There are many services to work with local businesses. The beauty is that once you have built a relationship with them then you can go back and add more and more services and products to them. If you did a good job the first time around then the likelihood of getting more business is high.
One thing for sure is that a lot of these companies need help. There is so much to do and even if they know what it is they need to do and maybe know how to do it, they rarely have the time to do it.
The best way is to start off with something that is low cost so there is a low barrier to entry. In other words, they will be happy to take the risk due to the small cost of the service that you are adding.
I would avoid offering SEO services to begin with, as they are sure to have had numerous emails, phone calls and hard mail sent to them. Once you have established a relationship and built trust then you will be well placed to offer advice and do the work for them.
One good way is to build a local business directory using open source software or a paid option, then add ALL local businesses for FREE, then start work to get the site ranking for the term “your town business directory” (if you can get the exact match domain this is relatively easy) Then approach all of these businesses and offer to upgrade them to the paid featured option. If you can demonstrate the directory is on the first page of google then it is not difficult to get them to cough up for a paid advert or featured post, especially if you only allow one or two paid adverts per category.
In the meantime there are plenty of other ways that you can help local business get ahead.
I would not get into reputation management until you really know your stuff. This can be a minefield to get right. Offer to help setup their review accounts or to get a few nice reviews for them. The problem is that if someone NEEDS reputation management, the chances are they have a fair few bad reviews and they will expect the Earth from you in 24 hours. This is NOT possible to do if they have had a few bad reviews over a few months. This takes some time to sort out, and know-how
Here are a just a few of the services that you can offer to do at low cost.
- Setup a Facebook page
- Edit their existing Facebook page for the new timeline
- Create markup or micro-formats like Schema for their address and contact info. (really important for local search)
- Add businesses to business directories like yell, local pages, yelp etc.
- Setup a google+ page
- Setup google places (or improve what they have)
- Setup a customised twitter account
- Create a pintrest account
- Setup a personalised youtube channel
- Create a QR code for them
- Build them a website (wordpress or joomla)
- Design leaflets or adverts for them (outsource to fiverr)
- Facebook graph search
All of the above are relatively easy and quick to do so you can offer these services at an affordable price.
Some more involved services
- Text message marketing campaign
- PPC campaigns
- Re-design website
- Design leaflets and flyers (can be outsourced cheaply)
- Reputation Management
- Lead Generation
- SEO Services
The most important thing is make sure you understand why the services you offer are needed by the local business and that you can do them properly. Forget the mantra ‘fake it, till you make it!’ You will get caught out and lose any credibility that you had and word will get around fast.
Another way to generate business is to offer a free seminar to show people how to improve their own reputation of build their own pages on google + or how to do SEO or, or , or. the list goes on.
People LOVE free.
There are 3 stages to building business when offering a service.
Tell them what they need to do – FREE
Teach them how to how to do it in more detail via video or written course
Then offer a full service to do it all for them
Lastly and maybe this should be at the top…. Before you offer any of these services make sure that not only can you do it, which I already covered but, that you also ENJOY doing it.. There is nothing like getting out of bed in the morning to do something that you really love to do. If you love to write or have a passion and real talent for design then offer services that will utilise all of your skills. Forget buying the next GREAT shiny WSO where you have to learn everything from scratch.
Just think, there is NO learning curve if you are offering services that you already know how to do!!!
I hope that gives you some food for thought. 🙂