Getting Seen: 3 Tips For Small Businesses that Want More Local Customers
Do you want more local business?
It may seem like a silly question, but if you compare how business owners answer that question versus what they actually DO to attract more local business, there’s a bit of a disconnect. You see, local business doesn’t just show up on your doorstep - you’ve got to work for it.
Now, if you’ve added your listing to Business Finder Pro, then you’ve already given your company a huge boost in getting found by local customers. And if you haven’t, click here right now to add your company to the directory.
But regardless, there’s quite a few more things you can try to lure in members of the community. Try these three local awareness techniques:
Ok, so I’m sure you’ve already set up social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Angie’s List, etc., etc., but let me ask you this - how are you using them?
For many small businesses, their social media accounts are dead as a doorknob… no posting, no interaction with customers, no reviews, no promotion, no nothing. However, this is a huge missed opportunity. Social media is about just that… being social. By creating a consistent stream of content (think 1-2 posts/week), you’re engaging with the local audience and giving your business a more fully developed identity. As you gain local followers, you become a more relevant and recognizable part of the community.
Here’s just a few things you can do on social media:
● Share a positive review (remember to say thanks)
● Host a giveaway - nothing grabs attention like “FREE”
● Talk about what’s going on in the community
● Interact publicly with your customers
It doesn’t take much at all to start seeing returns from your social media effort. Just keep at it and you’ll soon find your business more locally integrated.
Ramping up your social media activity will obviously help your online presence, but the truth is that you need to get out in the real world as well.
Common marketing wisdom says that a person needs to encounter your brand at least 7 times before they make a purchase. Well, when you make a direct personal connection, you can throw that 7 out the window - all you really need is 1…
But you don’t make that personal connection sitting in front of a computer screen. You do it by:
● Participating in a charity run
● Sponsoring a local program (school, sports, arts, etc.)
● Booking a stand at a local festival
Or any of a million other activities where you have face-to-face contact with people in your community.
The point is simple - when someone meets you, they establish a more personal understanding of your business and are more likely to buy. And the best part is that the whole process is truly genuine. You get to meet your neighbors and show your desire to make your business part of the community.
But let’s go back inside, because the last tip is going to put you in front of the computer screen again…
Being active in the local community (both online and in the real world) is extremely important, but there’s also a way to grease the wheels… SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and basically means all the things you can do to raise your company’s website on search engines like Google. If you want to see how you’re currently doing at SEO, open an incognito browser window and search for your industry and city (ex. auto repair Charlottesville VA).
If you’re reading this, I’m guessing your site doesn’t show up, which is very definitely not a good thing.
So here’s the thing - no matter how popular your business is in real life, you need to invest in SEO to show up better online. Entire books can be written (and they have been written) about SEO, so I’m not going to go into details, but rest assured that you’ll need to spend either the time or money to raise your ranking.
And once you’ve improved your SEO, you’ll find that dramatically more local customers will be able to find you, which in turn means you’ll have more that buy from you.Running a small business is hard enough, but when you’re toiling in anonymity, it can feel like a useless battle. Use these three tips and you’ll not only have more local people walking in the door, but you also FEEL like you’re more connected to the community, which is always a good thing.