Anyone with brick & mortar businesses want to swap strategies?

16 replies
Hey there...I own a small business in Austin, Texas and try to use things from the internet marketing world to grow our business. I'd love to swap some strategies with other owners/managers of how they're applying internet techniques.

I personally find that lots of techniques that people with digital products/services dont always apply to brick & mortar business...and vice versa.

Anyone out there want to talk/strategize?

-Gabe
#brick #businesses #mortar #strategies #swap
  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Right now I do -

    Local SEO / Geotargeted website.
    Local search directories, as many as possible with as many reviews as possible.
    Youtube / Geotargeted Videos.
    State based websites or forums that get a lot of traffic.
    Classifieds.

    Then I'll also post on local / high traffic facebook groups.

    I also pay attention to news. Anytime something goes viral, say like a local story that is remotely related to my niche (even nonrelated stories will work tbo), and someone uploads a youtube video, I'll rank my own comment on the top of their video, without making it look spammy. I do it just to drive traffic to my channel. There are lots of opportunities like this online if you look for them. But generally I like my traffic as targeted as possible.

    I do basically everything aside from PPC.

    They key I find is just maximizing your presence on each of these places. No real secret techniques just consistency and hard work.

    -Red
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  • Heya Gabe,


    We could most likely offer more ideas if we knew some specifics about your industry, niches, target markets, business and products/services.
    Feel free to send a PM, in case you don't want to post these specifics here...
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  • Profile picture of the author MelanieandMiles
    We work with a retail shop that offers massage therapy in Tahoe and have been helping them transition online with a dropship store. Tahoe is so seasonal... Peaks with ski season and summer time, but absolutely dead in the shoulder seasons. Also offers us a channel to liquidate old inventory cheap to our list of email subscribers and fans on fb.

    If you are buying and selling, remember that you make your money when you buy! If you buy your widgets right, you can make money online and offline.

    If you are offering services, local seo and search engine domination are a great way to keep the phone ringing and people walking in!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Sommers
    Originally Posted by isGabes View Post

    Hey there...I own a small business in Austin, Texas and try to use things from the internet marketing world to grow our business. I'd love to swap some strategies with other owners/managers of how their applying internet techniques.

    I personally find that lots of techniques that people with digital products/services dont always apply to brick & mortar business...and vice versa.

    Anyone out there want to talk/strategize?

    -Gabe
    Make sure that you have the content on your website mention the areas you service. This is called geo-targetting. Also claim and build out your Google Plus page. Link everything with authorship. Also find out what local directories there are in your area and get listed on all of them. Encourage your clients to write reviews (testimonials) and place them on these directories
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  • Profile picture of the author isGabes
    Jeeezzzz....didnt any of you read my post? I didn't say I was struggling with traffic or sagging in rankings...simply seeing if other small businesses want to discuss some strategies on effective foot traffic generation into the store. There is alot more to internet marketing than just local SEO and Facebook fans...
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    • Profile picture of the author James English
      Originally Posted by isGabes View Post

      Jeeezzzz....didnt any of you read my post? I didn't say I was struggling with traffic or sagging in rankings...simply seeing other small businesses want to discuss some strategies on effective foot traffic generation into the store. There is alot more to internet marketing than just local SEO and Facebook fans...
      Seems to me thats exactly what some of the responses were doing. You asked to swap ideas...which implies sharing your ideas as well.

      RedShifted shared what he does for his business (he runs an actual brick and mortar business as well).

      Yes there is a lot more than SEO and Facebook, but those forms of marketing are just as valid as any other. Not trying to start anything here, but these guys were genuinely responding to help out and exchange ideas. Not sure where your response came from...
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  • Profile picture of the author robdoby
    Fellow Texan here. Had exhibit at SXSW last month. Love Austin. Occasionally I'll post freebie on Craigslist to get folks in the door. I limit a virtual coupon to x first replies via email (using Craigslist dummy address, of course, not mine) and then pull add when it reaches my limit. Send them "coupon" for freebie via return email. Gives me a good feeling.... Gives them an awesome deal... Picks up new repeats.
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    Ask me how I started a business with $100 and built it to $1.5 million in annual sales using crowdfunding.

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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    Not sure where your response came from...
    Not to mention the fact that you havent given any of your ideas yet:confused:


    Jeeezzzz....didnt any of you read my post? I didn't say I was struggling with traffic or sagging in rankings...simply seeing other small businesses want to discuss some strategies on effective foot traffic generation into the store. There is alot more to internet marketing than just local SEO and Facebook fans...
    Does being a sexy surfer looking dude with long hair auto make you act like a douche to people who want to help you?
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    Promise Big.
    Deliver Bigger.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      I know a guy who owned a ladies dress shop for more mature ladies.

      He asked himself this question..."who has a customer list of my ideal customers?

      He came up with European Luxury car owners and 2 women's groups.

      So offered the car dealers a free gift to give to their women car owners.
      He pointed out it was a way to build loyalty.

      All they had to do was come into his shop with the supplied letter and pick
      up a free silk scarf.

      Dealers took him up on the offer, the ladies came in with a friend and would buy 2 items on average while collecting their silk scarf.

      He put more and bigger mirrors in the store which helped with the sales.

      For the groups, he put on a fashion show where some of the members modelled for it's members. More sales.

      Key takeaway point..."who has a list of your ideal customers?"

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author Norbi
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        Key takeaway point..."who has a list of your ideal customers?"

        Best,
        Ewen
        That is what it really comes down to. Find out where your ideal customers are, and attack them there and attack them alot. The hardest part is in the beginning stages of any business (like me in my current venture).

        While in your above example, he already knew his demographics at the start of the store. Many businesses don't know that though when they offer generic services.

        As for me in terms of advertising our 1.5 month old business, we launched off with a Groupon. The results are good, and have had about 20% retention in only 6 weeks from launch. Only more can come. In our arsenal we have joint ventures, direct mail, and adwords. All have been producing something.
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          Originally Posted by Norbi View Post

          As for me in terms of advertising our 1.5 month old business, we launched off with a Groupon. The results are good, and have had about 20% retention in only 6 weeks from launch.
          Now your work is spending a greater percentage of your time and money into customer retention, spending more at each transaction and more often.

          If you get better profitability than your competition from those 3 areas, then you can outspend
          them in buying customers.

          Best,
          Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        Key takeaway point..."who has a list of your ideal customers?"

        Best,
        Ewen
        Hi there,

        Thanks Ewen! This is a key factor in offline marketing for actual standing businesses (those that depend on people walking in or calling on the phone).

        All the best,

        Sasha
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Eddie Spangler View Post

      Does being a sexy surfer looking dude with long hair auto make you act like a douche to people who want to help you?
      You never say that about me.

      Now I don't feel special.
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      "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    Just so you dont feel left out
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    Promise Big.
    Deliver Bigger.
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  • You didn't mention your industry so I'll just list several ideas that I've used in the past to drive foot traffic for my advertising clients. They are not all internet focused, but most if not all of your activity should involve the internet to some degree, even if it is just promoting all your events with social media.

    Create your own local industry association

    In a medium-sized city I organized all the chiropractors into an ad-hoc advertising association. They pooled funds to promote "advertorial" spots on local TV. See if you can find like-minded competitors and look for areas you can combine forces for exponential results.

    Create your own local party or event

    This is a similar idea but involves organizing neighboring businesses for local promotions. What local event can you start to generate excitement? How about a weekly happy hour downtown with local bands? Or a mini music festival.

    You can start small. Try co-promotions with one or two neighbors and build from there. Ewen gave some examples earlier in the thread. I've staged hockey clinics, golf demo days, free massages days, battle of the bands, stand-up comedy marathons, etc.

    Bring old customers back

    It's a mystery of the ages. Many businesses let old customers drift away with no attempt to get them back. Create an irresistible offer (it must be really good - don't cheap out on it) and get those drifters back. They already know who you are so it is all gravy.

    Use all your co-op

    Check what co-op funds you have accrued with your top vendors. Have you used it all up? If so, ask your vendors about special funds set up to fund one-off promotions. This is different from your earned co-op.

    Often called "Key City Funds" or similar phrases, you have to feature that vendor in the promotion, but it is a great way to find extra money. Show the brand or manufacturer how you will increase sales for the city or region.
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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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