I get this question quite a lot so naturally, this is one of my first (new) posts for my blog. I hope you find it useful!
One of the biggest obstacles I hear from small business owners and entrepreneurs is the challenge of reaching a broader audience locally. With limited resources, it can be difficult to compete with larger businesses that have more money and resources to devote to marketing and advertising. However, there are several effective ways for small businesses to reach a broader audience locally and grow their customer base.
In this blog post, I will discuss some of the best ways for small businesses to reach a broader audience locally and grow their business without spending money on ads.
Optimize for Local SEO
One of the most effective ways for small businesses to reach a broader audience locally is to optimize for local SEO. Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website and online presence to rank higher in search engine results for local searches. This includes your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on your website, creating a Google Business Profile, and asking past customers to write a review for you. By optimizing for local SEO, you can increase your visibility and attract more customers from your local area. I offer an SEO Boost add-on service that gets your site set up for SEO properly in your local area.
Use Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for small businesses to reach a broader audience locally. Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to connect with millions of potential customers and promote your business. By creating engaging content and running promotions, you can attract more followers and increase your reach. Additionally, social media platforms allow you to target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors, which can help you reach the right audience.
It is a great resource to take advantage of the “Group” functions of social media. Find groups that closely resemble your ideal customers and participate in discussions by being helpful. If you can, try to work in your services/products in a non-pushy way. Please review the rules before you start posting in these groups as many of them have rules against self-promotion. So look for groups that allow for self-promotion on certain days of the week. I do have experience creating Facebook Ads so please reach out if you have questions on the best approach to maximize your time and money.
Create Free Accounts on NextDoor and Yelp
Just having a profile on these sites will put you in front of a large audience. It helps if you can get started on building reviews on these sites since 90% of consumers read reviews before visiting a business and 72% of consumers will take action only after reading a positive review. These sites will sometimes create a “Top 25 Companies for …” list for your trade and will include your business if you have enough solid reviews. Making one of these lists will help tremendously. You can’t afford to ignore this free method.
Create a Referral Program
Referral programs are a great way to reach a broader audience locally. By offering incentives for customers who refer their friends and family to your business, you can attract new customers and grow your customer base. Additionally, referral programs encourage customers to share their positive experiences with others, which can increase your visibility and credibility in the local community. Some of my best clients have come from referrals. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe referrals from friends and family over all forms of advertising.
Leverage Local Partnerships
Partnering with other local businesses can be a great way to reach a broader audience locally. By working with other businesses in the community, you can promote your business to their customers and vice versa. This can include cross-promotions, joint events, or even co-branding opportunities. These types of partnerships can help you reach new audiences and build relationships with other businesses in your community.
Create Local Events
Creating local events is another great way to reach a broader audience locally. By hosting events such as charity runs, open houses, or other community gatherings, you can attract new customers and build relationships with existing ones. Additionally, events can be used as an opportunity to showcase your business and services, which can increase awareness and drive sales.
Create a Blog
Creating a blog and posting once or twice a month can help you have more content online. Thus, it will be another page for customers to find you online. Plus it will add value to your brand, make you more relatable to your customers, and help with your SEO by having fresh content added consistently.
By implementing these strategies a business can increase its visibility and attract more customers without spending money. You will need to set some time aside for this and have some branded content ready to use such as logos and images that are sized correctly and have a high resolution. It’s also important to note that it’s essential to be consistent in your marketing efforts and to continuously evaluate and adjust your strategies to reach the right audience. If you need more help, please contact me to discuss a personalized plan for your business.