How to Become a Neighborhood Expert and Dominate Your Local Market

Does your digital marketing agency have goals for 2021?

Take some time to reflect on what you want to accomplish this year… Regardless of the specifics, I’m guessing your goals have something to do with gaining more clients and driving more revenue than last year.

You can accomplish both of those goals by learning how to dominate your local market. This is part of our overarching strategy for our digital marketing student, which can be found in our Agency Growth Machine

By learning to become a “Local Influencer,” you can blow the roof off your growth.

I often hear marketers, especially new ones, complain about “a lack of leads.” Tons of agencies crowd the market and compete for business. These established agencies have more credibility, skills, and connections. There’s no way to get nice, warm leads anymore, right? Wrong.

What if I told you that you could generate your own list of leads, living in your area, who already know and love you? In order to tap into this market, you must become a neighborhood “expert” and cultivate new relationships.

ALSO READ: How To Dominate Your Industry In Your Area

Why Go Local?

Many marketers think the best leads are “Somewhere, out there,” like An American Tail. If you live in Florida, you think the best leads are in Hawaii. If you live in Hawaii, you think the best leads come from New York.

However, the best leads are the “offline” businesses sitting in your backyard.

The best sharks hunt in blue oceans, not red ones. A red ocean is a crowded market space, where all the sharks fight over the few fish left in the ecosystem. You wouldn’t want to set up shop there … there’s too much “blood in the water.”

A blue ocean is an uncontested marketplace. There’s no competition, because no one is aware the market exists. This market is an “invisible chain” of the relationships you build, and the degree of trust and reliability you grow among them.

It’s your job to bring this market into existence, by becoming the community expert. 

Of local businesses within your 30-mile radius, very few have a solid digital marketing strategy. Some neighborhood businesses don’t even have a website yet! But they all can benefit from someone bringing them online. That person should be you.

When you show businesses around you how to bring in customers through digital marketing, they’ll think you’re a wizard–and a hero. 

You’ll do your community a service by helping small businesses survive. This last year was hard on brick-and-mortar shops. You get to help them mount a comeback, and enhance your local economy by helping your neighbors thrive. Talk about a win-win!

ALSO READ: Do You Or Your Clients Need Some Cash? Here’s How to Get Free Money From The Government 

The Local Influencer Playbook: How To Become A Friendly Neighborhood Expert

Let’s break it down step-by-step, so you can gain an abundance of warm leads.

  • Develop a Valuable Resource For Your Community

With your knowledge and skills, there’s no shortage of valuable resources you can develop for the people around you. Only you know the specific needs of your neighborhood, but here are a few examples:

  • A template to start building a simple website.
  • A newsletter with their ads on the margins.
  • A free workshop on how offline businesses can go digital.

Don’t limit yourself to this list, however. The chances are, there’s something you can do to provide tremendous benefit to the brick-and-mortar businesses around you. 

What I’m suggesting here might not apply … but your local market will tell you their struggles, if you ask.

  • Offer It For Free: No Strings Attached

When you develop something valuable, you will feel tempted to sell it. Instead, give it away. For free. With no strings attached.

This will build your reputation and goodwill like nothing else. Sure, some businesses who take your resource will do so without becoming your customers. But others will see what you do, appreciate your character, and take you up on a more lucrative basis.

  • As Relationships Grow, Develop a List of “Probable Prospects”

As people sign up for your resource, keep track of who they are and what they do. Identify the ones who fit your target demographic and buyer persona. Invest in your relationship with them. 

This doesn’t mean you immediately offer paid services. You’re simply gathering useful information. Focus on the months and years to come, not just the quick win.

At some point, you’ll have a sizable “inventory of relational assets” (IRA) with enough local businesses. Continue to cultivate those relationships, even following up on the ones using your resource. 

Ask them how things are working for them … but remember, what they needed from you six months ago may not be what they need now

A good way to phrase this question goes, “How else can I make myself useful?” or “What’s the hardest part of running your business today, as opposed to when we first met?”

  • Pick the Low-hanging Fruit

Of course, as you become the local expert, you’ll find people who can use your help right now. Feel free to start the conversation, but don’t force anything. Only by focusing on serving their immediate needs, can you gain access to their other, hidden problems.

Often, people will actually come to you asking for help, especially if your resource adds definitive value to their business. Make sure the paid work you do for them is even better than the giveaway!

This post touches on the basics, but in order to learn the full strategy, check out this On-Demand Workshop.

You can watch it any time you want, for free. It will show you how to stand out in your local market, even during shutdowns.

Click here to get started.

 

 

Photos by Gabriele Lässer, Travel Sourced and David Clode on Unsplash

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