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About Marketing To Off Line Businesses

My partner Jim and I have been in this arena now for more than a year and we have been seeing first hand how much we have been able to help our own clients. And with our system, we launched Easy Local SEM to help OTHER people market similar services to businesses all over the U.S. and Canada.

I have discovered though, that many people who want to market in this arena have one fatal short coming. They really don’t have any idea how to approach potential clients and get them to listen to what they have to say. My partner and I had this same issue when starting out. Jim used to drive around visiting local businesses for a few hours every day – saying hello, dropping off fliers and business cards, etc. And the people he spoke to were always nice.

However, we made exactly ZERO sales doing this. I learned the hard way that they simply saw us as nothing more than another salesman hawking some product or service. Not what they wanted to deal with, and who can blame them? They have a business to run.

There are a lot of ways to properly approach prospects, get them to listen and perhaps hire your services, but I am going to talk about just 2 things here…there’s a lot more to this, but I don’t want this post to be too incredibly long:)

  • “You’re an internet guy?”

The first thing you need to do is very simple. Don’t bill yourself as an “internet marketer”. For one thing you don’t do yourself any favors. If you talk to business owners in a casual environment and ask what they think about internet marketing, many won’t really even understand exactly what that is… and many others think “just some other fly-by-night company selling me a bill of goods about SEO or something.”

Bottom line is, you are looking to help a business increase their revenue. And you are educating them about the power of advertising on the internet. And giving them new ideas on how to get more people to look at their products and services.

In other words, you are a Business Consultant.

Say that to yourself until it is second nature. Because (if you are doing this right) that’s exactly what you are. You just happen to specialize in the many ways the internet can help.

  • Show them how they can do it themselves!

Business owners like nothing better than to find other ways to increase their revenue while saving money at the same time. Well, who doesn’t?

So, why not show them how they can use the internet themselves? Show them the power of capturing emails, proper S.E.M., a well-optimized website, the power of social media…you get the idea.

What I am talking about are workshops. Very simple.

Hold a workshop in the area you market to. It’s easy to get the word out (how about the Chamber of Commerce, or local paper – even Craig’s List). And you can actually make money holding them. But there’s an even bigger benefit…

Structure a workshop environment, schedule it for 6 – 8 hours on a Saturday. Charge for attending (anywhere from $97 to $997 – or more if the market will bear it). You need to at LEAST cover the cost of the workshop – most likely for a room at a local hotel to hold the workshop in, perhaps coffee and doughnuts…that kind of thing.

Understand the power here…you will now have business owners coming to you. You are now NOT a sale person, but a potential solution to a problem. They will be MUCH more willing to listen.

The workshop itself MUST be good stuff. Real usable, actionable things these people can do. Focus on just a few things they can do. You want them to have their “light bulb moment”, seeing the potential of what you’re teaching them. But at the same time, you want them to understand just how much time and effort it will take if they take it on themselves.

That’s where the “selling without selling” takes place. They will start asking YOU if you can do this for them. Which of course, you can.

Once you break it down for them in terms they can understand (cost benefits, etc.) the will see that it is simply another advertising avenue. Something they already spend money on – and something they can also write off at the end of the year.

All of this can lead to new clients. Many of them. Hiring you to do everything from website design (or redesign) to SEO to reputation management to social media marketing, to customer database management – and much more.

So now I hear you saying – “A workshop? I never held one of those. I have no content, etc. for this. What do I do?”

Man I hear that. I said the same thing over a year ago when this idea was first presented to me. The answer can only be one of two things: 1) Create the content or 2) BUY the content.

I did number two. And I can tell you it’s the best thing I could have done. Who has the time to write up all this content for the business owners to learn from and keep after the workshop is over?