The new buzz word on the street is local.
The thing is, it’s not just buzz.
Brian Clark and Robert Bruce talked about local businesses back in February on the Internet Marketing for Smart People Radio show. If you haven’t heard it yet, you need to check it out.
Local is where we — whether you call yourself a copywriter, an Internet marketer, a social media consultant, a web developer, or all of the above — will soon be finding our next and best clients. As the Internet connects us globally, it also connects us locally.
That’s right, the worldwide web has finally come full circle to reconnect us to the mom-and-pop business next door.
Look at Yelp, Foursquare, and the recent successes of Groupon, LivingSocial, and the myriad of similar businesses. Consumers are voting with their wallets: they want local businesses, just as much as they want national (look at the success of Naked Pizza).
As the consumer demand for local businesses grows, the demand forlocal Internet marketers will grow as well.
Will you answer the call?
Why are we the local business heroes?
First, most local small businesses can’t afford the fees of large advertising agencies, or even small ones in many cases.
Most local businesses are family owned. Any money that goes into the business is money they take from their families.
They want to spend as little as possible.
Second, 40% of small businesses have no online presence. And many of those that do have some kind of site still have a lot of room for improvement.
Simple tasks such as setting up a well-designed website, claiming their Google Places page, and setting up their Twitter and Facebook accounts can exponentially improve their online presence.
Third, many of the local business owners don’t have time to learn and execute what’s needed to market effectively on the web.
Many local businesses are run by their owners and one or two employees. There is barely enough time for the day-to-day operation, let alone sitting down to learn Internet marketing.
If you’ve been reading Copyblogger, you already know more about content-based online marketing than most local business owners.
So why aren’t local businesses knocking on my door?
It’s rather interesting. Here are three reasons local businesses avoid marketing on the web.
1. They Really Hold onto their Money
Remember how I said the money for these businesses either goes to the business or to their families? They want to make sure every dollar is spent wisely.
They want to see solid online marketing case studies for similar local business. It used to be rather hard to find examples of local businesses using Internet marketing effectively. Now, as more and more businesses adopt these principles, it’s become much easier.
2. Internet Marketing is Hard to Understand
Most business owners think Internet marketing means creating a Twitter account and tweeting what they had for breakfast. No wonder they’re hesitant to get online.
Demonstrate what marketing online is really about. The best way is to start simple. Even the least internet-savvy business knows the importance of Google, and that if they want to attract more customers, they need to rank higher in search engines. Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, particularly with a smart content marketing program, will help them do that.
And you’re the one who can set a program like that up for them. It’s relatively simple for you … it’s rocket science to them.
3. Bad Experiences
There are business owners who are ready to embrace the web, but don’t know where to turn. A lot of them get picked up by sleazy Internet marketers, incompetent web designers, or half-baked SEO services — all of whom overcharge and under deliver.
These stories spread among local business owners, creating a distrust of all of us who teach how to market using the web. It’s your job to show you’re trustworthy.
Check out the free Internet Marketing for Smart People 20-part course. It will show you how to be trustworthy, and give you a great framework to start helping local businesses by focusing on the right foundation.
Only you can do it
So here’s my final kicker. I think you are the perfect person to help local businesses in your area succeed. And here’s why …
You understand your local market better than me, Brian, Sonia, or anyone else at Copyblogger or in the online marketing world.
You live there.
You work, play, eat, sleep with the locals. You know what makes them tick. If I came to your area, I would need to take the time to learn the ins and outs of the area, and I still wouldn’t know it better than you.
You also understand marketing better than anyone in your area. I can easily say that anyone who reads Copyblogger knows more than 99% of the people out there.
It’s time that you take what you’ve learned on Copyblogger and apply it to local businesses.
You are the perfect person to help the local businesses in your area succeed. Let’s get to it.
To help you get started, download this guide to Improve Your Google Ranking I made for local salons. You can easily adapt it to other businesses in your area.
My gift to you.
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