Being a local business owner is a tricky business, and the world of marketing seems to be getting more confusing by the day. It can feel impossible for small businesses who often don’t have enough time or money they need just get noticed like they used to.
Not to mention trying to fight the chains, big box stores, and the HUGE corporations with deep pockets that undercut and out market us all the time.
Unfortunately, there’s one thing most local entrepreneurs skip… a system.
Your customers are always looking at their screens to find what you offer. Sometimes they find you and buy, sometimes they end up buying from someone else–so why not make it as simple as possible to be where they are looking?
Right… but how?
The number one question we get when consulting local business owners has been, “how do I market?”
Our marketing approach is easy and does not involve any tricks. We just keep it stupid simple! Our version of K.I.S.S.
The 4 pillars of online marketing.
It’s crazy that most people do pillar 4 wrong!
Pillar 1: The Website
It seems simple enough but there are tons of local businesses that still don’t have a website and another ton that just use Facebook as their “website”. Not good enough.
You need to have your own website, that you control, that acts as your “Hub”. Like the center of a wheel, the website is the hub of your business. Everything is there. You are easy to contact. Your customers can find all of the information they need. You can grab their name, email and phone number so you can use it later. Also known as building your list of leads.
Pillars 2, 3, and 4 are like the spokes of the wheel, always pointing back to the hub.
It’s not as simple as “if you build it, they will come”. But, you have to build it. Then “get” them to come.
Pillars 2-4 are what gets your customers to come to you.
Pillar 2: The Marketing
Get attention. You need attention. You must become known!
If you want someone to buy your products or services, you have to let them know you have them for sale. I repeat, you have to offer your products and services to people that might want to buy them!
For starters, after your website has been built, you have to build your online presence. Things like Google Business Profiles, also known as Google Maps, social media profiles, business pages, directory listings, blog posts, even things like business cards, and signs. All of these are “Spokes” that point back to your hub.
One of the biggest problems local businesses have is obscurity. If people don’t know you, or think of you first, they probably won’t buy from you.
By the way, never stop telling people what you sell.
Pillar 3: The Follow Up
Keep attention. Once you have the attention of your audience, you have to keep it!
You’ve made a website that grabs leads, you’ve made social media posts about what you do, you’ve put a sign on your trucks and your office… Don’t stop!
Keep communicating with them forever. We call it nurturing them, and you have to keep feeding them pure freakin’ goodness until they know, like, and trust you enough to take the next step–whether that means buying from now or later!
You can’t survive on social media alone, so get out there and create some genuine relationships today and follow up with them often. Phone calls, emails, texts… There are lots of ways to follow up. Automate some of them to make it more simple.
Pillar 4: The Advertising
Get more attention. This is where most people get it wrong – they try going straight for ads without finishing pillars 1, 2, and 3. These make up the foundation.
The fastest way to ruin a business that doesn’t have a good foundation is to run ads to it.
Pillar 4 is powerful. It’s like the gas! But use it sparingly until the other pillars are working together.
Once you have your system build out, then you can run ads to it and stand back and watch it spit out money! When they all work together you will be able to put $1 in and get more than $1 out. You’ve just built your own ATM.
THE RESULT 🙂- “The Flywheel Effect”
When you have your wheel built with your hub and all of your spokes pointing back to it, you get momentum.
When you add more force to your wheel it will spin faster. Force can come from more ads, more social media posts, better SEO, better follow up, or even better reviews, making it easier for customers to buy from you because of their confidence in buying!
Speed and momentum can also increase from removing friction. Friction slows the wheels down, (like driving with flat tires or having the emergency brake on).
You can remove friction by doing things like making your website easier to navigate, making your contact information easy to find, making offers to get more leads.
As profits grow over time, so too does this momentum, making sure that everything runs smoothly without much effort at all times.
It is simple but not always easy.