By Guy Williams, Publisher of Local Business News
To often small business owners explain their marketing as being “word of mouth” which they mean; they don’t engage in marketing/advertising because everyone finds them through (you guessed it) word of mouth.
First of all, word of mouth is what happens because of the way you run your business. Good word of mouth is the result of running it well and delivering what you promise, this is what business owners confuse with good marketing.
I always assume that people go into business because they are passionate about what they do, it’s their ego, they think they should start a restaurant because they make the best burgers, sushi or pancakes that the world has ever seen. That’s a good thing, if after you open your business you notice that new people are coming in because someone told them about your incredible burger, sushi or pancakes, this is your opportunity to invest in marketing without risk.
Why without risk, because you already know that what you’re doing is working, people are referring you to their community, the odds of someone coming in and liking what you’re doing has been confirmed. People don’t return to businesses because of good marketing, people try a business because of good marketing, they return and tell their community about a business because the business is good. A business that continues to attract new customers results in those customers encouraging new people to come in, it’s a vicious cycle but very profitable when done well.
Think about this; if 10 people accidentally find your business and they each tell 3 people how great you are and then they visit your business, you have 30 new customers. Now, if through your marketing effort 100 people find you and they also tell 3 people how great you are, you now have 300 new customers.
There are five things that you should do if your business has a “word of mouth” following:
- Pursue media attention to introduce your business to the broader marketplace
- Use social networks to connect with potential customers
- Use social networks to connect with current customers and encourage their return
- Advertise where your customers have already noticed you
- Encourage your new customers to tell their community about you (word of mouth) with incentives
When you have created a word of mouth following, you have created an accelerated opportunity to succeed, this is the time to embrace marketing, now is the time to advertise, now is the time to reach out to the community with the confidence that now that you’ve built it, they will come!
By Guy Williams, Publisher of LBN
At Local Business News (LBN), the featured businesses and healthcare providers are not charged a fee to be covered by us. We share their article with the local media, who are typically happy to receive a quality story that is publishing-ready at no cost to them.
They are not required to buy advertising, in fact, we don’t sell advertising in that way, we simply report their newsworthy events. What we sell at LBN are sponsorships to corporate brands that have products or services that local businesses or healthcare providers sell or prescribe to their customers or patients.
Everyone benefits from this arrangement, the business gets a journalistically created article that they can post on their website and social networks where potential customers and patients can get a better feel for who they are and what they do.
The sponsor receives exposure to the business’ current customers and to the viewers of their websites and social networks that are looking for a local service or product. This participation conveys the corporate brand’s support and connection to the local business.
What we cover:
Our editorial staff and freelancers are journalists with extensive experience in newspaper reporting and editing. We use the same criteria for our stories as a newspaper would for theirs, focusing on the newsworthiness of each event.
How newsworthy something may be is determined by asking a simple question; “is this of benefit to the reader.” So, blow-out sales, reduced prices or mid-night madness sales are not the types of things we cover, this is the difference between news and advertising.
We look for grand openings, expansions or new locations, business anniversaries, additional staff, new equipment or a new owner of an existing business. There are many events that are considered newsworthy, the best thing business owners or doctors can do is email a brief description of your event to; firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond with interest or a reason why we don’t feel it’s a newsworthy story.
We’re creating an LBN series for; eye care, pet care, home design, auto care and a variety of other local business and healthcare categories. The LBN Oral Care Series launching in March, features dentists and orthodontists. A sponsor, the maker of toothpaste, dental floss or other oral care related products would sign an agreement for LBN to create articles in as many markets as they are interested in reaching.
By Guy Williams, Publisher of Local Business News
From prescription drugs to motor oil, corporate brands are sold everyday by small independently owned businesses. So what would happen if those local businesses became better marketers? A win-win bottom line explosion!
Owning a small business is a heady job, it’s one of the few jobs where you need to be good at everything; bookkeeping, sales, marketing and human resources to name a few. When you lack in ability in one area you risk the survival of all areas.
Then you have the reason that you started the business, the actual work, the thing you do, interior designer, mechanic, baker or doctor. The obvious answer is to focus on the thing you love to do and hire qualified people to do the other things.
Unfortunately, qualified people want to be paid and most small businesses start out barely supporting the owner. Wearing many hats is a reality of business ownership that only changes once the business starts to grow.
Marketing could accelerate growth but most business owners are great doctors, bakers and candlestick makers but are typically poor marketers.
Marketing a small business should start with a story, a journalistically created newsworthy article that features the business owner, while describing the business and how it adds to the community.
We created Local Business News (LBN), to cover those stories, we look for newsworthy happenings at local businesses and healthcare providers that fit into a particular category; eye care, oral care, home design and restaurants are some of the categories we’re interested in.
For example, the LBN Eye Care Series, covers local ophthalmologists, telling the doctor’s story to the community that they support, this link is our first article in the series; http://localbiznews.net/vision-for-the-future/.
The completed article is posted on the business’ website and social networks, it is also offered to the local media.
This is not an advertorial or conventional sponsored content, the business does not pay anything for the article.
A single corporate sponsor pays a fee to be connected to the business by having an advertisement placed in the body of the article. This advertisement creates a partnership with the business and announces the brands support of the business to the community.