“There’s gold in them there hills!”
This was quite literally the rally cry that swept the nation after gold was discovered at Sutter’s Creek. By 1864 the gold rush had ended, leaving in its wake tens of thousands of broken men and women who had gone out to California seeking their fortunes.
We have seen some semblance of this phenomenon in the past related to all things Internet. In the mid nineties we experienced the cyber rush as companies and individuals sought their fortunes online. Dotcom mania swept our nation like gold fever, with a similar net effect. So, everyone’s creating websites, but who’s there to serve their internet marketing needs? This is where internet marketers come in with B2B prospecting methods.
Seeing the Need
The vast majority of the 49ers did not strike it rich. The real money was made by the industrious entrepreneurs of the day who realized that these miners needed to be fed and clothed, that they needed homes, doctors, and equipment with which to ply their trade.
William Randolph Hurst III, direct descendant of the man who won the title of San Francisco Examiner in a hand of poker during the Gold Rush era, is credited with the first use of the term “picks and shovels” as it relates to the Internet. You see, Hurst understood that it was the farmers, restaurant owners, inn keepers, and suppliers who made the real money during the Gold Rush. People like Stanford and Strauss made fortunes on everything from blue jeans to railroads because their businesses filled the ever present needs of the community around them.
These individuals made their mark because they went against the norm and planned for the long term. While so many others rushed toward what they thought would be quick and easy money, others took a step back and made their fortunes helping others work toward their perceived success.
There’s always a market for solving people’s problems, especially on the web. B2B prospecting helps internet marketers find leads and new areas to build their sales. If you take the time to step back and see the whole picture, you’ll also see the holes in it that you, as a business, can fill. Many times, the major “hole” for businesses is website optimization and presentation on the internet.
Our Cazbah customers have amazing products, services, and leadership, but lack the tools to construct a strong internet presence. They have their areas of expertise, and at Cazbah, we have ours. Everyone wins when internet marketers focus on their clients and what they specifically need to thrive.
Picks ‘n Shovels
To date, it has been the “picks ‘n shovels” companies that have flourished and prospered online. Just like prospecting during the Gold Rush, internet marketers use B2B prospecting to find potentially rich areas to invest their time in. These companies have implemented business plans geared towards helping other businesses harness the full value of the Internet – community, collaboration, and communication.
Some internet marketing companies, like Cazbah, provide a comprehensive internet marketing product managing SEO, website optimization, analytics, and other areas. Other internet marketing businesses may focus only on a specific section like website building. This is especially significant as we move from an economy based on tangible asset value to one based on the real value of information.
If you’re going to have your information out on the web, you need to make sure it’s accurate, accessible, and appealing. Critically review your website and it’s pages. Does your “contact us” page have your current business information, are the pages laid out well with similar themes?
Information is powerful, so you might as well put it to work for you. Personally analyzing your website will alert you to specific areas you want to focus on. After you start working with a internet marketing company, hopefully they will continue to suggest other changes for improvement they see as well.
According to Hubspot, 63% of companies stated that generating traffic and leads was their top marketing challenge. And a shocking 80% of marketers report their lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective. Many business owners want a piece of the internet success pie, but are struggling to accomplish it on their own.
If a business isn’t marketing itself well and putting their information out there so it’s easily accessible, they won’t grow. As an entrepreneur, this is where you can serve a need in the internet mania.
Opportunities abound for today’s enterprising Netrepreneur (net-entrepreneurs) to find success in marketing others’ businesses and products. By using B2B prospecting tools, internet marketers can gain valuable leads and sales from other businesses looking to grow their Internet presence. Small businesses have pain points in a variety of areas that they’re looking to solve. Many times they want to ability to focus on their customers, their products, and actually selling.
If you can take care of the hassle of website maintenance and SEO, you’re lifting a huge burden off your potential customers’ shoulders and freeing them to prioritize other areas in their business themselves.
There are many areas that businesses are looking to dig into, but they’ll need your “picks ‘n shovels” to get the job done.
Prove Your Value
If you’re just starting out as an internet marketer or just looking to grow your client base, there are some steps you can take to ensure your success. An important component of B2B prospecting in 2018 is inbound marketing and working for the potential customer at every stage of the marketing funnel and buyers journey. Develop a strong mission statement that you’ll stick to and will be evident through your actions. People will only want to work with you if they deem you trust-worthy. Show your customers you’re focus is on them.
B2B Prospecting Methods:
1. Build a portfolio. Your potential customers will want proof of your work. Your work needs to set you apart from the rest, so make sure you represent yourself and your brand well. Don’t be afraid to showcase your reviews!
2. Market yourself well. Potential customers will be more inclined to trust an internet marketing firm if they have been able to successfully market themselves as well. Practice what you preach. Invest in social media, make connections on Linkedin, and produce regular, educational content.
3. Know what your customers want. If you’re going to be a lasting, successful business, you need to have a product that fills or fixes a need your target audience has.
The bottom line is that you’re providing a service to another business, so naturally you need to take a keen interest in that business on an individual level. It may take a while to establish yourself, but if you go about it the right way, you’ll have built customer loyalty and a strong brand which will continue to attract clients toward you.
There’s a need for businesses who offer internet marketing services to take action. Just like tycoons made it big by seeing the needs of the miners during the California Gold Rush, there’s ample opportunity for internet marketing companies to supply their “picks ‘n shovels” services to web-based businesses today.
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