I thought I'd share one of the best ways I found to find warm prospects and land offline clients for my own Webdesign / SEO business.
I'm going to share exactly what I did. I usually led with Google Places optimization, so you'll have to tweak my email / video scripts to best suit your business.
Here's exactly what I did:
1) I chose a niche - I chose plumbers and electricians, but just about any niche with money will do.
2) I created a website JUST for online marketing for plumbers. This website talked about Google Places, SEO and Web Design.
3) I chose a city - ie: San Antonio, and then I visited the chamber of commerce website and Better Business Bureau listings as well as Google Places listings (not page one, of course) to gather website addresses and email addresses.
4) I used Jing to record a 5-minute video to explain the top Google Places listings and website listings for that city. Here's what I covered:
Google Places is the most important place to be found
Which listings looked good (good review count, full information, etc.)
Which listings looked bad (poor reviews or no reviews, unclaimed listing, etc.)
Keep in mind I only did videos for cities where there was little or no reviews on the first page, so I finished each video with the message that there was a lot of opportunity for another plumber to be on the first page and do much better than the other guys if only they were to get a handful of reviews and get their star ratings to show up. I stressed that this would be easy and then I explained that these stars grabbed the eye immediately and get instant credibility and everyone liked doing business with a reputable service provider.
I then finished by saying that I only worked with one plumber per city and to contact me if they had any questions.
5) I uploaded this video to YouTube and set the video to "unlisted." I also put a personal note below the video with my contact info. The personal note was something like this:
"Hello and welcome,
I invited you and several other plumbers in the San Antonio area to view my analysis of the top plumbers in the city.
To avoid any conflict of interest, I will only work with one of you.
I welcome any and all questions.
Contact me at ..."
6) I then looked at each website I had gathered and took a good look at their sites and Google Places pages. I also went to this site: List Your Business on Google Maps, Bing Maps & other major local search engines | GetListed.org to get a free (although basic) look at their online presence.
7) I took the time to compose a personalized and specific message to each of them and sent them an email with a link to the video as well as a screenshot of their Get Listed results. If the results from Get Listed were good, I said that they're doing well and shouldn't have much trouble beating their competition. If the results were poor, I said it would be easy to get them up to speed.
Out of 10-15 emails, I usually got 1 or 2 inquiries. Not all were sales, but after trying a few cities, I would usually land 1 or 2 clients.
I generally charged $250 for Google Places set up + some local citation creation, and if they wanted to do some monthly SEO as well, I normally charged $400-$500 per month for 3 months and then split that cost in 1/2 for maintenance afterward. I found clients much more receptive when they knew I wouldn't be charging the same after they were already on the first page.
If you're dealing with a niche where the business owner has off hours where they will not answer the phone, I would also leave a voicemail for them letting them know that I sent them an email with an "invitation" to view the video analysis of their competitors (and I would name them). With YouTube you can see the view count, too, so it's easy to evaluate how effective your phones calls / emails are.
If you have any questions, etc. please post them below and I will do my best to help.