How do I promote my business locally?

Set yourself in person and online to be found by your local community.

As a small business, you may choose to operate entirely from home and online, but for those that exist online and in person, lean into your local markets and community. Now more than ever people understand how important supporting small businesses are. Be part of that movement by cross promoting other local businesses you love and enjoy, it will all come full circle. See what local marketplaces you can participate in in your town, and incentivize those who come back for repeat business or bring a friend.

 

Here are few on and offline ways to promote yourself: 

 

Add yourself to Google Maps:
If someone searches a map for a business like yours (ie: personal trainers near me, accountants near me, tattoo artists near me - will you show up?

If you want to be found in your town and city - claim your business listing using Google My Business. Once verified, you can edit your information like address, information, category, website and photos. Google Maps also showcases Reviews, so keep that in mind - that once you start getting customers, you can ask them to fill out reviews too.

Learn more about Google Maps for Business, and asking customers for testimonials

 

Add yourself to Yelp: 

While you're on a roll - add your business to Yelp, Thumbtack, or another marketplace for or local directories specific to your city or town. While Yelp and Google Maps provide a similar quick view of where to find you and your averaged starred reviews; it's important to be listed in multiple places since everyone has a different habit when vetting and searching for a business.

 

Leave something personal around town:

Not everything has to be boring online stuff. Jazz yourself up with cute business cards (that include your website, email and phone number of course), and buy some swag like a custom hat or tee-shirt on Etsy. These little items don't have to break the bank, as there are many free design tools you can use.

Start wearing your hat around town, give out stickers or tee shirts to customers. Let those items speak for themselves.

Take your business cards wherever you go, pass them out casually as you talk your way through town, or be more direct with stopping by local businesses that could cross promote your business with them (ie: you're a personal trainer, hit up a boutique store that sells exercise clothes, or a healthy smoothie joint).  

 

Record your voicemail greeting:

Make sure that the phone number you are connecting with customers via says who you are and what business they've called. Consider signing up for a free Google Voice number, which generates a new number attached to your Gmail email address. You can forward the number to your phone so that you can receive calls to both numbers without mixing personal and business.

 

Set up a discount code: 

And finally, an effective way to promote your business is with a little incentive, especially if you want to keep it local and create a word of mouth effect. Try a "Bring a Friend" to class special, (a way better use of money that you might spend on advertising), or a first-timer discount. Think of a reward system that works for the type of business you run, and entice people to come back.