When you hear Internet marketers talking about Offline Marketing, it means they’re making money offering online marketing services to offline businesses. It’s a huge, relatively untapped marketplace and as more and more offline businesses realize they need to get busy setting up a website, it just keeps getting bigger.
Almost every business owner understands the importance of having a website these days. The problem is that most haven’t a clue how to get started. And even if they did, they’re too busy running their business to even think about it. (By the way, those business owners who don’t realize they need a website are the best place to start. If you can’t make someone understand why they need a website in this day and age then you should skip the rest of this article and go read about niche blogging!)
If you’re considering diving into the offline marketing arena then you already know what it takes to build and maintain a successful website. The design work, the content creation, the SEO and promotion. Can you imagine trying to accomplish all of that while you’re also running a busy auto repair shop or beauty salon? That’s you’re number one selling point – I will do it for you!
Your second selling point is to show your client how important it is to make his business appear in the local search engines. Some offline marketers take a laptop along and dazzle the client by registering them with Google Places, right there on the spot, so they can see their business immediately pop up in the local search index. Once you explain to the client that this is just the beginning of the Internet magic you can work, he’s usually ready to give you his complete attention.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to show the client how important it is that his business has a website and that that website appear in the local search results. One of the best ways to accomplish this task is to set up your own local search-based website so you have real-life, online examples to show potential clients.
Do everything for your own site that you’re offering to do for the client: Build backlinks so he can see what you’re talking about, submit articles so you can show him what directories are and how they’ll benefit his site, connect your site on the social networks, add a blog, install an opt-in form. Your clients may not understand what all of these different website necessities are and they may ask you to show them examples.
How to find offline clients
You’ll find these offline clients by networking. Networking online, but also networking offline. Many offline marketers start with the Yellow pages or a business directory. They’ll pick a category, like ‘veterinarians’ and just go down the list to see who has a website and who doesn’t. Then the fun starts.
If you’re not experienced with cold-calling it can be very intimidating. But it’s something you’ll have to get used to in this marketplace. At least until you start building a reputation and people start to look for you, rather than the other way around. In the beginning, you’re going to have to look for clients, so get used to cold calling.
Some offline marketers use post card marketing to contact potential clients. They print up a few hundred post cards, go through the phone book, and do a mass mailing to every business in town. They have even better results when they follow up those post cards with a phone call 7 to 10 days later. And they have even better success when they actually walk through the door in person. Yes, you’ll need to get comfortable cold calling!
As far as pricing goes, each market is different and only you know how much your time is worth and what you need to make to meet your financial goals and obligations. However, smart offline marketers offer more than just site building. Offer services that will enable you to lock your client into some type of long-term contract – you’ll generate 10 new PR6 backlinks every month or you’ll create one new video a week. Something that’s relevant to the site.
And don’t stop with one client. Once you start seeing some success, start outsourcing some of that link building and content creation. Spend your time tracking down the leads and scale your business up. The Internet only looks crowded. There are still plenty of offline business out there that haven’t even thought about a website. You could be making money right now, hand-over-fist, by offering online marketing services to offline businesses.