There are a couple of free, simple tools you can use to stand out to your local market and potential clients. If you are a business that relies heavily on local traffic and customers, you need to take advantage of some free tools to build good will, establish yourself as a trusted resource provider and get points for being a good business neighbor.
1. Custom Google Maps:
Create a general map with your own custom pin icon, make it public. Add a great description, mention your own company name and URL. Then, add layers by topics: favorite restaurants, nightlife, best vendors and the ADD the businesses you want to support.
I will caution you, if you want to add a business that is perhaps not very active online or you are a rare customer who had a good experience with them, don't list them. Make sure they have good reviews because your recommendations of these businesses directly reflects on your business.
Be sure to be logged into Google AS YOUR BUSINESS persona. You want your business to stand out when you create this map. Create a custom pin with your mark. If you need help, email me. Shouldn't take me more than 15 minutes of billable time to get this done for you - just need your logo.
When you add a business, be sure to describe WHY you are adding them. Something only locals would know or your favorite dish, service they offer, a stand out employee.
SHARE your map out everywhere, add it embedded on a webpage - not your home page, but an inside page and share out that page to drive people to your site.
2. Google Reviews:
Find these same favorite businesses, places, events and create reviews for them on Google. Do not post anything negative. This is to be an UPBEAT, local business supporting thing that you do. 4 star and 5 star only as your business. As you personally, you can get a bit more gritty, but even then, be careful about negative reviews. People can retalliate and it can become a review war.
Tell people WHY you like the business - specifics. Add a photo. When you go to your favorite places, take a photo and use it for reviews, maps and posts later. Try to post 2 reviews a week AS YOUR BUSINESS persona on Google. This builds authority and the businesses will start to notice you and may return the favor or at least recommend you.
3. Top 10 Lists:
I know I search in a city and then for: Best live music, best desserts, etc. Make your own lists. Have it related to your industry so that you are recommending possible strategic partners that could do the same for you. Think about a stylist -- having them make a list of top pampering places - massage, nails, boutiques, personal trainers, etc. could start to build a nice network of businesses cross promoting each other. Be sure you have added these same businesses to your list and your reviews AS THE BUSINESS. When you post as the business, you can still add your name if you want to add warmth to it and so that business would know who to recommend.
Need help with these strategies? Contact me - [email protected] so we can come up with a plan for you or your business. I can teach you how to do all of this and more.