You can make money helping local businesses with free online and offline advertising with free tools if you want an easy way to earn income.
Become a local business consultant and it will provide the perfect solution for you to make money in rural areas.
Local businesses are the backbone of rural communities, but many of them are struggling because they don’t understand digital and Short Message Service (SMS) marketing.
Showing local businesses that you can reduce their marketing costs to increase customers and sales will help you make money.
It is easy to find local businesses in your rural area that could benefit from your services by looking through local print business directories or on Google Maps.
You can contact them by phone or website, which is listed and direct mail with details of your services, and how they can benefit from them.
There are many ways you can make money helping local businesses by providing free advertising because:
These local business owners put marketing on the back burner for a lot of reasons such as don’t:
Here are the best 20 best ways to make money helping local businesses online and off:
It is important to rank local businesses in both organic and local search packs (top 3 is critical).
If you don’t do this, then your client will miss out on most of their traffic.
Perform a full site audit with Screaming Frog (free version) and Google Webmaster Tools to make sure all the technical and metadata are optimized, and there is no penalty potential.
Also, do the following:
Build a great business website to build your client’s online presence.
Even when shopping locally, customers often do an online search for ideas and reviews.
Yet, many business owners build a website without understanding how search engines work.
Then, they’re stumped wondering why their site doesn’t attract as much traffic as they expected.
The good thing is a few small changes to website text can boost their rankings on search engines.
Simply add locations to their keywords.
For example, imagine someone searching for “art store” or “art supplies.”
The client would have to compete with millions of sellers around the country.
Add location tags, such as “Louisville art supplies,” and the competition drastically shrinks.
Google has some pretty cool tools to help promote local businesses.
More people search for businesses online than anywhere else, and adding the website and company information to Google’s business directory can be helpful.
Most importantly, it’s free and simple, so there’s really no reason not to.
You can also manage a listing information including business description, product/service details, pictures, videos and offers.
Being listed in local directories can also increase the number of trusted inbound links to a website.
Google owns 67% of the search market, and that number is expected to climb as Google Chrome has become the preferred browser for the younger generation.
Therefore, getting listed on Google can be very valuable.
Let’s just make sure we’re doing it correctly, so we can get customers for our clients!
Encourage your clients to give loyal customers a reason to keep saying good things about them.
And, offer a discounted product or service for bringing them new customers and sales.
Everyone is busy these days.
Customers may love your products, but they have short attention spans.
If you don’t stay in contact, people move on to more engaging companies.
That’s why it’s a good idea to ask customers to subscribe to an email list.
Sending an email is a fast way to let customers know about new products or deals.
You can also spotlight their involvement in community events.
Sharing brief stories about top clients or customers show you care about more than money.
You know how to solve key problems for your clients and care about their satisfaction.
Your client’s website may get a lot of traffic, but if it fail to convert them into leads, then website traffic is of little use because their data is not being converted into customers.
An example of how to do this would be to use a good call to action on their website, and on all marketing materials, and make sure call to actions are prominently displayed throughout their website.
We all dislike content that is not relevant or far worse – boring!
The simple way to avoid doing this yourself is to make sure you send client emails that include an authentic announcement for a new product, new feature, new event, contest, etc.
The number of people unsubscribing from their email list will likely be far fewer!
Make sure your client’s business leave a good impression on people researching you online.
Set up accounts on popular review sites, such as Yelp, and ask loyal customers to write about them.
Customers who rave about their products in person don’t always go the extra mile to spread the word.
Most of the time, asking is enough to motivate customers to write a glowing review.
Going forward, the owner should encourage new customers to do the same.
Asking for a review right after a purchase keeps the experience fresh in their minds.
If any of their customers have a large following on review sites, their praise can send lots of business their way.
Set up their business profile or page on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and Pinterest.
Be sure their business profile includes a good description, keywords and a link to their website.
Suggest groups or conversations that talk about their type of products or services to participate in the conversations, without SPAM to them with constant promos for what they sell.
There are many online marketplaces that connect buyers and sellers.
Listing local businesses on these platforms is a great way to improve the visibility of their brand and promote their services.
Videos are very popular with consumers today and offer an excellent way to market client’s business.
Displaying videos showing their product or making instructional videos is a very effective way to increase customers.
There are many ways a local business can use videos as part of their marketing strategy and being active on YouTube is one of them.
YouTube is the most widely used channel to build their company’s presence on the site, and can get extra coverage for their business and help to attract new customers.
Commenting on videos relevant to their niche is another way to engage with users, and increase their brand visibility.
Create a social video of their product or service. I recommend Lumen5.com—Automated video creation with Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Offering non-obligation consultation to local businesses you think could use your services is useful because it gives you the opportunity to offer some practical suggestions and ideas to the client.
And, possibly encourage them to request your services to implement those ideas.
If your client make or sell hard goods, suggest they donate some of their products.
And, if they have a service business, donate a gift certificate for their services.
This information can be announced on their website for free publicity.
Giveaways, freebies, prize drawings or sweepstakes will generate a buzz around their business and they will benefit from the extra exposure of the brand.
Suggest the prize is something that is related to their business as well as something that can get the attention of users.
If your client is just starting out and don’t have a business card and business stationery, suggest Vistaprint to have them made up immediately.
Their business card, letterhead and envelope tell prospective customers they are a professional who takes their business seriously.
Be sure their website address is on their business card, letterhead and any handouts created. Include their main social media profile link, too, if possible.
Suggest they promote their business everywhere they go by wearing:
Word-of-mouth marketing is priceless. Customers trust friends and family to make good recommendations.
Not to mention, even one person with a big network can have a huge impact on their business.
92% of people trust the recommendation of friends and family, and this can work to their advantage, particularly in a local community-based setting.
Build a great business website to brand their online presence.
Mobile marketing (SMS) offers many easy ways to help local businesses to make consistent sales.
There is an inherent theme that runs through many local businesses, which is “lack of enthusiasm.”
Clients and customers can tell when a business owner and employees are bored with or don’t like what they’re doing.
They don’t realize that their excitement about helping customers shines through when they’re motivated and enthusiastic.
All of the marketing tools in the world won’t help a failing local business if the owner is bored, and not willing to make any effort to change things.
So, if you observe this, then don’t be afraid to tell them.
Put yourself in the shoes of a customer because you would be doing them a disservice if you don’t speak up.
In contrast to the 20 ways to help local businesses, you can also show them them they can save money on advertising by not using the following out-moded mediums:
Local print directories are too expensive; print is too small to read (you need a magnifying glass).
In local newspapers, magazines and radio stations are too expensive and you won’t get much reach, because that’s not where the local market is.
Google Adwords does not specifically target a business locality when the ads are shown online.
Therefore, this is a waste of advertising resources that could be better allocated to YOU.
Alternatively, there is a free and very effective way to get their website listed on search engines for their desired local search terms (without Google Adwords).
Work on improving their organic rank in the free listings mentioned above in “Interact With Google.”
Due to increasing local competition, the cost per click can be very high.
Outdoor advertising like billboards are expensive for small, local businesses, and so is vehicle wrap advertising.
In order to help local businesses achieve more customers or clients.
You can solve their problem by reducing their marketing costs.
Most businesses in rural areas are trying to find ways to reduce advertising costs.
Therefore, they would welcome you to “do it” for them to achieve it.
I do not recommend, “showing” them “how-to” do it, which are your “free tools of the Digital Marketing trade,” that you use to help local businesses, thus earn money.
All of the ways I have shown you above are proven to be the most effective.
Also, they are the most up-to-date means to promote their services to the masses.
Getting their first customers is probably the hardest work you’ll ever do.
When you’re working with your first clients, don’t forget that you’re already marketing to their potential customers and clients.
Go the extra mile for your local business clients; and they’re more likely to tell other people about your service.
Also, make it easy for them to recommend you through referrals.
About: I’m the author in residence of RuralMoney.com. Unfortunately, I am also a person with disabilities. I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I love to share what I know and practice to help others survive and thrive in rural areas.
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