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7 Ways To Promote Your Local Business Online
By: Developer Shed
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    7 Ways To Promote Your Local Business Online (Without Spending a Lot of Money)
    by Sharon Fling

    Savvy business owners are catching on to the fact that the
    local online market is booming. it’s predicted to be a $50
    billion market by 2006. There is no doubt that the future of
    the Internet is local - and if you don’t get your local
    business into the act now, it may be too late.

    Look at how the big boys are reaching out to consumers,
    driving traffic to their local stores. Staples, Office
    Depot, Wal-Mart - these guys are all going after the local
    market in a big way. Why? Because they know that people
    spend 80% of their income within 20 miles of home, and that
    consumers are turning to the Internet to research products
    and services before they buy.

    Now, maybe you can’t compete with those deep pockets
    financially, but it doesn’t take a million dollars to have a
    successful web presence. Here are 7 easy ways to promote
    your local business online, and they don’t cost a lot of

    YOUR URL EVERYWHERE (you do have a website, don’t you?)

    Any and every thing that may come in contact with a customer
    should have your URL on it. Business cards, bags, flyers,
    newspaper ads, your store window, free giveaways --as you
    re-order your stationery and promotional items, just add
    your URL. Simple and painless.


    One of the most powerful strategies for promoting your
    business is to team up other business owners, especially
    those who already have websites. You probably can learn a
    lot from their experiences, and there are all sorts of ways
    you can work together to benefit all. For example:

    Link Exchange - each website can have a special page just
    for links to other (non-competing) businesses, giving each
    business a chance to pick up new customers at no cost. These
    links should NOT be on your main page, unless you want your
    visitors to click away the minute they hit your site.

    Coupon Exchange - every week or two, each business owner can
    send a special mailing to their list with coupons from all
    of the businesses. Each business has a chance to get some
    new business without spending a cent.

    Local Guide - if there’s no local business guide in your
    area, why not team up with some other business owners and
    create your own? You may be able to find a web designer that
    will go in on it with your group, just for the exposure and
    the chance to sell his services to individual business
    owners later. He could help promote the website in exchange
    for referrals or the right to sell ads on the site later.


    Whether you’re selling a product or a service, local
    business guides can be one of your best traffic generators.
    People are increasingly turning to these local directories
    to look for goods and services. Get your site listed in as
    many local guides and directories as you can find. Some
    charge for a listing, but many are free because they’re just
    starting out and need to get listings. So get listed for
    free while you still can. Many businesses are still not
    taking advantage of this great source of traffic, so you
    could easily be the only listing in your category. I’ve
    heard more than once about consumers who patronized a
    business because it was the ONLY listing in its category.


    YouRb7;ve heard that "ItRb7;s not what you know but who you know."
    Nowhere is this more true than on the Net. Whatever your
    business or interests, there are others out there just like
    you, networking and exchanging information. You might even
    be able to find a local message board where you can meet
    other business owners and prospects. Join in and share, and
    you’ll find yourself getting customers and referrals without
    really trying.


    Here is an easy, but often overlooked source of new
    business -- ask existing customers to tell their family and
    friends about your excellent products and services. If
    they’re happy with you, they’ll be glad to make referrals.
    But don’t expect them to think of it - remind them. And make
    it easy for them - put a tell-a-friend script on your
    website, so they can do it while they’re thinking about it.
    You may even want to offer some sort of reward - one local
    business offers $25 worth of free dry cleaning when
    customers refer 3 people who open an account.


    This is a real no-brainer. Almost everyone has an email
    address, and once you get it, the cost of staying in touch
    with them is minimal. There are so many ways you can use
    email marketing that a slew of books, software and
    businesses have been developed to help you. But it all boils
    down to persuading your customers and prospects to give you
    their email address, then building trust through repeated


    What could be better than free publicity for your business?
    If you can find a public interest or news angle to tie into
    your business, you should write a press release, including
    website and email address so people can get more
    information. Or your business can sponsor a local event or
    volunteer resources to charity, giving your business (and
    your website) valuable exposure while you give back to the
    community. There are lots of free resources for creating
    press releases, and entire websites devoted to helping you
    get free publicity.

    These are only a few of the many ways you can promote your
    business locally. You never know how someone is going to
    search for a business like yours, so you should use a
    variety of methods to get your name out there where they can
    see it!

    Remember, the consumer is just a mouse click away from your
    store - but only if you’re online. And with today’s
    technology, the targeting capabilities and options are
    unlimited....even if your bank balance isn’t.

    Sharon Fling is the author of "How To Promote Your Local Business
    On the Internet", and publisher of "Local Business Today", an
    ezine that gives business owners tips, tools and resources for
    targeting local customers. Subscribe today and get a free
    re-brandible ebook on local marketing. Send any email to: or visit
    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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