20 Best Ways To Make Money Helping Local Businesses Online/Off
Get Paid To Advertise Local Businesses For Free
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.
Become A Consultant Helping Local Businesses
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:
- Most local businesses stop marketing when sales speed up. It’s a common mistake local business owners make when clients and customers are rolling in.
- Once business stop booming and a few slow months leave them scrambling for new customers, they’re scratching their head.
These local business owners put marketing on the back burner for a lot of reasons such as don’t:
- have a huge marketing budget like the big businesses
- know what local marketing options are available
- feel confident when talking about their business
- know the best ways to promote their business locally
- realize how to measure the impact of their marketing efforts
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:
- Add Schema markup
- Optimize the Google My Business account
- Audit local citations and ensure consistent Name, Address, Phone number
- Ensure on-page factors are optimized (keyword and location within titles, headings, alt, body copy, internal linking and URL…where possible)
- Optimize off-site properties…namely social media channels and relevant directory listings
- Write evergreen blog content around a specific product or service
- Use blog content to build back-links by way of list posts. This way you can boost domain authority and use internal links to pass page rank to some of those deeper money pages.
- Make sure the website is responsive and mobile-friendly.
- Pull the back-link profiles of top five local competitors and see where (and how) they are getting their back-links. Then, try to replicate as many of those links as possible. This is also a good way to build an informed content strategy. See what is working for competitors and do it better for your local business client.
Build A Great Website
Build a great business website to build your client’s online presence.
Improve Website Keywords
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.
Interact With Google
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!
Offer Referral Rewards
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.
Build An Email List
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!
Ask For Online Reviews
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.
Social Media Business Profiles
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.
List Their Local Business On Online Marketplaces
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.
Don’t Ignore The Power Of Videos
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.
Donate A Prize To A Local Fundraiser
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.
Distribute Something For Free
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.
Dress For Success Attire
Suggest they promote their business everywhere they go by wearing:
- Polo shirts
Word Of Mouth
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.
Help Local Businesses Get Their Enthusiasm Back!
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
Local print directories are too expensive; print is too small to read (you need a magnifying glass).
- Local Print Advertising
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
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 Promotions
Outdoor advertising like billboards are expensive for small, local businesses, and so is vehicle wrap advertising.
Every Business Wants More Customers Or Clients
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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