Q: What is the most important thing for a business besides products and employees?
A: The marketing.
Plenty of fantastic businesses have wonderful products eventually go belly up because they aren’t able to reach their target audience. Since every business needs marketing, it makes perfect sense to begin offering services. Since there are numerous competitors in the market, I wanted to focus on keeping the business local and setting the services for online.
When you’re able to offer great marketing services to businesses, you are providing:
· An expansion of brand recognition
· Exploration of business analytics
· Improvements to the user experience
· The ability to grow beyond the local
If you pair your skills in online marketing with great clients, you can do very well for yourself. But also know that you’re fulfilling the dreams of entrepreneurs and all those who are along for the wild ride.
Here is how you could go about setting up a local online marketing business:
1. Determine the niche for your online marketing. You can offer a wide range of services but since you’re getting a fresh start it may be worth your while to stick to just one or two major aspects of online marketing such as local, Facebook, Google AdWords, banner ads, and the like.
2. Create a flexible business plan which includes the type of business that are likely to use your services. Create a customer avatar which will aid in discovering clients in your area.
3. Begin developing your website and refine the sales pages by using a variety of split testing, best practices, and borrowing from major competitors. Also, create a content plan and begin developing pieces that target your local audience and share your expertise. Get active on social media once you’ve been indexed, listed locally, and have a buffer of content.
4. Hire your first employee that is well experienced in online marketing. You can certainly go at it solo but it’s going to be a lot of work; your time is best suited for bringing in the clients and handing over the brunt of the work to someone who has years of experience. You can vet these individuals through staffing services like Extreme Technologies Inc, which are key in bridging tech-types with businesses so you won’t need to wade through endless resumes.
5. Set a budget and begin an aggressive local advertising campaign targeting the businesses you’ve identified from the previous step. Use a variety of platforms and strategies from pay-per-click to banner ads. Don’t forget to give cold calling and cold emailing a try. Also ask around and tap into your network to see if anyone is able to offer referrals to your business. Alternatively, get in touch with a few local businesses and give them a “taste” of your services – show them results and then lock them into an agreement.
6. Start developing alternative income generators such as creating ebooks, courses, and related services (or products) which could be pitched to clients. The idea is to build a diverse set of income sources in the event a major client or two decides to move on from doing business. Focus on the growth through rapid expansion into new areas but also through the introduction of new products and services that are in demand through research on your customers.
7. Never stop learning something new about your industry. Begin attending local business events not only to find new clients but to understand how the industry is shifting. Take online courses on the newest forms of advertising and marketing to keep up-to-date so that you can offer higher tiered services to your existing clients. Consider bringing on new individuals to fill the gaps in your services so they’re able to teach you something new.
These steps may be boiled down to the basics but there’s enough there to start a local online marketing agency business.
Sounds tempting, right? Put those skills in online marketing to good work. You already have the experience, so it’s a matter of applying those strategies and tactics to your new business to reach and find those clients. Once you’ve secured clients the sky is the limit. Make a name for yourself in the local scene and see your business grow as you see theirs.