If you’re an online company who specializes in consulting, you’d be wise to turn your eye to the thousands of businesses that have no sort of Internet footprint whatsoever. Your business may primarily deal with startups who come to you looking to better their Internet presence, but the fact of the matter is that there are potentially millions of dollars worth of customers who won’t look your way at all. This is not because they’re inherently opposed to the Internet, just that many people are wary of the Internet and don’t know how to approach it at all.
The people who aren’t on the Internet at all should be a prime concern if you’ve got an online consulting business that deals with helping companies improve their online images. Of course, most of the time you’re used to having clients come to you to request your services, but being proactive on your part can reap great rewards. Not only is this a mostly untapped source of revenue, but also most businesses can benefit from any sort of online presence, even if it’s something as simple as a Twitter account. If you can introduce web-wary clients to these easy to navigate tools, you’ll be able to build a steady business relationship with them and help them take it to the next level when they feel comfortable.
Of course, the first question to ask is thus: how do you, an online consultant, get in touch with companies who aren’t online at all?
The simple answer? Go local.
You likely know of a few hole in the wall spots around town that aren’t likely to have a very strong Internet presence, if they have one at all. Consider actually physically going to these businesses – yes! Get off the Internet for a moment – and see if you can talk with the owners about their online marketing potential. Of course, acting like a door-to-door salesman might not be your style, but consider working through contacts to see if you can speak with the owner on a more “friendly” level, rather than walking straight up and offering your services. Not to say that the blunt approach won’t work sometimes – you might be surprised with how often it will – but being able to work through connections will often make the process easier. And once you have one client under your wing, it’s amazing how fast word will spread.
The old adage “think globally, act locally” is so true in the case of online consulting companies working with offline customers. You’ll need to think of terms of the Internet – which is a worldwide endeavor – but also bring your local knowledge and connections into play as well. When you combine these two initiatives, you’ll be surprised at how powerful they can be.