After two years of COVID, people want to start their online business more than ever. However, with the internet chock-full of people fighting for crumbs, many (including us!) choose a different but very effective path to becoming a local influencer. We have dozens of resources that teach you how to do this, but here’s a quick rundown:
How to Become a Local Influencer
You offer web services to local businesses with little to no web presence for free to help them grow. You build trust with them, and they’ll eventually want to pay you for your services. Your name spreads around the community, your audience grows slowly but steadily. Soon enough, you have a thriving online business!
Wow! Is it that easy?
Not quite. Just like us, you will encounter pitfalls and challenges along the way. That’s okay! We’ll equip you with the know-how and wisdom to avoid the traps, build your audience consistently, and serve your community. As you become a Local Influencer, you’ll need to understand and navigate four difficult challenges. Let’s discuss what they are and how to overcome them.
FURTHER READING: How Local Influencers Get Started in Online Business
Challenge #1: Growing Pains
When you become an entrepreneur, you’ll feel some “growing pains” at first: Inconsistent paychecks, lots of rejection, and fear of failure. This is all part of the process. However, if you’re not careful, they could convince you that this lifestyle “isn’t for you.” Believe me when I say I felt this when I first started, and it almost persuaded me to quit.
The Solution: Remember Your Why
Remind yourself why you want to become a Local Influencer and succeed at digital marketing. Remind yourself why you love helping local businesses. Visualize the life you’ve always wanted, the one that success here will create. Also, embrace rejection. Rejection means you’re trying, learning, and growing. As long as you show up every day with the desire to bring value to people, you’ll find success.
Challenge #2: Listening to The Market Instead of Your Community
We’ve all consulted the internet for intel before. Shouldn’t we do so to understand our local community? Not so fast. Many new local influencers tune into the market to find out what companies need… without even consulting the businesses they’re trying to help.
The Solution: Get to Know Your Audience
Shut the laptop and go door-to-door in your town. Cold call businesses in your area you think could use a web presence makeover. Put your face in front of these local businesses, so they get to know you and your passion for serving them. You’ll quickly realize these businesses have needs which no internet statistic could ever tell you. Get to know them, and they’ll return the favor.
Challenge #3: Market/Environmental Forces
Speaking of the market, everything happening in the world affects your local community. Pandemics, wars, inflation, and so much more can put businesses through the wringer, making it unclear whether they can afford anyone’s help. In fact, many businesses will reflexively decline your services due to fear and uncertainty.
The Solution: Inflation Doesn’t Change “FREE”
No matter how bad things may seem on the outside, inflation, and war don’t change free. Get to know a business and offer something of value for FREE. Even in a recession, most businesses can afford something for zero dollars. This may seem scary for you the first few times, so remember this: When you establish rapport and trust with a business, they WILL come back for more… eventually with their wallet.
Challenge #4: Not Delegating Tasks Soon Enough
Eventually, you may find too much on your plate to handle alone. You will feel tempted to think you can’t “afford” to hire someone else to help. This means reaching fewer businesses, delayed delivery, and slowed business growth. However, the inverse is also true…
The Solution: It’s an Investment, Not a Cost
Think of delegation as an investment, not a cost. You’ll spend money upfront, but if you choose the person carefully, you’ll quickly get a return. Delegating tasks to someone will give you time, which you can spend reaching more businesses. Invest in your time management and efficiency, just like you invest in local businesses. It’s always worth it.
Which challenges do you feel the most right now? These challenges hit everyone in the local influencer space, but I promise that with perseverance and a passion to serve, you WILL gain traction and see your business grow. The best part? You’ll develop incredible relationships with businesses that will last a lifetime.
FURTHER READING: 4 Skills Every Local Influencer Needs