Just about every business benefits by establishing a strong presence in its local community, and this is especially the case for startups, service-based businesses, companies that recently relocated to a new neighborhood, and businesses that have yet to become well-known in their communities.
Our coaches have observed that not all business owners have a natural knack for marketing. Often, they don’t know how or where to start, but with a little coaching, there’s a lot businesses can do to gain more exposure among the locals.
Here are 5 ways to raise local awareness about your business:
1. Reach out to your local community.
There are many creative ways for business owners to reach out to their communities. One way is to visit other local businesses and introduce yourself to the owners. You can take flyers and ask fellow businesses to display them and in turn, you can display their flyers in your window, table, or countertop.
After establishing relationships with fellow businesses, you can refer them business without expecting anything in return. But naturally, mutually-beneficial referral relationships should evolve over time, especially as you win over the referred customers.
You can let other businesses write a blog and post it on your website, and you can guest blog for them as well, thereby giving each other additional exposure. And, if you like a local business’ product or service, you can mention it on your social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter. This positive gesture gives them free exposure and shows that you care about the success of other local businesses.
We recommend joining your local Chamber of Commerce, attending local networking events, and taking advantage of networking opportunities. You’ll find that if you become a pillar in your community, knowledge of your business will spread, which will only have positive effects.
2. Throw events to build brand awareness.
Events are a great way to build brand awareness in your community. You can throw a grand opening, customer appreciation parties, educational workshops, holiday luncheons, or anniversary parties – there is no shortage of event ideas. Regardless of the occasion, events are a great way to attract new customers, celebrate existing ones, and create a buzz around your business.
3. Volunteer in your community.
Businesses are more socially-conscious than ever before and customers love giving their business to companies dedicated to making a social impact. It is wise for business owners to actively seek volunteer activities, ones their entire team can get involved in. Not only is volunteerism the right thing to do, but it’s also good for employees’ morale, and it’s good for business. Just don’t forget to take pictures and share them on social media to inspire others to get involved in worthy causes.
4. Take advantage of the press.
Local media, such as local newspapers, magazines, and news networks can be valuable allies in spreading the word about your business, including events you throw. “Local media are critical to building awareness of your event in the community,” says Rieva Lesonsky at SmallBizTrends.com.
“Send local reporters and bloggers a press release about your upcoming event, invite them to cover the event and send them a follow-up press release after the event. The publicity can help spread the word about your business even to those who can’t attend.”
5. Use holidays to reach out to the locals.
Holidays are an excellent opportunity to reach out to the locals. You can throw Halloween, Fourth of July, President’s Day, Labor Day, Saint Patrick’s Day events or sales to draw in customers. You can set up booths at holiday events, participate in local parades, and donate items to community events and fundraisers.
For example, if you have a bakery and your local elementary school is having a holiday show, you can donate cookies for all the parents and children to enjoy afterward. Or, if you have a spa, gift shop, restaurant, etc. you can donate a gift basket to a school fundraiser – the purpose is to provide value while increasing awareness of your brand.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of opportunities to engage in your community, build your network, and your brand’s presence. By working with AdviCoach, our coaches can introduce you to a whole new world of possibilities that will help your reputation in the community. Contact us to learn how a business coach can help your business stand out.