Although it seems that social media is the capstone for success these days, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get noticed right away. Many successful business owners had to start small and make their presence known among the locals before it ever took off and became something that spread beyond their local parameters. That being said, don’t kill yourself trying to do all the perfect things to get your social media booming. Of course, take time to help it grow because it is very helpful in furthering your business, but be out among the people more so and that’s where you will see more growth happen.
Some ideas to help your business outside social media include handing out fliers. This might sound odd but I had a friend whose father was starting a new plumbing business. He printed up about 500 fliers and went around town hanging them in stores and putting them under the windshield wipers of cars. He had more business than he could handle for weeks after that. Of course, check your city’s laws and make sure that putting fliers on people’s cars is permissible. Word of mouth is an amazing tool and if you get known locally, you will see your support spread outside of what you expected. In 2011, a survey by Hiscox showed that 50% of small business owners said that word of mouth had been essential to their business growth while only 12% said social media had been essential.
A few other ways of drawing attention to your business is putting an ad in the newspaper, getting on the news by holding an event, offering charity work under your business name or something similar, offering freebies or specials, etc. Many businesses in my area are always largely involved with local charities because not only can they do a tax write off for the donations they offer but they get free advertising from the charities they are involved with. Not to mention, involving yourself with a charity only allows people to have something to connect your business to. It is something they can get behind and support. Flood your local community with your business name in every way possible. Click To Tweet
Make it positive and make it count.
If you’re a blogger, local support is only one small step to success. However, it’s still vital. Get connected with local businesses and offer to write reviews for their establishment on your blog for something in return. I have a friend who does recipes and photography for businesses and bloggers and she talks about it wherever she goes. She has more work than she can handle. Be vocal about your work. You will be surprised at how many people don’t realize a vast blogging world exists. Clicks and traffic from local readers will make you the same money as someone from halfway across the world will. What’s even nicer about local support is the fact that people feel more intertwined in what you’re writing because they feel they can relate more to you simply based on the fact that they know you or know of you from their area.
Bloggers have a plethora of options outside of social media that will gain them traffic. A big tactic is to make sure your search engine optimization is refined and set correctly. This allows your content to pop up in search engines more effectively. If you have to hire someone to do this, it is well worth the money. Getting connected with other bloggers will help tremendously as well. Their traffic can translate into your traffic and vice versa. It’s a win for both bloggers. Another great traffic tactic is offering current and relevant content. If you have the same content or outdated content, people will lose interest. Give readers something exciting, funny, shocking, awe-inspiring, useful, etc. Give them a reason to want to visit your blog. Offer newsletters weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or whatever you feel is beneficial. This will keep old readers up-to-date on new content as well as give them a little reminder that you exist and have awesome stuff.
It can seem overwhelming and discouraging at times because having a blog or business can be slow going at times. However, a blogger and business owner friend of mine said she had an article that had been on her blog for over two years and one day, it just went viral for no reason and out of nowhere. A donut shop in my neighborhood decided to dress up an old ambulance and visit a different city locally once a month with special donuts just for them. They are now the biggest and busiest donut shop around. You never know when your hard work will pay off but I assure you, social media is not the only answer. Get out, get active, and don’t worry 100% of the time over social media.