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Starting a local directory to help build up businesses
This isn't a new business model, but it's one that works well if you do it right. There are plenty of people out there adding directories to their websites as a way to get some listings and make a few bucks from paid listings. What this directory method does is target local businesses and has them add their listing to your website for $XX per month or $XXX per year.
I'm sure you've heard the old methods are dead, but some are thriving, it's just that no one talks about them that much because they're profiting. Why would I talk about this if it's making me money and I don't want you to saturate it? Well, I target all local businesses, and there's a meager chance that you're going to be my competitor lol. I'm not selling you anything, which means this is a genuine post, and it's up to you if you want to try this method to make some extra cash each month. One thing you need to remember is that this method takes a lot of time, and the payout might not be big enough for you if you're hoping to quit your day job. You can make $10,000 a month off of this, but you'll need dozens of directories loaded with directories, and that takes years to achieve.
SEO isn't easy to cold sell
Many people call local companies and pitch SEO, which most business owners don't know about, but we know they need it, and that's why we call. Cold calling is a difficult thing to get conversions with but cold calling to sell SEO is next to impossible. I'm sure there are people out there who are great with it, but I doubt the business owners they sign up don't stay signed up for long.
Selling a directory listing with guaranteed traffic is much easier than selling SEO
It's easy to pitch a $20 listing
If you're calling or emailing local companies, you can quickly get them to sign up for a $20 listing. All you have to do is tell them critical points of how they will benefit for the $20 listing and why they should stay signed up. The main reasons to sign up are more sales, more traffic, better SEO, and more online branding. They should stay signed up because they will lose all of that if the subscription stops lol.
Set up annual and recurring payments
You'll want to set up a recurring payment option as well as a yearly option. The monthly could be something like $20, and the annual could be around $199, which will save them two months if they pre-pay
People will likely want to "Try it out" for a month, but you shouldn't offer a one-time payment option for 30 days because those people probably won't come back and pay again. Locking them into a subscription means they won't have to remember to go back and pay you, but they can cancel whenever they want.
Set a "List Me Forever" price
This is a payment option that won't get used much by newly registered people, but you will see the older listings upgrading when they notice the benefit of your website/directory.
Your lifetime listing can be something like 2x your annual price, so if you were priced at $199 a year, then you'll likely want to price your lifetime option around $390. If a company is getting a few leads a month off of your website, they will see massive potential in the long run and sign up for the lifetime option; you need to offer it to them
Generate traffic to your directory
You need to generate traffic to your directory to seal the deal. You don't need 100,000 people a day to your pages to convert someone into a directory subscription buyer, but you do need to show them something for them to click "Subscribe."
What I like to do is pay for PPC campaigns that target the local area and get as many people in as I can. Since I'm targeting a general audience in the area, my clicks don't cost as much, and that saves me a decent amount of money which I recoup from the listings that start coming in when I send outreach emails
Setting up a paid directory isn't difficult; you can purchase a WordPress plugin that does all the work, and then get a theme to finish it off and look professional. The outreach is what will take a while, and you should never get discouraged if you have to call 100 businesses to convert just one. It takes time, you may have to contact the same companies 10x before they decide to signup, be persistent without being annoying and you'll win with this method. It does take a lot of time and effort, so don't get frustrated if you're not a millionaire after a few weeks lol.
Thanks for reading!
- Tommy Carey