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Marketing to Local Businesses: How to Find Local Leads

Articles in Local and Offline Businesses | By Louis J. V. Cicalese

Published 5 months agoWed, 22 May 2019 10:24:18 -0700

Marketing to local businesses allows you to provide a personal touch that is not possible when doing online marketing. It gives you the option of meeting with clients in person, and is often useful for finding higher-value contracts. In many cases, local business form an otherwise unutilized niche through which you can successfully expand your business.

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Marketing to Local Businesses: How to Find Local Leads

Marketing to local businesses allows you to provide a personal touch that is not possible when doing online marketing. It gives you the option of meeting with clients in person, and is often useful for finding higher-value contracts. In many cases, local business form an otherwise unutilized niche through which you can successfully expand your business.

Why Local Leads Are Valuable

Let’s say that your business is a web development company that specializes in building websites and hosting them for clients. There are plenty of web development companies online and it may be difficult to differentiate yourself when competing for traffic and rankings. For this case study, we’re using this type of business, searching for leads interested in web development, web design, web hosting, and SEO.

Local leads offer you an opportunity to make a personal impression on someone, something that can be more difficult to do online when anyone can be anyone. If you spend a lot of time working in the Internet marketing bubble, it’s easy to forget that there is a whole subset of people (mostly older generations) that don’t spend much time online and will never seek out or stumble upon your services. This is untapped demographic.

Knowing Your Target Demographics

In many cases, the people who can most benefit from your services are those who recognize the value of having an online presence (such as a nice website, for example) but don’t maintain such a presence themselves. These people won’t be as susceptible to Internet marketing--the way to reach them is through local outreach and marketing.

For the example of a web  development company, aside from people that don’t yet have a website, your other main target demographic would be businesses that already have websites that are poorly-made or visually unappealing, and who you can convince are in need of an upgrade. The same goes for sites hosted on Wordpress (site.wordpress.com) that may be convinced to switch to a “real” site hosted on your server.

  • Appeal to people’s old fashioned sensibilities about community.
  • Old way of doing things (Michael Scott and how he makes a sale)

Locally-Owned Business Directories

One of the best tactics for quickly accumulating lots of leads on local businesses is simply seeking out online directories that already exist.

Locating a Directory

For example, let’s say that our fledgling web development business is in Portland, OR. By searching “list of local businesses in portland,” I came across this directory on Travel Portland’s website. There are other directories, such as this one, but Travel Portland’s seems the most in-depth and easy to navigate.

This directory is obviously not a comprehensive list, as it seems to mostly focus on “tourist-friendly” businesses like restaurants, antique stores, and other fun shops, while omitting stores that sell necessities (such as pet supply stores or hardware stores, for example). Regardless, this resource still offers a huge number of leads on Portland-owned businesses and, best of all, we did not have to take the time to compile ourselves.

Parsing a Directory

Now that you have a directory of local businesses at your fingertips, the time has come to put in some legwork yourself and compile a shortlist of more tangible leads. Although somewhat tedious, the most efficient way to do this is by navigating to each business’ website and taking note of any websites that you think “are in need of your services,” as this allows for you to find a smaller volume of higher-quality leads, rather than scraping leads in bulk.

This directory (as most do) contains outbound links to every business’ website, which will make this process much easier. For the time being, we’ll compile a nice spreadsheet for organizing any promising leads that we find. The nice things about looking for web dev leads is that all you have to do is visit a website (and see if it’s bad or good) to determine whether or not they are a promising lead. It might be more difficult to determine good leads if you’re offering other services.

You should be fairly liberal about what leads you include your spreadsheet, as you can always pare down your list later.

Google Common “Footprints”

You can also use targeted “footprints,” or common phrases found on web pages, to find leads. For example, we mentioned earlier that some businesses that currently have Wordpress or Weebly sites might be interested in upgrading. To find potential leads, simply Google (quotation marks included):

  • “Powered by Wordpress” portland
  • “Powered by Weebly” portland
  • “Powered by Squarespace” portland

Or, for probably even better results:

  • site:wordpress.com portland
  • site:weebly.com portland

And so on and so forth. You can mess around with your exact search queries to see what gives you the best results. The guest post video guide also discusses the use of footprints as a strategy in more depth. There is a lot of junk mixed in with these results, but all in all it’s a great way of finding more leads to shift through.

Compile a List of Local Niches

A third approach is comprising a list of local business niches and using those to find leads.

You would start this by brainstorming a list of niches, ie. Automotive, Insurance, Legal, Health and Beauty, Construction, and so on. There is also a more detailed precompiled niche and city list as part of Huevos Rancheros’ keyword research video eBook.

Next, you can break these into subcategories. For example, Legal can be divided into general Lawyers, Divorce Attorneys, Personal Injury, Estate Planning/Elder Law, and others.

A Nice Image Embedded From imgur.com/

Once you have a big list of subcategories, simply Google each niche one by one to find businesses located near you. See which of these business have websites that need a little bit of help and bing bang boom, you are in business.

In Conclusion

At this point, you should have a fairly extensive list of small and local business leads. Very nice. From this point, there are a variety of strategies you can use to connect with businesses, such as making sales calls, sending sales letters, and so on and so forth.

Download more RAM. 🐏 ⨉ 0 Posted by Louis J. V. Cicalese 5 months ago 🕓 Posted at 22 May, 2019 10:24 AM PDT

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For local SEO leads, you can also choose arbitrary local businesses, look up the main keywords in that niche, then go to pay 2+.

There's a full list of local niches in the eBooks section:

Download more RAM. 🐏 ⨉ 0 Posted by August R. Garcia 5 months ago 🕓 Posted at 24 May, 2019 14:07 PM PDT

Sir, I can do you a nice SEO.

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