Are you fighting to gain a foothold as a new brand in your local community? It's tough getting your name out there and building a relationship with your friends and neighbors; at least as a business. How do you market yourself without spending a ton of money, or looking like someone trying to take advantage of friendships for the purpose of expanding your business? Below are 5 tips that will help you establish yourself in your community, while improving the reputation of both your business and yourself.
1) Social Media is Your Friend
Does your company have a Facebook page? Have you signed up for Google Local? What are you posting daily to engage your community around your brand and services? If you aren't reaching customers where they spend 20% of their day, you're missing out on opportunities to grow brand recognition.
2) Sponsor Local Events
Have you noticed a Little League team in your neighborhood that could use some new uniforms? Maybe the field needs to be cut on a regular basis. You can get your name out there, and inspire a ton of good will by working with local community organizations to fill in the gaps. Something as simple as volunteering around town at the local soup kitchen, while wearing your company's shirt, is a great way to get the name out there. Fellow volunteers may be interested in your services.
3) Get Involved in Job Fairs
High Schools and Colleges regularly hold job fairs for soon-to-be graduates. Is your company ready to hire new talent? While hiring recent college graduates may sound like a risk, you may find that their enthusiasm and ability to bring new perspectives to the office will help your company compete. Plus, they have tons of friends in the community who would love the spread the good news if you provide a recent grad with a great career and experience in the workplace. What could start as a gamble could turn into a lifelong employee who looks to help the company in any way they can over the course of their lifetime.
4) Build an Engaging Website
I mentioned Google Local in Tip 1, but it's also important to direct traffic from the community to a website that matters to your customers. For example, this local Adventure Park created an engaging website that includes video of community members enjoying themselves. Plus, they've plugged in this site to a variety of social media sites, like Facebook, Google+ and more! Give your customers a website that answers the majority of their questions and encourages them to make a purchasing decision (reservation in this case) quickly. You do not want to leave people hanging as they look for details about your organization; unanswered questions equal delays in purchasing decision which increases the difficulty of closing the sale.
By tying your local company into the community that it serves, without being cheesy or taking advantage of friends, you'll be well on your way to establishing a successful business!