When marketing your online business, it is easy to get lost in the “big picture” and focus only on marketing globally. But some of the easiest and grassroots ways to spread the word about what you do is to market your business locally.
Do your neighbors even know what you do?
I owned a photography business for about 3 years and had been considering whether or not to move on to something that was a better fit for me, when I had a “smack in the forehead” realization. My husband had been talking to one of our neighbors and mentioned that I was a photographer and they were so surprised! When he told me that I just slumped in my chair.
Good grief, if my next door neighbor doesn’t even know what I do how can I expect the world to know? Or care?!
Word-of-mouth marketing is THE BEST type of client attraction method and it is most effective when it starts at the roots (locally) and branches out (nationally…globally).
Here are 3 easy ways to spread the love in your area…
1. Speak at local meetings – depending on your niche there are many types of local groups you could offer to speak to. One place to search would be Meetup.com where you will find every topic under the sun. If you work with moms, look for local play groups, parenting groups, Early Childhood Family Education departments at the schools, etc. There are also Chambers of Commerce, Community Education courses, and you could even schedule a talk at your local coffee shop or library. If the idea of speaking in front of a group makes you break out into hives, check out The Courage Revolution with Chantelle Adams for her free video course and amazing program on the power of sharing your story.
2. Tell everyone you know – This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people skip this step. Share your Facebook business page on your personal profile, send a personal email to all your friends and family giving them a brief intro to what you’re up to and ask them to share it with anyone they think may find it useful, tell everyone you run into including your neighbors, the other parents at school, and your mama! (I don’t know about you, but my mom is one of my biggest cheerleaders). Even if the majority, or maybe even all, of your friends and family do not fit the profile of your ideal client or customer, they may know somebody who does. And wouldn’t it be nice if they could pass on your info?
3. Connect with other business owners or bloggers who you share the same “ideal client” with – Making contact with people in your area who market to the same potential clients or customers you do is a great way to get your business name out there. Search online for their websites, blogs, Facebook pages, etc and read their posts, sign up for their newsletters, attend their gatherings, and communicate through comments to their posts. Once you’ve made contact for a while, you can even email them directly with an idea you have to cross-promote your businesses or to tell them you’ve featured their business on your blog. Just remember to make it a win-win and in the beginning, take it a step further and just offer something to GIVE. If you touch base with someone who has no idea who you are and ask them to do something for you, your relationship will get off to a bad start and will likely end there. Keep the concept of mutual benefit in mind.
Most of my relatives and many of my friends didn’t even know I was running my own photography business. Gee…wonder why it never really took off? That along with the fact that it didn’t feed my soul and wasn’t the right fit for me, but it certainly didn’t help that I didn’t bother to TELL anyone about it.
Even if your long-term goals are to be “The World’s Best ________” it is wise to not “trip over a dollar to save a dime” as my hubby says.
When marketing don’t forget the obvious…the people in your town, city, county and state may end up being some of your strongest allies, most loyal customers or clients, and your biggest cheerleaders!
What’s one thing you could add to your marketing plan (you have one of those right?) that could help get the word out locally? Please share in the comments and maybe we can all pick up some creative tips!
Thank you for allowing me to take up a few minutes of your very precious time! I’m enjoying this new business journey so much and look forward to connecting with you more in the future.