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

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

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

StanLAN Computer Support 612-860-8911 Minneapolis IT Repair, Solution, Service, Maintenance

For Quick, Reliable Computer Help, Call StanLAN

StanLAN Computer Support

2927 Hillsboro Avenue North
New Hope, MN 55427
612-860-8911
http://StanLAN.com
Info@StanLAN.com

Stan Glasoe, Owner
Stan@StanLAN.com

Specializing in technical support and system administration for small and medium-sized businesses, we offer:

  • Effective, time-saving solutions
  • Objective recommendations
  • Affordable rates
  • Personalized service

StanLAN is above all a solutions provider. We aim to diagnose your current difficulties and get you up and running as soon as possible. But, we do not do Band-Aid solutions. We want you up and running and to stay running. So we dig down to find examine the fundamental nature of your systems. Then, we design and implement solutions that stabilize your environment.

How can we help you?    Call us today!
612-860-8911

Hart Law Office 952-544-6020 Minneapolis Business Law Wills Probate Estate Litigation Contracts

Hart Law Office Not Only Solves Problems – We Prevent Them.

Hart Law Office

6009 Wayzata Boulevard
Suite 111
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
952-544-6020
http://HartLawOffices.com
info@hartlawoffices.com

Bob Hart, Owner
bobhart@hartlawoffices.com

Minneapolis business law attorney, Twin Cities lawyer expert in business law, contract law, probate, estates and litigation. Ask Bob about retirement planning, wills and trusts under Minnesota law.

Hart Law Office not only solves problems – we prevent them. Most people wait until they have a legal problem before they seek legal advice. In business, however, the success of your business comes easier and quicker the more you plan to avoid legal problems. We can help you with that.

Hart Law Office will advise and assist you with most business law issues, including:

  • Choosing and setting up a new business entity;
  • Writing contracts and upholding contract law for businesses;
  • Protecting the value of the business to make sure that “cashing out” is always an option;
  • Keeping the business in the family;
  • Utilizing Wills and Trusts so the right people get the right property;
  • Avoiding probate and reducing or eliminating death taxes;
  • Probating Wills, settling estates and distributing property.
How can we help you?    Call us today!
952-544-6020

The Minneapolis Local Business Forum Teaches Internet Marketing For Small Business

Content Matters To Minneapolis Local Business

Content Matters To Minneapolis Local Business

Thank you! Our inaugural meeting on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at Master Communications Group was a phenomenal success. Thanks go to all of you who attended. We are nothing without your participation.

Minneapolis Local Business Forum Attendees

In attendance were the following business leaders:

Get Your FREE Minneapolis Local Business Video

Several of you took advantage of our free video offer. Keep an eye on this website over the next week to see you and your business featured online. We may contact you to clarify details about your business so we promote you properly. Please, contact us if we need to correct information about you and your business online. Promoting your business on the Minneapolis Local Business Forum website benefits all of us. The more traffic we attract to this website, the more credibility Google and other search engines will give us — and YOU.

ABC’s Of Internet Marketing For Small Business

Tim and Mike presented the ABC’s Of Internet Marketing For Small Business which demonstrates the need for you to effectively promote your business online. If you want a copy of our presentations, let us know. We also captured the presentations on video and we are working on the best way to make this available to you. The most important takeaway from this is probably that your best prospects are online and looking for you and your products and services. Again, right this minute, right here in the Twin Cities, somebody is searching for what you do on the Internet. If they don’t find you, they will buy from somebody else.

Minneapolis Local Business Wants Solutions And Entertainment

Secondly, what these people are looking for is one of two things:

  1. A solution to their problem, or
  2. Entertainment.

Every search leads to a search results page. Those results, in and of themselves, are of little value except as links to further information. This is key to all Internet marketing; but, especially so for small business Internet marketing. Existing customers already know your name and your website. Eager buyers do not know you … yet. Remember how you, too, search to buy.

I, Too, Shop For Minneapolis Local Business

Initially, I don’t care about your name, your company name, your features nor your advantages. When I’m trying to solve my problem, I am looking for viable solutions to my problem. Once I find a credible solution, I want to know, “What’s in it for me?” How do you shop? Do you spend a lot of time familiarizing yourself with a website belonging to a company with which you have no intention of doing business?

Minneapolis Local Business Are On Search Results Pages

The search results page gives you the briefest of summaries of products or services. Clicking on one of these links ought to take you to a webpage that provides more detail. That is what I expect when I search and click on a search result. What about you? How do you shop online? How do you respond when the link you click takes you to a page that doesn’t meet your expectations? Statistically, the “Back” button is the 3rd most used button on the keyboard when it comes to Internet browsing.

Content Matters To Minneapolis Local Business

So, content matters. It matters a lot. DO NOT underestimate the value of the content you produce in promoting your business. Internet marketing for small business is serious business. You are a publisher. The content you publish, unlike newspaper ads, yellow page spreads and a magazine article — your online content never expires and does not go out with the trash. Think carefully about your online content, because it will still be there five years from now. Forever.

Minneapolis Local Business Feedback Is Valuable

We got great live feedback from all of you. There was considerable interest in learning about blogging. Blogging For Small Business Marketing will be the focus presentation at our next meeting on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 6-7 PM. We are planning to hold this meeting at Master Communications Group again. However, we are also socializing holding our meetings at a local restaurant. It will be good for you to be able to eat and drink. This will also be good for a restaurant to get business and new patrons.

Minneapolis Local Business Forum Wants You At Our Next Meeting

We look forward to seeing you all again soon. Furthermore, keep in touch with us and other members of the Minneapolis Local Business Forum. You are the reason we exist. You can teach us a lot from your experience and your expertise. How can we help you?