Social media is forever changing and there is no sure fire way to know that the platforms we love will be here a year or five years from now. Heck, I remember when I first joined Twitter as an early adopter it was totally different than it was today. My first user name was email account before the gmail part, then I changed to TeeBaby and now to the present name of TashaICB. One thing we do now is your local community is forever growing and you needed to be apart of it.
You can ask any of my current or past clients under ICB Consults about how much I harp on them to get into their local communities. I personally believe this is most untapped marketing plan that small business over look This is why I am always creating plans and concepts for my customers to shine locally. You can go viral in a matter of insane luck. It truly takes work and honesty to gain a loyal local following that can build your company name.
Know Your City
As a traveler and someone who loves moving in the last couple of years I have truly cherished living in a relatively small town that has grown on me. I know the Mayor, council members, school board members, police men and even judges. It does help I went to school with their kids and I see them at Starbucks, Church or even my local grocery store. In recent months, I have noticed that younger business owners like myself needs are not being met by joining the traditional Chamber of Commerce. We are wanting a different way to interact and networking. I know my city is constantly growing I want to make sure I am part of it.
Global Reach vs Local Reach
Currently I have two clients in my city with others I see often and chat it up with them. However, when it comes to those two clients I had to take them from a global mind frame to a local one. Most people want to have clients or customers all over the world and to dominate. Trust, me I totally understand where you are coming from. To be honest, I had no plans on having digital customers or clients in Japan, Paris, Canada, Mexico, Nigeria and more. This was not my plan. My plan was to help women like me when I started get their start in their businesses. Global reach happen on accident. When it comes to certain businesses such as service based if you live in a small town of 50K plus you can really gain traction.
First example one client is a website designer who wanted to really pursue his passion. He wanted to reach everyone under the son and I told his focus should be reaching his local market. Think about how many shopping centers you pass on a given day. Note that these people have the money to rent a space for their business. They are not fly by night companies, they know the value of dollar. I told him to find all the shopping centers in a 20 mile radius of his house. He can visit each one of those offices to land customers.
One of the hardest things for new business owners is finding community, someone who understand what they are going through. This is why I am always sharing local events on social media. It is great to meet people online but if you only link up maybe once a year the community isn’t that strong. You need that friend who has a business that can get coffee with you on a random Tuesday. Meeting up with other small business owners is a great way to link up with people with like minds.
One of the best things that happen to my business was me attending a tech conference. A simple yes you can sit with me turned into me landing workshop gigs with my public library. This turned into the librarian becoming a friend and someone who has referred me to other branches to do workshops. There are so many ways for product based companies and service companies to gain opportunities within the city they live in.
Too many times small businesses are leaving money on the table by ignoring the greatness of their local community.