SEM – SEO Consulting For Local Businesses? Here Are a Few Don’ts

SEM – SEO Consulting For Local Businesses? Here Are a Few Don’ts


Internet Marketing skills can be very valuable to local, brick-and-mortar businesses. If a local business owner wants to develop an effective Web presence, but doesn’t know how, you could be the answer to his or her prayers.

The key is to avoid some basic mistakes that “IM” types tend to make when first approaching businesses in their locale:

  1. Don’t expect a sale the first time you talk to a business owner. You need to develop some rapport. After all, you’re a consultant, not a “salesman”.
  2. Steer clear of having a “package” of services that you tout almost immediately. Don’t make the newbie mistake of having solutions in search of problems. Find out what the problem is first.
  3. Don’t think that you’re wasting your time if the owner wants to talk at length about his or her business. You’ll be able to mine nuggets of information from this kind of freewheeling talk.
  4. Avoid using “IM” speak. The jargon, catchwords and methods you know so well are going to be foreign to practically all local business owners. Ever try to explain what you do online to your friends and family? It’s even worse with a business owner whose eyes just glazed over!
  5. Don’t forget to ask for a referral, even if you can’t help this particular business. Some folks just don’t have the need for an online presence. However, they may be the type who talk frequently with other business owners. Make sure they think you are remarkable – and remark about you frequently!
  6. Don’t badmouth their website, no matter how horrible it is! Once you open a dialogue about their Web presence, you can find tactful ways to explain how a clean, simple, attractive Web page will do more for the business than the one that’s up there. Keep in mind, a family member or friend may have done the work. Don’t insult that person!

Here’s one simple “do” — find out how this person got into business and be genuinely interested in the answer. This will lead to understanding the business’s sales process, business plan, most profitable merchandise/services, any underused capacity and what causes the most aggravation.

In fact, that’s the biggest “don’t”. Don’t promote that which causes aggravation for the owner!

Learn to view your efforts as a local business consultant as a process, not a series of one-and-done sales. You’ll be glad you did!



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