Local blogging, also called “hyper local,” and its associated services for local businesses such as search engine marketing and social marketing, is part of the last frontier of major opportunity on the web.
Over the past few years a lot of hype has surrounded “going local” and helping small businesses realize the bounty of opportunity for lead generation and community awareness with social media and search engine placement. A lot of people got into local blogging to generate local business leads to acquire new clients for a wide array of services ranging from getting local businesses listed in all the online local directories, like Google Places, to basic SEO services, web design, and social media campaigns.
A lot fewer people who got into local blogging are still in it today. That’s because after all the hype dies down and a site is built, local businesses must be courted differently than online businesses. It takes work.
Below are tips for succeeding with a local blog as a lead generator for your services.
Face-to-Face meetups are crucial.
The reason most local businesses aren’t doing anything significant online to this day is that they don’t have time to learn about the web beyond surfing around and maybe submitting themselves to some online business directories.
They aren’t web-savvy for the most part and they’ve been hammered by large directory companies offering over-priced listings and ineffective web services for years now. They don’t know who to trust and they really appreciate an actual local expert coming in to help them understand their options and what they’re missing out on.
Being local actually gives you a leg up that big, outside companies cannot compete with. Use that to your advantage and hit Chamber meetings and network with your local business leaders to let them know about your site and services.
Pick a leader in the community and help them for free.
You need a boost in the beginning and nothing works better than offering your services to one of the most recognized and followed local business leaders for free.
Get them results, and they’ll start talking about you to their associates and golf buddies. Referrals are a major source of new leads in the local blogging business. And these guys do most of their referring offline in more traditional ways.
If you hate golf or are simply very bad at it, like me, sponsor a table or booth at the next golf fundraiser and make your presence known that way. Figure out other places and events where your top business leaders hang out and get to as many of those as you can to generate the buzz you need to fill your ad space and client list quickly.
Join the Chamber of Commerce in your area and get the list of members so that you can mail out a postcard campaign detailing your services and how business owners can get more exposure.
As your local blog attracts new readers, leverage that fact to convey to local business owners the importance of working with you to get in front of your crowd.
Learn more about successful blogging…