Identify prospects for your business (Map vector designed by Alvaro_cabrera - Freepik.com)

How can I identify prospects for my business?

Client acquisition. I need to IDENTIFY the most likely prospects for my agency. How do I do that? 

Good question and spot on…. you are in exactly the same situation as us here at Creative Agency Secrets.
My advice to you would be
  1. Focus on Local marketing…. set up SEO/SEM to be found in the metropolitan areas where you ALREADY have clients
  2. Testimonials – work these hard on Google My Business and any other relevant marketplaces
  3. Write blog posts to appeal to industry segments who could be clients e.g. I wrote this blog Top Tips for Marketing Tradesmen and got an enquiry from Vancouver, CA.
So that’s a direct answer to your question which you should be able to execute yourselves.
If you would like to buy coaching advice with more ideas for you to run as tactical marketing, we charge by the hour. I recommend having a conference call for 30 minutes every 2 weeks.

Further reading on Local Marketing tactics

local marketing strategies for your business

10 marketing strategies for a local business

What are some breakthrough marketing strategies to grow and scale a local business?

Local teeth whitening business, already doing FB ads, Instagram ads, Adwords, little bit of content marketing on YouTube and will be “scaling” those channels over the coming weeks/months, but wanted to know about offline strategies or where else online I can get the best value for my marketing spend.

Great question – local marketing is absolutely essential nowadays.  Especially as few people are navigating social media looking for tooth whitening services, these will become more profitable than online over time.

Here’s a quick list of tools I suggest using to bolster your current work. 

  1. Set up a Google My Business account and get it address-verified (they mail you a code)
  2. Keywords – ensure city/ town / suburb / state or county are all included in metadata
  3. Directory listings – Get yourself listed on free and paid sites.  If you can afford a small spend www.brightlocal.com is worthwhile
  4. Use Facebook local targeting for advertising / brand building
  5. Set up Google Alerts for key phrases in the news that could allow you to comment / contact / build a mailing list
  6. Join the local Business Associations and contact all the relevant local business members
  7. Go to Networking events (BNI, Chamber of Commerce, Meetup.com, Eventbrite)
  8. Get happy customers to write Testimonials on Google My Business.  Also, reproduce them on your website
  9. Use media relations to get articles in local newspaper, local radio, local newsletters, (check out Yahoo Groups for local lists)
  10. Ask for Referrals – by sending two business cards with your invoice
  11. Make specific requests for social sharing via your accounts
  12. Surprise and delight the customer – e.g. pay it forward – you pay to have your teeth whitened, and I give a free treatment each month to a deserving individual and use that for publicity.

I hope that gives you a load of great ideas to be getting on with. 

But if you’d like specific coaching on what to do for this client – get in touch.  

Have you forgotten about directory listings for local search?

Yet again, Google has changed its search page layout – the right sidebar went last week…. Now, does that matter for your business or not?

The old sidebar had adverts in it and now adverts only appear at the very top of the search listings.  This is a “reduced real estate” situation in the lingo.  Where 8 adverts used to appear, there are now only 4.  That means that competition for advertising space is doubled – prices may rise.  What that means for most business owners is that if advertising gets more pricey, you can choose whether to adjust your budgets.  I recommend spending on natural site search as an alternative.  Every recent Google algorithm update has hit the ‘game-the-system’ players hard and rewarded websites with strong on-site content.  Put your money into your own website rather than into Google’s pockets.

Local Search Matters

So first, let’s check your business and how it shows up in the Google local pack.  This is the map and associated listings with pins showing locations.  Google are showing a map of local businesses into your search results.  This allows the physical location of a business to influence whether prospects choose you or not.  So it’s important to get listed accurately.  Go first to Google My Business https://business.google.com and start registering and verifying.

Local google search showing map and address

Local google search showing map and address

Is your information accurate?

Step one is to clean up your NAP citations.  NAP is the acronym for Name, Address and Phone data. This clearly tells a visitor that a business is local.  You should claim your business and get listed accurately.  Be consistent, don’t shorten words like Street or use different variations of ST. St, and Street.  [Did you see the comma and full stop there?]

Now, what about other citations?

Do a broad search for your business name, owners names and all possible variants as well as geographic searches.  List every website where you can be found.  There may be many as most directories are aggregators of others’ content and so mistakes get flicked on and on to more websites.

In the good old days every business was on Yellow Pages and I still think that’s a great place to start your directory listings.  But Yelp is increasingly important..  go and search for your business on yelp.co.nz and ‘claim’ it.  Then you can log in and edit the details.

Yelp claim your business

Yelp claim your business

When you claim your listing, be very careful to select the correct category for your business. And please, be consistent – write down a standard short and medium length text description which you can use everywhere.  Also write one about your products or services.  And another about the business owner(s).

Now here’s a list of the local directory sites where it is worthwhile “claiming” your business listing and this is the process I recommend you run through for each one. 

  1. see if you are already listed
  2. is the information NAP accurate?
  3. edit or insert for the first time as necessary
  4. keep a record of your logins so they aren’t lost to the business when you leave
  5. set a future diary date every 6 months to review and update the listing.

Selected New Zealand online directories

Please share your tips for other directories as we can all learn more!

This article was first published on 

Improving your local SEO is an important part of your business marketing.  It’s all part of Getting your website working hard for your business [there’s a free ebook telling you how].

Read more blog posts about Who You Are and Profile Raising by clicking the icons below. Each is a step in our 8 Step Methodology 

8 step new business process. Step 1 Who are you?4 Profile