Give Me Ninety Days And You Will Be Successfully Marketing Local Business Throughout The Twin Cities
Marketing local business is not as simple today as it was in the past. A long time ago, it seems marketers promoted local business by putting ads in the yellow pages and buying ad space in the local newspaper. Business has gotten very hard in The Twin Cities. Eager buyers no longer look at the newspaper ads to shop for products and services. Today most consumers start by doing an Internet search before they buy. What will happen when you anticipate eager buyers shopping for what you offer? Knowing what they type into the search box, what’s keeping you from appearing everywhere they look?
Marketing Local Business Online
Take roofing for example. Drop by Google.com and search for the following:
- twin cities roofing
- minneapolis roofing
- saint paul roofing
As I write this, the search engine results pages all show one thing in common: that gorgeous map! Local business results are your key to marketing local business successfully.
There are three sections to each Google search results page:
- Pay-per-click advertisements at the top and down the right side;
- Local business results and that gorgeous map above the fold; and
- Organic or natural search results everywhere else.
So, each roofing company has at least three (3) chances to show on each page. And, take note, this is only Google! We’re not looking at Yahoo!, Bing, Facebook or any other search results. Is Your Website Marketing Local Business?
Consider your own company website. You may have paid big bucks to publish your online business card — did you? Did you pay for pretty? Or, did you intend to pay to produce more customers? How many new customers did you get last month because of your pretty website? What is your return on that investment?
What about your website content? Is it relevant to your visitors? Is it compelling them to take action and buy from you once they’re on your pages? What would persuade you to buy from you? Are you calling them to action on each page? If you don’t ask them to call you, what do you expect them to do? Not calling you, not buying from you and going away may be exactly the message they’re getting from you.
As a local business, what are you doing to make sure that eager local buyers know that you exist? How would you find your company if you didn’t know about it? Remember that cool map? Google will only place you in the local business results after they recognize that your business is local to that search. What is your service area? As a Minneapolis roofer, how interested are you in Duluth business? Or, business in Fort Lauderdale? The best marketing local business strategy pulls customers directly from your local community. Even if business thousands of miles away can be good, won’t local business be better?
Marketing Local Business Has Changed
Marketing local business online is not that different from marketing offline. Eager buyers want to taste, hear, smell and feel your products and services. Give them a great reason to walk through your front door and they’ll come to check you out. There are rating and review sites providing places for your customers to express their feelings about your business. Claim your business listing on social rating and review sites like Google Places, MerchantCircle, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc. With half a reason to stand up in public and tell the world about your remarkable work, many customers will do just that.
How much of that do you want?
Community involvement will certainly build your brand quickly. The more your neighbors talk about your business, the sooner marketing local business brings them to you. Marketing local business is different today than in the past. Today most consumers start by doing an Internet search before they buy. Anticipate eager buyers shopping for what you offer and, of a sudden, everywhere they look you are there. In fact, marketing local business online is different: it is effective.
Marketing Local Business 90 Day Challenge
Give me ninety days and you will be successfully marketing local business throughout the Twin Cities.
Are Targeted Sales Leads A Secret?
I ignored telling my buddies about this, thinking that they’re already aware, until one day one of my buddies approached me and asked, “How can I increase my sales?” I was stunned. You should have seen my eyes when I heard her question because I always thought every business owner knows that the best way to increase sales is to get in front of eager buyers. I’d so much rather be in front of an eager buyer shopping for what I offer than tire kickers or garage salers. Targeted sales leads are the best gauge of eager buyers I know.
Of course, whenever I generate targeted prospects, I invariably get better customers and better deals at close. You know what I mean … people ready to buy anything you’re selling. During economic crisis, businesses begin the crunch and spiral, too, into financial crisis — even the doctors and lawyers. While most of the successful entrepreneurs that I know are walking away with fat envelopes day after day, they’re all reporting increased sales. How can this be?
Whether you’re a doctor, carpenter, mover, salon manager or whatever business you own online or off, this is not a secret — sales leads are your life blood. The secret is not that you need targeted sales leads; rather, how are you going to target the sales leads you seek? The only secret is finding out the simplest and fastest way to target leads for your business. Even better, find an affordable way to keep your best prospects lining up at your door waiting to be sold!
Targeted Sales Leads Make A Beeline
Imagine inbound marketing is you putting out the honey trap, a special honey appealing only to eager buyers shopping for what you offer, and everywhere they look they see your honey. Is it any wonder that they make a beeline to you? Can you imagine any better customer than those that call you up and ask, “I’ve tasted your honey. Tell me more. What can you do for me?”
I guess I’m one of those successful entrepreneurs. Expert coach and successful businessman for over 10 years now, I figured out 7 years ago how to continuously generate solid buying leads for any kind of business. Right now, I’m working with several local business owners to increase their sales and improve their business by creating a neverending stream of targeted sales leads. And, on top of that, thanks to the Internet and inbound marketing, all of this fits within business budgets that most are already spending:
- What’s your return on yellow pages investments?
- How many new customers did you get from your last newspaper ad?
- What percentage of your website visitors actually paid you money?
Better ROI Than Targeted Sales Leads?
I help business owners who are disturbed about poor return on advertising investments. May I ask you a question? I talk with a lot of business owners. Lately, the two biggest problems I’ve been hearing are too few targeted leads and how to achieve serious business growth in 2011. Do either of these ring true with you?
Why waste sales time on those who are not likely to buy from you? Yea, sure, you’re persuasive and sometimes you close an unwitting prospect. Be truthful, how good a customer has she been? Optimize your conversion rate with cheap targeted sales leads and appreciate how good customers benefit your business.
If local small business marketing is unfamiliar to you, look at it this way. The target of every business is to get the word out to the maximum number of people to maximize marketplace exposure. In business, market exposure correlates with sales.
Go Online With Local Small Business Marketing
Today in our cyber era, having an effective online presence is of utmost importance. As people spend more and more time in front of the computer, chances are better and better that they will search online for the products and services that they will buy. The Internet allows small business owners to display your expertise directly to eager buyers. Unlike traditional media like billboards, television advertising and Yellow Pages, with online media local small business marketing no longer requires huge amounts of money.
Local Small Business Marketing Is Affordable
It’s true! There are some really cool ways to promote your local business, many of which are free, to attract the targeted leads you desire. Here are some of the methods:
- Create web pages that feature keywords specific to your particular products and services. What do we mean by “keyword?” Anticipate what eager buyers type into the search engine box before they click [Search]. Savvy buyers are getting savvier. With local small business marketing you want to attract local customers.
- Make sure to choose terms that people will look for to find local products and services. For example, if you own a Detroit furniture business, you don’t want to target phrase “furniture.” It’s too generic. Google it yourself and see 257 MILLION web pages containing that word. Instead, Detroit buyers will type the phrase “detroit office furniture” and search. Now I find 700 thousand competitive web pages and also that local map featuring local furniture merchants.
- Build a blog and they will come. Your blog is the ideal way to tell your story and interact with an interested audience. You know? I know you’re great telling your story and persuading prospects sitting across the table from you. Write each blog post that way, as if you’re eyeball-to-eyeball with the largest possible audience. And they will hear your story today, tomorrow and next year — when they’re ready to hear it. Once you’re done writing your post, bookmark it in social book marking sites like Digg.com and StumbleUpon.com to promote even more traffic.
- Last but not least, don’t forget a Facebook fan page. Now that Facebook is the third largest country in the world (China, India, Facebook, United States …) your Fan page facilitates keeping up with your customers regardless where they are. Local small business marketing benefits from Facebook patrons Like-ing your page and telling the world how great you are. Local patrons frequenting Facebook are more likely to pay attention to your local business when privy to your popularity. Additionally, Facebook facilitates instant communication with your audience whenever you do something noteworthy, like a special event or a special promotion.
Dream Big With Local Small Business Marketing
As local business marketing becomes easier and more familiar to you, eager buyers will notice. To maximize marketplace exposure your local business must be found. In business, market exposure correlates with sales. What do you have to lose by dreaming big and making local small business marketing an overnight sensation?
Online marketing for small business owners can be somewhat tricky, but, if done successfully, it can make running a small business simpler. Online marketing can make a small business successful while, at the same time, allow a small business owner an easier time running her business. So, how does online marketing for small business really help business? Does it really make things easier for small business, or simply simpler?
Online Marketing For Small Business Or Fail
Well, let me put it this way, small business needs to be aggressively marketed, no matter what, or the competition will eat it alive. If your business is not marketed properly, it will fail — plain and simple. As it is, the never ending race for new business is exhausting and consumes the bulk of my time. I love courting great prospects and the challenge to convert them into great customers. What’s better than bringing a great customer into your family? How can small business get any better than growing your family of great customers?
So, why should a small business be marketed online as opposed to marketed elsewhere? Let me show you several reasons:
First of all, marketing online gives small business owners a greater sense of control over where and to whom the business is marketed. To whom ought you to market your business? Understand your two or three best customers intimately and coalesce that intimacy into buyer personae. Focus on your buyer personae. If you’re not selling Pampers or used cars, do not market to Pampers and used car buyers. Online marketing is much better than traditional marketing for laser focus on target markets.
Focus On Online Marketing For Small Business
If your business sells rare antiques, you don’t want teenagers to be the majority of people seeing your advertisements. With online marketing, a business owner easily chooses on which online media to market her business. She can monitor the demographic viewing her website to help determine whether or not that online media is where she wants her business advertised. Marketing to the right demographic is one of the most important factors in generating sales, because targeted leads are more readily closed. This is accomplished most easily marketing small business online.
Furthermore, online marketing for small business makes growing business easier because online media are more readily changed. They don’t need to be as on top of marketing strategies as they needed to be when they ran ads in print or some other offline media. Have you ever tried to change the color palette on a billboard? How quickly can you change from black-and-white to color Yellow Pages spread?
What does this mean? Well, I’m not saying that a business owner won’t have to monitor her marketing strategies closely. Whether they are online or off, one size never fits all. Some techniques will work and others don’t. Some strategies may work today and no longer work next year.
Measure Online Marketing For Small Business
Nevertheless, it’s far easier to monitor effectiveness online, and easier to test multiple alternatives simultaneously. With a simple click of a button, the small business owner can see how many websites visitors she’s attracting from particular advertisements.
More to the point, it’s easier than ever to gather metrics and measure crazy stuff like visitors to leads to sales ratios. How profitable is your Yellow Pages campaign? Traditional offline marketing cannot provide clear cause and effect metrics. It’s exceedingly difficult to monitor how much interest in a business is being generated from TV commercials, newspaper ads and telemarketing calls. Online, these statistics are readily monitored.
Online Marketing For Small Business Is Smart
Overall, online marketing for small business is just plain smart! Making the small business owner’s life much simpler is perhaps the single greatest benefit of online marketing.
Targeted Sales Leads Are Eager Buyers
Today the Internet is an excellent resource that you should use to facilitate operating any small and medium size business. As you know consumers have numerous choices when they are shopping online. Need proof? Go to Google.com, type “plumber” in the box and click Search. Right now, at the top of the results on my computer, Google tells me that there are 11,200,000 pages on the Internet about the word plumber.
How do you expect eager buyers shopping for what you offer to find you, to contact you and to buy from you? Out of all those web pages, only one can be ranked number one. Only a small number of links can exist on that first search results page, including organic, paid and local business results.
Effective online marketing results identify targeted sales leads and direct them to your website. Why do you care about the mother looking for Pampers if you’re selling cars? When you don’t know how this works it can end up costing a lot of money and time. How much can you afford?
Continue reading for some tips about how to improve your return on advertising investment. When your sales funnel is full of targeted sales leads you’ll be working full time closing deals with buyers eager to do business with you.
Targeted Sales Leads Cannot Be Bought
Never buy sales leads. There is no way to guarantee that a sales leads list is fresh nor how interested they are in your products. Having bought something similar in the past is no gauge of current interest.
The Internet has certainly changed the way we consume. One thing is certain: when we are eager and preparing to buy, the Internet provides us with a plethora of research information about what we seek to buy. Would you rather try to coax people to buy from you, or stand in front of those seeking to buy what you sell?
Establish a schedule and know your place in the sales cycle. Especially if you’re a sole proprietor, time is of the essence. Wearing too many hats (e.g., marketer, salesman, manufacturer and accountant) is the surest way to get nothing profitable done.
Therefore, set sales objectives and schedule time and resources to achieve them. Where are you most effective in your sales cycle? If you plan to search online daily to find potential sales leads, does it make sense that the chief executive does this? Perhaps, you ought to hire a part time worker to get this done.
Search For Targeted Sales Leads
Search for targeted sales leads in your niche market. Everybody is an authority in something. Isn’t that why you’re in the business you’re in? Your business sells a specific product or specific service. Identify the one or two key buyer personae for each product and service.
Who are they? Why do they want your product? Why do they need your service? What is their specific problem? What do you offer that will benefit them?
Once identified, anticipate where they are and how they will seek you out when they’re eager to buy. Be found there where they’re looking. Ask them to call you, come in your front door or request further information online. Just imagine how easy it will be for them to ask for your help. How easy will that be to earn your profit?
Convert Targeted Sales Leads To Great Customers
Think about purchasing a software application to keep track of your sales cycle. Think about Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software as a dutiful assistant whose sole job is to prompt you every step of the way to converting targeted sales leads into satisfied customers. Once your online marketing is filling your sales funnel, you cannot afford to let any slippery leads get away.
Yes, you have to research online to find your target market. CRM software can simplify and reduce this work. The key to getting a great start is know who are already your very best customers. Which of your customers, if you had ten more just like them, would seat you in the lap of luxury for the foreseeable future? Why don’t you have ten more just like that one? What are you afraid of?
Don’t Fear Targeted Sales Leads
Don’t be afraid to talk to you best customers. Ask them, Why did you buy from us? Why do you come back to us and buy more? Answers to these questions will put flesh on the bones of your buyer personae skeletons you sketched earlier. Once you understand who benefits most buying from you, anticipate where they are and where they will shop when they’re eager to buy.
Be there. Be found. Prosper!