When you have an online business, you can (in theory) work with anyone, anywhere in the world. But what if you only serve one local area? Sometimes, where you’re based is key to your marketing. I know that there are people who travel between London, Paris and New York to find the right hairdresser, but what if you’re in Wigan?
There’s loads of advice about online marketing out there. The good news is, you can use it wherever you are and it works for all sorts of different businesses. It’s perfect if you’re only working online but you can use it when you have physical premises too.
The even better news is that using your location in your marketing can be a great way of attracting your ideal customers. Here’s how.
You don’t have to focus on online marketing
However, that doesn’t mean that you should only be online. When your business serves a particular area there are lots of other ways for people to find you. It might be something as simple as seeing your shop on the high street and walking in. The way you present your shop front can tell them what they need to know.
But maybe you don’t have a shop. Perhaps you’re a dog walker or mobile hairdresser that covers one area. Your local magazines could be a great place to invest in an advert. I’ve done some work for a local financial adviser who has attracted lots of new clients from her monthly ad. Think about leafleting too. Even if you don’t want to put flyers through people’s doors your village shop might let you put some up – just think about where your ideal customers are likely to be looking.
I know it’s terrifying but a strong network is a great asset for every business. You can build relationships with people who may need your services. Even if they don’t, they’ll know people who will.
Sometimes, the best connections come from meeting people in person. When you serve one local area you can visit groups in your town and get to know the other members. I’ve formed some great relationships via Facebook groups, but they’ve all been cemented by meeting up face to face.
Building your local area into your content
There are loads of ways to target local people in your content marketing. Your content doesn’t just have to be about your services. People will find you if you talk about things that they’re interested in. That could be a local news story or an event you’re attending.
When you’re thinking about SEO for your website or blog posts, think about how you can include your local area. That way you start to show up in location specific searches, like ‘Leicester hairdresser’ or ‘Lymington dog walker’. If you’re out and about in your local area during the day, take pictures. It builds credibility. If you don’t believe me, think of the number of double glazing salesmen who’ve turned up at your door because they’re working ‘just around the corner’. It always amazes me how many people are installing double glazing wearing an immaculate suit!
It doesn’t just have to be local business
Whilst local ties are important, you don’t just have to aim for people in your local area. Some places are associated with a particular lifestyle, whether it’s surfing on the coast or countryside living. Getting a sense of place into your marketing could appeal to people who don’t live there. It’s ideal if you have local stockists but also an online shop.
How do you market yourself to your local area? Leave a comment and let me know!
Country Meets Creative are great at showcasing rural businesses.