An unsettling trend for Offline Marketers

18 replies
Over the last few months I have been watching all the releases for different offline marketing courses and I am getting a little concerned that lots of people are going to buy these courses and get into a lot of trouble.

Do people really think you can waltz into a traditional business and sell them a 1,000 to 5,000 monthly product?

I have found that these traditional businesses are not quite as gullible as Internet Marketers.

Having been in the industry for nearly 12 years now I have found a few where this happens but my experience says it takes a little more work than this.

I am not saying there is not good money in this side of the industry but maybe I am seeing the wrong clients because my clients certainly are not going to hand over even a $100 a month without seeing some results and having some input into the project.

On top of that you have to handle the calls with silly little requests, handle the billing etc.

What are your experiences?

Q
#marketers #offline #trend #unsettling
  • Profile picture of the author chrisnegro
    Originally Posted by Quentin View Post

    Over the last few months I have been watching all the releases for different offline marketing courses and I am getting a little concerned that lots of people are going to buy these courses and get into a lot of trouble.

    Do people really think you can waltz into a traditional business and sell them a 1,000 to 5,000 monthly product?

    I have found that these traditional businesses are not quite as gullible as Internet Marketers.

    Having been in the industry for nearly 12 years now I have found a few where this happens but my experience says it takes a little more work than this.

    I am not saying there is not good money in this side of the industry but maybe I am seeing the wrong clients because my clients certainly are not going to hand over even a $100 a month without seeing some results and having some input into the project.

    On top of that you have to handle the calls with silly little requests, handle the billing etc.

    What are your experiences?

    Q
    It takes lot of self study, a good mentor and ROCK SOLID overall marketing AND business system to get you the results you are looking for.


    Starting out networking and joining a leads group at your local Chamber of Commerce is a good start. HOWEVER, incorporating and making sure you ACTUALLY care about if the client makes money is EXTREMELY important. They will no you are legit when you start talking about numbers.

    In fact, my famous phrase I use is " I NEED NUMBERS FROM YOU...IN ORDER TO MAKE YOU NUMBERS".

    The numbers I'm talking about here is the statistical numbers of how many bookings of the Inn (for example) or how many sales came from the 61329 zip code in the last month (for example) .

    The goal is to see how the data is trending BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR DECISIONS on what type of marketing you do. THIS IS MAKING MARKETING DECISIONS BASED ON STATISTICAL INTELLIGENCE RATHER THEN DOING ANYTHING.

    All in all, it takes alot of work, a good mentor and a nice system to work that you can wash rinse and repeat. Putting clients down a predictable funnel (with minor tweeks as every client is different) IS AMAZINGLY FUN !


    Success,

    Chris Negro
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  • Profile picture of the author Gavin Abeyratne
    Hi Quentin,

    If you try and solicit business and chase cold leads you will have a tough time closing the deal. Businesses that are ALREADY interested in web marketing will be more than happy to pay good money for your services, because they tend to be cheaper than traditional print advertising methods anyway, and they sort of feel that they should be doing something with the internet, they just don't know what exactly. I was certainly surprised at how high the trading revenues were from small businesses, many were in the mid to high six figures.

    They also have VERY different ideas about what constitutes an adequate return on investment. In the IM world, we look for triple digit ROI's as a minimum, in the offline world double digits are fantastic.

    If you go after warm leads its really pretty smooth sailing in my experience. Billing is pretty straightforward as its done monthly, and silly little requests are few and far between. Admittedly I intentionally avoid web design because it is prone to such requests, but SEO is generally pretty good.

    Gavin
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  • Profile picture of the author ttrance
    my 2 cents...

    I have only been working in SEO for half a year or so, but with my only local business client its been a lot of problems cause the guy is just daft. Local businesses are run by regular people who most of the time do not know anything about SEO or internet marketing in general. This guy knows a lot of his business comes through the internet and hired me to help him get more traffic. Well there was a lot of problems he had. Along the way of me trying to fix his issues, he keeps trying to tell me what to do, like he knows better -resulting in more problems.

    Now after a few months of him not allowing me to fix things like the layout etc, he allows it.. but daily he freaks out that his sales are not going up! I told him SEO takes time, etc etc... but this guy just doesn't understand.

    I am working on a few other clients, mostly local businessses that want to expand online so clearly there is potential for you to make money and help these businesses, but the problems are real. These people often sabotage your efforts by trying to control you and tell you what to do when they hire you to do your job...
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  • Profile picture of the author AndyBeard
    What I rarely see mentioned is that lots of brick and mortar firms have a reputation within their local community and that in many ways it is more fragile than BPs.

    No one will ever forget BP's disaster, or Exxon's... but no one is ever going to forget that fool John the plumber and that daft marketing stunt he pulled on video.

    I think there is a danger also of selling SEO services to people who SEO really wouldn't benefit in a measurable meaningful way that can be tied into growth on the bottom line.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
    Originally Posted by Quentin View Post

    I have found that these traditional businesses are not quite as gullible as Internet Marketers.
    Awesome way of looking at this whole niche! A lot of folks think small business owners are fish in a barrel and you have the shotgun. It's very Twilight Zone like to think that the Internet marketer is the actual fish in the barrel.
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    • Profile picture of the author golfswingsecret
      Just wanted to give my two cents here based on my experience. I currently have 5 Offline clients and actively seek new ones daily. This is not easy and those who would sell you on the premise that it's easy to just go out and get money from local businesses is either flat out lying or they just haven't been out there.

      I'm in a smaller market and I can say from experience that in this economy getting cash from small businesses is tough. I have been lucky enough to land a $30K 6 month contract to provide SEO services for a Software Development firm which is keeping me alive but beyond that single success, it's been like pulling teeth.

      Here's the problem with providing SEO services to local clients... at least in my view. I can take your site and identify phrases that are getting traffic in your area and I can get you into the top 5 at google for those phrases. Not a problem... the problem is that once I get you there, there's a good chance that the message your visitors see when they visit won't convert and that means testing and time to tweak the message so that folks are enticed to call, stop by .. whatever it is.

      Most local businesses want to see results and see them quickly so when you start talking testing and conversion, most think you're simply making excuses for a lack of results. I'm upfront about the process and I also won't even offer SEO services until I see if there's traffic in their market so maybe being honest with folks is hurting my conversions but I have to live here.

      I've also tested a lot of different offline methods. Most recently I tried Fireman Mike's(I believe that was his name?) Painting Deal. I have 3 of these sites sitting respectively at #1 #3 and #5 in google for their different locales. I've contacted dozens of painters in each area and not one of them is willing to part with even $200 a month even though these sites are currently producing 2-3 leads a week.

      Now I'm not saying that the Fireman didn't do exactly what he told us he did... but what I am saying is if it happened as easily as he said, he was very lucky and I'm happy for him and his family.

      Anyway just my 2 Cents.

      The most helpful info I've found on Offline marketing has been from a guy named Tim Castleman. You can search on his name here and probably find some stuff.
      I bought several of Tim's products and found them all to be helpful plus he's a good guy and responsive if you have a question, etc.

      Anyway... back to work

      Ben
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  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    Yes, you can sell a offline retail business a $1,000 or $5,000 monthly product/service. Sadly...you just can't waltz in there and make a sale. Some of the deals I am closing at those prices take weeks and months of meetings and building a relationship with the client.
    Having a very strong online resume for yourself helps the deals close faster.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    I've been hammering on this very issue for over a year now.

    It's ludicrous.
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    • Profile picture of the author MATTYLLL
      In my experience there are clients out there who have money, but you have to be able to get your way up the food chain. If you are going to try and get £1,000 or $1,000 from a business which is only turning over 5k per month you are going to struggle. If you go for the mid size businesses then you will be in with more of a chance. Also these companies will be used to outsourcing various bits of work, and will probably be less hassle.

      The challenge of course is getting in front of these customers. Now there are ways, but it does take time, and also the time to build a good relationship. Networking does work, but don't expect an immediate result, you have to become a "regular" to earn people's trust. This will take time, but hopefully will be worth the reward.
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      • Profile picture of the author PaulBaranowski
        Good points made here by the fellow warriors.

        One thing that those "marketing for offline businesses" courses don't talk too much,if at all is that you're getting into a business of servicing people,so one has to be prepared to deal with all the sh't like difficult clients
        who can give you a hard time because they don't have a clue about SEO and as it's been mentioned here,can sabotage your job right in the middle.

        I learnt to deal with them very simply - i don't start with the clients who have a crappy/un'seo'd site and say "i don't wanna change it,you just do your job man".It takes a well thought out questionnaire to surface those
        "i-know-it-all's before you get yourself into a trouble.

        Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author GregGarrison
    My results have been very positive. Although I'm not charging thousands to do seo for business owners sites, I am able to charge between $75-$250 a month. I have over 30 clients and are all very pleased with the service that I am providing them. I have several clients that have hired more employees due to the extra exposure that my system is generating.

    No, I'm not getting rich, but I have concentrated on this for the past year and have been able to quit my job. I could definitely crank it up, but as I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket, I'm now concentrating on branching out into other IM techniques to generate different revenue streams.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kieron
    I'm really not sure why people are of the opinion that you cannot sell to offline business. I have been doing this for the past 5 years with considerable success and just don't see where the problem is? I will admit however, I have never needed to once walk in to a business owner and ask for business. I have generated most of my business by providing internet marketing seminars and thankfully generated back end sales that way.

    I would also make mention that not only have I managed this in my own country Ireland but also in Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and other such countries where I do not speak the language. So I really do wonder if I can sell internet marketing seminars, workshops as well as all the related services for internet marketing then why oh why can an experienced business consultant just go out and get business in what ever shape pr form it comes in.
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    • Profile picture of the author grayambition
      Originally Posted by Kieron View Post

      I'm really not sure why people are of the opinion that you cannot sell to offline business. I have been doing this for the past 5 years with considerable success and just don't see where the problem is? I will admit however, I have never needed to once walk in to a business owner and ask for business. I have generated most of my business by providing internet marketing seminars and thankfully generated back end sales that way.
      Kieron, I don't think anyone has said that you "cannot sell to offline business" - the point being made is simply that there's more to it than some of the "offline gurus" would have you believe, and business owners are not, for the most part, naive and ripe for the plucking.

      In fact, a few of them have even heard of the internet by now.

      I have a small offline business, and, like every other businessperson with a semblance of an online presence, I'm bombarded with emails, contacts through my web form, and phone calls from SEO "pushers."

      It may have been true 5 or 10 years ago that you could snap up a lucrative ongoing SEO contract by sending an email like the following (this is just the most recent of the 10 or so I've received this week alone, not to mention the phone calls):

      "If your potential clients are searching online will they find you on the first page or will they purchase from your competitors? I can get you first page rankings so you don't lose business. In these tough times you need every advantage you can get and it's very affordable. Let me show you how ... simply reply to this email and I'll do the rest."

      Uh huh. Right. Guess where that went?

      That's NOT to say offline businesses don't need SEO help, or that there's no market for ongoing SEO services.

      Rather, as Quentin (I think it was Quentin) said, if you want to snag SEO deals with offline businesses, you have to build trust, especially if you're not local. Building trust and relationships can take time. You'll have to actually work with the businesses, do some handholding, set expectations, all that service-related stuff that a lot of IMers don't want any part of.

      It's just totally weird to me that "offline" has become the current buzzword in IM.

      If you want to take a look at an approach that I think can actually work, check out the WSO that Happy Warrior released back in April. It's based on setting up a real business rather than bombing your way into inboxes, and he has a great technique for approaching businesses. Note: I'm not pimping this, I'm not an affiliate.

      Disclaimer: I haven't looked at most of the offline WSOs, and I'm not disparaging any of them. I don't know what they advocate, and I'm not saying that any of them provide the idiotic template messages I receive on a daily basis. They may all be the bee's knees.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jagged
    It's getting harder to get into the minds of business owners when they are constantly bomarded with phone calls & emails full of promises & guarantees of page 1 listings in Google from those overseas companies who charge pennies on the dollar.....then we walk in & quote them $1000...
    Or the relentless parade of TV commercials from Intuit or Vistaprint offering business websites for $5.95 a month...then we walk in & offer them $2500...
    Or the radio ads from constant contact with their $18 pr month service....then we say we can do that for $500 set-up & Only $250 pr month...

    I spend much of my time having to "re-educate" local business owners...showing them actual "small print" final costs of these website maker programs & other down falls like limited SEO & lack of control of their websites or the benefits of having someone who understands the local business climate & local customer base, etc.....it's a never ending battle...

    ~Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      kleron -

      An important point you make:

      I managed this
      You have a business model (seminars) and I'll bet you control your business all the way through the process.

      I don't work with offline customers but I'd think the problems you would need to solve up front are handling expectations and setting guidelines for contact updates.

      If your client knows you will call him every Thursday morning with an update, he doesn't need to bug you daily. If you only promise what you know you can deliver it helps manage expectations. If you then over deliver, you're golden and get referrals.

      I think too many marketers read "how to do it" and jump in to get quick checks without establishing a balance for the business. Just my thoughts...

      kay
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      • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
        I remember the sales pitch for the Fireman Mike product.

        In a nutshell:

        "Failed at internet marketing? Don't worry. Our system will show you how to make money from offline innocents."

        Says it all really.

        Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author VegasGreg
    If you have the desire, the skills and the ability to get results you should be good to go.

    If you are just trying to make a sale and grab a check from a business with no clue what to do when you get there, you are in for a heap of trouble.

    If you have a plan and a clue, then you have the power to make it happen.
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    Greg Schueler - Wordpress Fanatic... Living The Offline Marketing Dream...

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  • Profile picture of the author RandyRandola
    After building a number of bricks and mortar businesses, and now using my marketing and business experience to help others with their businesses, there is nothing new under the sun.

    You prospect, show value, build trust, close sale, over deliver, under promise, educate and communicate, repeat. Have their best interest at heart.

    It's neither hard nor easy, it takes time and effort. As I tell my clients, be persistent and consistent.
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