Local Business Marketing

44 replies
Hi I am looking to build my local clients but have recognized that IM strategies would assist me in this effort. What kinds of things can I be doing to get new customers? I operate a video production biz at One Thing Productions- Video Production. Let me know if anybody has any ideas, thanks!
#business #local #marketing
  • Profile picture of the author Jared Woodruff
    The first thing you can do is put an opt-in form on your site. This will build a contact list that you can promote special offers and products to. Also, offer some kind of incentive to opt-in to your 'e-club', 'newsletter', 'journal' or what ever you want to call it (your email list).

    After your site is ready to receive emails, do SEO work to drive traffic to the site (Google Maps, on-site SEO, business directories and listings) and even some PPC if you can afford it but never pay too much for it.

    As people visit your site, they can opt-in to your list because you are offering some kind of free thing (the incentive) for their sign-up. Also, as you close deals in your business, modify your sales process to include the information needed to add that person to your email list so you can market to that person as well.

    Email lists are powerful tools for getting repeat customers. On average, it costs 6 times more to get a new customer than it does to keep an old one for repeat business. Think about it, you should be going after the customers you have, not hoping that they come back when you don't give them a reason to.

    Those are just some ideas off the top of my head. There is a lot more you can do if you sit down and put your mind to it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pedersenmt
      You going to the US Olympic Trials at Hayward Field this coming weekend?

      I miss that track. Went to our State meet all 4 years of high school and trained in Eugene after I graduated.

      Hope they have good weather. And come on Lolo!!!

      Originally Posted by Jared Woodruff View Post

      The first thing you can do is put an opt-in form on your site. This will build a contact list that you can promote special offers and products to. Also, offer some kind of incentive to opt-in to your 'e-club', 'newsletter', 'journal' or what ever you want to call it (your email list).

      After your site is ready to receive emails, do SEO work to drive traffic to the site (Google Maps, on-site SEO, business directories and listings) and even some PPC if you can afford it but never pay too much for it.

      As people visit your site, they can opt-in to your list because you are offering some kind of free thing (the incentive) for their sign-up. Also, as you close deals in your business, modify your sales process to include the information needed to add that person to your email list so you can market to that person as well.

      Email lists are powerful tools for getting repeat customers. On average, it costs 6 times more to get a new customer than it does to keep an old one for repeat business. Think about it, you should be going after the customers you have, not hoping that they come back when you don't give them a reason to.

      Those are just some ideas off the top of my head. There is a lot more you can do if you sit down and put your mind to it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hamish Jones
    What kind of marketing efforts are you currently putting in? What works and what doesn't?
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  • Profile picture of the author Tony Hetherington
    Two ideas for using IM for loacl businesses.

    If you use PPC then you can localise that and you can use the same press release that you send to online services to got to your local papers and radio stastions - and be almost guaranteed a radio interview
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    • Profile picture of the author Eric Parnell
      Thanks Jared- I had not thought about building a mailing list for this being a services business, but maybe I could come up with some helpful info to share with subscribers. Something like "How to build a powerful video presentation" that they would then in turn hire me to build for them, hmmm...

      Hamish- Currently I'm not doing much. Just beginning to work on SEO stuff, made a facebook page and have mainly been dependent on word of mouth. A while back I sent out some emails to businesses I knew could use video on their website and mentioned a special offer but people who weren't looking for my services in the first place, weren't too eager to pay decent wages for my services.

      Launch Workshop- I haven't looked into sending out a press release online or offline, only submitted my site to a few directories. Want to tell me a little more about what that might look like?
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      • Profile picture of the author scottgallagher
        Eric,

        An email list is our best source of leads. We acquire companies on our through cold calling, seminars, trade shows, chamber, and online. We educate prospects through webinars, workshops and of course, email. Our blog has a lot of video content on it. Direct mail has worked in the past, newspaper advertising is no good even to attract local businesses to a free workshop.

        After some education and creating a need withing the local prospects, we provide an assessment and hopefully a proposal.
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      • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
        Good question!

        Along these lines, if you're offering online marketing services to local businesses and you want to SEO your site so business people looking for online marketing help can find you?

        For example, if you're a dentist in Muncie Indiana, you can optimize your site for "Municie dentist" or "dentist, Munice." Same for an accountant, plumber, etc.

        But what terms are people searching for when looking for online marketing help? "Online marketing expert, Muncie"? "Internet marketing expert/consultant, Muncie"? I'm a bit confused as to how to do that.

        Thanks,
        Michelle
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Parnell
    Also- I've been using words like "Advertising" and "Marketing" as keywords because I know a lot of people are using those terms in searches. Are those way too over saturated though, even for a local market?
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  • Profile picture of the author scottgallagher
    We're forgetting about the Google Business Center!! However, Google is really messing with the LBR and marketing associated firms. They actually have pulled the LBR in the organic listings for most terms.

    Michelle, you raise a good point. The fact is that the jargon used in our industry are NOT what local businesses are looking for.

    The mods people are using are words like [company] and [service], at least you'll likely find once you do some KW research. The core terms are NOT SEO, or PPC, but words like [advertising, promotion, marketing, online, internet]. And then of course, you'll include all of your appropriate geomods.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
      Scott,

      Exactly! Terms common to us aren't what your average business owner will type into Google to find an online marketing expert.

      I'd think it would be something like

      "online/Internet...

      ...advertising
      ...strategies
      ...promotion?

      etc.

      Only some KW research will tell....

      Michelle
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  • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
    I have been making a killing, with cold calling and networking events.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
      Cold calling? Really?

      I HATE cold calling. I do NOT want to do it. Aside from my personal dislike of it, from a purely business perspective, it seems like poor positioning. After all, why on earth would a business owner do business with someone who has cold called them????

      When you cold call someone, how do you script the call? I really hate "selling" someone, so I'd probably approach the call with a free offer (free website audit, free report, free consultation, etc.). I don't see how else I could do it and be successful.

      And then there's the whole issue of reaching the decision maker in the first place. Ugggh!

      Michelle
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      • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
        Originally Posted by Nightengale View Post

        Cold calling? Really?

        I HATE cold calling. I do NOT want to do it. Aside from my personal dislike of it, from a purely business perspective, it seems like poor positioning. After all, why on earth would a business owner do business with someone who has cold called them????

        When you cold call someone, how do you script the call? I really hate "selling" someone, so I'd probably approach the call with a free offer (free website audit, free report, free consultation, etc.). I don't see how else I could do it and be successful.

        And then there's the whole issue of reaching the decision maker in the first place. Ugggh!

        Michelle
        we have alot of other methods to gain new business, but so far cold calling trumps them all.

        we have 4 full time cold callers, who love life because of the fat commissions we pay.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pedersenmt
      What are you saying when you reach someone on the phone?

      Originally Posted by nicholasb View Post

      I have been making a killing, with cold calling and networking events.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Parnell
    Ya like Nightengale, I'd be interested in what kind of approach is appropriate with a cold call. I hate trying to sell people something they don't believe they want or need, but if there was a good way to communicate without coming off like a snake oil salesman, I might give it a try.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jimnopks
    I too would like to know what you have your coldcallers say.

    Jim
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    • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
      I already know that newspaper advertising is a bad bet, even when targeting my local market.

      What about direct mail, letters inviting prospects to a free seminar? Anyone had any luck with that?

      Or would it be better to approach the local Chamber of Commerce and set up a sponsored free seminar/workshop? This would bring a lot more credibility, but would take more to set up.

      You could also set up the free workshop/seminar and send a press release to your local radio, TV and newspapers for their calendar of events. I know the media would probably accept it since it's a free workshop, but.... I have no idea of the kind of response you'd be able to get from this.

      Has anyone done this? What were your results?

      Thanks,
      Michelle
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      • Profile picture of the author J5isAlive
        Originally Posted by Nightengale View Post

        I already know that newspaper advertising is a bad bet, even when targeting my local market.

        What about direct mail, letters inviting prospects to a free seminar? Anyone had any luck with that?

        Or would it be better to approach the local Chamber of Commerce and set up a sponsored free seminar/workshop? This would bring a lot more credibility, but would take more to set up.

        You could also set up the free workshop/seminar and send a press release to your local radio, TV and newspapers for their calendar of events. I know the media would probably accept it since it's a free workshop, but.... I have no idea of the kind of response you'd be able to get from this.

        Has anyone done this? What were your results?

        Thanks,
        Michelle
        See to me Chamber of Commerce and all the other groups are ok but they cost yearly fees in most cases. I tried that when I lived in Michigan to pick up more offline clients and it was a disaster. It was a few years back but I did not like it. I think cold calling will always work you just have to be comfortable with doing it and have it as scripted as possible to convey the message quickly and professionally. Direct mail can work well but you may waste a lot of time testing what is converting. Also I would try to make friends with your printer guy or mailing guy so that you can work out some sort of deal to get a discount. There are a few courses on direct mailing floating around but nothing groundbreaking. I still feel making an online presence trumpts the rest because it is cheaper to get a lot of these SEO services done now. So just like anything else allocating budget to test new things vs taking my opinion because you may have great success so don't let my experience and opinions scare you away.
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      • Profile picture of the author scottgallagher
        Originally Posted by Nightengale View Post

        I already know that newspaper advertising is a bad bet, even when targeting my local market.

        What about direct mail, letters inviting prospects to a free seminar? Anyone had any luck with that?

        Or would it be better to approach the local Chamber of Commerce and set up a sponsored free seminar/workshop? This would bring a lot more credibility, but would take more to set up.

        You could also set up the free workshop/seminar and send a press release to your local radio, TV and newspapers for their calendar of events. I know the media would probably accept it since it's a free workshop, but.... I have no idea of the kind of response you'd be able to get from this.

        Has anyone done this? What were your results?

        Thanks,
        Michelle
        I've never cold called in my agency in 5 years. I'm hiring my first cold caller this week to expand our sales channel.

        We have over 150 local biz clients that we have acquired primarily through one method, already discussed, networking.

        We took a vertical approach. I found the players in this national industry. I went to their events. I made friends with the political people on the national association boards. We gave the associations free websites in exchange to attend their trade shows free. We collected business cards and email our list once a month. the emails are all about education and driving our audience to our blog with our own video. The education is intended to drive an 'analysis'. This is where our selling starts, identifying a problem in the business and offering our solution, IM.
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        • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
          Originally Posted by scottgallagher View Post

          I've never cold called in my agency in 5 years. I'm hiring my first cold caller this week to expand our sales channel.

          We have over 150 local biz clients that we have acquired primarily through one method, already discussed, networking.

          We took a vertical approach. I found the players in this national industry. I went to their events. I made friends with the political people on the national association boards. We gave the associations free websites in exchange to attend their trade shows free. We collected business cards and email our list once a month. the emails are all about education and driving our audience to our blog with our own video. The education is intended to drive an 'analysis'. This is where our selling starts, identifying a problem in the business and offering our solution, IM.
          Simple and effective.

          Thanks for your feedback Scott.
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    • Profile picture of the author Adam Nolan
      Originally Posted by Jimnopks View Post

      I too would like to know what you have your coldcallers say.

      Jim
      At the moment I have 3 sales staff in different cities that drop into businesses and offer our services. Our "hook" is so good that they're pulling in 5-10 solid leads a week. The downside is that our marketing strategy works so well that it really can only be used for 1 company / industry / area.

      Right now I'd highly recommend using video marketing and targeting local. Video gets ranked SUPER high and fast. It's 90% of what we do for SEO and our clients are incredibly happy with it.

      Cheers
      - Adam
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      • Profile picture of the author Adam Nolan
        Ok, so I haven't read all the threads here but this is what's working for my clients and myself.

        Create a video marketing campaign.

        Distribute your videos EVERYWHERE (we do 4000 distributions a month between podcasts/video/articles, etc...)

        At the end of every video put a call to action to go to a website where they can get even more videos and a free ebook in exchange for their contact info.

        We do 10 Frequently Asked Question videos, 10 Should Ask Question Videos and 4 videos moving them through the sales funnel

        Drip feed the videos to them over the course of a few weeks with an auto responder and then do the sales pitch.

        You've provided a TON of content, solved their problems and now they want to buy. It's 100% automated and you've built a great relationship.

        Not to mention the fact that with the continual submission of videos you get ranked SUPER high in google.

        Cheers
        - Adam
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  • Profile picture of the author Nic Lynn
    Trust me, almost NO local businesses are searching Google for local internet marketing help. SEOing your site for SEO, SEM and Internet Marketing keywords is really only good for one thing: showing that you can do it (but it doesn't help you get too many customers).

    To get customers, you need to send direct mail, do speaking engagements, get referrals and hit the streets/phones. It really isn't that hard at all!
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    • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
      Good point! I know local businesses, small business owners, service professionals, etc. probably AREN'T searching Google for "Internet marketing expert" but they ARE doing searches for "attract clients/customers" or "get clients/customers" or some variation thereof. And I'm sure certain types of business owners are more likely to be more tuned into the Internet than others.

      It's probably a better bet to get a local plumber's website indexed and ranked, for example, to demonstrate what you can do and get business.

      And I think offering to get a local business listed in online local business directories (like Google business listings) either for free or a low fee to get your foot in the door is a great idea. If any business owner is aware of the impact of the Internet on our culture and businesses, they're like to pay attention to an offer like that.

      Michelle

      Originally Posted by Nic Lynn View Post

      Trust me, almost NO local businesses are searching Google for local internet marketing help. SEOing your site for SEO, SEM and Internet Marketing keywords is really only good for one thing: showing that you can do it (but it doesn't help you get too many customers).

      To get customers, you need to send direct mail, do speaking engagements, get referrals and hit the streets/phones. It really isn't that hard at all!
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  • Profile picture of the author Tacit
    You could learn how to set up google local business listings for people for free as way to get yourself in the door. Then once the conversation has started, move to more advanced strategies, ie creating an opt in list (they don't even need a website for this), creating a 'direct response' website for them, doing SEO work, online video, social media, you name it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Parnell
    But still I think the question a lot of us are wondering, if cold calling, "hitting the streets" is really a good method, what kind of dialogue are you guys having with potential clients. I'm used to hiding behind my computer and chatting over email, how do you approach a perfect stranger about your services?

    Oh and I just realized my signature link was bogus, I fixed it now in case any of you were wondering what kind of offline work I was referring to.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nic Lynn
      Originally Posted by Eric Parnell View Post

      But still I think the question a lot of us are wondering, if cold calling, "hitting the streets" is really a good method, what kind of dialogue are you guys having with potential clients. I'm used to hiding behind my computer and chatting over email, how do you approach a perfect stranger about your services?.
      Ok, here is the dealio.

      There are 3 ways I, personally, "hit the streets" outside of referrals:

      1. Patronization (is that a real word?). Anytime I patronize an appropriate business (get my teeth whitened, eat at a non-franchise restaurant, get a car repair, become a non-franchise gym member, take my kids to karate class, get a lasik consult, etc, etc) I talk to them about their marketing and their IM opportunity at a high level. There is something "easy" about talking potential business with a prospect when you are using their services and handing them your cash. I always carry business cards and my "offline report" to leave with them and follow-up later with an actual nugget or two about how they can reap offline marketing rewards.
      2. Hunt the local ads. There are lots of perfect target businesses spending big bucks on traditional local advertising. Scour the local papers, the yellow pages and even the church newsletter (which often have sponsor ads of local parishoners) and you will find prospects. Then build a story around how you can compliment or replace those investments with increased or better results while saving them money and call them about it (or email them, though it won't be as effective).
      3. Build a constant stream of warm leads. Sign-up for local speaking engagements and engage in direct postcard marketing to get people calling you about your services. Then put them in your sales process and pursue.

      Doing this, YOU WILL GET BUSINESS.
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  • Profile picture of the author ImHot
    Try promoting on Facebook and other social networks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jared Woodruff
    You're welcome, Eric. It's late at the moment, but I'll write myself a note and send you a message hopefully tomorrow to see what we can do to help you out.

    Good luck,
    Jared

    P.S. - I was under the assumption you were looking to improve your video production business, was I wrong?
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  • Profile picture of the author Mac the Knife
    Definitely networking. I agree that cold calling CAN work as the world is waking up to the internet...even the most stubborn are opening their eyes and ears when they hear Facebook and Twitter...the opportunity is here. Having said that, if you didn't do ANY cold calling but just hit a few networking events per week with the right verbiage (and right skills of course) you can sign up clients consistently. Just today I was working out at my gym...the owner is now paying me several hundred per month for Twitter and Facebook consulting as well as a revamp on his landing page...just because of a casual conversation while doing some curls...NOW, I did have some nice proof sources to show him on his pc, which always helps.

    Mac the Knife
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    • Profile picture of the author czilbersher
      Originally Posted by Macurdy View Post

      Definitely networking. I agree that cold calling CAN work as the world is waking up to the internet...even the most stubborn are opening their eyes and ears when they hear Facebook and Twitter...the opportunity is here. Having said that, if you didn't do ANY cold calling but just hit a few networking events per week with the right verbiage (and right skills of course) you can sign up clients consistently. Just today I was working out at my gym...the owner is now paying me several hundred per month for Twitter and Facebook consulting as well as a revamp on his landing page...just because of a casual conversation while doing some curls...NOW, I did have some nice proof sources to show him on his pc, which always helps.

      Mac the Knife
      If any of those proof sources are something you could share with the community, I'd certainly be interested in seeing how you're pitching.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mac the Knife
        czilbersher,

        My services are offered by a variety of marketing companies...when I point to those who are reselling my services and then tell them they can get the same services at MY prices, the conversation goes fairly easily from that point on (please know, everyone marketing my services knows I am doing local marketing to pick up clients directly.

        If you want to chat on the phone or skype, let me know, always happy to share some info!

        Mac the Knife
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        • Profile picture of the author standfast999
          I am providing local companies with IM services and I am seeking partners. Please reply to this - not enough posts for PM

          Open to all partnerships!
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          • Profile picture of the author Fingerling
            Originally Posted by asarno View Post

            I am providing local companies with IM services and I am seeking partners. Please reply to this - not enough posts for PM

            Open to all partnerships!
            What type of partnership are you talking about? I'm starting a local business in my area.
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  • I agree with Jared, you need an optin form. Building your list is one thing you must do if you want to grow your video production biz. Also, you need to tap the market. Looking where you can actually market your services will definitely help you. Also, do not forget to brand yourself. Online branding helps your business grow, people will have to associate your brand with the video production market, so be sure to pose yourself as an authority in the biz.
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  • Profile picture of the author bdegrossa
    Once you get one person who is in the local chamber of commerce and you do a good job with them, they tell a bunch more. Getting business has NOT been a problem for us. The challenge is getting all the work done!

    Becky
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    • Profile picture of the author scottgallagher
      Originally Posted by bdegrossa View Post

      Once you get one person who is in the local chamber of commerce and you do a good job with them, they tell a bunch more. Getting business has NOT been a problem for us. The challenge is getting all the work done!

      Becky
      What a GREAT problem!

      Fernando
      ,

      You know, it amazes me sometimes that the road to success sometimes is the simple most obvious paths. Acquiring local businesses as clients hasn't changed in decades. It's always been, and will continue to be about networking. I have had zero success deploying online marketing tactics (those used in info products) to close local businesses from start to finish with no voice or in person contact. A lot of the strategies work, such as autoresponders, but nothing has worked (yet) to close business without having at least one phone conversation. Our average sales cycle is still a long 90 days, however some clients have taken years while others have signed the dotted line during our first visit.

      We even did a promotion with Tellman Knudson, where for a $500 donation to RTR our firm was giving about $1500 in services, $1000 donation we gave $2300 in services. We no NO revenue for this and emailed our list a few times. Not one person made a donation. Once we got them on the phone, it was a different story.

      Here are the blog posts that we drove our audience to. The day of the launch, our list of 2300 local businesses (all acquired with a business card) yielded about 600 clicks. Not one purchase! lol. I thought it was odd.

      http://www.theccsolution.com/blog/20...cross-america/ (video of me and Tellman)

      Here is another one. http://www.theccsolution.com/blog/20...eed-your-help/

      I have a lot of opinions on this failure (among many others in my lifetime!!) as to why it failed, but there are a lot of lessons learned. Maybe we should discuss all of our failures to help others rather than successes!!

      If you don't know who Tellman Knudson is, you'd better check him out. This dude is running across the USA to raise $100 million. He's an Internet Marketer supreme and he's doing this, get this, BAREFOOT!

      check out http://www.runtellmanrun.com and donate already!
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  • Profile picture of the author smartfinds
    Hi Eric,

    I feel I'm a bit late coming to this discussion, but it crossed by search on "local business marketing".

    If anything I think it is apparent that there is no one single "to do" that will garner sales as a stand alone. All of the suggestions combined provide a complete picture to the various marketing tasks that are involved to reach the local consumer.

    The one that caught my attention is about local business listing(s). The convergence of Search, Social Media and Mobile marketing through local listings is turning out to be a good local marketing option.

    There was a 30% rise in mobile searches for local business, products and services during 2009 and this is certainly growing as new mobile applications and products are reaching the consumer market.

    I think the real issue is that there are too many local listing websites for a local business to manage. There are over 60 of them in 4 new categories, not to mention the age old business directory. Consumers are the ones that will dictate which of these local listing websites they will use to post their positive or negative comments. Not sure that Google is the 800lb gorilla in this space...at least not yet.

    Something we recently read at KillerStartUps are companies that are offering a low cost service to update then manage these local business listings for companies. You can read about this at KillerStartUps here:

    Be Found Online with Local Business Listing Management Services

    It is a changing world and the local business will benefit. There will be some adjustment to this space needed. Hopefully this new post is helpful to others too.
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  • Profile picture of the author musicsongs
    You can try adwords!
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      First you need to narrow down your focus to get the maximum profits from any marketing you do.

      Answering a few simple questions can help with that...

      What services are you currently selling now?

      Who have your clients been?

      Where have those clients come from?

      What services bring you your best net profits?

      Have you actively promoted those services? If so how and what kind of results did you get?

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


        Answering a few simple questions can help with that...
        What services are you currently selling now?
        Who have your clients been?
        Where have those clients come from?
        What services bring you your best net profits?
        Have you actively promoted those services? If so how and what kind of results did you get?

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
        Great advice! I've found clearly defining a target niche yields the best results. Blanketing 'local' businesses doesn't provide you the intimate knowledge you really need for each business to properly create marketing material on the Internet and effectively distribute it.
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        I teach entrepreneurs to build a sustainable Internet Marketing Agency with real value. I have many free resources and paid training programs available

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  • Profile picture of the author jamesgan
    Hi Eric,

    Ya, Internet Marketing can help you to build communication channels and sales funnel for your local business,
    3 effective ways to promote your local business:

    1.Pay Per Click Campaign (PPC)
    By using pay per click method, you can advertise your local business online and also decide on the where or when and how your prospect find you through your keywords and areas setting.

    2. Facebook Marketing
    If you don't have a Facebook account for your local business, Create a Facebook Page will help you to provide services and communication online for your potential customers, keep updating relevant and interesting post in the page. You can also use Facebook ads to keep you fan posted on your business happenings.

    3. Join YouTube
    Since your niche is Video, Upload a video of your company, and put as many links as you can from all sorts of topics so as many people as possible can see it. Create 'how-to' video that related to your business, so when someone is looking how to solve a specific problem your business has knowledge of, they find your video answer and learn ore about you.

    Signature
    Learning is the slowest form of earning!
    The only way to build an avalanche of cashflow to your bank is to "Copy & Paste" a proven system.
    ==> www.jamesgan.me
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  • Profile picture of the author julesw
    Ive done im style thngs like offer a Free video to businesses to get them interested, show them how to make their own ( then they want to buy better) offer subscription deals - 1 video per month for 6 months at a good deal
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    WIN my Lanparte Smartphone or GoPro Gimbal! Get Ready Get Steady! Watch my Video Here:
    VideoHero.com/win
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