It’s All About ‘Plugging In’ to Your Local Network
We’re happy to be dealing with a range of small businesses that are operating locally in Bedfordshire. Every single one of them is engaged in promotional activities and events designed to attract potential customers. The most successful are those who maintain regular and varied communications with their customer networks. They tend to do this by using a range of effective channels and media.
Promoting your business locally isn’t just about what you do individually. Increasingly it’s about finding people who are willing to talk about your product for you, or refer you to potential buyers.
Local networks are now one of the most powerful marketing tools for any small business
Here are 10 ways we recommend for building your community and getting your product talked about:
- Get a Good Quality Website – this is the hub of all your activities; it’s your shop window. As such, it needs to look good and show clearly what it is you do or sell. For your website to be fully effective it needs to be easy to find, using Google or any of the major search engines. Organic SEO ensures that you rank highly and can be found by customers looking for products like yours.
- Have Business Cards Made – handing over a card to someone you meet at a networking event is still the best way to ensure they have your details. Give a stack of your cards to people who are willing to recommend you. Leave a stash of them with small businesses who are willing to display them in their reception.
- Set up Your Business Profile on Social Media – use LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and Instagram to get the message out about what you’re doing. This is also a great way to find groups or conversations that talk about the kind of thing you’re offering. Get used to joining in with conversations, or starting them, on a daily basis as part of your promotional activity.
- Have Business Stationary & Online Banners Designed – make sure that your promotional materials look professional whether they’re hard copy or online. It’s worth getting your logo designed professionally, even if you have an idea you want to work from. Professional designers will create a high-quality image for you. They will also provide versions created specifically to look good on each of your social media platforms.
- List Your Business in Local Directories – Google and Bing both offer free listings for local businesses. It’s worth doing because they create powerful back-links to your website. This strengthens your profile with the search engines and improves your ranking.
- Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce – local Chamber of Commerce networks support and develop productive communication between businesses. The aim is to share best practice, creating new opportunities and growing the local economy. Joining your local Chamber will introduce you to a range of professional resources. It will also show your customers you’re ‘plumbed in’ to the local community.
- Set Up Google Analytics – successful local businesses are those that are constantly on the look out for ways to improve the ways to promote your business locally. Google Analytics is free to set up and it shows you how your website is performing. It shows you the number of visitors to your website, pages visited, bounce rate etc. Regular viewing can help you make decisions about what’s working and what isn’t.
- Join Networking Groups – you’ll down quite a few early morning breakfasts trying to find groups that work for you, but once you do, networking pay dividends. Prepare your escalator pitch in advance, go armed with business cards, and give away free tasters of your product wherever you can.
- Write Blogs, Record Podcasts, Make Videos, Run Webinars – the key to successful selling is letting people know what it is you’re offering and how it can be useful to them. This may mean tailoring your message, and your way of communicating it, to different groups. Invite people to listen to you talk about your work, or read a 2 minute case study, or watch you in action on YouTube.
- Find Out How Local People Talk To each Other – local networking is big news right now, so check out all the local online community sites in your area. Find out how your business could add value and solve problems for neighbourhoods in your area.
As a local Bedfordshire business Imagefix is part of a dynamic online and offline network. We work collaboratively to create opportunities, make referrals, and provide services throughout the county. If you would like to know how we can ‘plug you in’ to an effective Bedfordshire business network, call us today on 01525 715608.