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Here is a short article I wrote earlier this week for Ezinearticles as I begin to promote my next Amazon book – which will be one of a series on building a business around local consulting services – and some of the cool ways you can use inexpensive tools and technology to “appear” like an expert and an authority in your local market, even if you are just getting started.

The truth is, as I’ve written about in a lot of detail in the past (and now have several clients implementing this exact idea) I really believe there are some super cool ways to position yourself as an expert by “BUILDING SOMETHING” that has a lot of value to existing  professionals in a local geographic marketplace, and then using that as a springboard to sell yourself, your services, etc.

For example – using local directories – either general or very verticalized (or niched) – is a GREAT way of attracting your ideal audience, and then building in back end suites of services to sell.

So too is proactively creating local “assets” – and then renting them, selling them or even in some cases……..offering them away for free, as an inducment for others to hire you to service the sites that you created for a monthly fee.

(e.g. – you can register a hyper local domain name that has empirical value in a given niche to a local professional, build the site in half a day with a blog, a little bit of curated content, build a few valuable incoming links, write a few articles, install an opt in newsletter form – and then offer it for sale, rent or as a “freebie” to a highly paid local professional in a valuable niche who will pay you XYZ per month to do SEO, or to build a relationship marketing campaign for them, or to build out the blog, or a combination of all of the above, etc)

This is a great way of creating value FIRST and demonstrating something that’s actually live and ready – which makes makes selling sites, services and YOURSELF,  infinitely easier.

Communities, Creativity and  Crowdfunding

One of the really great upcoming trends is going to be fundraising/crowdfunding and building buzz for small brands using communities, creativity and the perpetual need that all of us have for cash flow.  (no matter how big or small – ALL “small” businesses crave cash flow – and kickstarter style communities are cropping up everywhere…..you can now do the same thing in your local community as a crowdfunding consultant for non profits AND for local passion professionals who have inspired ideas….but need a gentle nudge in the direction of their dreams and a bit of a bump in their bank accounts to boot)

Check out the IgnitionDeck plugin here for a great way of getting into this business for under $100 – and the Astoundify suite of stuff for crowdfunding portals and projects that are more community oriented.  (I’m testing their Fundify theme now…..and incredibly impressed with their creativity, commitment and confidence in coming up with kickass wordpress themes that break the mold a bit – raise the bar – and enable “ordinary” entrepreneurs to offer some extraordinary ideas that would be exhaustively expensive to come up with on our own)

Astoundify’s crowdfunding plugin is free – but pretty much require one of their great looking themes to implement as designed – whereas Ignitiondeck charges for their plugin – yet is designed to work and play nicely with any WP theme.

(although aesthetically, a lot of the integrations I’ve seen leave a lot to be desired)

Why am I telling you all of this?

A few reasons.

First, I like to share random ideas with total strangers, which is sort of the whole odd phenomena of having a blog in the first place.  To be totally honest with you, sometimes this whole blog thing feels creepy. 

I mean – you and I don’t know each other, and we might not even like each other if we did.

If we were on Big Brother together, you might even vote me off, even if I was really friendly and let you borrow one of my cool cardigan sweaters which look great on TV.

That said –

My next “PASSION” project is a BIG crowdfunding portal that I’m working on with a bunch of other people that I’m very excited about…….we’re testing and contrasting both of the approaches above to see which works best for us – and I’ll be sharing some of our experience as we launch this with my private clients, and a bit here on the blog as well – so if you’re interested in that sort of thing, stay tuned!

Check out the whole EZA article below – and new book is coming as well!  (hopefully sometime early next week)

First, the REAL secret to expediting your success is THIS:

Focus on LOCAL markets.(and this is the overarching idea that you can use to start, and grow your online marketing brand and business, regardless of the strategy you select)The biggest mistake I made in my own business for years? Trying to build a brand (and a blog) focusing on an international readership, and helping them earn money, or learn how to do XY or Z, while trying to convert a small percentage of those millions of readers into cash.What I discovered instead… SHOULD have been obvious all along.The amount of people in my local marketplace who had existing businesses and needed help were spending FAR more money (often 5K a year and up) on web related services, where the average “learn how to make money online” blogger or affiliate spends a few hundred dollars a year on eBooks, or “guru” gimmicks and then gives up.Target a LOCAL audience where you live right now… or within 200 miles of your home, and you’ll be amazed at how many professional people have REAL money to spend on building their businesses, and need someone JUST like you to make it happen.Next, be innovative! There are so many cool tools and technologies out there now that you can use to immediately step UP and stand out and do incredible, inspiring and innovative things that most small business operating in the “real world” are blissfully unaware is even possible.

Want to Get Rich Online? The Best Marketing Opportunities for Self Starters (No Gurus Required)

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I am an author, artist and entrepreneur. My 2 passions are writing about, and teaching Marketing and Meditation. I like to think I’m a lot like Eckhart Tolle, if only he was taller, and a much better tennis player. (it turns out in person, he’s super short, has a terrible backhand and wears this weird scottish hat thingy that makes it really difficult to concentrate while serving) Plus he refuses to keep score and says ” it’s always NOW” when you ask who is up. Enough about me. We barely know each other. Stop staring. You’re making me nervous.