I have spent a couple of days researching the local business online marketing niche after a chance conversation with my builder a couple of days ago and I have been amazed at the massive relatively untapped potential.
We are all continually looking for online money making possibilities but most of us discount offline business opportunities of any sort. I have uncovered some facts that may shock you and excite you in equal measures, over 50% of small business still don’t have a website and less than 5% use search engines to get new enquires/sales. What a massive potential market place and the great news is that there is little or no competition helping these businesses get online and ranked on page 1 to start driving traffic/new enquires to their new website. The type of businesses I am focusing on here is the small one man band type of business, plumbers, electricians, chiropractor’s, chiropodist’s etc are all far too busy trying to make a living to have time or the knowledge to think much about marketing online and the majority think it will be far too expensive and complicated to get involved.
This all came to light recently when I had a new bathroom fitted, I got chatting to the tiler about business in general and asked if he got much business from the Internet, he looked at me as thought I was talking in a foreign language and said he didn’t have a website or online listing yet and if he ever got enough money he would probably look into it at some stage, saying websites and online marketing were really of no use to a small one man business like him and really only for bigger businesses, I asked him a few more questions regarding his own marketing and he confirmed he had a yellow pages listing and a local newspaper listing which cost him around £1500 ( $2300) per anum but were not working as well as it might do mainly due to more competition and the Internet.
I at this point had not done any research whatsoever regarding competition, costings or even a breakdown of the service I could offer, I just typed in to google places, the search term for “tilers in Sheffield” and looked at the results:-
Position 1 PR 0, Incoming links 0
Position 2 PR0, Incoming links 0
Position 3 Google listing only ( No website )
I was amazed at so few results and the lack of any optimized sites and now I started to focus on the endless posibilities!
How difficult do you think it will be to get a word press blog to position 1 for this search term? Now even if you are a complete newbie I am sure reading my blog posts on keyword research and article marketing alone will provide enough information to learn how to write and optimize articles to syndicate on web 2.0 properties like hub pages and squidoo etc and submit to article directories like ezinearticles to get a website ranked in the top 3 results very quickly for the minimum amount of effort.The exact search phrase in the main search in Google only has 2330 listings, so not only is it possible to rank in Google Places but with very little work you could guarantee page a 1 listing in the main results.
What do you think that is worth? Add into this a fully functioning word press website with pages set up and plug ins installed and you have a very valuable unique product to sell with little or no competition that requires the minimum amount of effort and time, you could quite easily outsource the whole project and could have articles written and submitted and a word press blog set up and ready to go for less than $ 70 or so. If you are comfortable with word press and article writing you could set up 1 complete project in less than 1 day.
I said, looking at the competition I could have a new website ranked in the top 3 for the keyword “tilers in Sheffield” in a couple of weeks with a 10 page word press blog fully optimised with subscriber opt in. image gallery etc for less than £200($300) at which point he nearly fell off his chair! Forgetting about the potential for new business the listing would produce, the added benefit to improving his profile in general by having a website and ranking in google was worth far more than the total cost of the set up, his view was any enquires would be a bonus and I had my first sale.
This is a massive untapped market you can start to make serious money with. It is a tangible business and one you can very quickly become the “go to expert” in your area.The payments are up front so you will have funds avaiable if you decide to go the outsourcing way which I beleive you will have to because of the number of new clients you should find.
Set up a word press blog for local business listings in google, register a good domain name, be creative and whilst .com, .org or .net are the best extensions you could go with .info which is incerdibly cheap at the moment at less than $2 per year. Write articles, spin them submit to article directories, create squidoo lens and hub pages, submit to social bookmarking sites etc to get you blog indexed and ranked in your local area for your keyword, over time add articles and follow the same plan to get your website listed for various keywords, tilers in ….., electricians in …..
Ensure you have an optin box to collect subscribers and create a simple 6 page report much the same as this post which details the work required and then provides your service which looks extremely good value for all the work required ( Can sound a daunting task to create squidoo lens, submit to ezine directories , spin artilces etc) so you are providing valuble information to help a small business set up a listing in google but then you are also providing a complete solution for a very resonable cost which for most people will be a no brainer decision.
This is a quick and easy way to find local businesses that qualify for your service and a method to create urgency and scarcity. From you local newspaper or yellow pages make a list of all the businesses that are advertising their services in the chosen niche, go to google and type in the name and try to find results, make a list of any with websites, no website but google places listing and finally no web presence whatsoever.
Send an email to briefly out line your services and advise them that you are only going to work with 1 of this particular profession and you have identified 15 possible businesses who have all received this email, you ask them to reply if they have any interest in getting a top 3 listing in Google along with their very own website at a cost you can assure them will be very affordable and repay itself many times over in new untapped enquiries.
If you send this to 15 businesses with no web presence whatsoever how many do you think will at least reply out of curiosity to find out the costs etc? The beauty of this plan is you really are only looking for 1 business per trade so a conversion of 1:15 is not that hard to achieve if the end result is a guaranteed listing and new enquires in a matter of days. give it a try, set up your blog as a part time project, you will be amazed at the results, get a couple under your belt to use as testimonials and you will very quickly have a bona-fide online business making you the sort of money you could only dream about before.