Taking it up a notch - help appreciated

2 replies
for the last year or so I have been doing some web design/local seo/local e-marketing for my existing clients (I have a successful IT support business). Up until now everything's been outsourced

I'm about to spin off the marketing as a separate business. New brand, website, separate phones etc.

I have hired a competent designer/programmer. He's not a star yet but I think he can be and he's local and flexible.

As our launch campaign I'm doing the Free Local Directory Listing (premium to come + coupons once we get about 250-300 of most prominent local businesses on board ) - local population is about 45k with about 1700 businesses and about half that in other local entities. I will start the calling and once I have a feel for it I'll train one of my staff to take over.

I have a lot of questions about this model

1- is it a good idea, in general?
2- I don't see it as much of an earner on it own. I see it primarily as a feeder project to get good clients for a unified NEW MEDIA sales & marketing strategy. Am I wrong?
3- I believe that even something free should offer REAL VALUE. How can I ensure that I am offering real value even with FREE directory listings?
4- How much is too much for a free listing?

Anything else you can think of or point out or criticise would be great.
#appreciated #notch #taking
  • Profile picture of the author kebertt
    Personally, I think there's more money (and less time wasted) in skipping the directory, and targeting businesses with your paid services right off the bat. If you think the only real value that will come from it is gaining clients, why not just focus your efforts more on marketing your services?

    It's going to be hard to establish a directory that actually provides value (and gets a substantial amount of traffic) in a population of your size. If you want to sell websites/seo services, why complicate the process?

    I would get some direct mail sent out, jump on the phones, and do some local email marketing. Once you burn out your local market you now have the ability to expand, and even focus on specific niches/industries - all because you're not being held down by a local directory.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      I agree with what kebertt said. And wish to add:

      Directories can be positioning tools. By having one, the right one, you can be top of awareness. Something to consider too.
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