Brainstorm - Best Ways to Get Local SEO Clients Fast?

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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14,441
New clients... the lifeblood of every business!

The big question - what's the best way to get new clients fast if you are a Local Search Consultant or agency?

I was reading this post on Reddit and thought it would be a good discussion to share here.
Then let's start our own little brain sharing session.

<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/bigseo/comments/28b77k/good_ways_to_get_local_clients_fast/">Good ways to get local clients fast?</a>

Ranking yourself

Referral program

PPC

Cold calling

Cold physical mailing

Business networking
So what other ideas do YOU have?

Over 4,000 of you have read my best advice at the post below:
<a href="http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/consultants-corner/1213-jumpstart-your-local-search-consulting-business-list.html">Jumpstart Your Local Search Consulting Business</a>

Build authority and ATTRACT qualified leads instead of chasing leads.
So that's my best advice. But it's not necessarily fast. It takes time.


Now go check out those Reddit ideas, then come back and share your own.


IF YOU NEEDED 3 NEW CLIENTS IN THE NEXT 2 WEEKS
WHAT WOULD YOU DO???


<img src="http://marketing-blog.catalystemarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/questmark.jpg" alt="questmark" width="15%" />​


Let's think outside the box and come up with a great repository of lead gen ideas.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
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I see you are secretly addicted to reddit Linda ;) You should do an AMA. I'm sure a number of us could pump up the conversation.
 

Linda Buquet

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Na it's just one of my many news sources.

Too busy, but if I had a clone I'd sic her on that idea Justin! :p
 

HurricaneK8

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Apr 16, 2014
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Facebook Groups!!! Don't advertise, you'll probably get kicked out of the group... but offer small businesses limited free advice and I bet you'll get a few crawling back for more :D
 

Colan Nielsen

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Jul 19, 2012
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This was touched on in the article, and I think it's a great idea if done right....

Go into a neighborhood that is ripe with local businesses. Normally a downtown core. Do some prior research about each business that you walk into. Present them with what their current web presence looks like, and show them what it could look like, and what kind of ROI they could see.

I haven't personally done this, but I think about it everyday as I walk home from the office passing business after local business.

I think if you can present yourself well, have a reputation to back-it-up, this can be an effective tactic.
 

Linda Buquet

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True Colin!

Facebook Groups!!! Don't advertise, you'll probably get kicked out of the group... but offer small businesses limited free advice and I bet you'll get a few crawling back for more :D
Keying off Kate's idea, if you have good readership somewhere, maybe your blog, G+ or Facebook and have potential prospects that are reading...

A strategy I've seen in other markets is to have a drawing where once a month you are going to do a free consultation and case study. So in our biz, you'd say:

"We're going to help one small business per month for FREE. We'll do a complete audit, share any issues you have and tell you what need to be fixed."

Then have a contact form and ask for G+ L link, site link and what type of problems they've been having.

And in the fine print on the contact form explain this is a free LIVE audit and case study so they need to agree to let you publish everything.

Then the one you DO select will be a pubic case study, showing off how much you know and how helpful you are. :)

But anyone that signs up will be someone in need and be a good lead. They are already telling you what their problems are. The ones that are NOT selected, say sorry you weren't selected but we'd be happy to help...
 

HurricaneK8

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Apr 16, 2014
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212
I also think about doing this every day! It's funny how SEO changes the way you think about brick & mortar locations; wanting to get them online.

Go into a neighborhood that is ripe with local businesses. Normally a downtown core. Do some prior research about each business that you walk into. Present them with what their current web presence looks like, and show them what it could look like, and what kind of ROI they could see.
Colin, I've also thought about this with a different spin. Direct marketing, with a personal touch.

There's many small mom & pop stores I go into that I LOVE that could use some SEO so other people find them too. I've often thought of sending them a letter saying how much I loved their product, and how I'd love to help them with their SEO so more people could find them. Many stores don't have time to chat in person, because they're 1-2 employee businesses, but a letter allows them to respond when they have a chance. They also tune out sales-type people because they're so used to it, especially in a downtown area.

Of course you may have to follow up with a phone call or an in-person visit, but if you really like their products then you'll be happy to stop in again. The best part about it is these types of customers are usually awesome for referrals as well :) They'll tell all their friends about how a customer loved their product so much they wanted to get them found on the internet :eek:.
 

TonyIsSocial

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Jun 27, 2013
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43
Here's one I tested and it worked once:

Go onto G+ as your business/brand from mobile and where there's the feed/circle selection you'll have "Nearby".

Start +1'ing, sharing, circling, and commenting the local businesses that are "attempting" to do marketing on there.

Then after about 15 minutes of that (or before), share something clever about local search or your other services, because eventually some of them are going to go check out who just gave them a notification. Then you'll possibly line yourself up as a subject matter expert on what they're trying to do.

I had a lead go to my website and call me because of this.
Potential added benefit
I haven't tested or seen evidence to this yet, but I'm thinking you'll also get a few interactions on your G+ content and hopefully a circle. I say hopefully circled because that may influence search results of people who have circled them, etc...
 

Laustin1878

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Sep 27, 2012
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I find just talking to the right people at the local places you frequent seems to work well. I've had several intriguing conversations about SEO and web development with a few business owners near my house lately. It has turned 1 into a client (sort of) and led to a web redesign for a friend.

Being able to speak intelligently enough about the subject sure helps and builds trust. Not going to your local stores to try to sell someone allows you to get learn about roadblocks a business owner has previously encountered as well as build trust for yourself.
 

johncrenshaw

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Mar 14, 2013
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I wrote all this before I saw the word "fast"...haha...

1. Know a lot

It helps if you know what you're talking about.

2/3. Speak / network

This is an industry where there's practically no barrier to entry. Because of that most high-paying clients are doing a lot of research and relying on referrals more than anything else.

The fastest way to get well-known in your area is to speak about stuff you know really well and network with people to share your ideas.

4. Email market followup to contacts

This literally changed my biz. Blogging, just writing emails, whatever, send those prospects your ideas.

Screw ranking. I can tell you this from experience ranking #1 or #2 for over 4 yrs in my metro area - most of the clients that find you bc you rank are lower budget projects. Most others come from multiple channels but we've found they usually are referred or have read quite a bit about us.

It's rare that the rankings-only leads can afford us.
 

JordanJCaron

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Mar 20, 2014
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My site has been ranking in the top to for SEO stuff for the last year. I've had some good clients but I agree you John, many are time vampires and can't afford you.

Relationship marketing is the best way. Keith Farrazzi has some fantastic action steps on how to create beneficial relationships.

Never Eat Alone | Keith Ferrazzi

This is a great thread for me. I've been doing this for a year now and some of my clients have left. I need to tap into some referrals and implement some of things in Keith's book.

Honestly, I think the best think you can do is network. Meet business owners or decision makers at events or in their storefront. After the small talk and introductions, guide the conversations toward their business and eventually their website. Ask them key questions about how involved in it they are. If you are talking to the correct people, they will know how important local internet marketing is.

Take an interest in them and their business but don't try and sell to them right away. Get their contact details and send them some content that they might find helpful. If it's from you, all the better. Then down the road do an analysis of their website and were they rank. Point out some areas they can benefit.
 
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Since we changed our target market, many business don't qualify to be clients so we provide workshops and direction to online training for them. The goal is to get their referrals and the visibility and get them into a recurring subscription. So far it is slow but it has potential.

Networking with complimentary businesses in online services has worked for me in the past but in my area it is facial recognition and visibility offline. I went to a chamber meeting last week and many businesses perked up when they heard my brand name (ARKlady) and said, "Oh, you are the one teaching the classes about online marketing..." :)

The biggest awareness is coming from a newsletter column I write discussing questions many businesses need answers to (but won't ask) and highlighting upcoming classes. The scheduled classes don't always have a ton of people but they are recorded and make me do the slides and get the course together for upload to the online training center. I am probably going to release excerpts for free in the near future.

As for other techniques, I am just getting back online and have a number in mind so I'll have to update as they roll out.
 

JordanJCaron

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Hey ARKLady, sounds like a great idea.

I have a couple of questions.

Where do you teach your classes and are they free?

How do you market these classes? I've seen Meetup.com groups for online marketing tips in my city.

Your goal is to get the people at these classes to refer you to their friends?

Lastly, what are the complementary businesses you are networking with?

I've been connecting with local companies who only offer web design and no SEO in hopes of them either referring clients to be or working with them on white label SEO services. After all, what's the point of having a new website without any SEO?

I've also tried to reach out to Graphic Designers. Chances are good they are designing logos for new companies and maybe that new company could use SEO.

Jay Abraham talks a lot about strategic partnerships in the book below which is one of the best marketing and business books out there. Very practical ideas for every business.

Jay Abraham’s Getting Everything You Can Out of All You

On a side note, I'm going to start a direct mail campaign and take some tips from Dan Kennedy's The Ultimate Sales Letter.

http://www.amazon.ca/The-Ultimate-Sales-Letter-Customers/dp/1440511411

The goal will be to find clients offering high end products or services who are spending money on print, radio and TV ads but have poor search rankings.

I also want to roll out a good referral program too.

Has anyone had any luck with direct sales letters or referral programs?

Bottom line is I need to get my butt in gear and start implementing!
 
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Jordan, see bolded answers below.

FYI this market is not Internet friendly, they seldom use online tools as it is very old school, face-to-face relationship driven. My market is actually outside of this area but I am testing the model locally and recording the sessions in order to roll it out to other areas and put it all online.

Hey ARKLady, sounds like a great idea.

I have a couple of questions.

Where do you teach your classes and are they free?

I teach live classes, as a member of the chamber of commerce I have access to their conference room.

They are not free, we put a nominal charge on the course and give a 2 for 1 since the local businesses have been trained to respond to low priced options. US $20-25 per session. They are hour overviews of topics, not indepth. The goal is to get them on our email list and create top of mind exposure through the courses and announcements about them.


How do you market these classes? I've seen Meetup.com groups for online marketing tips in my city.

Since we only want serious businesses with a budget, we currently only offer to chamber members whose memberships with that group start at $300 so meetup etc., is not what is used.

I did speak to the local business meetup group with 150 or so participants but they seldom spend any money and tend to be the party group while the chamber is about 600 members and do know they must market effectively.

We list in online event directories, I write a monthly column on the topics (offline), and promote a little on the organizational social page where members are most active. The chamber also does a blast to members prior to each class.


Your goal is to get the people at these classes to refer you to their friends?

See above, to get them on the list OR get them into the online training center (subscription). We offer the 2 for 1 to get them to bring other businesses. We also collect reviews after the class.

Lastly, what are the complementary businesses you are networking with?

At this time I changed the business model to specific industries and no longer work with complimentary businesses unless they are a business organization with an active membership. In the past I have worked with web designers, graphics people, and Google Trusted Photographers but they are so busy working on their businesses that we no longer put energy there.

I've been connecting with local companies who only offer web design and no SEO in hopes of them either referring clients to be or working with them on white label SEO services. After all, what's the point of having a new website without any SEO?

I've also tried to reach out to Graphic Designers. Chances are good they are designing logos for new companies and maybe that new company could use SEO.

Jay Abraham talks a lot about strategic partnerships in the book below which is one of the best marketing and business books out there. Very practical ideas for every business.

Jay Abraham?s Getting Everything You Can Out of All You

On a side note, I'm going to start a direct mail campaign and take some tips from Dan Kennedy's The Ultimate Sales Letter.

http://www.amazon.ca/The-Ultimate-Sales-Letter-Customers/dp/1440511411

The goal will be to find clients offering high end products or services who are spending money on print, radio and TV ads but have poor search rankings.

Good idea.

I also want to roll out a good referral program too.

Has anyone had any luck with direct sales letters or referral programs?

Yes and no. For a product I have seen some success but until we roll out the new suite and I am back online fully, I won't be trying that. (I've been recoverying from mold exposure for 10 months and still working on it.) Instead I am focusing on networking and building relationships--mostly offline.

Bottom line is I need to get my butt in gear and start implementing!
 

valesence

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Jul 17, 2013
Messages
91
I do not run an seo business but I am very talented at marketing.

With that said I think the shotgun approach is dead wrong. First step is to find an industry that you are best at or have some understanding about thrift stores, beauty salons, roofing companies, doesn't really matter, but targeting a specific industry rather than any small business will always be most effective.

Then target business's of a certain size, 2-5 employees for the roofers per se. The reason you target size is because you may find that very small business's do not have the resources to properly pay you, or handle the surge in business. Larger business's may already have an online marketing plan in place. There is a sweet spot, find it.

next, find all the local business's closest to you that fit your parameters and call them. Create a list of 100 and work the list till its exhausted. People much prefer to do business with someone local to them. Most likely you will already have done research on what it would take to help their business. And you will have more trust when you call them cause you are local and announce that. After calls are exhausted you need to personally visit the business's that you were not able to connect on the phone with.


Me owning a company, I receive a dozen emails a day about seo. I also receive calls all day from people that barely speak English promising me first page on google. I have never ever received a phone call or visit by a local seo person.
 

leadjoint

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Jan 6, 2015
Messages
56
Hitting this old thread from Google - I'm curious if anybody here has tried reaching out to local businesses who ranked on top for their keywords but have dropped off since then (penalty, competitors catching up, etc.)? How has your experience been?
 

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