Here is a very simple technique that one of my clients shared with me….that is working exceptionally well for her, and that I’ve never really considered myself – yet, makes tons of great sense, is perfect for writers and content creators, and…when thought about strategically a bit, can be a BOON to both your online asset base – and your local online agency style business to boot.
The basic premise is exceedingly simple –
- Find a “vertical” or a niche that you like.
Identify professionals in that niche that live where you do (can be done without geographic borders as well – but I’ll give you a simple idea that works wonderfully well for local sites below)
- Offer to write business profiles on those professionals that resemble a laudatory magazine style spread piece.
Not only does everyone love to have their ego stroked making it a pretty easy sale……BUT, these really are great for the people in those specific professions who want to show off to their prospective clients as well.
You basically are going to get on the phone (or not – but phone is preferable in my view) and “interview” your prospective clients about their life, their business, their passion and sense of purpose around their profession.
You are then going to turn their little interview into a profile…..or a story about both themselves – and their business.
That professional can then post that profile on their website, which is going to be a great boon for their business.
They can also mail it out to prospective clients in hard copy, put a downloadable PDF on their site, share it on social media, place an “in the media” style link on their blog, and use it in a zillion different creative ways to sell their story and their services to clients and customers.
I mean – we all love to feel important – and what makes us feel MORE important than having a third party piece profile written about the what/where and why of our life’s work?
A few years ago, one of my best friends was featured in a profile piece by a local magazine and didn’t stop talking about it until roughly last Tuesday.
He not only posted it on his website…..but framed it, left it the bathroom on top of the other magazines, and pretty much would find a way to incorporate his business profile into just about any conversation that was even remotely relevant to what we were discussing.
I kid. (but not by much..;-)
In his case, it was a real reporter coming by and he wasn’t paying for the profile…..but if you follow some of the techniques I cover a little bit below, you can offer a bit of THAT authenticity as well, simply by building a local authority site to compliment this approach.
The key is of course to capture the spirit of the person in a way that doesn’t feel salesy – but that helps illuminate an insight into who they are, and why THEIR prospective clients and customer would want to choose them.
The ones that I’ve seen done so far look great – and look like a reporter came out to their real estate office, or flower shop, or yoga studio to do a special profile on the person who ordered it.
You can EASILY charge $150 per profile…even if you are just starting – and conservatively get double that in most major cities. (for work that should take you half a day at most)
Here is the local online agency rub.
To sweeten the pot, all you have to do is register a hyper local website in your community – either that tailors to a specific niche (the one that you are targeting, obvisously 🙂 OR that is more of a generic local news portal that covers the movers and shakers where you live.
you offer to POST their profile on your site as well…..which not only gives them a nice back link (good for traditional SEO, especially hyper local) AND more importantly for you – gives your clients the incentive and motivation to post links from THEIR social profiles, their blogs and websites back to your “local news” community.
This makes your site more valuable – builds links and traffic – all by leveraging the natural human instinct to say – “hey – I was just featured on abc.com – jane doe just posted a business profile on ME – go read it either on my site – or on their site – and tell everyone to like and share it “
Easy viral traffic building for you – AND a great way to “leverage your list” and help them evangelize for your blog, brand, business and bank account JUST for doing what you were already paid to do.
If you do 10 or 12 of these to start – AND do local content curation in your community…..(very easy and very important) you can quickly not only have a very valuable local asset – BUT – simultaneously start getting clients coming to you…(rather than having to proactively contact them) be able to charge more (as each “profile” is now a lot more valuable as more eyeballs are exposed to each) and so forth and so on.
You can do these for specific local niches – AND then do more generic local news sites too. (allowing your clients to get more exposure and a bigger audience……for the same small investment)
Again – to me….this is a great “everyone wins” scenario, where you are offering real value to your clients, building a tangible local asset in fate form of virtual real estate and getting paid to work that is quite simply, exceedingly easy and a lot of fun as well.
I’m doing one of these right now (based purely on the nudge from one of my own clients) where I’m outsourcing the entire thing…the site is being built using content curators – the profiles are being written by a third party author – and the only thing I care about is the value of the local asset (the website) and the ability to monetize it using ads and others offers – AND of course, having a captive audience of professionals I can offer my own higher priced consulting offers to as well.
( i mean – if they are happy with, and getting traffic and traction from their profile and placement ……it becomes a very easy segue to sell other services as well)
Anyway – give this a try if you are a good writer who is struggling to turn your content into cash…and need an ethical, real world way to be both innovative, entrepreneurial AND still focus on what you do best.