Every entrepreneur wants massive reach in business, to be recognized internationally. However, there’s the first hurdle of local promotion; you can’t reach beyond borders if you’ve yet to be recognized within your own.
Your target market may be small and local, but it’s a good start. Introduce products and services in ways that stand out in a saturated market; if you’re building awareness before familiarity, then your locale is the best place to start. It’s your springboard to recognition.
The process is more involved than these six strategies, but you’re guaranteed on the right track if you work on your own pace:
1. Befriend business reporters
Media is one of the most influential means of relaying information to the public. If you acquaint with business reporters and establish a good relationship with them, it’s drumming up a buzz about your business. There are plenty of publications focusing on stories about local businesses, platforms where your enterprise can be put in a spotlight. The relationship is mutual, because business reporters also need consultants from different industries; lend your expertise pro bono to build rapport, foster a good connection.
2. Contribute content to business publications
Once you’ve developed relationship with business reporters, they’ll eventually want your industry experience and learning published, shared with their audience. You’ll have opportunities to introduce your products and services through your contributions, promoting these to larger, new communities. And if your output earns good feedback from readers, you can expect repeated requests along the way. Who knows, you might even become a regular, syndicated contributor.
3. Nominate your business (and your team) for local awards
Business publications find ways to highlight new and different aspects of industries; there’s always something of interest to cover. Publications will push content as long as there’s community readership. You can leverage this by nominating your business for local awards; use search engines to scout for local institutions, award-giving bodies suitable for your business. Even if you’re not at par with the other nominees, there’s still benefit in being nominated.
4. Expand your network at industry events; establish your business’s presence
Networking is proactively acquainting with your colleagues, to discuss your products and services, your team and business prospects. Through networking, business relationships are being established from one entrepreneur to the next. Attending networking events helps you locally promote your enterprise, with opportunities to introduce your merchandise to broader markets, especially to your potential customers.
Your network strategy must be focused on events relevant to your business, if you want to be exposed to the right crowd. Otherwise, you’re wasting time, money and effort, making the most of every mismatch.
5. Broaden your relationships
Build on your network by engaging the outer branches; friends of friends, people you know who could be well-connected. Don’t restrict yourself to people who fit the profile of a good connection; random introductions sometimes lead to great partnerships. Broaden your relationships with people, and capitalize on your network’s reach.
6. Impress your customers
Your market is primary consideration in doing business. As entrepreneur, prioritize your customers and you’re ensured healthy relationship. Customers and clients are your largest marketing resource; you can’t underestimate the reach of word-of-mouth, especially on social media. Maintain communication with your market, appreciate their business. Treat them better, serve them well. If you leave a good impression, you’re guaranteed repeat business from customers who’ll also bring in their networks into the fold.
Expect you’ll juggle several or all of these strategies, and it takes time to get the hang of things. Your goal is to grow local, so it pays to move at your own pace. Satisfy your customers, develop your products and services; earn referrals, new business opportunities. Gain and maintain your edge over competitors.