12 replies
I'm curious if any Warriors have had any success in small towns. I live in the southeast (U.S.) in a town with a population of around 15,000. Most people here are relatively unsophisticated even though I think everyone owns a smartphone, especially the younger crowd. There are 4 or 5 plumbers, electricians, heating and air companies, 20 hair salons, 25 or so restaurants (about 2/3 are chains), at least 100 churches, and several other retail and other establishments. There is a north/south interstate that runs through here and also an east/west state highway, so there is some car traffic passing through. I have frequented pretty much all of the businesses here at one time or another. Most advertise in the local (now 3 day a week) newspaper, sports programs, loyalty cards sold by the high school athletic club, and other minor publications. I have searched high and low for SMS or email opt-ins and only found one regional chain, Jack's, that uses SMS to promote their fast food restaurant (they only send out an offer once a month). A person could surmise that, due to the rarity of SMS here, that it either doesn't work, or it has not been offered and promoted properly. I opted in to Jack's and always use my coupon.

As far as SEO, desktop, and mobile sites go, there are a few, mostly by the national and regional companies and restaurants. Google search returns few if any local results for any type of food or service inquiries.

I will say that, within an 80 mile radius there is easily over a million people, and another 3 million or so at 120 miles. That's where I believe the real opportunity lies, but I would love to learn, sell, practice, locally first. I believe one must physically go and talk to people to succeed in any business and that's how I plan to build my business.

So, back to my original question: any advice from seasoned Warriors who have succeeded in smaller towns and cities?
#small #town #woes
  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    You can offer a service where you get the client a $100 adwords certificate and use it to see what people respond to (headline, offer, call to action rarity) and then get the company to use that in newspaper ads, signs, social media etc. Test test test and see what works. Charge them for the testing and then actually see where you can add value for them. Only take the BIG businesses or ones that look like they are trying to make some headway in marketing. Leave the ones that are not marketing alone.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    Dude -- small town America is where it's at.

    -Little to no competition
    -A preference to local biz and face-to-face interaction

    I live in Chattanooga, TN -- sounds like you're close by.

    Now I sell life insurance, and rural America is much nicer to deal with than urban/suburban America.

    I recommend you take note of every business in your area and start cold-walking them, introducing yourself, and asking for an appointment face-to-face to tell the owner about how you help them maximize their web presence.

    Additionally, there are probably small manufacturers around your area that need a web presence but probably don't get solicited often for it. Nail them to while your at it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Lee
      Originally Posted by Rearden View Post

      Dude -- small town America is where it's at.

      -Little to no competition
      -A preference to local biz and face-to-face interaction

      I live in Chattanooga, TN -- sounds like you're close by.

      Now I sell life insurance, and rural America is much nicer to deal with than urban/suburban America.

      I recommend you take note of every business in your area and start cold-walking them, introducing yourself, and asking for an appointment face-to-face to tell the owner about how you help them maximize their web presence.

      Additionally, there are probably small manufacturers around your area that need a web presence but probably don't get solicited often for it. Nail them to while your at it.
      Yeah, i really have to echo what he's saying. In a small town, you can position yourself as THE GUY businesses turn to in your town to help them with their marketing needs. I'd get some nice business cards and do some hand shaking. One thing I do that gets people to call the next day is I will spend one or 2 days out of my office just going around to local businesses and giving away subscriptions a free monthly marketing guide for small businesses. (it's a white label service I found here on the WF).

      Don't look at living in a small town as a bad thing, it's a good thing! Take advantege of that and start attending local town functions, chamber of commerce meetings, and get your name(and business card) our there.
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  • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
    Hi there,

    You could also set up, fairly cheaply, a monthly luncheon where there's free lunch and drinks and some speaker of note - not a sales pitch - for the local businesses. Then you drop business cards in strategic places and offer prizes etc.

    Like Matt Lee said above - you could literally own the market in your area and the the go-to guy.

    Best,

    Sasha...
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    • Profile picture of the author LinkTub
      Small town America is a great place to look for SEO clients, if you are aware of how to optimize keywords for those areas. Moreover social media plays a huge role in bringing targeted traffic to a small town business, so make sure to mention this to whoever you approach.

      Also, small business owners enjoy a lot of face time...so if you can meet with them like this on a regular basis it would help you find clients faster.
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      • Profile picture of the author pertree
        Originally Posted by Rearden View Post

        Dude -- small town America is where it's at.

        -Little to no competition
        -A preference to local biz and face-to-face interaction

        I live in Chattanooga, TN -- sounds like you're close by.

        Now I sell life insurance, and rural America is much nicer to deal with than urban/suburban America.

        I recommend you take note of every business in your area and start cold-walking them, introducing yourself, and asking for an appointment face-to-face to tell the owner about how you help them maximize their web presence.

        Additionally, there are probably small manufacturers around your area that need a web presence but probably don't get solicited often for it. Nail them to while your at it.
        Hi Reardon, I was up your way last weekend. I am in Fort Payne, AL and the family wanted to do a little shopping. We do still have a few manufacturers here, do you have any experience in marketing for this niche?

        Originally Posted by Matt Lee View Post

        Yeah, i really have to echo what he's saying. In a small town, you can position yourself as THE GUY businesses turn to in your town to help them with their marketing needs. I'd get some nice business cards and do some hand shaking. One thing I do that gets people to call the next day is I will spend one or 2 days out of my office just going around to local businesses and giving away subscriptions a free monthly marketing guide for small businesses. (it's a white label service I found here on the WF).

        Don't look at living in a small town as a bad thing, it's a good thing! Take advantege of that and start attending local town functions, chamber of commerce meetings, and get your name(and business card) our there.
        Thanks Matt, very inspiring post. Could you tell me more about the marketing guide you are giving as a freebie. Is it digital?
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        • Profile picture of the author Rearden
          You've got Plasman, small manufacturers, remnants of the hosiery industry. trucking companies, etc... all within a stone's throw of Fort Payne.

          Rome... Lyerly, LaFayette, Dalton, etc. -- all within an hour's drive, are completely chock-full of small-business opportunity to sell web sites to.

          Here's an example of a small manufacturer in Lyerly, Georgia (Smith-Ironworks* -* Structural Steel Fabrication). The city has one or two stop lights, and beyond that, is forgettable.

          Point is -- how many web design guys are going to hit this business up, or even know it exists, much less actually WALK IN and introduce themselves?

          You could buy a list of manufacturers off of InfoUSA.com -- or go to infofree.com and buy unlimited names (actually 25k a month max) for $40. You'd have all the business locations you could ever need, of a variety of industries.

          My recommendation is to dress completely and utterly professional, walk in completely cold, ask for the owner, and if questioned further, ask for an appointment to show them how you help businesses like yours increase their exposure and identity on the Web.

          Knock 30 manufacturers/small businesses a day (yes, a day) like that and you'll be outworking and outmaking 99% of the people on this board.

          Originally Posted by pertree View Post

          Hi Reardon, I was up your way last weekend. I am in Fort Payne, AL and the family wanted to do a little shopping. We do still have a few manufacturers here, do you have any experience in marketing for this niche?



          Thanks Matt, very inspiring post. Could you tell me more about the marketing guide you are giving as a freebie. Is it digital?
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  • Profile picture of the author Tyler S
    I have found that small towns are a lot easier to deal with than businesses in big cites.
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    It's a small world. I am within an hour of both of you guys!
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    • Profile picture of the author pertree
      Originally Posted by rolltide View Post

      It's a small world. I am within an hour of both of you guys!
      Glad to know I'm not the only one around these rural parts involved in this business. We should locate a few more and have a "Warrior Meet-up" someday.

      Rolltide, if I remember correctly, you're around Birmingham, or just north. Is your area responsive to such things as SMS, mobile sites, and such? Do you have very much qualified competition?

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author DNChamp
    This is a good post. I also live in a small town with one way in and out (kinda) and the next bigger city is 25 miles away.

    Most here are local chains and small business owned shops. Im not even sure they would need a website/seo since most traffic is local and they are all over the mailers and local paper.

    So if we rule out a website, seo what else can you offer them that deals with the internet?
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    I do all my work in Huntsville but live in the same town as Unclaimed Baggage.
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