted by artwebster View Post


                  Stupid of me.
                  Well stated.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hamish Jones
    Originally Posted by artwebster View Post


    This couple had been charged €1,000 ($1395.91) for their web site and €100 ($139.59) a month to maintain it and build a mailing list. With a POR of 9%, this web site has to provide €1,111 ($1,550.94) extra sales per month for the bottom line to be maintained. This simply WILL NOT happen!


    What about buyer beware? Shouldn't the brother and sister owning the sweets shop have done some research before agreeing to such terms.

    Maybe they are agreeable to the terms. Maybe they are going to start selling sweets online. Maybe they just want to have a website because they think that it will make for a better overall impression of their business.

    And, absolutely a sweets shop can have an online newsletter- how about advertising new stock, subscriber specials etc?

    Yes, most of their customers may be local, but they are not going to be in store everyday. Keeping in touch online, even at $100 per month would probably be much cheaper than postage and printing for a physical newsletter.

    I'm not saying that this will necessarily work for this business, but you do seem very quick to dismiss the current situation.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      Hamish is correct with his assertion that the buyer must beware. In reality, the marketer did nothing illegal, BUT it is immoral. As marketers, we must consider how we want to run our business - as ruthless *******s who pillage and plunder the innocents, or as ethical marketers who build a business with a good reputation.
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    • Profile picture of the author Magic Johnson
      ($139.59) a month to maintain
      To maintain what?, it sure seems like money in to somebodies bank account.

      Originally Posted by Hamish Jones View Post

      but you do seem very quick to dismiss the current situation.
      And you do not, and you are the one, that have no clue of the circumstances on hand. :rolleyes:
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
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        • Originally Posted by alexa_s View Post

          How on earth can someone running a local sweetshop in Spain imagine that the internet is going to be a source of customers through SERP's in English? Don't they know the first thing about who their own customers are?!
          That's the point here: business owners know their business, but they don't necessarily know the basics of marketing. If a so-called "expert" touts the idea of ranking well in a foreign language, that's not necessarily the business owner's fault.

          It's the ruddy snarf who "sold" them on ranking well in English who deserves the blame.

          Having said that, to assert that there's NO value in using the Internet for a business like this is wrong-headed. A nice email marketing plan could deliver coupons, a newsletter on sweets and candy, announcements of upcoming seasonal merchandise offerings, etc.

          Then there's the idea of blogging to develop a local following. I know at least one IM pro who has a blog devoted to the delightful subject of chocolate. While this blog isn't geo-located, it could promote local or regional businesses.

          Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water...
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      • Profile picture of the author Hamish Jones
        Originally Posted by Magic Johnson View Post

        To maintain what?, it sure seems like money in to somebodies bank account.
        Hey, $139 per month to write a newsletter or two for a client, making sure it is fresh and interesting, and then sending it to the customer is quite cheap.

        There are also hosting costs and autoresponder costs.

        Originally Posted by Magic Johnson View Post

        And you do not, and you are the one, that have no clue of the circumstances on hand. :rolleyes:
        I admit I do not know the biz owners and who is selling to them.

        They may have been sold a dream by some guy who doesn't really know what he is talking about. This would be unfortunate but the lolly shop owners still have a responsibility to do their due diligence before entering in to a contract, as they do with any of their other suppliers.

        Having said that, I encourage all Warriors, new and old, to ensure that they act in the best interests of their clients. If you make your business and life about helping others to better themselves and their businesses, then you will have much success.
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    Some interesting reactions and the inevitable knee-jerk responses in defence.

    I agree, due diligence should have been exercised before making a commitment but, heck, it is very easy for an internet marketer to simply do a snow-job on the innocent and convince them of anything using the right combination of acronyms.

    People who are new in business have not developed the BS alerts the rest of us are blessed with and it can be made to sound reasonable about what a web site can do (look above - somebody tried here!). One of the things that I have been preaching for ever is the use of a good fact finding questionaire before trying to make a proposal.

    In this particular case, no fact find was necessary - the marketer saw a patsy and dumped on it!
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    • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
      Banned
      Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

      Some interesting reactions and the inevitable knee-jerk responses in defence.

      I agree, due diligence should have been exercised before making a commitment but, heck, it is very easy for an internet marketer to simply do a snow-job on the innocent and convince them of anything using the right combination of acronyms.

      People who are new in business have not developed the BS alerts the rest of us are blessed with and it can be made to sound reasonable about what a web site can do (look above - somebody tried here!). One of the things that I have been preaching for ever is the use of a good fact finding questionaire before trying to make a proposal.

      In this particular case, no fact find was necessary - the marketer saw a patsy and dumped on it!
      I agree it's a shame they got taken and hopefully you'll help them minimize the loss from this point forward.

      But I also have to agree that the shop owners have to take some responsibility for due diligence as well.
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    • Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

      One of the things that I have been preaching for ever is the use of a good fact finding questionaire before trying to make a proposal.
      1. Why are you in business for yourself? Why aren't you working for someone else, in the same business niche or industry?
      2. What is your sales process?
      3. How do you acquire new customers or clients now?
      4. What is your business plan? Specifically, what is your Mission Statement? What do you deliver to your clients/customers above and beyond "quality at a fair price"?
      5. How do you keep in touch with your current customers?
      6. What's your most valuable/profitable merchandise, product or service?
      7. Do you have any underused capacity that you'd like to scale up?
      8. What causes you the most aggravation or frustration?
      9. If you already have a website and/or email marketing strategy, how is it working?
      10. Where will your business be in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years from now?
      11. What is the "Lifetime value" of a new customer or client?
      12. What is the profile of your "Ideal Customer"?
      13. Do you have an ad budget? What is your ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)?
      14. How's business?
      Note Well -- these questions are not in the order I ask them. Actually, #14 is usually first.

      Regards,
      Vince Runza
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  • Profile picture of the author CmdrStidd
    Artwebster, I do so hope that you apologised on behalf of those of us out here who are honest. I had the chance yesterday to charge a gentleman $2500 for working on his website. I told him that the best thing I could do for him would be to remove it from the web entirely. Like you, his was in a niche that could not be marketed online. It was far too narrow and specific even for the local market. I could not take his money in good conscience. (And Lord knows its not because I don't need it. LOL)

    Over the last year he has paid close to $5000 for a site that was completely worthless. I doubt that the person that sold this site to him is a warrior and I would like to think that Warriors would have a greater degree of dignity about themselves but alas I am sure there is someone out there that will prove me wrong even with this.
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  • Profile picture of the author pizzatherapy
    As a business owner, I think it comes down to your ROI. If you invest $1,000 per month on an Internet Marketing package, if you made back at least $1,000 per month it would be worth it.

    I have started to use skills I have developed as an Internet Marketer for off-line consulting.

    Here is an example. One of my clients was paying $500 per month for his website and web hosting through a large commercial Internet marketing company. Now understand, this did not include an email marketing system, this was just for the hosting.

    I told him I could do the same thing for a fraction of that. We signed a contract and I am now maintaining his website. I am also putting together an email marketing system for him.

    I met with another potential client who was paying almost $6,000 per month for Yellow Page advertising. He explained it was a waste of money, so he cancelled the contract. I had to agree. I gave him an email marketing proposal which he may accept.

    For me it really does come down to being honest and ethical.

    I think CmdrStidd and Kevin Riley are right on.

    If you are providing a service to businesses that actually helps them to make money your service is a worthwhile investment.

    If you are able to help business owners maintain relationships with current customers as well as create new customers, through an email marketing system, you are providing something most business owners lack.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
    I've just run a 2 day workshop with complete newbies. I asked the question, "How many of you use yellow pages?" and not a single person there uses them now.

    They all use Google to find the services they want.

    Here is a major problem I have with the offline/online that we see happening time and time again. People are using a script to talk to owners, and they get a cheque or contract and think it is wonderful. The problem is that they have no idea what to do next, and we often have them coming in here to find out what the next step is.

    You don't need to know everything, but having a basic knowledge of what you are selling does help.

    You are a service provider, and as such you should know how to get that service provided.

    I saw someone (not on this forum) say they had told a client they could get them onto the 1st page of Google, made loads of promises, and then they asked this question on a forum. "How do I get Google to index my site?"

    What, you promise you can get someone on page 1 and you don't know how to get your site indexed? See the biggest problem that people face.

    The sad thing is, if a person was to say they were a writer, graphic designer or web designer here, people would ask to see samples, offline that doesn't happen too often, of they show the site of a friend and pretend it is theirs.

    Offline consultants seem to get away with more than any other service provider.

    There are amazing opportunities but at least get your basic knowledge sorted, before trying to sell a service you can't do yourself. That doesn't mean you can't outsource, but it does mean you need to understand it.

    I was asked recently to give a price for a specific writing job which was going to pay around $1 a word. Would I do it myself or outsource it is immaterial, because the bottom line is the buck stops with me. I have to know enough about the subject to talk to the person.

    We saw someone recently say they got a great contract, (low 4 figures) for the design of a website. They had been taught to throw up a cheap blog, and then use a template to change it. Only problem they didn't know there were other sites, and what they promised was a full ecommerce site with shopping cart, for not a good price at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tyrus Antas
    That's what happens when salespeople try entrepreneurship.

    Tyrus
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    The First assumption the OP is off with, is that the site is a waste and there is no way it could help them.

    I owned an ice cream popcorn shoppe for many years we also had candy the mark up for candy was a LOT more than what he is showing, that to me is truly dishonest.

    Basic candy and fine chocolates don't have the same mark up.

    Using OP's logic if I were to buy a cash register for $500 the cash register itself would have to generate income of over $5000 or its a rip off, Shame on the cash register people for ripping off poor innocent shop keepers.

    To anyone here who has sold candy before, will find profit number in this post are truly laughable.

    I don't know why the site targets English speakers, however to automatically say its a rip off seems a little quick on the draw.

    I don't know how close the shop is to the American military bases or other groups that are made up of English speakers.

    Back when I had my ice cream popcorn shoppe (we actually were a licensed dairy because we made our own ice cream)

    There were so many people that would come in saying that it will never make it, there is no way you can make it in this town, every business in this located is closed within a few months.

    Many of them had long drawn out, carefully reasoned arguments of why it would never work etc.

    Needless to say they didn't know what they were talking about.

    When a Baskins and Robbins came to town in a supposed better location, the fear mongers would come in and ask what I was going to do now?

    I would say Nothing different.

    The franchisee came into our shop once and yelled at my manager frustrated because we didn't just go away, How can you make a profit with your low prices etc.

    And as you might have guessed the baskin robbins store was gone in less than a year, and we were doing business as normal.


    Mark Riddle
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      One thing I've noted, both here and in doing research on my local competition is the almost slavish devotion to "getting on page one of Google"...especially for a single term like [business type] [city].

      Yes, that may pull in a few of the people who in the past would have used the Yellow Pages for an immediate need. But you have to remember and consider that even if you do get to the top ranking on page one, there are at least nine other listings, plus the paid ads if you're in a larger city or a high-end niche.

      So that single top ranking for one keyword may have to compete with 19 other listings. Once you get that top listing, you have to make it stand out and get the click, then make the sale.

      "Number One on Google" is NOT the Holy Grail!

      If you understand marketing and at least a little about how small businesses are managed (or mismanaged), there are so many more things you can do to add value - and profits.

      Some have been mentioned here - list building, email-based couponing, relationship building.

      For a sweet shop, it may be adding an ecommerce component so they can try to expand beyond the local trading area (see Fields, Debbie).

      There's testing so that the offline ads they do place are more effective, whether that's a YP ad, a TV or radio spot or a print ad in a local paper.

      There's also great value in passing on concepts like limited testing before committing to a full-scale roll-out recommended by that ad salesman that wandered in the other day.

      Here's a clue - there's much more potential profit in being a trusted adviser over a long period than there is in a quick hit selling a single service.

      I'll quit now, before I stomp a hole in this soapbox...
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      • Profile picture of the author Palo Coyote
        Hi Art Webster,
        Your headline says that you don't like "offline cash cow proponents." I'm glad I'm not one of those people. Oh, I've owned an Ad Agency for the past 21 years and we are Internet Marketing Specialists so maybe I AM one of those unlikable people.

        My response here is not knee-jerk, I've thought about your post and read the responses and am simply offering my ideas. Many of the responses were very well thought out and excellently written, great info.

        First, it appears that the people who sold your friends were thinking of their OWN profits first, don't care about word-of-mouth referrals from your friends and don't care about how many sales it would take to amortize the cost and most importantly, MAKE A PROFIT.

        They give good marketers a bad reputation and therefore I consider them a detriment to other businesses and a threat to my business.

        Aside, I'm very glad you're going to re-visit this purchase with your friends and the people who over-sold them. I'm hopeful you can make this work and be profitable for your friends.

        Vince Runza's questions are excellent.
        Albert Grande's comments about Return On Investment, ROI are fantastic.
        Kevin Riley nails it, "it is immoral."
        Andrew Cavanaugh has wisely said this over and over, "help business make sales and profits." Andrew also aptly points out how you can help your friends with some excellent ideas about how to use the internet, it doesn't involve being #1 on Google, hooray!
        John McCabe, good stuff, "number one on Google is not the holy grail...more potential profit in being a trusted adviser."
        The inestimable Bev Clement points out, "they get a check...they have no idea what to do next."

        99% of the business owners I talk to want, "More customers," so they can generate more revenue. Some, 1%, want an Image Campaign and getting more customers is secondary.

        I am OFTEN asked by non-client, fellow business owners at networking functions, "What do I do when the 'Radio sales person,' 'the Magazine sales person,' and now more frequently than ever, 'Internet Search Engine Optimization, get me higher on Google sales person' tries to sell me their ads? And, 'What the heck is Search Engine Optimization?'

        My question to them is, "How do you handle advertising sales or these Internet Optimization sales people." Their response, which is slightly disheartening is, "I say NO to EVERYONE." That's not good for people who provide real value.

        Here is what I tell them, "What is your average sale? OK, $5 in sweets. Let's take $1,500, the cost, and divide by $5, that's 300 sales. How long will it take you to make 300 ADDITIONAL sales? Can you make 300 additional sales in 2 months? That will pay for the initial out lay, you break even. The monthly is $150, so that's an ADDITIONAL 30 sales per month to BREAK EVEN.
        Your objective as a business owner is NOT to break even it is to make a profit so let's go from that perspective."

        When my business owner friends do this math with sales people the sales people usually fold.

        You get the picture.

        Our agency was recently hired to help a friend who owns several funeral homes. He wants very much to show up higher on search engines than his competitors when you put in, "City, funeral homes." We are going to work as hard as we can to get him where he wants to be. He's paying us a fair price for the work we're doing. Value for value, seems like a good thing to me. Maybe that's "offline cash cow" type activity, maybe not.

        The most recent article on my site is about how we helped a local dentist get $42,000 worth of business over the past year (in this recession) by spending $4,500 on a Post Card campaign. Truth be told the dentist did ask me if I'd work on his website. Me, "How many new patients do you get from your site?" Dr., "Not very many." Yes, we will work on it but only in a way that allows you to get make more money than you spend, EVENTUALLY. The monetary return might not be instant. If we set up an email capture and send out info and maybe an occasional special then it might take a while. The upfront and maintenance cost of an Email Capture system will not be that great. Paying $5,000 for a total re-make of your website when you get very few patients from that source is not a wise way to spend money right now. And being #1 on Google (they get 2-3 sales people a week offering this) will not be cost effective.

        Art Webster, it's a pity you're, "not fond of offline cash cow proponents," many of them provide real value and keep businesses alive. Most of us are "not fond" of people who take advantage of others because we don't like to see others get hurt and it hurts us also.

        All my best,
        Palo
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by Mark Riddle View Post

      The First assumption the OP is off with, is that the site is a waste and there is no way it could help them.

      I owned an ice cream popcorn shoppe for many years we also had candy the mark up for candy was a LOT more than what he is showing, that to me is truly dishonest.
      He was NOT talking about YOUR store! How do YOU know what the market is? I just so happen to have sold hardware/software. Some stuff cost me less, than anyone else! Other stuff cost me a LOT more! There was NO way I could find to get it for less. I WOULD assume the stuff was stolen, but like I saw BRAND NEW printers that JUST hit the market, and a place was selling them for a price that was BELOW wholesale!

      SO do YOU know:

      1. Their credit rating?
      2. Their stock?
      3. Their customers?
      4. Their distributers?
      5. The income of their customers?
      6. Their laws?
      7. Their customs?
      8. Their policies?
      9. Their competition?

      Since you are not even in the same country, I am betting your answer to all of the above is NO! WHO CARES if you were "in the same industry"! That is like some jerk saying that a Rolls royce should cost no more than say $30,000, because they used to be a car dealer!

      Originally Posted by Mark Riddle View Post

      Using OP's logic if I were to buy a cash register for $500 the cash register itself would have to generate income of over $5000 or its a rip off, Shame on the cash register people for ripping off poor innocent shop keepers.
      Typically, according to average UUS standards, ROI should be in 3 years or less. Cash registers TRACK business, and make everything easier, and are clearly worth it.

      Originally Posted by Mark Riddle View Post

      To anyone here who has sold candy before, will find profit number in this post are truly laughable.
      WELL, I know how a LOT of candy is made. I could estimate how much it costs in the US today to MAKE.(excluding machinery). STILL, I would NOT try to determine how much it costs a FOREIGN business. HECK, some products in the US can't even be used in canada and vice/versa. AND, there is a dessert shop that sells a $1000 sundae! Some would say the gold is EXPENSIVE! Actually, it is CHEAP! SOME would say it is the spoon. I KNOW the spoon can't be solid gold, and it is probably PLATED, and thus CHEAP! SOME would say it is the caviar. WHO KNOWS!?!? The company ACTUALLY says the CHOCOLATE is one reason it is expensive, and claims it is made of 12 kinds that are flown in special, etc.... WHO KNOWS? YEAH, I KNOW! Labor and greed probably play a large part, but can you REALLY say?

      Originally Posted by Mark Riddle View Post

      I don't know why the site targets English speakers, however to automatically say its a rip off seems a little quick on the draw.

      I don't know how close the shop is to the American military bases or other groups that are made up of English speakers.

      Back when I had my ice cream popcorn shoppe (we actually were a licensed dairy because we made our own ice cream)

      There were so many people that would come in saying that it will never make it, there is no way you can make it in this town, every business in this located is closed within a few months.

      Many of them had long drawn out, carefully reasoned arguments of why it would never work etc.

      needless to say they didn't know what they were talking about
      Like you!

      Originally Posted by Mark Riddle View Post

      The franchisee came into our shop once and yelled at my manager frustrated because we didn't just go away, How can you make a profit with your low prices etc.

      And as you might have guessed the baskin robbins store was gone in less than a year, and we were doing business as normal.


      Mark Riddle
      YEAH, but if they came in BEFORE you, the shoe may have been on the other foot. The franchisee was obviously an IDIOT! You should NEVER go to a competitor and ask such a question. You ALSO should check out the competition BEFORE choosing a site! If your prices were "too low", and you were doing well, he should have picked ANOTHER location. The IDEA that someone would spend SO much, and fail such a simple decision is LUDICROUS.

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

        YEAH, but if they came in BEFORE you, the shoe may have been on the other foot. The franchisee was obviously an IDIOT! You should NEVER go to a competitor and ask such a question. You ALSO should check out the competition BEFORE choosing a site! If your prices were "too low", and you were doing well, he should have picked ANOTHER location. The IDEA that someone would spend SO much, and fail such a simple decision is LUDICROUS.

        Steve
        Ludicrous, maybe. But very, very common.

        Here in SW Florida, I see shops open and shut all the time. One of the most common scenarios seems to be:

        Future Franchisee comes to Florida on vacation in the winter. FF sees bustling traffic, jammed shops and restaurants, plenty of expensive cars in the parking lots. FF also notices plenty of 'For Lease' signs. Thinks to himself (or herself, women make the same mistake) "I'll buy a [you name it] franchise, locate it down here and make a killing. It'll be like being on vacation all year long."

        FF plunks his money down, leases a space, spends a ton of money and has the Grand Opening...

        And no one comes. Or at least not enough to pay for everything until the snowbirds and tourists come back in the fall. And the folks that do come in have been conditioned to look for specials and coupons in the summer. FF soon runs out of money, and the 'For Lease' sign goes back up.

        Had FF done the research and due diligence, he'd have timed his Grand Opening for around Labor Day. That gives him time to iron out the kinks in his business before the season starts but not so much that the well goes dry. After a season to put some cushion in the bank, FF can withstand the off-season dry spell (which, ironically enough, is during the rainy season). A lot of businesses down here spend the summer worrying about three things...

        > Scraping up enough business to stay open until fall.
        > Being able to pay their good employees so they don't leave.
        > Getting blown away by the odd hurricane...
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        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          Ludicrous, maybe. But very, very common.
          OK, maybe I implied something I shouldn't. YEAH, I know it is common. I know a restaurant owner that does WELL! Sometimes, people buy his restaurants, change them, fail, and the owner would buy it back, for less than he sold it. It is almost like that old "I love lucy" skit! I went to two of his restaurants while he owned them. They are NICE, and do WELL. Still, people manage to faiil!

          I was just saying that that licensee was just STUPID! His failure shouldn't be something to brag about, etc...

          Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Mark Riddle View Post

      The First assumption the OP is off with, is that the site is a waste and there is no way it could help them...Using OP's logic if I were to buy a cash register for $500 the cash register itself would have to generate income of over $5000 or its a rip off, Shame on the cash register people for ripping off poor innocent shop keepers
      I don't know if that's the best analogy Mark, but sure I'll buy it lol

      "Not having a cash register" will prob cost you more than 5k per month.
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    The First assumption the OP is off with, is that the site is a waste and there is no way it could help them.

    I owned an ice cream popcorn shoppe for many years we also had candy the mark up for candy was a LOT more than what he is showing, that to me is truly dishonest.

    Let's get something straight here. I do not and never have said anything that I could not support.

    This particular shop is making a POR of just under 9% - I have checked their accounts and confirmed that as part of my attempt to answer their questions about their web site.

    If you were in business you will know that POR is not mark-up and calling me dishonest because of your history is, to say the very least, damned rude!

    Anybody who has any idea at all about the type of shop I described will agree with me that it should never have been targeted by the ignoramus that tried to rip the owners off - and even he had the common sense to see that he had stepped over the mark.

    Anybody who has been in business will know the absolute insanity of trying to compare the cost of a capital asset with the cost of stock in trade. (For those who can, compare current assets with fixed assets on a balance sheet and you will know why).

    I raised this as an example of how not to behave in the offline world because I was so disgusted by what I saw had been done. I could have written a full discourse on exactly why the web site would not help this couple but, stupid of me, I know, I had assumed that readers would be able to see that for themselves.

    Just as a small additional point because I know so many of you believe that using the town name in a long tail keyword is a guarantee of getting to Nº1 on Google - look at where I live and then find me a single long tail keyword relating to the sale of confectionary that would even get in the first ten pages of results, let alone the top of page one without being in quotation marks.

    I started to look to see where the nearest American base is! Yes! I walked into your smoke screen and discovered the red herring you were smoking!

    I also nearly fell for the one about basic candy and fine chocolate.

    I'm definitely not having a good day but, hell, obfuscate all you like and defend the indefensible. Whatever turns you on.
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    Some old school smarts would help - and here's to Rob Toth for his help. Bloody good stuff, even the freebies!

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    • Profile picture of the author Jagged
      Originally Posted by Magic Johnson View Post

      After reading a book on offline gold, we can't assume that we know how to manage a company and work as an web consult, and set up a PROFITABLE web site.

      What do we know about business building and marketing, more than selling our own, then "over" priced services, I believe it's time we fire off bullets.]

      [And people think they are an expert after they have read ONE ebook??

      Originally Posted by Bev Clement View Post

      Here is a major problem I have with the offline/online that we see happening time and time again. People are using a script to talk to owners, and they get a cheque or contract and think it is wonderful. The problem is that they have no idea what to do next, and we often have them coming in here to find out what the next step is.

      You don't need to know everything, but having a basic knowledge of what you are selling does help.

      You are a service provider, and as such you should know how to get that service provided.]


      [There are amazing opportunities but at least get your basic knowledge sorted, before trying to sell a service you can't do yourself.

      I sold a car last week...does that make me a car salesman??

      JUST GO DO IT.....DO IT TODAY....*doesn't matter if you know how....you know more than most business owners anyways*

      That was preached to us routinely...and thats "a part" of what lead us to this problem...

      "Send this letter to local business owners". Get an owner to contact you.....go sell him an autoresponder...collect a check for 500.00.........then come back here and ask...ummm, ok...how do I install an autoresponder or a contact form?

      This is not a business model....

      Look, I am in no way saying that you should not "go talk to local busness owners"
      YES... by all means.....GO DO IT...IT WORKS. It's the best way to get new clients....really is!!! I just think the plan was presented to us.....without the fine print...

      All I am saying is...get your ducks in a row first. Take some time...think things through...map out your goals...have a plan.....then go do it.

      One's who didn't do this are the ones finding their way back to the forum to ask how to do this or that...or what to do next...
      They never had a business plan....just a way to make a fast buck.

      I brought this topic up during the whole "cash cow" frenzy....about thinking it through first...laying out a business plan...set goals...learn at last a little about your services.
      But many inturn stated that I was over analysing & wasting time....just get out there and do it!!! That I was suffering from "paralysis-of-analysis"....

      I'm glad I didn't listen & followed my own path....

      Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

    This couple had been charged €1,000 ($1395.91) for their web site and €100 ($139.59) a month to maintain it and build a mailing list. With a POR of 9%, this web site has to provide €1,111 ($1,550.94) extra sales per month for the bottom line to be maintained. This simply WILL NOT happen!

    I kind of agree with you on this although I'm pretty sure I could make a sweet shop an extra $150 a month in profits (that's only $38 a week or $8 extra profit a day if they trade 5 days a week).

    The profit on revenue of 9% can be very misleading because when you create extra sales the costs usually don't go up proportionately.

    Put another way the business is already paying for staff and rent and most of it's other costs.

    So to make an extra $38 in profits a week they may only need to sell $76 in sweets...possibly less depending on the costs of the sweets.

    You know there are people who will buy $50 or $100+ worth of sweets in one purchase.

    You don't need too many of those on an email list to get positive results.

    Building a sizeable email list of customers and having a well crafted email every month or every couple of weeks promoting some succulent new deal could actually achieve that.

    I wonder if the business owners or the marketer involved in this ever did these calculations though and if they used print outs of emails or some other method to get at least some rough tracking of results coming from their internet marketing.


    Again it's not about how much they charged.

    Real value is always about what profits you actually make a business.

    If you charge a business $200 and you make them nothing you just ripped them off for $200.

    If you charge a business $20,000 and you make them $100,000 in profits it's a screaming bargain for them.

    That's just one of the reasons it's a good idea to work with businesses where you can potentially make them large sums of money quickly...car dealers, real estateg agents, pool and spa sellers etc etc.

    You can charge more for pretty much the same service and still be providing excellent value for money.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
      Banned
      Art, how do you know they won't make a profit from being online? Besides your opinion of course.
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      • Profile picture of the author jan roos
        What is wrong with coming to the forum and asking for new suggestions and angles on marketing say a dentist or a plumber etc? Isn't that what this forum is all about? Helping each other.

        One more thing. I believe firmly as Bev pointed out that you don't have to know much about IM to make this business work. f you know the basics like what services to sell Autoresponder, Seo, Video, Blogging Press releases etc) for each individual business you don't actually have to know how to do the work yourself. Actually, many established offllners would discourage you from doing any of the work yourself. Outsourcing is your friend, As long as you stay organized you can do great with this business model called Offline Gold.

        Cheers
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        • Profile picture of the author Jagged
          Originally Posted by jan roos View Post

          What is wrong with coming to the forum and asking for new suggestions and angles on marketing say a dentist or a plumber etc? Isn't that what this forum is all about? Helping each other.

          One more thing. I believe firmly as Bev pointed out that you don't have to know much about IM to make this business work. f you know the basics like what services to sell Autoresponder, Seo, Video, Blogging Press releases etc) for each individual business you don't actually have to know how to do the work yourself. Actually, many established offllners would discourage you from doing any of the work yourself. Outsourcing is your friend, As long as you stay organized you can do great with this business model called Offline Gold.

          Cheers

          Hi Jan,

          It's not the "how do I approach a dentist" or "I need some suggstions on how to approach a plumber".....these questions are much more understandable.

          And...NO....you don't have to know everything...

          It's the basic questions like..."how do I install a contact form...or autoresponder" or "how do I install a wordpress blog"...or my personal favorite..."OK, I got my first client...now what?"....
          I mean...if you have to ask...then frankly...you shouldn't be out there...at least not until you did a little research first...

          As far as outsourcing...sure, it's a great way to go...BUT, before you actually get to the outsourcing part...you need to talk to the owner about certain services they need...wouldn't it be wise to at least know a little about the services your offering?
          No...you do not need to do the work yourself...but you should be able to "talk the talk"

          JMO,
          Ken
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        • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
          Originally Posted by jan roos View Post

          What is wrong with coming to the forum and asking for new suggestions and angles on marketing say a dentist or a plumber etc? Isn't that what this forum is all about? Helping each other.

          One more thing. I believe firmly as Bev pointed out that you don't have to know much about IM to make this business work. f you know the basics like what services to sell Autoresponder, Seo, Video, Blogging Press releases etc) for each individual business you don't actually have to know how to do the work yourself. Actually, many established offllners would discourage you from doing any of the work yourself. Outsourcing is your friend, As long as you stay organized you can do great with this business model called Offline Gold.

          Cheers
          I didn't say you didn't have to know much, I suggested you did need to know the basics, and the problem is many don't have a clue about the basics.

          When a consultant sells on the basis of getting into Google, and then wonder how does Google get a site indexed, that is a problem.

          When a person goes out and sells an autoresponder, and then comes to a forum, and asks what is an autoresponder or how do you install it, then it is a problem.

          If a person is selling these, and doesn't know the way to do them, they are not any more knowledgeable than the client. I wonder how many would be prepared to pay the amount the client is being charged to get the information to do that work.
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          • Profile picture of the author jan roos
            Originally Posted by Bev Clement View Post

            I didn't say you didn't have to know much, I suggested you did need to know the basics, and the problem is many don't have a clue about the basics.

            When a consultant sells on the basis of getting into Google, and then wonder how does Google get a site indexed, that is a problem.

            When a person goes out and sells an autoresponder, and then comes to a forum, and asks what is an autoresponder or how do you install it, then it is a problem.

            If a person is selling these, and doesn't know the way to do them, they are not any more knowledgeable than the client. I wonder how many would be prepared to pay the amount the client is being charged to get the information to do that work.
            Exactly right. You do have to know what and autoresponder is, how to apply it to the specific business, If Seo will be worth it, keyword research and all that stuff in order to talk to the business owner intelligently. But to actually do all the work you don't have to know how to do it yourself as it can be outsourced although it's good practice to learn it.
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            • Profile picture of the author ExRat
              Hi Jan,

              But to actually do all the work you don't have to know how to do it yourself as it can be outsourced although it's good practice to learn it.
              Perhaps some might get away with this approach. I think it goes deeper than 'good practice'.

              It's 'good practice' to be almost fully conversant and at least averagely experienced in any area where you are selling that service to another business. Anything less than that is bad practice. How is it possible to sell something that you don't understand? Are people turning up to pitch their services praying that the prospect doesn't actually ask any questions, or if they do, that they can use jargon to baffle them with bullshit?

              When it comes to outsourcing, personally I think someone should ideally have done that type of work themselves first (or have someone in close 'proximity' who has) - at least enough to understand what's expected, and what pitfalls/loopholes to watch out for - in order to expect a successful outcome and avoid disasters while outsourcing.

              If they haven't, then at some point they're likely to get let low quality or ineffective work slip through because they don't know how to recognise it.

              And if they have clients and their reputation riding on the efforts of unknown people on the other side of the world, then to me it's ludicrous to think of people trying to outsource stuff that they don't understand themselves - (not you Jan, but the examples given above where people claim to have sold their service and then come here to ask basic questions - outsourcing isn't going to solve their problems).

              It's so simple for someone to change the situation. An intensive one day introduction session with someone who knows what they are doing, could set that person up to successfully outsource that specific task AND check the quality of the outsourced work.

              Yet people continue to 'wing it' and expect to succeed in business.

              'You can fool some people some time. But you can't fool all the people all the time.'

              What are they going to do then?
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              • Profile picture of the author jan roos
                Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

                Hi Jan,

                Perhaps some might get away with this approach. I think it goes deeper than 'good practice'.

                It's 'good practice' to be almsot fully conversant and at least averagely experienced in any area where you are selling that service to another business. Anything less than that is bad practice. How is it possible to sell something that you don't understand? Are people turning up to pitch their services praying that the prospect doesn't actually ask any questions, or if they do, that they can use jargon to baffle them with bullshit?

                When it comes to outsourcing, personally I think someone should ideally have done that type of work themselves first (or have someone in close 'proximity' who has) - at least enough to understand what's expected, and what pitfalls/loopholes to watch out for - in order to expect a successful outcome and avoid disasters while outsourcing.

                If they haven't, then at some point they're likely to get let low quality or ineffective work slip through because they don't know how to recognise it.

                And if they have clients and their reputation riding on the efforts of unknown people on the other side of the world, then to me it's ludicrous to think of people trying to outsource stuff that they don't understand themselves - (not you Jan, but the examples given above where people claim to have sold their service and then come here to ask basic questions - outsourcing isn't going to solve their problems).

                It's so simple for someone to change the situation. An intensive one day introduction session with someone who knows what they are doing, could set that person up to successfully outsource that specific task AND check the quality of the outsourced work.

                Yet people continue to 'wing it' and expect to succeed in business.

                'You can fool some people some time. But you can't fool all the people all the time.'

                What are they going to do then?
                That makes total sense I think for a total newbie this business model is no good. But as soon as you understand IM a bit better then it is great. I do all my work myself except for the web design part. That I outsource, but things like autoresponders and even SEO is really not that hard to learn.

                I still think its better to outsource everything to someone you have worked with and knows they are trusted to do good work. Then you can focus your time on getting more business. For instance today I spent 4 hours building backlinks for my clients. I should start outsourcing more myself.

                Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    I actually know of a local guy who has a small chocolate shop in a local mall here in a suburb of Columbus Ohio..

    he had a website built and does a lot business from it, from all over. A year or so ago he got a very large order - it was to provide chocolates for the reception room at the Emmies during the awards show!

    He paid cash for new Dodge Magnum at the dealership I do work for - so he's doing pretty good

    Now, regarding the OP:

    Yes, their current clientele may be the locals, but it seems they were in fact interested in casting their net much further via the web. It's really not a pipe dream to think its possible, but it may require the shop owner to step up their game in terms of quality, packaging, etc.

    There was also a comment about military bases:
    When I was in the US Air Force I was stationed in England, at RAF Mildenhall, during the 90's. I spent several hundred quid a month on cigars at a small shop in Newmarket that also sold chocolates. The husband sold cigars on one side, the wife sold sweets on the other side. Anyways, I did in fact try to track this shop down on the web to continue doing business with them after I left the UK I would have ordered choloclates for my girlfriend at the same time (they had awsome chocolate come in from belgium regularly).

    I don't want to totaly defend the firm that did this, but at the same time I don't agree with the knee jerk reactions. It sounds like this store did want to expand beyond the local area, and that the OP is the one trying to rein them back into their existing market.
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  • Profile picture of the author medallion
    If I may reply to the above, at the end of the day, it is azbout integrity and responsibility.

    I have found that it is better to be integral, provide a full list of expected outcomes, and explain a course of action.

    There cazn never be any guarantees, but naturally; it is easier to get a bad name, and thus, to protect your reputation, it is bettrer to be honest, and upfront.

    A quick buck is not a good idea to building a long term business.

    Howeve, the shopkeepers need to be better informed too;

    I certainly understand that SEO search terms in English are different to the Spanish terms.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Chambless
    Wow! What an interestingly hostile discussion based entirely on the
    one sided telling of a 2nd hand story of supposed woe!

    I have two questions and a few comments.

    To the op . . . your friends agreed to the deal and wrote the check, right?

    Want some brutal honesty?

    They made a seemingly bad decision, and may have hooked you for some
    free advice or work thanks to their sad story.

    Nonetheless, they didn't say NO,
    and now get to live with the decision THEY made.

    Don't blame the sales person. Nobody can honestly say he lied or misled them any more than I can say he didn't. None of us were there. The "facts" you present are hearsay and one sided, therefore not the full picture.

    Since this is their first business, You should know there is a
    learning curve and a tuition fee to everything new we try to do.

    If this really is a bad deal, if they really were lied to or misled, then they've
    learned something valuable and paid the price required for the lesson.

    The lesson they need now is how to make their site a
    useable, profitable asset to their business.

    Do'em a favor, Give'em the url to this forum.

    Urge them to master the 1 profit making part
    of running and owning any business, sales and marketing.

    Then you'll have really helped them.

    Sincerely,
    David
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior Markets
    I can see the basic point art is making about this particular individual ripping off the sweet shop owners. However, due to certain points art has made, the debate has gone from said individual's stupidity/greed to the merits of selling our internet marketing skills to offline clients.

    This place is littered with offline success threads. All these threads highlight the success (usually with dollar values) along with how the OP managed to get the client.

    However, very few of these threads actually state how you can give value to the client. The 'gaining client' seems to be an end in and of itself, with the client's needs being left as nothing more than an afterthought.

    I've felt that gaining clients shouldn't be that difficult if you can provide value - it should almost sell itself. In fact, I have clients to whom I could possibly sell to, but I've refused to do so, solely because, although I know I can take their money, I don't feel I can provide any real tangible benefits for the client, namely increase in takings.

    Yes, there have been few pointers given ("set up autoresponders", "send out coupons"), but, relatively speaking, these have been few and far between. Also, many of the tips given (eg set up autoresponders) just highlight the means to an end (increased sales). This is good for some, but less experienced marketers reading the threads do not know how to take the means and give their customers a worthwhile end.

    I'm not having a pop at those who go to the trouble of highlighting how they go about capturing clients, often giving very detailed instructions; I guess, perhaps, those people could show how their efforts helped their clients - in real terms.

    I guess if more threads started with "Look!!! How One Hour's Work Just Made My Client $3000", we'd have fewer people actually going away with the idea that the goal is getting people to pay you, when, in fact, it should be how can you make your clients money - and get rewarded in the process.


    -WM
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    I have nothing of value to add here. But we can't let a signature go to waste now, can we?
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Art,

      Mark-up is the relevant number when you're talking about incremental sales. I don't know what it is for the type of candy they sell, but you need to do your math based on that.

      I think you're probably right about the person who sold them that deal, and their approach to the web. That doesn't mean that your conclusion is correct. It's quite possible for that kind of shop to make that much in additional sales if you go about it the right way. That's been addressed already.

      On the larger point, I agree that there are a lot of people out there selling this stuff who shouldn't be. My answer to those people is simple: Find a test subject, do the work for them up front, and take a contingency fee. Or just do it gratis, as a learning experience.

      Be honest with people. Tell them that you're new to doing this for other people, and that you want a local example to point to, so that others can see that it really does work. Then, if you screw up, they won't care. At least not as long as you don't damage their reputation.

      Learn what works, too. John's point about the relative value of being #1 on Google reminded me of a search I did recently. If you look for "plumber Erie PA," without the quotes, you get a sponsored link and ten "Local business results" before you see the top organic listing. And that one is the Superpages listing.

      I don't know about other cities, but being in the local business listings part of that result is more like having a phone number in the book than having a big YP ad. It's more of a necessity than a special service.


      Paul
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      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        WM,
        I guess if more threads started with "Look!!! How One Hour's Work Just Made My Client $3000", we'd have fewer people actually going away with the idea that the goal is getting people to pay you, when, in fact, it should be how can you make your clients money - and get rewarded in the process.
        Now THOSE I would read. Every time.

        Really good observation.


        Paul
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        Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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  • Profile picture of the author Sheila
    Thanks for the post ArtWebster! It's certainly raised awareness of the question of whether or not offline marketers should adhere to a code of ethics in their business.

    Different strokes for different folks, but I personally believe in the comments posted by those who stress providing VALUE before expecting compensation. Not providing the shop owners with a site and newsletter in Spanish (as well as English, if they're looking for a global market) certainly doesn't appear to be helpful to their present Spanish-speaking customers and might not be helpful to future customers.

    I'm glad you were able to step in and help your friends. IMHO, I don't think all offline marketers are as unethical as the one who sold this website, etc. to the candy shop owners, but your post is helpful in that it brings home a valid point - if an offline marketer can't take the time to ask a business owner some simple questions about their goals first, and then develop a marketing plan that will fit their needs, then the marketer has no business wasting the business owner's time and/or money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael D
    Originally Posted by artwebster View Post


    This couple had been charged €1,000 ($1395.91) for their web site and €100 ($139.59) a month to maintain it and build a mailing list. With a POR of 9%, this web site has to provide €1,111 ($1,550.94) extra sales per month for the bottom line to be maintained. This simply WILL NOT happen!

    If you are going to try to help offline businesses, help them, don't rip them off and make false promises or someone else, just like me, might call you to the shop and ask you some pertinent question while your client looks on and becomes more and more disillusioned.
    First, that is actually pretty cheap for website design (if it is good). Around here they start out at least 2K for the local place to do a 5 page setup with no autoresponder, or anything. They also charge about 15 bucks per email to setup.

    Do you know how frickin' easy that is to do?

    Their hosting prices are also outrageous for what you actually get space and bandwidth wise, yet they are never considered con artists by local business. In fact, they have glowing testimonials on their website.

    Second, the monthly fee is covering an autoresponder, hosting, and SEO maintenance I am assuming...

    That is pretty frickin' cheap as well. Now, I do have to say the English ranking is kind of shady, but how didn't the shop owners ask anything about that? I don't care how good a salesman is - that should be obvious. Maybe they have a reason for it??? I don't know for sure, but everything else doesn't even come across as close to shady to me. You can attack my ethics all you want, but there are local firms who specialize in this that would take a lot more money from the owners and sleep just great that night.

    In fact, this person could have saved them a lot on the website. They just need to go over the SEO aspect with the owners again and make sure they are listed in the local maps and go after a few keywords.

    I know there may be an age gap with some people on here who are strongly against all of this, but the Yellow Pages are becoming obsolete. Every single year more and more people are going online first - its a natural progression. Whether you like it, or not you need some kind of presence online. People will find you.

    I also don't know how taxes work in Spain since I am in the US. But, get a good accountant and you can writeoff that monthly expense very easily.

    Worse case scenario, get them some cheaper hosting ($5 bucks a month) and drop everything else. Then they at least have a site to use in their normal advertising - which many people do check out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
    Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

    Listen guys! I know that you all want to make money and I know that many of you want to do it in the offline arena BUT DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO RIP YOUR CLIENTS OFF?
    Why are you yelling at the forum? Was it a Warrior who did this?
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      OK, maybe I implied something I shouldn't. YEAH, I know it is common. I know a restaurant owner that does WELL! Sometimes, people buy his restaurants, change them, fail, and the owner would buy it back, for less than he sold it. It is almost like that old "I love lucy" skit! I went to two of his restaurants while he owned them. They are NICE, and do WELL. Still, people manage to faiil!

      I was just saying that that licensee was just STUPID! His failure shouldn't be something to brag about, etc...

      Steve
      I'll agree with you on the specific licensee. Going into a competitor's place of business and pitching a fit because they won't just go away smacks of a spoiled kindergartner than a business person.

      Were it me with that unfortunate license, either I or someone I trusted would have been camped out watching the more successful store to try and see what they were doing differently. Which suppliers were delivering? How often? Anything unusual in the traffic patterns? Etc...

      As they say, success leaves clues...
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    • Profile picture of the author Magic Johnson
      Originally Posted by KenStrong View Post

      Why are you yelling at the forum? Was it a Warrior who did this?
      Why even with good intentions, have we to explain ourselves out, as we believe others are under some "agendas".

      Who cares if it was a WF member or not. Why are we so afraid, to say listen "this couple got scammed", instead we like to judge it as their own fault..

      As-- "no this can't be the case"

      It's a Nightmare, as we are all marketers here, that's like saying " I scammed this couple""

      This was an example of how "we not to deal clients in and make money on the offline gold business model".

      Why question the OP's integrity, as he is a bad Judge for spotting not a scam, but a fable that can under no chance be true for us, as marketers???

      **
      I am done for tonight (3:00 AM here), I edited my last three posts, to run smoother, and with a more humid atmosphere towards my opinions, as I know and I know it is pointed out often, that I sometimes come across as rude and a synical person.


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      • Profile picture of the author Craig McPherson
        Originally Posted by Magic Johnson View Post

        but a fable that can under no chance be true for us, as marketers???
        I think I will take an aspirin and lie down

        Originally Posted by Magic Johnson View Post

        to run smoother, and with a more humid atmosphere towards my opinions,

        What has the weather got to do with it?
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      • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
        Originally Posted by Magic Johnson View Post

        Why question the OP's integrity, as he is a bad Judge for spotting not a scam, but a fable that can under no chance be true for us, as marketers???
        Where did you get that I'm questioning his integrity? I asked a simple question. He seems to be connecting this particular instance of scam with the recent popularity of "Offline Gold" marketing here on the Forum... he's taking a single event, which deserves all the scorn he's heaping on it, and appears to be painting a large group of Warriors with the same brush.

        I'm also not sure what the "offline" part has to do with it. If someone's inclined to scam someone, I doubt that it matters that much whether it's online or offline.
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        • Profile picture of the author artwebster
          Originally Posted by KenStrong View Post

          Where did you get that I'm questioning his integrity? I asked a simple question. He seems to be connecting this particular instance of scam with the recent popularity of "Offline Gold" marketing here on the Forum... he's taking a single event, which deserves all the scorn he's heaping on it, and appears to be painting a large group of Warriors with the same brush.

          I'm also not sure what the "offline" part has to do with it. If someone's inclined to scam someone, I doubt that it matters that much whether it's online or offline.
          Hi, Ken,

          I read a lot of what is said and promoted in these forum boards and all I will say is 'if the cap fits' . . . .

          As for why I was shouting - I read a lot of what is said in these forum boards and can't help feeling very angry when I come across a prime example of what is often promoted here.

          "Offline Gold" is not 'recently popular', it has always been a legitimate area of web master sales but the blatant exploitation of innocents is 'recently popular'. (Since the 'offline cash cow' was accepted as a reasonable beast to slaughter.)
          Signature

          You might not like what I say - but I believe it.
          Build it, make money, then build some more
          Some old school smarts would help - and here's to Rob Toth for his help. Bloody good stuff, even the freebies!

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          • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
            Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

            "Offline Gold" is not 'recently popular', it has always been a legitimate area of web master sales
            Actually to be accurate "Offline Gold" is simply the abbreviated name of a report I wrote in Janauary 2008...Offline Gold For The Online Marketer.

            So when people talk about "offline Gold" or the "offline Gold" niche they're simply naming my product...even though some people don't even seem to know that which doesn't reflect on them well.

            The "offline cash cow" was simply a thread with a letter that David Preston provided free to forum members here that they could send to local business owners in an effort to get hired.

            So exactly what is an "offline cash cow proponent"?

            The correct description would be someone who sends out David Preston's letter by snail mail offering a gift internet marketing consultation...hardly a good description of the kind of activity you're talking about in your post.


            It's unfair and unreasonable to suggest that because someone is making their living selling their services to local business owners they'd be involved in any kind of deal that could never make a business owner real profits.

            There are good accountants and bad accountants, good carpenters and bad carpenters.

            If a bad accountant screws up your books you don't blame the whole world of accounting for it.

            If a bad carpenter creates a shoddy cupboard you don't blame the wood.

            I agree that there are quite a few threads on this forum where the people making posts should be thinking a whole lot more about helping the businesses they're working with to make real sales and profits.

            But there are also plenty of threads where internet marketers have made business owners some very good sales and profits.

            Whether you genuinely try to help the businesses you work with or whether you try to just take their money and run comes down to your personal integrity...and a high level of personal integrity is unfortunately...nowhere near as common as it should be in any industry.

            Kindest regards,
            Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    I am very pleased to see such a lively reaction to my original post but dismayed at the attempts to defend a style of marketing (doesn't "offline cash cow" sound just a little exploitative?) without bearing in mind the circumstances.

    You can be sure that my friends are well aware of my opinion of their acceptance of this ludicrous offer and that they will certainly never do anything like that again.

    I tried to make it clear that the type of shop they are running is specifically designed to service the local population and to get the very best level of sales that they can from it.


    I don't think that Spain has a monopoly on the types of new entrepreneurs who understand this model and use it to create their first business nor does Spain have the monopoly in new business owners who are still naïve enough to believe the blandishments of a marketer using technospeak and false premise as the basis of his presentation.

    This shop has a POR of 9% and this will probably be improved on as initial capitalisation is amortised provided they don't get sold more useless capital items.

    Within a kilometre there are two other similar shops and three small kiosks all selling exactly the same products (I believe licencing laws have a big impact on exactly what can be sold) but the impulse market is very viable and this shop has located a small area that was not well served in the pick and mix trade.

    Let's clear up something that seems to be accepted by so many people - local services do not get searched for in Google! Pick and mix sweet shops do not get searched for in Google. Nobody wanting to buy some sweets plans the purchase in advance - they buy them on impulse from the shop as they go past or walk to the shop from their home as the fancy takes them.

    Local services in a town, even as large as Coín, are found by repute or by knocking on a neighbours door and explaining a problem and asking who they use to fix that problem. Yellow Pages is dying because business owners are realising how many people like me don't even bother to take the shrink wrap off our copies.

    People searching the internet are looking for information.

    People with a burst water pipe, a sudden craving for peaches or an insatiable desire for pick and mix sweets, despite all that has been said in this and other forums, don't start searching on Google - they go to where they know the solution is to be found, the local plumber, the local fruit shop or the local pick and mix shop. Not a very fashionable idea, I know, but when did you last search Google for a local service?
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    You might not like what I say - but I believe it.
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    Some old school smarts would help - and here's to Rob Toth for his help. Bloody good stuff, even the freebies!

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    • Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

      local services do not get searched for in Google! Pick and mix sweet shops do not get searched for in Google.
      The first is not true. The second probably is. That's because a retail vendor of a commodity is NOT a service business.

      Local search for service oriented businesses has outstripped even Yellow Pages: MediaPost Publications Small Business Not Keeping Up With Online Presence 02/13/2009 That's why you see dumpsters in major cities marked "Yellow Pages ONLY". Idearc (publisher of the Verizon Yellow Pages) recently declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

      Art, I understand that you are chronically ill and probably live with constant pain. That doesn't give you the right to be wrong (or wrong-headed).

      Attempting to tar everyone who follows a particular model or method with the same brush as your local scamster is simply bad thinking. Further, if you don't like the "hype" aspect of promoting a way to get offline clients, how does complaining about it and ignoring those who are doing it ethically further your point?

      Get over yourself, Art. You're destroying your own credibility when you proffer your opinion as fact -- and are wrong.
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    • Profile picture of the author Izesta
      Originally Posted by artwebster View Post


      People searching the internet are looking for information.

      People with a burst water pipe, a sudden craving for peaches or an insatiable desire for pick and mix sweets, despite all that has been said in this and other forums, don't start searching on Google - they go to where they know the solution is to be found, the local plumber, the local fruit shop or the local pick and mix shop. Not a very fashionable idea, I know, but when did you last search Google for a local service?

      Call me a freak I suppose, but I search for local services often. And I know many others that do also.

      For my website, I check the Google Local Dashboard for my local listing so I see that thousands of others are others are likewise searching locally. I don't have full faith and confidence in Google's local search algorithm right now, but the information isn't totally wrong either. Visitors click on my site, respond on my blog, and call my office. Naturally, I do my best to track calls and visitors. And I find out they found me on Google - specifically a Google local search.

      As for emergency services, I rarely search anywhere for emergency local services. I have emergency contacts already posted on a board at home and in my cell phone.

      But whether 5 people search every week or 5000 people search every week, businesses should be listed in Google local. If they don't want to pay anyone, they can do it themselves for free (it's not rocket science).

      Not having a Google local listing is like turning down the business white page listing in the phone book.
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    • Profile picture of the author David McGimpsey
      Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

      Pick and mix sweet shops do not get searched for in Google.
      Probably correct.

      Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

      Let's clear up something that seems to be accepted by so many people - local services do not get searched for in Google!
      I don't agree with this, from personal experience:

      I set up a simple website as an SEO experiement for my father's local business (he runs a local sandblasting business)

      He has received at least four clients through this website.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
      Art,

      Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

      Pick and mix sweet shops do not get searched for in Google. Nobody wanting to buy some sweets plans the purchase in advance - they buy them on impulse from the shop as they go past or walk to the shop from their home as the fancy takes them.
      Pick and mix sweet shops do get searched for
      in Google. There are over 4,000,000 results
      and several Adwords ads.

      There were 5,400 local searches for the term
      "Pic N Mix" during the month of June.

      I'd suggest that a little research would turn
      up several specialist websites from which you
      and your clients could harvest a number of
      ideas to develop an online presence.

      For example this site offers some interesting
      packages: Handy Candy

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author Scott Stamper
        Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

        Pick and mix sweet shops do get searched for
        in Google. There are over 4,000,000 results
        and several Adwords ads.
        John's right.

        I just ran a quick using Google's KWT and phrases like Pick and Mix was searched 9,900 times, pic 'n' mix was searched 14,800 times and many other variations.

        Obviously there are probably hundreds or even thousands of relative keyword phrases for this business that do get searched.

        As for the notion that the internet can't help a small brick and morter business, I only have to refer you to CNBC where all the time you see stories about small mom-and-pop shops that have used the internet to grow their businesses to multi-million empires.
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  • Profile picture of the author Always-A-Warrior
    I've got three letters for you .... .TEL - no hosting needed. no seo needed, no html needed. its direct communication between your company and your prospect.

    And it cost just $10 a year. .TEL is for mobile and browser. Google it and see. Forget SEO companies.

    No worries I'm not selling anything here.
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  • Profile picture of the author billyboy
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    • Profile picture of the author Hamish Jones
      Originally Posted by billyboy View Post

      The startement belwos is no better than scamming people and saying "well if they are dumb enough to fall for it that's their look out"
      Are you kidding me? Where have I said that it is acceptable to scam somebody.

      Yes, from what the OP said, it doesn't necessarily look like a good situation, however we haven't seen the website, haven't seen how long the website has been up, and do not know exactly what SEO has/ is being done.

      I don't know who designed the website but I do know that there are plenty of people out there who are putting there best efforts to ensure that their clients do benefit from being online.

      I know that the OP was just frustrated because he felt that friends of his had not received the best deal. This is understandable. It just seemed to me that the tone of his post unfairly tarnished those who work damn hard to benefit their clients. Like every industry, you cannot let a few bad apples tarnish the whole industry.

      It sucks that the OP thinks his friends have been taken for a ride. I do hope that he can help them improve their situation and best utilise the benefits of online marketing.

      As I have previously mentioned, as have others, there are benefits to being online even if not for Google Searches- newsletters, vouchers etc.

      And yes, every business owner should practice due diligence in all situations to get the best deal for their business.
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      • Profile picture of the author FlightGuy
        I think for all of us who know Art's particular honesty, it's always for the better intention (in his mind).

        So before I continue, Art, I appreciate the intention of your original post and commend you for genuinely helping a business owner who is less educated in our field.

        I absolutely disagree with your follow-up posts, however, and it just seems as though you are stabbing at anything just to be right.

        I must say that I completely agree with Andrew here:

        It's unfair and unreasonable to suggest that because someone is making their living selling their services to local business owners they'd be involved in any kind of deal that could never make a business owner real profits.

        There are good accountants and bad accountants, good carpenters and bad carpenters.
        Now, I understand that this might not relate to your [clients] case exactly, whereas you have stated your observations of the promises made, charges incurred, etc. but I will say that it is in your tone and outwardly expressed opinion of this business model that causes the particular responses you see here, often regarded as refuting.

        To answer your question,

        when did you last search Google for a local service?
        I can honestly say that just three days ago I searched for an electrician to come look at a problem that I had in my kitchen with a series of outlets that stopped working. He had it fixed in less than an hour. Just yesterday I searched for my local beach conditions online (successfully as well) as I wanted to bring my dog to the beach with me.

        So yes, people ARE using local search to find local businesses and they are doing it with success. I'm not saying that there would be searches for a local pick and mix candy shop, but I will say that there is definitely ways for the shop to benefit from internet marketing methods (as mentioned by many - getting customers on an email list and sending out promotions and incentives for coming back).

        It is one thing to not be fond of the Offline Cash Cow proponent, but it is another to try disproving the benefits of the business model it refers or caters to.

        Respectfully,
        John Dennis
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  • Profile picture of the author billyboy
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Art,

      Let's clear up something that seems to be accepted by so many people - local services do not get searched for in Google!
      [snip]
      People searching the internet are looking for information.

      People with a burst water pipe, a sudden craving for peaches or an insatiable desire for pick and mix sweets, despite all that has been said in this and other forums, don't start searching on Google - they go to where they know the solution is to be found, the local plumber, the local fruit shop or the local pick and mix shop. Not a very fashionable idea, I know, but when did you last search Google for a local service?
      Great selective examples Art - but not representative enough to make your statements correct.

      I'm not going to suggest that this sweet shop needs a website. I'm not going to suggest that everyone in Coin uses the internet to find things either.

      But this -

      Let's clear up something that seems to be accepted by so many people - local services do not get searched for in Google!
      ....is humbug.

      when did you last search Google for a local service?
      Last week?

      Sure, you can find specific examples - like if your pipe is already leaking, you will take the fastest route to finding a plumber's number.

      But what about if you want the address or phone number of the plumber's merchant? What if you want to check the stock of the local national high street store (PCworld, argos, comet) before you make the trip to buy an item?

      What if you want to check their opening times at the weekend?

      What if you want to establish a list of different stores that sell a type of product, so you can visit them all, because you know in advance it's going to be a 'hard to find' item.

      There are tons of local searches done. Check the keyword tools SE results.

      They might not be for a sweet shop in Coin, but that doesn't justify throwing around ridiculous absolutes like -

      local services do not get searched for in Google!


      Add to this that the internet is gaining traction, not losing it. Add to this that as time passes, more and more ordinary people are going to get cheap access to the internet on handheld electronic devices. Are they going to carry yellow pages in their car? Are they going to ring directory services to ripped for £3?

      Or when their car breaks down, are they going to whip out the blackberry and find the NEAREST local solution?
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    It is one thing to not be fond of the Offline Cash Cow proponent, but it is another to try disproving the benefits of the business model it refers or caters to.

    I do promote a method of providing a genuine service to offline clients. I do realise that there can be major benefits - or I would not promote it. I also realise - and anybody who has read some of the posts in this forum will know - that the offline cash cow label has been adopted as a rather derogatory nomenclature for clients who operate in the real world.

    I don't care who coined the phrase and I don't care how long it has been in existence but I do care that it has become accepted as a legitimate description of the type of trade that nearly cost my friends a lot of money.

    It has been fascinating to see how a simple tale about the simple rip off of a simple pick and mix sweet shop has been the catalyst for an 'all hands to the pump' bailing out exercise.

    What was done to my friends was the height of greed and ignorance and, in my simple way, I thought it gave a superb example of how not to behave.

    Yes. My friends were stupid to be taken in by someone posing as an expert. They were even more stupid to think that he could be trusted to tell them the truth and that they did not need to check him out.

    But it is also true that this person was fired up up by a desire to exploit a young couple whom he would have known as soon as he started talking to them, had little experience of business.

    He did not go in to find a problem and solve it or to offer anything that he could demonstrate would help.

    He went in with an agenda that was to sell a web site and a monthly maintenance 'service'.

    All the wriggling and squirming that has been going on to try to justify this action in this particular case has been a shocking revelation to me.

    I suppose I may have been wrong about local services not being searched for on the internet. I have never done it myself and can't imagine a situation when it would even occur to me to do so but there must be people who do not have neighbours or do not know the town in which they live.
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    • Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

      All the wriggling and squirming that has been going on to try to justify this action in this particular case has been a shocking revelation to me.
      LOL! Art, people were telling you that you were over the top. If you're "shocked" that people would disagree with you, that's your problem. Nobody was trying to justify ripping off people. Read for content, dude.
      I suppose I may have been wrong about local services not being searched for on the internet. I have never done it myself and can't imagine a situation when it would even occur to me to do so but there must be people who do not have neighbours or do not know the town in which they live.
      That's the problem with isolating yourself from the larger world around you. You not only ignored the research that shows how folks are going online -- you reduced the whole argument to what you would do, how you felt, what you would have done, etc.

      "Angry guy has a hissy-fit. Don't disagree with anything he says!" Phlegm at 11.
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    • Profile picture of the author stayfocused
      Originally Posted by artwebster

      I don't care who coined the phrase and I don't care how long it has been in existence but I do care that it has become accepted as a legitimate description of the type of trade that nearly cost my friends a lot of money.

      What was done to my friends was the height of greed and ignorance and, in my simple way, I thought it gave a superb example of how not to behave.

      Yes. My friends were stupid to be taken in by someone posing as an expert. They were even more stupid to think that he could be trusted to tell them the truth and that they did not need to check him out.

      But it is also true that this person was fired up up by a desire to exploit a young couple whom he would have known as soon as he started talking to them, had little experience of business.

      He did not go in to find a problem and solve it or to offer anything that he could demonstrate would help.

      He went in with an agenda that was to sell a web site and a monthly maintenance 'service'.

      All the wriggling and squirming that has been going on to try to justify this action in this particular case has been a shocking revelation to me.
      Originally Posted by artwebster

      This couple had been charged €1,000 ($1395.91) for their web site and €100 ($139.59) a month to maintain it and build a mailing list.
      Are you seriously this outraged at this? $1395 for a website is the smallest amount I have ever heard of company or shop of any size being charged for a website. Most of my clients have spent $xx,xxx for websites that have produced 0 results (before I walked into their lives).

      $139 a month to maintain the site and help them build a mailing list? Do you honestly think that is overpriced?

      I honestly can't wrap my mind around your level of outrage for this particular case. These are some of the lowest prices I have ever seen charged.

      If the person did build them a website and maintains and helps them build a list, I think that would be worth every penny they paid him/her. SEO or not.

      Business owners don't want to have anything to do with this type of work. They don't want to learn how to make changes on their website. They don't want to know how to load up an autoresponder series. They just want it done for them and they don't mind paying for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    Art,

    I have to agree with you here... I don't see why such a shop even needs a site at such an early stage.

    I had a school ask me to do a site for them as they think it's SO important for marketing.

    I had to explain to them that a web site is not a marketing tool but just another shop on the web.

    You have to then do the marketing to get that known as well.

    Unfortunately, scam artists will say anything to make a quick buck.

    Some might say it's not much money, but it bloody well is if it's unnecessary expense.
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    • Profile picture of the author jan roos
      Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

      Art,

      I have to agree with you here... I don't see why such a shop even needs a site at such an early stage.

      I had a school ask me to do a site for them as they think it's SO important for marketing.

      I had to explain to them that a web site is not a marketing tool but just another shop on the web.

      You have to then do the marketing to get that known as well.

      Unfortunately, scam artists will say anything to make a quick buck.

      Some might say it's not much money, but it bloody well is if it's unnecessary expense.
      What if that website can collect email addresses and folow up with customers letting them know about new chocolates that just came in and special prices etc. Would a $1000 still seem a lot if the business owner aquires a list of a few thousand in the next 2 to 3 years?
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  • Profile picture of the author ExRat
    Hi Art,

    With respect -

    All the wriggling and squirming that has been going on to try to justify this action in this particular case has been a shocking revelation to me.
    ...what you are classing as 'wriggling and squirming' 'to try and justify this action' is not at all. I don't think anyone has tried to justify it at all.

    This is what many of us have tried to point out to you. You choose to see things, including the words that other people type, in the way that you choose to see them - paying little attention to their obvious actual meaning.

    In many ways, this is no less deceitful than the acts of the seller in your story.

    Example -

    I suppose I may have been wrong about local services not being searched for on the internet. I have never done it myself and can't imagine a situation when it would even occur to me to do so but there must be people who do not have neighbours or do not know the town in which they live.
    So because of your personal experiences and your (seemingly deliberately) blinkered attitude towards the subject (if you lived in London, would you know the location of every business?) you feel that this justifies adding blanket absolutes such as -

    local services do not get searched for in Google!
    Therefore it is impossible to have a sensible and logical discussion or debate with you - and this is not the first thread where I have explained this to you and shown you proof of your attempts to do it.

    With the utmost respect Art, you are behaving like a forum troll, which is a shame because I like you, but I will not waste my time with someone who twists things and uses wordplay to try and prove a point unfairly - especially when the point that they are continually trying to make revolves around negative slurs towards large groups of the members of the forum.

    All the best.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
      Banned
      Personally, I think Art loves to look for these types of things to complain about. It seems that if people don't agree with him than they are squirming and other lovely statements which is why I don't respond to a lot of his posts. If Art says they got scammed than it must be true!


      We only have one side of the story and Art seems to like to look for the negatives. At least that is what I have seen from his contribution on this forum.
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      • Profile picture of the author Chuck Staff
        Food for thought...

        I've always thought that the mark of a true professional sales person is knowing when to tell a prospect your product is not right for them - they shouldn't buy what you're selling. And then go on to help them solve the problem they have - even if it means referring them to a competitor. This policy has always resulted in an increase in sales over the long haul - through referrals, etc.

        Warrior Jamie Garside has a WSO posted as we speak directed at the Offline Marketing segment. (Hope it's ok to reference it here: http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...-cash-cow.html )

        In the Reply Posts another Warrior asked him if his report talked about what prices he should charge. I found Jamie's response (quoted below) to be a great example of an ethical marketers perspective:

        Originally Posted by GoGetta View Post

        Hi Dennis,

        I have outlined my starting fees within the guide yes, although not in detail!

        The thing is with price there are way too many variables which is why many never say what they charge. There is no set fee as every business is different, every campaign is different and its all flexible.

        It all depends in the job in hand.

        GoGetta
        No one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach. Tailor your marketing and proposals to each individual business.
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        ------------------------

        You don't have to get it right. You just have to get it started.

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  • Profile picture of the author la dominatrix
    This sort of shop will never benefit from online marketing because they serve a very specific niche, the children of the local urbanizations, the parents of the children of the local urbanizations, the grand parents of the children of the local urbanizations and passing traffic. No matter what searches people did for sweets or confectionary online, this couple's web site was never Nº1 unless a very specific search term in quotations was used - IN ENGLISH!!!!! Since 90% of the people in this area are Spanish speakers . . . . . do I have to draw a picture?

    In my experience in Malaga it happens all the time, it is extremely hard to understand why a local sweet shop would want a website.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
    I have been offline for many hours and come back to an "interesting" thread.

    Art, just because you can't see why people use Google to search for local services doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

    In my understanding a sweet shop isn't a local service, they are either a retail or wholesale shop, which make it totally different.

    Why would people use Google to search for services?

    We have been out of the UK for 5 years, we have just arrived back a week ago. We stayed in an area we didn't know, and are now in a different part of London. Things change in 5 years, shops are boarded up, stores have closed.

    We are here for a few weeks, and there will be times we need to find a service. I will use Google to see if the hairdresser I used 5 years ago is still in business. I will use Google to find the nearest supermarket to where we are. I will use Google to find restaurants. I will use Google to find a mini cab company.

    Do I know the area, no. Do I know the neighbours, no. We came to where we are less than 48 hours ago.

    I for one will use the local searches for everything I need in the next few weeks, and people who move to a new area will do the same.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    Searching for local services is one thing... I do... but does that really include a small sweet shop?
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  • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
    Art did you read the first response I put in this thread.

    last Monday and Tuesday I ran a live workshop in London. The people who attended have no web presence at all. Most of the people are looking to start a business, and they had no idea what they could do.

    No, I didn't teach them consultancy. I didn't teach them IM, in 2 days there wasn't enough time.

    But here is the point.

    I asked the room, "How many of you use yellow pages to find an address or telephone number?" The answer was 100% the same, not one single person used yellow pages.

    I then asked, "How many of you use Google to find what you are looking for?" The answer again was 100% every single person used Google to find what they were looking for.

    These are the people who are not Internet Marketers, who are not au fait with the internet, but still use Google to search for everything they need.

    Art because you don't use Google, don't assume the rest of the world is the same.

    If you hate IM so much, then go and do something different. But, please if you are going to make a blanket statement, based on your preferences, stop and do some research to find out what the reality is.

    Maybe that is why you have a problem making money online, because you think everybody should do the same things you do. No, I am not talking about having to scam people, but being aware, that if you want to make money online, you have to sell something. And selling something doesn't mean you have to sell your soul.

    Pride comes in many forms, and so often people have reversed pride where they hope people will take pity on them.

    Just because you hate offline cash, doesn't mean everybody does.

    There are many aspects to the offline niche as there are many aspects to the online niche. If you dig deep, you will find your niche, and then be able to help those who have been misguided, but please, don't expect us to do everything you say. This isn't the gospel according to Art. There are many different views and just because I don't agree with someone, doesn't make it wrong.

    Scammers are scammer, they are in both online and offline niches, and it should be the buyer who does their due dilligence before they commit to anything.

    Closing the door after the horse has bolted, wont stop the horse bolting
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    • Profile picture of the author Corwinnx
      I didn't read this entire thread, for reasons likely already known, but if someone else has pointed this out, mods please feel free to delete my two cents here.

      Maybe they should rank for more than just 'one keyword.' But 2 important facts...

      1.)People do search local markets.. and for things probably you wouldn't too much expect... (if you're in the US on the outskirts mabye of a fairly large city, try searching the name of your city + storage).... in one city where Becky had a client... there were 3,000 searches for the term each month, yet only 8 competing websites.

      2.) Ever heard of 'mail order.' The Internet can give a small 'candy store' a 'global presence' if they have the right 'hook' (maybe a rare type of chocolate only found in Spain, or some other very 'nice' (even if it's 'created') type of candy... this company could begin shipping their 'sweets online' the world over with a web presence like that combined with the right hook.

      *As a 'male'... when it's 3 weeks til Valentine's Day, Wedding Anniversary, Birthday, whatever.... and I know I'm dead meat if I don't have flowers AND candy (not to mention the gift itself which if I'm smart will be jewlery, and I'm a hero if it's lingerie- I shudder to think of how revered I would be if it were all of the above, but I digress)... I might be inclined to try for the 'romantic idea' of having something delivered to her and might search 'sweets online.' I might stumble across this website and buy from them either because I found them or because of some 'unique' factor that their product offers.

      And if I were a female (as Becky and I discussed this topic and I asked her) I might be planning a wedding and looking for some kind of 'sweet' favor for the reception tables, and I found this website, and again, especially if it had a cool USP (like 'IT COMES FROM SPAIN!).... I just might think that would be a great idea!


      Ok.. my two cents... butting out now.


      Warmest Regards,
      Marcus
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      There are more reasons to have a website than being found by people who no longer use Yellow Pages.

      While Art's friends may have been convinced to buy more than they need, a website could be a very good thing for them...

      > It could save them the bother of deciding whether to tend the customer standing at the counter or answer the phone so the caller can find out if they're open. Posting business hours on a website can help lighten that load.

      > It gives them an additional place to post specials and new products.

      > Collecting emails was already mentioned, although in this case a $10 bound guest book might be more effective.

      > If their mix stays fairly constant, they could post a list of candies they carry. Again, it might save on some of the "do you carry thus-and-such" inquiries.

      If I might offer an example, my wife is almost the anti-techie. Email and simple surfing the net are the extent of her skills. Yet she is constantly searching for websites for businesses she already knows, hoping to find information before, or in lieu of, calling on the phone.

      Since neither she nor I use the latest model cell phones, each car has a copy of the local phone book - just in case. They do get used - a couple of times a year, at least.
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    We only have one side of the story and Art seems to like to look for the negatives. At least that is what I have seen from his contribution on this forum.

    You are probably right, Thomas with a slight adjustment - I see what you like to call the negative and choose not to try to convince myself that it is not there. My philosophy is very simple - it is humanly impossible to be negative. We do not have the sophistication of language and terminology to make a negative statement.

    By highlighting a situation that was morally indefensible I sought to balance out the hysteria that 'off line cash cow' tends to generate by illustrating that ripping off a trusting and gullible client is not the way to go.

    It seems that defending my position in respect of this particular case has resulted in certain members being 'insulted'. If they behave in such a manner I can see why they might feel ashamed but - 'insulted'?

    Some of the responses in this topic have been valuable and well thought out - others have been knee-jerk reactions and many have been written without reference to what has gone before. Based upon my post that was determined as 'insulting other members' wherein not a single member was named or indicated, I suppose I should really look back and see how many times I could become 'insulted' by some of the things said about me?

    If a robust defence and strong argument are not to be allowed - what is left? Or is it only MY robust defence and strong argument that is questionable?
    Signature

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    Build it, make money, then build some more
    Some old school smarts would help - and here's to Rob Toth for his help. Bloody good stuff, even the freebies!

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    • Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

      Based upon my post that was determined as 'insulting other members' wherein not a single member was named or indicated, I suppose I should really look back and see how many times I could become 'insulted' by some of the things said about me?
      audacter calumniare semper aliquid haeret - slander boldly, something always sticks
      If a robust defence and strong argument are not to be allowed - what is left? Or is it only MY robust defence and strong argument that is questionable?
      You aren't "defending" anything -- you're trying to do "controversy marketing" and "forum marketing" of your own info-product on the subject.

      Disclaimer: I have no info-product to sell on this subject at this time.
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      "The will to prepare to win is more important than the will to win." -- misquoting Coach Vince Lombardi
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      • Profile picture of the author FlightGuy
        Originally Posted by Vince Runza Online View Post

        Disclaimer: I have no info-product to sell on this subject at this time.
        Vince, you sneaky dog, you! Don't be fooled by his reverse psychology marketing ploys, everyone!! Run for the hillsss!

        Signature
        "If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." - Jim Rohn
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        • Originally Posted by FlightGuy View Post

          Vince, you sneaky dog, you! Don't be fooled by his reverse psychology marketing ploys, everyone!! Run for the hillsss!

          I'm devoting all my energy to working with brick-and-mortar businesses. Peddling info-products on the subject helped me research the subject and provided bread-and-butter income while I did so.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
      Banned
      Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

      We only have one side of the story and Art seems to like to look for the negatives. At least that is what I have seen from his contribution on this forum.

      You are probably right, Thomas with a slight adjustment - I see what you like to call the negative and choose not to try to convince myself that it is not there. My philosophy is very simple - it is humanly impossible to be negative. We do not have the sophistication of language and terminology to make a negative statement.

      By highlighting a situation that was morally indefensible I sought to balance out the hysteria that 'off line cash cow' tends to generate by illustrating that ripping off a trusting and gullible client is not the way to go.

      It seems that defending my position in respect of this particular case has resulted in certain members being 'insulted'. If they behave in such a manner I can see why they might feel ashamed but - 'insulted'?

      Some of the responses in this topic have been valuable and well thought out - others have been knee-jerk reactions and many have been written without reference to what has gone before. Based upon my post that was determined as 'insulting other members' wherein not a single member was named or indicated, I suppose I should really look back and see how many times I could become 'insulted' by some of the things said about me?

      If a robust defence and strong argument are not to be allowed - what is left? Or is it only MY robust defence and strong argument that is questionable?
      Art, we don't know what was agreed upon nor what was delivered. We don't know exactly what the business was trying to gain by going online. We don't know anything besides your opinion they got screwed. This is far too one sided if you ask me.

      The knee jerk reactions seems to be coming from your posts. It is completely one sided. Others have discussed how the business could be making money from being online and therefore would not have been "taken advantage" of.

      You have it made up in your mind that you are correct and everyone else is defending their businesses with knee jerk reactions. Now that doesn't seem like a strong argument to back up your opinion, rather you are trying to make it look like people are defending their livelihood.

      A lot of people that responded are not in the offline business. I am not in it but still think on the lines of many that have spoken.

      I really don't know if they were screwed as you say. It definitely could be possible. I do know there is more ways to making money online than putting up a website and being listed for local searches. Andrew pointed out a very good one in one of his posts.

      I guess it is how you see things. You say they got screwed and a lot of us say they could make a positive for their business out of it. Either way, you have not presented anything to back up your argument besides throwing innuendos at others in this thread. You are basically telling people they have no honor and they are only defending their businesses.

      Now with that said, I will bow out of this thread for good. There is some good info in this thread for those that want to see it.
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  • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
    People do use SE to find local business such as restaurants and cinemas. But sweetshops would rather iffy. Again this is something we don't know.

    There is something you can do to test it out. Ask the shop owners to put a discount coupon on their website for people to print and see whether they get any customers coming in with the coupons.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
    Art, can I ask you 1 question? Am I invisible?

    If you don't know why I ask the question, go back and read my response.

    Stop having selective vision
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  • Profile picture of the author billyboy
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Billyboy,

      Yeh, that quote from the WSO is disgraceful - seriously.

      But what you and Art keep doing is using broad strokes to paint a large, but unspecified group of people as if they are agreeing with it/encouraging it/profiting from it.

      Can you or Art tell us WHO in this thread you are continually referring to as the guilty ones?
      Signature


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      • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
        artwebster local services do not get searched for in Google!
        I have a bill for $446 from a plumber that I found after searching Google and I don't think I'm alone. I have a friend who is very handy--I am not. He thinks I got ripped off for paying $446 for something I could have installed myself. But seeing that plumber working in that muck, sawing pipes, wrenching stuff, yea I'm happy to have paid $446. My friend thinks I got ripped off. I'm happy with the results. I don't want to learn plumbing.

        Now I agree business owners can be ripped off. I had a friend who was being charged $5,000 for basically a Wordpress blog. He thought it was too much so he called me. I told him to run. But don't paint everyone with the same brush. I didn't get all angry and post here all offline marketers are rip-off artists. Come on now. Maybe cut to decaff coffeee?
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        • Profile picture of the author JacobHardy
          Banned
          [DELETED]
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        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by Alan Petersen View Post

          I have a bill for $446 from a plumber that I found after searching Google and I don't think I'm alone. I have a friend who is very handy--I am not. He thinks I got ripped off for paying $446 for something I could have installed myself. But seeing that plumber working in that muck, sawing pipes, wrenching stuff, yea I'm happy to have paid $446. My friend thinks I got ripped off. I'm happy with the results. I don't want to learn plumbing.

          Now I agree business owners can be ripped off. I had a friend who was being charged $5,000 for basically a Wordpress blog. He thought it was too much so he called me. I told him to run. But don't paint everyone with the same brush. I didn't get all angry and post here all offline marketers are rip-off artists. Come on now. Maybe cut to decaff coffeee?
          Well, the type of plumbing YOU are talking about is NOT as simple as some think. There ARE special rules, at least in the US and any place with more than a few neurons. THEY change from time to time. They may have NOTHING to really do with plumbing per se. Just google "plumbing building codes". For example, vents off of gass appliances like heaters, must be away from certain items, above a certain height, and have a certain incline. In some cases, a failure may make a house unsalable, etc... And MOST people that just started welding and soldering, do NOT do a good job, even if they feel they do.

          If a PLUMBER makes a mistake, you can have him fix it. If YOU make the mistake, it may mean having to pay yet again, etc... And I have seen LOTS of mistakes. Some, like improper fittings, may work for YEARS and then cause degrading that can lead to water damage which can lead to mould, etc.... A welding or soldering mistake can be just as bad.

          Maybe you can get a GOOD plumber, and he can advise you against the type of mistake that MANY people made in Virginia, to name one state!!!!! Some time ago, people decided polybutylene pipes were cheap, and would save money. Well, a few years ago I guess the first ones started to go bad! People scrambled to replace all the pipes. They were bursting and spraying water all over! Polybutylene Plumbing and Pipe Replacement-Polybutylene Lawsuit and Class Action Settlement Information

          Besides, coming out, cutting, welding, providing for possible problems, cleanup, prep, etc.... It all adds up. You figure that has to cost perhaps $200+ to start. What did your friend figure was fair? They probably START at like $50/hour(INCLUDING the drive to the place). How long did it take?

          Steve
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          • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
            Originally Posted by Bev Clement View Post

            Originally Posted by Hamish Jones View Post

            The more I think about it, the more strange I think it is.

            Art could have shared with us on numerous occasions the 'website' in question but he hasn't.
            LOL... the guy's already been accused of pimping his site and now you want to know why he HASN'T piked it?

            At least get your indignation coordinated.

            Funniest of all, Art's product is not even available or for sale yet.

            You know, I would expect a little more humility Bev given the very recent recent tough spot in your life:

            http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...your-help.html

            Art is in an equally unfortunate and difficult circumstance and you're pissing on him like some forum troll, looking to call him out. Misplaced fury, madam.

            So you disagree with him... fine. But give the character questioning a rest.

            Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

            most of the people in this thread would be the ones who would work hard to expose and ruin any fraudsters who would take actions that would damage the reputation of the group as a whole. Yet due to sloppy thinking and typing, it turns into an internal-thread-war and in the meantime the real dodgy people are cleaning up sellling bad advice to noobs.
            Well said, Roger... Exactly.

            Art is not a bad guy... nor is he some thread fluffing piker. This is how he feels and he's not alone in that.

            Surely we all agree that people shouldn't collect $5k checks from business owners and then come to the Warrior Forum asking how to do what they just got paid for, yes? So you agree with Art.

            Surely we all agree that it is our job as marketing consultants to do everything we can to understand the client before we advise them on a course of action that may or may not be well suited for their particular circumstances, yes? Then you agree with Art.

            Surely we can agree that though we may each try to be conscientious and ethical in our dealings with clients, many Internet marketers getting into the offline consulting business are not? Then again, we're all in agreement here.

            The accusations flying about him in this thread are really disappointing.

            So what do you think the big scoop is here... that Art has the same sig link he's had for months? That's he's working on a product he's discussed here openly many times?

            Not fair and not cool.

            Brian
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            • Profile picture of the author ExRat
              Hi Brian,

              I understand your points, but where it got most messy was because of what I spelled out on page 2 -

              With respect -
              All the wriggling and squirming that has been going on to try to justify this action in this particular case has been a shocking revelation to me.
              ...what you are classing as 'wriggling and squirming' 'to try and justify this action' is not at all. I don't think anyone has tried to justify it at all.

              This is what many of us have tried to point out to you. You choose to see things, including the words that other people type, in the way that you choose to see them - paying little attention to their obvious actual meaning.

              In many ways, this is no less deceitful than the acts of the seller in your story.

              Example -


              I suppose I may have been wrong about local services not being searched for on the internet. I have never done it myself and can't imagine a situation when it would even occur to me to do so but there must be people who do not have neighbours or do not know the town in which they live.
              So because of your personal experiences and your (seemingly deliberately) blinkered attitude towards the subject (if you lived in London, would you know the location of every business?) you feel that this justifies adding blanket absolutes such as -


              local services do not get searched for in Google!
              Therefore it is impossible to have a sensible and logical discussion or debate with you - and this is not the first thread where I have explained this to you and shown you proof of your attempts to do it.
              Even when Art is proven wrong and 'kind of' backs down, he manages to re-iterate wide-ranging unspecific negative accusations, tagged on as a byline. Even when it's explained to him, he simply does it again in a different way.

              And I think his sig file is being brought into it because of this and because of him doing it in the thread title - the title seems hypocritical, bearing in mind the sig-linked website - live or not.
              Signature


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            • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
              Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

              LOL... the guy's already been accused of pimping his site and now you want to know why he HASN'T piked it?
              Unless I'm confused, I think the website he's referring to that hasn't been shown is the sweet shop's site -- the one that they allegedly got ripped off for. Unless I'm wrong.

              Agree that people are too quick to assume the worst about OP's intentions (re the personal promotion).
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            • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
              Brian interesting comments from Art's webdesigner about me. I think you should read what I have said in this thread. I had agreed with the OP, and not Art's follow up comment a number of times.

              Sorry, I didn't show humility, was that when I agreed with Art or when I asked a simple question about it being strange his view about offline marketing and his own website, live or not.

              Please explain to my dense little brain, where I called Art a forum troll?

              Please continue to explain how I am not allowed to say anything which might be seen as a disagreement, because you think I called him a troll, which I would like you to point out to me where I did that, but it's OK for you to point out a thread which is months old.

              Again, please show this dumb female where I disagreed with Art, at least prove your accusation.

              As I say an interesting way to turn the attention from Art's website which is powered by you to me and the fact that I have supposed to disagreed with him.

              Sorry, I don't understand the new rule which says we are not allowed to disagree now, even when we haven't.

              Try reading my posts, and then see if I disagreed with him.

              The big scoop here is you trying to put something on me which wasn't said, that isn't cool, so get over it.

              Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

              LOL... the guy's already been accused of pimping his site and now you want to know why he HASN'T piked it?

              At least get your indignation coordinated.

              Funniest of all, Art's product is not even available or for sale yet.

              You know, I would expect a little more humility Bev given the very recent recent tough spot in your life:



              http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...your-help.html

              Art is in an equally unfortunate and difficult circumstance and you're pissing on him like some forum troll, looking to call him out. Misplaced fury, madam.

              So you disagree with him... fine. But give the character questioning a rest.



              Well said, Roger... Exactly.

              Art is not a bad guy... nor is he some thread fluffing piker. This is how he feels and he's not alone in that.

              Surely we all agree that people shouldn't collect $5k checks from business owners and then come to the Warrior Forum asking how to do what they just got paid for, yes? So you agree with Art.

              Surely we all agree that it is our job as marketing consultants to do everything we can to understand the client before we advise them on a course of action that may or may not be well suited for their particular circumstances, yes? Then you agree with Art.

              Surely we can agree that though we may each try to be conscientious and ethical in our dealings with clients, many Internet marketers getting into the offline consulting business are not? Then again, we're all in agreement here.

              The accusations flying about him in this thread are really disappointing.

              So what do you think the big scoop is here... that Art has the same sig link he's had for months? That's he's working on a product he's discussed here openly many times?

              Not fair and not cool.

              Brian
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              • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
                It looks like all of billyboy's posts in this thread have disappeared -- making some of the responses a bit confusing.
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                • Profile picture of the author ExRat
                  Hi Ken,

                  It looks like all of billyboy's posts in this thread have disappeared -- making some of the responses a bit confusing.
                  It was actually more confusing when they were there. But it makes the reader experience less mundane when they have to solve anagrams before being able to read the reply.


                  Hi Steve,

                  I am going to have to remember those! What great comebacks to some arguments I have gotten in, etc... 8-) ESPECIALLY that LAST one! 8-/
                  Yeah they've been there a while now. No-ones clicked through yet and bought anything though.

                  I find myself adding new words to the first one to use in different scenarios - EG -

                  'There are no more prizes for predicting more bail-outs. There are only prizes for new insolvent bank start-ups'
                  Signature


                  Roger Davis

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              • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
                Originally Posted by Bev Clement View Post

                Brian interesting comments from Art's webdesigner about me.
                Good lord, Bev. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, doesn't it?

                So now I'm "Art's webdesigner" and not a contributing member of this community for however many years?

                Not a moderator of the Copywriting Forum...

                Nope.. I'm "Art's webdesigner"... making "interesting comments" in a thread that has ZERO to do with Art's website until you decided that it had to do with Art's website.

                I think you should read what I have said in this thread. I had agreed with the OP, and not Art's follow up comment a number of times.
                I did read your comments. It made your subsequent off-base and accusatory posts all the more confounding and irritating, honestly.

                Sorry, I didn't show humility, was that when I agreed with Art or when I asked a simple question about it being strange his view about offline marketing and his own website, live or not.
                In your time of need, the forum rallied around you, Bev. As we do here.

                Meanwhile, being "Art's webdesigner" and all, let me elucidate for you what Art was doing... all of which he's openly discussed here before:

                Fighting a debilitating chronic medical condition that makes it medically dangerous for him to go out and work.

                Going without food for days at a time so that his dogs could eat.

                Fighting back eviction from a landlord that pulled the rug out from under a sick man in a time of weakness.

                All the while, he's doing everything in his power to put something valuable together for the marching army of knucklehead know-nothings that buy every "How Carmen Electra Made $5K in Offline Consulting And You Can TOO!" offer that sends them out to their local communities unprepared, untrained, and unable to do that which they promise.

                But by God you smell something fishy... Yes indeed, collusion is afoot.

                There's no one to save the day for Art Webster... except me.

                *I* agreed to help Art, pro-bono.

                And so it pissed me off - A LOT - when you unfairly question the guy's integrity as you have...

                Because when you do... others start reporting the thread as self-promotional... as they have.

                And the whole thing gets twisted sideways... as it has.

                And THAT is why I said to HAVE SOME HUMILITY about it, Bev.

                The guy is honest, in a terrible situation, in constant pain... and you insinuate and continue to suggest that he is somehow trying to sneakily promote a product that is NOT EVEN FOR SALE.

                Please explain to my dense little brain, where I called Art a forum troll?
                Since you want to play sophistry and semantics. I never SAID you called him a troll. I said you were pissing on him like a forum troll.

                Please continue to explain how I am not allowed to say anything which might be seen as a disagreement, because you think I called him a troll, which I would like you to point out to me where I did that, but it's OK for you to point out a thread which is months old.
                When you get it wrong it has real consequences for people, Bev. First you say he's insincere and doing the same thing as the other guy... then you called out his website as if Art were up to something sneaky. Now, you've moved on to questioning MY motives.

                WF Detective on the case...

                YOU called out the website, not Art. YOU made it an issue.

                Again, please show this dumb female where I disagreed with Art, at least prove your accusation.
                The former is irrelevant and the latter is above.

                As I say an interesting way to turn the attention from Art's website which is powered by you to me and the fact that I have supposed to disagreed with him.
                Oh please. That doesn't even dignify a real reply.

                Sorry, I don't understand the new rule which says we are not allowed to disagree now, even when we haven't.

                Try reading my posts, and then see if I disagreed with him.

                The big scoop here is you trying to put something on me which wasn't said, that isn't cool, so get over it.
                Bev, I'm angry with you at the moment because of this particular thread. But I genuinely respect and appreciate all of the work you have done for this forum.

                I have responded to you vigorously and honestly here, but I like you and hope that you can accept my explanation.

                Best regards
                Brian McLeod
                "Art's Websdesigner"
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            • Profile picture of the author Hamish Jones
              Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

              LOL... the guy's already been accused of pimping his site and now you want to know why he HASN'T piked it?

              At least get your indignation coordinated.
              I want to see the Sweet shop site, and have mentioned it in numerous posts.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Hamish,

      Many of these people have been around IM for a lot longer than you, and I, have and they have great reputations.

      People have long memories and you are not portraying yourself very well.
      The strange thing is Billyboy is a long time warrior too, who asked for his original warrior ID to be deleted after a big row, and has created a few more since then - although for some strange reason he doesn't remember some of them.

      I don't know how much IM he does, although I believe he might be an experienced and successful trader. But his original ID was from 2002 I believe - way before I joined.

      Crazy stuff. I have a memory like an elephant too ;-) I have nothing against him, I just wish people would be specific if they're going to be accusational - it saves a ton of wasted pixels.

      And as usual there's a huge dose of irony - most of the people in this thread would be the ones who would work hard to expose and ruin any fraudsters who would take actions that would damage the reputation of the group as a whole. Yet due to sloppy thinking and typing, it turns into an internal-thread-war and in the meantime the real dodgy people are cleaning up sellling bad advice to noobs.
      Signature


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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Chill
      Here's WSO I bought recentyl and a small sampling
      Email that to [removed]
      Quote is true, user gets chilled.

      Not cool.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
    Roger it seem that Art & Billyboy are referring to anyone working in the offline niche, which means Art is just as bad as he is in the niche, and he says he does things differently, but he doesn't.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    ExRat,

    Thanks for the compliment! 8-)

    BrianMcLeod,

    Sadly, a LOT of people here DO seem to have the same type of mindset that gave used car dealers a BAD name. Obviously art didn't feel everyone here was intentionally evil, or even just evil. After all, you wouldn't offer fruit to a vampire bat. You MIGHT do that with a fruit bat though, or if they were somehow omnivorous.

    Frankly, if their offerings tended to be spanish centric, the site should have been optimized for spanish speakers. If it was a local delicacy, you shouldn't expect a website to help THAT much. Heck, google has search engines targeted towards areas and languages because THEY know better. A person in china will probably NOT use the english google site. Besides, a site that was written in English might have to explain what some of them are, have different taxes, disclaimers, etc... Some stuff may not even be able to be sold in say America. So it wouldn't be merely a translation.

    Some people just don't think about that. It is similar to people in the EU being upset about sites in the US not declaring the VAT, or specifying other currencies. If you charge thousands for such a simple site though, you really SHOULD consider such things.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      Frankly, if their offerings tended to be spanish centric, the site should have been optimized for spanish speakers.
      True, but we don't know what language the site was created in. We only know that the only number 1 listing for the site in Google was for an English phrase. We don't know if the site was done in English, Spanish or bilingual. We know only that the only term the site had a number 1 position for was for an English phrase.

      And, that's been part of the problem in this discussion and why so many people have said it was a one-sided discussion. Not enough information has been provided about the site in question for anyone to reach any opinions of the true value of the site.

      As such, much of the discussion has been around the potential value of a website for a local company.

      And, seemingly because people believe that websites for local businesses can be valuable and because there has not been sufficient information about the site in question for anyone here to identify it as a scam, people that argued in favor of the benefits of a website for local search have been, essentially, labeled as scammers.

      No one here that I have seen has argued in favor of ripping off small business owners.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        IMC, things that are simple common sense to people who have been around the block a few times are stunning revelations to those who have never been to the corner...

        Like politicians, late-night pitchmen and preachers, the right spiel can make some pretty wild things sound like common sense. And without the experience to filter the spiel, it can be irresistible.

        Sometimes the only way you know something was not sensible is through hindsight, contemplating the situation while you mend the hole bitten in the back of your pants.

        Originally Posted by InternetMarketingCenter View Post

        Common sense is everything. If you don't have common sense, you're not going to succeed at ANY business (online or offline) or marketing tactic or scheme.

        Trusting people who promise to make you gobs of money overnight with little work or effort isn't sensible. Putting a lot of money down to grow your business before you've actually tested the market and seen viability isn't sensible. Taking advice from people who are struggling to make money on how to make money isn't sensible. Assuming one set of strategies works for every business isn't sensible.

        Research is sensible. Testing is sensible. Growing at a pace you can financially support is successful. Vetting your advisor before you take their advice is sensible.

        If you're not prepared to be sensible about every decision and investment you make, it WILL come back to bite you. There are no quick fixes or perfect solutions or "make money in your sleep" business models that will work for everyone.

        Caveat emptor
        couldn't be more important than it is today.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisByrns
    I may be completely drunk (which i am, indeed).. but here's my two cents:

    Those people wanted a website, got a website and got charged a certain (imho pretty cheap) fee.

    Now, there's plenty of offline companies that just want that: a website. Be it to add more value to their brand or have something to brag about or just to stay in touch with their local customers. Perhaps they hand out like lil' cards with the URL to their customers and tell 'em: "bookmark our site to stay informed on our [whatever]". Or they print that url out on their sales slip or something. It's not always about SEO and online marketing benefits, y'know.

    I fail to see the wrongness here.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for the compliment! 8-)
      You're welcome.

      After all, you wouldn't offer fruit to a vampire bat. You MIGHT do that with a fruit bat though, or if they were somehow omnivorous
      Stoppit man, you're killing me.
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

        Roger D

        'There are no more prizes for predicting rain. There are only prizes for building arks.' Lou Gerstner
        'Money can't buy you happiness but it will buy you a yacht big enough to pull up alongside it.' David Lee Roth
        'Most people are walking around, umbilical cord in hand, looking for a new place to plug it in.' Cavett Robert
        I am going to have to remember those! What great comebacks to some arguments I have gotten in, etc... 8-) ESPECIALLY that LAST one! 8-/

        Steve
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  • Common sense is everything. If you don't have common sense, you're not going to succeed at ANY business (online or offline) or marketing tactic or scheme.

    Trusting people who promise to make you gobs of money overnight with little work or effort isn't sensible. Putting a lot of money down to grow your business before you've actually tested the market and seen viability isn't sensible. Taking advice from people who are struggling to make money on how to make money isn't sensible. Assuming one set of strategies works for every business isn't sensible.

    Research is sensible. Testing is sensible. Growing at a pace you can financially support is successful. Vetting your advisor before you take their advice is sensible.

    If you're not prepared to be sensible about every decision and investment you make, it WILL come back to bite you. There are no quick fixes or perfect solutions or "make money in your sleep" business models that will work for everyone.

    Caveat emptor
    couldn't be more important than it is today.
    Signature

    The official account of the Internet Marketing Center. Stop by InternetMarketing.com to connect -- we'd love to meet you.

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  • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
    Brian, I'm not sure what difference you being a mod on the copyrighting forum has to do with this, but I'm sure you will tell me why.

    I find it interesting and strange that you point out my comment, yet others had said other things about Art, and you seem to think that is OK.

    If I'm a forum troll, then you know as a mod what needs to be done don't you.

    I was serious when I said I didn't understand, because it is true. I don't understand why you come down hard on me for one sentence and not on others who were saying far worse. The only reason I could come up with was the fact that I mentioned his website which you either designed or run for him. Yes, I put 2 and 2 together on there, but I couldn't see any other link.

    I didn't say anything about who designed the website until you decided to turn the whole thing to sound like I was totally against Art.

    I'll step out of this now, because it seems we are not allowed to agree or disagree anymore.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Bev,

      I had a response similar to Brian's. I don't see what Art's website has to do with this discussion.

      No-one is questioning anyone's right to disagree. That's a red herring. What's being questioned is intent. If you, I, Roger (ExRat), Steve (seasoned) or any of the numerous other people who act as watchdogs here drop that kind of line into a discussion, it's going to have an impact.

      Specifically, it's going to make people suspicious.

      I don't see anything in the OP that is in any way inconsistent with Art's normal posting habits. If you're going to suggest that there's a problem because the site in his sig file relates to this post, when there's clearly no attempt to be promotional, then we get into a whole other area.

      A place where people are forbidden from talking about the things in which they have the most expertise or interest?

      Do you want to go there?

      If I'm missing something as far as what's "interesting" about the link in Art's sig file, I'll be happy to listen. It wouldn't be the first time.

      At the moment, I don't see it.


      Paul
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      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    ??

    No one discussing the problem of the offline rip off, but discussing who said what to who said who?

    Man, i feel embarrassed with all this situation.

    Frankly.

    I imagine what some novices as me are thinking right now.
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    People make good money selling to the rich. But the rich got rich selling to the masses.
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
      So, anyway.

      Art's friends are stuck with the website (and we're stuck with this thread).

      Let's try and turn this round, Warriors.

      Any more suggestions how they can profit from their online presence?

      One thing I came up with was marketing piñata (candy-filled paper-mâché figures) to companies, hotels, nightclubs, groups of expats, families.

      They could even do bespoke figures. People might pay good money to beat the hell out of a figure of their boss/president/rival football team and they get the added reward of a bunch of sweets.

      Martin
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

        They could even do bespoke figures. People might pay good money to beat the hell out of a figure of their boss/president/rival football team and they get the added reward of a bunch of sweets.
        I don't know. With some bosses/presidents/rivals, the candy may end up as "collateral damage" and not end up in a suitable condition to be eaten.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

        Any more suggestions how they can profit from their online presence?

        One thing I came up with was marketing piñata (candy-filled paper-mâché figures) to companies, hotels, nightclubs, groups of expats, families.

        They could even do bespoke figures. People might pay good money to beat the hell out of a figure of their boss/president/rival football team and they get the added reward of a bunch of sweets.

        Martin
        I can't claim credit for this one, I saw it in a TV show about how a candy shop could improve their bottom line.

        Rather than relying on walk-in traffic (like Art) for sales, the owners were instructed (and referred to) a local wedding planner. The shop provided their wares bundled attractively as wedding favors for the receptions.

        Instead of a child picking out a handful of treats, the planner purchased anywhere from 100 to 500 identical bundles, wrapped in plastic and tied with a bow in the wedding colors. These were priced per bundle, rather than per pound or kilo. The bundles sold at a premium over the price per pound of the candy.

        Something similar could be done online, as a joint venture, perhaps...
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        • Profile picture of the author ExRat
          Hi all,

          Sorry Art and sorry to all because some of my comments have likely caused the raise in temperature and the subsequent derailment. I was the one who brought the word 'troll' into it.

          I was simply trying to help in the best way that I feel I can, which is usually centred around trying to promote and sustain spikey to-the-point discussion, clarity of points made and logical conclusions, in order to try and help that discussion have a productive outcome.

          I think I'll slip quietly away from this thread and review things a little and see how I can contribute in a better way.
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          Roger Davis

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      • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
        Hi Martin

        Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

        Any more suggestions how they can profit from their online presence?
        I'd put up a picture of their largest jar of pick 'n' mix sweets and have a competition to guess the number in the jar. Closest wins.

        If Spanish law permitted, I'd list a premium phone number to call in for the entries - if not, at least I'd get an email address from each entrant.

        In store, every customer buying an item would get a free guess (and would leave their contact details to be notified).

        The prize(s) could be anything from the contents of the jar to your weight in candy - the latter might make for an interesting press release

        The point is, with an online presence, you're not limited to call-in customers or to "regular" business.


        Frank
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        • Profile picture of the author Vikuna2009+
          Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

          Hi Martin



          I'd put up a picture of their largest jar of pick 'n' mix sweets and have a competition to guess the number in the jar. Closest wins.

          If Spanish law permitted, I'd list a premium phone number to call in for the entries - if not, at least I'd get an email address from each entrant.

          In store, every customer buying an item would get a free guess (and would leave their contact details to be notified).

          The prize(s) could be anything from the contents of the jar to your weight in candy - the latter might make for an interesting press release

          The point is, with an online presence, you're not limited to call-in customers or to "regular" business.


          Frank


          What about putting 5 pieces of candy in a tiny zip-lock bag, with a business card and 1/4 of a flier(to save on paper and global waste), saying you got a contest going on. On the flier you would say that in order to win the prize (whatever it is) you have to be present to win.

          Put the date and time out a month ahead, giving you more time to build store awerance (is that a word, lol)? Also say that during Saturday the xxx for ONE HOUR, everyone coming to the store, can eat as much candy as they want, winner or not.

          However, to enter the contest, they would have to email their response (to build a list ).

          Put together xxx of bags and have High school kids delivering them to the doorstep in local residential areas. The high school kids would not be paid anything but as a thank you to delivering at least 300 fliers, they get xxx amount of candy of their choice.

          To make sure nobody is cheating (by dumping it all in the trash bin and then "claiming" they did deliver) put out a few checkpoints, i.e. someone you know in that neighborhood and if they did not get that tiny ziplock bag, you know they cheated. And of course, TELL THEM THAT!

          So, lets say you got 20 high school kids who do not mind spending 3-4 hours delivering those zip lock bags, take that times 300 = 6,000!!! 6,000 households covered in an afternoon with a contest that will draw in even more people. Not to forget, you now have a list of 6,000 (IN ONE AFTERNOON).

          Heck, I should have made this into an WSO, lol !

          I could go on and on but you get my drift, right ?

          To Art: I'm sorry you are having a rough time, kind of rough for me too but not to the extent that your"web designer" pointed out. However, I can FEEL your pain (posted in another thread when I was a COMPLETE newbie: "Art, is there something I can do for you?" Yeah, I know, kind of like a major newbie thing, lol.

          Anyway, I hope my contribution will help,

          all the best, Eva


          P.s. I've done similar things in real estate (my business) and it actually works!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Foley
    Listen guys! I know that you all want to make money and I know that many of you want to do it in the offline arena BUT DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO RIP YOUR CLIENTS OFF?

    That is a very broad brush stroke Art. A large percentage of people on this forum are professionals and wouldn't rip anyone off. Did your friends tell you their goal or business plan? Did you talk to the web designer to find out what he was trying to accomplish and how?

    To believe that every time their site pops up they are going to win a new customer is criminally naive. Or are you exaggerating for effect? If so, what other exaggerations have you made?

    The great thing about your post is it has been responded to with some excellent thoughts and advice.

    Other that that, it appears to me that you are defining the situation through a narrowly defined prism. But I am periodically wrong too.
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  • Profile picture of the author sevenish
    Wow, some nice ideas by the last few posters on doing promotions with the aid of the new site. Since we've not had a look at the site, it's not possible for any one of us to make a guess as to its effectiveness in helping the business.

    That said, I use SEs all the time to look up local businesses. Just last week I was wanting to refer someone to a restaurant in my neighborhood and I couldn't remember its exact name. I fired up big G and entered "tapas" and the name of neighborhood ... TAH DAHHHH! That restaurant gained a few customers that evening. I live in NYC US and it's easy to forget where things are, given the density.

    The week before that I was working with a client on his website and I realized I had not taken the OTC allergy meds that get me through our summer season. What did I do? Fired up the big G again and ... TAH DAHHHH! I found me a pharmacy within a few blocks so I could relieve my symptoms and get back to work with my client.

    I did ask someone in that office if there was a pharmacy nearby and was told yes, at 43rd & Madison. I walked a couple of blocks to that location and there was no pharmacy anywhere. I didn't have time to wander around Midtown Manhattan, so I went back to the client's office, had a meeting, consulted the SE and walked over to the store to get the pills.

    Last example: a few weeks ago I was looking on a SE for the local green markets so I could check their schedules. I always have to plan my green market visits since there are none in my immediate area. Anyway, guess what I discovered? A brand new green market 3 blocks from me. Turns out they had been there for 6 weeks or so but since I never walk in that direction I was unaware of it. I now go there twice per week and spend quite a bit of cash.

    I'm no expert on sweet shops in Spain, nor the proclivities of that market, but I have a hard time believing that they couldn't be helped to some degree by having an effective, relevant online presence. Again, since we've not seen the site in question, there's no way to begin to understand if it might suit basic needs and SEO standards.

    That said, I see no reason that a good web dev team shouldn't be compensated well for good work. Again, we don't know if the work was good or not ... just sayin'

    Best wishes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Thaddaeus T. Hogg
    Whoooo weeee, lookie here whut I dun founded! 'Nother commencement rite full of angry an discord! Ole Hillbilly jest be a lovin' these here kinds of commencing an I don't never pass one up without a sayin my piece.

    Problem is, I jest cain't figger out whut my 'pinion of the subject is cause I cain't tell whut the popular 'pinion is (see thut thar is how I decide which side of the fence I falled on cause I jest agree wiffin the majority) I jest ain't seein no majority. One folks posts one thang an all the people post their thank ye kindlys. Then, sumbody else dun come along and be a sayin sumthin different and then a bunch more folk be a givin THEM thar thank ye's. How in tarnation kin I decide which side I be on iffin yew folk cain't make up yer minds which side a the fence ya'll are on?

    Now I jest gots ta say thut one folk dun made a mity profecund commencement an I has been stucked on it few a while...

    Art, can I ask you 1 question? Am I invisible?
    Bev, I dun gots ta be a sayin thut Imma STIHL tryin ta figger out the answer ta thut one. Thut thar is deeper'n Allen Says pocket book an I will be a lettin yew know the answer whenst I gits it figgered out!
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    • Profile picture of the author Vikuna2009+
      Originally Posted by Hillbilly Marketer View Post

      Whoooo weeee, lookie here whut I dun founded! 'Nother commencement rite full of angry an discord! Ole Hillbilly jest be a lovin' these here kinds of commencing an I don't never pass one up without a sayin my piece.

      Problem is, I jest cain't figger out whut my 'pinion of the subject is cause I cain't tell whut the popular 'pinion is (see thut thar is how I decide which side of the fence I falled on cause I jest agree wiffin the majority) I jest ain't seein no majority. One folks posts one thang an all the people post their thank ye kindlys. Then, sumbody else dun come along and be a sayin sumthin different and then a bunch more folk be a givin THEM thar thank ye's. How in tarnation kin I decide which side I be on iffin yew folk cain't make up yer minds which side a the fence ya'll are on?

      Now I jest gots ta say thut one folk dun made a mity profecund commencement an I has been stucked on it few a while...

      Bev, I dun gots ta be a sayin thut Imma STIHL tryin ta figger out the answer ta thut one. Thut thar is deeper'n Allen Says pocket book an I will be a lettin yew know the answer whenst I gits it figgered out!


      Jag forstor att det ar inte latt for dej, men slosa inte min tid med att lasa allt vad du skrev, hold back on the brew mate ....
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisByrns
    DON'T PANIC!
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  • Profile picture of the author twoblind
    I agree this ticks me off as well I work with offline businesses to help them with their web presence, but I do my best to never give them false expectations. This kind of garbage gives the rest of us a bad name.

    The average client has no idea of what they are doing. This happened to a client of mine recently. he was contacted by a "SEO" Firm telling him they would guarantee him #1 Rankings in Google. I looked at their portfolio sites and they were all built on the same template. All they did was optimize the title tag and build a bunch of backlinks, They werent even optimizing any of the subpages for keywords. Talk about pathetic.
    Hopefully their sites will get penalized by Google for duplicate content.
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    I really am shocked at what has happened in this thread.

    It has been a surprise to discover that many people here do not understand English and will try to defend something that really is indefensible.

    Of course you haven't seen this couple's web site! What sort of man do you think I am? Do you honestly think that I would call out the guy who sold it to them, question him in front of his clients and then let him go off on his merry way without making full restitution? The guy admitted (as I stated very early on) that he had overstepped the mark. He gave a full refund and took the site down. No doubt the domain will be used for another, more suitable sweet shop so what is the point of giving the url?

    The level of debate here has descended to ridiculous depths and the way I have been vilified, been accused of being a troll, been officially warned about having 'insulted' other members while the person who issued that warning went on to deliberately insult me tells me that no matter what is spoken of - open minds are in short supply and the 'victim' mentality roams abroad.

    Bev, I read your post and, to be blunt, I did not see what response you could have expected. Ok, so all in your gathering said that they did not search Yellow Pages but all in your gathering said that they used Google - what other response would you have expected considering what you were probably going to talk to them about? I did accept that maybe there were places where Google was the information source of choice for local services even though I find it difficult to believe.

    Brian has explained some of my circumstances but it really does beggar belief that a signature that has been in use for seven months should suddenly be seen as some sort of indication that my initial report was nothing more than a promotion for something you know nothing about and, worse, draw conclusions about based upon your own prejudices. Yes, look at the site and tell me what you find that is anything like the rip off I have described. My training is to show people how to demonstrate real, cash in hand savings as early as next week while probably finding real cash customers. I don't use any mumbo jumbo and IM tricks to try to convince business owners of a possible long term gain - I show the gain in money terms and tell when the gain will be made. Not only that, none of my clients has to pay one cent that is not out of the real cash savings so, no matter what I charge, they have more cash in hand.

    My report was of a specific and particularly bad example of a rip off artist at work. It was a call to all of us working in the offline market to be aware of what we are doing, why we are doing it and not to simply go out there with an agenda that was simply to obtain as much as possible no matter how unprofessional our actions might be.

    Naturally I used generalisations in what I wrote but the responses have shown that generalisations in this forum are taken as personal attacks. I feel very strongly about the way local businesses are being exploited - and even more strongly about some of the boasting and bragging that has been blatently displayed in this and other forums.

    I find that the level of breast beating and rampart building that has been displayed only goes to show that what I had to say hit a sore spot and some people recognised themselves and simply lashed out in self defence. That is a very sad conclusion to have to draw.
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    Some old school smarts would help - and here's to Rob Toth for his help. Bloody good stuff, even the freebies!

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  • Profile picture of the author success_wins
    Brutal Honest observation,
    Local business can an do get new customers from websites.
    Offline marketers can and do focus on increasing profits and keeping clients informed.
    Creating content to focus on local areas do benefit companies, prospects and clients.
    Building a business is not for everyone.
    There are people who have questionable ethics.
    There are people who don't deal fairly.
    There are people who don't know how to use internet marketing methods to build local businesses.
    There are people who are open to new ideas, and people who resist new ideas.
    We all have different experiences and knowledge and can learn to be successful by studying people who are successful.
    A confused mind says no.
    A closed mind says its impossible.


    Proverbs 23:9
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Stamper
    While I don't know if marketing on the internet will make them rich, I can see how it could be a profitable part of their marketing.

    Just off the top of my head I would give the following advice...

    1. When a visitor comes into the shop, have a sign-in book and offer a free sweet if they sign in and list their email address. If there are 100 visitors a day, you are talking about growing a list of 36,500 every year. Then every week send out an email blast with the stores latest offer. You will sell out the store every Mother's day, Valentines day, etc. Be sure to have an affiliate program for a candy delivery service that customers from out of town can use.

    2. Use Google Adwords and Geo-Target the ads to 15 miles (or so) around the store and only for browsers set to Spanish. Then bid on relative keywords like "candy". Bid only on the Content Network (that's right... the content network) and put the stores name into title of the ad along with a description of the store. You are now branding the store. Here's the key... design the ad so that people WILL NOT click on it. Google does not drop ads from the content network that don't get clicked on -- so you are getting free branding to spanish speaking people within a 10 mile radius of the store... for free.

    And there are hundreds of other ways to use the internet to market a small retail store.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    I think what it boils down to is not whether or not businesses of this type have a presence on the web...

    It's whether or not this specific business needs it.

    If not, they should not be duped into believing a web presence will be of benefit to them if that's not the case.

    Every case needs to be assessed on its own merit.

    As Art mentions, the person who sold them the site admitted the error and refunded them.

    I think that in itself proves Art's point.

    Every other argument is now irrelevant, IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    Pick and mix sweet shops do get searched for
    in Google. There are over 4,000,000 results
    and several Adwords ads.

    I'm sure that this was one of the convincing arguments put forward in this case and is as spurious for you to use as it was the rip-off artist.

    If you Google 'pick and mix sweet shops in Spain' - the results are mostly for English shops in England (the exception is an advert for ING Bank). Try any search term that you can derive from this search and you will not find any Spanish sweet shops on the first page and probably not on the first several pages.

    Assuming that your results reflect the situation I reported on was just a bit short sighted and indicative of a desire to prove me wrong rather than to make a valid point. I suppose, since I am in Spain, the chances are that my search for Spanish sweet shops would be more effective than yours.

    Searching the term you used - pick and mix sweet shops - returns 447,000 results and I have not found a single Spanish shop on the first ten pages!

    I don't suppose the language has anything to do with it?

    Again, I have been remiss in assuming that readers would understand that I know what I am talking about and that they should do just a little research before finding more calumny to heap upon my head.
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John Taylor
    Pick and mix sweet shops do get searched for
    in Google. There are over 4,000,000 results
    and several Adwords ads.


    John's right.

    I just ran a quick using Google's KWT and phrases like Pick and Mix was searched 9,900 times, pic 'n' mix was searched 14,800 times and many other variations.

    Obviously there are probably hundreds or even thousands of relative keyword phrases for this business that do get searched.

    As for the notion that the internet can't help a small brick and morter business, I only have to refer you to CNBC where all the time you see stories about small mom-and-pop shops that have used the internet to grow their businesses to multi-million empires.


    Oh boy!!!

    What a pity I was posting my response while you were posting this!

    How many stories do NOT get reported on CNBC where Mom & Pop shops have been driven to the wall by unscrupulous web site sellers?
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    You might not like what I say - but I believe it.
    Build it, make money, then build some more
    Some old school smarts would help - and here's to Rob Toth for his help. Bloody good stuff, even the freebies!

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  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    Art,

    My response was in no way intended to
    "prove you wrong" it was intended to
    offer some assistance in helping your clients.

    That's why I provided the additional info
    that you have chosen not to quote.



    John
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    John's Internet Marketing News, Views & Reviews: John Taylor Online
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    • Profile picture of the author artwebster
      Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

      Art,

      My response was in no way intended to
      "prove you wrong" it was intended to
      offer some assistance in helping your clients.

      That's why I provided the additional info
      that you have chosen not to quote.



      John
      Pick and mix sweet shops do get searched for
      in Google. There are over 4,000,000 results
      and several Adwords ads.

      There were 5,400 local searches for the term
      "Pic N Mix" during the month of June.

      I'd suggest that a little research would turn
      up several specialist websites from which you
      and your clients could harvest a number of
      ideas to develop an online presence.

      For example this site offers some interesting
      packages:
      Handy Candy

      OK. Now I have quoted your post in full.

      The search will still produce no results and the rest of what you said was a bit like saying that if you make a mess of things there is always something you can say to try to justify having said it.

      This web site should not have been sold.
      This shop is one of hundreds like it that have very loyal and local support.
      This young couple did not know the right questions to ask and made a mistake.
      After a year of trading and a little more exposure to all of the salesmen who will try to sell them all sorts of stuff they will be wiser.
      After a year of trading they will be able to see how they can think about expanding what they are doing.
      Over the next three weeks they will be talking to their suppliers to create a more ambitious business plan if they can get the extra 60sq mts that might become available in September.
      Over the next year, while they are developing their offline presence, maybe they will be able to think about an online presence to diversify.
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      Build it, make money, then build some more
      Some old school smarts would help - and here's to Rob Toth for his help. Bloody good stuff, even the freebies!

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      • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
        Art,

        People are trying help you (and, by association, your friends).

        Why are you naysaying so many things?

        Why can't you just put up a holding website for them? Even if they do nothing with it right now, if they pay just 20 dollars for a 2 year registration and you host it for them that will stand them in good stead with the search engines in the future.

        Look, with unemployment figures of 17.4% and rising

        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/25/bu.../25euecon.html

        can any business in Spain afford NOT to be on the internet?

        And pronto?

        Martin
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      • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
        Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

        This young couple did not know the right questions to ask and made a mistake.
        This is the crux of it right there.

        Most here agree that ripping people off is bad.

        There are bad people out there and I don't believe coming here and shaming bad people into not being bad works. They are going to continue being bad and looking for ways to rip people off.

        One of the most efficient ways to rip people off is to take advantage of naivety and ignorance.

        Ignorant and naive people are not bad but they do make bad decisions.

        If good people continue to make bad business decisions sooner or later they get ripped off.

        At what point do we quit looking at people who make bad business decisions as victims and start looking at them as unwise to be in business?

        Matt
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      • Profile picture of the author George Wright
        Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

        Pick and mix sweet shops do get searched for
        in Google. There are over 4,000,000 results
        and several Adwords ads.

        There were 5,400 local searches for the term
        "Pic N Mix" during the month of June.

        I'd suggest that a little research would turn
        up several specialist websites from which you
        and your clients could harvest a number of
        ideas to develop an online presence.

        For example this site offers some interesting
        packages: Handy Candy

        OK. Now I have quoted your post in full.

        The search will still produce no results ...
        Hi,

        Could it be that the reason the search will produce no results is because your friends took down their website?

        Could it be that the "rip off artist" agreed to a refund and gave up on trying to do business with your friend simply because he didn't want to be bothered with what he perceived to be verbal abuse? He will probably use the URL and site for another sweet shop, so he cut his loses and moved on.

        In my personal case, and I do admit I do this for money, I have customers that are high in the SEs because they have the only site in thier niche in their area. If they didn't have a site there would be no results at all, save the 4 line online Yellow book results.

        Also in my case I've had "deal killers" (friends and relatives and other well meaning business acquaintances of the person I was trying to in their view, "victimize") start to bombard me with rude questions (not saying you did this, just saying it happened to me) where I pulled out simply because I didn't want to be bothered trying to make a paltry sum because it was just better for all involved for me to move on and not try to "rip off" this poor "victim," who by the way was upset with me when he saw his competitor with "his site." (He actually asked me "How could you give him my site." Well, it wasn't his site because his friend talked him out of getting it.) Of course now I'm a bad person because I didn't try harder to "make" them take my service. Didn't have the "best interest" of that client in mind. "My fault" they didn't get the site and don't have high placement on Google." D if you do and D if you don't.

        Others here have listed more than enough reasons for your friends having a website so I'll not repeat those reasons. I'll add one, your friends wanted a website, they were proud of it and it made them feel good. I've been reprimanded before for catering to this "ego" factor. However, people have a lot of things they don't need, but, want because it makes them feel good. It's not the only reason or even the main reason but it is still one reason to provide them a site.

        George Wright
        Signature
        "The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book." Mickey Spillane
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Hey Art,

    I can completely understand where you're coming from. I've seen many small businesses ripped off by IMers that don't give a crap about making them money and just want to sell them the illusion of adding a profitable component to their business.

    The BS about No.1 in Google is a classic alarm bell.

    However, with that said - I do believe that even a business such as a sweet shop can still benefit from a website and mailing list.

    There may be customers who were regulars but move away and would still like to get their favourite sweets from their favourite shop and would order online. There's also the usual customers but who would just like the option to purchase from home or order sweets for friends online.

    I have a friend who orders big jars of sweets online because the shop that stocks what he likes is not near where he lives and he likes to order a big jar like the shop has on the shelf.

    Then there's the email side of things and the ability to contact customers with offers and notifications of new products etc.

    So I can imagine there is scope to increase their business with a web presence, but I agree about the approach you've mentioned was probably just someone selling websites and email lists with no actual real intention (or perhaps ability) to help this business make money.

    There are a lot of people around selling such stuff who've never made any real money from websites but still think they're expert enough to sell the idea to others and just deliver the mechanisms with the idea that if it doesn't improve customers or revenue that's not their problem and they still make their money.

    Andy
    Signature

    nothing to see here.

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    • Profile picture of the author PhiltheBear
      Having just read this whole thread from start to finish I find it interesting that the lack of 'real' information has lead people to offer all sorts of suggestions which may, or may not, be relevant.

      One of the things I do is create websites for small local companies. Generally these are 'brochure' sites for 'service' companies like dentists, lawyers, surveyors, etc. I can use readily available templates, the client supplies copy/photos (which I edit) and I can put together a site in under a day. I know that the likelihood of me doing any maintenance during a year is low - maybe change of hours/personnel/address/phone number at most. I also know that the reason the majority of these companies want a site is that they want to be found by local people. They aren't looking to sell all over the world. They don't want or need to send out promotional emails to people who have found their sites.

      What they want is simply to be found, rather like being found in a telephone book/yellow pages, when someone wants their service in a particular geographical area. I charge these clients about £100 for the initial design and £50 per page of the site. I host and maintain for £20 a month. I also charge them £20 for getting the domain name - which I own

      I get their sites on page one of Google - usually at position one or two. They are happy - because they get business. I'm happy because I make a very small profit on the set up and then a continuing profit on a monthly basis for pretty much zero effort.

      There are other clients I've dealt with who want the online shop, who want to sell their products all over the world, and who are having to pay a great deal more.

      It strikes me that the sweet shop that started this discussion is more like one of my 'service' type clients. They aren't going to want to worry about updating their website with the stock of sweets they've got - they simply want to tell local customers that if they are looking for a sweet shop in xyz area then there they are.

      If that's the case then, IMHO, the original vendor ripped them off. However, if they genuinely wanted to sell sweets by mail-order (which I doubt), or attract people from miles around (which they probably wouldn't) then maybe what they were charged reflected the complexity of those situations.

      Unfortunately, unless the whole picture is laid out, I don't think it's possible to judge.
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    There are some sparkling responses in this thread. Here is an idea for one or two of you, take it and run with it.

    I am an Independent Marketing Appraiser. When I get called in to help a business, they have already been beaten up by the Yellow Pages salesperson, the radio account rep, the newspaper rep, the local coupon book, any print media in town that sells advertising, TV reps and now, what I'm seeing more and more...is the Internet Marketing Rep...

    The IM Rep will help you get a top Google ranking. OR give you X number of impressions or ads or whatever...and folks, and you can mark this down...

    we are just in the BEGINNING of an explosion of "How to Help OFFLINE businesses get Net savvy". You will see scores of new reports, new experts, new online strategies for the OFFLINE business. Why? Because, still, that is where the money is. Small businesses need customers and are for the most part, not very good at getting them.

    Enter the INDEPENDENT Marketing Appraiser (this could be YOU). When I go into a business, I look at what that biz is doing to bring in customers, I see how much of that
    "marketing" is budgeted, where the money goes and what it brings in. Then a look at the "books", but you have to know what you are looking for...which, I'm going to say MOST of the noobs selling IM to OFFLINE have no business background and therefore couldn't read a balance sheet if their life depended on it....NOT all, of course. But too damn many.

    Since I don't have any services to sell, and I work only by referral, the business owner knows I'm WORKING IN HIS BEST INTEREST. And when you put your customer first, when you make your "prospect your product", and your goal is to help that person without prejudice or vested interest, then you will never have to look for clients, they will find you.

    Some of the posts in this thread talk about it, and it is more than a theory, working for your customer, putting your client's interest ahead of your own, is a tested and proven way to conduct your business which has withstood the test of time.

    So many WSO's etc, have been about how much money YOU will make when you call upon local businesses. I never think that. NEVER.

    My total attention is on: What (if anything) can I do to help this person achieve his goal?

    Carry that into any business and you will never have to buy another WSO on how to make gazillions with OFFLINE businesses.

    gjabiz
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  • Profile picture of the author James Schramko
    "This sort of shop will never benefit from online marketing".... in its current form however they could take a good look at what comes before or after their services and products and start working those angles online.

    There are too many opportunities to list here but there is some good money to be made in this niche with the right approach.

    Agreed they currently have the wrong approach and the wrong IM adviser. A survey is a great way to determine suitability for all parties.

    I guess this website operator does not work on the referral method...
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Scott Stamper View Post

      1. When a visitor comes into the shop, have a sign-in book and offer a free sweet if they sign in and list their email address. If there are 100 visitors a day, you are talking about growing a list of 36,500 every year. Then every week send out an email blast with the stores latest offer. You will sell out the store every Mother's day, Valentines day, etc. Be sure to have an affiliate program for a candy delivery service that customers from out of town can use.
      Scott, you might want to check your assumptions. Yes, 365x100 = 36,500. But your example assumes that 100 new and unique visitors both stop at a shop and sign the guest book. The reality for a local shop is that the list might end up more like 3,650.

      Of course, new customers are only one part of the equation for increasing profits...

      For those with a fixation on finding new customers (the business newbies, not targeting anyone specific) it's often more profitable to look for ways to increase the average sale and to increase the frequency of buying by regular customers.

      In the case of a candy shop, that might mean getting your every-other-week customer to stop every week. Or getting your 1/4 pound of hard candy buyer to throw in a chocolate bar or a soda.

      The important numbers are the (hopefully black) ones on the bottom of the balance sheet, the P&L and the cash flow statement...

      Originally Posted by Matthew Maiden View Post

      At what point do we quit looking at people who make bad business decisions as victims and start looking at them as unwise to be in business?
      When they make the same mistake repeatedly.

      Art, since you're closer to the situation than I, I'll defer to your judgment that this particular shop doesn't "need" a website. In spite of the benefits a simple, inexpensive site could provide at some point.

      However, I believe you owe it to the owners to encourage them to keep an open mind in the future. As you obviously have their best interests at heart, you don't want them to end up like the cat in Ben Franklin's proverb...

      "A cat who sits on a hot stove once will never do it again. Nor will she sit on a cold one."
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    John is giving good solid advice.

    There are many methods that I used in my shop to increase both the frequency of visits and the average amount of sale.

    One Item was I would buy little plastic toys and had the toy bucket on the counter with a sign "One free toy with each item purchased".

    These are the trinket kind of toys that could be bought by the gross mostly under $1 gross, all were under $2 a gross.

    We would monitor what kinds of toys were attracting attention, and which just sat there.

    With the toys that just sat there and weren't popular, we would collect them and put them in a different bucket,

    From time to time we would give people a choice of One toy per purchase from one OR Choose 5 Toys per purchase from the other bucket.

    For example we would promote July XX-XX stop by and get up to 5 toys per purchase - While supply lasts!


    It was always a success.

    I thought it was interesting the number of grown ups that would come in go through the buckets and get toys, you could go into shops and offices all over town and you could see desks covered with these little trinket toys.

    Mark Riddle
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    Today isn't Yesterday, - Products are everywhere if your eyes are Tuned!
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