Have you put up a website and created a Facebook Page like everyone told you to because that is the standard advice? And now what? Still hearing crickets… need some help with your local marketing strategy?
We get into business because we want to do what we love doing. But getting into business is really all about running a business and you gotta love the running a business part to make it work. That means marketing your business too. Without marketing, you won’t have a business. And if that is not your thing, find someone whose “thing” it is and hire them. Immediately.
All those stories about referrals pouring in and FB ads that generate all the leads you need to survive each month sound great. But that is only part of the story.
Online marketing is amazing, I love it I thrive on it and I help build businesses on it. The exposure and reach are at your disposal unlike marketing before the internet existed. Facebook ads are affordable and help you gain exposure quickly and easily, social media helps you reach people all across the world. But many of us need to start on our local marketing efforts, to get the ball rolling.
I see a common thread with my local business clients who aren’t bringing in the new leads like they’d hoped with online marketing.
They are hanging out quietly in the background, or behind their computers. It’s easy to do. It’s comfortable. But that is not where the magic happens. I too have to tell myself this ALL the damn time – get out there.
You run an ad, wait for a call or click. Have your funnel running for online prospects to go through and be nurtured. And there you have it. An automated system for online marketing that should bring in the leads, right? But you sort of feel like maybe you are missing the mark, or you could be getting more clients in the door. And you’re right!
Online marketing is only one piece of the puzzle, but if you are a local business, you have a whole community you can get out and meet. You need a local marketing strategy to go along with your online efforts.
Hosting and attending events, meeting other business owners and community members are surefire ways to fill your pipeline with people interested in being your customer. This is actually an advantage a local business has over an online business, you can physically get out into the world to meet people face to face, and that is so powerful.
I always recommend my local business clients to have an online strategic plan as well as a strategic plan for local networking and local marketing.
Here is a list of 25 ideas you can get started on today to boost your local marketing efforts and start to create a strong marketing strategy.
I recommend 1-2 free community events a month and 2 networking events per month.
Local Marketing Ideas
- Join or attend local chamber events/lunches. (Most are a small cost and don’t require you to be a member).
- Soroptimist, this one you likely have to be a member to continue but you can be sponsored by another member to check a meeting out and see how it works.
- Check Meetup and Eventbrite for local networking events that interest you.
- Local newspaper contributor – see if your local paper has a column on something in your industry and if they have a contributor.
- Local TV stations, lots of them have segments on different topics, ask to be a contributor or share a feel-good story they can spotlight.
- Local TV Stations, when you host fundraisers or other charitable events local media outlets are always looking for feel-good stories, reach out and provide them with the information.
- Team up with a local business:
– Write a list of 10 local businesses you frequent or love.
-Choose all the businesses that align with your philosophies and reach out to them.
-Partner at an event!
-Share a flyer – double-sided with an event on one side and special business offer on the back (split the cost of flyers!)
-Create a co-event. Get sponsors for your events.
-Team up with a local non-profit and attend their events or be a sponsor for them, or offer free branded items for their events.
- Create a Local Activity Guide or Calendar of Events, and Promote it!
- Attend and hold events.
- You are the local expert in your community, and we want to express that in the community – hold a talk of some educational pieces about your product or service. Be a speaker at local events. Great way to gain credibility and brand awareness in your community.
- Host a demo of your product or Free offering for your service (Free review of your
- Google my Business. Local Google Business page directory registration. Maps like Mapquest (Google business directory ties into Google maps).
- Product-based business: Join a local Farmer’s Market or craft fair.
- Talk to people! Hand out business cards, make a digital business card and ask for people’s phone numbers and text your card to them! Now you have their phone number!
- Participate in a Board of Directors for a nonprofit in your area.
- Hop in local area Facebook Pages and answer questions related to your business or your knowledge of the local area.
- Ask for testimonials/Reviews and promote them on Facebook
- Offer some free services to get people in the door.
- Use SEO to target your local area, on your website.
- Sponsor a local sports team.
- Start a local podcast in your area focused on your industry or something that will be of interest to your potential clients.
- Brand your car!
- Create promotional apparel with your Brand.
- Try a few direct-mail marketing pieces or go around and hand door hangers in your neighborhoods.
- Create a local marketing campaign to help raise awareness for a nonprofit, a cause, an event, a holiday, giveaway. Something that can run for 30-days and ends with a final outcome. (A certain amount of money raised, a winner, an ending promotion).
There are lots of ways to marketing your business. Pick a 1 or 2 to start with and then add more from there. I would not recommend you do them all at once or even do them all. Find ones that work best for you and your business, continue those marketing strategies.
Before you mark something as “did not work,” I’d try it a couple times. Assess each time you do it, and think of how you can improve upon the strategy and implement improvements for the next try.
Keep trying new things that you like that work for your business. Try a few of the things that sounds scary, you never know how they may change your mind and bring in a flood of new business unexpectedly.