Google Places, Maps & Reviews Have Replaced Yellow Pages

Who Else Wants A Neverending Stream Of Online Reviews & Testimonials?

On Tuesday, November 8, 2011 the Minneapolis Local Business Forum gathered to discuss online reviews and testimonials. Apparently, Google Places with its Maps at the top of Google search results has replaced the proverbial yellow pages. Especially, when it comes to that quick and dirty search, when you absolutely need to call somebody to get something done right now, a quick Google search can quickly put you in touch with your local:

  • Plumber
  • Attorney
  • Dentist
  • Locksmith, etc.

As business owners, it’s up to us to take action. Who else wants to be found when your next customer is searching for you online? If they don’t find you — it’s really obvious, isn’t it? — they will buy from somebody else. How much business are you leaving on the table every business day, because your next customer finds your competitor instead of you? The slides from that presentation are embedded below. Click on any image to see a larger, detailed view. When are you going to take action?

How Remarkable Do You Find Google Gold Stars To Be?

Google Restaurant Minneapolis Many Gold Stars

Google Restaurant Minneapolis Many Gold Stars

Google Restaurant New Hope Many Gold Stars

Google Restaurant New Hope Many Gold Stars

Google Mexican Restaurant New Hope Many Gold Stars

Google Mexican Restaurant New Hope Many Gold Stars

Google Toyota Dealer Minneapolis Many Gold Stars

Google Toyota Dealer Minneapolis Many Gold Stars

Google Plumber Minneapolis Many Gold Stars

Google Plumber Minneapolis Many Gold Stars

Google Plumber Golden Valley Many Gold Stars

Google Plumber Golden Valley Many Gold Stars

Google Dentist Golden Valley Many Gold Stars

Google Dentist Golden Valley Many Gold Stars

How Remarkable Do You Find Less Than Perfect Google Gold Stars To Be?

Google Auto Repair Minneapolis Bad Gold Stars

Google Auto Repair Minneapolis Bad Gold Stars

Google Caterer Brooklyn Park Bad Gold Stars

Google Caterer Brooklyn Park Bad Gold Stars

MOST Google Places Listings Have ZERO Gold Stars

Google Attorney 0 Gold Stars

Google Attorney 0 Gold Stars

Google Auto Repair New Hope 0 Gold Stars

Google Auto Repair New Hope 0 Gold Stars

Google HVAC Minneapolis 0 Gold Stars

Google HVAC Minneapolis 0 Gold Stars

Google Orthodontist 0 Gold Stars

Google Orthodontist 0 Gold Stars

Google Remodeling Minneapolis 0 Gold Stars

Google Remodeling Minneapolis 0 Gold Stars

Google Wedding Planner Minneapolis 0 Gold Stars

Google Wedding Planner Minneapolis 0 Gold Stars

How Remarkable Do You Find Good Google Places Reviews To Be?

High Dive Bar Good Google Places Reviews

High Dive Bar Good Google Places Reviews

La Cucina Di Nonna Rosa Good Google Places Reviews

La Cucina Di Nonna Rosa Good Google Places Reviews

Imola Motor Sports Good Google Places Reviews

Imola Motor Sports Good Google Places Reviews

Anchor Fish N Chips Good Google Places Reviews

Anchor Fish N Chips Good Google Places Reviews

Capital Grille Good Google Places Reviews

Capital Grille Good Google Places Reviews

Marks Plumbing Service Good Google Places Reviews

Marks Plumbing Service Good Google Places Reviews

Mccormick N Schmicks Good Google Places Reviews

Mccormick N Schmicks Good Google Places Reviews

Renters Warehouse Good Google Places Reviews

Renters Warehouse Good Google Places Reviews

Sunshine Factory Good Google Places Reviews

Sunshine Factory Good Google Places Reviews

How Do You Feel About BAD Mixed With Good Google Places Reviews?

Amana Dental Mixed Bad Good Google Places Reviews

Amana Dental Mixed Bad Good Google Places Reviews

Hells Kitchen Mixed Bad Good Google Places Reviews

Hells Kitchen Mixed Bad Good Google Places Reviews

Tanners Restaurant Mixed Bad Good Google Places Reviews

Tanners Restaurant Mixed Bad Good Google Places Reviews

How Do You Feel About Generally BAD Google Places Reviews?

Robbinsdale Cooper High School Bad Google Places Reviews

Robbinsdale Cooper High School Bad Google Places Reviews

Standard Heating Bad Google Places Reviews

Standard Heating Bad Google Places Reviews

Lupient Buick Gmc Bad Google Places Reviews

Lupient Buick Gmc Bad Google Places Reviews

Firestone St Louis Park Bad Google Places Reviews

Firestone St Louis Park Bad Google Places Reviews

Bassett Creek Dental Bad Google Places Reviews

Bassett Creek Dental Bad Google Places Reviews

It’s Up To You To Respond To Bad Google Places Reviews

Midas St Louis Park Respond To Google Places Reviews

Midas St Louis Park Respond To Google Places Reviews

How To Blog Minneapolis Local Business’ Story To An Eager Audience

Blogging For Fun & Profit

Blog About Local Minneapolis Business

Blog About Local Minneapolis Business

One of the greatest features of the Internet is that you can publish your story in your voice. Your website, social media and other interactive online gathering places are opportunities waiting for your story. Let your story tell them how you have solved similar problems for real people.

There are many famous bloggers and many renowned blogs. Why blog? Blogging is more a matter of telling your compelling story to eager buyers already searching for what you do best. So, instead of preaching to Minneapolis local business about arcane blogs meant for professional marketing gurus, we chose to use effective local business blogs to illustrate that you, too, can and should start a blog.

At the meeting of the Minneapolis Local Business Forum on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, Mike used blogs of plumbers, auto repair, real estate and attorneys to demonstrate how local business owners post a blog to communicate how they solve problems for their clients. Sometimes the story they tell is interesting and remarkable, and sometimes the story is boring and ineffective. Nobody hits all of the time — it’s persistence and knowing what your audience is looking for that will make blogging work for you.


Plumbing

Look closely at each blog. What do you find remarkable? Emulate those characteristics that ring true for you and your business.

  1. All Plumbing Repair
  2. The Plumbing Blog
  3. D&D Plumbing
  4. Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  5. Need Plumbing Supplies

Auto Repair

One of the secrets of blogging is regularity. The more frequently you blog — especially at the beginning — the quicker your audience grows.

  1. Auto Repair Savings/
  2. Auto Warranty News/
  3. Tulsa Automotive Repair Blog
  4. Auto Repair Information Blog
  5. Auto Repair

Real Estate

If you can only blog once a week or once a month, do it week in and week out, month in and month out. It will take a few months to gain appreciable following. Once you attract interested readers, they will return to read future blog posts and they will tell others about you.

  1. 360 Digest
  2. Altos Research: How’s the Market?
  3. Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
  4. St. Paul Real Estate Blog
  5. Structure Tech Home Inspections

Attorney

Write for your ideal audience. Legalese is best understood by other lawyers and judges, but not appreciated by the majority of people looking for an attorney. Bear in mind that when you write something that is interesting to your customers, new prospects will find you, read your story and approach you about becoming great customers.

  1. Twin Cities Business Litigation Blog
  2. Minneapolis Divorce Attorney & Lawyer
  3. Larry Bodine Law Marketing Blog
  4. Bank Lawyer’s Blog
  5. Billings Personal Injury Video Blog/

What would you want to read about your business if you were a prospect searching for what you do best? Minneapolis local business ought to blog about local Minneapolis business and what local customers want. The Minneapolis Local Business Forum will continue to bring straightforward marketing advice to your attention. Be remarkable and come to our next meeting to find out how you, too, can attract great customers.

Podcast: Minneapolis Local Business Forum, September 13, 2011

Better late than never?

We recorded a Podcast of our inaugural meeting of the Minneapolis Local Business Forum and I’ve finally taken a moment to upload it to the website.

Please, listen again to history being made!

What do you think of our little Master Mind group?

How Minneapolis Local Business Reviews Lead To Prosperity

Who else wants to learn how to be found in the NEW yellow pages?

Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Location: Bruegger’s Bagel Bakery
Address: 3558 Winnetka Avenue North, New Hope, MN 55427

  • 5:30 to 6pm   Open Networking
  • 6:00 to 7pm   Program: Business Reviews on Google Places
  • 7pm to 7:30   Q&A

We have confirmed our meeting at the Bruegger’s in New Hope on 36th and Winnetka. They are delighted to meet you and host our meeting. Please, thank them for their hospitality by purchasing something to eat and drink.

Our topic this month includes best practices for:

  1. How to be found in the NEW yellow pages: Google Places
  2. How to show up next to the Map on Google 1st page
  3. How to get and keep getting Reviews and Stars next to your Business

Last month we showed you how to cultivate interest in your business by blogging. You have many prospects out there right this minute searching for what you do best. Yes, blogging and video blogging are extremely effective at cultivating new and existing customers. But, when you need something new this week where do you turn?

  • How often do you get a new customer from the yellow pages?
  • How often to you pick up your phone to answer a telemarketer?
  • When you’re in the market for something new where do you look first?
The Map, Gold Stars and Social Proof

The Map, Gold Stars and Social Proof

If you want to be remarkable, you have to do something remarkable. For example, search for the following phrase in Google:

  • plumber golden valley mn

What do you see? What do those Gold Stars mean? What does it mean to be in the “A” or “B” or “G” position next to the Map? If you need a plumber right now because your kitchen sink has become a fountain, what are you likely to do from this search results page? I know that I’d simply call the first plumber with all those Gold Stars!

If you do only one thing to market your business, get more reviews and testimonials. When people leave reviews on Google Places, Google rewards you with favored placement next to the Map. Although not the only criterion, Google recognizes the importance of reviews to establishing your credibility. We will show you:

  1. How to setup Google Places
  2. How to ask for reviews
  3. What makes a good review
  4. How to get a bunch of great reviews this month

All Minneapolis Local Business Forum activities are open to anyone. Our members are most interested in local business owners who want to be found by more of the right customers in the Twin Cities area, especially:

  • Minneapolis
  • Golden Valley
  • New Hope
  • Plymouth

The Minneapolis Local Business Forum is dedicated to our local business community. Please, share this with other business leaders. Invite all of your connections who are interested in growing business.

How can we help you?    Call us today!
612-235-6060

Blogging Minneapolis Local Business: How To Blog Your Story To An Eager Audience

Who else wants to learn how to tell your story to an audience clamoring for more?

Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Time: 6 to 7 PM (5:30 to record your free video)
Location: Bruegger’s Bagel Bakery
Address: 3558 Winnetka Avenue North, New Hope, MN 55427
How To Blog Your Story To An Eager Audience

How To Blog Your Story To An Eager Audience

We have confirmed our meeting at the Bruegger’s in New Hope on 36th and Winnetka. They are delighted to meet you and host our meeting. Please, thank them for their hospitality.

Our topics this month include best practices for:

  • Blogging, and
  • Video blogging

You told us you want to know more about how to blog. We have example blogs from several different industries that should help you get started.

“Make the customer the hero of your story.” ~ Ann Handley

“The right people to start video blogging are those with a passion to tell a story.” ~ Steve Garfield

These are things that you leverage to tell your story online:

  1. Why do people like to do business with you?
  2. How are you unique?

One of the greatest features of the internet is that you can publish your story in your voice. Your website, social media and other interactive online gathering places are opportunities waiting for your story. Let your story tell them how you have solved similar problems for real people.

  • Share your story with targeted sales leads.
  • Targeted sales leads are hot for your story.

Meeting is open to anyone. Our members are most interested in local business owners who want to be found by more of the right customers in the Twin Cities area, especially:

  • Minneapolis
  • Golden Valley
  • New Hope
  • Plymouth

The Minneapolis Local Business Forum is dedicated to our local business community. Please, share this with other business leaders. Invite all of your connections who are interested in growing business.

How can we help you?    Call us today!
612-235-6060

Principal Financial Group 952-277-4309 Minnetonka Insurance, Investments, Retirement Services

Your Financial Well-Being Drives Our Business Every Day

Principal Financial Group

11100 Wayzata Boulevard
Suite 161
Minnetonka, MN 55305
952-277-4309
http://Principal.com/Minnesota

Dave Wallace, Financial Services Representative
Wallace.Dave@Principal.com

The Minnesota Business Center is a client-focused financial services organization working with employers and employees to help them establish priorities and develop strategies to achieve financial success.

Our Financial Professionals will work closely with you on a consultative needs-based approach to identify your financial goals and priorities. With the support of The Principal® behind us, we’ll help you find solutions that will help you reach those goals.

Solutions for Individuals

Our team of Financial Professionals works with business and individuals to help build plans and strategies to assure financial success. With our Individual clients our advisors focus on financial planning, risk management services, wealth management services, and estate planning.

  • Insurance
  • Investments
  • Retirement

Solutions for Businesses

With our business owner and key employee clients, our team of Financial Professionals focus on employee benefits, retirement plans, executive benefits, and business transition.

  • Retirement
  • Insurance
How can we help you?    Call us today!
952-277-4309

Larry A. Ford & Associates 612-347-7834 Minneapolis Financial Services Registered Investment Advisor

Committed To Clarity, Comfort, Confidence And Creating Wealth Legacies

Larry A. Ford & Associates

1221 Nicollet Mall
Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55403
612-347-7834
http://LarryAFord.com
LFord@AdvisorNet.com

Larry A. Ford, Financial Advisor

I am a registered investment advisor in the financial services industry.

Our mission is to help our clients live the life of their choice by helping them clearly see their financial situation, add comfort to their decisions and selection, give them confidence when thinking about their financial future and help them start their own financial legacy.

Larry A. Ford & Associates have 40+ years of investment knowledge and experience including 15 years of personal financial advising. We are committed to upholding strong values and integrity and being completely committed to our clients.

How can we help you?    Call us today!
612-347-7834

Pro-Tech Auto Repair 763-420-3060 Corcoran, MN Auto, Car, Truck Repair & Service Mechanics

Looking For A Repair Shop You Can Trust? Look No Further

Pro-Tech Auto Repair

7591 Commerce Street
Corcoran, MN 55340
763-420-3060
http://Pro-TechAutoRepair.com
Contact@Pro-TechAutoRepair.com

Tom Gleason, Owner

Family owned and operated, we offer a full range of repair services and maintenance for foreign, domestic, and diesel automobiles, light and medium trucks and RVs. We’ve been keeping the community rolling since 1983. Visit our shop and see for yourself. If it’s friendly and knowledgeable service you’re looking for, we’re your shop.

You can rely on our ASE certified technicians to deliver superb auto care with the latest resources in automotive technology. We’re a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop, so you can expect trustworthy, honest advice, high quality service and fair prices.

Our work is guaranteed with a 12 month/12 thousand mile warranty. We only repair what is necessary, but will advise you of anything else we see that may need attention.

How can we help you?    Call us today!
763-420-3060

Accord Benefit Resources 952-449-4400 Plymouth Employee Benefits, Health Care, Life Insurance

As Employers Establish Benefit Plans, They Are Seeking To Make The Right Choices

Accord Benefit Resources

945 Highway 169 North
Plymouth, MN 55441
952-449-4400
http://AccordBenefits.com
Info@AccordBenefits.com

Cliff Hanson, Partner
CHanson@AccordBenefits.com

How can we help you? Our unbiased approach to employee benefit strategies allows our clients to:

  1. Crystallize their objectives
  2. Explore their options
  3. Make wise decisions
  4. Take action.

Accord Benefit Resources simplifies the process of designing, implementing and monitoring employee benefit plans. Our clients have peace of mind about the stewardship of their employee benefits resources. We help you to:

  • Determine your employee benefit objectives
  • Review in-force benefit plans
  • Design benefits that accomplish your goals
  • Represent you as your purchasing agent
  • Select benefit plans and providers that meet your objectives
  • Implement plans
  • Communicate the value of your benefit plans to employees
  • Monitor performance of and satisfaction with your benefit plans
  • Prepare and present annual renewal
How can we help you?    Call us today!
952-449-4400

The Barter Guy 952-544-0117 Minneapolis The How To Barter, Buy And Sell Business Exchange

Finding You New Customers And Finding Ways To Protect Your Cash

The Barter Guy

Minnetonka, MN 55305
952-544-0117
http://TheBarterGuy.com
David@TheBarterGuy.com

David Carroll, The Barter Guy

I teach businesses how to find new customers and conserve cash using barter.

We work through IMS Barter of Minneapolis, a forward-thinking association of businesses who trade products and services with one another to help members:

  • Expand their customer base
  • Lower their operating costs
  • Increase their bottom line.
How can we help you?    Call us today!
952-544-0117