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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There is not the slightest doubt that consulting to offline businesses is the market niche to be in. It is a major growth industry. The potential clients have a wide variety of needs that need to be met. Anyone who has some experience in internet marketing will be capable of meeting these needs.
However, consider for a moment the extent of the needs that you are likely to face.
- Your client will require a well designed web site that is properly optimized for the search engines.
- Your client will require an auto-responder and associated email messages
- Your client will need articles submitted on a regular basis to the article directories.
- Your client will need video on the sales and contact pages.
- Your client will need a continuing program of education and support.
You may well think that you can provide these services on your own, if you have all the necessary skills. That scenario may work out for your first few clients, but then you will find yourself shouldering an increasing burden. The consequence of doing that is likely to be disastrous. Your clients’ needs will not be met in the most timely and efficient way; you will start missing deadlines and making mistakes. The long term implications of that are obvious.
Outsourcing is therefore a very sensible – indeed, necessary approach to take, right from day one.
The secret of success with outsourcing is to do your homework.
There are a large number of resources available to you, depending on what tasks you wish to have performed.
Let me use web site design as an example. Determine the size and basic layout that is required for your client’s site, then get three sites designed. It may cost you a little at first, but in the long term it will help you provide a consistent and reliable service. This split-testing approach will enable you to gauge quality, turn-around time and interpersonal relationships. It will also enable you to negotiate a good price for continuing work.
The same will apply for other areas of your client services such as article writing and video production.
In order to have long term stability and effectiveness in your consultancy services you will need to outsource as much of your work as possible.
So….outsource or die!