Internet Marketing for Local Business: How to get the customers you want, the customers you deserve, increase your business, and rock your competitors!

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OK, you run a local business. Maybe you sell a physical product, as in a secondhand bookshop, or a local corner deli, or even the hardware store down the road. Or you may be a local business owner offering their services for sale, as in the local plumber, painter, carpet cleaner, dog groomer, or electrician.

Now if I was to ask you one simple question… “What is the number one important thing about your business?” how would you answer? I’ll let you think about it for a moment, after all it is an absolutely fundamental question about your business and it deserves “thinking time”.

…While you’re pondering, can I just share a few answers that I’ve gotten from other local business (…yes, this is a question that I’ve asked before 🙂 )

Answers to the question “what is most important about your business?”

The quality of the product(s) that I sell…My weekly turnover…The standard of the job I do…The diversity of my product line…How many customers I have…The range of services I offer…My return on investment (ROI)…My staff…Customer service…My plant/equipment/tools/stock etc…The satisfaction of my customers…My customer base.

Of course all of these things are important, some vitally so, but only one of these answers comes close.

Before I reveal the number one on my list, let me make just a few disclaimers (and assumptions). That your business is sound, with a good business model, you offer good products/services, and that you recognize the value of your customers.

OK, the answer that comes closest in my mind is “my customer base”. That’s not to say that any of the other points aren’t important or that any of your answers are wrong or lacking. I DO NOT want to downplay the significance of any of these answers or any of yours, but let me explain my thoughts.

The answer “my customer base” is actually a little too broad to be a complete answer. More specifically my answer would read “the amount of new customers that I can attract.” You see a solid customer base is great but there is a phenomenon involved known as natural attrition – customers move, lose numbers, pass away, see a better offer, lose their job and squirrel their money away, have babies, get married, and so on, but the bottom line is that they drop out of your customer base. So ideally you need to attract new customers to not only make up for this “rate of attrition” but also attract a sufficient number of new customers to actually grow your customer base.

You can offer fantastic products for sale, or you might be the best tradesman in your area (heck, maybe even the best in the city!) but if you aren’t getting a supply of customers through the door, then you’ve lost already. On the other hand somebody who offers CRAPPY products and services, but has a constant stream of customers will always win the race. How does this happen?? (and YES it does happen, I see it ALL the time!)


One person markets their product or service better than the other…It really is as simple as that! They find better locations to display their wares, they “shout” their message better (metaphorically), they network with more people, they get more eyeballs across their offerings, they “speak” in a way that compels listening (again metaphorically)…quite simply they get their message “out there” better and they do it in a compelling way.

OK, OK…I know it’s taken a long time to get there, but if you’ve read this far you may be interested in what I have to offer to help get your message get out there, to the right people, and in a way that makes them want to take action. And remember when you reach a local customer, nine times out of ten, they will be a warm lead. They are seeking what you have to offer, so why shouldn’t it be you to give them what they are already in the market for!

How can I help?

  • I can help design and build very specific types of websites know as “lead generators”.
  • Set-up and hosting for your website.
  • Write and distribute online articles to increase your authority and website backlinks (article marketing).
  • Create and distribute online video (video marketing).
  • Maintain a steady supply of fresh content for your website or blog.
  • Help you set up and understand the importance of Google Places.
  • Find and analyse the keywords that people are using to find the goods and services that you offer.
  • Optimize your website or blog so that the search engines rank you highly in their search results.
  • Designing and building an email marketing campaign (email marketing).
  • Writing and releasing digital press releases.
  • Creating and setting-up Facebook Fan Pages (Facebook can be a huge time drain for personal affairs but a Fan Page can be a fantastic business tool).
  • Build and maintain mobile apps custom-made for your business.

What Internet marketing services do I offer?

These are the main “bread and butter” services that I offer. Each service  can be implemented as a stand-alone strategy, or can be utilized as a combined, systematic, all-in-one solution to increase your online presence, your customer base, and your profits. The strategies you employ will relate to your goals.

Search Engine Optimization Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You can have the best website in the World but it means nothing to your business if you can’t be found through the search engines. SEO is all about using “on-page” and “off-page” factors to get your website on the first page of the search results. Let’s face it..this is where the money is! Luckily for you I have at my disposal the right knowledge, the right expertise, and the right tools to get you there.
google places Google Places
Google Places is a great way for your potential customers to FIND you, and more specifically, find out about you. I help claim Places Pages, and then to set about optimizing it using a variety of tactics, citation listings, reviews, images, and videos (which I can provide), thus giving your Places listing the very best chance of appearing on page one.
mobile marketing icon Mobile Marketing
Mobile Marketing is sublimely important in today’s Internet marketing environment and a completely necessary marketing element to modern local business. In fact the mobile device is fast becoming THE most important Internet tool and by 2014 more people will access the Internet through their mobile devices than they will from their desktop computers! I can get your business “mobilized” affordably and effectively.
article marketing Article Marketing
I provide articles and distribute them across the net. This has a two-fold function…to get more visitors to your website (more valuable potential customers), and to increase the authority of your website in the eyes of the search engines (more backlinks, more authority, better search rankings, more visitors…more valuable potential customers!)
video marketing Video Creation
OK…I can put together targeted, professional and very nifty little videos that highlight your business. These can be published on your website or blasted across the net…this is also about increasing your authority, but also as a direct connection with website visitor.
website building Lead Generation Website
Let me design, create, and set up a very specific type of site known as a “lead generator”. The end result will be a site whose sole goal is to generate and capture leads…but importantly, warm leads!
website content Website Content Creation
You’re on your tools all day…Let me create and fill your website with relevant, compelling, and rich content. This can be a one-off event or an on-going solution.
facebook fan pages Facebook Fan Pages
The marketing power of Facebook CANNOT be underestimated. Let me help you unleash the potential by setting-up customized, compelling, and productive Fan Pages.
email marketing Email Marketing
OK, so someone visited your website but didn’t buy…you can still capture their emails, right? It’s commonly known in this Internet marketing business that it can take up to seven points of contact with a lead before they turn into a customer…an email marketing campaign keeps up this contact, automatically.

So Why are Some of the Items listed Above Crossed Out?

I have been at this for a long time. I’ve built countless web properties along the way, and I’ve helped others do the same.

Over this time I have seen innumerable changes in how internet marketing is practiced based on changes in Google algorithms, and how IM’ers and SEO practitioners have set about manipulating the search engines and the various social media platforms.

Google is SMART. They catch these manipulations and practices and they STAMP them out, sometimes de-listing long established websites in the process. Facebook and the like are arriving at that same point now. They DON’T like aggressive marketing. Simply put, aggressive SEO is a thing of the past. It’s a risky game to be involved in.

My involvement and practices in SEO has evolved over time to the point where I rarely use any techniques considered outside of the “safe” range of SEO practice. That “safe” range still remains a bone of contention amongst SEO practitioners. Me?… I always have in mind the danger of losing a website (de-indexing) so I choose more conservative approaches.

SEO today is a much more refined and sophisticated field. It’s no longer in the realm of “quickly create 10,000 backlinks” and rank your site, even if many SEO people still live with this mind-set.

Furthermore, many of the effective SEO practices of the past simply don’t work anymore. For example article marketing and forum link building. I don’t see the point of rehashing and espousing the virtues of outdated methods to gain a customer.

And also, SEO is a LONG-TERM strategy (particularly when done safely). Often it can seem like a LOT of work for little reward (the reward being page one search engine rankings). Many businesses find it hard to justify an expense (often a significant expense) when they see little ROI.

And some things (for example building Facebook Business Pages) I just choose not to do at this time.

My current strategies and business focus are more “evergreen”, as in strategies that are considered sustainable and lasting regardless of changes in the trends of online marketing. Particularly these are dealing with how business relates to their existing customers, how they can add value to their existing/potential customers, and how they “funnel” these existing/potential customers towards certain behaviors.

Much of my current focus (and what I offer as a service) is related to how the online environment is becoming more and more “mobile” (soon to overtake the desktop PC as a means to access the internet). App building is a big focus of mine right now, and will be for what I can see will be a very long-time. I consider this area of online marketing as “cutting-edge” in relation to current online and digital marketing strategies and practices, and important in terms of a long-term approach to digital marketing for business.

Business needs to get on-board with mobile NOW, or run the risk of falling behind or becoming irrelevant to their customer base.

More about my app building business can be found here.

How much do I charge?

I’ll be honest – I’m not cheap, but then again I’m not nearly as expensive as you might find elsewhere. I charge appropriately for the job I do. Some of my charges are one-off fees, while for other services I charge a very reasonable monthly rate. Again what I charge should always be included in your ROI calculation. My services should value add to your business, or I would expect that you would move elsewhere.

What to do from here?

Contact me and let me know a bit about your business, what your expectations are to grow your business, and what sort of budget you have. Be honest here – you would be surprised at what can be achieved for a very small amount.

Either way, whether you choose to use my services or not, I’m always VERY happy to give out general FREE advice regarding your online presence and potential.

WOW! You’ve made it to the end. WELL DONE! I hope that something you have read here has given you at least some grist for the mill of what I like to call the “thought machine”…the thing that ticks away and sets off a light-bulb or two every now and then.

Remember this stuff really can make a difference to your business, and when you find an idea, or are inspired by an idea, that relates to your business…Well, that’s when things really happen!

Seriously….Thanks for reading!


Blaine Barnett