We’ve all heard that it takes money to make money and that starting a local online business requires an upfront investment that just comes with the territory.
BUT what if it didn’t have to be that way?
What if there were a way to actually earn profits while starting a local online business.
A strategy that empowered you to “use other people’s money” to gain new local customers for your business. Would you be interested?
Well, there is a way and Today I’m going to show you how.
In this special report, you’re going to learn how to:
- Use readily available tools to attract swarms of local leads for your business.
- Promote your business with a TOTALLY FREE advertising method that most business owners have no clue exists.
- Get other people to PAY YOU to start YOUR BUSINESS!
- Access quality creative services for CHEAP and outsource most, if not all, of the work.
- Create a cooperative partnership to boost your business’s credibility, develop a solid reputation, establish valuable relationships and build your online presence.
- Easily set up an affordable business website to act as your PROFIT CREATION MACHINE.
- Produce endless traffic & leads to feed your local online business.
- Use market research & online surveys to increase your profits.
- Tap into the networks and social following of other businesses to get more customers.
- Host digital local community events that attract loads of new customers for you and your co-op partners.
After reading through this report you’re going to kick yourself for not having thought of this tactic sooner.
But don’t be too hard on yourself… Because, once you begin putting this business creation strategy into action, your online profits will be thrown into overdrive in no time.
By leveraging technology, creating strategic partnerships, and forming a well thought out advertising plan, there’s no reason you should ever have to pay to start your own local business.
And if your advertising plan is excellent, you’ll ACTUALLY earn profits from starting a local online business!
1) Help OTHER PEOPLE Get What THEY Want…
You may have heard Zig Ziglar’s quote, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want.”
I love this quote because it reminds us that we are not islands and growing a successful business is ultimately about teams of people cooperating together to achieve a specific goal.
The question you’ll want to ask is… “Who are the OTHER PEOPLE and what do THEY want?”
To get other people to pay you for starting your business, you’re going to have to identify who they are and deliver true value for their investment.
First, let’s start by identifying the “Other People” as it relates to business building.
These people are business owners who share space in your industry and serve the same customers as you do.
(By the way, for this to work you’ll need to research and choose a specific niche industry for your business to operate in. Having a focus industry will amplify your profit-producing potential. An example might be arts & crafts, fitness & health, pets, home improvement, senior services, entertainment, etc…)
Avoid businesses that would be considered your direct competitors, but have a product/service that complements yours.
For instance, a dog groomer could work with a pet supply store OR a used car dealership can partner with a service station. These are businesses that could work together in serving the same audience.
In my article, Free business promotion using other people’s money, I give a more detailed description on how to seek out partnerships within a specific industry.
But for now, I’ll assume you get the idea.
Take a thorough look at small businesses in your area that has a need to attract the same type of customers you do.
I highly suggest using Alignable, a networking site for local small businesses, to help in carrying out your search.
Once you’ve compiled a complete list of prospective businesses, contact each of the owners and offer them an opportunity to form a promotional partnership that will absolutely blow their mind.
Secondly, give them what THEY WANT!
Let the owners know that since you’re mining the same customer demographic as they are, you’ve created a promotional strategy that will greatly benefit the both of you. And you’ll take care of all the details.
This approach should definitely get you in the door because one thing every owner wants are new, highly targeted, leads to their business.
When you go to meet or call the owners, your objective is to get an initial informal partnership agreement from as many of them as possible. The more the merrier, they say!
You do want to be sure that all partnering businesses are exclusive to their specific category.
One of the primary advantages of this promotional strategy is that there are NO direct competitors bumping heads with each other.
Plus, exclusivity makes it that much easier to get owners to agree on working with you.
Present to them a general overview of your intention to create a cooperative online promotional campaign just for businesses in your shared industry.
Communicate all the juicy benefits of collaborating together for pinpoint leads, building a customer list, developing regular content, reducing marketing expenses, and earning profits.
At this stage, you only want to peak their interest and get a verbal O.K. to move forward.
After you’ve gathered a list of owners eager to get started, your next move is to set up and design a cooperative business website.
If you’re not a professional web designer, don’t worry. Setting up a website is a lot easier than you might think and I’ll give you simple step-by-step instructions that’ll have it up and live in 1 hour or less.
2) Build A Co-Op Business Website & Micro Marketing Agency
By now you may have discovered that what you’re starting is a cooperative micro promoting agency for a hyper-local niche market.
Similar to any other marketing agency, your co-op promotion service will work to produce profits while increasing exposure for your clients.
The difference is that YOUR business is also a client and the service you’re providing is granting you completely free marketing privileges.
How about that? Instead of shoving thousands of dollars into the pockets of an advertising agency, you can actually start a micro-agency and get paid to promote your own business.
I know… you’re probably thinking, “What if I don’t have the time or knowledge needed to run this business?”
The answer… OUTSOURCING!
Once your co-op promotional business is properly set up, you’re going to learn an inexpensive route to outsource most of the tasks and earn profits while doing very little work.
But whatever time that you do invest in creating your own micro promoting agency will certainly be worth it. Unless you know of another method to earn profits while starting a local online business?
At the core of your promotional service is your cooperative website or niche blog.
Before making an investment in your co-op program, your business associates will likely want to see the proof and the quality of services you intend to provide for them.
The website or blog you build will serve as the central hub for shared lead generation, enhanced advertising reach, and sales growth by combining the resources of multiple companies to grab a common audience.
For you, ownership of a co-op website will entitle you to a new profitable asset that will itself grow in value over time.
What an EXTRAORDINARY CONCEPT! Not only will you get paid while starting a local online business, you’ll also gain equity in the “digital real estate” (your website) you’re promoting on.
Your clients, who are willingly paying you to add content to your site for the promotion of their businesses, are also funding the growth of your online business.
This is not to be taken lightly! Content has become a full-blown Internet commodity.
On a daily basis, millions of websites which had zero worth upon construction, are sold for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
What changed from day one to the date it was sold? CONTENT!
To put it simply… CONTENT attracts VISITORS who can then be converted into SALES. More content = more sales.
Owning a site where you’re getting paid to add content is like getting paid to mine your own gold. PRICELESS!
But before you start collecting your profits, you have to first build your website.
As I mentioned earlier, building your co-op business website is easy as pie and can be completed within 1 hour.
All you have to do is follow the clear instructions given in my post on How To Build A Business WordPress Website Step-By-Step.
What you should end up with is an attractively designed website featuring the branding, images, and content of the businesses participating in the co-op promotion.
A few suggestions before starting…
Pick An Industry Related Domain – You’ll want to make the name of your site suitable for the industry you and your partners serve.
For a cooperative website to appeal to all parties, you should create a catchy, broad, and authoritative domain name that will be relative to all businesses.
An example might be HomeRepairPros.House if you and your associates are in the home repair industry; or ThePetExperts.Pet for the pet industry.
By adding a little prestige to the name, your site will gain instant credibility from those who visit.
Gather Branding Elements – Now’s the time to ask your partners to provide you with their logos, images, and detailed descriptions of their business’s services.
When they send you the information, it will represent yet another signal of their commitment to your program.
Getting all of their branding elements upfront will allow you to WOW them once the site is ready for launch and seal the deal.
Create A Unique Profile For Each Business – You’ll do this after the site is up, but it’s worth mentioning now.
In addition to having their branding prominently displayed on the site, create a user account for each business owner.
This will give them a sense of ownership and reassure them that they are a part of the team.
When it’s time to launch the site, send each business owner a welcome email and include the login details within the message. This again will confirm to them that the ball is ready to roll and you’re soon going to ask them to help with the pushing.
Equipping them with a login also enables them to freely add their own content to the site. Inform your associates that they can post business specific articles to help drive more traffic to their individual sites or social media pages.
3) Outsource Your Work To Affordable Freelancers
Congratulations! Your co-op business website should be fired up and ready to rain in profits. You’ve notified your partners about the site and now you’re psyched to deliver the services promised.
This section will help you determine the exact services you’re going to offer, set affordable prices and locate the best freelancers to do the work for you.
Ultimately you began this co-op program to promote your own business for free and earn profits while doing so.
But you don’t want the tasks of the project to strap you down so much that you can’t run your primary business.
This is where hiring a team of freelancers to knock-out the majority of the work will save a considerable amount of your time and effort.
What Is Freelance & What Can A Freelancer Do For Your Business?
If you’re not familiar with the term freelancer, it refers to someone who is commonly self-employed and performs work for their clients independently.
Their field of expertise may be in graphic design, writing, social media, video producing, editing, etc.
Any type of work that your co-op promoting program may need, can be completed using the skilled abilities of a freelancer.
You can think of freelancers as your fulfillment department that will deliver the services your site offers.
To see how you can use freelancers to lighten your workload, read my article Get Affordable Business Services By Hiring Freelancers.
There you will get all the details on why, where, and how to get business services completed for you at an affordable rate.
For now, I want to make a few suggestions on possible services you can offer your co-op business partners.
Ways To Earn Profits While Starting A Local Online Business
To make money starting a local online business, you’ll need to collect a monthly fee from your clients for services rendered. Which means you have to have services.
When you begin designing your services it’s important to first research how much it will cost to outsource the work to your freelancers to prevent having to come out of your own pocket.
It’s fine to breakeven, but making a little profit is even better.
Additionally, the more work you can do on your own, the more money you’ll ultimately earn.
There are actually two types of services that you could offer your business partners… Individual & Cooperative.
Individual services are projects that will promote just one business. And of course, a cooperative service is a project designed to promote the entire group.
You can use either one of the two with the popular service ideas listed below:
* Article Writing & Content Development –
Getting quality content on your website is essential to its growth. Remember the statement I made about “Getting paid to mine your own gold”?
Well, developing an ongoing stream of content for your website paid for by your clients is how it’s done.
Organize a schedule for each client and charge a monthly fee based on the frequency at which new content will be published to the site.
I recommend posting no less than 1 content piece a week for each client, with a high of 3 to 4 per week.
For example, you could charge $120 per month for 4 articles, $215 per month for 8, and $300 per month for 12 giving a slight per article discount on larger orders.
To come up with great article topics, speak with your clients and learn the most important aspects of their business. This conversation will enable you to create a detailed list of focus keywords and phrases that’ll be used to produce content.
Make it clear to your clients the importance of having regular content published for their business.
It will increase website traffic, boost search engine rankings, add to their online reputation and make them an authority within the industry.
As a quick reminder, make sure the content that you have written for your clients is posted using their respective user profiles. This will ensure that all the credit and links lead to their businesses.
* Custom Graphic Designs –
Content can become bland without pairing it with eye-catching visuals.
Every image you use doesn’t need to be custom, but there are times when a professionally designed graphic can enhance content and raise the probability that it will be shared socially.
Infographics & Memes are examples of images that can be fused with content to increase social sharing and extend viral reach.
Infographics are effective tools for visually capturing the attention of visitors while educating them about specific topics.
Memes add a bit of humor and personality to help readers remember your brand and content.
Additionally, your clients can easily incorporate infographics & memes as a way to inspire more activity on their social media marketing networks.
Make these graphical components a part of your deliverables to your clients. Again charge them monthly to produce a certain amount of custom designed images.
* Email Marketing & Newsletters –
Growing a list of email subscribers for your co-op site will be the central source of leads for you and your partners.
It would be pointless to create a ton of content and not have a way to collect the names and email addresses of the visitors stopping by your site. Especially since over 70% of the people who first land on your site will leave never to return.
While you have the opportunity, you’ll want to grab as many subscribers as you can so that you can work to establish a relationship that will eventually turn into sales.
You’ll be happy to know that WordPress makes it easy to accumulate a large list of email subscribers.
By using free WordPress plugins such as Mailmunch to equip your site with opt-in forms and landing pages, you can capture visitor information for followup with email marketing campaigns & newsletters.
Your newsletters could provide your subscribers with helpful advice, facts, and tips relevant to your industry.
Newsletters are information by nature and don’t try to sell products or services. It’s a way to “warm-up” your prospects by delivering valuable content and keeping the businesses participating in your co-op “top of mind”.
Email marketing is more direct and usually asks readers to take a specific action like visiting a website or making a purchase.
When sending emails you don’t want to overdo it and flood your subscriber’s boxes with unwanted sales solicitations. So balance out your emails by sending 3 or more “value building” emails before shooting them one that’s promotional.
The worth of the services you’re offering your clients will grow as your subscriber list grows. They’ll be tickled to know that each email you send on their behalf will have 500, 1000, 2000, or more quality prospects viewing it.
Give them a clear understanding of your intention to develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy and charge them accordingly for your services.
* Promoting On Social Media –
This could go without mentioning, but I’ll hit on it nevertheless. Every piece of content published on your website deserves to be distributed to the appropriate social media networks.
Pick one or two social platforms that fit your industry best, create a unique account for your co-op, and be persistent in posting your content to receive maximum reach.
You know your industry better than I do, so I’ll leave the decision of which is best up to you.
But without a doubt, you’ll want to choose from one of the popular networks like YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Alignable, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.
One of these is sure to have an audience where your posts will strike a chord.
The farther you can spread the messages of your clients, the more significance they’ll see in your services.
Unless you actually decide on utilizing paid promotion, I wouldn’t recommend charging for social media services. This is one that could be considered a little “icing on the cake”.
All of the services listed above can be completed by hiring a freelancer. It only benefits you to relieve yourself from as much work as possible.
You’ll want to make running your co-op website a totally “hands-free” venture making it an automated income source for you to earn profits.
* Market Research & Online Surveys –
Knowing the needs, wants and purchasing behaviors of customers should be a primary concern for owners starting a local online business.
But, the shocking truth is most local business owners neglect gathering even the tiniest bit of information about their core audience to learn how to serve them best.
Conducting market research and online surveys are not only a magnificent way to collect essential data about your customers, competition, and industry; it’s also an excellent method for generating leads.
Providing a market research service for your partners can help them get answers to important questions that will position their businesses for success. Questions like:
How do customers in this industry like to purchase? Online/Offline?
What is their process for making buying decisions?
Are there undiscovered problems that a new service/product could solve?
What do customers love and/or hate about the industry, service or product?
Where are their competitors failing and succeeding?
These and many other questions like them can be clarified by use of a simple online survey.
And your, industry-specific, co-op site is the perfect platform in which to perform such a survey.
Ask your partners what their most pressing issues are and construct an online survey that will help them gather the information they’ll need to proactively resolve the issues.
You can use software like Survio to create your market research survey. Then promote your survey on Facebook to reach a highly targeted audience.
Once you receive the desired number of respondents, you can sell the results of the survey to each of your partners for $50 or more.
Let your partners know that the survey answers the many of the issues they were having and can aid them in better serving their customers.
If they’re interested in growing their business, they’ll take you up on your offer without hesitation.
4) Be A Lead Generation Master!
Let’s not beat around the bush, if you fail to generate leads for your clients you won’t get paid… Period.
The only reason business owners make an investment in ANY method of advertising or marketing is to attract quality leads for their business.
If they don’t get results that line up with their expectations, you can bet they’re ready to jump ship without hesitation.
So if you don’t want your co-op to be an abandoned venture, then you had better deliver high quality leads to your clients.
Many articles have already been written detailing the most common strategies for developing new leads and this will not be another rehash of the same concepts.
But if you’re unaware of fundamental strategies for whipping up leads, take a peek at my article Lead Generation Techniques For Small Businesses.
In it, you’ll learn 4 of my favorite tools for attracting leads like a magnet. And those tools will come in handy when implementing the monster lead attracting strategy I’m just about to introduce to you.
So let’s jump right into one of the best methods I’ve seen for amassing fresh leads fast. And it’s practically built for cooperative partnerships!
Digital Event Marketing is your key to creating a lead EXPLOSION and could actually be the cornerstone promoting strategy for cooperative partnerships… Seriously.
What Is Digital Event Marketing?
A digital event is the same as a LIVE event except it takes place online rather than at a physical venue.
Starting with your industry and the cooperative partnerships you’ve made; you’ll want to coordinate an event that will appeal directly to your target audience.
What online event could you organize that would make your prospects and customers beg to participate in?
Maybe you could get each of your clients to collaborate on a short webinar, an online e-course, a LIVE stream event, an informational video training, or a special downloadable report.
Hosting a digital event makes it easy to employ the incredibly powerful marketing principles of urgency & scarcity. Your prospects will take action quickly when they know this event is available for a limited time.
Especially if you pepper your event with freebies, giveaways, exclusive offers, and unbelievable discounts. You’ll get more leads than your clients can handle!
Digital events are a great way to earn profits while starting a local online business.
You’ve already formed partnerships with the “sponsors” of your event. All you have to do is strategically plan the event and communicate the specifics to your co-op clients.
When they see the potential to gain new leads & sales, they’ll have no problem giving up the money for you to pull it together.
This can all be done without a dime of your own money, yet you’ll actually be promoting your own business along with the businesses of your co-op partners.
If you need a little more instruction on organizing a profitable digital event download our e-Book The Event Entrepreneur.
You might need money to start a business, but who said it had to be yours? You can use other people’s money so you can earn profits while starting a local online business.
Partner with other local businesses that share the same industry and provide them with exceptional services that will help them generate leads and increase sales.
Most importantly, outsource most or all of the work to freelancers so that you can earn “hands-free” while building your own business.