While you have more than enough time to gain international customers through online marketing, local business thrives on the patronage of local customers and they respond best to a strong personal brand. If your knowledge is solid and your work is high quality, becoming well known around town as an expert in whatever you do is a simple matter of sharing the benefit of your expertise.
Donate Your Time
When you want people to understand your personal brand and the skills behind it, you have to show them first. Whatever your skill set, donate your time and effort to local people, charities, and events. If you are a carpenter, volunteer to spend time building houses, repairing old city buildings, or constructing shelves in retirement communities. A baker, on the other hand, might donate cakes to fairs and bake sales, or teach a cooking class to kids after school or in the community center. This fantastic way to show off your talents is well worth the time commitment in free advertising.
The neighbors you help will be delighted to see your work and will tell their friends and family what an excellent performer of your arts you are. Patronage is sure to rise just from new friends coming to visit you and spectators hoping to see your displays of talent again. All this small-time fame will culminate when people you've met need advice relating to your field. When wondering who to ask, they'll remember the donated time and impressive skills associated with your personal brand.
Write for the Local Newspaper
Want people to care about your advice and opinions? Share with them for free by writing an inbound marketing blog and publishing a few articles in the local newspaper. Most town papers have an online service that gains readership through customers who like to keep up with local events and news stories. When you supply your expertise in written form, people will become accustomed to seeing your name associated with authoritative advice about your profession and will seek you out to ask questions in the future.
Make Presentations for Local Events
Be memorable. If an event doesn't need your help setting up, attend anyway and make a presentation. Carnivals, fairs, farmer's markets, fundraisers, and even homecoming games can be an opportunity to make something fantastic and further define your personal brand of expertise and community service. Build a shed, make a sculpture, host a cook-out or, if your skills are too specific for this kind of spectacle, set up a booth and offer free consultations. The novelty of, say, an accountant advice table at a community fair is interesting enough to draw in a few curious customers. Their giggles will quickly turn to respect if you turn their surprise around into solid financial advice and your business card.
Building your personal brand as an industry expert is achieved by offering your authority to the locals. Showing off a little is the best way to spread the word of your impressive know-how and offering free advice will show your potential new clients that you want to help them. Once your neighbors come to you as a trusted industry authority, it's only a matter of time and business growth before a larger and larger sphere will turn to you for advice. Soon enough, your small business will grow as an increasing number of people come to recognize your personal brand and expertise.
For more helpful tips on building your personal brand locally and online, contact us today!