Firstly: …. I’d like to explain how and why this Business to Business Referral Club came about.
All of my working life I have worked as a plasterer/plastering contractor. Firstly, almost exclusively commercial work; Sites, offices, warehouses, hotels etc, until I decided I was getting a bit old for that and moved mainly into private/domestic work for the remainder of my plastering life.
One of the most common questions I would get asked was, did I know of other trades and services I could ‘trust’ and recommend, as finding reliable tradespeople or service providers is very much a guessing game for most people. I got asked so many times that I started to carry around printed A4 sheets of paper with the names and telephone numbers of my most trusted contacts around in my van, and would give them to my customers, either when they asked, or when they paid me at the end of the job.
When I first got a website for the business back in 2,000 I put a ‘trusted contacts’ page on there with the same names and numbers so that visitors could click through to the page to get those trusted referrals.
(There was no charge made, it was a free service that I was glad to give to present and potential customers).
Several years ago I had to give up manual work through health reasons and I found myself spending a lot of time learning the in’s and out’s of internet marketing and how it can seriously benefit ‘Local Businesses’ especially. That’s when It occurred to me that Business Referral Clubs have been around for some years now and that business people/self-employed etc would be willing to pay a membership fee to enjoy the definite benefits of such an exclusive membership.
I also noted that most B2B referral clubs were closed shops to ‘members only’, but that if the member details were opened up to the public, they could search the contact details with a great deal more confidence than the usual ‘old-school’ referral web-sites – it would be a Win-Win situation for both the business members, and the public, who are often left wondering just ‘where’ to turn to get the best services out there.
As you’ll see when you read on, this is an exclusive membership, I won’t be accepting every Tom-Dick & Harriet into the fold.
(Check the Terms & Conditions).
It is hoped that almost ‘all’ of the subscriptions will come from personal recommendations from existing members who have a vested interest in keeping the membership as clean and trustworthy as possible because their contact details will be displayed at the head of their recomendees bio-page. But if you are reading this and you operate a quality-driven business yourself, dedicated to giving the best possible service to your customers, then you’re more than welcome to apply.
Why FRED67.com ?? ….. Well, ….. It’s a very easy name for the public to remember.
P.S. …. Be sure to check out more posts/articles from the sidebar or header menu
What keeps you awake at night, indigestion boiling up your esophagus, eyes open, staring at the ceiling? What do you secretly, ardently most desire? Is your business growing to satisfy all of your needs?
Is your local business getting enough phone calls?
With the radical changes in the economy and people moving away from Yellow Pages, newspaper ads and other old school advertising media, your customers are looking on the Internet for you. They search the Internet, and then they go down the street and buy what they want and need. If they don’t find your Local Business in their search, they are not buying from you.
Times have changed, indeed. The Internet is still new; but, it is everywhere, and it is not going away anytime soon. The Internet has transformed our world, shrunk the whole world into a computer you hold in your hand, heretofore known as a cell phone. If you don’t get your business in position to be seen on that small screen, your customers are going someplace else.
WARNING: Your customers are looking for you online right now!
If your Local Business is found on the Internet, you can sell. If…
Perhaps, a few statistics will shed light on this mystery:
What are your customers looking for?
Old school marketing is still King. Times have changed, and media change, too. None of us alive today remember the King’s herald announcing news from the official scroll. Some of us recall barkers calling out theater or carnival sideshow attractions to passers-by. Most of us have bought something from a newspaper advertisement, or called to order something prompted by a Yellow Page spread.
The Internet and computing devices are new media. Applying old school marketing principles to new media is a wise idea. That’s exactly what we are about to show you here.
Can your customers find your Local Business on the Internet?
Local Business Search Results
Don’t worry — if you’re a Fortune Multi-National Conglomerate, you don’t need to appear in the Local Business Results.
One of the best kept local Internet marketing secrets is the Google Local Business Center. Until your business is registered here, it cannot be found in the search results map. Google implemented this feature in early 2009, and it’s been evolving ever since. For those buying locally, however, this is the first thing most searchers see… and probably the first links on which they will click. Once here, not only are you at the top of Page One — look at that map! They now know where you are and how to get to you…
If you’ve seen maps and GPS on cell phones, this is how your Local Business shows up on mobile devices. The Mobile Market is enormous and truly the wave of the future.
Organic Search Results
Additionally, you need to be at the top of the normal, Organic Search Results, the traditional results area on the left, mostly below the Local Business Results. When your web page link is in the top six Organic Search Results — your Local Business has another clickable link on this first search page. Multiple clickable links on the first search page increases your odds that your customers will go to your web site… once there, we believe you can close them.
Your Organic Search Results are a function of the quality & credibility of your Local Business presence on the Internet. You want all online roads leading back to you and your web site. There are virtually unlimited credible and respectable sources throughout the Internet, and from there nearly infinite routes back to your Local Business web site. Remember traditional referrals and testimonials from old school marketing? Referral links back to your web pages from everywhere on the Internet are testimonials to your Local Business relevance.
The local business with the most links wins!
Content Search Results
Furthermore, your online content must also appear in the top search results! All content relevant to that search adds more links back to your Local Business on the first search page. You and your Local Business are going to be viewed as the top authority on all matters regarding this search. Google loves rich, relevant & rewarding online content!!!
But, wait, there’s more!
You want to be in the Pay-Per-Click and/or Sponsored Results up there in the top yellow box and down along the right side. Pay-Per-Click is Pay-As-You-Go — your ad only shows up when somebody searches for your specific key words. Your ad is only shown to your best customers who are searching specifically for what you have to offer. You set how much you are willing to pay, and you only pay when somebody clicks on your ad — the fully qualified buyer.
So, the question is, How much is each fully qualified customer on your web site worth to you???
Geo-Targeting Your Ads
Furthermore, you can also target your ads to local customers in your area. By focusing on local customers, your ad is only seen locally. Locally seen ads are more likely to attract local customers, are cheaper for you, and you do not compete with companies on the other side of the world.
For example, a consumer searches, “I need a plumber.” Google knows where the local plumbers are. When you only show your ad to people in your city for these “generic” keywords, you get cheaper clicks, targeted traffic and less competition.
What if your web pages sit atop the search engine results?
What if you are the #1 Authority online?
Imagine what that will mean for your Local Business! How many more customers do you want coming to you every single day? every single week? every single month?
What will it do for your Local Business when you have your online market domination plan in place?
If you have a Yellow Pages ad, you are already spending marketing money. What is your return on that investment???
Every search engine result page can present only the most relevant web pages that fit into the limited space on one page. Only an elite few Local Businesses can possibly be seen there.
Do your own homework. Look for yourself. Do a search using keywords that your best customers will use to find your Local Business.
Which Local Businesses are on the first search page? How many Local Businesses are on the first search page? Is that your biggest competitor there in A. or B. in the Local Business Results? Are your best customers going to your Competitors because they find them — NOT YOU — in the search results?
As you see, nobody can possibly do a credible job placing more than six Local Businesses in your market on Google page one. Furthermore, when you consider your goal is to have multiple links to your Local Business on that same Google page one, you must carefully consider the sales hype of typical SEO geeks! There can be only one Number One — will it be you and your Local Business?
This article was brought to you from the desk of Mike Schleif – who invites you to submit your best questions on local Internet marketing for small business to MDS Resource. When you participate in the MDS Resource Blog, you are contributing to the evolution of Internet Marketing, especially as it applies to Marketing Local Business Online. We are dedicated to educating business people about the most effective marketing medium available today!
MDS Resource was established in 1990 near Chicago, IL by Schleif to guide local businesses onto the onramp of the Internet. Schleif is a consultant recognized – and requested – by some of the most well known companies in the world, such as AT&T, IBM and Target Corporation. Schleif grew up in the Twin Cities in a far simpler time, a long ago time when computers consumed enormous rooms, ran off paper tape, and stored data on large tape reels. Schleif returned to his hometown in late 2008, bringing his businesses and business acumen with him. For more information call 612-235-6060.
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