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How to Get More Customers to Your Local Business

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How to Get More Customers to Your Local Business

If you’re having a difficult time transitioning your lead generation and customer acquisition online, you’re not the only one. Thousands of businesses have been thrust online during the last year and have been scrambling to adjust their marketing strategy.

Torie Mathis and her co-host Sean talk about how your business can be more effective at getting more customers online – now and into the future.

Even if you’re not new to digital marketing, this episode will help you bump up your online status.

We’ll cover:
How to attract local customers
How to get your business online
Free online assets to use
How to get more reviews on Google and Facebook
How to use social proof to get customers
How to increase customer retention

Recommended Tools:
Kartra
https://toriemathis.com/kartra​
Constant Contact
https://toriemathis.com/constantcontact​
WP-Engine
https://toriemathis.com/wpengine​
Grammarly
https://toriemathis.com/grammarly​

Get SMART AF resources and tools to grow your business at besmartaf.com

Listen or watch the full episode below:

 

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION –

(transcription is auto-generated)

SAF 69

Torie: [00:00:00] Once you get more people in the bucket and more emails are coming out and the cycles keep happening. You just have business all the time.

Welcome to Smart AF I’m your host. Torie Mathis. We’ve got a great show for you today. So let’s get started. Hey guys, what’s up? I’m Torie Mathis. Your host I’m here. He’s back. It’s Sean, 

Sean: [00:00:26] How’s it going? 

Torie: [00:00:27] Business these days, it’s quite a bit different than it was. Oh, say, a year ago. I think some of these businesses have always used the same type of tactics to get clients, for example, people that may be always networked in person.

They might be pooping their payments right now. Yeah. 

Sean: [00:00:48] Those old school guys. So they’re only a network in person and only do that kind of thing. I can see how they can struggles or through these times, which are definitely, they don’t affect me in this kind of, in that kind. 

Torie: [00:01:01] No, I think we’ve moved our business online and we’ve really taken control of our online assets and taking advantage of all these great things that are out there for us.

But I think a lot of people haven’t. And if there is ever a time to do like now is the time, especially if you are a local business, right? Like local businesses, trying to find local clients, like it’s, it might be a little bit different than it was for you. A year ago, but there are local businesses out there that are doing well and thriving.

And so you may just have to make a few changes. And maybe these are changes that you’ve already started to make, or maybe these are things that you haven’t started at all. But I think that we have some pretty good strategies for helping our online or our local clients get local business.

Sean: [00:01:54] Yeah, the first thing is just making sure you have all those online resources, completely filled out things like Google, your business, your Facebook business page, not your personal page that you are using as a business and make sure that your Facebook business page is filled out. Depending on your industry.

There are things like TripAdvisor, Yelp yellow pages they still have their online version and stuff. I don’t actually know how well that’s used, but it’s there and there’s a free version of it. One of the easiest things you can do is just go online and complete. Everything available to you.

And just make your share your information is completely filled out. 

Torie: [00:02:30] That’s a really good point because just because you’ve filled out these things and I hear this all the time Oh, I filled that out five years ago. No, like things change. Things are updated. Even just like how they change the formatting, sometimes things just don’t like translate well after they’ve made these changes.

Which I think are all improvements to how well for example, like Google My Business, like its improvements for how well it worked, but then your information may not have transferred over very well. So you always want to go through and make sure that all of that stuff is completely accurate and filled out completely 

Sean: [00:03:01] Google My Business didn’t they start, it was like Google Plus or something.

Like it was actually a Google version of what Facebook was doing. And it flopped on him pretty hard. So they discontinued it. So if you thought, maybe when Google plus first came out and you completed that kind of stuff, but you didn’t think to go back and check on it. It very well, it was probably completely incomplete.

Torie: [00:03:23] Yeah. So the first thing, to get found online is just to make sure you’re online. That’s really as important. And as Sean mentioned if you are using Facebook, which hopefully you are because no matter what age as long as your clients are over. 25 30. Like they are probably on Facebook.

And if not, if you use the proper page like Sean said, you use a business page, business pages are searchable. So if you look up something online, it is possible that your result will be somebody’s Facebook page. So you might as well fill that out as much as you can and make sure that is your, a business page, not a personal page that you are utilizing as a business page. That’s a big no-no, right? 

Sean: [00:04:06] Yeah. And especially if you’re a brick and mortar type business, like having a Facebook business page, is that much more important? Cause I know that like me specifically. If I’m inquiring about a new business, whatever it is, maybe I’m searching on Google. And I pull up their page and then it links me over to their Facebook. And then I can see that they’re actively doing things. I might be looking for a coupon code. I might be looking at their reviews. I might want to see what their dining room looks like or their food, all these things that if you’ve got that.

That business page completely filled out and utilizing it. It enables us, potential customers, to be able to validate that is somewhere that they want to. Go and spend their money. 

Torie: [00:04:53] I know for like restaurants that we’ve never tried before because we have shown up at restaurants that are closed.

That’s the worst, especially if you’ve traveled to them. Like I always go to their TripAdvisor reviews. Cause I like TripAdvisor and see when the last review is and go to their Facebook page to see if anything has been posted anytime recently because it’s a really good way of knowing if the business is actually still there.

And this was before, like everything that’s been going on now businesses sometimes come and go. And I think that’s a really great way to show that you are still in business and are still doing things that shows like an activity because it’s so easy to get online, it’s easy for people to put their business online either before they’re serious or they don’t take it down if the business fails or if they go on vacation forever, there are all kinds of changes that could happen. So I think those are really great ways that you can. Make sure that people know that you’re open, that you’re there and that, see what the, what kind of things that you’re doing. 

Sean: [00:05:44] There’s another angle to this too. And that comes from, quote-unquote Influencers, whether they legitimately are an influencer or somebody that just, is trying to be, if you provide a solution online via, Instagram page or Facebook page or something like that, that enables, these influencer customers to interact with your page and then enable them to then share about your stuff.

That again could potentially be free advertising, and if you wanted to utilize like legit high-end influencers and pay them, that’s another option. 

Torie: [00:06:19] It’s like a long time ago when they had like food review critics come through from like big. 

Sean: [00:06:23] Yeah. Yeah. If you’ve got a fantastic dish and you’ve got somebody that’s, a food critic and has their own audience, no matter how big it is, and they want to go in there and take pictures of your food and tag your business and share your stuff.

That’s a total win. Why wouldn’t you want somebody to be able to do that kind of stuff,

Torie: [00:06:40] but this doesn’t actually happen. I don’t want to actually use names, but you had somebody that was on, that was involved with an influencer right online. And that person’s followers and things like that. Just from that one interaction, went crazy.

Sean: [00:06:56] Yeah. It only takes, that one person to tag your business and share something that. All those people that are following that person that did that, or now all of a sudden, like what is this place? Who is this guy? 

Torie: [00:07:07] She says his followers went from like dozens to like thousands in just from that one interaction.

Sean: [00:07:12] I saw one where, I don’t know how many interactions he’s done it a few times, but yeah, it went from nothing to thousands and he still doesn’t really even do anything. It’s an underutilized page. And yet. Because other people are tagging him and sharing his stuff it’s growing.

Torie: [00:07:30] So if you have that ability to invite those types of people in because you are active online and you’re able to make those connections like it can really change your business in this kind of market.

Sean: [00:07:40] So even Miles Through Time. So I get asked all the time, I’m like, Hey, can we take pictures of the museum?

And I tell him, Absolutely. Not only because it changes all the time and the pictures are cool. And I personally enjoy looking back and seeing the pictures that people take But it’s, it enables again that these people to then share the pictures of the music, tagged the museum there, the audience I’ll go, Hey, where’s this cool place.

And then the cycle continues and more people come in. What’s crazy is I know of other museums and obviously these people that are taking pictures and asking if they can take pictures are also familiar with these other places that don’t allow them to take pictures, which is asinine to me because of what I just said.

Let these people share the museum pictures a lot of times. Don’t do it justice, 

Torie: [00:08:31] but no, one’s going to look at I’ve all seen, we’ve all seen pictures of animals, so you’re not like I’m never going to the zoo. I’ve seen what a tiger looks like. Like you still go, 

Sean: [00:08:39] somebody offers me a trip to the Safari and we can go check out giraffes and lions and all the way I’m not going to be like, Nah. 

Torie: [00:08:45] I’ve seen pictures of those.

Sean: [00:08:47] We’ve seen it 

Torie: [00:08:48] Every time somebody tags your business and any type of pitchers. That means all of the people that they’re connected to. And this could be lots of people. Some of these people, especially the younger ones are connected to a lot of people. So everybody that is connected to them will see your pictures.

And if you’re tag, they’ll see your business, it’s free advertising, but you have to be on these online assets and let Facebook or like Instagram and you don’t have to do all of them. I would say definitely Google My Business. Definitely Facebook. If your business is really visual like Instagram is a really good place to start.

And I would say unless you like really want to get into it, your Twitter might not be the best place or take TikTok you don’t have to be on everything, start small, figure out what works and see where you’re getting traffic from that. 

Sean: [00:09:36] And if you can’t think of anything to share. Ask your customers to share stuff. 

Torie: [00:09:40] Ask your employees to share stuff.

Sometimes like they have they want to be involved and do some of those things and they’ll have different ideas. And I think that’s a good thing to bring into any local business. 

Sean: [00:09:49] Absolutely. 

Torie: [00:09:50] We talked about sharing pictures, the reason, like people, like to see pictures of what other people are doing.

They also like to do things that other people are already doing. So social proof is. Crazy when it comes to any type of business. And that’s why I think asking for reviews and getting reviews is huge. 

Sean: [00:10:08] Yeah. And again, it goes back to that is somebody that is not associated with the business vouching for your business, which.

It means 10 times as much as if you, as a business owner goes, combine my stuff. I’m awesome. Anybody’s going to say that about their own stuff, but when somebody that’s a complete stranger that, paid this business money and then says, okay, it was worth that money. That means a ton.

And then that all that’s going to do is again, validate your new customer going. And this person says it’s good. I think it looks good. Everything I’m seeing looks positive. I’m gonna go ahead and give it up. 

Torie: [00:10:44] I talked about a few episodes ago that I had hurt my shoulder a little bit, and so I needed to get a massage to try to work it out.

I hadn’t taken a massage or gotten a massage from this local area that we’ve lived in, for the last several years. So I went and looked online. Like everybody does for businesses. Like they, they ask their friends or they go look online, man. There’s a shit ton of massage places.

So when you look at the websites like everybody has the same website, they’re all saying the same thing, right? The prices are very similar. What’s the deciding factor. And I chose the one, it was a little bit further drive from where we were at, but it had the most reviews and it was like reviews that people actually like, not just like great you’re like they actually said something and talk about people by name and things like that.

And it was really the most reviews one, and that’s where my business went. And now that I’ve used them and now that I like them, now I can use them again. So just that one thing that was free for them to do, because it was in on Google. 

Sean: [00:11:40] It ends your research cycle. Somebody is going to research a business to go to until they go to it.

If they have a good experience, there’s no, no need to research anymore. They just keep going back to what they’re familiar with. If the experience is bad, then they go and resort back to. Research mode again and try to find the next place, 

Torie: [00:12:01] Like all sound like totally obvious but some of the people are not getting, 

Sean: [00:12:04] It’s definitely not obvious for a lot of people.

Believe us. 

Torie: [00:12:07] You have to claim your business on these different assets. Like they’ll, auto-generate. Just from public information, your business, which allows people to leave reviews on there. And so once you have claimed it, then you are actually able to interact with it and you can leave reviews. You can leave comments back on reviews or you have to go and fill these things out so that like on Facebook, make your Facebook business page so that you can get reviews there.

And the other thing is you have to ask for reviews, people will leave reviews like this. If they had a bad time, But they won’t all do it if they had a great time, which is unfortunate, but it’s really true. So you have to think of a way that you can get people to review your business, ask for a review before they leave.

Like for the massage, I was really surprised because they had so many reviews. They did not ask me right when I left for a review, they didn’t email me. They didn’t text me. Cause I think they had my email and my phone number because for the appointment reminder, I’ve never heard anything back from them.

And have I reviewed them? No, I didn’t sorry, if they would have emailed me or texted me and said here’s the link? If you could do this I would have done it. Who I did leave a review for that is the kid’s knew karate place. The kids had been taking karate for a couple of months and they texted, emailed not too pushy, but it was funny.

And it, it was like Mondays were the best days to leave reviews. So we just thought, we’d let you know, here’s the link to our review. If you want to leave us a review. And it was, just trying to be like lighthearted about it. The other one that they sent was like a mad lib. And it was like if you’re not sure what to say, we’ve written a little Madlibs so that you can leave us a review.

And it was really funny and really cute. And you know what I did, I left a review. They gave me the link, they made it super easy. They weren’t all like serious or pushy about it. And I left him a review and they have a lot of reviews. Again, one of the reasons I picked that place for the kids to go to.

Sean: [00:14:01] Again, because there’s no shortage of options. 

Torie: [00:14:04] All of this stuff can be automated. Like it’s not something that like every time a customer comes in, like you have to go through all this stuff. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. It just takes a tiny bit of planning and a tiny bit of forethought to just get that process taken care of.

It can be real easy. The other thing I have is to invite your current customers to come back. And I think that Miles Through Time does a fantastic job of this. Sometimes people need to be reminded that you’re there, we get in these grooves, especially like food or using this. We go to the same places.

We do the same things. We just get into a groove of things. And so even if you tried a new place and you really liked it, You might not go back there. 

Sean: [00:14:45] There’s a breakfast place that we go to and every time we go there, I noticed there’s a gigantic chalkboard up on the wall and it’s got daily specials.

I think. Ooh 

Torie: [00:14:55] Oh, cause you want the what are those things when the holiday sauce? 

Sean: [00:14:59] Yeah, it’s Eggs Benedict. It’s like Wednesdays it’s Eggs Benedict for 3.99  or something 

Torie: [00:15:06] Would someone email Sean or text him and say, remember it’s Wednesday Eggs Benedict.  Sean will be there, but you never think about it.

Sean: [00:15:12] No, but then they also have ones that we don’t qualify for. One of the days it’s seniors and anybody that goes there that one time and sees that they’re like, oh, I love Eggs Benedict. Or, Hey, I’m old enough to eat for that cheaper price on Thursday, and then they’ll make a point to go back there and do it, especially if they like the food.

And if they’re like, Oh, what I had this time? Wasn’t that great? No, but I can try Eggs Benedict on Wednesday for cheap. I’ll give it another go because you never know. Shit happens. So if the cook you had or something, let something go a little overboard and it didn’t satisfy somebody, to their highest standards, at least give your customer is an opportunity or want to give you a second chance. 

Torie: [00:15:54] And if you email customers, like people will see an email. Whereas if you might say oh, I post stuff to my social media. There are so many other things on social media that it’s really easy for people to miss that.

Like they would have had to be on there at that time. And the algorithm would have magically have to show them that. So just because you put something on social media does not mean that they see it. You want somebody to see something like email them. And now there’s a lot of ways that people text and, some of these companies, I really don’t mind getting texts from some of them like drive me crazy.

It’s a little bit too much. And I ended up unsubscribing, but something like a local restaurant or something like that would be really great. Yeah, lots of these things. Let’s have these local businesses run in cycles. So if you know what your cycle is, and you start to figure out, bring that into your sales process, like haircutting, okay.

Hair, you need to go every six weeks. That’s a cycle. So if you automatically put that into your email marketing, that Torie came in today. So let’s put a reminder at five weeks that she has to come back in. If she didn’t make an appointment. The dog groomer dogs need to be groomed.

Their nails need to be cut. What is the cycle of that? And how can you automate that? So that you’re inviting all the customers back because people get busy. Like they want to get their dogs, nails, trimmed. They want to get their haircut and they want to go to have Eggs Benedict on a Wednesday, but they can’t remember everything.

So invite them back in. We were talking about tree trimming the other day. Lots of stuff going on in our neighborhood right now. That is again, A cycle, like how often does somebody need to get their trees trimmed? What do they need to do in the spring? What do they need to do in the fall?

Maybe in the middle of the summer, things start going crazy. And you’re, you need to come and get some No extra maintenance in your yard. Like those are cycles in your business. That once you start to get a couple of clients, stop spending all of your time, trying to get all these new people, but take those people that you’ve already worked with.

They already, like you figure out what the cycle is and email them in the appropriate time to get them to come back. And then you, once you get more people in the bucket and more emails are coming out and the cycles keep happening, you just have business all the time. Then if your customers that you already have, you ask for referrals.

And you have some type of referral program because people want to use people. They know we, we talked about that yesterday. Like all the time on our neighborhood’s Facebook page, people are asking, I’m doing this in my house. I, I need my roof redone. I’m doing this, I’m doing that. Who do you guys use?

Sean: [00:18:16] And that’s Next Door is one of these, websites that are out there that help promote local specific Industry and neighborhoods and all that kind of stuff. We’re actually responsible for starting a few Next Door neighborhoods because we’ve moved so many times. But if you were one of those businesses that would benefit from the local specific, patronage.

That is a place that you definitely want to make sure that you are listed on and it’s Next Door keeps growing as well as just like Facebook. So again, it’s one of those places that you’re going to want to make sure you’re there so that when neighbors and all these different neighborhoods are like, asking their neighbors, who do you use?

Where can I go? You’re there as an option. 

Torie: [00:18:59] And I think we, we hope we push online stuff all the time because I think digital marketing is super important. But don’t rely only on digital marketing. Now you probably wouldn’t have expected that from me, but like leaving something behind or putting something physically into somebody’s hand.

Is huge. Do a mailing campaign to a neighborhood, get in front of these people get something physical in their hand of a referral type program or leaving things like how many times have we had different services or something that the people don’t even leave a card, like always leave a couple that way we have them on hand to give to somebody else.

Or we at least know. Who you are like two weeks from now when somebody asks because if you don’t put something physically in my hand or email me, that definitely could be too. And I think that there’s a good balance between the two of those things. If the dog groomer would have emailed me and said, Hey, it’s been this long ago.

That would have been great. If the dog groomer would’ve given me something. And said, if you have somebody to refer like we’d really appreciate it. Or, gave me something that had a schedule of these are the best times to get your nails cut. You should come back in X amount of time but they gave me nothing to invite me back to make me want to refer them.

The massage people didn’t do it either. Oh no. The massage people gave me a get 10 massages, get one free. And I think it’s stupid. If I’m going to get 10 massages from you, I probably love you already. And I’m not going to book it just because after 10 I get one free. Yeah. 

Sean: [00:20:27] They’d be better off to be like, tag 10 of your friends on Facebook and you’ll get a 10% off your next massage or something so that you get a deal, but ultimately 10 more people now know about this business and whether they’re ready to buy or not, they’re, at least they’re aware of you now.

Yeah. And a lot of times people don’t think they need something until they’re told they need it. Like that, like the tree trimmer, and walk the neighborhood. And there’s a house getting all the trees trimmed. And they’ve got a sign out in the front yard that says the company of the tree trimming business.

And you walk around the neighborhood the next day. Now there are three more signs because the neighbor didn’t. Maybe they thought about doing it, but they haven’t, they didn’t feel like doing research or anything like that, but it’s easy right in front of them. They know their neighbor is getting it done.

They can visually see the quality of the workmanship. All they got to do now is ask their neighbor. Would you recommend them? They say, yes, research has done. And now they’re going to get their trees trim because it’s something that needs to be done. It wasn’t top of mind, but it was in their face.

And then they were told it was good enough, at least 

Torie: [00:21:36] I think that it’s like that what do they call it? The like when you know, too much the curse of knowledge or something like that, that, so much about whatever it is, your businesses like tree trimming that you just assume other people know that like the dog groomer could just assume people know that they need to cut their dog’s nails every once in a while, because they can blah, blah, like whatever these things that are.

That could happen. I don’t know what they are. I’m not a dog groomer, but I bet that they know all kinds of cool information about how, why you need to do it. Often. The tree trimmer probably has all kinds of crazy information of like how important it is for the health of your trees. And like all these things that you assume that everybody already knows these things.

But again, you have to tell people this and tell them they need to come to get their hair cut every six weeks. And this is why and people, once they know that, then they’re more likely to get into that process. And then if you’re the one that gives them that knowledge and gets them into, that type of sales process for your business.

And you’re just going to be the one. So if you liked this episode, we’d appreciate it. If you would leave us a review and we will see you on the next one. Thanks.

You want to get smart tools to build your business go to getsmartaf.com  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: TORIE MATHIS

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs get from where they are to where they want to be by working smarter.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your mentor to creating the business+ life you love. She has cracked the code for creating a lucrative, independent business + an amazing lifestyle. She can help you with your marketing and business growth, your clarity and purpose and help you reach your vision of success. 🙂

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