Local businesses: Stop wasting free traffic!

I have a crystal ball and it’s pretty freakin’ fantastic. I use it to divine what’s going on with your business. It’s witchy and magical and cool. But it often scares the bejeezus out of me when I peek into it because it reveals the truth of what’s going on with you. The harsh truth.

And here’s what I see (so, so often): You’re getting attention for a new product, from an award you won, a feature in the local paper. That covetable sweet, free attention! Eyeballs you didn’t pay for…yahoo! And people out there are genuinely intrigued by the story and want to know more about you. Because you’re awesome, obviously. So they pop over to your website, or maybe check you out on Facebook.

And then, whoops! SQUIRREL!

They get drawn into the spiraling chaos of attention-grabbing, distracting, busyness, fire-fighting, to do list managing, and general responsibilities of modern life.

Of course they do.

And then, in the midst of “life,” they inadvertently forget about you, your clever product, and your compelling story.

And you never have a chance to connect with them again.

(Insert Pretty Woman quote here: Huge mistake. Huge.)

Because those people were intrigued enough to make a step towards you, and they might be just the right kind of people you’d like to do business with! But you didn’t give them something to do once they stepped forward. You didn’t draw them in the rest of the way and give them a reason or a path to stay connected.

And now you’ve lost them into the ether.

Call it what you will – earned media, public relations attention, feature stories, word of mouth, organic traffic – it was pretty much free, you didn’t have to even work that hard for it, and what? You’re flipping a digital middle finger and ignoring it?

Listen, I know you don’t mean to, but it breaks my heart to see gritty, entrepreneurial, ass-kicking, hard-working businesses leave ANYTHING on the table.

Because we all want to grow our businesses so we can do more, serve more, earn more, employ more, build more. MORE! We want to be bigger and have more impact, don’t we?

So why aren’t you taking advantage of every single clever thing you can?!

This is an easy fix. I promise.

This isn’t magic, or at all difficult to understand or do. So let me frame this up for you:

It’s time to build audiences of your most ideal customers, corral them someplace you can access them again, and then connect with them.

Kablam.

This is modern marketing, folks, and it’s MUCH more about connection and conversation than it is about sales. And it’s definitely NOT about followers or fans or likers. It’s the long-game, not the cheap shot. It’s about nurturing that ideal audience of people into becoming loyal, rabid fans that buy from you time and again…and then they grow to love you SO DAMNED MUCH that they tell others about you. And then those others become your shiny new ideal audience. So I guess there IS a bit of magic here after all.

But it all starts with having a simple strategy that gives those audiences a place to land. And stick.

Now, stay with me because the first step on this path to marketing mastery is a little bit of a head game. And getting YOUR head in the right place – remembering why you’re doing the things you’re doing – will help infinitely as you navigate this new territory.

Promise yourself and your business that you will:

  • Have an open mind and heart. Be teachable. Be ready to do things differently, if you truly want a different result.
  • Take advantage of the right organic (aka, free) efforts to make the most of your online presence. Capitalize on it! Optimize it! Make the most of it! Other than your physical front door, there’s no more welcoming place you can create for your ideal audiences, and it’s 100% in your control.
  • Connect. Deeply.

That’s it. I’m telling you, that’s all you have to do to level up your game and seriously impact your business.

So, putting on my digital marketing chapeau, here’s where we’re going to start.

Go! Here are the 3 easy & practically-free things you should make happen. Right now.

1. Pixel your website.

Don’t let your eyes gloss over here, people. This one is free and painless, and I promise it’s so dang easy you can do it yourself. The important part is that it’s also the first step to seeing how clever digital marketing can be. Here’s how you do it, and you want to do this right now. Before you contemplate whether or not you even want to spend a thin dime on advertising.

Now, create an audience within the FB Ads platform (also super simple) and watch your audience grow and grow and grow as people simply stop by your website to check you out.

Did I mention this is totally free?

2. Pick your 2 most important social platforms (and make Facebook one of them) and focus your efforts on JUST those.

Commit to a simple content strategy and posting schedule that you will stick to. And then create content designed for those platforms. Meaning, no more pushing Instagram to your Facebook page and calling it good. They work differently, have different purposes and intentions, and it’s time we start paying attention to that.

Also, I want you to do a Facebook Live from your business page. It’s not as scary as it sounds, I swear. Grab your phone. Hop on your Facebook business page and hit “Live video” in the box where you’d usually start a post. And then go! You could talk about a topic that matters to you AND your ideal audience; give a behind-the-scenes peek at something in your business; introduce a favorite employee; tell the story of how and why you started your business. Anything! Aim for 5-10 minutes of video. And afterwards, share the video out to your other social platforms and to your personal network. Spread that love around.

Now, watch your video views increase, and feel thrilled and maybe a tiny bit smug knowing those views represent yet another audience that you can talk to again later. You’re brilliant, kiss your brain.

Also? This was completely free. You didn’t forget that part, did you?

3. Build your email list.

I know this sounds kinda old school but trust me on this one. It IS the marketing gold. But skip the lame sign-up sheets or promising a newsletter that you don’t even want to write.

Try it this way: Think about something you can give to your ideal, but maybe-still-new-to-you customer that they’ll love. Something that has value to them. Something that will open their eyes and hearts and entice them to take a small step – a micro-commitment, if you will – by exchanging their email address for that thing. It could be a coupon or discount, a coveted recipe, a checklist or guide, a video lesson…something that helps them get to know you and your business but is also dead useful.

Then (watch how easy this is): send them that thing. Over a week or two, follow up by sending a couple more emails, maybe reminding your new audience member about the thing or checking in to see if they’ve used the thing, but also starting to weave the story about what you and your business is all about. Tell the background or talk about your values. Give them a cozy warm-up so they start to get to know you better and fall in love with you just a little bit. And, once all of that is done, put them on the path towards that regular email – newsletter, touch base, whatever you want to call it.

Now, maybe this one isn’t totally free but it IS the most important and thus well worth the investment. Your email list is the asset you own completely. No algorithm or platform policy change can touch it. The list can’t disappear if the platform closes down. And you know – without a shadow of a doubt – that the emails you send actually reach your intended audience.  Up close and personal, all up in their inbox! (Did you also know that the rate of people actually seeing and reading your email is 5x better than a message delivered via social media? Yep.)

So, invest in an email service provider (I happen to like ConvertKit and Mailchimp for most smallish, entrepreneurial or local businesses), load up the email addresses you already have, and use automations so the act of sending the thing AND welcoming new folks to your list happens without lifting a finger. Then, pick a goal for how big you want your list to get and start building.


Now, you’ve got 3 simple-but-huge efforts going on that are going to 1) help you grow your audiences in a meaningful way, and 2) give you a chance to reconnect with those audiences whenever you want to, and 3) stop wasting that sweet, free traffic! Oh, and I guess it’s pretty important to note that you’ll also be 4) laying the foundation for paid traffic when you’re ready.

Just like that, you’re ahead of the game.

Now this?

This is smart marketing.

This is committed business ownership.

This is modern and fresh and clever.

This is going to make an impact.

Who’s going to go forth and make magic? Leave me a comment if your hand’s in the air right now.

Annnnnd, if you want to dig in further, make sure you sign up for the free workshop next week. Even if you can’t make it live, sign up to get the replay so you can answer the question, with total confidence:

Are YOU Ready for Facebook™ Ads??

Cheers!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *