Directory Site Profits 102- The Continuation- Back To The Basics- and THEN Some!

203 replies
Reminder of The Basics...

Owning a directory site business is simply this:

Instead of creating full blown sites for each client and having them pay you monthly, all hosted on different unique domains..., you create ONE single site and rather sell "directory listings" out of it to local business owners instead.


In the case of findlaw dot com (for example) they sell one page listings to attorneys for over $1,000 per month.


My own attorney has a findlaw page and gets more leads from that then he does from his website.

The idea is to house 10- 100- 1000 clients all on the same site, each paying you a monthly fee.


This can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year with minimal consistent effort.

You can even give the inital month for free if you want to make it easy on yourself to warm up...but then you will just have to go back and get billing later...why not just get it now and save yourself a step and make an extra 100 bucks?

Thats my take!

By the way...

It doesnt have to be a small business directory- Once I even created a directory for "MODELS" and charged them a monthly fee to have a page in it...sending out links to the site every month to various modeling agents for them to browse.

I had HUNDREDS of models on the site all paying monthly...

You can make a directory of just about anything... The ideas are really endless and many of them untapped.

Have you ever thought of anything like "plastic Mold Injection companies".



LOL...


Think out of the box a bit.

That can solve alot of problems right out of the gate, and always does doesnt it?

For example:

Im hearing alot of concern about SEO, and if thats the case for you here's a simple solution:

Pick a better niche!

ONE client can be worth a half million dollars to a small 3 man plastic mold injection operation, and the SEO people in that industry arent mostly pro marketers.

Also, you wont need a ton of traffic... You could be on the second page and still profit for your customers...

Generating 3-5 leads per year for a customer like that could be worth 1000 times what they pay you! Let alone 100 times.

Do you know there are a ton of searches every month for plastic mold injection companies?


They are just one example of the obscure industries right in front of most of us that we arent thinking about...

People are wasting their time worry about being SEO experts, when the smart thing to do is just pick SEO friendly niches, and niches where you can profit your customer with little traffic.


Here's why Im bringing this up...You wanna talk competitive SEO?

Great. "I" wanna talk about finding a site worthy niche!

You get that right, and the seo can be done by a two year old!

Most of us focus on Small business directories like "Chicago Diners" ... "The Obvious".

Nothin' wrong with that.


Even in more competitive niches you can still compete in the serps with a little work...

But... THIS IS BIGGER THAN THAT!


My father in law used to own a high pressure industrial steam leak repair company...and made $25k on a SMALL job....


You can REALLY really, profit for some types of customers, and that only gives you a better rep!

Picking a good niche is more marketing "smart" than banging your head in a hard one.

The point Im making here is that...to get you thinking in some different directions....

The directory site model can apply to other things than just diners and small businesses that cater to end consumers.

In short (Again) its just ONE site, that houses hundreds of paying clients ideally, no matter what niche. It doesnt have to be an OBVIOUS one.

I hope this explains more, and offers some new insight!

Understanding the appeal of The Directory Site Business Model is really a no brainer in alot of senses.

Now obviously in coming writings, which some are anticipating, ... we will be going into alot more diverse areas or else all would have given everything in the thread posts, and there would be nothing more to know...

However these posts ALONE are enough to get a person started with NOTHING, and to start a new thread I felt a reminder of the basics were necessary!

These are the things seasoned Warriors do. We give without holding back, and you could start a business just as quickly from our free posts as any paid ones.

The abundance mindset....its a teaching all its own.

Maybe I'll save that one for the mind warriors!

I am working pretty hard today and wont be in all day, but this is a good start to get it rolling, will be back first chance to respond to any thoughts.

Hard SEO is for people in tough markets.

If you dont want that to be your main concern, which is not an impossible one in the first place.... then pick a good market instead!

Does this make sense?



#102 #back #basics #continuation #directory #sites
  • Profile picture of the author maricelu
    Work a bit on formatting the text, John.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Thanks, I usually post right from the forum editor and not from word. Better?
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  • Profile picture of the author maricelu
    John, what you say about having less struggle with a directory site, on the other side it scares me. Imagine Google deleting the directory? They start to do this already by banning for unnatural links, you never know what they have in mind for the future.

    *Yes, now it's better.
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    • Profile picture of the author keepitsimple
      Great start for the new round on directory sites John

      $50, $100 or even more is not much for any company offering higher cost services or products. I just went through the yellow pages (albeit a very small edition this year) and have seen so many local business listings all of whom have a high enough product/service cost to warrant a directory listing as well as anything else they are doing.
      double glazing
      loft conversions (I already have a regional based domain on these which I am going to re-purpose to a directory)
      Steel fabricators
      Stairlift companies
      Scaffolding suppliers and erectors
      Roofers

      maricelu, I wouldn't worry too much about Google's dances; they are constantly changing their likes anyway. They, G, want to provide valuable info to their searchers. A well set up directory site will do just that.
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  • Profile picture of the author MonteMichaels
    Originally Posted by maricelu

    John, what you say about having less struggle with a directory site, on the other side it scares me. Imagine Google deleting the directory? They start to do this already by banning for unnatural links, you never know what they have in mind for the future.

    *Yes, now it's better.
    You are thinking to hard. As it is most of the warriors here have no problem putting their business fate in Google's hands by only offering seo or other related services. Those can be, and have been taken down more and more with each Google update.

    I really do not see Google getting down to the niche level directories, which is what John is talking about here. They are looking more at the big picture, not just the little plastic mold sites, or any other niche for that matter.


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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

    Reminder of The Basics...

    ...Hard SEO is for people in tough markets.

    If you dont want that to be your main concern, which is not an impossible one in the first place.... then pick a good market instead!

    Does this make sense?
    ....

    My answer: Yes.

    John, a couple of years ago I invested time and money into trying to get a Directory Site off the ground. My motive was to help 'little guy' businesses and I expected to see a nice monthly revenue stream from it as well.

    Best laid plans go awry, and this did too.

    Hard to get ranked and very small clients were interested and some bought into it, but I never could make it profitable. At least in my experience, unless I charged almost 'peanuts', it was not worth continuing.

    However, you may be focused on a better way.

    I'd agree, if the niche isn't filled with 'Big Guy' directories (YelP, Dex), SEO will not be so tough...

    and if the clients listed all stood to gain large dollar transactions with even a few referrals, that would change the picture. I never tried anything like that.

    The thing I always liked about the "Directory Concept" was the ongoing revenue stream, vs. 'hunt and peck' for new clients all the time.
    _____
    Bruce
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Bruce NewMedia View Post

      My answer: Yes.

      John, a couple of years ago I invested time and money into trying to get a Directory Site off the ground. My motive was to help 'little guy' businesses and I expected to see a nice monthly revenue stream from it as well.

      Best laid plans go awry, and this did too.

      Hard to get ranked and very small clients were interested and some bought into it, but I never could make it profitable. At least in my experience, unless I charged almost 'peanuts', it was not worth continuing.

      However, you may be focused on a better way.

      I'd agree, if the niche isn't filled with 'Big Guy' directories (YelP, Dex), SEO will not be so tough...

      and if the clients listed all stood to gain large dollar transactions with even a few referrals, that would change the picture. I never tried anything like that.

      The thing I always liked about the "Directory Concept" was the ongoing revenue stream, vs. 'hunt and peck' for new clients all the time.
      _____
      Bruce
      Could be you just needed a better pitch too Bruce, and YOU KNOW i respect your opinions, however having done this before, I know that small pitch tweaks can make all the difference.

      It has been said that the proper turn of a phrase is what makes a product do a million dollars, even more than the product itself.

      I say this because even in competitive markets such as Attorneys , big sites are creating hundreds of customers daily and charging $1,000 per month for it.

      On another note, if the industries you are targeting are over taken by YP .... "How is YP closing them" and how is it that the other big directories are also competing in the same town.

      Must be what they are saying on the phone...

      Still, yes, we agree that picking the right niche can make all the difference in the ease of your pitch, some markets are harder than others, but whether we are the ones in the competition or not, multiple directory sites are still competing daily in those towns and getting sales.

      Another thing, and we covered this in the other thread, is that you can try different names of towns in front of your keywords and find places that arent that heavy on optimization...where you can easily compete.

      I have never had a hard time selling directory listings, but then I also usually have at least a small team of telemarketers, so the energy is there for selling, and that can have alot to do with it too...

      It takes practice to generate that kind of energy by yourself at home, but looking back at our projections in the first thread, its more worthwhile than learning to generate it for other types of sales.
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    • Profile picture of the author Charles Harper
      Originally Posted by Bruce NewMedia View Post

      My answer: Yes.

      John, a couple of years ago I invested time and money into trying to get a Directory Site off the ground. My motive was to help 'little guy' businesses and I expected to see a nice monthly revenue stream from it as well.

      Best laid plans go awry, and this did too.

      Hard to get ranked and very small clients were interested and some bought into it, but I never could make it profitable. At least in my experience, unless I charged almost 'peanuts', it was not worth continuing.

      However, you may be focused on a better way.

      I'd agree, if the niche isn't filled with 'Big Guy' directories (YelP, Dex), SEO will not be so tough...

      and if the clients listed all stood to gain large dollar transactions with even a few referrals, that would change the picture. I never tried anything like that.

      The thing I always liked about the "Directory Concept" was the ongoing revenue stream, vs. 'hunt and peck' for new clients all the time.
      _____
      Bruce
      I feel you Bruce.

      One way to do this IMHO, is to rank videos linking to your directory.

      So Rank an Chicago Italian Restaurants Video while you get your directory ranked.

      CT
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    maricelu,

    You know I got love for ya.

    This is my stock answer to that question, not to belittle your concern...:

    "I'll have to check my Mayan calender and get back to you on that one"
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Richards
    Great post John. I'm looking forward to your next "installment".

    The idea of spending more time choosing the perfect niche is very timely. With so many other marketers entering the offline arena, it's time to think outside the box, that's for sure.

    Niches with high ticket items, low competition (and therefore easier seo) is a good start.

    I'd like to hear more about your favorite Directory Themes (WP of course - what else would be build this beast on?!) and then some of the methods you use to get the word out re: these Directories to the businesses that need to be in them.

    Also, this is definitely not just a "local" thing, is it? Your Model example would have models from all over the country (or even the world) though now that I have written that I suppose it would have to be local for them to get work (pic, video, etc) but there must be tons of niches that could go national/world.

    My thought re: niche selection is that the narrower you go, the better. Specialists of any sort will ultimately be able to charge more for services, and therefore be apt to pay more to be included in the Directory. Fun stuff.

    I'll be subscribing to this thread for sure.

    Thanks again!

    Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author MonteMichaels
    [quote=John Durham)
    Must be what they are saying on the phone...
    [/quote]

    My bet is that it has more to do with YP and the other big dogs staying on the phone than anything their pitch says. Having hundreds of sales people is going to make a difference. Heck just having one or two that never hang the phone up will make a big difference in how many sales are brought in.


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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    @ Rob

    As far as word press Rob, Im no design expert, what I teach is about the site layout and the sales strategy. Although, for the reports etc... I have a guy from here in the offline forum writing a report for working with scripts... to help the guys who work with them.

    In my case, I design the layouts and hand it to a designer, in fact David Stewart is working on one at this very moment that I just sent the layout for yesterday... I dont know what theme he is going to use and dont care... My customers will not even look at the site until after they are sold on the phone in 90% of the cases.

    In any event, I know he will pick a nice theme those details are "fat" to me, the biggie is the sales system. People have less trouble around here finding ways to design sites than they do finding ways to make sales... Isnt that always the case?

    Busy work...sheeesh! (JK)

    As long as the site works its fine for my purposes. As long as it can produce a lead, its fine for my customer's.

    If I can sell listings from it, it will be beautiful to me! lol

    I'll tell you my own niche that Im going to try it with "Hospital Medical Equipment Wholesalers". Not because of any research Ive done, although there are some good exact match domain names available for sure... but more because I know guys that work in the field, and they will do just about ANYTHING to increase their chances of making sales.

    Also their tickets are bigger so there is better ROI potential should the sight only produce a handful of leads here and there.

    But, in answer to your question I dont personally know the first thing about Word Press, and thats my bad.... It seems easy enough to learn.

    With all of that being said...

    I stand by this... you could build one with drag and drop if you wanted.

    My first modeling directory started that way, then after about my first 50 customers, I had a guy redesign it later, just for design purposes, not for functionality, and we sold listings out the ying yang (lol his name was Bo Yang actually).

    I forget which program I was using at the time I started it, maybe an earlier version of intuit.

    Very basic.

    This may not apply to what you are saying but...

    People get more complicated than they really need to... honestly I dont like anything that distracts from the simple function that a directory site performs.

    Ialso learned early on from Bowers that the only thing bells and whistles do is keep people from going to the listings and ringing up the customers. they can hold visitors up on their way to becoming a lead for your client, in other words. An extra option here or there, and suddenly the vistors are getting lost on the way home to your clients form...know whut Im sayin?

    I think people get lost in OPTIONS forever sometimes, and suffer from analysis paralysis, so thats how I have always done better (on the phone for example) by cutting away the fat and just getting to the clear point wherever possible.

    Another thing people do is get so invested in a plan that they arent flexible, which (flexibility) is ALWAYS necessary after you start the sales process in one way or another, whether its tweaking your offer, your pitch or your entire niche... and so because it didnt work with the system they laid out, they say it didnt work... the problem is that they invested too much energy into their system before they got it "working" and then were too invested to be flexible.

    Its best to travel light, go with simple, and keep yourself flexible for whatever you find when you get on the phone. Which cant even be determined before a few hundred calls are made.

    So 300 bad calls isnt a failure, its a distinction making juncture.

    Again, I like to cut away the fat, and be as lean and mean and results driven as possible.

    For instance, you arent gonna get the whiskers and cheese thing here... or false intentions, if I see a thread getting hot, Im not going to mess around getting to the point I will just tell you "Hey, this thread is hot. Im doing a wso on it...lol"

    I think that helps me sell better, because I dont waste my time or anyone elses, and I dont go the long way around trying to be sneaky and insult your intelligence.

    Getting to the point is kind of a way of life in general, cutting the fat.

    What I see in alot of these "looming" design ideas... is alot of fat that is going to keep people from getting to the point.

    A: Build a site that is about something, ie; local travel.
    B: Rank It.
    C: Give it a "search listings" tab
    D: Load it with 3 line listings for about 20-30 businesses
    E: Start selling one page listings and growing your site and customer base.

    Dont do anything else till you have 100 listings sold.

    Dont think about savvier designs or ANYTHING, until you are selling listings like clock work... Thats the meat and potatoes.

    Dont look back till you have a hundred customers, and PREPARE yourself, that the first few hundred calls arent gonna make it happen... lol.

    It may take three hundred just to get your pitch out consistently, but if a million dollars is worth it to you, you will stay on the phone for two weeks until you can do it like yesterday's news and close deals while you are watching TV!

    Get your site up basic, so you can hurry up and get into sales.

    Everything else is gravy and isnt worth the energy till your system is working.

    My biggest fear in sharing this is that people will get so wrapped up in things Im not even talking about...that they will lose the whole concentrated power of what could happen if they just went basic, straight forward...no frills... and just created a site that ranked and started selling listings.

    Alot of times in Phone rooms they feel like training really just keeps people from getting on the phone and banging out their scripts... The basic principles you need to succeed on the phone come more quickly taking a basic script and banging it out till you are good than they come from all kinds of intricate training that you wont understand anyway till you are 500 calls in. Some things you wont understand until you have closed your first deal even...

    I think the design of these sites in peoples minds could work much the same way... No need to worry about alot of bells and whistles. Really.

    The biggest temptation in this whole model is going to be the temptation to do a bunch of stuff that you dont really have to do, which takes energy away from banging out the sales.

    As far as National or Local?

    If you have a decent sales team you can sell either...the reason being is that a sales team hums at a certain level of energy.... if you can generate that energy by yourself you can sell 3-5 listings a day just like I did on the phone when I started working for bower... The key is your sales work rhythm.

    Not you, I know you arent thinking this way...

    But alot of people will try to intellectualize certain things Im saying... and they wont really get it until they are in the sales action.

    Then they are going to DOUBT it , till they get the hang of it and make a sale... because naturally no matter what you sell thats going to come in.

    However,

    If you are in a good rythem, it wont matter that national sites are harder, or that local sites are easier... It will all work the same for you.

    As far as SEO on a national site... You would be hard pressed to have 1000 page site in ANY niche, with any amount of keyword rich content on the pages and basic onsite optimization... and not get some search engine love even with minimal SEO and thats what we are striving for!

    Im not going this deep into the details here because most of you will find out soon enough, but another reason for picking industrial or manufacturing type niches is because Alibaba, and 50 other international trade sites all get really good google love... and most of them will allow you to list 50 products... or product "description" pages, which can be used as powerful backlinks...

    When you choose a niche thats a bit obscure that means the places where you might back link from are also more diverse... So thats another bonus.

    For instance, again, Alibaba back links have alot of power and you can optimize entire pages of product descriptions... in this case your product might be...oh I dont know.... Plastic injection molding?

    Cool huh.

    There are alot of good ideas and ways to promote if you think outside of the box.

    Again, Bowers was just the first of my directory site experiences... so I can tell you alot of diverse angles on them.

    Originally Posted by MonteMichaels View Post

    My bet is that it has more to do with YP and the other big dogs staying on the phone than anything their pitch says.
    I can tell you without a doubt that your bet is a sure thing! I would put $1,000 on that bet.

    Ps. I said above "300 bad calls isnt failure, its a dinstinction making juncture".

    Most new first day telemarketers in a call center make that many calls before their first break...so yeah, I agree. Until us professionals can reach the level in a week, that a telemarketer does before they even go to first break, we may have trouble seeing how they do it.

    Different perspective altogether after you have momentum.

    Here's the blessing in that "If a half stoned, burnt out telemarketer who just smoked a joint before he walked in, can make 2 -3 sales a day and 300 calls before their first break, 5 days a week, then certainly an upwardly mobile sober guy like me can at least do twice as good"!

    Guys, I just typed this post in the blink of an eye, faster than some can write a report, and theres only one reason; its because I know this stuff 100 times over, it doesnt require alot of deep thought. Trust me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Richards
    Another awesome post John, thanks!

    I agree wholeheartedly with your take on the design of the Directory - it doesn't matter. Keep it simple, functional and easy for prospects to become leads and businesses will buy in.

    I'm on top of things with design and seo, I LOVE talking with business owners and helping their businesses grow. I've been consulting for several years and have always thought about starting a directory, but never much beyond that.

    I LOVE the model.

    Step 1 for me is to identify that high ticket, low competition, specialist niche and then run with the ball.

    Any specific tips or direction to send me to find that niche?

    I'm all ears!

    Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Rob, look through the "thomas registry" online, you will see alot of out of the box niches we dont normally think of... whew. I think I wore myself out on that last post. lol

    Believe it or not, some of the best projects I have ever done were ones that I just went with my gut, without alot of research... but then people lose millions that way too so Im not giving out that advice, just sayin it has worked that way for me alot.

    Certainly "telemarketing" wouldnt have seemed like a good IM niche from a research perspective , but WAS.

    There was a big pocket in the niche with offliners that would have been hard to identify through normal research, but it was something "i" wanted to do....turns out I was right and I "could" make a niche out of it.

    Some paths are better carved by yourself.

    Another example would be selling truckloads of wallpaper overseas on Alibaba....the research would say it was the suckiest market on earth, ESPECIALLY if you researched Alibaba itself... but I happened to get into it and found a hole accidentally.

    Alot of things that seem correct in theory are different when you start working them. Alot of it just depends on how much you want to do something.

    I would find some things that met your 3 criteria, and just go with the one that turned me on the most.
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  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
    Aha Directory Site Profits 102 is here. Good stuff John.

    I'm going to stop looking for the perfect directory script now and start working on a site instead
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

      Aha Directory Site Profits 102 is here. Good stuff John.

      I'm going to stop looking for the perfect directory script now and start working on a site instead
      You will be surprised what happens. But we have support coming for those who need expertise in that Area Aussie. You know I have been seeking someone to support our readers in that way.

      To give myself props.... I could just write some rehash on the subject because the opportunity is here .... but thats what posers do not Warriors.

      A Warrior would find an expert on the subject who really knew how to help people, and use his platform to help THEM get their message out.

      I would never talk about something I dont know.


      I "DO" know though, that your above strategy is the BOMB! Simple as it is.

      It will get you in the money then you can BUY edirectory and all its employees! lol


      Ps. If I started writing about stuff I didnt know, then I would lose my Warrior pride, and thats worth more than money.

      If anyone thinks Warrior pride is worthless... or naive.... Its what MADE me, both on and in offline sales. In fact reading the Warrior forum is what took me from ignorant to running Bowers call center in to 20k sales, and every offline company since.

      I was an offline marketer before I even know what it was...the Warrior forum taught me how special it was to be such a part of the moving forward of the new frontier....20,000 small businesses across America worth of moving forward!

      I felt I knew something that even Bowers didnt know...and he would tell people "John is part of a secret marketing forum" (half winking) ... but when I would invite him he would just laugh at me and say "You go on with yourself".

      Who is laughing now Bowers? HA HA HA! You are a multi millionaire so hows that!?!

      Er .....uh.... lemme think about that one again .
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      • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
        John, I'd like to ask for some of your advice.

        There are ~20K people in my small town (Aus). The post office has 370 businesses in the area that they will send off my promotional mail to.

        I could try and find the 370 businesses online and call them (someone I am no expert at but I could certainly do) but I doubt I would find any where nea 370. A lot of them I assume are business who have little or no online identity.

        Not to mention, that's a lot of work to dig up 370 businesses strictly in this town.

        So, I am really thinking of going ahead and mailing out these 370 businesses with an offer to join a directory. The directory is very, very local and is only going to be listing the businesses in the town. Not any businesses from outside towns at all.

        Additionally, I am going to be mailing out every home in the town (some 20K residents, approx. 8K homes) with a flyer/postcard type advert of the directory once businesses have signed up (assuming I sign up enough).

        So, what I am asking is, John, how would you 'word' this type of offer? I am going to be making it all as fluid as possible, but my initial promo mail going to 370 businesses needs to grab their attention. I can't leave it up to them 'opening the mail' so I am thinking a postcard/exposed type offer so they see it without opening.

        But what about the content, what's something I should put on there? Should I put the price (will be pretty cheap, $10-$15/month??) or do I drive the traffic to my local site where they 'read more'. Do I get them to call me and close them right on the phone with their CC there and then?

        I have NO idea if this will work, but I am prepared to try. If my numbers add up, this business could scale easily and could easily be a $1M+ a year business. Technically, it could be much much much more than that. But I am talking a one or two-man team could turn it into 1M+ per year. I am no sales guy, which I why I have come to you to see what you think.

        Plus no doubt it will help a lot more people, since this is in the public domain.

        I also love how you talk about other non-popular niches and going after them. If you make a niche focused directory, that's a huge selling point. It's no yellowpages, it's niche focused. Targeted traffic, targeted leads = translate to better conversions, more sales, more money.

        I also do not think we should be doing any 'SEO', especially with the recent Google update, heaps of sites going up and down, up and down. It's all too unreliable, and ideally I want to avoid Google in its entirety if possible.

        By building a directory with 50-100+++ pages in a relatively local town, the authority will be there and without any links you should get local traffic.

        I know first hand because I once started a crappy restaurant directory and had an out sourcer add like 30-50 businesses from Google maps onto my directory and I was getting around 50 visits per month or thereabouts just from long tails... so the idea will work, especially with a good amount of businesses listed.
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  • Profile picture of the author bhuff85
    From the research I conducted months ago, I found that too many directory sites (at least some of the more local ones that I've seen) are filled with too much noise. They are very "busy" and have a lot going on.

    I've currently been working on a directory site project over the last few months an I'm sooooo close to getting it all wrapped up, except I'm going about mine a little differently. With the release date coming up June 1st, the month of May is going to be extremely busy.

    Rather than worry about a script, I built my directory solely using CSS and HTML. While the coding isn't "cutting edge", I prefer to keep things simple. I also incorporated a unique (and much easier) way to use my directory, along with pages that are easy to read. Simple, easy and effective - just how it should be.

    Just like John mentioned above, anyone looking to pursue directory-style websites need to STOP worrying about scripts, layouts, intricate and "cutting edge" design and just put something together to get the ball rolling. You will be surprised at what you can come up with once you get moving.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by bhuff85 View Post

      From the research I conducted months ago, I found that too many directory sites (at least some of the more local ones that I've seen) are filled with too much noise. They are very "busy" and have a lot going on.

      I've currently been working on a directory site project over the last few months an I'm sooooo close to getting it all wrapped up, except I'm going about mine a little differently. With the release date coming up June 1st, the month of May is going to be extremely busy.

      Rather than worry about a script, I built my directory solely using CSS and HTML. While the coding isn't "cutting edge", I prefer to keep things simple. I also incorporated a unique (and much easier) way to use my directory, along with pages that are easy to read. Simple, easy and effective - just how it should be.

      Just like John mentioned above, anyone looking to pursue directory-style websites need to STOP worrying about scripts, layouts, intricate and "cutting edge" design and just put something together to get the ball rolling. You will be surprised at what you can come up with once you get moving.
      "Noise" keeps people from hearing your clients call to action! Theres a good rule of thumb...they shouldn't have to look at three things before their eyes fall on a listing. You dont want them reading mile long articles and tons of content, clicking everything but listings and contact forms lol.

      Thanks for the confirmation.
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      • Profile picture of the author bhuff85
        Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

        "Noise" keeps people from hearing your clients call to action! Theres a good rule of thumb...they shouldn't have to look at three things before their eyes fall on a listing. You dont want them reading mile long articles and tons of content, clicking everything but listings and contact forms lol.

        Thanks for the confirmation.
        Exactly! I can't believe how many "big dog" directories are cluttered and look HORRIBLE. It annoyed me each time I landed on a directory like this when doing a Google search for something local, so that's how the initial idea came into play.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aussieguy
      Originally Posted by bhuff85 View Post

      From the research I conducted months ago, I found that too many directory sites (at least some of the more local ones that I've seen) are filled with too much noise. They are very "busy" and have a lot going on.
      Totally agree. And, not just "small" sites either. Some have been build without any design sense whatsoever, and I'm no designer! It's like the user experience is completely forgotten!
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      • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
        Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post

        Totally agree. And, not just "small" sites either. Some have been build without any design sense whatsoever, and I'm no designer! It's like the user experience is completely forgotten!
        I can definitely name a few of those, hey!

        That's one reason why I thought I should try and make a directory. I ended up getting a custom coded one done, looks beautiful but only around 85% done -- but for now going with Wordpress instead. A lot cheaper buy in, a lot easier to shuffle around.

        But I know what you mean. That's the reason I went to build my own directory, because the user experience on a lot of them is terrible. They're all over the place!
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Krysziek,

    I will try to come hit this tomorrow when I have a little time, finishing up the bower report this late night... One of the things Im running into lately is that writing reports is as easy as just spewing your natural knowledge, but things like posting scripts and email templates is actually alot harder and more time consuming than writing reports, because you have to consider all the individual variables and built them specifically around that individuals situations.

    Not to vent, but I have put more work into writing two phone scripts this week than I have the enitre bower report, they almost arent worth it to write for less than 1k to be honest.

    Anyway, I will come back and try to answer this, or else help you with it on the follow up thread.

    I love helping people like yourself, so much that I put my all into it which can bite me in the rear at times and I end up spending more time here than I plan, but dont want to make you feel bad for asking. Im honored that you did.

    Again, will probably cover stuff this detailed in the follow up support thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
    Hi John,

    Understood that you are busy, no problems!! And you don't have too put too much effort into a response for me, even just some pointers / ideas that *you* would focus on if you were in my situation. The rest I am sure I can try and blend in - but someone like yourself knows better than I do in regards to 'which' points I should focus on in the promo.

    IE - really focusing on 'getting in front of 20,000 local residents' is something you might consider to be the most important, etc.

    Good luck with your current work, hope you wrap it up in good time!

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author rugman
    Damn JD! I take a couple of days off from reading the WF and look what happens! Great thread. I love the directory site model but haven't been able to "sort it all out" in my head - this should help.
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    • Profile picture of the author beb19
      These directory threads are great. So much good info.

      I do have one question, for John or anyone who has done this before. I have a sort-of directory site that I set up a little while ago and haven't done much with lately. I was thinking about hiring a telemarketer to do work a few days a week to test the niche and see what kind of business they can scrape up from listings.

      As far as scripts go - I was thinking about having the telemarketer call to verify the business address and contact info, and then once that is done, offer a premium listing where they get a one page website with pictures, description, contact form, etc; as well as be listed at the top of their category. -- I have to hammer out the details, but will this sort of pitch work OK?
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  • Profile picture of the author cuttingedge
    Hey John,

    Really like your 2 threads on directories.

    I believe you stated you would sell display ads on your directory. I'd be the first business to take one. Why, I'm new and want to start out with your directory first, and dominate it.

    How would I dominate it, assuming I have the money to advertise on John's directory.

    Put a "Whats in it for them", rather than a listing of services and products sold which is the way all businesses advertise.

    Instead of: We make service calls try.

    Try something like this instead: Are you stuck at the office or home and can't get away. We save you time and expense of bringing your car to us by doing oil changes and small repairs at your (business site or home).

    Some of you are going to say it will not work. Listing products and services has always brought calls to our business and you've grown leaps and bounds because of your advertising. Besides, we're on the first page of google and if you don't know it, thats where everyone looks so this doesn't help.

    Ok, you're on the first page of google and you are receiving calls. I bet most of those calls ask you the price for the services their seeking. Then they go to the next competitor and the next, and so on until they just say ok, when can you be here.

    Do yourself a favor and stop them in their tracks by giving them a reason to call you instead of your competitor.

    Same with directories, if your building them, give the business a reason to put their business in.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    I think what you are describing is an assumptive lead in. I wont write a whole pitch but it may start something like:

    Hey Bob this is ________ calling with ______ Hope you are doing well today.

    (pause slightly, not long enough to be awkward)

    Great.

    Briefly Bob, I was calling today because we are a local online__________ directory site, and currently we are in the process of putting up free listings of all the local _________businesses in the area, so our site visitors will have more options to choose from...

    I just wanted to call real quick and make sure I had your address right before we put your listing up, thats going to be_____________ correct?

    Okay great, and what are your hours of operation BOB?

    And Im assuming you are also open on weekends?

    Great.

    BTW Bob, is this the phone number you want posted on your listing?

    (If they say yes you are committing them to "wanting" something- proceed)

    Okay Great thats all I need, BTW Bob, do you folks have a web page up ?

    The reason I asked is because... (Now sell the premium listing).


    Next you pitch the listing, and assume interest without asking for it, and start asking more questions all the way to the close.

    Thats rough idea, but should be a good start. This isnt the pitch Im going to be using, but I have used variations of it alot and it works. basically its an assumptive greeting style, and the pitching style is sort of a questionnaire style.

    Each question designed to sell the prospect through his own inward dialogue, and each answer he gives further commits him emotionally and verbally, until he is ready to close.
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    • Profile picture of the author AussieT
      Hey John you're the man!

      Look forward to seeing the script you are personally going to use

      Tom

      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      I think what you are describing is an assumptive lead in. I wont write a whole pitch but it may start something like:

      Hey Bob this is ________ calling with ______ Hope you are doing well today.

      (pause slightly, not long enough to be awkward)

      Great.

      Briefly Bob, I was calling today because we are a local online__________ directory site, and currently we are in the process of putting up free listings of all the local _________businesses in the area, so our site visitors will have more options to choose from...

      I just wanted to call real quick and make sure I had your address right before we put your listing up, thats going to be_____________ correct?

      Okay great, and what are your hours of operation BOB?

      And Im assuming you are also open on weekends?

      Great.

      BTW Bob, is this the phone number you want posted on your listing?

      (If they say yes you are committing them to "wanting" something- proceed)

      Okay Great thats all I need, BTW Bob, do you folks have a web page up ?

      The reason I asked is because... (Now sell the premium listing).


      Next you pitch the listing, and assume interest without asking for it, and start asking more questions all the way to the close.

      Thats rough idea, but should be a good start. This isnt the pitch Im going to be using, but I have used variations of it alot and it works. basically its an assumptive greeting style, and the pitching style is sort of a questionnaire style.

      Each question designed to sell the prospect through his own inward dialogue, and each answer he gives further commits him emotionally and verbally, until he is ready to close.
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  • Profile picture of the author maricelu
    Hey guys, I am building right now a directory following John's awesome method and I think I will get it done this week. So, I am looking for a partner who will want to do the sales part ( i.e. cold-calling) and we will split the profits 50/50. Please PM anyone who is good at this and is interested in collaborating with me, not just ask what niche I am following

    Marcel
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    • Profile picture of the author MonteMichaels
      Originally Posted by maricelu View Post

      Hey guys, I am building right now a directory following John's awesome method and I think I will get it done this week. So, I am looking for a partner who will want to do the sales part ( i.e. cold-calling) and we will split the profits 50/50. Please PM anyone who is good at this and is interested in collaborating with me, not just ask what niche I am following

      Marcel
      i think you are going to find that the warriors that are good at cold calling and sales are probably going to do both themselves, or are going to require a higher cut.

      No offense, but there are many here that can put together a website, but there are only so many that are good at sales.
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      • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
        Originally Posted by MonteMichaels View Post

        i think you are going to find that the warriors that are good at cold calling and sales are probably going to do both themselves, or are going to require a higher cut.

        No offense, but there are many here that can put together a website, but there are only so many that are good at sales.
        Not to mention that Its going to be hard to find someone good who will trust you to send that money to them month after month.
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        • Profile picture of the author MonteMichaels
          Originally Posted by Eddie Spangler View Post

          Not to mention that Its going to be hard to find someone good who will trust you to send that money to them month after month.
          Right. I have been in telemarketing for seven years, long long before I knew what offline marketing was. Heck I sold insurance for many years after that using mainly the phone.

          Now that I know how to outsource and learn how to do much of this myself there is absolutely no way that I would take just half when I could do it myself, or train a team, and take the entire thing. Not to sound arrogant, but I know that many people here would make more with me calling for them than they would calling for themselves.
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      • Profile picture of the author businessnewbie
        Originally Posted by MonteMichaels View Post

        i think you are going to find that the warriors that are good at cold calling and sales are probably going to do both themselves, or are going to require a higher cut.

        No offense, but there are many here that can put together a website, but there are only so many that are good at sales.
        What would that higher cut be?
        I have a few niche domains that are hitting their 1 & 2 year mark that I never did anything with. If the premium advert price was right and someone here could train a complete noob like me to run one directory listing I would be willing to part with 70% of the money - with a water tight partner contract for the both of us.

        I mean I'm an outta work/laid off/pursuing my life long goal to be a SAHM/W/SLAVE (hahahaha) and I've really got nothing to lose only something to gain, even if just a tiny amount right now and training.

        However, I understand why it wouldn't make ANY sense to partner when you could just do it yourself. But what if you started it, trained me to run it, and then earned a residual? IDK, just thinking. But then again, you don't know me from Eve and I could be anyone right (I just started WF fhs)? And of course, I don't know you.
        So a certain amount of trust would have to be built in to this right away.
        Hmmm.:confused:

        Have partnerships formed via WF before? Were they successful? My last offline business (which didn't require ANY cold calling only sales and I had a 50% success rate which I think was good considering the niche) went terribly awry with my business partner. Lesson learned.

        This particular niche could actually translate into an OFFLINE market as well. It's a pretty successful niche.

        Anyone have advice? BTW, I can't PM so if you want to discuss outside the board you have to PM me your email.
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    Great stuff as always John....
    I like the outside the box niches with the register.

    I remember when there was a company going around putting on conferences to sell people on their program. Which involved finding businesses in the register without a website. Creating a website for them. Then, having them share a portion of the proceeds the site generated with you. Forgot all about that until your post.

    P.S.- When is that report coming out? Enough with the anticipation!
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Quick Thought guys.

    Here is what I like about this. When you are working on a directory site model, you are working toward building a real business that is going to serve you for the longterm, as opposed to just making a random sale here and there which we can ALL do in our sleep by now... but it doesnt really end up building a business that is sustainable for most of us.

    This biz has longterm potential and actually "grows" by its very nature... This isnt "landing a client or two here and there and building them a site.", this is BUILDING something for YOU that is going to be strong and last because its a "chord made of many strands" that isnt easily broken.

    Building it is worthwhile because once its there you will be aweful hard to break...

    Some are going to say "Google can break you".... Well they can break you now too, so if they are going to slap you its better if you have a strong business that can withstand it.

    In any event , I think of this as actually building something that grows, instead of living from sale to sale.

    You are also building something that can be resold later for 10 times its value and is attractive to investors and business developers.

    Just a thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author zenmack
    This thread is worth it's weight in internet gold.
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  • Profile picture of the author gluh
    Hello forum, I am very new here and I find this method to be very good for starters like me. I have tried some weeks ago to call businesses in my nearest city and offer them a website and charge for hosting but I've found this beign too stressfull for me. I think this may work and I was looking for someone who is good at closing these deals maybe make a recording to their call and put it here. I think it may be something usefull, for me, at least.

    God bless, Gluh
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    • Profile picture of the author rjohnsen
      I just received an email from AppThemes about their new Wordpress-based directory theme.

      Here's the link (not affiliated): Sound the Trumpets, Vantage is Here! | AppThemes
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      • Profile picture of the author dschumann
        Originally Posted by rjohnsen View Post

        I just received an email from AppThemes about their new Wordpress-based directory theme.

        Here's the link (not affiliated): Sound the Trumpets, Vantage is Here! | AppThemes
        Thank you!
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        • Profile picture of the author Amber Jalink
          Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

          I see a little bit of chatter here about allowing your subscriber to log on and change their own listing. The goal apparently to be as "hands off" as possible. Believe me, I get it!

          But I think you're missing the bigger picture. You're providing a service, hopefully a full service. Restaurant owners, plumbers, painters, doctors, lawyers, and all the rest don't know HOW to write a listing. What you'll end up with is a directory that looks like trash because it will be nothing but business names and links to a website.

          When you pitch a new subscriber, he's going to be a lot more likely to have a favorable response if you're not putting him to work. In just about every case, the last thing someone wants to do is pay someone else so they can do the work they just paid for. Part of what you're offering has to be the expertise in providing a listing that will get results.

          What do you suppose the Yellow Pages would look like if every time an ad was sold, the advertiser was told to produce his own art work? Something tells me it would be pretty thin.

          A directory is the most hands off business you'll ever have. It's strong residual income is based on the fact that the cost is relatively low and not worth thinking about. The odds are that there will be so few changes that it's not worth putting the responsibility in the hands of the client. Not to mention that if the time comes for them to make a change, they are going to call you anyway. It's easier to do it yourself, strengthen the relationship, and build on it.

          On another note - JD...need to chat with you.

          I totally agree with this - when I had my big directory, we had it that people could log in and create their own accounts, listings etc.

          three things happened:

          1) the tech-savvy people put in what they wanted and were mostly pretty good

          2) the not-too-tech-savvy-but-trying people put in complete crap or half listings, put email addresses where the urls were supposed to go, put it in totally wrong categories, etc etc etc.

          3) the not-tech-savvy-at-all-or-no-time people didn't even create an account because they stopped there. (Or, maybe ONLY created an account).

          It was a huge pain chasing after people to try to get the info in, even when we did offer it - the problem was that it wasnt' when they paid (they were supposed to do it).

          No matter how much help info we had, it just didn't happen.

          So in complete agreement here with David's remarks, *please* if you want sanity (LOL) - do it yourself.
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          • Profile picture of the author crowngate
            Originally Posted by Amber Jalink View Post

            I totally agree with this - when I had my big directory, we had it that people could log in and create their own accounts, listings etc.

            three things happened:

            1) the tech-savvy people put in what they wanted and were mostly pretty good

            2) the not-too-tech-savvy-but-trying people put in complete crap or half listings, put email addresses where the urls were supposed to go, put it in totally wrong categories, etc etc etc.

            3) the not-tech-savvy-at-all-or-no-time people didn't even create an account because they stopped there. (Or, maybe ONLY created an account).

            It was a huge pain chasing after people to try to get the info in, even when we did offer it - the problem was that it wasnt' when they paid (they were supposed to do it).

            No matter how much help info we had, it just didn't happen.

            So in complete agreement here with David's remarks, *please* if you want sanity (LOL) - do it yourself.
            Thank you so much for posting this, I was going to get businesses to add and edit their own content. I was going to make video tutorials on how to do this, but now I'm seeing this could lead to too much hassle on cleaning up mistakes.
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          • Profile picture of the author crowngate
            Originally Posted by Amber Jalink View Post

            I totally agree with this - when I had my big directory, we had it that people could log in and create their own accounts, listings etc.

            three things happened:

            1) the tech-savvy people put in what they wanted and were mostly pretty good

            2) the not-too-tech-savvy-but-trying people put in complete crap or half listings, put email addresses where the urls were supposed to go, put it in totally wrong categories, etc etc etc.

            3) the not-tech-savvy-at-all-or-no-time people didn't even create an account because they stopped there. (Or, maybe ONLY created an account).

            It was a huge pain chasing after people to try to get the info in, even when we did offer it - the problem was that it wasnt' when they paid (they were supposed to do it).

            No matter how much help info we had, it just didn't happen.

            So in complete agreement here with David's remarks, *please* if you want sanity (LOL) - do it yourself.
            Soory if duplicate post, not sure if it went through.

            Thank you very much for this post, I was planning to let businesses add and edit their own content. I was going to make tutorial videos, but can see the hassle they might cause and how much cleanup mght be needed.
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        • Profile picture of the author ShayB
          I have an idea (that ties in with my previous post in this thread) that may change my whole approach.

          It'll be some more work for me, but it'll make things an easier sell, based on what's happened so far.

          It'll also raise the monthly fee to $260 instead of $197.

          I'll be testing this idea on the 19th (at my biz expo). I'll report back then in detail. I think it'll be a really good addition for anyone looking at this biz model.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Originally Posted by WalterW View Post

    I really wanna get in to the directory pages business, I think its a great business to expand your network.

    The problem im having is that there is not to big of a searches for most niches. Like photograph services is being searched 40 times in my country, but there are lots of photographs here.

    So the question is - can I sell a list on directory site with being 1st when they search ''photograph services'', but not with too much traffic?
    Try going to the google keyword research tool and typing in the word "Photography", or "Portraits".

    Try "wedding photo's" or "wedding portraits"

    Actually just try the first two, photography, and portraits, and it will give you a list of suggestions- you may have better luck.

    If not , then be like a telemarketer. Telemarketers dont get hung up on every call and married to the idea that "This prospect has to be my sale", instead they take each one with a grain of salt (ie; "not too seriously") until they find one that they feel they have a reasonable chance of closing , and they give all their energy to THAT one.

    In other words, dont get stuck on a pre conceived notion when you are doing your research, unless you have a particular passion for this... Rather look for something thats going to work, with no emotional attachment to the various ideas except the ones that look like they might work.

    If you "are" passionate about photography in particular though, you may have to do what I have done online with offline IM "telemarketing" concept...

    And what is that?

    Carve your own niche out where there wasnt one before, and fight and claw until you can make it something there is alot of interest in.

    You do this by spreading awareness.

    This niche may not be worth all of that to you, but then it MAY. Just depends on "HOW' passionately you feel about it.

    Hope this helps... I think its the keyword itself thats the issue, try some different variations... or try some other niches, or other geographical areas. If there is little search traffic in your area you may have to expand your geography.

    Where there is a will theres a way.


    In short though, for starters "photograph Services" isnt a good keyword to start your research with because I believe universally "photographer" is closer to what you intended... Keep digging around that. Portraits, photos, wedding pictures... try some more variations of the word.

    Originally Posted by gluh View Post

    Hello forum, I am very new here and I find this method to be very good for starters like me. I have tried some weeks ago to call businesses in my nearest city and offer them a website and charge for hosting but I've found this beign too stressfull for me. I think this may work and I was looking for someone who is good at closing these deals maybe make a recording to their call and put it here. I think it may be something usefull, for me, at least.

    God bless, Gluh
    This is the issue with MOST people trying to achieve offline success...They have the web design skills .... but they arent comfortable selling.

    There are always junctures in your journey where the option to turn back shows itself... for most here its the part where you have to "sell".

    People will try anything to get around that... If you guys want this to work then "selling" is the key, not so much being able to build websites. Selling is what makes a business.

    So yeah, you may have to find someone else to do it for you...this is the place where 50% will turn back right away...but its the place that 100% of the successful ones have to get themselves through....but 0% will be successful if they refuse to sell....or refuse to go through the fire of finding someone who can.... its the difference between whether you will be a tech or an entrepreneur.

    Here's the good part: Its your chooice to make, and you can be the one who chooses to move forward while others fall off.

    You are the one who will know how it "works", while others can only tell the story of how it didnt.

    Designing websites is just a hobby or a skill you can write on a job application, until you can "sell". When you can "sell" though, the sky is the limit.

    Thats why I feel I can help with this more than others who know 100 times what I do about SEO.

    Thats another reason I was able to identify this telemarketing niche....there wasnt alot of interest, but there was alot of "need", and once it was pointed out,or "the awareness was spread", people recognized that truth in their own experience.

    You can spread awareness about areas where there is need, even if there isnt interest and people own inward dialogue will recognize if you are speaking the truth.

    People dont believe what you say....they believe what you say that lines up with what they have "experienced", and most here have experienced that technical skills alone dont make a business.... Sales or Marketing skills do.

    Im going to teach you how to "sell" this, just hold onto your horses.
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  • Profile picture of the author lirikh
    Hey guys, I've been thinking about setting up a directory site for a while now, and this thread has motivated me to act.

    I live in city with a population of around 45,000. I've researched the market, and found out that there are 36 local searches per month for the exact matched keyword "[city] restaurants".

    I'm pretty sure if I build a directory site revolving around this keyword, I could rank it on the first page considering that [city]restaurants.com is available and the top10 competition is weak.

    Should I pursue and build the directory site? What are your thoughts?

    Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by lirikh View Post

      Hey guys, I've been thinking about setting up a directory site for a while now, and this thread has motivated me to act.

      I live in city with a population of around 45,000. I've researched the market, and found out that there are 36 local searches per month for the exact matched keyword "[city] restaurants".

      I'm pretty sure if I build a directory site revolving around this keyword, I could rank it on the first page considering that [city]restaurants.com is available and the top10 competition is weak.

      Should I pursue and build the directory site? What are your thoughts?

      Thanks

      I could help you better if you let me look it up myself. What city are you targeting?


      On another note, clarsville arkansas has only 140 searches for the term and maybe less than 50 restuarants.... but every restuarant in town is still buying a YP listings and have web pages.

      Most of them are a part of several directories.

      People argue this but business owners in low traffic towns still want a web presence.

      You have to find some more creative selling points if that is the case.

      Worse case scenario ; pick another market. You can sell this by phone.

      This (Below) wasnt a very popular thread but it was one of the most important I have ever posted. You might check it out.

      http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...-get-over.html



      .
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      • Profile picture of the author lirikh
        Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

        The keyword is pretty broad there are probably a ton of more specific suggestions under it...

        I could help you better if you let me look it up myself. What city are you targeting?
        Sorry John, I can't reveal the city as the domain name has not yet been secured

        But I trust you, I'll send you a pm
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    • Profile picture of the author David Miller
      As I see it there's far too much emphasis being placed on obtaining leads as the only reason for a business to purchase a directory listing. I don't care where you may rank your directory within the search engines for a particular search term. If that's the bullet you shoot in order to close the deal, you clearly don't understand the value that a directory listing brings to the business.

      The fact of the matter is, if your directory is relatively new, your statistics on traffic are virtually useless. You may know how many people search on a particular term (although it's a best guess based on questionable data), you don't have any way to know how much of that traffic will end up as a lead to a listing. If you're best proposition for a sale is a lead, you'll end up with a lot of cancellations.

      So ask yourself this question, why would a business be in the Yellow Pages (book) as well as:

      Newspapers
      Placemats in local diners
      Valpak
      Billboards
      The backside of regiter receipts
      Yellow Pages Online
      Duplicate listings in the major directories in their own niche such as lawyers.com, findlaw.com, autotrader.com,boattrader.com, boats.com, yachtworld.com, and the list goes on
      Google places, and adwords.....

      In other words, businesses with any level of success understand that there is no ONE media that is going to make or break them. They understand that advertising is not a one trick pony.

      So just how does a directory like lawyers.com sell an attorney who is already in findlaw.com and infolaw.com?

      Do they promise leads? No. Although they do explain how upsells within their site will get more traffic.

      What they do, what yellow pages online does, what infolaw.com, what all the major players in the field do is what we all know to be true.

      That is that Google gives relevance to those sites that have relevant and meaningful backlinks. Your directory, if it's part of a focused niche, has relevance, your backlink adds relevance to your subribers sites. The majors charge serious money for additional backlinks to inner pages within the sites of their subscribers. You don't have to. You can provide a link with relevant anchor text to every page in your subscriber's site.

      More backlinks means more of your subscriber's site is indexed by Google. More of their site indexed means more opportunity for parts of their site to show up in search results. More results means more exposure. More exposure means more business.

      The major directories use relevant backlinks as a part of their pitch and so should you. However, they are paid links and Google is aware that they are paid links and as I said to the findlaw.com rep, that's the same as taking a whore to a wedding.

      I'm aware that some of you who are reading this are anxious to school me in just exactly how seo works, clearly I'm no expert. But before you crack your knuckles to angrily start clicking away on your keyboard, let me save you some time.

      I may not be "exactly" correct, but I'm correct enough to get the signature on the bottom line.
      Signature
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by David Miller View Post


        I may not be "exactly" correct, but I'm correct enough to get the signature on the bottom line.
        No Dave , there was an age when internet professionals needed to school offline pro's, I think we have come to a time when they need us just as much in order to learn to make their skills produce "dollars" in the offline world.

        BTW thats as correct as you need to be. Im with you.

        You got an email coming later Im just swamped ATM, doing some big stuff today. Your post itself is worth $100 in my book.

        Just re read- Gosh Darn! I love your understanding of business! You dont learn that from a an internet marketing webinar!
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      • Profile picture of the author Internetboss11
        What do you recommend then for backlinks instead of paid ones pls?
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        • Profile picture of the author autiger90
          John,

          I bought your WSO yesterday. I emailed you and also posted over at TMF but haven't had my account upgraded yet. I'd appreciate it if you would take care of that. Thanks much. (Sorry to off-topic in this thread - good info here.)
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      • Profile picture of the author businessnewbie
        Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

        That is that Google gives relevance to those sites that have relevant and meaningful backlinks. Your directory, if it's part of a focused niche, has relevance, your backlink adds relevance to your subribers sites. The majors charge serious money for additional backlinks to inner pages within the sites of their subscribers. You don't have to. You can provide a link with relevant anchor text to every page in your subscriber's site.

        More backlinks means more of your subscriber's site is indexed by Google. More of their site indexed means more opportunity for parts of their site to show up in search results. More results means more exposure. More exposure means more business.

        The major directories use relevant backlinks as a part of their pitch and so should you. However, they are paid links and Google is aware that they are paid links and as I said to the findlaw.com rep, that's the same as taking a whore to a wedding.
        That was what I was trying to figure out how to put it into words! It's about positioning.
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    • Profile picture of the author Corymoore
      John,

      I posted a week or so ago, and im struggling for leads hard..

      This is exactly what i just started up, but im having problems getting leads and customers. Ive scoured my area and emailed probably 200 local businesses so far, went personally to businesses to inteoduce the services, and posted the business on CL, Kijiji, and local classifieds boards.. but not a single response! Ugh..

      I know i'm priced right, website has a great design, im not sure what im doing wrong or wht i can do better to get business owners to buy!

      Check out my site: the valley directory . ca (without spaces)

      If anyone that has successfully launched a directory listing can post or pm me about what i can do to improve and get the phone ringing i would LOVE the feedback! I quit my 9-5 for this, and need this to work!
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      • Profile picture of the author SendCards
        Cory,

        How did you find the current listings on your site and are they paid listings or courtesy listings?

        C


        Originally Posted by Corymoore View Post

        John,

        I posted a week or so ago, and im struggling for leads hard..

        This is exactly what i just started up, but im having problems getting leads and customers. Ive scoured my area and emailed probably 200 local businesses so far, went personally to businesses to inteoduce the services, and posted the business on CL, Kijiji, and local classifieds boards.. but not a single response! Ugh..

        I know i'm priced right, website has a great design, im not sure what im doing wrong or wht i can do better to get business owners to buy!

        Check out my site: the valley directory . ca (without spaces)

        If anyone that has successfully launched a directory listing can post or pm me about what i can do to improve and get the phone ringing i would LOVE the feedback! I quit my 9-5 for this, and need this to work!
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        • Profile picture of the author Corymoore
          My current listings are paid listings for a year. I got them basically from personally knowing the business owners. But ive done almost everything and imnot getting any responses from hundreds of emails i send out and local flyers i hand out. There must be something i doing wrong i just cant figure it out. Any suggestions would be so helpful!
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      • Profile picture of the author workers24hdotcom
        Originally Posted by Corymoore View Post

        John,

        I posted a week or so ago, and im struggling for leads hard..

        This is exactly what i just started up, but im having problems getting leads and customers. Ive scoured my area and emailed probably 200 local businesses so far, went personally to businesses to inteoduce the services, and posted the business on CL, Kijiji, and local classifieds boards.. but not a single response! Ugh..

        I know i'm priced right, website has a great design, im not sure what im doing wrong or wht i can do better to get business owners to buy!

        Check out my site: the valley directory . ca (without spaces)

        If anyone that has successfully launched a directory listing can post or pm me about what i can do to improve and get the phone ringing i would LOVE the feedback! I quit my 9-5 for this, and need this to work!
        Your account is suspended
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    • Profile picture of the author Lee Wright
      Hi John,

      I've got your WSO. It's great.

      We bought a decent sized free directory with 100 hotels and about 60K visitors per year & want to now charge for it. It's currently sending hotels about 100 email leads a month. An average customer is worth about $300.

      The problem is that when I email the hotels about their listing just to give them information, only about 30% can even be bothered to open the email. My thinking is that only a fraction of that 30% will be willing to actually send us $59 a month.

      Am I wasting my time with this list?

      I know you're a fan of telemarking but I can't bring myself to do it or feel right about paying someone else. I could do direct mail OK.

      Regards,
      Lee.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    No need lirihk,

    I edited my post above and gave you a better answer. Yeah if I wanted to I would do it anyway. If you can say you are number one thats a great selling point in any town.
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  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
    Where do you live that is a very small number of searches per month for something as popular as restaurants?

    EDIT: Never mind I see John has already asked and you responded while I was making coffee.
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  • Profile picture of the author keyuria
    I want to thank John for inspiring me through his two threads on Directory sites that made me take action and registered a domain name for "houses for rent in 'city'" dot com.

    It is under propagation, once done propagation, I will start building the site right away. The niche does not even need to get first page or first spot ranking coz there are lot of hungry people looking to rent a house in my city.

    Once the word is spread, it will automatically start ranking and people will help me get social marketing too coz of the type and niche chosen, IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author markjob
    This is a great wealth of info about directory style websites. Any of you here who have this up and running or just about to, what platform are you using to actually build this baby on?

    I can see massive potential in my area for this but i want to build this sucker and just need some options to choose from. I have seen directorypress, not sure how customizable the theme is. Also heard of a new theme out called vantage by appthemes. Does anyone here use either of these ?
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  • Profile picture of the author BUFFALOBT
    Hey folks silly question...does Directory Press support monthly automatic recurring payments for my advertisers thru PayPal, etc. ?
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  • Profile picture of the author Internetboss11
    Thanks for the insight I am working on a site now which is almost exactly what you are referring to but I was getting hung up on SEO rankings etc. I can now concentrate on getting my letters out to the prospects. Thanks again Bob.
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  • Profile picture of the author 919492
    What directory CMS would you recommend? I have seen some but not sure which one is the best to work with?
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  • Profile picture of the author mrtall74
    BRILLIANCE! Nice thread John. With your idea of "plastic Mold Injection companies" you opened up my eyes to major manufacturing activity in my own area that no one had created a directory for. Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Alright. Im going to change my 90 day plan darn it, I have sold myself into it- 10k per month is 10k per month right?

    Im going to do a directory site.

    I have been a bit uneasy about my choice of models honestly since starting the other because this model makes alot more sense.
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    • Profile picture of the author maricelu
      Hey John, glad to hear your choice. Can't wait to see how it goes along the way. I'm working on my directory and plan to sell listings on it in the near future.
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  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
    Go for it John! We we want to heat all about it right here
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  • Profile picture of the author markjob
    Come on guys ! for those who are already doing this with some success, what platform are you using to create the directory site? Im not to keen on googling for reviews of themes or scripts as we all know most review sites are trying to sell rather than an honest review. I would prefer a review of a theme or script from someone here who is already doing this.

    Im not after any hold my hand stuff but more of a "take a look at this or that theme" or "this one works well for me"

    I got a friend how is getting big traffic to her site, 5k-15k daily. She now wants to create a directory site as an ad-on. This is something lots of her visitors are asking her, so of course we have to give them what they want right?
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    • Profile picture of the author maricelu
      Originally Posted by markjob View Post

      Come on guys ! for those who are already doing this with some success, what platform are you using to create the directory site?
      I use Wordpress for my directory. The most important thing is to structure your permalinks so that they will be SEO friendly.
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      • Profile picture of the author markjob
        Originally Posted by maricelu View Post

        I use Wordpress for my directory. The most important thing is to structure your permalinks so that they will be SEO friendly.
        Hi maricelu,

        So you use just a raw wordpress theme and make it your own? you don't use directorypress or any special theme?
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        • Profile picture of the author maricelu
          Originally Posted by markjob View Post

          Hi maricelu,

          So you use just a raw wordpress theme and make it your own? you don't use directorypress or any special theme?
          I use a Website Weaver V2 which is a complete bundle with WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) options. http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...-required.html As I see now it is released under a different product. It is still the best investment I made on this forum.
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          • Profile picture of the author markjob
            Originally Posted by maricelu View Post

            I use a Website Weaver V2 which is a complete bundle with WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) options. http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...-required.html As I see now it is released under a different product. It is still the best investment I made on this forum.
            Thanks maricelu, i will look into this, cheers.
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          • Profile picture of the author AussieT
            Originally Posted by maricelu View Post

            I use a Website Weaver V2 which is a complete bundle with WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) options. http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...-required.html As I see now it is released under a different product. It is still the best investment I made on this forum.
            When I think of a directory I think of a site where the listing owners can login and update their own listings so that that it is more hands free. That was the big mistake I made with my first directory, I had to make all chamges myself and it was therefore too hands on to scale up. I have only taken a quick look at ThemeStarta above but to me it is not really a directory script it may be a good WP theme builder but not with all the features I would need in a drectory script.
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            • Profile picture of the author markjob
              Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

              When I think of a directory I think of a site where the listing owners can login and update their own listings so that that it is more hands free. That was the big mistake I made with my first directory, I had to make all chamges myself and it was therefore too hands on to scale up. I have only taken a quick look at ThemeStarta above but to me it is not really a directory script it may be a good WP theme builder but not with all the features I would need in a drectory script.
              This is what im thinking too. Looking more and more at directorypress and vantage theme as these two themes look to have all the features a directory site would need like featured listings and members also can enter their own details, depending on their membership level.
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            • Profile picture of the author maricelu
              Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

              When I think of a directory I think of a site where the listing owners can login and update their own listings so that that it is more hands free. That was the big mistake I made with my first directory, I had to make all chamges myself and it was therefore too hands on to scale up. I have only taken a quick look at ThemeStarta above but to me it is not really a directory script it may be a good WP theme builder but not with all the features I would need in a drectory script.
              I've never thought of something like their own account but I think It would be more hands-free for me but also more trouble for them. Y u no ask for all the info you need and setup their listing by yourself. Of course, if your target the restaurant niche etc. then is likely they would want many changes to be made along the way, so, yes, this is a good option to setup a separate account for each listing. In my case, I don't think it's a necessary option as I target one specific niche and there is not that many information I will include in their listing. As John says, you don't have to get over complicated with your site, you can do a directory-like layout with almost every website builder out there, even Wix.com would be good since they've started to include HTML templates. Related to ThemeStarta I can say that it's satisfying enough my needs. Check your PM.

              *Make sure to go over this thread from time to time and re-read John's posts. I'm doing this and I feel myself very confident.
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  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
    The best i have found is edirectory if you can afford it
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  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
    Just wrote out a long reply but it timed out and I don;t feel like retyping it.
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      I mentioned in the other thread that I've already pre-sold some spots to my directory site via my local biz group.

      I added a little something for them. Thought I'd share it.

      I have a biz expo coming up on the 19th. Several of the people who have purchased spots in my directory aren't able to attend (for various reasons).

      As a "Thank you" for having them sign up with me on my new directory, I'm making up a flyer that features them. I'll be handing them out at the expo.

      Think of it like a mini-directory.

      It's a small gesture (I'm going to hand out flyers anyway - all I'm doing is adding their info and having mine at the top as a sponsor), but it's been received quite well.

      I will post a pic when it's done.
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  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
    Thanks Shay, Little gestures will add up to cement the relationships with your clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author azurews
      I have been looking into directorypress and you can enter the listings yourself or let the biz owner enter their listing. You can also import business listings from dmoz or a cvs file. I like that feature since you can fill your site up faster and then have the business owner check it to make sure its correct.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeff Baer
        Originally Posted by azurews View Post

        I have been looking into directorypress and you can enter the listings yourself or let the biz owner enter their listing. You can also import business listings from dmoz or a cvs file. I like that feature since you can fill your site up faster and then have the business owner check it to make sure its correct.
        there are a couple of decent "scraper" tools such as Yellabot that will actually generate the csv for you.
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        Jeff Baer

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  • Profile picture of the author Fermina
    Hi guys I've got questions.
    How do you go about populating you directory in the beginning I assume you check YP right but how do you get paid when their business is already listed in your directory?
    You cant have a directory website without populating it right

    Sorry if this is a stupid question I can't get my head around on how to start the directory
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    Selling these Domains
    Dog-Breeds.com
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    • Profile picture of the author AussieT
      Originally Posted by Fermina View Post

      Hi guys I've got questions.
      How do you go about populating you directory in the beginning I assume you check YP right but how do you get paid when their business is already listed in your directory?
      You cant have a directory website without populating it right

      Sorry if this is a stupid question I can't get my head around on how to start the directory
      Check the rest of this thread or the related 101 thread there are some good suggestions already given. You have to work out what suits you best.

      I am working right now on one site using GeoPlacesv4 and I am firstly uploading heaps of listings to get SE traction and then I will deactivate most of the listings and contact the ones I have deactivated and try to sell them a paid. Then later I will deactivate the others half and then contact them for a paid listing.

      But you could also upload all basic free listings and then just upsell them all to a premium paid featured listings.
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      • Profile picture of the author Fermina
        Thanks!
        Would anyone recommend the restaurant niche for a dir?
        or is it too saturated?
        Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

        Check the rest of this thread or the related 101 thread there are some good suggestions already given. You have to work out what suits you best.

        I am working right now on one site using GeoPlacesv4 and I am firstly uploading heaps of listings to get SE traction and then I will deactivate most of the listings and contact the ones I have deactivated and try to sell them a paid. Then later I will deactivate the others half and then contact them for a paid listing.

        But you could also upload all basic free listings and then just upsell them all to a premium paid featured listings.
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        Selling these Domains
        Dog-Breeds.com
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeff Baer
      Originally Posted by Fermina View Post

      Hi guys I've got questions.
      How do you go about populating you directory in the beginning I assume you check YP right but how do you get paid when their business is already listed in your directory?
      You cant have a directory website without populating it right

      Sorry if this is a stupid question I can't get my head around on how to start the directory
      Fermina, Have a free level and a paid level. Some of the better themes out there have a "claim this listing" feature where you pre-populate the directory and allow business owners the opportunity to take charge of their listing.

      This is how the phone books have operated for years. They put everybody in for free then they try and sell upgrade ads.

      It's just moved online.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Baer
    How many local searches per month warrant creating a local directory?
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    Jeff Baer

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  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
    I would not touch that niche here in sydney unless i was going to go really tight like "italian restaurant in sydney" just sydney restaurant would be too tough to get a foothold
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  • Profile picture of the author FreeLeadsKING
    Hi guys... I just purchased John's report...I am so pumped. I am wanting to do a directory for technology providers + city. What are your thoughts. Too vague?
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    • Profile picture of the author Amber Jalink
      Originally Posted by FreeLeadsKING View Post

      Hi guys... I just purchased John's report...I am so pumped. I am wanting to do a directory for technology providers + city. What are your thoughts. Too vague?

      Why couldn't you? As long as there are enough businesses to be listed. Most people are looking for computer repairs or tech providers at some point, even businesses.

      Go for it

      You could always do a second one in a different niche as soon as the other one is up, just to be diversified, and see how your profits go.

      Honestly when I was looking at some of that type of research here last year, I couldn't find anything substantial, and heck, I live in the "tech triangle" of Ontario (Canada). I didn't need it myself, (my hubby does that) but was looking for competition lol.

      However, even to find software here it's difficult to find the resellers online. At least in my experience.
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      • Profile picture of the author FreeLeadsKING
        Thanks for the reply Amber. Yes that is what I noticed as well with so many businesses in a city you would think it would be easy to find a directory of technology service providers.
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    • Profile picture of the author DougPage
      Originally Posted by FreeLeadsKING View Post

      Hi guys... I just purchased John's report...I am so pumped. I am wanting to do a directory for technology providers + city. What are your thoughts. Too vague?
      In my mind, trying to make a directory for such a large group could be tough. I guess it depends on exactly what you mean by "technology providers". In Amber's response she mentioned computer repair. That is a small subset of your group. However, think about building a directory for this smaller group. It is focused. You could have articles about how to clean up your computer, replace parts, upgrade yourself, choosing a service depot, etc. Now you are starting to add value to those who are coming to your directory. You might want to add a forum module so that you can build a community to discuss repairs and upgrades. How about adding a review section so that others can leave their opinion on a service they had done locally. Is this work? You bet. But if you make a directory a "destination" site, then you do something that the other directories don't do, increase viewers and give advertisers a better reason to pay. I believe that you need to be very focused in your target market in order to stand out. Otherwise, what is the difference between you and using Google Places? You need to offer something different.

      I have been dreaming up my directory for a few months now and am hoping to get it running soon. My initial thoughts on how I wanted to do it have totally changed after asking people who are in my target market what would entice them to come to my directory site. For them, it needed to be a place to learn more, talk with others with the same interests, and for a directory that gave them more info than what they could find with a simple web search and make it easier to find a store/service that they required.

      The biggest stumbling block I ran into is finding the right solution to host the directory. I had found one solution that seemed like it was going to be perfect for what I wanted but it ran into problems and hasn't quite gotten to where it was planned. So I have finally decided to just go ahead and do it manually. Allows me to add the modules that I want and keep better control of the final output. I think David Miller is right on the mark with his comments.

      And I would also like to thank John for starting these two threads. Just found them and the info is fantastic.
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      • Profile picture of the author FreeLeadsKING
        #DougPage - Thanks for the feedback. Yes It will be a specific technology product/service. One of which each and every business uses and needs similar to computer repair as you stated. I like your ideas about adding value such as forum, reviews...possibly some others cool stuff. Thanks again... Has John set up a Mastermind area for us? I heard that mentioned earlier.
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      • Profile picture of the author Amber Jalink
        Originally Posted by DougPage View Post

        In my mind, trying to make a directory for such a large group could be tough. I guess it depends on exactly what you mean by "technology providers". In Amber's response she mentioned computer repair. That is a small subset of your group. However, think about building a directory for this smaller group. It is focused. You could have articles about how to clean up your computer, replace parts, upgrade yourself, choosing a service depot, etc. Now you are starting to add value to those who are coming to your directory. You might want to add a forum module so that you can build a community to discuss repairs and upgrades. How about adding a review section so that others can leave their opinion on a service they had done locally. Is this work? You bet. But if you make a directory a "destination" site, then you do something that the other directories don't do, increase viewers and give advertisers a better reason to pay. I believe that you need to be very focused in your target market in order to stand out. Otherwise, what is the difference between you and using Google Places? You need to offer something different.

        I have been dreaming up my directory for a few months now and am hoping to get it running soon. My initial thoughts on how I wanted to do it have totally changed after asking people who are in my target market what would entice them to come to my directory site. For them, it needed to be a place to learn more, talk with others with the same interests, and for a directory that gave them more info than what they could find with a simple web search and make it easier to find a store/service that they required.

        The biggest stumbling block I ran into is finding the right solution to host the directory. I had found one solution that seemed like it was going to be perfect for what I wanted but it ran into problems and hasn't quite gotten to where it was planned. So I have finally decided to just go ahead and do it manually. Allows me to add the modules that I want and keep better control of the final output. I think David Miller is right on the mark with his comments.

        And I would also like to thank John for starting these two threads. Just found them and the info is fantastic.

        Just a quick note - and I'm not at ALL trying to stop you from doing this, but a quick two remarks on this:

        Be careful about spending "too much time" getting content in to appeal to the masses.

        I've done both - honestly having a lot of information on a site can also be a deterrent. John mentions that in his new WSO, but I've done this too (with and without extra content).

        I've honestly gotten more $ from a straight directory, than adding a whole bunch of other stuff (articles, community, etc).

        Remember if you add community, forums etc., you MUST MUST MUST police them. Doesn't matter what captcha or other spam things you have in place, in a short period of time you'll have tons of it. Even people who start off as legit will start posting ads and links (because they think they can).

        Ask yourself, Are you prepared to do that? Are you prepared to spend the time with adding the content, policing stuff, trying to keep conversations going (believe me, people are excited at first, but with few exceptions, a LOT of forums die off quickly). I've seen it for years.

        The WF is one of the few exceptions. Unless of course you add a complete social network aspect (beyond just a forum), but you'll still have a LOT to monitor and police free. (Remember that - key - free).

        You aren't getting paid for your time to do that.

        If you think you'll get paid "advertising" and "banner ads" from sponsors, and/or adsense, well - please seriously plan on a good 1 to maybe 2 years to earn a solid STEADY income from that.

        However - if you do it right - your directory is the MAIN FOCUS - and have as an aside a forum for users, where your directory is the main $, and you don't distract your visitors to the website looking for companies, but give them an option to do that, it might work.

        I know people will always say that's what they want, but when they're looking for a quick solution to a problem, they don't really care to stick around.

        Just wanted to mention this.

        As I said, I've done it both ways. The regular directory (without the distractions of tons of banner ads and forums etc) made the most profit and the traffic grew like insane crazy.
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        • Profile picture of the author FreeLeadsKING
          Once again Amber, thank you.
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        • Profile picture of the author DougPage
          Originally Posted by Amber Jalink View Post

          Just a quick note - and I'm not at ALL trying to stop you from doing this, but a quick two remarks on this:

          Be careful about spending "too much time" getting content in to appeal to the masses.

          I've done both - honestly having a lot of information on a site can also be a deterrent. John mentions that in his new WSO, but I've done this too (with and without extra content).

          I've honestly gotten more $ from a straight directory, than adding a whole bunch of other stuff (articles, community, etc).
          Thanks Amber. More good points to ponder. What do you think about 2 separate sites where they point back to each other?
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  • Profile picture of the author markjob
    Vantage theme it is for me. Reason being they have it available in the language i need{Spanish} and also because they will be adding an events feature in the near future which is something we will be needing soon. I could not find anywhere any info if directorypress comes with a language pack so have purchased Vantage and now to build this up.
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    • Profile picture of the author AussieT
      Originally Posted by markjob View Post

      Vantage theme it is for me. Reason being they have it available in the language i need{Spanish} and also because they will be adding an events feature in the near future which is something we will be needing soon. I could not find anywhere any info if directorypress comes with a language pack so have purchased Vantage and now to build this up.
      Good for you Mark, get 2 it. I will probably pick up vantage when they add all the promised features. Although I am tempted to pick it while it is still on special.
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      • Profile picture of the author Fermina
        I also like the Vantage theme but I wish their was options on changing the deisign of the theme e.g disabling the review, making the sidebar to the left, changing the look of the listing in the homepage not just lined up like that like making square boxes if you know what I mean
        Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

        Good for you Mark, get 2 it. I will probably pick up vantage when they add all the promised features. Although I am tempted to pick it while it is still on special.
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        • Profile picture of the author David Miller
          I see a little bit of chatter here about allowing your subscriber to log on and change their own listing. The goal apparently to be as "hands off" as possible. Believe me, I get it!

          But I think you're missing the bigger picture. You're providing a service, hopefully a full service. Restaurant owners, plumbers, painters, doctors, lawyers, and all the rest don't know HOW to write a listing. What you'll end up with is a directory that looks like trash because it will be nothing but business names and links to a website.

          When you pitch a new subscriber, he's going to be a lot more likely to have a favorable response if you're not putting him to work. In just about every case, the last thing someone wants to do is pay someone else so they can do the work they just paid for. Part of what you're offering has to be the expertise in providing a listing that will get results.

          What do you suppose the Yellow Pages would look like if every time an ad was sold, the advertiser was told to produce his own art work? Something tells me it would be pretty thin.

          A directory is the most hands off business you'll ever have. It's strong residual income is based on the fact that the cost is relatively low and not worth thinking about. The odds are that there will be so few changes that it's not worth putting the responsibility in the hands of the client. Not to mention that if the time comes for them to make a change, they are going to call you anyway. It's easier to do it yourself, strengthen the relationship, and build on it.

          On another note - JD...need to chat with you.
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          The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
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          • Profile picture of the author MonteMichaels
            There really should not be that many changes done on a regular basis in the first place. I don't see where that should be a problem anyway.

            I absolutely agree with you about providing a service to these clients. You can definitively charge more than you would be able to if they are going to do it themselves.

            Not only that, but you want to be in control of your content. By letting others build their listing, you have to police it anyway.

            Actually now that I think about it, policing the directories may actually end up being more time consuming than a having to make a few changes here and there for the client that needs it to be done.

            Even if you had a hundred listings, chances are that you won't have more than a dozen changes to make every month.

            Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

            I see a little bit of chatter here about allowing your subscriber to log on and change their own listing. The goal apparently to be as "hands off" as possible. Believe me, I get it!

            But I think you're missing the bigger picture. You're providing a service, hopefully a full service. Restaurant owners, plumbers, painters, doctors, lawyers, and all the rest don't know HOW to write a listing. What you'll end up with is a directory that looks like trash because it will be nothing but business names and links to a website.

            When you pitch a new subscriber, he's going to be a lot more likely to have a favorable response if you're not putting him to work. In just about every case, the last thing someone wants to do is pay someone else so they can do the work they just paid for. Part of what you're offering has to be the expertise in providing a listing that will get results.

            What do you suppose the Yellow Pages would look like if every time an ad was sold, the advertiser was told to produce his own art work? Something tells me it would be pretty thin.

            A directory is the most hands off business you'll ever have. It's strong residual income is based on the fact that the cost is relatively low and not worth thinking about. The odds are that there will be so few changes that it's not worth putting the responsibility in the hands of the client. Not to mention that if the time comes for them to make a change, they are going to call you anyway. It's easier to do it yourself, strengthen the relationship, and build on it.

            On another note - JD...need to chat with you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Amber Jalink
      Originally Posted by markjob View Post

      Vantage theme it is for me. Reason being they have it available in the language i need{Spanish} and also because they will be adding an events feature in the near future which is something we will be needing soon. I could not find anywhere any info if directorypress comes with a language pack so have purchased Vantage and now to build this up.

      I'll check out the Vantage theme - the problem I have with most of these types of plugins is that because they're a whole theme - 99% of them aren't mobile friendly, which makes it tedious because then you need separate plugins etc etc.

      I want a true plugin - that lets me use my own theme, as the one I use most of the time is 100% mobile responsive.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fermina
    For the past few day I've been hitting the Thanks button alot because of these golden nugget information's you guys have given us!

    Thank you again!

    sidenote:
    for those who want to know what script I will be using I will be buying Directorypress I just checked their demo and it has all the things I want(for now) and as alot of people said in this thread you can always customize your directory later when it is already successful.
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    • Profile picture of the author markjob
      Originally Posted by Fermina View Post

      For the past few day I've been hitting the Thanks button alot because of these golden nugget information's you guys have given us!

      Thank you again!

      sidenote:
      for those who want to know what script I will be using I will be buying Directorypress I just checked their demo and it has all the things I want(for now) and as alot of people said in this thread you can always customize your directory later when it is already successful.
      Yes i do agree with you about their demo! looks great. The thing is i needed it in Spanish in the backend but after doing some digging around i found out that they have no plans to include any language packs

      So i purchased Vantage by appthemes which is a new release. They do have language packs. But i liked directorypress so much i purchased that as well to test and for future projects.
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  • Profile picture of the author FreeLeadsKING
    Fermina... I just got my domain...looking for the script or template myself now.
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  • Profile picture of the author jewelraz
    Thanks for your article, I was thinking of building a directory about SEO niche! I will build a directory by my own when I have proper scripts.
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  • Profile picture of the author keyuria
    I have already got the site up within a week and now it is also ranking 4 in Google dot com for the main keyphrase. I am excited.

    I am just trying to finalize something on the site, and then get in touch with the businesses to convince them to list their business on my directory.

    Thank you John for the great idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author EdwardDennis
    John,

    Quick question, how do you get pass the gatekeeper if you didn't know the name of the owner?

    GREAT GREAT GREAT stuff btw. I finished reading Bower Formula 2.0 last night.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mav91890
    Hey John, Great Post!

    I have a localized social network that gets a good bit of traffic and members. Do you think I could do a localized directory built into this social network and charge $50 a month?
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    “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it.” ― Jordan Belfort

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    • Profile picture of the author TheBoogieMan
      Is there anyone in this thread who is making $400/month + consistently with directory site??? If yes, please chime in and share some tips and tidbits on how you're succeeding.
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  • Profile picture of the author coffeecashnow
    Hi,

    I just read the whole thread and of course it gave me lots of ideas.

    I've made some quick research and found a high paying niche ITEM+MANUFACTURERS with 210 exact searches.

    124k competition with mainly alibaba, made-in-china and globalsources on the 1st page.

    I know nothing about SEO really. Can I rank there fairly quickly?

    Thank for this thread!
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  • Profile picture of the author zoro
    John, thanks for starting this thread ... it's golden!

    I have skimmed through most posts but I cannot seem to find an answer to my question, which is: If I wanted to hire a professional telemarketer to sell Ads for my local Australian directory, where would you recommend I go to find that telemarketer ie, oDesk, WF, or ?

    Also, what percentage of sale (commission) should I pay the telemarketer?
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    • Profile picture of the author Corymoore
      I'm doing this exact same thing now in my community. I've made it simple and easy to use and visually appealing.

      People want images and simplicity, not just a typed up text listing.

      What I'm doing is charging 10$ a month for a listing (or 100$ for the year).

      The market I'm targeting has around 7000 businesses including small home based businesses. My goal for the end of September is 1000 sign ups. Doing the math that is 10k a month, makes for a nice living just running a directory site.

      John, you know your stuff, feel free to check it out: the valley directory . ca (without spaces)

      Word in my town is spreading huge and I have 5 more clients to sign up tomorrow!

      My question is, how can I target a large amount of businesses in a short period of time with the most minimal effort. I'm thinking of a mail out, emailing, and cold calling. any other ideas?

      Also for the cold call what would you recommend for a script. I'm not offering free listings or I would use the one you typed up on the first page.

      I'm new to all this but I have a vision and see the potential growth.

      Any and all suggestions would be great guys!
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by Corymoore View Post

        I'm doing this exact same thing now in my community. I've made it simple and easy to use and visually appealing.

        People want images and simplicity, not just a typed up text listing.

        What I'm doing is charging 10$ a month for a listing (or 100$ for the year).

        The market I'm targeting has around 7000 businesses including small home based businesses. My goal for the end of September is 1000 sign ups. Doing the math that is 10k a month, makes for a nice living just running a directory site.

        John, you know your stuff, feel free to check it out: the valley directory . ca (without spaces)

        Word in my town is spreading huge and I have 5 more clients to sign up tomorrow!

        My question is, how can I target a large amount of businesses in a short period of time with the most minimal effort. I'm thinking of a mail out, emailing, and cold calling. any other ideas?

        Also for the cold call what would you recommend for a script. I'm not offering free listings or I would use the one you typed up on the first page.

        I'm new to all this but I have a vision and see the potential growth.

        Any and all suggestions would be great guys!
        First of all, I really like your design because it immediately triggers local advertising emotions being colored after the yellow book - So you already have a "hint of familiarity" in your favor....it looks like something that might make a business owner say "Wow I better get on here....I would bet all my competitors are...". Very official looking as advertising authorities go.

        As far as pitches, I cant really put any down right now because Im selling custom pitch writing services and it wouldnt be fair to my clients, however, its basically just greeting them and giving them the lowdown on what you offer, get some credibility somewhere first like linkshare.com- hook up with some national chain vendors there like barnes and noble, and put up listings on your site for their local outlets....then yiou can say "Hi Im ________ with____________ you may know some of our other clients like___________ and _________ down on east 3rd street? Okay great, the reason Im calling is..."

        Getting the street creds first from linkshare will get you in doors. It will show that large corps use your services for marketing, and it will be true. This is what "I" call "positioning yourself" for success..

        That should give you some power to pitch more people. Then just start laying out your features and benefits all the way down to the questionnaire and close.

        Hope this helps.

        JD

        Ps. At your price this should be a no brainer. I'd say cold call, but on something this cheap flyers may get you a few sales too...Still I would cold call first and foremost. When I say flyers, I mean walking door to door with them in your hand and speaking to business owners, introducing your offer briefly and handing them a flyer to look at while you are talking...I dont mean handing them out randomly and carelessly.

        The way Adrian Browning talks about flyers does work to a degree, but you have to realize that he isnt talking about 100 flyers to get 5 sales, he is talking about a thousand or more to get that five sales... and I cant see how you could target 1000 businesses with flyers as quickly as you could door to door or cold call 100 for the same result.

        PPS.\

        I would probably box in the local graphics, with at least a thin black line frame... to give them a distinctive separation as opposed to it currently looking like (at first glance) that they are part of the same theme and not separate click able banners... It will also give them more structure and uniformity of size... the reasons I say this are many, dont have time to list ATM. Mostly because people respond better to symmetry- if not that then maybe a clearer line of separation between the header and the actual listings that subconsciously says "Here's the header" , now "Here's the listings". Peoples eyes need to know exactly where to go. Those lines of separation assist them with that.
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    • Profile picture of the author zoro
      Originally Posted by zoro View Post

      John, thanks for starting this thread ... it's golden!

      I have skimmed through most posts but I cannot seem to find an answer to my question, which is: If I wanted to hire a professional telemarketer to sell Ads for my local Australian directory, where would you recommend I go to find that telemarketer ie, oDesk, WF, or ?

      Also, what percentage of sale (commission) should I pay the telemarketer?
      John, did you miss my post?
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by zoro View Post

        John, did you miss my post?
        Zoro, sorry about that. I personally use paid ads like Monster or Career builder, they do allow commission sales opportunties in that section on their site... However Im always looking for volume myself. and they can deliver lots of volume. The reason is because I dont want "resumes"- I want to funnel all resume applicants to a custom application page that sort of qualifies them before I waste my time interviewing.

        This way people have already agreed to certain terms before they even apply. You WOW them with your ad, then send them to an application that provides the "take away" and if they get through it then you have a quality applicant.

        I suppose you could also do it with CL, as someone was telling me today they got a hundred resumes from it, but in any event, it pre qualifies people, using this process...The reason its important is because its too easy for them to click a button and send a resume. Half the time when you call them back they dont even remember applying....

        But if you funnel them through a qualifying app then you will get applicants who jumped through a couple of hoops to talk to you and they know the deal. They are more invested; otherwise you get a bunch of resumes from people who clicked the "send resume" button 100 times that day and none of it meant much to them.

        Hope this helps.

        If you are working them on strictly commission I would go 30% because its standard for that, but my best advice is to offer a small hourly and say 5% commission on sales. You may hav e to pay for some training but more people will actually MAKE it through their training week and become salesman.
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  • Profile picture of the author coffeecashnow
    I came across a FB directory app not long ago. Right here in the WSO section.

    Basically you can build directories within FB. Good part is you don't worry about SEO at all.
    Bad thing is you have to maintain the page to make sure people come back to it and interact to show value to your customers. You can easily get ppl by paid FB ads.

    What do you guys think about it?

    Thanks.
    O.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by coffeecashnow View Post

      I came across a FB directory app not long ago. Right here in the WSO section.

      Basically you can build directories within FB. Good part is you don't worry about SEO at all.
      Bad thing is you have to maintain the page to make sure people come back to it and interact to show value to your customers. You can easily get ppl by paid FB ads.

      What do you guys think about it?

      Thanks.
      O.
      A: Dont build someone elses real estate...
      B: Dont let your customers think your power is in FB and that you have none on your own.
      C: Getting a bunch of online customers together on an FB page can be a recipe for getting mobbed at some point.
      D: One person complains and you have a domino effect that makes all your other customers start questioning...

      Thats just the beginning. Sure FB would love to capitalize on your talent instead of the other way around.

      The most SURE way is to just develop as a salesperson and sell YOUR site, dont look for ways to cut corners.... Anyday FB could change their policy and get rid of your whole data base.

      If you dont have the cash to start your site.... Then the first thing to do is use the same ability you are going to use to build it, and find a way to sell something and raise the working cap.

      That ability has to come in at some point, so the best place to start is the capital raising part.
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  • Profile picture of the author coffeecashnow
    That's enough to turn it down lol.

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    @Coffeecashnow

    Yeah the getting mobbed part didnt sound too nice eh? lol It happened to me once. Still does really, even here, but when you are talking about offline clients, rebel rousing gets ugly quick.
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  • Profile picture of the author coffeecashnow
    Ok,

    I found a keyword with 4,400 exact search but it s not local. exact domain is taken but I could have keyworddirectory.com (keyword tool shows low competition, but when I type "keyword" it returns 1,120,000 results!)

    Is this any good for ranking?

    The fact that it s not local, are there enough searches then?

    Thanks

    EDIT: after checking superpages, it appears that plenty of my prospects have no website. But I wonder if this is good. On one hand we could sell them their presence online, on the other hand, it seems they never showed any interest in online marketing. What do you think?
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  • Profile picture of the author coffeecashnow
    By the way, is a domain name like this:

    KEYWORD+Listing.com

    Is good?

    Does it sound and look good?

    Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author JoshP
      I think that people get too hung up on the SEO side of directory sites. What I've found is that businesses don't care that you have a top ranked directory for "whateveryourlocalkeywordis". What they do care about is traffic and increasing their online exposure.

      There are tons of ways to get traffic to directory sites that don't rely on SEO.

      One method I like to use to get traffic to my directory sites is with PPC ads. I'll spend $100 a month on PPC ads which gives me enough traffic to convince 10 businesses to pay $50 a month for a premium listing. So, I spend $100 to get $500 in revenue. Not a bad ROI.
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  • Profile picture of the author coffeecashnow
    Very smart idea Josh!

    What amount of traffic do you get with $100, would you tell in what niche too?

    Regards.
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    • Profile picture of the author JoshP
      The objective is to get really cheap traffic, like $0.02 per click. With a $100 PPC budget and 2 cent clicks, that will bring 5,000 visitors to your site every month.

      Niche doesn't matter. I have directory sites for restaurants, hotels, medical and everything in between.
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      • Profile picture of the author timmykins
        What a great thread.

        I have a question though, if you have a directory that targets "injection moulding companies", and lists a lot of them, what do you say to the company owner who says something along the lines of

        "your directory lists all my competition, why would I advertise my company alongside my competition, and how would you guarantee that my company stands out from the others?"

        I've had this objection in the past, and obviously didn't handle the response very well!!

        Thanks in advance.

        Tim
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        • Profile picture of the author coffeecashnow
          This doesn't make sense. You want to be listed wherever your prospects are looking for your service. You want to be listed above your competition.
          Do they have this concern with YP listing their competitors on the same category?

          Originally Posted by timmykins View Post

          What a great thread.

          I have a question though, if you have a directory that targets "injection moulding companies", and lists a lot of them, what do you say to the company owner who says something along the lines of

          "your directory lists all my competition, why would I advertise my company alongside my competition, and how would you guarantee that my company stands out from the others?"

          I've had this objection in the past, and obviously didn't handle the response very well!!

          Thanks in advance.

          Tim
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      • Profile picture of the author coffeecashnow
        Josh, would this be adwords, FB, other? How do you get those cheap clicks? It must be targeted, geo and niche, so it s still lots of clicks. What am I missing?

        Originally Posted by JoshP View Post

        The objective is to get really cheap traffic, like $0.02 per click. With a $100 PPC budget and 2 cent clicks, that will bring 5,000 visitors to your site every month.

        Niche doesn't matter. I have directory sites for restaurants, hotels, medical and everything in between.
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        • Profile picture of the author JoshP
          Originally Posted by coffeecashnow View Post

          Josh, would this be adwords, FB, other? How do you get those cheap clicks? It must be targeted, geo and niche, so it s still lots of clicks. What am I missing?
          It's really not that difficult.

          Run a geo targeted adwords campaign on the content network, write compelling ad copy, bid low.
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          • Profile picture of the author John Durham
            Originally Posted by JoshP View Post

            It's really not that difficult.

            Run a geo targeted adwords campaign on the content network, write compelling ad copy, bid low.
            You are brilliant Josh!
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  • Profile picture of the author cnwoods303
    It seems like you would want their competition on there because then they would have to list their business on your directory because that company wouldn't want their competition getting in front of more potential customers than they are. Maybe you should make them see the scarcity of your product and why they should act now by only allowing a set number of list positions per category, location or however you choose to group everything. Once all the slots gets filled no one else can get listed unless someone drops. That might help to get them to act now if they thought ther cometition might be in front of more customers and that they might get left out in the cold if all the spot get filled. Just a thought not sure if it would work.
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  • Profile picture of the author coffeecashnow
    Makes sense, I always think that if there are less than 5000 searches, you couldn t get 5000 visitors. But obviously with content network you can!

    Thanks.
    O.
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  • Profile picture of the author zoro
    So I've setup a couple of directory sites. I have manually added around 30 local listings into the basic free listings section. I am offering Featured Listings @ $50 p/mth.

    Here is the response I get we I call the business owner: "Oh, thank you for your offer, but just put us down for a Free Listing".

    My directory is targetting a geo narrow niche market in a city with a population of over 1 million. My site is ranked No 1 on Google and Bing. Monthly traffic is around 600.

    Why is no one interested in buying a featured listing subscription ... any Ideas?
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    • Profile picture of the author phaproduction
      I have a directory website ready, just waiting for the printers to deliver everything on monday. Have a salesperson ready as well, who is very motivatated.

      My website has a Geotargeted map and I am trying to place it as a directory for people researching for this service, because it is very location specific. On top of that, I had been in the same position, searching for the same service, and it was very difficult, very fragmented and thus I am trying to solve a problem.

      The offering will be as follows:
      - their listing, with a gallery, link to their website, opening hours, email etc.
      - we have a great SEO strategy
      - we will be investing into Advertising [Google and Facebook to start with]
      - a unique Facebook strategy to funnel people to our website [already have around 1000 fans, expect it to grow]
      - Once it goes completely live, I will offer the listings a place for an article related to my niche, which will a) advertise their own listing but b) will add more unique content to the site.
      -Have stickers made, everyone that will be on the site will have to have it on their door or reception, that they are a part of it, with a link. This will hopefully lead the owners to appreciate being on the website more if they c it everyday and people going in and out will c the logo/website/QR code on the sticker
      - if they pay for a year in advance, I will have a photographer visit them so that they have great pictures on their listing. Some of those pictures will be better than on THEIR website, which should act as a reason to stay a paying customer.
      - theres other things which I have in a brochure and on a presentation with graphs etc., but I believe that I am providing very good value for the owners...

      Especially since I have a sales person ready to go out on monday, I have been inclined to going "Paid" right off the bat, due to the fact that I am a strong believer that u will not want to pay for something that u got for free.
      In the past few days, a lot of ppl I talk with have told me that we should go free [for 2-3 months] and then convert the leads into paying leads. I will not have any free listings, and will reinvest a lot of the money into advertising to make it grow [want to have every city in this country, would be around 200-300 paying customers].

      What are your thoughts on going Free and then converting [will probably get almost everyone for free] versus going Paid right off the bat [a lot of ppl I assume would "wait" till it grows]?
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    • Profile picture of the author tonyscott
      Originally Posted by zoro View Post

      My directory is targetting a geo narrow niche market in a city with a population of over 1 million. My site is ranked No 1 on Google and Bing. Monthly traffic is around 600.

      Why is no one interested in buying a featured listing subscription ... any Ideas?
      I'd say you're niche is too narrow based on the numbers you've stated.

      Tony
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  • Profile picture of the author RexMapes
    phaproduction,

    I definitely would NOT do free listings. With everything you have in place you should have no problem convincing clients you are here to stay.

    I do think you should consider some type of "grand opening" incentive though. Tell them what your rates are and stick to it, but you can then offer a special discount for the first 20 clients or a special one time 50% off on a one year sign-up or some other similar idea.

    By doing it this way, you have established your rates so there are no tough sells later, you have provided incentive in a monetary way for the client to sign-up now, you will have created some sense of urgency for them to sign-up (only 20 clients get this offer), and you have given the client full indication that they are only the first of many clients you will have.

    This is just an idea. If it works for you go for it....if not then then go a different route.

    Free always seems like a great offer...but it very rarely works out that way for you OR your client.
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  • Profile picture of the author coffeecashnow
    Josh, if your market is national, how do you go about it?

    I mean if I go after a niche that I want to keep national, with subdomains for each state, then category to target cities/neighborhoods?

    I would probably start with 1 town, and get local traffic just as you said, get high ROI, then go after another town and keep doing this...

    Would you do it that way?

    Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author JoshP
      Originally Posted by coffeecashnow View Post

      Josh, if your market is national, how do you go about it?

      I mean if I go after a niche that I want to keep national, with subdomains for each state, then category to target cities/neighborhoods?

      I would probably start with 1 town, and get local traffic just as you said, get high ROI, then go after another town and keep doing this...

      Would you do it that way?

      Thanks.
      First of all I probably wouldn't do a national site to begin with.

      However, if I were and I was on a limited budget, I would do it just like you said. Start with one city and build out from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author coffeecashnow
    Thanks Josh.

    I believe this niche deserves a national site. However I ll think it over and see if it'd be better to do local and duplicate.

    However, there are lots of needed and useful info to put on the site, and if I go with plenty local sites then that would make lots of duplicate content.

    It s a bit of a medical niche.

    Thanks Josh, you rock!
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Cory,

    you should be calling people instead of emailing them. And have realistic expectations about your numbers... whether you do payper click or whether you do flyers or direct mail or cold calling- based on your level of skill in any of those areas, you have "numbers".

    Learn your numbers, no matter what they are , based on repeating a certain action, a certain number of times, in a certain way... then you can leverage them to get a consistent predictable result.

    Based on your skills at writing copy and your distribution method for instance, it make take 1000 flyers to produce two customers...just an off the cuff number...

    With cold calling your numbers as a beginner are going to be around 1-100 BUT your first sale may not show up for 150 dials.... you will just average 1-100 over 2 or 3 hundred numbers. Those numbers will improve weekly, not daily. Because you can have bad days, but it all averages out.

    That takes about 2-3 hours per day.

    Now I wish I could tell you there was a pie in the sky method. I have been happy to hear though that people having been having success with the bower method, and you can too, but email aint gonna get it.

    You gotta man up to the phone, or find someone who will, unless you can put out 10k flyers at a time, and have a valid distribution method that is targeted. Perhaps direct mail, or salesman who walk up and hand the biz owners flyer and simultaneously pitch.....

    If the person holding the flyers is actually greeting and trying to explain the service the "targeted" people they hand them to, then a minimum of 1 out of 50 flyers is going to be a sale....

    In any event, what you are doing wrong is focusing on email.
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    • Profile picture of the author Corymoore
      Thanks John! Just what i neede to hear! Ill start cold calling tomorrow and post my results tomorrow night!

      I was also thinking, could a possibility be that people are viewing the site, seei g only a few listings and thinking imnot established and leaving? In such case should i throw up like 10 courtesy listings?
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by Corymoore View Post

        Thanks John! Just what i neede to hear! Ill start cold calling tomorrow and post my results tomorrow night!

        I was also thinking, could a possibility be that people are viewing the site, seei g only a few listings and thinking imnot established and leaving? In such case should i throw up like 10 courtesy listings?
        Yes you should have courtesy listings.

        If you dont mind sharing your link it would be cool to see your site, maybe able to offer more guidance.
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        • Profile picture of the author Corymoore
          Absolutely! It is: www . the valley directory .ca (take out the spaces).

          Check out the pages and the "list your business" page and let me know anything i can improve on! Id appreciate it so much.
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          • Profile picture of the author John Durham
            Originally Posted by Corymoore View Post

            Absolutely! It is: www . the valley directory .ca (take out the spaces).

            Check out the pages and the "list your business" page and let me know anything i can improve on! Id appreciate it so much.
            No problem Corey, its good to see people taking the concept to heart. My afternoon is a bit packed today, but I will check this out in the evening and post some thoughts. Thanks for being open and genuine.
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        • Profile picture of the author candicane36
          Yay first post! (tho I've read all 15 pages of 101 and 102 of this thread, and still have a novel question/problem :p)

          I've found a small corner of a big niche to do a directory. But...

          It involves getting under 100 businesses from different parts of the country to list on my site.

          In the end, I want the site to do 2 things:
          1. List all service providers by region so that consumers can see who is where.
          2. Yield commissions and subscription revenue for me.

          But, when it comes to selling listings,
          1. I won't have the #s on my side (under 100 businesses to list).
          2. Keyword searches for anything close to my exact terms yield pages of the service providers' websites. (The closest thing to a guide/directory is very thin, tho it has an exact keyword match .com on page 5). [I think I can spin this by telling lower ranking sites that they have a chance to be listed next to those who have made the top spots, while delivering targeted leads to all.]

          So, my questions are:
          1. Is is possible to sell listings to under 100 businesses and have nearly all of them accept?
          2a. Could I realistically unseat these businesses' websites from their top spots in the Google rankings?
          2b. Would they pay me to unseat them?

          Thanks for your help and thanks John for starting these threads and already answering so many of my unsaid questions
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  • Profile picture of the author Corymoore
    Thanks John i really appreciate it !

    Looking forward to your insights!
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Cory, it looks awesome...

    I love the look. Its coming together really nicely. I think you could go ahead and start selling off of this , especially at your price... You have something very cool here and Im sure its going to work for you, again, especially at your price. That could either be your USP (The unique price) or , after you build it up more you may want to charge more. The look certainly carries more perceived value than 10 bucks. This is a winner.

    What I particularly like is the way the text flows on the "list your business" page...but I can see a couple of tweaks.

    I would take out the search bar on the right for this page only so the reader is solely focused on the message, and also to make it more symmetrical, particularly for this page because its the sales message, and its a GREAT one, but you dont want people to feel cramped over to the left, or feel any cramped feelings at all when they read your sales letter. Then you could center the banners at the bottom too. It reads awesome, now you want the page it self to FEEL the way it reads.

    As far as text, there are only a couple of tweaks I can see...

    This line:

    And our listings get over 80 views per day so you are GUARANTEED to be viewed! No question about it!

    I would change it to:

    The Valley Directory is #1 on Google,
    exposing your company to potentially thousands of internet customers daily. Our listings get searched EVERY day, so you are GUARANTEED to be viewed! No question about it!

    *Thats a true statement that sounds better than "80". You might also take Joshs advice on this thread. Thats an easy no brainer for traffic.

    The other line is:

    Market research shows that 90% of individuals surveyed would rather SEE and EXPERIENCE something rather than read text.

    It sounds a little fabricated even if its not because of the even number "90" , and also to say "of those surveyed" sounds like all too familiar advertising word play.... This line just doesnt seem to flow with the warm flow of everything else.

    Maybe if you said "Our" market research that would warm it up some... that way you sound more legit and less vague...

    Could be just me though, Im looking for things because you asked, it may go right by an average person.

    2 more notes:

    I dont know how much local business owners will care about being global unless you are strictly focused on ecommerce sites... However, on another note the "global" thing does attract a certain market of people who are moved by that... Just like some women have a fetish for men with tattoos or whatever. So, while it may be more than some are looking for,; for others it could be JUST the thing they want to hear...So I dont see a need to change that.

    Last note, I would just work on symmetry. I would try to put maybe a featured listing of uniform size under each search bar (on the right, and try to make the top and bottom of the text paragraphs line up with the top and bottom of the objects on the right.

    Believe it or not symmetry is sooo important...it really is.

    Uniformity of listing sizes I think is important too, but maybe thats just me as well. In truth what I have recommended are what I think of as improvements, but your site could sell just fine like it is.

    So I hope you didnt take these criticisms harshly; as they were just because I was LOOKING for this stuff.

    If you hadnt asked I would probably think "Cool , awesome site! 10 bucks per month? No brainer!"

    Hope this helps.

    -JD

    Ps. Its not your typical hypey squeeze page type copy, but thats good because the site isnt that hypey, its warm and comfortable, and the text flows with that so it delivers a clear message and image that "feels" good.

    Very nice.



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    • Profile picture of the author Corymoore
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Cory, it looks awesome...

      I love the look. Its coming together really nicely. I think you could go ahead and start selling off of this , especially at your price... You have something very cool here and Im sure its going to work for you, again, especially at your price. That could either be your USP (The unique price) or , after you build it up more you may want to charge more. The look certainly carries more perceived value than 10 bucks. This is a winner.

      What I particularly like is the way the text flows on the "list your business" page...but I can see a couple of tweaks.

      I would take out the search bar on the right for this page only so the reader is solely focused on the message, and also to make it more symmetrical, particularly for this page because its the sales message, and its a GREAT one, but you dont want people to feel cramped over to the left, or feel any cramped feelings at all when they read your sales letter. Then you could center the banners at the bottom too. It reads awesome, now you want the page it self to FEEL the way it reads.

      As far as text, there are only a couple of tweaks I can see...

      This line:

      And our listings get over 80 views per day so you are GUARANTEED to be viewed! No question about it!

      I would change it to:

      The Valley Directory is #1 on Google,
      exposing your company to potentially thousands of internet customers daily. Our listings get searched EVERY day, so you are GUARANTEED to be viewed! No question about it!

      *Thats a true statement that sounds better than "80". You might also take Joshs advice on this thread. Thats an easy no brainer for traffic.

      The other line is:

      Market research shows that 90% of individuals surveyed would rather SEE and EXPERIENCE something rather than read text.

      It sounds a little fabricated even if its not because of the even number "90" , and also to say "of those surveyed" sounds like all too familiar advertising word play.... This line just doesnt seem to flow with the warm flow of everything else.

      Maybe if you said "Our" market research that would warm it up some... that way you sound more legit and less vague...

      Could be just me though, Im looking for things because you asked, it may go right by an average person.

      2 more notes:

      I dont know how much local business owners will care about being global unless you are strictly focused on ecommerce sites... However, on another note the "global" thing does attract a certain market of people who are moved by that... Just like some women have a fetish for men with tattoos or whatever. So, while it may be more than some are looking for,; for others it could be JUST the thing they want to hear...So I dont see a need to change that.

      Last note, I would just work on symmetry. I would try to put maybe a featured listing of uniform size under each search bar (on the right, and try to make the top and bottom of the text paragraphs line up with the top and bottom of the objects on the right.

      Believe it or not symmetry is sooo important...it really is.

      Uniformity of listing sizes I think is important too, but maybe thats just me as well. In truth what I have recommended are what I think of as improvements, but your site could sell just fine like it is.

      So I hope you didnt take these criticisms harshly; as they were just because I was LOOKING for this stuff.

      If you hadnt asked I would probably think "Cool , awesome site! 10 bucks per month? No brainer!"

      Hope this helps.

      -JD

      Ps. Its not your typical hypey squeeze page type copy, but thats good because the site isnt that hypey, its warm and comfortable, and the text flows with that so it delivers a clear message and image that "feels" good.

      Very nice.



      John, thank you so much, i truly appreciate you taking the time out to have a look!

      I will definitely make the changes you recommend! It's nice to see and hear it from someone else's perspective who has such experience in this.

      I really wanted to push the fact that this directory isn't a typical text " name and contact info" directory. That it is visual, attractive, and makes it very easy for customers to connect with the businesses and share with their friends.

      My main thing right now is getting people to view the site and realize what a great value it is. Ive done so many cold emails..not a single response. I got 2 new customers tonight from the facebook page i made, which is great. Im trying to put together a cold calling script to start on that on monday but scriptwriting isn't one of my strengths ( i'd love to hire someone but, at this moment i can't afford that)

      What i also did was make a facebook group, called "Shop The Valley" where people can post items and services for sale. Got 900 people in the group since this afternoon. And the big banner on the group says " Brought to you by The Valley Directory" and my url. And since people are posting services and businesses i can instantly contact them to sign up on my site, or they see the banner and check it out. I think this is a great, fast sales funnel for anyone doing a site. Make a FB group, and offer it as a "Community service brought to you by ____ "

      Hope things pick up! Still struggling with this script and whatnot.

      I really appreciate your help John!

      Cory
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      • Profile picture of the author BrandonMHowe
        Originally Posted by Corymoore View Post

        What i also did was make a facebook group, called "Shop The Valley" where people can post items and services for sale. Got 900 people in the group since this afternoon. And the big banner on the group says " Brought to you by The Valley Directory" and my url. And since people are posting services and businesses i can instantly contact them to sign up on my site, or they see the banner and check it out. I think this is a great, fast sales funnel for anyone doing a site. Make a FB group, and offer it as a "Community service brought to you by ____ "
        Dude... Cory,

        THANK YOU!

        Just gave me a great piece of advice on Facebook.

        I'm working on building a branded community publication in
        my valley as well.

        "Showcasing Shenandoah"
        Sharing the Best Value in the Valley

        Doing a directory [still building, yours is beautiful and makes
        me want to start over], a 9 x 12 card, SMS coupons, newsletter
        and email coupons, etc.

        I have a FB timeline for "Community" set up already but haven't
        done much... you just gave me great insight as to what direction
        I need to be moving.

        Is yours an actual "Group" on Facebook where you invite people
        to join, or do you mean a regular timeline where people "like?"

        Please advise!

        I've been getting the ball rolling here the past 2 1/2 weeks and
        it's coming down to where I have to get my postcards filled and
        my "deadline" for print is coming up with half a dozen spots to fill.

        I think I may be able to get great results with the card and
        directory by doing what you're doing.

        900 people to join your group and a couple sales in an evening
        is pretty awesome!

        Again, great job on everything... You definitely have something
        to be proud of and a lot of value to share with your community!



        All the Best,


        BMH
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        • Profile picture of the author Corymoore
          Originally Posted by BrandonMHowe View Post

          Dude... Corey,

          THANK YOU!

          Just gave me a great piece of advice on Facebook.

          I'm working on building a branded community publication in
          my valley as well.

          "Showcasing Shenandoah"
          Sharing the Best Value in the Valley

          Doing a directory [still building, yours is beautiful and makes
          me want to start over], a 9 x 12 card, SMS coupons, newsletter
          and email coupons, etc.

          I have a FB timeline for "Community" set up already but haven't
          done much... you just gave me great insight as to what direction
          I need to be moving.

          Is yours an actual "Group" on Facebook where you invite people
          to join, or do you mean a regular timeline where people "like?"

          Please advise!

          I've been getting the ball rolling here the past 2 1/2 weeks and
          it's coming down to where I have to get my postcards filled and
          my "deadline" for print is coming up with half a dozen spots to fill.

          I think I may be able to get great results with the card and
          directory by doing what you're doing.

          900 people to join your group and a couple sales in an evening
          is pretty awesome!

          Again, great job on everything... You definitely have something
          to be proud of and a lot of value to share with your community!



          All the Best,


          BMH
          Brandon,

          Thanks so much!

          What i have is a facebook page where people can "like" it and i'm usin it to post some plr stuff, videos on marketing, advertise my premium listings, and promote the businesses that signed up.

          I also have a group, which i made as a "Service offered by the valley directory". Where anyone can join, post items for sale like a classifieds forum, and post services for sale from individuals small businesses. I can promote my directory to everyone, and personally contact those who post a service to sign up on my directory site.

          So i have both. Cross promoting each other both to drive traffic to my site.

          I think its a great idea!

          The best thing about this method and how im doing things is that sure i want to make profit, but im also greatly helping my community. That alone, once people see how they are supporting their own community, really helps.
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          • Profile picture of the author ericb303
            Originally Posted by Corymoore View Post

            Brandon,

            Thanks so much!

            What i have is a facebook page where people can "like" it and i'm usin it to post some plr stuff, videos on marketing, advertise my premium listings, and promote the businesses that signed up.

            I also have a group, which i made as a "Service offered by the valley directory". Where anyone can join, post items for sale like a classifieds forum, and post services for sale from individuals small businesses. I can promote my directory to everyone, and personally contact those who post a service to sign up on my directory site.

            So i have both. Cross promoting each other both to drive traffic to my site.

            I think its a great idea!

            The best thing about this method and how im doing things is that sure i want to make profit, but im also greatly helping my community. That alone, once people see how they are supporting their own community, really helps.
            Cory, what happened?
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      • Profile picture of the author SendCards
        Quite a feat Cory, 900 overnite !! Yikes...you should be teaching us...

        Cheers!

        C

        Originally Posted by Corymoore View Post

        What i also did was make a facebook group, called "Shop The Valley" where people can post items and services for sale. Got 900 people in the group since this afternoon. And the big banner on the group says " Brought to you by The Valley Directory" and my url. And since people are posting services and businesses i can instantly contact them to sign up on my site, or they see the banner and check it out. I think this is a great, fast sales funnel for anyone doing a site. Make a FB group, and offer it as a "Community service brought to you by ____ "

        Cory
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  • Profile picture of the author BrandonMHowe
    Awesome directory, Corey!

    Strong work!
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    @coey

    No prob. You hear alot of people struggling with closing cold calls charging thousands of dollars... but yours at this value and price will move alot faster than most. Granted you will still get your share of No's but I could see selling these things at a rate of a few per day, and its something that other telemarketers could latch onto easily, so the scalability on this will be easier for you than most. Great "Value".
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  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
    Re: www . the valley directory .ca

    A couple of observations that you might want to address Cory

    1. The bottom banner does not have a link to your ListYourBusiness page.

    2. Your pale blue category links under each image listing is very hard to read on my screen. I had to highlight it in order to see it clearly

    3. The Art & Auto Repair categories on the Browse Listing page are linking to the Antiques page. Unless everyone in the valley are driving around in old bombs as we call them over here then that is probably not a good link for car repairs

    4. The community Services category on the Browse Listing page goes to the .png image of the category not a page.

    Like John I quite like the sales copy on your list your business page as well as the text on your about us page.

    I would definitely put up more free listings or perhaps you can barter a listing for some other service of equal value so that the directory look more established. Once it has more listings it will rank better also and you will find it easier to actually sell new listings at full price.
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    • Profile picture of the author Corymoore
      Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

      Re: www . the valley directory .ca

      A couple of observations that you might want to address Cory

      1. The bottom banner does not have a link to your ListYourBusiness page.

      2. Your pale blue category links under each image listing is very hard to read on my screen. I had to highlight it in order to see it clearly

      3. The Art & Auto Repair categories on the Browse Listing page are linking to the Antiques page. Unless everyone in the valley are driving around in old bombs as we call them over here then that is probably not a good link for car repairs

      4. The community Services category on the Browse Listing page goes to the .png image of the category not a page.

      Like John I quite like the sales copy on your list your business page as well as the text on your about us page.

      I would definitely put up more free listings or perhaps you can barter a listing for some other service of equal value so that the directory look more established. Once it has more listings it will rank better also and you will find it easier to actually sell new listings at full price.
      Thanks so much Aussie! Ugh, been fighting with this wordpress theme! I have all the links good and i save it and it just reverts back. But thanks for pointing it out, as i thought it was fixed!
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  • Profile picture of the author zoro
    So after my own dismal failure at trying to get advertisers onboard, I hired a telesales person on oDesk, a Phillipine lady.
    I gave her a list of 50 targeted potential businesses to call and told her this would be test run and if she did well I would continue to use her.

    She called everyone but made no sales?

    Here's what I asked her to do:

    a) Ring the business using the script I gave her which included a OTO for signing up today.
    b) She would tell them the URL of my landing page where they could enter their contact details into a form. When I received the form I would email them back another form to gather all the relevent info I required for their listing. It also included a PayPal payment option of monthly or yearly.

    I never received One form ... boo hoo.

    Please share with me how you would go about getting advertisers when using a telesales person.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by zoro View Post

      So after my own dismal failure at trying to get advertisers onboard, I hired a telesales person on oDesk, a Phillipine lady.
      I gave her a list of 50 targeted potential businesses to call and told her this would be test run and if she did well I would continue to use her.

      She called everyone but made no sales?

      Here's what I asked her to do:

      a) Ring the business using the script I gave her which included a OTO for signing up today.
      b) She would tell them the URL of my landing page where they could enter their contact details into a form. When I received the form I would email them back another form to gather all the relevent info I required for their listing. It also included a PayPal payment option of monthly or yearly.

      I never received One form ... boo hoo.

      Please share with me how you would go about getting advertisers when using a telesales person.
      Rather than rewrite an answer I already gave, I will refer you to this one brother: Not Interested

      Suffice it to say that, you would be better off to budget 100 dollars and give them a ten hour run on 300 leads to test them. The law of large numbers isnt made to work with small numbers, and in the beginning, learning a new script, the law of large numbers is highly important to observe.

      In fact, budget $300 because you may have to go through 3 telemarketers like that to get a good one. Just bein realistic.

      Some may say "but I dont have $300 to start". My answer is then "You dont have what it takes to be hiring telemarketers, and you need to do it yourself until you have some money".

      Its like Im saying all along, web skills are useless if you cant sell, and telemarketers are highly valuable. Why would anyone work for little or nothing on an opportunity that they could do without you, but that you could not do without them?

      Thats how you have to view pro telemarketers. Its not a privilege for them to work for you, its the other way around in their minds, and they are right to think that. They are in big demand.

      I can play guitar all day long, but if I cant book gigs then its all good but Im just playing with myself :rolleyes:. My talent is of no value to the world without a booking agent. Musicians are a dime a dozen, but people who can BOOK gigs are in big demand.
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  • Profile picture of the author spaniard26
    Hi,

    I read this thread and took action. I already have the directory site and now I'm trying to write my cold calling script. I really loved the JD freebie great telemarketing report as I really love that kind of "soft selling". I've tried to adapt the script to my service (and language which is Spanish). It is kind of like this:

    "Hi, This is MyName from DirectoryName. We're calling around medical supplies companies to let them know about our web directory service and hopefully drum up some interest. As we're starting we want to offer a one month trial totally free and without any compromise. I was wondering if your company is already in any specialized directory or maybe had any thought to be included in one in the future?"

    Is it any good? Is not exactly what I'm going to say on the phone as I am spaniard but the concept is the same. I don't mind to give away a free month since it cost me very little to do the directory (less than 100 bucks in a logo, a template and the domain name since I already had the hosting) and I think that talking about a "free trial" will help me with the cold call.

    What do the experts think?

    Regards

    EDIT: I'm trying talking to me and it is way too long. I'm trying to shorten the message while leaving the concept intact, I'll update soon
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  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
    One month is not enough time for them to be able to see any value in the lising in my opinion. Unless the site is already ranking in the first 3 positions for your main keywords.

    If you are just starting and the directory is bare, you need content in the form of listings ASAP. What I did is I entered lots of free premium listing and then contacted the rest. When They visit the site to check it out then the see lots of competitors listed and they feel they need to join also. They are not aware that initially most of those listings were free. Once the site is established you can remove the free listings and then contact them to join up as PAID members.
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  • Profile picture of the author spaniard26
    Yes, I already have a bunch of "advertisers" (they just don't know it yet, LOL) but I think it is easier to start with "free" on the phone, I guess it can help you to get the foot on the door.

    The free month was more about making the listing and let them to take a look (as the directory is really visually apellant) so I could get the decision maker contact data. But then they will also know that probably the other bunch of people are already there for free too so I'm not sure if that is going to help me.

    In the other hand, start collecting money right at the beginning will be pretty sweet. I'll take a look at the script to see how can I qualify prospect without too much of pitching.

    Regards.
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  • Profile picture of the author spaniard26
    Well, I've retouched the script considering that maybe I shouldn't offer a one month trial because as AussieT said, it is not time enough to perceive any value. Again my script is in Spanish but I'm going to say something like:

    "Hi, this is MyName from DirectoryName. We're calling around medical supplies companies to let them know about our service*. I was wondering if your company is already in any specialized medical directory or maybe had any thought to be included in one in the future?"

    *Maybe a slight pause here to let them answer?

    EDIT: after some practice in the mirror I wanted to shorten even further, I really like the JD concept of "Hey, I'm just calling to say Hi and let you know about my service". Here is what I got (again, not what I'm going to say since I'm spaniard but the concept is the same).

    "Hi, this is MyName from DirectoryName. The reason I'm calling is because we're including medical supplies companies in our web and we want to let you know about our service*..."

    *Maybe here I could add the "little" unsure technique from JK and finish the phrase with "... but I'm not sure with whom I should have to talk"
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  • Profile picture of the author spaniard26
    Well, today was my first day of cold calling, I must confess that I chickened a little and only did 10 calls, I tried the script with the word "free" and without.

    - People was nicer that I expected. Yes, there was a few "not interested" but it was a nice "not interested".

    - It seems that the word "free" works pretty well with the gatekeepers, all of them send me directly with the decision maker or told me to call later and ask for him/her (even one was the wife of the owner LOL)

    The script I used most of the time was this (but in Spanish):

    "Hi, this is MyName from DirectoryName. The reason I'm calling is because we're including free for the first month medical supplies companies in our web and we want to let you know about our service..."

    Two of them asked me for the website address.
    Two of them said that they're not interested.
    One told me that their year marketing budget was empty but I could call next year.
    Three of them gave me the name of the DM and told me when to call them.

    Also I'm not sure how much to charge. It seems that 147 € (about 190$) a year seems to be a little too much. I'm considering to lower it to 97 € (125$) yearly.

    It is a little bit mentally exhausting all of this cold calling stuff but I know it will be worth it. For now I want to take it easy and make about 10 calls a day, I know that it is a very tiny number but I when I started exercising I didn't lift 200 pounds right at the beginning LOL.

    Regards

    EDIT: I'm also considering the idea of the "mockup" and modify the script just to inform them that I've created their personal listing and they can take a no strings attached look. The downside with this is that the company should have some website where I can get the information but I guess that it will be also a kind of pre-qualifying since they're in Internet already. If I have the material 10 listings a day won't take me more than half an hour and if I can sell one of every ten I'll be more than glad with it.
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    • Profile picture of the author AussieT
      You could also do the free mock-up after qualifying them over the phone first. Tell them that you will do a free mock-up for them and then they can decide if they want to pay for the listing after they see it.

      Originally Posted by spaniard26 View Post

      Well, today was my first day of cold calling, I must confess that I chickened a little and only did 10 calls, I tried the script with the word "free" and without.

      - People was nicer that I expected. Yes, there was a few "not interested" but it was a nice "not interested".

      - It seems that the word "free" works pretty well with the gatekeepers, all of them send me directly with the decision maker or told me to call later and ask for him/her (even one was the wife of the owner LOL)

      The script I used most of the time was this (but in Spanish):

      "Hi, this is MyName from DirectoryName. The reason I'm calling is because we're including free for the first month medical supplies companies in our web and we want to let you know about our service..."

      Two of them asked me for the website address.
      Two of them said that they're not interested.
      One told me that their year marketing budget was empty but I could call next year.
      Three of them gave me the name of the DM and told me when to call them.

      Also I'm not sure how much to charge. It seems that 147 € (about 190$) a year seems to be a little too much. I'm considering to lower it to 97 € (125$) yearly.

      It is a little bit mentally exhausting all of this cold calling stuff but I know it will be worth it. For now I want to take it easy and make about 10 calls a day, I know that it is a very tiny number but I when I started exercising I didn't lift 200 pounds right at the beginning LOL.

      Regards

      EDIT: I'm also considering the idea of the "mockup" and modify the script just to inform them that I've created their personal listing and they can take a no strings attached look. The downside with this is that the company should have some website where I can get the information but I guess that it will be also a kind of pre-qualifying since they're in Internet already. If I have the material 10 listings a day won't take me more than half an hour and if I can sell one of every ten I'll be more than glad with it.
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      • Profile picture of the author spaniard26
        Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

        You could also do the free mock-up after qualifying them over the phone first. Tell them that you will do a free mock-up for them and then they can decide if they want to pay for the listing after they see it.
        Hi there,

        Thanks for the input AussieT, the problem I see is that most of the time I don't know the name of the DM so I was thinking to just start with something like:

        "Hi, this is MyName from DirectoryName. We've included your company in our directory and we want to let the owner see it"

        I tried to preserve all the "Hey, this is XX and we do YY" with the least amount of words in order to avoid to sound like a salesman and more kind of "we're already doing business so it is in our directory now". If I get thru the DM I will explain that we are a medical suppliers directory and as it is kind of complicated to explain in detail over the phone so I prefer that he take a look and then decide if he wants it or not.

        Then I will tell him the url over the phone (it's something like www.DirectoryName.es/detail/NameOfTheCompany) or I can send him via email.

        I'll inform then that I'll call back next Monday to get an answer.

        Maybe if the owner can see it and feel it I have more chances of selling it. Also as I always will call back on Monday I don't need to give away a month free, at most it will be 7 days (from Monday to Monday).

        And as I've followed your advice to include a bunch of advertisers he will see a bunch of people already there.

        Let's see how it goes next Monday

        Regards
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  • Profile picture of the author cdonne08
    re: driectory sites...
    how do you scrap all the data and input to your directory sites? what scripts are you using? thanks all
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  • Profile picture of the author BlogDiva
    Hey John,
    Thanks for sharing this Awesome information.
    I have a question.
    I have a site that I put up to feature local businesses how ever it was a state wide site broken down by counties.

    Do you think that I could rank the internal pages with the niche keyword just as quickly as the root domain containing the keyword?

    For example: charlestonchineserestaurants.com vs SounthCarolinaBusinessAdvisor.com/charlestonchineserestaurants
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  • Profile picture of the author WinmanRoss
    Banned
    Thanks, man. This was really helpfull.
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  • Profile picture of the author nelsonbiglar
    Great info... thank you
    Signature

    On the other side:
    www.fishingnorthernontario.com

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    • Profile picture of the author khengo
      This is a great thread John.

      I've also been working on a directory site for around 6 months now. Finally got it onto the first page for the main keyword, so its time to get some businesses to sign up.

      Most people hate cold calling and im one of them!

      Do you think sending bulk sms to them would work? With land lines, i guess i have to.

      the site is cardetailinghq com au, Ive got it ranked for car detailing on google australia. Should i be ranking on first page for car detailing sydney etc before i approach sydney businesses?

      any guidance would be helpful.

      Thanks in advance!

      Kheng
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      • Profile picture of the author AussieT
        Hey Kheng

        Congratulations on the site, It looks great

        What theme did you use mate?

        Tom
        Originally Posted by khengo View Post

        This is a great thread John.

        I've also been working on a directory site for around 6 months now. Finally got it onto the first page for the main keyword, so its time to get some businesses to sign up.

        Most people hate cold calling and im one of them!

        Do you think sending bulk sms to them would work? With land lines, i guess i have to.

        the site is cardetailinghq com au, Ive got it ranked for car detailing on google australia. Should i be ranking on first page for car detailing sydney etc before i approach sydney businesses?

        any guidance would be helpful.

        Thanks in advance!

        Kheng
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      • Profile picture of the author AussieT
        Originally Posted by khengo View Post

        This is a great thread John.

        I've also been working on a directory site for around 6 months now. Finally got it onto the first page for the main keyword, so its time to get some businesses to sign up.

        Most people hate cold calling and im one of them!

        Do you think sending bulk sms to them would work? With land lines, i guess i have to.

        the site is cardetailinghq com au, Ive got it ranked for car detailing on google australia. Should i be ranking on first page for car detailing sydney etc before i approach sydney businesses?

        any guidance would be helpful.

        Thanks in advance!

        Kheng
        Its ranking in position 5 for me. g.com and g.com.au from my sydney IP addresss.
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      • Profile picture of the author kingster
        Originally Posted by khengo View Post

        This is a great thread John.

        I've also been working on a directory site for around 6 months now. Finally got it onto the first page for the main keyword, so its time to get some businesses to sign up.

        Most people hate cold calling and im one of them!

        Do you think sending bulk sms to them would work? With land lines, i guess i have to.

        the site is cardetailinghq com au, Ive got it ranked for car detailing on google australia. Should i be ranking on first page for car detailing sydney etc before i approach sydney businesses?

        any guidance would be helpful.

        Thanks in advance!

        Kheng

        Your site looks good mate. What script are you using?
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        • Profile picture of the author khengo
          Originally Posted by kingster View Post

          Your site looks good mate. What script are you using?
          Thanks Aussie T and Kingster.....im using a Classipress theme. I picked it up for $97 a while back.

          @AussieT - Hi mate, sorry i couldnt reply. I havent got enough posts to pm you.

          Im not in Sydney. Im in Perth. With regards to the video, i picked it up from fiverr (trio666).

          This video is good for many niches too, just change the wording around.

          Kheng
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          • Profile picture of the author AussieT
            Originally Posted by khengo View Post

            Thanks Aussie T and Kingster.....im using a Classipress theme. I picked it up for $97 a while back.

            @AussieT - Hi mate, sorry i couldnt reply. I havent got enough posts to pm you.

            Im not in Sydney. Im in Perth. With regards to the video, i picked it up from fiverr (trio666).

            This video is good for many niches too, just change the wording around.

            Kheng
            I contacted trio666 but no reply yet. It did not seem to be one of his current gigs.

            Did you supply the "john" video and he customised it for you or did he supplu the whole video? It's just that I seem to recall seeing the video for sale here on WF but I am unable to find. Let me know pls if you know where I can get it.
            Tom
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            • Profile picture of the author khengo
              Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

              I contacted trio666 but no reply yet. It did not seem to be one of his current gigs.

              Did you supply the "john" video and he customised it for you or did he supplu the whole video? It's just that I seem to recall seeing the video for sale here on WF but I am unable to find. Let me know pls if you know where I can get it.
              Tom
              He should be there. I only got that done 2 weeks ago.
              I paid for 2 gigs to change it to john.

              PM me your email Tom

              Kheng
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  • Profile picture of the author zoro
    Khengo, your site looks great. FYI it is ranking 6 in Google.com.au. Great job!

    I am not afilliated with a recent WSO called "Directory Site Empire". I highly recommend it. For around $17 bucks its great value. Just search Directory under the WSO section.

    Good luck with your directory site.
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    • Profile picture of the author khengo
      Originally Posted by zoro View Post

      Khengo, your site looks great. FYI it is ranking 6 in Google.com.au. Great job!

      I am not afilliated with a recent WSO called "Directory Site Empire". I highly recommend it. For around $17 bucks its great value. Just search Directory under the WSO section.

      Good luck with your directory site.
      Thanks Zoro, i will check it out!

      Kheng
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  • Profile picture of the author spaniard26
    Hi there,

    ten calls Today, three direct "not interested" and two DM names, one "send me an email with further information" and everything else just didn't answer the phone.

    I'm not going to spend time including the listings before selling them, too much of effort to being throwed with something like "we don´t like to be on that many pages!" (actual anwser from one of the DM).

    As everyone is showing their directory I'm going to show mine: suministromedico dot es

    Regards
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  • Profile picture of the author asepkomara
    Nice idea. Let me implement this strategy.
    I live in country with large population. So i think there are many markets untouch.
    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author spaniard26
    Quick update:

    10 cold emails Today (as I was tired from yesterday and a little bit discouraged) and 1 reply! The DM was interested and asked me about the prices, I don´t know if it just was luck but it was a better response that I got on the phone most of the time (that could indicate that I truly suck at cold calling LOL)

    Regards
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  • Profile picture of the author busterkman
    WOW! This is great stuff. Really appreciate the insight and direction in 'thinking outside the box'. Can't wait to implement it.
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  • Profile picture of the author iamchrisgreen
    Would a directory work for a little village/town?

    I have had a site for ages for my village and it get's about 800 visits a month.

    It has a population of about 15,000

    We have about:

    7 restaurants
    5 schools
    4 gyms

    Then a big mix of other shops, a few manufacturers, plumbers, cleaners etc etc

    Probably making up 150 businesses in total.

    Is this too small of an area to build a directory??
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    • Profile picture of the author spaniard26
      Originally Posted by iamchrisgreen View Post

      Would a directory work for a little village/town?

      I have had a site for ages for my village and it get's about 800 visits a month.

      It has a population of about 15,000

      We have about:

      7 restaurants
      5 schools
      4 gyms

      Then a big mix of other shops, a few manufacturers, plumbers, cleaners etc etc

      Probably making up 150 businesses in total.

      Is this too small of an area to build a directory??
      I don't think so, with that kind of traffic to your website you've a valid sell point, maybe I won't charge too much but I surely will get the opportunity to make a little bit of pasive income.
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      • Profile picture of the author iamchrisgreen
        Originally Posted by spaniard26 View Post

        I don't think so, with that kind of traffic to your website you've a valid sell point, maybe I won't charge too much but I surely will get the opportunity to make a little bit of pasive income.
        How would I work out what to charge for a directory listing?
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        • Profile picture of the author spaniard26
          Originally Posted by iamchrisgreen View Post

          How would I work out what to charge for a directory listing?
          As I'm from Spain and I don't know much about the UK mentality I just don't know. Here in Spain almost everyone is a "cheap ass" (if you ever run a keyword research you will find the word "free" multiple times here) so every price tag will be just too much.

          I've talked with business owners in the medical supply niche, owners that (extracted from their websites) makes up to 1 million of €uros a year and they said that 147 € a year was too much!

          So I just don´t know, you will have to make some trial and error there.

          Regards.
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      • Profile picture of the author Christian Chan
        Originally Posted by spaniard26 View Post

        I don't think so, with that kind of traffic to your website you've a valid sell point, maybe I won't charge too much but I surely will get the opportunity to make a little bit of pasive income.
        It maybe will get him 1 dollar per month nett. Not too sure it's worthwhile.
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  • John, thanks for everything.

    I will more succesful because of the information and conversation in this thread.

    thanks to everyone that participated and again thanks John for answering all these questions

    I don't have any questions at this time but I'm making a new thread and I'd like everyone to check it and give me advice/feedback

    So sales offer just local business help
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  • Profile picture of the author andreisaioc
    @iamchrisgreen: its good area to start with. You will first need to pick a software to build your website. I recommend a listing or a classified theme or a business directory theme for wordpress. I sell a few themes in Wordpress Themes | Premium Wordpress Themes | SiteMile.com and i can help you with setting up such a website. Let me know.

    As far as charghing, start free for the first 30 days maybe, then charge 50 cents, then slightly increase.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
    IF YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT SELLING...

    Then here's something you can do.

    Create the darn site.

    Get traffic (leads) coming in.

    Send them through lead tracking tel numbers (redirected to each business)

    After a month of generating leads for each listing, send them a letter with your report of all the leads you've sent... or call them and just get to the point with the details.

    Explain how it's a free trial and if they're interested in continuing this fresh supply of leads, they can send a cheque to you

    It's so much easier selling people when you've already done something good for them, and can already prove your system works.

    "Hey John, you don't know me yet, but last month I sent you 17 leads from my website. It was part of an experiment, but the site is gaining popularity each day and listings are getting snapped up fast. Would you be interested in keeping your listing? We don't need to change anything..."

    Hard to resist, wouldn't you say?
    Signature
    BEST SELLING DONE-FOR-YOU CONTENT AT ROCK BOTTOM PRICES
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    • Profile picture of the author Lee Wright
      Thanks Nick. Your reply is timely as I'm at my wits end. The site was already up & running. Has been for years. I've got tons of leads coming in, about 60 genuine per month which go via email & are clearly identified. I haven't worked out how to do the telephone lead tracking but I don't allow phone numbers so it's all just email enquiries. I sent them a copy of their leads from October to December for 30 vendors who got at least 3 enquiries in that time. An average booking is worth $300 min. I'm charging $49 per month. I sent both email & hard copy. Not a single one signed up! I can't believe it. I mean one of them gets about 15 enquiries per month. I pointed out one enquiry that was worth at least $1200. That vendor doesn't have their own website so basically my directory is their website but they just don't care. I got sick of it & kicked them all off & told them - made no difference. A couple are trying out for another month. I wonder if it's easier to start a directory from scratch rather than to convert an existing free one to paid.
      Lee.
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      • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
        Originally Posted by Lee Wright View Post

        Thanks Nick. Your reply is timely as I'm at my wits end. The site was already up & running. Has been for years. I've got tons of leads coming in, about 60 genuine per month which go via email & are clearly identified. I haven't worked out how to do the telephone lead tracking but I don't allow phone numbers so it's all just email enquiries. I sent them a copy of their leads from October to December for 30 vendors who got at least 3 enquiries in that time. An average booking is worth $300 min. I'm charging $49 per month. I sent both email & hard copy. Not a single one signed up! I can't believe it. I mean one of them gets about 15 enquiries per month. I pointed out one enquiry that was worth at least $1200. That vendor doesn't have their own website so basically my directory is their website but they just don't care. I got sick of it & kicked them all off & told them - made no difference. A couple are trying out for another month. I wonder if it's easier to start a directory from scratch rather than to convert an existing free one to paid.
        Lee.
        Sounds like you set their expectations in the wrong way... you gave them too much of the good life (free leads for months) and they got used to it.

        If you give away leads for too long, they're also going to assume you can afford to.. and that they're worthless to you, so they're also likely to refuse to pay you for what they've been getting for free all this time.

        You want to give them a fair respresentation of what you can do for them, but have a limit in mind...

        Also, I'm not convinced email leads are the answer.

        People want to speak to real people on the phone... both customers and vendors prefer that. It saves the leads going cold, or landing in the junk folder, which is something else that could be happening.
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  • Profile picture of the author ownergolan
    Great post, thank you.
    Signature
    "Aiyyo I'm gonna be on ti-dop, that's all my eyes can see..
    Ill put in work, and watch my status escalate"
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