In spite of the fact that so many of us are trying to build up our businesses online, many of us still attract almost all of our customers from a local market.
So how do you reach local customers? Many business owners have become experts at reaching customers out of their area, but how do you target people right where you live?
Here are three tips to help you successfully market to your local area:
#1) Get the local folks’ contact information
Most customers require multiple contacts before they will do business with you, so you need to get their personal mailing information so you can continue marketing to them.
There are several ways to do this.
One way is to direct them to a 24-hour 800 number. All you do is record a short message to get their interest.
Make sure to give your recording an interesting title to entice people to listen to it. For example, if you are a carpet cleaner you might title it “The top seven mistakes people make when choosing a carpet cleaning company.”
Don’t give them the whole story. Instead, provide just enough information to spark their interest. To get the rest of the information, you would have them leave their contact information. You can then send out a free report either by email or, preferably, to their home mailing address.
You can also send them right to your website, where they fill in their name and email address or offer them a free gift or a printed booklet in exchange for their home mailing address.
#2) Hold an Annual Awards Dinner
Hold an event where you recognize your customers and clients for what they’ve accomplished. For instance, if you are a financial planner and one of your customers has considerably improved their financial situation, you could recognize them for their hard work.
You could have the whole dinner about recognizing your clients for their accomplishments. This is a great way to get them involved, and also to show how many others have benefited from your services.
Have them bring their friends and family. If they come and see current clients saying great things about you, that can help bring in new business.
And an event like this will naturally garner some press coverage even if you initiate that yourself with press releases before and after the event. Take lots of pictures and post them to your website.
#3) Hold a Contest
People love contests and this is a great way to get the public involved. For example, have a contest to name your business or name your mascot. The winner would then get some sort of reward, most commonly a gift card good for buying your services or products.
This is a great way to get the word out about your business and is also a press worthy event.
#4) Sponsor a non-profit
Helping to promote a good cause will almost always garner you some free publicity.
There are probably numerous organizations in your community to whom you could lend your support. Any one of them would be grateful and eager to work with you to bring attention to their cause. You benefit as a sponsor.
The bottom line: There are many non-traditional and exciting ways you can reach local customers. Use these four suggestions as a starting point to generate more ideas you can use to promote your own business.