If we are talking about niche marketing, one really hot niche now is chicken coops, whether you are selling digital products or physical products. Just see the evidence below from Amazon.com and Clickbank.com.
But that is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about using the principles of internet marketing to build your offline business, even if it is selling the eggs from the chickens in your chicken coop.
My mom runs a small poultry, a little under a dozen crates a day. She is passionate about farming. Usually, her clients find her, she does not have to go looking for clients. She is the farmer and her customers are the middle men. So she sells to the small shopkeeper who provides the public with their eggs. She also sells to the middlemen who export the eggs to other states of the country and sometimes, across the borders to other countries.
Recently, a combination of events meant that there was a slump in the demand for eggs. There was an economic recession; the recent labour strike in the country meant that there was a total halt in economic activities and people have not been able to recoup their losses; then the government closed the borders so export of anything became difficult.
What this meant for my mom – the small farmer – was that she no longer had clients calling for eggs. When I visited, she had an egg glut with almost 100 crates of eggs just sitting there.
So I brought out all I’d learned from internet marketing. I taught her about three marketing strategies (two really) that she could use to get rid of her eggs without running at a loss. She implemented just two and in less than a week, she had sold more than half of the eggs. So what did I tell my mom?
What i told my mom that sold her eggs
1. Get Used to Cold Calling
The first thing I told my mom was to change her business strategy and begin cold calling. Cold calling is not really an internet marketing strategy; it is a marketing strategy that was there even before the internet. But I go to learn that strategy from being an internet marketer.
About.com defines cold calling as
Cold calling is soliciting potential customers who were not expecting to speak with you. The term ‘cold’ refers to the fact that you haven’t laid any groundwork for your call.
And that is exactly what I told my mom. My mom’s main customer, like I’ve said is the middle man. I told her she would have to look for how to get to the end-user directly. The idea was to sit down and make a list of potential end consumers of eggs, hotels for instance, restaurants, fast food places, you get the idea. Then either go there and speak to the Food and Beverages manager or get a number and call.
Cold calling is not easy for most people, even those who are naturally outgoing so this was a challenge for my mom. To overcome that, she put a vehicle on the road, loaded it with crates of egg and got someone to go round town, cold calling. She did this several times and sometimes, the vehicle came back sold out of eggs. Other times, at least half the crates sold.
This principle also applies to your online business. You need to go out and market your product/service. The worst you will hear is NO. And you are no worse off than if you don’t move at all.
2. What about warm calling?
This was one I discovered she was not using at all. She had several repeat customers, people who had bought from her repeatedly. She even had their contact details – their phone numbers – and most of them called her to book eggs. But she was not calling them to sell her eggs.
So she went through her phone book and began calling some of them, just to keep in touch and let them know she still had eggs. That week a number of them came for her eggs and she was able to sell some crates. This is called warm calling.
Warm calling means selling to people who already want to buy what you are selling. If someone bought eggs a dozen times, there is a very high possibility that person will want to buy eggs again.
In internet marketing, what this means is your list. Which is why the internet marketing gurus preach list building. When you have a list of people who opt-in to hear from you, it is easier to sell to them and if they’ve already bought from you, you are on your way.
3. Run Promotions
The aim of business is to make profit. We get that. But sometimes, profit comes more in the volume that you sell. So I told her to run frequent promotions; cut down the price of eggs (but still keep it profitable); give away free crates for bulk purchases and generally just think of a way to give her clients more value for their money.
The essence of this strategy is to win customer loyalty. When your customers know that they get more than what they pay for from you, they will most likely come back for more.
She has not implemented this yet, but I know she will. My mom’s a quick study.
As an internet marketer, one advice I have for you is OVER-DELIVER.
Always make sure that you’re giving your customers more than their money’s worth. ‘Under promise and Over deliver’ should be your watch word. And don’t be afraid to give away your best product.
5 Things to Take Away for Online Businesses
- Don’t be afraid to change what isn’t working
- Don’t be afraid to contact those that might be interested in your product/service/blog
- Maintain a list of subscribers and communicate with them
- Offer promos often and give away free stuff
- Under promise and over deliver
If you run an online business, you can always learn from offline business principles or strategies and the other way around. There are several internet marketing tips that you can apply in your online or offline business.
What about you?
What online/offline lessons have you applied to your offline/online business?