Lead Generation for Local Business Part Two – Drive Traffic to a Lead Capture Page

Last month I started to work on a website to do lead generation for a dental practice. We did some research to find out what information people were searching for online relating to choosing dentists.

We are using Traffic Geyser’s Main Street Marketing  Machines system, which is aimed at providing resources and tools to quickly set up direct response websites that will generate leads and bottom-line profit for local businesses.

We took one of Main Street Marketing Machines’ report templates and quickly added our research, frequently asked questions, should ask questions and other information that prospective dental patients in our area want to know. We will offer our “Choosing a Dentist Guide” to prospective clients, in exchange for giving their contact details.

Next, I bought the domain name http://www.BestAberdeenDentist.com/ for our site.

Traffic Geyser has a Lead Page Generator tool where we have a selection of templates to choose from. It’s simple to set up a page that offers our free report, with a form for entering the contact details that we want in exchange. E-mail address and mobile phone number are sufficient.

We can easily set up a text message, to be sent automatically to the dental practice every time someone requests the free report. They can then follow up promptly with the prospective client.

Next we made a simple slideshow video offering our “Free guide to choosing the best dentist in town, Claim it now at  http://www.BestAberdeenDentist.com/ ”. Again Traffic Geyser has templates for several different business types that can easily be edited in PowerPoint.

After completing the video using slideshow creator, we used the Traffic Geyser media submission tool to broadcast our video to a multitude of video sites, podcast sites, blogs and articles sites. This generates traffic, driving it to our site.

Traffic Geyser and Main Street marketing machines have all that is needed to set up a lead generation website quickly and easily, that will boost the profits for a local business. Note that new videos should be sent out on a regular basis to ensure this continues.

You can use my affiliate link to Main Street Marketing Machines and Traffic Geyser here if you wish.

Dave Christie.

Here is our first Lead Generation Video for the Dentist’s Website:

Lead Generation for Local Business Part One – Give a Good Reason to Opt In

This month I have been working on a project to do lead generation for a private dental practice.

There is some competition for private patients locally, especially those who want cosmetic dentistry. The business has a substantial spend on print advertising ( Yellow Pages and elsewhere ) and already has a “pretty website” that gives no proven return on investment.

There is nothing in place on their existing website to capture the contact details of visitors and the company’s owner has no idea how many of these visitors eventually become paying clients.

We want to build a direct response web page that will give visitors a good reason to want to give away their contact details.

If we can find out what information people are looking for online locally, that is related to the service that business offers;
We can then write a free report that answers the most asked questions, as well as the important questions that should be asked, but are not.

The report can be branded with our business owner’s name and credentials.  We will set up a lead capture page that offers the report free, e.g.  “Just enter your contact information and click below and click to receive our FREE guide to choosing a Dentist in Aberdeen.”

The prospective patients are delighted to receive a report which answers their questions, and the dentist becomes established as the local “go to” expert in the mind of the report’s readers.

The dental practice staff can follow up with the prospective client soon after. Call to check that they received the report. Ask if it answered all the questions the prospect has, and mention that we do have some appointments…

For a Dental Practice in the city of Aberdeen, the relevant questions being asked online are:

“How do I choose a good dentist?”

“I already have a dental insurance plan. Which dentists locally will accept that?”

“Which dental practice is most convenient for me?”

“I need specific specialised dental treatment that my practice does not offer. Do I have to change dentist?”

“I require urgent dental treatment but am not registered with a dentist locally. Who should I contact to get treatment?”

We then write a 15 – 20 page report titled “Choosing an Aberdeen Dentist”, that answers these questions, and the “should ask” questions that the business owner knows are important if the reader is going to make an informed decision.

We add professional photos, licensed from istockphoto.com , include useful links to Industry and National Regulatory Organisations, and save the report in pdf format.

We wanted something that can be up and running quickly generating leads with the minimum of fuss. Traffic Geyser’s  Main Street Marketing Machines system seemed to be a good option for that. Main Street Marketing Machines have a whole suite of tools and materials that can be used, including Report Templates that we can quickly adapt to our purpose.

An “Opportunity Finder” lets us determine what information is being searched for online in our locality, that is related to our business’s area of expertise.   It also gives some information on what other local businesses are competing with us online.  This helps us to determine where to focus our efforts.

It also gives some data on the questions being asked online by prospective clients, we can further research on Google.

You can download the finished “Choosing an Aberdeen Dentist” guide from  here.

You can use my affiliate link to Main Street Marketing Machines and Traffic Geyser here if you wish.

Dave Christie.

Getting Started with Video Marketing

We have all heard the hype about videos uploaded to YouTube that have taken off, getting many many 1000s of viewers.

However, YouTube.com and other video sites also put video marketing within the reach of even the smallest business.

Ten years ago, local TV adverts, costing $10,000s, were the only option. Now anyone with a PC and the right knowledge can get their message out there.

You can easily make a short video infomercial that will catch the interest of potential buyers. YouTube videos tend to list highly on Google search listings.

An easy way to get started with video marketing is to promote other peoples’ products using an affiliate link. Browse the products on ClickBank Marketplace until you find something that interests you.  Then sign up to ClickBank and get an affiliate link for the product.

Go to Google Adwords Keyword tool and find the phrases that people are using to search for the type of product you have chosen.

Make a short and simple video of the product’s website using a screencam video program. Camtasia is the best one to use, it is expensive, but you can get a 30 day Free trial.

Do a friendly voice over on the video telling viewers what benefits they will get from this product. Be honest, and don’t do any “hard sales”.

Put the full affiliate website URL right at the start of the “Description” on the YouTube video submission form, so you get a clickable link under the video.

Add 5 or 6 of the best keyword phrases in the “Tags” section. Submit the video and test everything works.

Once you have mastered the basic process, you can move on to more advanced strategies, using videos to drive leads to your business, or your clients’ businesses.

Dave Christie

Here is a short video we put on YouTube to promote an affiliate product:


List Your Local Business on Google Maps

If you have a local business forget about paying to get listed on the tired old print local business directories. They don’t work anymore.

Most people now search for businesses and services online. Yet many local businesses don’t even show up on the Google listings.

If you have a local business, getting listed on Google doesn’t mean you have to go and get an expensive website built. The easiest way to get your business listed online quickly, and get more customers coming to you, is to list your business on Google Maps.

To ensure you get a good listing on the first page, you have to do a little bit of research:

First step is to pick the phrases relating to your business that people are likely to type into Google, if they are searching for the service you provide.

For example, if you run a specialist seafood restaurant in the city of Edinburgh, try searching Google for:

Edinburgh Restaurants

Edinburgh Dining

Edinburgh Seafood

Edinburgh Seafood Restaurants

Edinburgh Fish and Seafood Restaurants

Ask  your friends, family and clients what they would type in to Google when searching for the service you provide, as they may think of something that you don’t.

You want to find at least 5 phrases that are relevant to your business.  These are important and will affect how far up the listings your business appears.

When you search for those phrases in Google you should get Google Map displayed, with some of your competitors listed.   If you do not get this then try another phrase.

Click on the link for your competitor’s reviews,   especially the ones that are listed at the top,   and take note of the categories they have listed under. Also look at the description and photos they have placed on their listing.

Near the photos there may be a link to any directories Google has used to verify their details. Take a note of these.  For example these could be  citysearch.com   or  localdatasearch.com.

Google uses these listings to verify your business is genuine, the more places your Business name and address appears online, the higher your Google Maps listing is likely to appear.

Search Google for “free online business directory”

List your business name and physical address  on as many of the free online business directories as possible . Your address should be the exactly the same on each listing   ( e.g. If your address is  1211 Carlton Steet, Edinburgh, EH4 1. Make sure that is listed the same on everything,  not  1211 Carlton St on one site  and  1211 Carlton Street  on another )

The more places your business name and address are listed online, the better your ranking should be.

Now go here and signup to add your business to Google maps:


Enter the full contact details for your business, including phone email and website. If you don’t have a website, click that box.

Put a short description of the services your business provides

You  get to list your business under  5 categories when you setup. These are the phrases that you searched for earlier.  Leaving out the town name, type these categories in . Google may try to “complete” the category for you as you type, fitting it to the most likely option. If this is correct, accept it.

Later you can adjust your selected categories to get a better listing.

Enter as much information as you can, including your business opening hours, what forms of payment you accept  ( VISA , American Express etc )

You can add photos, videos and even special offer coupons to your listing.

Upload Good quality photos of your business storefront, and if appropriate, photos of your product, or the inside of your business.

For example if you own a restaurant you may want to put  a photo of clients enjoying the pleasant dining atmosphere in your restaurant.

I setup Google Maps listings as an introductory service to new clients. It is a good way for your Local Business to get an online presence quickly. There are many more ways that you can use Online Marketing to make a real difference to your Local Business. For more hints and tips keep watching my blog.

Dave Christie

Here is a Video from Google showing what you can do to promote your local Business with Google Places:

Use eBay Classified Ads to Promote Your Business

If you have your own business, you should be looking at what you can do to promote it online.  Even if you don’t have an Internet  Business, more and more of your prospective clients go online first to find information and services. Even for local services.

So, if you have any kind of business at all, you should be seriously looking at what you can do to promote it online.  If you don’t ,  your competitors soon will be!

eBay is the easiest way for you to get started promoting your business online.

But, eBay is just one big yard sale right? It’s not the sort of place that a “real world” business can operate?

Wrong.  eBay is your route to getting lots of interested prospective clients to learn all about your business and how you can help them better than your competition can.

eBay is one of the busiest commercial sites on the internet. They have spent huge amounts of time and money getting millions of visitors a day to come visit their site.

Many of those visitors are going to be interested in the type of service or product you provide.

An eBay Classified Ad can be run, at time of writing, for $9.95 for 30 days. Write an effective ad, with the right  message, and using the right keywords, and you can get 100’s or 1000’s of prospective clients viewing your ad.

How would that compare to the cost of advertising in a newspaper or trade journal for the same time? How does the return on investment from your print advertising budget compare to that?

That can also be much cheaper than running a pay per click Adwords campaign online, and is way easier when you are just getting started.

Your prospects don’t even have to be eBay users, with the right keywords in your title, your ad will be high on the Google listings thanks to the “eBay effect”.

Have a look at the video below, where Jim Cockrum is talking about what you can do with eBay Classified Ads. Jim is one of the most respected Internet Marketer’s in the Business, and here he is talking about what you can do for an Online Business.

Then have a think what you could do with eBay Classified Ads in your own business. The most effective use of an eBay Classified Ad is to grow your list of clients.

If you run a Hotel you can run a Classified Ad  offering a Free Guide to Planning a Very Special Vacation in your area. To get it the prospective client just has to give you their Name and eMail Address, via an OptIn form on the Ad.

Also send out an email Newsletter using AWeber.com, include lots of info on special events in your area, and special offers for them to come stay in your hotel.

A Tax Accountant can offer a free report on the 10 best ways to save money when filling out your tax return.  Send a friendly email reminder well in advance of the Tax Return due date, along with a special offer on your Accounting Services.

The possibilities are endless…

Dave Christie

Here is Jim Cockrum, one of the most respected Internet Marketers in the Business, talking about the most effective uses of eBay Classified Ads.

Boost Your Local Business Using Email Marketing

The most important thing in your business is to know who your clients are. If you know who your clients are, you can follow up their first purchase giving them lots of good reasons to buy from you again.

Most traditional local businesses concentrate on bringing in more new buyers, but neglect following up with past clients.  Yet persuading first time buyers to become repeat clients  can give far more value to your business than you get from new custom.

For Internet Businesses it is given that you must build a list of clients and prospective clients , following up and giving them good reasons to become repeat buyers, if your business is ever to be successful.

Think how much your business is spending in advertising to get a new client to visit or to buy from you   Yet most local businesses do not ask for that person’s  name, address,  email addess,  phone number, so that they can contact their clients later with other special offers that may be of interest .

Traditional Local Businesses can easily adapt the same methods as Internet Businesses to  improve their follow up process and and greatly increase the number of repeat sales they get.

Internet Marketers use a service called an autoresponder  to collect prospects name and email address. The prospective client is offered a free gift if they sign up to the list. Usually this is an emailed free report or mini-course related to their area of interest.

The  follow up messages are loaded into the autoresponder in advance, and are sent out automatically at a set interval.  The autoresponder can easily be set to personalize the email with the prospect’s name and details.

I use AWeber for this, it  is not expensive and very easy to use once setup.

Don’t confuse this process with SPAMMING, which is illegal. Using an autoresponder service like AWeber keeps the process legitimate. Anyone signing up  is sent an email with a link that they have to click in order to confirm their email address. Every email sent  also has an “unsubscribe” link so that anyone wanting to be removed from future mailings can be.

AWeber  handles all of this automatically.

An email newsletter with lots of useful information is often used to follow up, with reviews of related products, hints and tips and special offers.  The better and more useful the free information, the more likely this will convert into sales. Have your client’s best interests in mind when producing this. The newsletter should not be hard sales. A client who is being looked after well is likely to become a loyal repeat buyer, and will recommend you to others.

A Hotel or Restaurant  for example can adapt this strategy to capture guests contact information, along with details of dates of anniversaries and spouse’s birthday.  To sign up your guests can be offered the chance to enter a free prize draw for a meal in the restaurant, or a weekend break.

Your staff can be trained to offer each guest the chance to sign up, explaining the other benefits of joining, being informed of  special discount offers  and special events.

Signup can be done via paper form at your business, you staff then enter the details to AWeber. You can also have a signup form placed on your website.

After the draw, send an email to the unsuccessful guests, including a discount voucher, saying something like  “ Sorry that you were not lucky in our prize draw. However, to show that we really value your custom, please accept this as our gift to you.”

Discount Vouchers should be time limited, to encourage increased visits, and may exclude peak business dates if you wish.

If you collect guest’s  anniversary dates and spouse’s birthday, AWeber can be setup to send out Special Offers in advance. Free Bottle of Champagne with your meal, or Stay 3 nights for the price of 2.

Send out email newsletters  with notice of special events in your area, that your client’s may want to attend.   Include a voucher that they can use to book in advance for a special rate if they want to stay at your Hotel, or eat at your Restaurant . Put conditions on the voucher to ensure profit. “Not valid with any other offer”.

A printed copy of the offer can also be given to guests visiting your establishment.

You can start off by giving offers on your high end products or services.

Once you have run a few promotions you will be able to judge better how much you can spend on an offer, and still make a fantastic profit.

Dave Christie

Blogging for Business

Starting a blog can bring a valuable boost to your business, whether you have an Online Business, or you have a traditional Local Business.

Blogging is no longer just the home for self indulgent ramblings, and online diaries. If done properly a blog can be a valuable tool to get your business listed with the search engines, and have your knowledge and expertise in your field noticed.

A blog is easy to setup and can be made look professional without too much effort. When blogging for business, steer clear of the free blog providers. Buy your own domain name and set up your blog with a reputable web hosting company ( I use Dreamhost )  for a professional looking blog.

If you have an existing business website, a blog can be added alongside on the same domain bringing visitors to your main site.

Post high quality, useful information about your industry or product on your blog. Most of your competitors will not do this, they are scared to give away “trade secrets”, or do not care about really helping their prospective clients.   By giving more useful information and a better pre-sale service on your blog you confirm why your prospects should buy from you.

Post to your blog at least once a week, or more often if you can.   200 words plus should be enough for a post.    Even better if you can add simple digital photos or short videos about your subject.

Add an “Opt-In” form to your blog, and offer your clients a free report, discount, or gift to sign up to your email list.  One time clients will become repeat clients when they receive your friendly emailed newsletter, with useful hints and tips, news of special events, customized discounts and other reasons why they should buy again.

Search Google for other blogs and online forums in your industry. Read through looking for problems and questions that your potential clients may have. Post well thought out comments and solutions to these problems on the blog or forum. Most of these will allow you to put a link with the comment to your own blog. This will increase your reputation and bring clients to you who are ready to buy.

Dave Christie

Setting up our Blog Part Two – Getting started with WordPress

Once we have hosting for our domain name, and the email account for our blog is set up we need to install the Blog software.

We are going to use WordPress for our blog. There is other blog software available, but WordPress is hard to beat. It’s easy to use and setup, and support at WordPress is great.

The hosting company I chose, DreamHost , has an easy “one-click” installation for WordPress.

Accept the default settings, and choose where to install wordpress. If you plan to have a website at the same domain as your blog, then choose to install WordPress to    YourDomainName.com/blog  , otherwise just install to    YourDomainName.com .

It is simple to add just about any function that you would want on a WordPress blog via Plugins

We’re going to start off by setting up the Akismet plugin, which helps us to accept genuine comments on our blog, whilst controlling any SPAM comments that can become a  problem for bloggers.

The appearance of your blog can easily be changed to suit your taste via WordPress Themes. Standard Wordpress comes with a variety of Themes to choose from. Pick your favourite Theme from these to get started.

Best of all WordPress is free!

Once we are up and running you can start to put posts up on your blog.   Try to stick to one theme, that you are enthusiastic about, and post at least once a week.

Dave Christie

Getting the Right Kind of Help

Over the next few months I am building a Real Online Business with the help and advice of  John Thornhill of  http://planetsmsblog.com/

Starting an Online Business does not mean you have to be a technical whizz.

Infact it can be a distinct advantage to concentrate on the “big picture” of developing your business without getting bogged down in the technical details.

You still need to know enough, to instruct your helpers about what is required.

It is just a matter of getting the right kind of help and advice when you need it.

Choose service providers who have a good reputation for reliable service, and who have excellent backup when you need it.  Before you sign up, look at their website, checkout their help pages online. Email and call their customer services with any questions that you may have.

Join a group of “like minded” individuals who are also building their businesses online, where you can ask questions and compare notes in a mutually supportive atmosphere.

My personal favourite is MySilentTeam.com which is run by Jim Cockrum, author of the bestselling book on how to profit from eBay “Silent Sales Machine”.

I cannot speak too highly of the benefits of membership.

Dave Christie

Setting up our Blog Part One – Get Web Hosting

Once we have a domain name for our blog we need to set it up.

If you are not technically inclined this does not need to be a problem, there are plenty of smart techies who you can get to do the work for you. But there are some important points you need to consider.

First, we need to sign up with a Web Hosting company. You may be tempted to go for a free blog site or free hosting, but remember we want to build a business, our sites should look professional.

Commercial web hosting is essential, it gives us more control over our blog, and gives us the option to add other business sites that we want to build later.

If you already use a web hosting company, and you are happy with the service they provide, that is OK.

I decided to use DreamHost.com which has excellent technical support, when I need it. They also have several useful features that I want to use, including “one-click” installation of Wordpress, the blog software that we will use.

When we set up hosting for our domain at Dreamhost,  we have the option to use Google Mail ( Gmail ) for our email client. GMail is probably the best option for our purposes. We get an email address @OurDomainName.com .  It is easy to organise and keep track of specific emails, and better still Google take care of all the technical stuff, allowing us to get on with business!

Dave Christie