The plan is to sell online directory listings (I just finished my online business directory website, and have 3 complementary listings already). Aside from the regular business information each listing will also come with 5 updated images of inside and outside the business (including the main picture which displays the front sign of the place). This process automatically makes it different most common directories because of the visual appeal and the updated nature of the listings.
To make things more appealing for the businesses and visitors each listing will come with a promotional video. A quick HD animoto video, nothing fancy. A video helps convert better than text and images, helping turn visitors into clients. You don't have to stop there, you can also upsell more videos down the line to each business owner in the listing by telling them that a diverse group of videos in each listing helps it stand out from others. You can use templates from videohive itself and charge a higher premium for that particular video.
Here's where I'm having trouble; the pitch, the delivery......and pricing. Personally I couldn't care less if I sold each listing for $30 right now (not per month or per year, just to get in), as long as I was selling the listings at a good pace.
(Long story short I've been developing this plan for a while but unfortunately I've been forced into a situation where I need money now. So while I wanted to charge a yearly fee, in my opinion buying a listing that will never be removed SEEMS like an easier sell in the beginning)
Problem with charging $30 I'm afraid is/was the perceived value. When I walked up to businesses some didn't want the service because they either thought it was too good to be true, thought I was using the directory as an excuse just to get money or "the owner isn't here".
A second try at getting businesses on the video directory involved me selling the listings for $97 (for now, though I'm sure you guys have more insightful opinions on this matter). When I tried cold calls with this pricing I ran into similar issues as walk-ins, "SOUNDS GREAT! let me call you back!" without them returning the calls, "let me think about it", "the owner is busy, I'll tell him to call you back", and so on.
Keep in mind that I currently live in a low-income neighborhood and I've beed targeting businesses in this area due to the short walking distance of each one. I'm currently having second doubts about my service, but at the same time I'm still convinced I need to work on my pitch and delivery, as well as establish a great pricing model.
The last thing I want to try before returning to cold walk-ins and cold calls is craigslist. But then I need figure out if hiring a good copywriter to make a couple of ads and someone to continually post ads on craigslist, split test the ads and go from there is worth it. Or until I have enough for a decent copywriter I need to figure out a way to promote the video directory on craigslist and figure out where to post, and when.
I'm sorry if this feels like a journal entry, I'm just kind of discouraged by my efforts today. I'm going for another round of walk-ins tomorrow though.
You guys are welcomed to give this a try, as well as giving your input on this idea/method. Basically I want to encourage discussion on this business model.