Easy Local Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
What can the smallest of small businesses do to get noticed? It’s actually much easier for you as a small, local business to become the ‘go-to’ guy or gal in your community than it is for a bigger company. People trust their local businesses a whole lot more than a faceless name plucked from google. Use that to your advantage!
Let’s take a local plumbers for instance…
1. Give a Free Class
Turn up at a regular meeting (Mum’s & Toddlers, Scouts) and teach parents or kids how to change the washer on tap or some other useful ‘little’ thing that they should not really need to call you for – give them a worksheet to take home with step by step instructions. You can be sure that the next time they need something bigger and more lucrative doing, they will pull out the work sheet your gave them with your number on it and call in the professionals!
2. Write a Column
Advise people how to protect pipes during winter or how to bleed a radiator. Local newspaper and newsletter editors are always looking for contributions to fill pages and this would be something readers would value… and cut out and keep!
3. Collect Delighted Customers
Every time you finish a job and the customer is pleased with your work (all the time I hope!!), hand them a pre-addressed, pre-paid post card and ask them to write you a reference and mail it back to you. They might even write it on the spot but leaving it with them allows them to write something extra lovely about you….then use snippets of these references or testimonials on your website, adverts, blog and pretty much anything that goes out to potential customers…
Blog your plumbing tips, blog your funny stories, blog about your family, but be genuine and keep your blog regularly updated (at least once a week). This one does require a bit of time commitment on your part so only start it if you can keep it up or your followers will drift away…
OK, but what if you are a local hairdresser? How about some of these…
5. Treat Someone
Get your local neighbours to recommend someone in the community that deserves a free ‘do’ from you! Better still do a deal with a local nail bar and beautician to give your lucky winner the works. Then take a lovely picture and write a story for the press about why this lovely person deserved it!
6. Voucher Exchange
Get together with other local businesses and arrange to give their customers a discount when they bring in a voucher that the other business owner gives them. Don’t just leave vouchers or flyers on a counter to gather dust. Make them look good and be of value. You want the business owner to offer it to their best customers as something special!
7. Birthday greetings
Send your customers a card on their birthday and include a voucher for a discount on their next visit. Chances are they will already have booked for their birthday anyway, but the voucher will entice them back again for a return visit sooner than they might otherwise have booked.
8. Send Reminders
Customers are busy, busy people and a missed appointment costs you time! Send your customers a reminder the day before and the morning of their appointment reminding them of the date and time!
9. Take Pictures
Take a picture of your customers and attach it to their details in your diary system or computer system. That way your staff can recognise customers when they come in and welcome them with their name. Everyone likes to feel special!
10. Remember Details
Write down what your customer likes to drink, and how! Write notes about the names of their kids and grandkids. Customers love to have these little things remembered without being asked. You are indirectly telling your customers how important they are to you… and they will tell all their friends about you in return, I guarantee it!
Did I say ten tips? Ah well, here’s ten percent extra for free!
11. Give a Little Extra
Offer your customers something extra and go the extra mile. Always have a bottle of wine in the fridge to offer a chilled glass at lunchtime, get in their favorite magazine, offer a hand massage while you cut their hair, or a free sample of a new product to take home.
These little things cost very little, but will win a customer for life… and ten of their friends too. Priceless!