There is a HUGE misconception when it comes to marketing for your online business and how to increase your leads.
Running an online business is wonderful.
It means that you get to work with people all over the place. Different parts of the state, the country, even the world.
Hello, timezone problems!?!
Anyway, the beauty of running an online business is that you aren’t restricted to a single zip code.
And if you are reading this article, you are probably wanting to actively grow your online business and increase your business leads. It’s vital not only to market your business online BUT to also look locally to increase your leads.
This is something I often see online business owners overlooking entirely.
They are so focused on the online aspects that they either forget about offline local opportunities or they don’t know how to fit them into their marketing plan.
Which is what we are going to talk about today.
Stressed and Want to Boost Your Business Leads? Look Locally!
Let’s get something straight…
Successful businesses don’t have just one marketing channel or employ one strategy to grow their business.
They look for different untapped opportunities to grow their business.
And they never stop at good enough. They keep mixing it up to stay fresh themselves but also to get their business in front of different people.
Which is where looking locally to increase your leads comes in.
Why haven’t you included local in your marketing strategy?
Figuring out why you aren’t using this marketing tool is the first step to integrating it into your plan and increasing your leads.
Commonly, I see two reasons people aren’t utilizing marketing locally when they run an online business.
You just never considered it!
It’s possible that you just never thought about reaching out locally, because you’re an online business and don’t really have a local presence.
I’m guilty of this myself. Sometimes when I get into a groove, I don’t push myself to look at things from an outside perspective.
I didn’t consider local businesses because I was targeting people who spent a lot of time online in the first place.
But that wasn’t a great strategy. I was ignoring a huge opportunity just because I didn’t think about it.
I wanted to work from home and only thought about finding businesses outside of my area.
You’re afraid of stepping out into your local community
I personally grew up in a small community of about 3,000 people. I was very active in school and in the community, and got to know a lot of the local business owners.
So this is something I personally never had to deal with, because growing up I was always a part of the community. Which meant that when it came time to tell people that I started my own business, I had quite a few contacts.
But I find that a lot of my online business friends suffer from this fear that the local community is going to judge them because they are now in business. And that they want to distance themselves from that eventuality by not marketing locally.
If you’ve struggled with getting visible online because of fear, this will feel similar. You know that you need to, but you’re afraid of what’s going to happen. What will happen if it doesn’t work out? What if…?
Be careful, because you might just “what if” yourself right out of business.
Start slow by picking one strategy and work your way up to being a local business marketing rockstar.
Here are 3 ways to increase your leads by looking locally
Find networking groups or events in your area
These are wonderful places to start meeting people in your community. They might need your services, or they could refer you to a friend! Even in a small town, there are great opportunities for growing your businesses leads.
Consider joining a local group like a Lion’s Club, Rotary Club, Kiwanis, or whatever is available in your area.
Start a conversation with your favorite local businesses
You’ve probably got quite a few favorite local businesses that you frequent often. Think about how you can start a conversation and grow your business relationship with them.
You can then set yourself up to pitch hosting a collaboration like a local event, or get to know the owner and pitch to them how you can help them through your services.
Connect with local businesses in person, or online through social media.
Review local publications
Many places have some sort of local publication, whether it is a newspaper, magazine, or even a business listing from the Chamber of Commerce.
These local publications are a great place to look for new businesses advertisements or local businesses that you could reach out to.
You could also consider submitting articles to these publications or directly advertising your own business inside the pages!
There are lots of options for ways to increase your leads. These are just a few to get you started.
I know that it can be overwhelming to reach out in person, especially if you like the idea of hanging out at home working on your couch in your PJs. No judgement — this is totally my current work situation. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a gold mine of local business who need your skills and expertise.
Set up a spreadsheet or document to keep track of all the details for who you reach out to locally. Making sure you have this information helps you keep on top of following up. This makes it so that building relationships with other business owners won’t be so overwhelming.
Consistently growing a list of contacts for your businesses means that you have a database of people you can always contact when you’re ready to pitch a product or service.