My favorite projects to work on are small business clients from my hometown area. Why? Well, I’m from a small town (Canterbury, NH) and live in a small city (Concord, NH), and when you grow up in small communities you understand the value of local communication. I’ve also lived in the big city (Los Angeles, CA) and the contrast between small business marketing there and small business marketing here in Concord is stark. Small business in Concord, NH is interdependent. There is less competition, and more incentive to cooperate with your fellow small business next door or down the street. This makes for an interesting local marketing environment.
A small, tightly knit community doesn’t allow a small business the luxury of alienating potential customers, and word-of-mouth has a lot more impact than in a larger city. A small business who annoys five people in LA today will have no trouble getting business tomorrow, but a small business in Concord, NH that annoys five people has just irked a fairly significant segment of potential customers. Make someone happy, they may tell a friend. Make them angry, and they’ll tell everyone they know what a jerk you are.
I enjoy working with local small businesses, because local SEO and local marketing are a more authentic sort of marketing project. You have more ability to speak directly to people, and there are so many excellent opportunities for online optimization for local businesses: Google Places, Yelp, and Facebook Place Pages, to name just a few. With a good local marketing strategy, and the investment of the business owner in keeping up with social media content and helping to get reviews, checkins and the like from the local customers, great things can happen. And it doesn’t require shady linkbuilding, crazy content strategies, or fancy coding.
Local marketing takes us back to the real core of marketing work. You speak more directly to people. There’s a greater investment in offline strategies to go with the online marketing. Social media efforts take on a different flavor when you’re marketing for a local small business rather than a multinational brand.
It’s particularly rewarding when you get to do local marketing in an area you know well. I grew up only 15 minutes from where I now live in Concord, NH so I know this town, these people, this political and social atmosphere very well. Living in ‘the big city’ for a few years only gave me more perspective on that! Even better, when I work for a company in Concord, NH I can actually go to their store, use their services, and recommend them to my friends and family–something I can’t do when I market for local businesses in distant areas.
Ultimately, what I offer to local small businesses, whether in Concord or elsewhere, is an opportunity to fill in the gaps in their marketing. Whether that means helping them develop a social media strategy, getting them going on blogging, or helping with creative ideas for offline marketing programs, my goal is to get your small business more business. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, contact me. I’d be delighted to talk to you about how we can improve your marketing ROI, get you a more professional web presence, leverage social media, or anything else you need help with.