My head is exploding

I’m still trying to determine the right strategy for getting attention for my products & services.

There are so many strategies that I think my head will explode.

Part of the issue is deciding what I want to sell and how to package it. And tied to that is deciding whether I’m focusing on a city or small region or selling nationally.

For sales strategies, I’ve definitely ruled out cold calling. I’m also not fond of door-to-door sales. Joining a business group (like Chamber of Commerce) is a possibility, but likely slow and time-consuming. Cold emailing could work, but I don’t like the idea of sending what most people would consider spam. Direct mail could work, but is an expensive gamble. I like Facebook ads, but getting them dialed in would likely also be very expensive.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that I’m not comfortable with sales in general and don’t want to be viewed as a sales person. I much prefer to offer some sort of value and then wait for people to come to me.

I also have to decide how much attention should be on me vs my services. I’ve decided it really needs to be on my services until I have some sort of success. Then the attention will naturally turn to me and I’ll be more able to help more people.

In recent days (and weeks), I’ve considered two basic approaches:

  1. Put together a package of services that can sold to any business in the country and then pursue a semi-direct sales approach — possibly a combination of regular social posting and Facebook ads
  2. Create “support local” Facebook groups with members consisting of both business owners and consumers, then slowly introduce my services.

Both approaches have pros and cons.

The first one could potentially bring regular, higher ticket sales and is not limited geographically, but it will likely also require much time and money spent in creating content and determining what type of ads will work.

With the second idea it will be easier to build a following but they’ll mostly be consumers, not business owners, and it will be limited geographically. Plus managing Facebook groups can be quite time-consuming. On the positive side, it opens the possibility of selling “franchises”, so to speak, for cities throughout the U.S. I’ve often wished I could help people like myself, especially those who are older and less tech-savvy to have their own business. If I do all the tech stuff and provide support for running the business, my “franchisees” would pretty much only be responsible for building and maintaining a Facebook group. They would earn a commission each time they sold one of my services.

So I’ve been wavering back and forth between these two ideas for several days, and it affects more than just my sales approach. It also affects the services I’m selling, the media I’m using (Facebook page vs groups, Instagram? Twitter?) and even the name of my website — Local Deals vs Local Rewards – the first one works if I’m focusing on deals in general, the second one works if the focus is my loyalty program.

Update: Feb 20, 2022

I’ve really been struggling to determine exactly what I’m selling and for how much.

What services should I include? Should I sell them singly or in packages? Should I focus only on things that create recurring income? Should I start with a very “low-ticket/foot-in-the-door” offer and then gradually upsell to more expensive items? If so, what is it the low-ticket offer and what is the high-ticket offer? Or should I just focus a medium-ticket offer?

To complicate matters, my product choices affect the marketing strategy and vice versa.

I’ve primarily looked at marketing my business on Facebook and Instagram, but have also considered email and direct mail.

Within Facebook and Instagram there are several ways to approach it.

  1. Run Facebook ads targeting business owners
  2. Run Facebook ads directly targeting consumers, and indirectly business owners
  3. Create a Facebook group for each city
  4. Create an Instagram page for each city
  5. Create a general Facebook page from which all ads are run

Should I should one or several of these options? What should I name the pages and groups?

What’s the purpose and function of my website? Is it a business directory? Is it a deals site? What pages does it have? Does it have giveaways? Does it have polls? Do I allow people to post content? What domain name should I use?

There are so many ways to run the business that it’s almost overwhelming. I start down one path and run into challenges or I see opportunities in another direction so begin going that way.

Lately I’ve been leaning toward having “shop local” Facebook groups for each city and corresponding Instagram groups. I’ve discovered a fairly simple way to share WordPress posts to various social media accounts that are under my control. So the strategy would be to find ways to get people to join the groups and then encourage businesses to create posts on my website which I would, in turn, share to one or more of my Facebook groups and Instagram pages. All this would result in the building of relationships with business owners making it easier to sell my paid services.

Of course there’s the question of exactly how to attract people to the groups. Do I just start inviting by sending messages on Facebook? Do I run an ad? Do I run a restaurant poll? Do I run a giveaway?

I’m not a good salesperson and have no desire to become one. As I mentioned in another blog post, my most successful business was based on one very simple product that was very low-priced and thus very easy to sell.

That’s hard to duplicate. It’s really hard, in fact. I was blessed to ever stumble onto such an opportunity and I’ve finally realized that I can’t count on repeating something like that again.

However, I still believe it’s vital that I have a product or products that are easily explained and understood, not requiring a complex or time-consuming sales process.  

I would love to be smart enough to come up with a product that can sold entirely online requiring virtually no human interaction, and that people need month after month.

But for a variety of reasons I’ve gone down the path of providing marketing services for small businesses which are difficult to sell the way I just described because of the amount of customization that’s usually required.

So part of the challenge is coming up with simple services that require little customization.

I know I’ve rambled, but this gives you an idea of how my mind has been going for the past few months.

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