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Social media, blogging and a company's website helps the business obtain a global reach but regardless of the kind of product or service you provide, starting local can be a profitable way to extend your business reach. One of the best places to network and cultivate raving fans for your business is in your hometown. Interact with local business owners; carry business cards (but be judicious) to local sporting events and even the grocery store. If you've never taken the time to talk to the server at the local restaurant how can they know what you do for a living? Chances are, they won't.
Other than word-of-mouth, here are some other options to start local with building your business:
- Do you live in a community that has a newsletter? Does your church or other religious organization have a newsletter in which you can advertise? Hyper-local marketing helps build trust with potential clients and it's been proven that individuals want to do business with companies they know like and trust. Additionally, the return on your investment of an ad in a local publication could be surprising.
- Local deal or coupon sites could prove lucrative but should be used with care. Don't offer a "one and done" deal, make your deal be one in which the customer has to purchase one and gets a couple free. The more often you get them to come to your site or use your service, the more likely they are to think of you once they don't have the coupon as incentive.
- Collaborate with a local business owner. If you can collaborate with a complementary business in town, you both have the chance to reach a larger audience of potential clients.
- cake-decorating contest, sponsor one then use it as a fundraiser for a local charity. If you don't have a business that lends itself to a contest – ie, an attorney or accountant – partner with a local business; this is a great way to get both of your names known.
- Work with a local charity. Being in a partnership with a nonprofit adds to your credibility and publicity for your business. Offer a local charity a portion of proceeds from a fundraiser your business is hosting, sponsor an event they are hosting, volunteer or serve on the board of a charity.
Don't forget to connect with local business owners and the movers and shakers in the community in which your business is housed on social media. Attend local chamber of commerce meetings and make certain that you do business with local merchants as often as possible.