Offline marketing - Wild west until it gets ruined

24 replies

Right now everyone seems to be jumping on the offline bandwagon. There is a lot of money to be made now, but what about the future? What happens when you approach a business and they have had 5 other "marketers" that have already contacted them? What happens when most businesses already have a site and have done SEO?

It will become a commodity and businesses will shop for the best price. Only the best will survive and the wannabe newbie will try, lose money, and quit after having spent $1,997 for the coolest Offline seminar.

There will still be money in it, probably forever, but the little guy with less experience will be sucked in only to fail.

I'm not being negative. I've seen this happen to other easy money venues. The buying and selling of "discount mortgages" was one.

Someone figured out how make money buying discount mortgages. Soon courses were all over TV offering fast easy cash in your own business. Many signed up and gave it whirl. A few succeeded but many more failed. It was hard to tell the difference between legit courses and the hyped up mass market courses. In fact the really good courses were cheaper than the hyped up mass market ones but were buried in the hype.

All I'm really saying is that newbies should look hard at offline and consider it a business, not easy money. Don't be sucked in and think your troubles are over and you've found the golden goose. Be willing to work hard and most importantly, do great work for your clients. It's a business just like any other. Perhaps it's good money, perhaps it's fun and easy, but don't bank on it always being so juicy. Plan what you are going to do when competition moves in to take your clients. Have a plan.

If you are the best, then your clients will stick with you. Don't just do a job and forget them. Care about them and make sure to give them a little extra attention. If you do that you'll have a long term business that will last when the others drop out.
#marketing #offline #ruined #west #wild
  • Profile picture of the author Kelly Verge
    That's exactly right.

    When you take care of your clients and you help them get more of what they want, you'll have customers who are happy to keep paying you month after month and who will willingly refer other business owners to you.

    If you over-promise and under-deliver, you might get one check, but you'll lose the client and will quickly gain a bad reputation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dexx
    Offline Marketing isn't really anything new, I mean helping businesses improve their marketing exposure using different media has been around since the 80s...just look at Dan Kennedy's stuff.

    I think what will happen (like with any "gold rush") is people will run to it, treat it like a get-rich hobby, and realize that these are business owners who expect real results and not "Make $10,000 in 10 hrs" type promises.

    Those that focus on developing quality relationships and getting quality (measurable) results, will see that they can definitely create a viable new source of income...those that are lazy and don't expect to have to do any work...will soon wake up to a harsh reality...

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  • Profile picture of the author Lou Diamond
    I have been doing offline marketing for quite some time and I have come across many excuses not to try my services.
    The most important thing to overcome any objections is to have the right answer at the tip of your tongue.
    I call this working smarter.
    I have practiced on any objections a new client may come up with and the answers now just flow with confidence.
    This makes me look like I really know what I am doing.

    Something new soon.

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  • Profile picture of the author Mokai
    offline is good less competition in my opinion but a lot harder and more time consuming then online
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    • Profile picture of the author czilbersher
      Originally Posted by Mokai View Post

      offline is good less competition in my opinion but a lot harder and more time consuming then online
      The fact that it is harder and more time consuming is the very reason why there will remain a good, strong market. One of the hardest things about getting started with an offline business is building relationships, trust and authority. One of the reasons why IM is so attractive to a certain type of Internet Marketer is that they lack those qualities (in other words, they're not a "people" person.) A barrier to their entry is the fact that it requires meeting people face-to-face and presenting a compelling argument; shaking hands, looking them in the eye, and delivering results. How is this any different from any brick-and-mortar business? It's not. Those with lots of tenacity and sales experience will be able to enter this field with ease. Of those, the ones who can nurture client relationships and deliver on their promises will remain in the game. Everyday, new local businesses are created. As long as offline marketing remains a discipline that requires inside knowledge and expertise, there will remain opportunity for all. The problem with this being the Wild West is that there are a lot of gun-slingers out there (You know, the ones who promise a 1st page listing on Google.) Make promises like that and you'll kill the market for the rest of us. (Would you trust a stockbroker who absolutely guaranteed that you'd make money on a particular stock? Would you trust a doctor who absolutely guaranteed that he could cure you of cancer? Then why would anyone trust an offline marketer who guarantees a 1st page placement on Google?)

      Anyway, it's obvious that every IMer who ever built a blog farm or promoted a POS **** berry diet program is now running to offline marketing:

      Go, lemming, go!

      As always, those who are honest, genuine and tenacious will remain in the game. It's only a matter of time before the "next BIG thing" comes along to entice the masses towards a new, improved IM strategy. God, the things people will do for the sake of working in their pajamas. This says a lot for how extremely AWFUL it is to work a j.o.b. for 'the man'. I know I'll never do it again.

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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Good advice. Actually, you could substitute any field of online marketing for the words "offline marketing" and it would be good advice. Nothing is guaranteed. Look at all those who were banking on Amazon affiliate income and got booted out because their state passed laws unfriendly to the Amazon affiliate program. They had steady income one day, it was gone the next.

    It's good to have multiple streams of income and wise to bank at least 10 percent of our income for unexpected cash flow interruptions.

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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  • Profile picture of the author Sarah Russell
    Totally agree with this, Scott. Another concern of mine is that the number of newbies entering this niche without the skills and knowledge necessary to actually succeed is going to burn offline business owners in a big way, making it harder for people who really do know what they're doing to succeed.

    I mean, how long do you think offline business owners are going to put up with five newbies knocking on their doors everyday with promises they aren't skilled enough to keep?
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    I find offline takes a lot of time, and "face to face" interaction, is tiring and is very dependent on your personal labour. The advantage of keeping things purely online is, not having the a hassle of "face face" customers. It is much easier to scale up because you are using technology to scale up, it's not dependent on you knocking on more doors. Realistically it's only possible to service a maximum of 20 clients at any one time, with an offline model.

    Online opportunities are nowhere near saturated and by going offline you can lose focus on online opportunities, where the potential is greater.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    The main problem with "Offline Marketing" is no where else does that term even make sense.

    I've been a business consultant for years, and the bottom line is that either a person is going to help business owners grow their companies or they are not.

    Yes there is a demand for services that offer web site, and social media marketing.

    However that is an illustration of short term limited thinking.

    I do have clients from Florida to Hawaii that I build sites and help with social media, but that is my SIDELINE, not the major focus.

    Business consultants will always be in demand, and business owners will always be looking to improve profits and grow their businesses.

    The example I always give is one of my favorites "How much would your profits increase it you were able to get each one of your servers to sell 3 more slices of pie per shift?"

    It doesn't matter if that is done with a standard set of questions the servers asks, or if its by a coupon via email, an in store text message, or a long list of methods to increase sales. (Servers should NEVER say "Did you leave room for desert?")

    By "Teaching" the market that "ONLINE" is the answer to their problems, you have just created a commodity mindset.

    Mark Riddle
    Today isn't Yesterday, - Products are everywhere if your eyes are Tuned!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Jensen
      There will always be money to be made going offline. I think of it as Adwords when it first came out or EzineArticles 4 years ago. You can still make money now, in fact you can make more than ever. But...It would've been nice to get your start early on to rack some early profits to sustain any future business growth.
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    • Profile picture of the author harrydog
      I concur with everything that people have said on this thread. The "Offline Model" is completely bogus from a business point of view. What businesses are looking for is results - ie. increase in new customers and sales - the bottom line.

      Internet Marketing in principle is no different than any other form of marketing. The end goal is the same, more customers, more sales and more profits. A small business owner does not give a hoot how its achieved (apart from ethical and sustainable) and they are not interested in the latest IM fad.

      Its quite true that "Offline marketing" is harder as business owners will not pay for failure and if you go in promising the earth you will get burnt.

      You have to actually go out and meet your clients, put together realistic proposals and then deliver on your proposals. I have been on the receiving end of the constant tele sales calls form so called "SEO" companies claiming they can get you to the top of the search engines - what bull. they are in for the quick buck not the long term. all this has done is harden the market and made it more difficult for the genuine people who provide a good quality service.

      I have just been asked to work full time with a company on a decent retainer and a commission based on results. This came about because I offered to set up and run a PPc campaign (only because it would get near instant results) for free to prove to them what was possible. This has mushroomed their business to the point where they now want me full time. The brief is to now reduce the PPC costs (they are spending £6,000 per month at present) by getting more organic search traffic.
      Unfortunately once I had set everything up they succumbed to one of the dreaded tele sales calls promising them that they could increase their click through s and reduce their costs. I was horrified when I saw what this company had done. They had 1000s of keywords per ad, poorly written ads, poor relevance which ultimately gave them a poor quality score. I then had to re do the whole campaign and get it back on track.
      I also provided free advice on website design, opt in forms etc at the beginning of the process (they didn't have a clue about how to actually engage a web developer). This was very important as the website designers they had engaged were more interested in how the site looked rather than the actual functionality from a business process point of view.

      The moral to all this is that "Offline IM" is a lot more difficult than is touted and unless you understand how businesses actually work and what their expectations are I would advise any newbie to steer well clear as they will probably fall flat on their face and as some else has said you cant visit potential customers in your pyjamas.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Fladlien
        There are some good points being made here... everything hot will eventually cool off...

        BUT: there is too much scarcity thinking going on.

        Do you realize something close to 13.6 MILLION businesses don't even have a website. Even if we had 40,000 people out there trying this model out, we're not going to run out of opportunity any time soon.

        This segment is much bigger than internet marketing, in terms of number of prospects in the niche.

        The real demise of this "gold mine" will come in a few years when a MAJOR player takes it over. Like yellow pages. I'd not be suprised in a few years is yellow page ads are FREE if you buy their "online package".

        It's just like anything. When infomercials first came out, you could get them for almost nothing, shoot them on a crappy camera and air them that same day.

        Now you need at least a $100,000 budget to shoot it just to get them to air it.

        Co-creator of WP Twin. Perhaps the most expensive yet most reliable wordress cloning tool on the market. We've definitely been used more successfully than all other options :)

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      • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
        Originally Posted by harrydog View Post

        The moral to all this is that "Offline IM" is a lot more difficult than is touted and unless you understand how businesses actually work and what their expectations are I would advise any newbie to steer well clear as they will probably fall flat on their face and as some else has said you cant visit potential customers in your pyjamas.
        That's actually just a matter of perspective.

        I see a lot of website companies selling websites to offline businesses with zero expectations of ROI and marketing companies selling SEM services with zero reporting or measurement of results.

        It's easy to do a better job than many people are currently getting.

        It's only hard if you don't know what you're doing or aren't clear about what you're offering.

        Most businesses are so busy running their business it's easy to see how to help them.

        nothing to see here.

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        • Profile picture of the author Tom B
          Scott, what you are talking about is a normal market life cycle where there will remain a couple major players that will hold majority of the market.

          Nothing new and nothing you can do to stop it.

          The market matures and all the little companies get purchased by the big dogs.

          Just make sure your either purchasing or being bought out for enough to set yourself up for the next adventure.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    This isn't new - it goes through cycles in this forum.

    We kicked it to death about 5 years ago and it went quiet for a couple of years and is coming around again at the moment because more people are looking for stuff to sell here and that's one that's been quiet for a while.

    It's not difficult to make a full time income working with offline businesses and a lot of people make it more complicated than it needs to be in order to make products about it seem more valuable.

    It's just as easy to fail or succeed as anything else.

    The situation is already like you say, with lots of marketers already having approached many offline businesses. Every business I speak to has had lots of search marketing companies approaching them for a long time.

    But it's still easy to differentiate yourself and help people.

    I think the problem we see is twofold:

    1 - More people are trying to jump on the bandwagon and sell information in this niche and have only just started doing this themselves and aren't really qualified to advise others.

    2 - Lots of newbies are seeing overhyped information about 'offline gold' and thinking it's the latest magic bullet.

    Treated like a business it's definitely something most people can make money with.


    nothing to see here.

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  • Profile picture of the author Imran Naseem
    The only way to succeed in this niche if you are willing to get your butt out there and take action, talk to business owners etc and close deals.

    The offline "marketing" is nothing knew as suggested by Dexx.
    There are thousands and thousands of Local business owners who need help with their marketing.

    When I used to work for an Advertising firm selling advertising space the business owner would sometimes be reluctant as they had already been approached by several other marketing consultants offering the same service.

    I think one has to brand themselves and get business owners calling YOU rather than you "contacting them".

    People are jumping on this bandwaggon - all you have to do is take a look at the WSO forum and 80% of the products are on the "OFFLINE Niche".

    Which one would you go for?

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  • Profile picture of the author DogScout
    70% or more of 'off-line business consulting' has zero to do with on-line solutions. If you increase traffic and the business is not even maximizing the income from their current clients, and/or are not ready for an influx of business, all you do is make a bad situation worse. If the phone starts ringing twice as much and those answering it were already not answering it properly, how worse will they perform? The business could actually lose paying clients due to more traffic! If a service crew or salesperson has another client or stop to make, they don't do everything to maximize the ticket. They 'forget' to up/down/cross sell, they start losing deals.
    You don't fix the problems and prepare the business for what you can achieve for them with on-line traffic generation, you risk them making less, even with more traffic! It is actually possible to put them out of business if you just do the on-line stuff and don't learn the biz, plug the profit leaks and prepare them for an increase in customers.
    Off-line is a job. One where you are self employed, but it is a job. Even if you make $200,000 on-line as an IM guy, that is no guarantee you can do anything other than increase traffic for off-line businesses. If you have done your homework and only take on clients that are already doing everything right and only lacking traffic, God bless you, but most need much more than the front page of Google for a few commercial keywords.
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    • Profile picture of the author cscarpero
      When I got into offline marketing I thought there was going to be a ton of competition from others buying these courses. I haven't seen that at all. It's still very wide open especially if you are using good marketing and networking techniques.

      I'm an online marketer and mortgage loan officer.

      Connect with me at

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  • Well, "offline marketing" has been around since the dawn of agriculture, quite a bit longer than online marketing.

    I'll put it in the form of a parable:

    Once upon a time there was a farmer who was highly skilled at farming but knew nothing of the marketplace in town.

    There was another guy who knew all about the market -- who went there, what they wanted, how much money they could spend (or what they could offer in trade), and (most importantly) how to reach them with a message that caused them to want to buy.

    The guy went to the farmer and offered to help. The farmer said yes, he'd give it a try.

    The marketing guy advised the farmer on what to grow. He arranged for the crop to be picked up on the day of harvest and shipped quickly to market. He secured the best spot in the market and made it very attractive.

    The farmer and the marketing guy both became very rich. The end.
    "Online," "offline" -- call it what you will, as far as I'm concerned it's all marketing. As with any field, only a few will ever truly excel at marketing, and those people will always be in demand. Even people who are just pretty good at it will be able to make a living.
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  • Profile picture of the author Glenellis
    "Offline" might be the buzzword of the moment, but when the masses realize they are actually going to have to (gasp) work to make any kind of decent money, it will be dropped like a hot rock in favor of the next round of updated CPA/PPC/EIEIO or whatever becomes the new "hot" way to get rich quick. This will leave the rest of us with a market of more than 25 million prospects and not enough hours in the day or days in our lives to begin to even scratch the surface of this niche.
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    • Profile picture of the author AP
      I've been doing Offline Gold (I mean consulting) since the 70's, yeah 1970's.

      Offline will always be there and it will never get saturated with REAL consulting. But, there are a lot of "one trick ponies" marketing their goods or services. For the last few years it's been PPC, SEO, now it's VIDEO, WOW!

      I love offline marketing. I don't compete with ANYONE, real consultants are no where to be found. When I first approach my prospects and walk them thru my Questionnaire they are BLOWN away. They expected some PPC, SEO, website guy to come along and then I show up. Nothing to sell except my marketing knowledge, what works, what doesn't, pay me a high fee for my knowledge Mr Business Owner and we'll get along just fine.

      Increasing sales and revenue for most small businesses is VERY easy. Most have no marketing system whatsoever, all spray and pray advertising. Then along comes Mr Guru who can really help them, track there advertising, and use proven marketing methods that work. Oh my, what a concept. Actually marketing to your Existing customers to increase sales.

      Most companies spend 90% of their advertising/marketing budget on NEW customer acquisition vs Customer Retention Programs.

      Page ONE of Google for Local means nothing in many cases. ALL of my clients are Page 1, ALL. I have Google Places, organic, sister sites, PPC campaigns, etc... it doesn't mean you will get a ton of new customers.

      Hate to Bursts anyone's FANTASY!

      Relying on the SERP's is a fools game, everyone is chasing Page One, lol.

      Everyone please WAKE UP and smell the coffee.

      What happens when your New Client gets to Page One and the Gold doesn't flow, then what? Uh, Mr Business owner I got you Page ONE Google but you haven't seen any real increase in business? I was told getting on Page One would make you Rich.

      Go ahead and test it yourself. Call up a business on Page One Google and see if they are making a Killing, go ahead, make my day!

      REAL Marketing is a Campaign, a series of promotions. You can use Newsletters, eMail campaigns, Direct mail, Social sites, Google Places, Free Press Releases, Article writing, PPC, SEO, Video, Flyers, Trade shows, Blogs, Paid traffic via banner ads, Joint Ventures, training staff/personel for increased sales, Increase pricing structure, create a USP, etc...

      There is more to Marketing than just V-I-D-E-O.

      You are doing your clients an injustice by only using one source of traffic. Shame on you for being LAZY!

      What happens when everyone has video, I guess the next fad will be this thing called Newsletters, lol.


      P.S. I want everyone to understand that all media has it's place. Video is good, newsletters are good, PPC is good, SEO is good, just don't think that ONE source of anything is the Answer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Tees
    I don't feel offline marketing will ever get saturated. There are too many people who aren't comfortable selling nor are they confident in their abilities to generate sales. Most of these people would never consider going into sales, if they didn't run the business. You have to be able to maintain your composure and wear a poker face at all times. Other wise your potential customers will eat you alive at the slightest sign of weakness or uncertainty. For many, its easier just to post advertisements and hope they'll lead directly to sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jimian
    The thing is, there will always be NEW and more innovative ways popping up that local offline businesses will WANT or NEED, and if you're there with the right presentation at the right time, and can deliver the goods and get them more customers/clients, it's yours!

    Not too long ago Google Maps wasn't even around. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.


    OFFLINE Marketing Strategies For The OFFLINE Warrior
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Looks like AP covered most of the bases so there's not much more to say.

    The offline market is only competitive if you are the same as everyone else. Fortunately most of the people getting into it from IM don't really have any understanding of business or indeed proper marketing and will rely on fads and trying to confuse their customers with IM jargon to get their business.
    That's fine to earn a few dollars, but at some point they'll want results and you can only tell them they're more visible in Google so many times before they don't care and want to see more for their money.

    People who don't understand business, marketing or sales need to get their act together to stay in business trying to sell to offline businesses that measure ROI.

    There are a lot of opportunities around right now, so there's definitely money to be made, but you can't rely on animoto and gullible clients to keep you in business.

    nothing to see here.

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