The Internet has opened up new doors for entrepreneurs who want to start their own business. A person no longer has to be skilled in a certain area or have a bunch of money saved up in order to “set up shop,” A person can take the skills they already have and for a nominal fee, put a website up and open their business.
It’s certainly no secret that people who do business over the Internet are probably more comfortable marketing their business online. If this sounds like you, try not to limit your marketing to strictly online stuff. You could be missing out on lots of local clients. Who knows? There could be someone in your neighborhood right now looking for the type of product or service you offer. If they don’t know you exist, they can’t hire you. The following are some tips on how to market locally:
Networking can be a very scary prospect, but it can also be very profitable. This doesn’t have to be a formal networking group, filled with business men in gray suits. Any group you join, whether it is a book club, a stich n’ bitch, or your local American Business Women’s Association will offer plenty of networking opportunities. The point is, the more people you meet, the more likely it is that you will find someone who needs your product or service.
Another “gutsy” way to market your business locally is through speaking engagements. Many groups that have regular meetings are always on the lookout for someone to come in and act as a speaker for one of their meetings. If you design websites, you can give a speech on designing a simple, but eye-catching website. You can contact local networking groups, your Chamber of Commerce, local churches, and local schools in order to find out about the possibility of speaking in front of the various groups.
You can also market your business by sending press releases to your local media, hanging up flyers around town, distributing promotional materials to local businesses such as coffee cups, magnets or calendars to local businesses, as well as paying for ad space in your local paper.
Your local neighborhood may be filled with people ready to hire you, or perhaps refer you to someone who is. It would be a huge waste to ignore the potential waiting for you in your own backyard.