How to market to small business owners & entrepreneurs?

trustdnb

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Hi folks,

I have a new product catered towards small business owners & entrepreneurs. Just wondering if some of you had any tips/advice on marketing to these audiences. I figure PPC is one of great methods to advertise and get more leads but I don't have a good budget at this time to go with.

Any ideas, advice, or strategies would be very much appreciated!
 

EpicGlobalWeb

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I know this is an unpopular answer in the internet community but just go and visit the businesses in your area.

Nobody likes a cold caller take it from me. It's tough. But you have to remember that your competition isn't visiting businesses and making cold calls. And much of those businesses may not be looking for internet services simply because they're old school and don't know about it. That's what I call an untapped market.

The first step is just getting infront of them. You can buy a lead list from info-usa or Hoovers.

The second step is to figure out reasons to follow up and sell to them. Remember, physical businesses have money and lines of credit. I used to own a jewelry store and bought from almost everyone that walked in to solicit. I bought newspaper ads, television ads, and all sorts of stuff that I wasn't "in the market" for.

Your ratio will be about 1 in 20 at worst.

80% will close the deal with you after 5 contacts.

What is your product?
 

Rob Whisonant

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If you don't like door knocking and trying to get past the gate keeper at local businesses... Check and see if your community has local business get togethers. Does your chamber of commerce have dinners? Do any of your local restaurants or bars have business networking happy hours or designated times?

If you find one, go to it. They are great for meeting the actual business owners. Just have your elevator speech ready and a pocket full of business cards.

Don't try to sell them on your service or product. Offer them free advice so they see you as the expert. Then start calling on them later. You already have an in with them since you have already met them in person.
 

EpicGlobalWeb

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Great advice, Rob.

You need to do all of that. Chamber of commerce are great resources, agreed. You can easily present yourself there.

LinkedIn has been a good resource for me as well when trying to "get in." But the fact is 90% of business even today is still done offline.

The real purpose of online marketing is to warm up the market so when you contact the business in your area they have likely seen you before. In this new economy, the more activity the better. You need to take advantage of every free advertising medium you can - every social network, every classified ad, PPC campaigns, do it all. But most in business will tell you that at some point or another, you'll have to pick up the phone.

Side note: It is likely also that your area has more than 1 networking group. Meetup.com is another super place to start.
 

Ron Killian

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The big question is, are you targeting local businesses or businesses everywhere? Obviously that will determine your marketing plan.

Sounds like your talking worldwide?

It would help to give more details.
 

ivanab

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Hi, it would really help if you would share what type of a software it is :)

But here is a unique approach to do prospecting on autopilot.

Step #1 - you would need to have some FREE training or a case study that you can give out to your prospects (to build trust), upsell is your software

Step #2 - you need a way to find local business details with phone number, as well as e-mail addresses. I use a plugin WP lead locator. You can browse inside of that plugin with searches such as Plumbers, San Francisco and in seconds it pulls data.

Step #3 - once you have that, you need a way to prospect. There is a software called prospector, and they sold licenses to other Internet marketers, so they all have a different name for it... I purchased ROI automator. It is a tool that let's you import data from step #2, and you can mass e-mail from it, as well as drop voice messages to prospects you import. (it bypasses ringing - goes straight to voicemail)

Step #4 - you need to record a professional message (not a sales type of message) and tell them about that free training or a case study you have, and tell them that you would like to share it with them...to give you a call back :)

Step #5 - Send those out after launch time (local business time) and watch as your phone ring ;-)

The cost for above method would be around $300-350 depending on licensing and where you buy the software. but it saves a ton on advertising money ;-)

Feel free to ask questions if you have any ;-)
 
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