Promoting a small business...on a small budget...

8 replies
My dad owns a small business, in the service industry, and revealed that he wants this IM newbie, to get it on the first page of google etc etc..and all on a budget of $300(!).

So after politely declining the SEO expert who was charging $3000, started brainstorming some options , decided i would try the free (albeit untargeted) traffic idea - youtube, articles etc and then i came up with the following idea:

Why don't i build an autoresponder list that would notify the people who are curious about his business , but possibly unsure about HIS particular service, send a quickly designed newsletter each week, detailing the high points and comments about his business and the industry? And rotate it like a bunch of articles. Until they decide to take up his service?

Sure, it'd take work to create newsletters but, uploading photos and saying great things about his business area and then promoting his business and then rotating it until the dollars run out on the aweber machine at least would get him 2 years of rotated newsletters.

Okay so anyway, aweber being $9 a month, thats like $216 for 2 years of rotated newsletters, leaving me $74 to pay outsourcers to build traffic. or do it myself .

Back to my point...is this list-building a good idea or not for a small , service industry based, business? Because if not, ill just swamp those lucky outsourcers with all 300 of those tasty $ for building free traffic , though i cant imagine even they could get it up there on page 1 of google for that budget.

Alternatively, is there a better way for building free traffic for a small local business? Any suggestions? I explained to him that adwords is too expensive for him. Am i wrong? Being trapped on the time AND dollar fronts with this project is a pain in the -----. Plus, also id like to get back to my own projects...

If it helps, the service industry that he is in, has enquiries, so i figured, what difference would it make whether they got their information in one package or in digestable chunks via a newsletter?
#budget #business #businesson #promoting #small
  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    Some local businesses are cake to get on page 1 of Google.

    Others aren't. Sometimes the competition is so clueless all
    you have to do it put up a site, do the meta tags, put out
    a press release, and article or two, comment on a few blogs
    and forums with sig lines and you'll nail a spot in the top five
    within a month or two.

    Sometimes SEO is a tough fight against entrenched competition.

    SEO isn't that hard. It's boring, but not difficult.
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    Originally Posted by gregsie74 View Post

    My dad owns a small business, in the service industry,

    I explained to him that adwords is too expensive for him. Am i wrong? Being trapped on the time AND dollar fronts with this project is a pain in the -----. ?
    I think in many ways you have answered your own question, with a once of $300 flat there would be no cash flow to set up and maintain a adwords account.

    How ever if there was a small budget placed aside each week / on a regular basis for this purpose and or a small take from every new customer placed aside to then re invest in new customers it may have some merit in assisting new clients and future business growth for your father.

    In addition your auto responder system here would be of use as it would capture some of those targeted leads being sent by your ads to further enhance this part of your promotional campaign should you implement adwords.
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  • Profile picture of the author badboy_Nick
    If you are a local business why dont you get it ranked on the first page on Google? Being local should be very easy to do.

    But I agree, dont do adwords ... too expensive. But in terms of getting more business, have you had a look at join-ventures, referrals and partnerships with related business in your area? Kinda like a car dealer upselling car insurance, if you know what I mean.

    Any questions let me know

    Nick
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  • Profile picture of the author NikkiG
    I don't think there are two many times when building an email list is a bad thing to do. It's a tried and true technique and done right it could do wonders.

    But as others have said, local businesses are often not that hard to list. In fact you could get a free local business listing on Google which may be job done!

    Depends on the quantity and quality if your web competition, it might be worth your time to check out a few related keywords and give it a go.
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  • Profile picture of the author gregsie74
    Hi, thanks for this, got a pm from an SEO guy and also made an enquiry, still awaiting response. im also looking into creating a blog. again, gotta make do with the meagre budget....! Finally thanks for the google local business ad...idea. set up the account details today today, and im guessing if people search the local area on google maps they will find it...somehow? im not too familiar how it works, so we shall see...and is it possible to drive traffic towards this local listing? hmm...

    re: creating a list. yeah that means some work sitting down creating newsletters, then creating some articles, and of course, doing the blog, as to change around the website would be a nightmare...its in flash...and probably an old version. and my dads trying to get copies of photos etc etc...so unorganised. all will take time and effort on such a small budget but i will find i way. anyway thanks all. much appreciated
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  • Profile picture of the author Cynthia A.
    Hi Greg,

    Your father says he has a $300 budget, but most people say that's what they have to spend NOW or all at once. He's (or you) going to have to spend some money or time. I'm sure he can swing $20/mo for Aweber & a little more to do promotion of his business site (backlinking, etc) - especially if you're doing it for him. Most people really can come up with the money, they just think they can't. No offense but many expert marketers will tell you that a business that can't afford to promote itself will not be around for long.
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  • Profile picture of the author downhomebruce
    Hi Greg,

    Doing local-based keyword marketing, where you have your dad's service and the name of your city as your main keyword phrase (example: drywaller Poughkeepsie), you can grab a domain like poughkeepsiedrywaller.com, etc. throw up a template themed Wordpress blog with a couple of short articles talking about your dad's service, submit those same articles to a good directory like EZA with a linkback to your blog in the resource box, link to a few big Web 2.0 properties (heck, start a Twitter account and post links back to those articles), and you'll be blown away by the results in a very short time. Depending on how quick the blog is indexed, you could be on Page 1 in a week. Don't even worry about messing with that flash site he's got. A basic Wordpress blog is the way to go, along with some link juice from social sites.

    Cheers,
    Bruce
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