Many SEO experts ironically find it easier to get work from contacts that they make online even though there are numerous organizations in their own areas that need their services. Selling SEO services to local businesses requires good lead generation tactics and following through with the leads that you have.
Use Your Business Contacts to Generate Leads
Just because you sell SEO services today doesn’t mean you should ignore your past work experience in other industries. These business contacts are great to start building your client list.
Make a list of the companies that you have worked with and contact them to discuss the advantages that your SEO services could offer. Assuming that you left the organization in good standing, you will have a solid reputation that encourages them to use your services instead of someone else.
Use Your Personal Contacts to Generate Leads
You should also use your personal contacts to generate leads.
Many small business owners today recognize that it is important for them to maintain a presence on the Web, but few of them really know how to use their company’s site or that blog they had installed once to generate business.
Contact friends who manage or own small businesses, home businesses, and part time operations that could use your help and tell them you’re focusing on local businesses.
Cold Calling to Generate Local Leads
There are two basic approaches to cold calling. You can either pick up the phone and call local businesses, or you can walk into their stores and ask to speak to someone who makes financial decisions. I’ve found that you almost always get better leads by visiting the business in person.
Most small business owners are busy people, and they don’t have a lot of time to chat on the phone to people that they don’t know.
When you visit in person, though, you show that you are willing to dedicate your personal time to form a mutually beneficial relationship. It is also much easier for busy people to focus on what you say when you are sitting right in front of them.
You can even bring information sheets that they can read when they have free time. That’s almost the offline equivalent of getting a whitepaper download, with the difference that online, whitepapers are usually requested, rather than thrust on people.
Finally, don’t give up on your local business lead generation attempts.
Sometimes months will go by without your hearing a single word from all of the people that you visited and talked to! This is a frustrating experience, but you should remember that it’s the nature of the business.
Some leads will close faster than others, so if you keep plugging away, the faster closes will sustain you in the short term while the long-term leads are simmering.