One of the hardest things about having an online business is finding customers to shop or support your business. We all know there are millions of companies like yours or similar. However, most times small business owners are looking at the same marketing playbook that other ones are looking at too. Instead, I want you to tap into your local community to turn those people into customers for your business. Last month, I talked about obtaining one percent of the local community as a revenue stream, but today I want to go even further on how to find these local customers.
What is your goal when attending networking events? Most people will say they are for networking and connecting. 9 times out of 10 people go for that but never truly obtain this because of how the engage and follow up. Once again, who is your target audience? If you know who this person is they will be easy to identify when out and about. When I am at a coffee shop and I hear someone talking about business, entrepreneurship, online stores or something similar I know they are my target audience. I listen for those keywords. When you’re at a networking event talking to people, yes actually engaging just not sipping the free wine and eating you will hear those phrases. Take a moment to write down some keywords or phrases that make your mind go ding ding regarding your industry. Once those words are stated go in with a soft evaluator pitch about your business. Always keep your cards on to pass out to those people and get theirs too.
Were all the rage a couple years ago, but they are a great source of means to connect with your audience. I have attended popup shops not only to buy from local business owners but to land clients myself. I am a business consultant and these people are vending are business owners, my target audience. If you’re just attending mingle with the others there. You might not be able to afford a booth this go around but your audience is there. They can learn about your online store or company. You can also partner with other online businesses to host your own pop-up shop. This is something I highly suggest during the holiday season.
In House Events
How many boutiques or store fronts are in a 15-mile radius of your home that do not per se compete with you, but you can cross promote each others business. Think for example a women’s clothing boutique that doesn’t sell jewelry? You could reach out to do an in-house event together. Or you make children’s clothes that would be a great partnership. Another example is you make beauty or skincare products that you could partner with a bed and breakfast or salon. These places all have your target audience locally and it is easier to tap into an audience that is already aware of another business by partnering up together.
First Purchase Cards
This is one of my favorite ways to connect with customers locally. Get out where they are on the weekends or the middle of the week. Designing a first purchase card is very easy to do and you can print them for very low cost. The part that takes work is getting out and sharing with others. Go to a Starbucks, shopping centre, target and pass out those cards. The selling point does not necessarily have to be your elevator pitch but a well-designed card can sell your business.
One of the best things about tapping your local audience is creating the repeat customers where you are. This cuts down on shipping cost and much more. Also, it brings awareness to your company, allowing others to know you exist and support you. Personally, I would find three to five other small business owners who are wanting to scale their companies and partner together with marketing efforts and more. This will keep you accountable having a group.