Now to the meat of the post...
So back in spring of this year I had been talking with a friend about the fact that there is no good way to find things to do for nightlife in my town. This had got me thinking..... I hear all the time the best way to sell something is to find a problem then find a way to fix that problem and sell it.
So over the next few weeks after that conversation I had brought it up to anyone I was talking with to see what they thought of a place to find all the events in town in one localized place and if they would use it if there was such a place. The outcome was an overwhelming "YES PLEASE!!!"
This is what I did.
1. Used business finder Wordpress theme by AIT to create a portal for businesses to post events for free and business listing by paying a monthly fee.
2. I populated the listings with free non-paid listing that included name, phone and address...no map, link to their site, description or pictures/video
3. Filled ~20 paid listings with all the feature (these had not been paid listings yet they were just there for when I start calling businesses to sell listings so they see what they would be getting and I could tell them that they are already advertising with me)
4. I followed every bar/restaurant in my area on Facebook. Every time one of these places posted about an event I filled in a free event listing.
5. Create Facebook "like page to drive traffic. I would repost all the events/posts of the local bars I followed previously in a weekend preview post (telling everyone what each bar was doing that weekend/night all in one post and linking back to my events page on my site.) I had gained about 2500 likes in ~2 weeks.
6. Now I had the traffic coming in from facebook but have yet to do any SEO for targeted keywords. So I focused on this for about 3 weeks while doing all the other things on facebook. After about 3 weeks I had gained page 1 spot 1 on every keyword I targeted. Boom more traffic not much but more.
7. With all the traffic coming in and quite a few more followers on FB I had, create significant "value for businesses to post their listings with me based solely on traffic alone. But to make this a no-brainer I needed more.
So these are the features of each paid listing: professional promotional video (made by me), custom full menu made with "restaurant menu manager" plugin, happy hour specials listing, picture gallery, daily specials list, social network connection, hours of operation, link to business website, map to location and allow customer reviews. All for $80/month, $70/month billed bi-annually and$60/month billed annually. The video alone is a feature worth $80/month YP charges $670 just for the video and it sux
8. Now was the time to start calling businesses in my town and sell the listings. If you're afraid of doing cold calls this is what I have to say "Just do it", Nike had it right. If you don't do it you'll never get good or comfortable with it. I wanted to book enough client listings to cover a radio marketing campaign to drive more users and businesses to the site. My goal was $6000 for a 7 week campaign. I reached that goal in two weeks of calling.
9. Started radio adverts: week 1 traffic had jumped a little but not by much, week 2 is when I saw a massive burst in traffic. When I say massive I mean quadruple what I've saw on even the busiest week previously. The next week was double.... lol people liked it and they continued to come back.
10. I didn't have to cold call anymore.... Businesses were calling me left and right to be listed on the site
11. This where I didn't have to post events on my site any more from the businesses FB posts. They were posting them for me now and I simply took 3 random events each time I would post to FB from my page.
There is more to it than what I posted here but it's late and I must get to sleep.
I know I didn't explain everything in a great amount of detail(I did plan to) so if you have questions please ask.
I do have warriors to thank for posting threads that helped me tremendously while in the start up staged ....even now. But I will make sure to edit my post when I have the whole list of them and post links to each of the threads that helped me put this plan into action.