It’s challenging to secure clients when you’re still establishing your business reputation. You have the talent, and the dedication, but finding those first few customers requires a well-crafted strategy.
According to a research study conducted by BrightLocal, the average SMBs spends $400/month on marketing. 46% of their marketing budget is spent on digital. With a small budget, it’s hard to make a measurable impact, which makes local marketing tactics a fantastic alternative.
Local marketing isn’t just affordable but also highly effective for a growing new business.
These five local marketing tactics will kickstart your business growth:
1. Attend Local Networking Events
Meeting with prospective clients face-to-face offers numerous opportunities: time to introduce yourself, explain your offerings, network with like-minded entrepreneurs, and build trust with influential people in the community. In the United States you can bet on having business networking events hosted by the local chamber of commerce. The prevailing local industries might also have business groups. Here’s a few useful sites to discover networking events in your area:
- Facebook Local – https://www.facebook.com/local/
- Meetup – https://www.meetup.com/
- Eventbrite – https://www.eventbrite.com
- Your local city / chamber of commerce website
If networking events are few and far between, you have the power to start your own group. Set up a Facebook Event, start a Meetup group and invite those you have met to attend. It might be slow-going at first but eventually interest will grow. Persistence in key. Here are some ideas:
- Invite influential people in your network to speak at your event
- Express interest in speaking at other events
- Apply to speak at nearby conferences relevant to your industry
- Host a charity event and invite other local businesses to participate
2. Engage Locals On Social Media
Social media is a quick and easy way to connect with other businesses and potential clients.
Create a business page for your company, join local Facebook groups with similar interests, and like other business pages in your local area. When you publish photos make sure to tag them in your business location, or if you work from home tag them in your town. With a public profile these photos will show up on location tagged streams on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
3. Earn Local Testimonials
Consider asking locals to try your business at a discounted price in exchange for testimonials. Share these on your website, on your Google page and social media. It will help to build trust with your audience and increase the likelihood of receiving paid business in the future.
4. Get Involved In Community Activities
Contributing to local charities and participating in annual community events are great ways to promote your business. If you don’t have much to give financially, become a board member for a local non-profit, or volunteer your time to a worthy cause.
Check out Volunteer Match for ideas – https://www.volunteermatch.org/
5. Find Opportunities To Feature In Local Media
Well-placed PR will give your business great local exposure. Make a spreadsheet with all the local / regional news outlets, magazines and online publications in your area. Include contact information, journalist info, links to articles/features on other local companies, and other pertinent details.
Reach the media with a newsworthy story about your business. Think from the perspective of the journalist. They want to write stories that will interest their publication’s audience. Give them a story that would interest their audience, and you’ll have a much higher chance of getting a story in the local media.
Does your business impact the local economy in some way, have you released something truly unique, are you organizing an event that will benefit the community? These are just some ideas you might pitch to a journalist.
- Write the story for them.
- Submit an interview with yourself.
- Be rude if they refuse to publish a story about your business.
- Keep your email brief and to the point.
- Be respectful and courteous in your communication.
- Be clear about how they can contact you for more information.
Need some help putting together a local marketing plan?
As a small business owner finding the time to organize these events can seem impossible. We’d love to help you design a strategy that works for your business.