Marketing & Coaching Program
for Small, Local Businesses
in Yolo County, CA

Funding Available for Minorities and Women

Funding Available
Marketing Education
Website Included

Program Overview

This is a very specific program designed for small, local business owners who want to...

  • get your online marketing off to a solid start,
  • learn a small set of highly efficient marketing habits,
  • and learn how to expand your marketing efforts going forward.

The program includes a simple, custom website, the setup and actions needed for your business to show up on Google Maps and Search, and training and coaching you need to run your marketing or hire the right person to take over.

Program Details

Our Mission

IndieYolo aspires to provide (at low or no cost) the tools, education and support needed by minority- and woman-owned businesses to do 'local' online marketing in Yolo County, CA.

Choosing Independence

It's more important than ever for people to have choices about how they make a living.

Trading goods and services with our neighbors is as old as human civilization, and something any person should be able to fall back on when 'having a job' isn't possible or sufficient.

Once you've figured out what your product or service is, you need to let the community know it's available.

These days, getting the word out to your 'neighborhood' is free, but it takes specialized knowledge - of the internet, websites, SEO, Google Maps and more. The people who have the knowledge are pricing their services for business that are operating in the middle and higher tiers of income.

Those higher-tiered business-owners invariably had help; maybe in the form of money or maybe just in the form of business knowlege and social support. This program aspires to offer all three to people who would choose independence, but have been systematically denied access to these kinds of resourses for generations.

Currently, we have 1 Program Available at No Cost1
Application

1You'll want to buy your own domain name. We'll show you how. See the Website section below.

Who this Program is For*

This program is for business owners who meet all three of these criteria.

Local Businesses

Outline of produce stand with bowl of fruit on the countertop

If you have a product or service that is only available for customers in or around Yolo County, CA, your business is considered a 'Local Business.'

You can travel to meet customers where they are or you'll need a shop, storefront, regular public venue or office for this program.

Minority Business Owners

Icon style outline of people with one of a different color in the front

This program is for "Minority" business owners which include African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics.

This program is also available for women-owned businesses.

Willing to Learn

Outline of book and computer screen with arrow

This is a training and coaching program. Business owners will be given the education and mentorship needed to run a basic marketing program with confidence.

Be prepared to learn some internet jargon.

Examples of Local Businesses

  • Seamstress
  • Handyman
  • Concrete Contractor
  • Shoe Repair
  • Computer Repair
  • Plumber/HVAC Contractor
  • Landscaper
  • Pool Maintenance
  • Pet Grooming
  • House Sitting

*Who this Program is Not For

  • E-commerce or online shopping websites
  • Businesses that are based on blogging, memberships or events
  • Businesses that need to make frequent updates to the website
  • Non-Profits (fundraising requires a different set of strategies)
  • Businesses that receive clients/customers at their home. (not allowed on Google My Business/Maps)
  • Anyone who wants to 'game' the system. This program is based on success through good quality products and community-friendly business dealings.
  • Anyone who wants to 'get rich quick.' Sustainable success takes steady efforts over time.

Business Owner's Commitment

A woman's hands holding a phone to take a photo of a beautiful interior design

In order to be the business that people think of when they are (finally!) ready to buy, small businesses will have to be in the back of the customer's mind continuously.

That means the business owner needs to provide consistent, attractive, believable - and findable - advertising as a steady presence.

Your marketing doesn't have to be elaborate!
But it does need to be original.

Fortunately, business owners can do this advertising for free, if you are willing to develop some new habits.

Marketing Habits for Local Business Owners

For this program to work you'll need to be willing to do the following:

  • Take a 1-2 photos of your work, your place of business and/or your people every week.
    (We'll teach you how to take good photos.)
  • Text or email the photos to us along with a brief description.
  • Get into the habit of asking customers for Google reviews or testimonials.
  • Be willing to learn the basics of internet safety and marketing.

Past & Current Projects

Here are a couple examples of small, local business projects we've done.

Start the application process or Contact Us if you have questions.

Program Details

This 6-Month Marketing and Mentoring Program consists of...

  • The development of a simple, static website
  • Getting established on Google Search and Maps
  • Education and mentoring on marketing basics and internet safety

Program Schedule

This is a six-month program because that's how long it takes to develop a website and begin to get some traction on Google - provided a number of things are done right.

The first month is about setting up a website. Besides being informative and attractive to potential customers, it needs to be mobile-friendly, accessible and optimized for search engines.

The next couple weeks is about setting up the tools needed to be seen on Google Maps and in the search results. We'll also setup tools needed to monitor our success.

The remaining 18 weeks are for posting weekly to Google My Business (GMB).

Once the program is finished, you will know how to optimize and post your own photos for GMB and follow fundamental SEO practices. We will provide written and/or video tutorials for you or for anyone you hire to help in the future.

This is not an automated program like so many of the SEO/Marketing programs are. We will be hand-crafting the website and GMB posts and teaching you how to carry on after the program.

Website

We will be creating a small, static, 'brochure' website for the business. It will provide potential customers with business offerings and info, credentials and contact information.

You'll want to buy your own domain name* (~$20 per year with Whois Privacy) and set up an email account specific to your business. We'll show you how.

Email accounts can start free with Google's Gmail or with ProtonMail. But, it's better for your business if you can purchase one that uses your business domain name.

Cost ranges for business email accounts:

This program includes free web hosting with a company called Netlify. Normally, web hosting costs ~$240 per year.

* This is my affiliate link. I'll make a small commission, but your price doesn't change.

Google Products & Tools

When you need to find a local business or service, how do you do it? Most people use Google. Quite often people use their phone, sometimes their laptop or desktop computers. So that is the first place your business needs to show up - on Google Maps and in Google Search results.

There are a set of free tools that Google provides for Local Businesses. Once the website is done, We'll set up the following:

Google Analytics is now GA4 which is what we'll be using.

  • Google My Business (GMB) so your business will show up in search results and on Google - Maps
  • Google Analytics (GA4) so we can monitor how many people are coming to your website
  • Google Search Console so we can monitor how healthy your website is

Ongoing SEO

SEO: Search Engine Optimization, in this case, we'll be optimizing for the Google Search Engine.

Consistency is more important than brilliance.

As a local business, you have direct access to Google's most prominant displays if you properly setup and use Google Business Profile (GBP).

Once your website is live, GBP is where you'll be doing most of your work; posting news and specials, keeping your business hours up to date and asking customers for reviews.

You'll need to learn how to take and prepare images the best way for GBP. We'll teach you how.

Education & Support

You'll be learning a lot during the initial website setup. After that you'll have the opportunity to learn and get support during our weekly updates.

You'll also recieve video and written tutorials to keep. They will be both general and specific to your program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will my website look like?

Since this is a beginners program, we assume you'll need help with colors and a logo. Together, we'll come up with an attractive color palette and text logo.

The layout of the site will be based on clear and simple, well-researched principles of good user-experience. This program offers a website that is one step up from Google's automatic, highly limited website.

Will I be able to update the website myself?

We will be building a 'static' website. This means that occasional updates like hours, testimonials, staff-changes and the like will need to be done by someone who knows HTML.

We will be available to make those changes at a highly reduced rate–and will teach you how to find and hire a qualified 'Technical Assistant' on your own.

In the future, we will be offering paid apprenticehips to people who want to learn how to be a 'Technical Assistant.' They will receive on-the-job-training to help graduates of this program make updates at an affordable price.

Why won't we be using Facebook or Instagram?

In this program, we will not be using any of the social media products. The most practical reason is that social media is for socializing, so it's harder to make sales with that audience.

Instead, we will be using Google My Business (GMB) and fundamental Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. This approach reaches an audience who is more ready to buy your product or service.

Ask yourself. When you need to find a local service or repair person, do you go to Facebook to search? Or do you search with Google?

What would this program cost on the open market?

The retail, for-profit cost of this 6-month program would be around $3000.

How much traffic will my website get?

As you can imagine, it's impossible to promise an exact number. We can guantee it will be more than zero. Improvement in Google Search is cumulative–once it begins, it snowballs. So the sooner you get started, the better.

How do I sponsor a local business?

Are you in a position to help a local business get off the ground? You can purchase this program–at a reduced rate–for them as a sponsor. Go to our Donate page for details.

Can I purchase the program at the retail rate of $3,000?

Yes! Paying the retail price for this program will get your marketing off to a great start–and will help sponsor others.

What if a competitor wants the program?

We will not accept a new business that directly competes with an existing program member without your explicit consent.

About Indie Yolo

Indie Yolo is a non-profit organization. (Still to be set up)

Christine L Golden

The Program was founded by and is run by Christine Golden, a semi-retired, frontend web developer and long-time resident of Yolo County. Christine wants to contribute to the community - while continuing to do what she loves: writing code and empowering independent people. Learn more about Christine Golden at her business website.

Start the application process.