More threads by Linda Buquet

Favorite Local SEO Prospecting Method?

  • Email Prospecting

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Phone Calls

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Holding Your Own Free Seminars

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Local In-person Cold Calling

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Just realized we seldom (if ever) have good polls around here, so just decided to start one.

What is your favorite or preferred or most successful method
of prospecting for NEW Local Search clients?

I set the poll above up to allow multiple answers, so feel free if you prefer/use more than one method.

But I'm most interesting in the discussion that will follow. So please select your answer in the poll, but then explain in more detail below.

So for example if you pick local meetings share what type has worked well for you. Business networking groups, local Chamber, etc. Or if you've had good luck with email prospecting, maybe share a couple tips.

Thanks in advance for your answers and any insights you can share!
Good poll Linda. It will be interesting to see all the results.

I used to sell into the smb world, as a commercial real estate guy. I did everything, from physical cold calling to phone cold calling, to networking, etc etc.

Nowadays as an smb operator I pretty much talk trash to the phone solicitors. I suppose I use pretty nasty language. Get a lot of solicitations on seo and local work.

I hate that crap. OTOH, I have taken certain solicitations and certain meetings. I lot of the time I want to "learn" and may not have an interest in buying.

I did run into a super great phone salesperson for Yelp, the other day, IMHO. My thoughts on the yelp deal were very marginal and the timing wasn't right. I was impressed by her. She didn't waste HER time w/ me let alone my time.

Frankly, I wish her luck.

In terms of picking up seo business...boy a reputation goes a long way to getting the business, IMHO
Great point Dave!

I especially think if Local consultants are having to resort to cold phone calls they have SUCH a hard uphill battle. Business owners are being hammered by low end and even scammy companies. Some PROMISE top rankings (or at least make it sound like that). Some have extremely low prices.

If you are being honest how can you compete with that crap and still make yourself stand out and get the business? Tough road! Lots of wasted time.

Plus if cold calling have to get through gate keeper AND don't know if they are even at a level where they 'get' local to see the value in what you offer. (Kinda like pushing a rope.)

That's why I think some of the strategies I shared in this thread are best.
Jumpstart Your Local Search Consulting Business

Build your rep and get clients coming to you that UNDERSTAND the value, WANT what you offer and are already PRE-SOLD on the fact you are the expert.

Not saying forums are the best or only way, even though that one focuses a lot on forums. Same thing could be done with social and other types of marketing.
My answer: none. I don?t spend a dime on advertising, and all my clients come to me (and I still turn away about 50%). Love it.

At the very beginning (c. 2008) I?d send letters to local businesses, followed by a call. That sucked. Maybe it works for some people. Maybe it?s just because I wasn?t very knowledgeable or surefooted at the time. But whatever the case, it wasn?t my cup of tea.

Then, around 2009-2010, everyone came to my lousy little squeeze page via AdWords. That brought me my early clients. If you feel you must advertise, rather than have clients approach you, then AdWords is still the best, in my experience. To do this effectively you need a good ?home base? (i.e. website with helpful free info) and a good autoresponder sequence. Your AdWords spend needs to help you build an email list of people you can help out over time with useful emails. Otherwise you?re paying out the nose for 30 seconds of people?s attention. You?re purchasing a one-way ticket on Ben Franklin Airlines.

I?m with Dave all the way. At the end of the day, it comes down to reputation - particularly word-of-mouth. Without that in your favor, everything else is a waste.
I can't wait to read that thread above, Linda. Thanks!

I personally like forums and I love having people come to me. I'm not a salesperson and I cringe at the thought of cold calling / emailing or otherwise. I also want to deal with people that "get it" and it's hard to find those people with any sort of direct outreach. I think getting in front of those that are searching for you and offering a great impression on your website makes for the most effective way to grow. From there... referrals!

edit: wanted to comment that I hadn't thought of PPC before. My brother's an expert here... I'll have to pick his brain.
My answer: none. I don?t spend a dime on advertising, and all my clients come to me (and I still turn away about 50%). Love it.

That's the way I worked when I was doing optimization for clients too Phil.
Also never cold called, closed or chased. Had to turn away so much business.

If you use some strategies I shared in that post above to build your expert rep or like Phil start blogging and really sharing your knowledge, you'll have clients coming to you and skip all the time-consuming prospecting.
At the moment, most of my income comes from website design, so that's where I get my local SEO clients. But for my very first meeting with them, I do some research on their site (if they have one) and on their competition, and then I show them what I found is wrong with their site that I can fix, why their competitors currently outrank them, and what we/I can do to change that. Some honestly couldn't care less about what I show them, but at least it's in their head that that's what I do and when they keep seeing their competitors outranking them, they might give me a call. And of course after I'm finished with their site, I'll bring it up again.

I'd love to be in a position as Linda and Phil and the others who get all of their business through referrals, and hopefully someday soon I will be. I don't want to get involved with cold-calling, email lists, or writing letters because small businesses get calls and emails and letters from so-called SEO companies every day and they're sick of them. So to me, I think those methods would have very limited success. So, I'll just keep plugging away and keep trying to get the word out.
Methinks that?s a great approach, David. Some people appreciate the pleasant surprise you give them in the form of local SEO advice, when they only paid you for design. Those people make great long-term clients.

FWIW, referrals actually make up about 40% of my clients. The rest are just big fans of my blog and/or the emails I send out. Nobody receives too many good emails; people will always read yours if you can help them. Has creating and sharing all this stuff been a TON of work on my part? Absolutely. But the people who become my clients appreciate the effort, and everyone has a lot more fun and benefits more long-term than if I?d spent those man-hours knocking on doors.
I've heard Joint Ventures can be power so as I'm starting out I'm helping out friends and colleagues for a discounted rate in exchange for them emailing their database once I prove myself to them. One of the guys I hoping to get a client this week has a list of thousands of local businesses. I would like to try the forum idea as well though. Either way once I get going would like to have a systemised way of getting referrals. Anyone else have a good way of getting referrals from existing clients?

Just a thought as well, what are the most common objections does everyone come across( maybe should be another thread)

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