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  #1  
Old 01-26-2005, 11:38 PM
fuffalo fuffalo is offline
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Marketing ideas, input welcome


I've been researching the industry for about six months now, following WHT closely, and searching for that perfect host.

I don't have much initial money, and I'm going to be targeting my local market exclusively. One major benefit I have is hosting is a fairly new market in my town, and I think I can create a lot of buzz by starting this company. I've been thinking alot about the best way to go about this, and I would like some input for people with more experience in marketing.

(1) Create a list using my local yellowpages, and the businesses I'm aware of, and send them a one page letter Highlighting what I plan to offer, and why it's important for businesses these days to have a web presence.

(2) Again Create a list using my local yellowpages, but this time a smaller list of what I consider to be "prime" targets for hosting. I would put together a 5-10 page colored booklet showing the pros of a website, what I can offer, how they can set up a webpage, how I can help them set up a web page, prices, etc. This would kind of be a small presentation in a book. One thing I should note, I do not have enough money to have this "published" so it would be printed, and then I would put it in a presentation duo tang (ie, clear cover so you can see my cover page, black back page).

(3) Actually going into local businesses and asking to chat with the manager about the benefits of a website, and what I can offer.

My first fear with all of these plans is that I get brushed off as spam. Is there something I can do that will get me a better chance of these companies actually reading what I send them?

My only other fear about this, is that I don't want people to think my company is unprofessional if I send them a 5-10 page document in a duo tang. Is that too unprofessional to bother?

Thank you in advance, all tips and criticism welcome,

-Kirk



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  #2  
Old 01-27-2005, 12:04 AM
Amish_Geek Amish_Geek is offline
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I've found that the best way to target your local market, is to offer a full package deal. Offer them not only hosting, but their website as well (If they don't have one). I've found that those that already have websites are not all that likely to change.

If you don't have a site-builder option... GET ONE!

Or else, become very familiar with customizing a CMS like mambo or phpWebSite, and compile a portfolio of templates that you can easily customize for the client.

If you sell them on the idea of the website, and say "I'll host it for you" but then tell them that they have to come up with it themselves, they won't be too thrilled.

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  #3  
Old 01-27-2005, 01:10 AM
geekie246 geekie246 is offline
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Come with some angle for your area, and issue targetted press releases to the local media. For example, partner with some "Not for Profit" organization, host their site for free, and then have a media event to cover it. Works great.

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  #4  
Old 01-27-2005, 02:41 AM
fuffalo fuffalo is offline
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Thanks Geek, that sounds like a good idea. I actually have a couple of sites I think would work well for that.

-Kirk

  #5  
Old 01-27-2005, 07:03 AM
Mari Mari is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by geekie246
Come with some angle for your area, and issue targetted press releases to the local media. For example, partner with some "Not for Profit" organization, host their site for free, and then have a media event to cover it. Works great.
The not for profits are a good idea. Also free hosting and/or web design for all kinds of local clubs that heve established memberships .

  #6  
Old 01-28-2005, 04:39 PM
gghosting gghosting is offline
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Yeah amish is right, the local market, at least I believe the local business is the best.

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  #7  
Old 01-28-2005, 04:41 PM
fuffalo fuffalo is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by gghosting
Yeah amish is right, the local market, at least I believe the local business is the best.
This whole thread is about local marketing, not deciding between local/internet business.

-kirk

  #8  
Old 01-30-2005, 11:05 AM
gghosting gghosting is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by fuffalo
This whole thread is about local marketing, not deciding between local/internet business.

-kirk
Your right, I'm sorry I misread the thread at first.

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  #9  
Old 01-30-2005, 12:44 PM
webair-gene webair-gene is offline
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What some people above said is the best thing to do, offer hosting as a pacakge deal say $500 for a year of hosting, a domain name, and a design.

Tell them the advantages of hosting and you should be good to go.

  #10  
Old 01-30-2005, 02:37 PM
beam04 beam04 is offline
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My father is a small business owner and I know he hates it when people come in to this store to sell him something. Using that perspective, I've come to find that if you bring your business (ie buying services) to a local business, they'll be more willing to listen to you with more open ears than if you had just walked in. I've bought so much junk at local places that I really don't need just so I can stir up conservation with a manager. After I buy something I'll ask for the manager and give them a compliment about the cashier, etc. then I'll get to business. I consider the cost of the product that I bought, which I don't need, just to be a marketing cost.

The best B2B relationship I've created is with my local salon -- whom cuts both my wife’s and my hair now -- I knew they didn't have website, so I got my hair cut a few times there, then I just brought up what I do for a living (developing websites) and took it from there. The ROI from this salon has been incredible. I refer people I know to them and vice versa.

About the brochures – I would just keep them in your car and after your target is interest in your business, give them one to look over along with a business card. Using my method, you just want to make this conversation look as causal as possible instead of soliciting.

And about not for profits -- I do a good amount of work for non-profits. I tend to be very quick on the turnaround time for these clients (even though I'm not making a dime from them) as they refer a lot of business as well.

  #11  
Old 01-30-2005, 04:08 PM
fuffalo fuffalo is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by zaingar
My father is a small business owner and I know he hates it when people come in to this store to sell him something. Using that perspective, I've come to find that if you bring your business (ie buying services) to a local business, they'll be more willing to listen to you with more open ears than if you had just walked in. I've bought so much junk at local places that I really don't need just so I can stir up conservation with a manager. After I buy something I'll ask for the manager and give them a compliment about the cashier, etc. then I'll get to business. I consider the cost of the product that I bought, which I don't need, just to be a marketing cost.

The best B2B relationship I've created is with my local salon -- whom cuts both my wife’s and my hair now -- I knew they didn't have website, so I got my hair cut a few times there, then I just brought up what I do for a living (developing websites) and took it from there. The ROI from this salon has been incredible. I refer people I know to them and vice versa.

About the brochures – I would just keep them in your car and after your target is interest in your business, give them one to look over along with a business card. Using my method, you just want to make this conversation look as causal as possible instead of soliciting.

And about not for profits -- I do a good amount of work for non-profits. I tend to be very quick on the turnaround time for these clients (even though I'm not making a dime from them) as they refer a lot of business as well.
That's a great tip, and something I never even thought of.

I'm going to rework my marketting plan a bit and start with the companies that I frequent first. Thanks for that tip.

-kirk

  #12  
Old 01-30-2005, 06:46 PM
KI-ChrisE KI-ChrisE is offline
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Some great tips there zaingar and amish_geek!

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