Lead Generation

Marketing in your local area

written by Tim Berry of Palo Alto Software http://www.paloalto.com


The best way for you to get known is to use a mixture of conventional advertising and shoestring marketing techniques. Here are several ideas:

  1. Order a listing in the Yellow Pages if you haven’t done so already. You may have to wait for several months before the next edition is published, but at least call now to find out when the deadline for ads is.
  2. Place small display ads in appropriate sections of weekly or daily newspapers. Look for ads from business like yours and try to advertise in the same places they regularly advertise.
  3. Make arrangements to exchange coupons and do joint mailings with noncompeting local businesses who serve the same clientele.
  4. Write up a press release announcing your business and send it to local newspapers.
  5. If you have any writing ability (or the money to hire someone who does) write up some articles on the benefits of your business—this would apply mostly to service businesses, and see if you can get papers to run them. (Submit them as columns or write them up as a fact sheet to go with the press release about your grand opening.)
  6. Consider some type of giveaway—refer a friend, get a free service, or whatever might be appropriate for you business. (perhaps some kind of free product with the first service call.)
  7. Put up a website and get it listed in search engines. You’d be surprised how many people use the Internet for finding products and services.
  8. Network, network, network! Get into whatever groups are appropriate so people get to know you. Consider offering the groups coupons for a free or discounted service that the groups can give away as raffles.
Tim Berry

about the author

Tim Berry

Founder and President of Palo Alto Software and a renowned planning expert. He is listed in the index of "Fire in the Valley", by Swaine and Freiberger, the history of the personal computer industry. Tim contributes regularly to the bplans blog, the Huffingtonpost.com as well as his own blog, Planning, Startups, Stories. His full biography is available at www.timberry.com. Follow Tim onGoogle +


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Sivine Ung August 12, 2009 at 10:22 pm

It was really helpful. Thanks

Paul Conant August 22, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Great advice Tim! I like to tell my clients the following: 1st they need something good to say. 2nd they need to learn to say it well. 3rd say it often! I look forward to more of your posts -Paul

Dan September 21, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Most major cities have a community newspaper and many also have regular street-press or free newspapers covering art, music, museums, area events, movie times and local community happenings. Keep your eye out for these and make sure you consider them when planning your print advertising campaign.

sachin December 27, 2010 at 11:20 am

Local area marketing is one of the most targeted way to reach your targeted audience. Today is a time when Google is showing you the local results first from where you can received good no of leads & calls from your product or services. The best part is, you don't need any website for local advertising. You can create a facebook page, Google places account & start doing marketing...

Jerry May 17, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I would go a step further about press releases. Create publicity by doing something extraordinary and then create a press release. For example, pick something done in a different industry and adapt it to your small business.

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