For those of you who don’t know, I’m a senior at Colorado State University. As part of my senior year I’m going to write a thesis; it’s an year-long assignment that’s meant to be the culmination of my undergraduate study. As my senior thesis, I’ve decided to write and publish the JuniorBiz Internet Marketing Guide.
However, I don’t consider myself qualified to write a book on how to start an Internet marketing service until I do it myself. So I have set out to start an Internet marketing service.
After looking into a couple Internet marketing services, I found they charge anywhere from $90-$125 an hour. The industry is also fragmented, meaning there are a lot of smaller companies and no one has an overwhelming market share. It’s much easier for new companies to establish themselves in fragmented industries.
Good Industry: CHECK
I first started considering this while reading “Web Marketing All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies,” a 900-page book crammed with information I want to learn. (By the way, that’s an affiliate link to Amazon in which I make 4% on every sale I refer.) Though social media and search engine optimization (SEO) really aren’t that complicated, they are integral parts to a successful website. Many local businesses don’t realize this; they think they just have to put up a site and people will find them.
Additionally I checked out a few websites for local bars and restaurants in Fort Collins and was shocked at the lack of SEO components. Only a couple had meta data, and none of them had 301 redirects or a blog of any kind.
Also, I couldn’t find any of them on Facebook or Twitter, both of which are great ways to develop business-to-customer relationships.
Market Need: CHECK
I don’t consider myself to be an expert in online marketing but I know a lot more than a lot of people especially local business owners.
Target Market: LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS IN FORT COLLINS, CO
I plan on marketing my services by getting in touch with the local business owners. The initial conversation will consist of me trying to convince them to sit down for a 30-minute sales presentation. In this presentation I will sell them how my services can directly benefit their businesses.
I will differentiate my services from my competition by offering to teach my clients how to utilize the blogs and social media accounts I set up. A lot of companies charge outrageous hourly fees to these for add-on services (i.e. maintaining a Twitter account), and I’d rather teach them how to do it themselves.
Overall Marketing Strategy: PROFESSIONAL SELLING
This is a brief and basic business plan for my Internet marketing service and before I begin seeking out clients there are a few kinks I still need to work out.
For instance, I’m not sure how I’m going to charge for my services. I’d like to charge based on results but SEO typically takes awhile to have a significant effect on traffic. Also, charging by the hour seems outrageously expensive because it doesn’t take a lot of time to make significant improvements. Over the next few weeks I will work out these kinks.
If you would like to keep updated on the status of my new service, Get JuniorBiz by Email. I will also continue to post relevant information for young entrepreneurs that can be applied to any business..