So you’ve been thinking of starting your own online business but designing a Website, writing the sales copy and creating the product all seem way beyond your current computer skills and available time. Does that mean your dream of having your own online business is just that, nothing more than a dream? Of course not.Creating your own online business and its Website isn’t the only way to get started online and let’s face it, most people are not cut out to be start-up entrepreneurs anyway. However, many people are capable of managing a business that’s already been proven to make money and that has a set of standard operating procedures that anyone can follow. That’s why so many people chose to purchase franchises as their route to owning their own business.The same franchising concepts and principles that have been proven to work time and time again in the “bricks and mortar” business world are equally valid in the online business world too.In a nut shell, you find a proven online business opportunity and then duplicate it in another sales territory. I explain in detail how to locate and purchase these “Website Franchises” in my latest book How to Franchise Your Website *Global Edition* but for now I just want to make you aware of the tremendous opportunities implementing this online business strategy can provide.So why is today the best time in history to franchise a Website? Well if you’ve read any of my other articles you’ll know that the number one reason most people haven’t thought of using a franchise business model for an online business is that everyone still believes that the Word Wide Web is world wide!In reality, the online business world is much more segmented today that most people realize! And it’s becoming more segmented every year!For example, did you know that Yahoo now has over 25 different country specific search engines, each with their own spidering algorithms that look for and prioritize Websites using that country’s local domain extension?And out of those 25 a good many of them are English speaking countries such as the United Kingdom (uk.yahoo.com) Australia (au.yahoo.com) and Singapore (sg.yahoo.com) just to name a few. To see just how segmented Yahoo has become, take a look at their world map located at http://world.yahoo.comIn addition to Yahoo, Google now has country specific search engines such as Google.co.uk, Google.com.au and Google.com.sg that also provide preferred ranking positions to local Websites.Frankly, when you start to see regional top level domains being created, such as the new dot-Asia domain http://www.dotasia.org, you know it’s just the beginning of the World Wide Web being chopped up into limited access markets that can have their own set of localized market access regulations no doubt favoring local online businesses.Sometime soon, unless an online business owner has a local presence in each of these country specific or regional markets (which could be done through a Website Franchising deal) they may be shut out from that market completely. As an alternative to developing those country specific Websites by themselves, you could offer to do it for them using a franchised/licensed version of their existing Website. And right now, today, is the best time to do it!Now there’s no doubt that the world’s economy is going through a severe economic contraction (some are even calling it the “Great Recession” in comparison to America’s Great Depression of the 1930’s) and many business are cutting back on their spending or plans for expansion. However, it’s also important to recognize that even during today’s downturn, forward thinking individuals and corporations will be looking for ways to prepare themselves for the day when global economic conditions improve.For example, can you tell me what General Electric (GE), Disney, Hewlett Packard (HP) and Microsoft all have in common? They were all start ups during steep declines in the U.S. economy. GE started during the panic of 1873, Disney started during the recession of 1923-24, HP began during the Great Depression, and Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft during the recession of 1975.Each of the above companies had the courage and foresight to continue to invest in new product development and marketing even when the current business conditions were not very favorable in the short term. And as a result, each these companies emerged from their respective recessionary periods with strong market positions that capitalized on all the pent up demand and spending that occurred after things improved. So my point is, now is the best time to invest in your future and as you’ll see when you read my new book it doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune to get started.
First, if you don’t know what “Realtor Banner Advertising” is, it’s simply a small or large rectangular or square shaped advertisement that you’ll see on many websites. They’re similar to pay-per-click ads in that they can be an automated marketing idea for Realtors; you pay for the ad placement and let the traffic flood in to your website. Realtor Banner Advertising is much like a billboard for the internet and you need to be on it.When launching a Realtor banner advertising campaign, the banner ad can be static with only text (that does not change or move) or it can be dynamic with animation and images. The idea is that visitors will see the banner ad and click on it, bringing them to the website linked to it. Simple concept, right?Here’s the deal though….I wouldn’t ignore using banner advertising but I’d use it sparingly as a Realtor or agent. It’ll be somewhat difficult for you to find websites that are in your geographic location and that have sufficient traffic to warrant the ad dollars you’d be spending. It’s not impossible; it’s just harder as an agent because of the geographic issue.A unique issue with Realtor banner advertising is that you will usually pay for a certain number of “impressions” and not “click throughs” (as is the case with pay-per-click marketing). What this means is that instead of paying a certain amount for each person who “clicks” on your banner ad, you’ll pay a certain amount for each person who simply “views” your banner ads.So if a visitor comes to a site where you have some banner advertising and your banner as shows up, that counts as an “impression”, regardless of if they click on it or not. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but something to be aware of. You’ll want to know how your marketing dollars are being spent.Now just as with outdoor billboard advertising, the two main issues with internet, Realtor banner advertising are:1) where to advertise
2) the ad itselfWhen it comes to finding sites that have enough local traffic, one idea would be to do a Google search specifically for local real estate blogs. For example, in Seattle, there are about 3-4 high traffic real estate blogs that are consumer based. They accept Realtor banner advertising and would fit in perfectly to a local Realtor’s or agent’s marketing arsenal.Another solution to finding solid sites for Realtor banner advertising would be to use a media vendor that has sites lined up and ready to sell ad space for. These media vendors are contracted with local sites all over the country and world and get you the pricing for various ad packages.This would be a great way to go as you won’t really pay more than if you went to the site directly, in most cases. Sometimes, going through these vendors is the only way you can buy Realtor banner advertising on the site. Plus, the sites that these media vendors represent will typically have sufficient traffic to warrant selling ad space.The second issue with banner advertising is the design of the banner ad itself. The same rules apply as we’ve gone over in other tutorials regarding how to design marketing pieces. But with banner ads, it’s a little trickier because you need to design the ad, which requires some coding and “techy work”. It’s not as simple as writing some text in a word document.There are plenty of banner advertising vendors that can help point you in the right direction in terms of where to have your banner ad designed. But if you want to design your ad for free with a site that makes it simple for “non-techy people”, just go a Google search for “free banner design” and you’ll be on your way. It won’t look quite as cool and professional as if you hired someone to design it but it’s free.If you want to go the professional route, you’ll pay a little bit of cash but it should look light years better than if you did it yourself. Any graphic designer or most web guys can take care of that for you.The banner ad itself will follow the same principles outlined in most copywriting and ad design tutorials out there. Headlines, benefits and a “call-to-action” are the vital pieces to pay attention to. Plus, it needs to be eye catching since web surfers are bombarded with ads all day long. You need to stand out from the crowd!Bottom line, if you have a well designed banner ad on some good sites with solid, local traffic, it could be well worth the marketing dollars you’ll shell out. Do your homework though and test, test, test as you would with any other marketing weapon.I wouldn’t suggest using this as a big part of your marketing arsenal but it’s definitely worth using in a small way, unless you start getting amazing leads and clients. Then you’ll want to make it a HUGE part of your marketing arsenal!