Creating a blog and then recruiting a group of authors who have strong strategic referral partner potential is a killer local marketing idea. Every time I mention this tip in small business workshops the light bulb goes on for one or two marketing thinking owners. Just going out and recruiting potential strategic referral partners with this approach will get you much farther than the typical “hey, send me some business pitch.”
Blog networks are all over, but few local businesses are taking advantage of this play. If the right referral partners got together and contributed the occasional post to a blog focused on a local target market, they would own the search terms for their town and generate lots of leads for each other. Think about the power of a plumber, electrician, lawn service and heating and air company creating a local blogsite aimed at providing tips for local homeowners. That group would dominate the local home repair searches that have become the norm for homeowners frustrated with trying to find good help. There really isn’t any reason an insurance, legal, accounting, marketing and management team couldn’t come together and blog about local business.
The power of this as a formal referral group is enormous. This group could eventually start putting together all day workshops and seminars based on the multi-author blog format, much like a magazine.
Here a some tools to look into getting this type of venture going.
- WordPress – it’s a simple blog as entire website
- Themes – Revolution – iThemes – WPRemix – very multi-user blogsite type themes
- Author Exposes Plug-in – Great way to allow different authors to create blog posts and have bio info with their post
- Adding Author pages – tutorial on adding individual author pages to your WordPress blog to allow each author to promote their specific businesses.
WordPress does have a multi-user version called WordPressMU, but I’m not sure you really need it and there’s a lot more info and resources out there for the regular flavor.