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A 4 Step Process for Marketing Local Businesses

Typical advertising mail.
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This article is an overview of a 4 step process used in successfully starting an Internet marketing business for local clients. In 2008, Tim Castleman was making 40,000 per year and was recently divorced. When his boss at a Fortune 100 company informed him a 1.7% raise for the coming year he quit on the spot. Today in his Internet marketing business, he is able to make $5,000 online and nearly $25,000 offline quarterly.

Making money online has become more difficult as information products are now becoming cheaper and cheaper. For instance, Ryan Deiss’ new Direct Marketing product is priced at $97, compared to his usual $2,000 launches. Marketing for local businesses as a service has become the best approach for Internet marketers. Here are his steps Tim uses personally in his offline marketing business:

  1. Finding a Target Market
  2. Contacting the Target Market
  3. Selling Services
  4. Performing the Work

Tim’s suggestion to finding a target market involve finding high transaction value or monthly recurring income businesses. Also, he looks for businesses where he can deal directly with the owner, e.g., no corporate businesses. Finally, he tries to find businesses that are already advertising, e.g., are used to spending money. Specifically, the best types of businesses include dentists, lawyers, chiropractors, gyms, veternarians, car dealerships, doctors, and laser eye centers. As a side note, accountants are not a good prospect, since they generally believe that word of mouth works best.Yellow Page Display Ads

In order to locate his clients, he refers to yellow pages, tv ads, radio ads, and the Internet. Tim lives in a town of 230,000 where he concentrates on businesses using yellow page display ads. He also has developed his own  yellow page scraper program. They are currently paying $300 to $1000 per month for these ads. He also looks for businesses that already have a website.

The process involves selecting 100 businesses he’d like to work with, either locally or in a nationwide niche. He uses a marketing strategy to contact these businesses at least every two weeks. He uses Google Places to locate businesses with a website.

Methods of contacting businesses include cold calls, door to door, bulletin boards, networking, referrals, the Internet or direct marketing. It depends on personality, schedule, and budget which method might work best for an individual.

Selecting services to offer will also depend on an individual’s capabilities, but could include integrating email capture with their website, help with SEO, or Google Places. Email contact is the best way to start. Note that restrictions on spam don’t apply to B2B. Tim sends two follow-up emails if he doesn’t get an answer to his first email.

Tim’s sales process involves research, rapport building, value building, handling objections, and closing the sale. His research involves finding out how much the business currently spends for their advertising and as many other pertinent details as possible. It is important to be able to show the business how advertising online instead will pay for itself, e.g., how many clients would be needed to break even.

In closing the sale, he offers different levels of service: good, better and best. These levels range from training the client for self help to complete turn-key service. He encourages clients to tell him “no” rather than chase uninterested prospects. To perform the actual services, Tim outsources over 90% of the work using ODesk and Fiverr. Both of these services allow you to check on the track record of those that will be doing the work.

Supporting local businesses is a win-win, since the business will be expanding their reach while simultaneously saving on their marketing.  For those that prefer business ownership using a direct sales approach, we suggest you try this system.

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