Although many businesses have already established an online presence and many more are joining them on a daily basis – there are still those out there that haven’t.
For any savvy marketer who knows enough about establishing and promoting an online presence, this should be a whiff of opportunity. After all, don’t you think that you could help these businesses get a foothold online?
Finding Local Businesses
As you’re trying to find local businesses that don’t already have an online presence – you’re definitely going to have to look for them offline.
One of the first places you could start is the Yellow Pages. Alternatively, you could even just take a walk or drive and see what businesses are nearby. Check if any of them seem to have some form of online presence by searching on Google, and make a list of those that don’t. You could even scope out http://www.linkedin.com for local businesses who need a local marketing boost.
Once you have a decent sized list, you can start trying to pitch your services to them!
Pitching to Local Businesses
It is going to be up to you to convince these local businesses of two things:
* That they stand to gain from having an online presence, and
* That you are the right person to help them establish that online presence.
Needless to say, you should begin by focusing on what these local businesses could actually gain by bringing their goods or services online. Talk about the potential new markets that they could tap into, and the customers that a web presence could bring to their doorstep. Even small sized businesses might benefit from a http://www.foursquare.com or Google+ location. Tell them how setting up a small discount for their service or product on one of these sites will bring an profitable local customers.
Be sure that you tailor your pitch according to the business that you’re talking about, and focus on the specifics of how you’d structure their web presence so that it helps them out in both the short and long term.
After you’ve convinced a business that going online is the right move, you then need to convince them that you’re the right person to help them accomplish that.
It helps if you have some form of proof that you know what you’re talking about. This could be a list of former clients, examples of your past work, testimonials, references, or anything else of that nature.
If you don’t have any actual proof, you’re going to need to convince them simply be showing that you know your stuff by talking them through exactly what you’ll do and how it will help them.
Services Geared Towards Taking Local Businesses Online
Some of the services that you should work on developing to help local businesses really start up something new online include:
* Web design and web development to get a website up and running from scratch and making sure the website is mobile friendly
* Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to make sure that website ranks well with search engines and gets them streams of continuous traffic
* Promotion through various social websites such as Facebook, Foursquare, and even Yelp! depending on the type of business
* Getting the businesses listed in directories and other places such as Google Maps, Google Places, and other business directories
* Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising to get highly targeted traffic that is relevant to the local business
Chances are you might not have the know-how to provide all these services by yourself, and if that is the case, the best way to still be able to offer a complete portfolio of services is to simply outsource whatever you can’t handle.
For example, you could work with a web designer that you trust and pass on any tasks involving creating new websites to him or her. Similarly, you could work with SEO firms, other marketers, and even PPC advertising agencies as well.
End of the day though, it is going to be your responsibility to bring all these services together and manage them on behalf of the local businesses that are your clients.
Some of these services may even continue long after the basic web presence is already up and running, which could be a tidy stream of recurring income for you to enjoy!
Helping local businesses get online and develop their very own web presence is definitely a market that has a lot of demand. As more and more businesses start to realize the potential that the Internet represents, they are going to want in on their share of the pie.
All you need to do is find these businesses, tell them what they stand to gain and give them everything they need to successfully start up online and improve their business by leaps and bounds!