With Facebook recently overtaking Google as the top venue for advertisers to spend their dollars, it opens a golden opportunity for those entrepreneurs who are poised and ready to take advantage of the timing and positioning.
Take a look if you haven’t already noticed, BIG business is already all over FB. They’ve found that staying in touch with folks who use and like their products is extremely easy through social media. If you’re on the fan page of one of these companies you have access to special and discounts that won’t be found anywhere else. (Exclusivity & Scarcity all in one)
You can also comment on their wall giving them direct feedback without them having to spend money from their budget in order to create, market, score, assess and evaluate a massive poll. They have the ability to ask you directly what you want most from them and respond in kind.
Now, transfer all of these big business strategies down to a smaller scale and begin to realize how easily you could go out and create and/or manage fan pages for businesses in your local community. If you’re good with graphics, that’s even better, there are FBML (facebook markup language) templates and information out there that will allow you to create custom designs for those fan pages.
If you have a knack for video (outsource if you don’t) you can and should offer to create HD videos for your clients and then upload and manage their YouTube channel for them. Oh, don’t forget to submit their video to sites like TubeMogul so that they can be categorized, keyworded and then widely distributed. This will also come in handy if you’re going to be building a blog for them.
These are only two examples of what you might offer local businesses in order to help them expand their sphere of influence. Think about them the same way for your business. If you’re not already in business, this is a good way to begin. If you already have an established offline consulting business, you could use these ideas as an adjunct to services that you’re already providing. The choice is up to you.
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Generating leads for local businesses can be a very lucrative avenue for you to think about pursuing. Almost every small business has a need for more customers and/or clients. By providing a venue to gather contact information you can become invaluable to local businesses. Imagine how thankful that new doctor or dentist in town will be after you’ve provided them with a patient base that they never could have achieved without your help and expertise.
There are a number of ways that you can go about generating those leads. One way involves having businesses pay you before you have the leads and the other will have those businesses handing you money for names, addresses, and phone numbers of clients whose names you already own and have permission to market to.
Your starting off point and the direction of your own business will be determined by your ability to gather that contact information. It can be as simple as putting up a single page website that does nothing more than educate consumers to the benefits of using a certain type of business or service. Once they’ve visited the site, ask them to express their continued interest by exchanging their contact information for the promise of a discount with the service provider which they eventually choose, no matter who that may be.
Another great way to gather information, which will also give you the opportunity to realize a greater profit, is to create the website with a keyword rich domain name, ie; chicagosbestpainter.com or bestdentistindenver.com or something similar to that. Once you’ve created the site and put an opt-in box near the top of the page to capture names, you then get the site optimized and ranked in the search engines. Once it’s ranked you have the opportunity to approach those painters in Chicago or Dentists in Denver to 1.) Sell them the leads you’ve gathered or 2.) Sell them the site that you’ve gotten ranked and offer to maintain both the site and it’s rank for $xxx/yr.
Either way you look at it there is profit to be made. Whether you take the long road or the shorter one is up to you. There is no wrong answer. Only your expertise and intuitiveness will determine the outcome of your efforts. The key is to take action. Choose a direction and begin to move that way.
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Categories: Sales, Services, Small Business Consulting, Websites Tags: For Sale or Auction, generating leads, keyword rich domain, leads, local business, more clients, more customers, prospects, search engines, service, small business
Before starting out any new business strategies in a down turned economy, it’s always beneficial to bolster your position with preexisting clients and customers. Many times there is enough business to be found amongst your existing client base for you to then finance a “new idea” or strategy that you’ve wanted to implement. Use these strategies to shore up your financial foundation and then go looking for “new” business.
Whether your primary business is offline or online the same principles apply. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling e-books or toothpaste, applied with the right amount of preparation and presentation, these ideas can make the difference between finishing your quarter in the red or in the black.
Try these tips:
- Begin calling your “inactive” customers.
- Determine why they’ve gone inactive.
- Ask for the opportunity to “make it good“.
- “Would taking care of this immediately change your attitude toward us?”
- Fix it immediately or task someone who will follow through to completion. (Whether it brings the client back immediately or not)
- Call 20 of your “active” customers/clients and ask them make an additional (wisely chosen) purchase.
- Make them an OTO (one time offer).
- Offer an upgrade.
- Offer a “value added service“, something that improves your existing relationship with them.
- Call other businesses that offers complementary products or services to yours and ask for a trade of referrals. Don’t stop with one.
- Offer to make it an ongoing relationship that’s mutually beneficial.
- Over deliver! Offer more referrals than you receive. It will serve you well.
Since these principles apply to either an online or a brick and mortar business, they’re perfect strategies for the Offline Consultant to keep in mind when talking to or even prospecting for small business owners. These are the types of high value free advice that will in turn have those shop owners ready and willing to do business with you.
In fact, the more giving you’re able to be, the more you’ll have people actually asking YOU to do business with them. It will quickly establish you as an authority and as the person that everyone will want to be affiliated with.
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Categories: Sales, Services, Small Business Consulting Tags: brick and mortar business, business, customers, e-books, finance, offline consultant, online, small business, small business consultant, value added
Making a good living with internet marketing is nowhere near as easy as some people would have you believe. To grow a sound and prosperous business requires a range of skills as well as knowledge and persistence.
Usually internet marketers are involved in selling e-books, videos, home study courses, reports, membership sites, CD‘s & DVD‘s. It is not often that you hear about someone earning a living by leasing websites.
How can this be?
In the operational area of consulting to offline businesses, there is a huge opportunity to do just that. It is now well established that this is a major growth industry. At the present time, the large majority of small businesses either do not have a web site, or if they do, it is not bringing in new business.
Enter the offline consultant…
Becoming a consultant to offline businesses dictates that you need to provide them with an effective online presence that assists them to grow their business. In order to do that you need to weigh the options available to you.
One opportunity would be to design an appropriate web site and sell it to the business owner. In this scenario, this becomes a one-off transaction and he becomes the owner of the site. The new owner also has the responsibility to maintain it on an ongoing basis.
A far better option is to prepare a web site for which you remain the owner. Then lease the website to the business owner on a monthly basis. You then retain control and can keep things to a proper standard… More importantly, you then start receiving passive monthly income. This is an important consideration, particularly when starting out in this area.
As your client portfolio grows, you will have a substantial monthly income. Of course this income will be supplemented by other products and services that you may provide to your clients, but it will remain as the strong foundation of your business.
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Any offline to online transition consultant knows that the future sustainable relationship with a client depends on understanding the needs and expectations of the business actually in the process of transitioning from the offline world to the Internet. It is extremely important to ensure that the right virtual presence is created. Without a proper base from which to grow, no matter how flashy the site, the traffic will just not be able to sustain itself profitably.
The first and most basic task is to identify the actual needs of the business. If the focus is on the local community, and the business’s perceived role within it, there is no need to try to drive traffic from the ends of the world. Similarly, any business that sells physical products strictly on reduced price structure has no real need to develop the persona of an expert in a given field.
But there are many times where the business is actually looking to expand and redefine itself in the process. The Internet offers a wonderful opportunity to develop a “persona” that is completely different from the brick and mortar store setting. In this case, the vehicle used to promote the expertise is much different from one that is displaying pure price point.
There are lots of ways to promote on the Internet, but the Home page is the most important. The choice between blog and more standard website is critical. Although a combination of both is often used, it is the focus of the development on one or the other that can spell the difference between success and failure. As a general rule of thumb, if the information to be delivered is of a mainly static sort, maybe the business only desires an electronic business card. Then the choice of the more standard website, with its ability to influence the way the pages are viewed in a somewhat structured way with the proper selection of menus and buttons, is usually the best way to offer exposure.
When the client has the requirement to build an aura of expertise, or a personality of sort is required, then this is most efficiently provided through the use of the blog format. The blog is much less static and offers the ability to create a “web star” and hordes of followers. This is something the more traditional website would have a difficult time providing.
You can have the best graphics and copy writing skills, but if the original platform for delivering the message is not appropriate, leading to a confused message and experience, serious problems will surface. Even the best designed site will have problems delivering the original expectations of the contract if the experience is wrong. Getting it right, right from the start is often the difference between success and failure in any project.