I would really like to build (and pitch) a local online business directory to a local advertiser magazine that produces a free, bi-weekly rag in my small town of 35,000. I bought a pretty cool plug-in (DirectoryPress) that makes the process very easy...and I especially like that local businesses can log into the platform to create their own basic listing themselves. (It's just a Wordpress post.) My thought is that I would develop out the interface, and then offer the platform to the local print advertiser for free, and I would make my money on a variety of upsells for interested customers, such as building out ads for into a simple website, additional image inclusion, list management, etc.
The types of businesses that currently advertise in this local advertiser paper are really small, local businesses (John's Lawncare, Phil's Roofing and Siding, Barnie's Pool Service, etc.)
My question is, with all the platforms in which to advertise for free (Facebook, CraigsList, Google Local - 7 box, etc.), is there a compelling sales pitch as to why they should list for free in <My Town's> Business Directory.com... when there are other, more well-known platforms on which to get their message across?
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.