Business Bites Episode 104: Marketing Locally

Marketing Locally

Episode 104 on the Business Bites Podcast

The Gist Of This Episode:  Using social media to market locally isn’t always something that is talked about or even taught.  When you are a service-based business though, you don’t need to market to a group of people far away from you (unless, of course, you have a reason to be where they are). In this episode, Rachel and Christine Tremoulet will give you tips on how to grow your business by being visible to potential clients in your own local area. 

 

What you will learn:

  • How to target your local market so the right people see your posts
  • How to repurpose content
  • How to identify the core group you are wanting to target
  • Ideas on tactics you want to avoid
  • and more!

Expand To Read Episode Transcripts

Rachel Brenke: Hey guys, welcome to episode 104 of The Business Bites Podcast. I am your host Rachel Brenke. Today I am joined with Christine Tremoulet and we were going to take a pivot on the marketing aspects of how we’ve talked on The Business Bites Podcast before. A lot of it has been online or referral type marketing and now we’re going to dig into marketing locally. All right, Christine welcome to the show.

Christine T.: Thank you for having me today.

Rachel Brenke: I’m excited. We were supposed to record this in person when we were together a couple of weeks ago, but we were too busy masterminding and planning on how to take over the world and I’m glad we can do this now.

Christine T.: Me too. I’m so excited.

Rachel Brenke: Well, and you know guys she’s been on the podcast before and I’m going to link all of this in the show notes at rachelbrenke.com/epi104. So I’ll put Christine’s other episode, all the information about her, but Christine, tell us a little bit about yourself and the businesses you’ve been in and then we’ll jump right into marketing locally.

Christine T.: So all the businesses I’ve been in over the years would take us a really, really super long time. Reader’s Digest version back in 2000 I started blogging, but I also started working for a web agency. And in 2003, my geek claim to fame I named WordPress. And fast forward 2007, I decided it was time to go live the dream, which for me was becoming a professional photographer. And I did what wedding photography eventually boudoir photography.

But what I think really stands out for me is because of taking the digital strategy tactics that I had learned over the years in the web industry, when I launched my business in 2007, I was fully booked. I was charging upper mid level rates, almost getting into the higher market rates. For my wedding clients I was not coming in on the ground floor of rates. And I was still fully booked with like 26 or 27 weddings my first year in business and stayed that way every year.

Over time, people always came to me and they were like, “How do you do it? How did you get that?” And I always used to credit my blog, but what I realized in the past year was when I looked back and I was analyzing some … I was actually looking back at what clients told me over the years, where did they come from? And they were finding me also through social media and the local connections that I had made. And I realized it’s actually, it wasn’t just my blog. It was my blog plus social media 2007 we only really had Twitter. But now I feel like with Instagram that is so ripe for people to use it if you’re a local service provider to really dig in and use Instagram to blow up your business.

Rachel Brenke: And you know what’s interesting is I feel like since there’s been such a shift into the online sphere, there’s not a lot of people sharing about how to market locally. And so I think this is why a great place for you to be. And in fact, you just released a Insta local planner. Do you want to share a bit about that and then we’ll dig into some more of the specifics?

Christine T.: I did. I have a planner with 365 prompts. Well, okay, I keep saying 365 and I keep remembering next year is like 2020, this year is a leap year, so 2020 is a leap year. So really there’s 366 prompts. To just help people like what should I post today? Because I find when you’re trying to post content regularly after a while you’re like, ah, should I promote something or is that wrong? And also how do I bring in my local connections into everything else that I’m posting? How do I get this content out there because I feel that you should identify a core group of local business owners that are business adjacent to you and celebrate what they’re doing in addition to what you’re already saying about yourself.

Rachel Brenke: So let’s flush that out a little bit, can you give an example?

Christine T.: Sure. I’m going to use myself as my initial example. So I was wedding photographer and I’m in Houston and I live in a neighborhood called The Heights. Which if you’re in Houston, you know where The Heights are. And a new restaurant opens in my neighborhood. The majority of my clients are from The Heights. So even when I was doing a lot of destination work, I had clients all over the world. I had an audience that was a bit more global, but the bread and butter of my business was local. And that’s another really important point here.

There’s different tactics being taught out there on how to use Instagram, but a lot of them are focused on growing your business globally as if you were a product or selling a product, selling commodity. So if your business is selling a commodity and you want a thousand customers everyday, that’s awesome. But for those of us that were like me where there’s a limited supply because I can’t be put in a box and shipped to seven different places at once. Rachel and I both love like crime podcasts. So that’s like a crime podcasts in the making if I was put in a box and shipped [inaudible 00:05:55].

Rachel Brenke: It’s cheaper than airfare.

Christine T.: Right. So but as a business owner, my business can only be in one place at one time because there is just one me. So I know that my ideal clients right here in The Heights, or maybe they’re outside of The Heights in Houston, but they’re familiar with The Heights. They love the area. It’s something that means something to them. If a new restaurant opens I go over there, I talk about how my husband and I had date night at this local restaurant. Maybe I post a few photos on Instagram, and I’m not talking amazing, but I’m talking cell phone snaps on Instagram. But they’re still so excited about what I shared about them that they then share my post.

And then regularly, if I’m constantly commenting on their posts, liking their posts, I’m showing up in their sphere, they’re going to see more of my posts, they’re going to get to know me better. It builds this whole referral network through Instagram of where then they talk about you, they talk you up, or they remember. Let’s say you’re a plumber and they have a plumbing issue. Will they remember the plumber that was actually talking to them? And that’s it. People hire people that they know, like and trust.

Rachel Brenke: And what’s interesting too is we’re kind of talking about Instagram here since you’re writing prompts or for Insta local, but I’m just sitting in your scribbling furiously thinking about how this can change from micro blogging in Instagram, putting it onto your actual blog, keying up the SEO and then people Google you start coming up, even if they’re not looking for whatever it is you’re offering. But let’s say like the example that you just gave with the restaurant, maybe you did a review about the restaurant guess whose website comes up? Yours.

Christine T.: Right. And I’m a huge fan, create content once, repurpose it often. So while my prompts are geared towards Instagram, the same prompts can be used for Facebook, they can be used for blog posts. And I would encourage people, if you’re writing a long post on Instagram, copy it, paste it in your blog, add a photo or two and publish it because Google isn’t indexing Instagram but Google will index your blog posts. So anything you create in one place, create it in the other places. Like just repurpose it.

Rachel Brenke: So I remember what you said about interacting in the sphere of this core group. How do you identify this core group?

Christine T.: I always recommend looking at, first of all, if you have some clients and customers already go look and see who they follow, who do they follow that’s in your market?

Rachel Brenke: And Instagram does that easy for you. You just go to their profile and it drops down and shows you.

Christine T.: Here’s other people you might want to follow. Or you can click where it says who are they following? You can click that and see who they’re following. You can also research hashtags that are being used in your local market, like what hashtags are people are using and then who’s posting to those hashtags. Initially though my list always starts out with who are seven or eight people that I know that maybe I’ve met or their businesses they could also be businesses that you want to get in front of. I even think about, so let’s talk about it as a lawyer. If you have a really local law firm, okay, well who’s there? Who do you want to be seen by? Who’s a good connector? Who might be also in front of the people that you want to get in front of?

And in reality, I think where I came up with the number of eight was part of how all this gelled together was I have a coaching client that eventually became the president of her BNI chapter. So as we talked about how BNI worked, I was like, “Oh, that’s exactly how I grew my business.” I was just using Twitter at the time and now I use Instagram for that. But as a place where I see somebody asks a question, I need this and then I recommend somebody that I know. So just developing a local community is really important.

Rachel Brenke: And just an FYI, if you guys listening, if you don’t know what BNI is, it’s Business Networking International. And I think a lot of the chapters are set up a little differently from one to the other. But I know they’re primarily try to allow membership only to be one or a select few within like a specific type of niche or business. That way it’s not like 90% realtors and 2% doctors or whatever. You can go in there and you can find a broad variety of different businesses so that they can network with each other exactly what Christine is talking about. But you don’t even have to pay. Well, I think BNI can be really good. It’s like any organization [inaudible 00:11:19] than the other.

Christine T.: BNI has some really great benefits. I struggled when I was a full time photographer, I struggled to find a chapter that didn’t already have a photographer in it. So I never, and then I did find one group. But that’s the other thing about BNI if you’re in a city that has multiple groups, you sort of have to find the group that’s the right fit for you. But it’s what sparked this idea of, oh my goodness, just you have to connect with local people right in your market. Because that coaching client that I was working with, she doesn’t want to travel at all. I travel all the time.

She doesn’t want to travel at all because of just family commitments and other things. Plus there’s plenty of work right in her market. She doesn’t need to travel. But she does need to connect with local people to get in front of her future clients. And that’s where a lot of her clients come from.

Rachel Brenke: So what I love about what you’re trying to bring to the table is all of this, finding the core group, getting the prompts, getting the content put out there. Because like myself, like I never have a lack of anything to say except when it’s time for me to sit down and fill up my social media and blog, then I’m like, “Oh, I don’t know what to write about.” But what would you recommend because they can get that help through your Insta local product and group. But let’s give them some tips after they’d done that marketing locally, how do they cultivate after you’ve gotten in that sphere of the core group and you start getting attention, how do you cultivate those relationships?

Christine T.: So that’s another reason why I stick with that number of eight. Because I tell people pick your core eight but then also have this bigger network. The bigger network is you have a day where you can spend a lot of time networking with everybody. Fantastic. If all you can do is just talk to eight people three or four times a week quickly on Instagram, that’s awesome. It will start helping you show up and be seen in front of more and more people. And the hashtag thing is another huge thing. A lot of times it’s tempting to use a hashtag that’s being used 20 or 30 million times, you’re never going to be seen. But if you look for these local hashtags, so a venue space is a great example. You might post something about a venue and use a local hashtag and you might be found three months later.

It’s like SEO where it has that longer term impact. It’s long tail impact to it, but your chances of being seen when you use hashtags that are used only 10 or 20,000 times are so much higher. So looking for what are other hashtags that people are using. Also by doing this is how I found out about local events coming up.

Rachel Brenke: Oh, that’s a good one.

Christine T.: Like a craft show that happened on a Saturday that I could go to or a marketing event, like a social happy hour type of thing. It wouldn’t have even come across my radar otherwise, but since one of the people in my core group of eight people that I really diligently follow posted about it, I was like, “Oh hey, she’s going to be there. I really want to connect with her.” And again, don’t be a creepy stalker. I’m not a lawyer but Rachel is, but she’s not your lawyer. But both of us can tell you don’t be a creepy stalker.

If you see that this public event is happening, public, go, show up, get to know the people that are there, connect with them in person. I think a lot of people that are entrepreneurs can be introverts at time. So it’s tempting to just stay behind the screen or we’re busy running businesses. So it’s really tempting. Like I’m just going to run my business head down. That’s all I have time for. But you need a network, there’s so much truth to that statement of your network is your net worth. And as I started putting all this together and doing research over the past year, I realized that for so many of us, we use Instagram to connect with our peers.

So people that are doing the same thing that we’re doing all over the world, but they’re never going to be our clients. That’s not who’s ever going to call me to hire me. Who’s going to be my client as somebody in the local market. That’s who I need to be talking to. That’s who I need to be getting in front of. So we already know everything we do on Instagram tells the Instagram algorithm something and if all the people that you are posting on their post or liking or even looking at their post are people that are global Instagram is cutting back on how many local people it’s showing your stuff to.

Rachel Brenke: Well, it’s interesting I want to share kind of my own experience with this. It’s the local chamber of commerce is also a good one. Again, it depends on where you live. Some are good, some are bad, some that have their own positives, negatives may not suit your business. But last year when I first got the info for chamber of commerce, when I looked at like the levels of membership to buy in, I was like, “Oh well he doesn’t do X number of Facebook blasts. It doesn’t include putting in the directory. It doesn’t include doing like a ribbon cutting.” And I was so focused on those things but I was like you know what? I’m just going to sign up anyways. I’ll go to a couple events.

Let me tell you, every single time I’ve gone to an event, I’ve walked away with a client. And I say that humbly, but it shows you the touch points in creating relationships and at a minimum I had one client out of every event. Now on the flip side, that also can be a drawback too. I know that when I go to an event, I’m going to end up with additional clients. I may be too busy to take on additional ones, but it all depends, but it’s good to know. And so my whole perspective now that the next year of our chamber of commerce, what’s it called? Referral. No, I’m sorry, renewal. That’s the word.

The renewal, my assistant’s like, “Oh look at this, you get this now on Facebook.” I’m like, “I don’t care about any of that really. I mean it’s great that’s included but which events can I go to? Which tiers? Who can I really reach out and touch?” Because I know they were also promoting, oh, you get to go to this with this senator and that. I was like, “Senator is not my potential client.” Maybe I could go for educational purposes, but the senator is not going to become my client.

Christine T.: Right. It’s so important to just be really aware of who’s my potential client and where are they hanging out at, how do I meet them? And I mentioned commenting on these people’s posts and you made me think of something with what you were just saying about those in person events. When you comment on that post, say something truly genuine. I went to your restaurant, I love this food or I’ve been to your shop and I bought some stuff. Whatever it is that you’re going to say, say something genuine, not just her nice post. Because those things just, they look like bots and-

Rachel Brenke: Don’t use bots.

Christine T.: And don’t use bots. And I don’t even, especially for that core peep group of people, your business adjacent people, initially, I don’t feel you can even outsource that work. I’m all for outsourcing, but I feel like those have to be truly genuine connections. They have to be connections where you’re like, I’m the business owner and I want to talk to the business owner. I was at an event Saturday night and somehow managed to talk to the owner of the venue, which was fantastic because there are some ways that I’m already thinking of that we could work together. Right away he was talking about how they have a new restaurant opening next door.

And I was thinking to myself, “Oh, if I gathered a bunch of people together in this space when they were first opening that would help them out.” He would probably let me make a reservation for 30 or 40 people to show up so that he got his … like we can give and take. I can say because I’m so involved in the Houston photography community, I can say, “Hey can I bring 40 photographers here? Can I make an arrangement with you for that? Can I help 40 people see your business venue?”

Rachel Brenke: One thing I wanted to mention here for those that are listening that you may have felt paralyzed or blocked from entertaining marketing locally. We’re talking about grounding this in Instagram, in social media and blogging. But getting out there obviously it’s really what you need to do to get the real touch points for your local people. But don’t feel like you have to walk into a room and have a killer elevator pitch. You can make fun conversation, normal friendly conversation, exchange business cards and follow up via email afterwards.

Christine T.: Exactly. I collected four or five business cards Saturday night. It wasn’t actually a networking event of it. It was not that sort of event but I managed to just, I was talking to people and they were like, wait, let me go get my card for you. And so today I’m going to sit down this afternoon and write those people and just connect with them. And I’m not going to pitch anything to them. I’m just going to say, “It was great meeting you. I enjoyed talking to you about this thing.” Whatever it was that we talked about.

Rachel Brenke: Which I’m glad you mentioned that. Make sure you’re not copying and pasting the exact same email to everyone. That’s one of the things I meet tons of people when I go to conferences, but the emails that stand out to me are ones that remind me who they were, what we talked about, and really what they’re after or what the next steps for our relationship is.

Christine T.: Well, and that’s my secret tip I believe in, I have my own photo on my business cards so that when I hand my business card to somebody later on and they look at that business card, they’re going to remember who gave them that business card. They’re not going to sit back later and go, “Gosh, where did I get this card from?”

Rachel Brenke: Who was that?

Christine T.: Who was that person? For some people it’s a matter of like have two sets of business cards, but one is the business cards that you hand to other business owners that you want to be networking with. And again, it’s not making a pitch to people. It’s just a genuine, “Hey, it was good meeting you. I enjoyed that. Let’s keep in touch.” But how often do we say, “Oh my God, I love meeting you. Let’s keep in touch.” And then you don’t talk to that person again until-

Rachel Brenke: Til the next networking event next year.

Christine T.: Right. A year later. Okay, now let’s just, you met somebody and they’re interesting and you had a good connection. Go start following them and just make a note three times a week. Show up and make a comment on their Instagram account. Just show up and talk to them like a human.

Rachel Brenke: Feel like a human.

Christine T.: Like a human. As a human not as your business.

Rachel Brenke: As a human.

Christine T.: That’s a struggle though, right? Because I built a business around what I’m passionate about. So I am my business, but sometimes I need to go back to just being me.

Rachel Brenke: And actually let’s talk about that for a second. Because that’s something that I struggle with. And I use the term struggle loosely. So stick with me on this guys. I have built such a personal brand much like you, that when people come, they want me and like my other associates are not a good replacement. They want me. So how should somebody that is perhaps running a business similar but doesn’t want to have to be committed to go into every personal event themselves or to have to be on the hook every time with a client simply because we only have 24 hours in a day and you need to scale. Not because you’re too good for it or don’t want to. I guess my question is how should you and I guide people on that, Christine? Because I still feel like it’s a dance for myself.

Christine T.: I think for the most part it’s a matter of empowerment. Here’s where I go back to. The first one agency I worked at like went under in a blaze of glory and the [inaudible 00:24:28].

Rachel Brenke: I don’t know about it it was actually [inaudible 00:24:28].

Christine T.: Early 2000. So the second web agency that I was working for I originally had on the sidebar of my blog because I was already blogging. Had on my sidebar that I worked for that agency and the company owner came to me and he said, “I want you to take that down.” Because he felt that I was impacting their Google results. If you search for the company name my website came up probably even higher than theirs did. So he did not empower me to speak about the company. So I wasn’t allowed to use the name of the company that I worked for on anything I did.

And I fought him on this. I was like, “This is silly, why don’t you want me to do this?” A couple of months later we received a RFPA request for proposal from SeaWorld. And the reason that the woman had reached out was because she was a longtime reader of my personal blog. She loved my blog’s design aesthetic and she figured if I worked at a web agency it must be a cool agency based on my blog. So that’s the whole reason why we got the inquiry. Now we didn’t win the job because part of what they needed was out of the scope of services we even offered, they really needed like an advertising company because they needed all sorts of like film commercials created and stuff. And that was just out of the scope of what we offered.

But it was so eyeopening for me that she had connected with me on a personal level that after she got home from work, she was reading my personal blog. But that made her pitch me to the team of, “Hey, we need to reach out to this woman about the agency she’s at.” So, of course after that my boss came to me and was like, “Hey, put the company name everywhere.” But I think a lot of times we don’t necessarily empower. Like in your associates could probably be going out there saying this is who I work for. They can be seen up and also be representatives of the brand.

Rachel Brenke: And we’ve kind of been doing it like a funnel. Like I’m the face that goes out and does the majority of the client development and procuring and then like I’ll be a part of the initial first call, and I still to [inaudible 00:27:07] a little different I guess with legal stuff because I’m essentially the broker or the managing partner, I have to still check on all their work, but they do majority of the work then. And these are for those that aren’t directly from my clients, but the associates take it on and then at the tail end I come in to make sure everything is all good. So I throw that out there hoping maybe that helps some people who may be struggling with this.

Christine T.: I’ve never considered it from that angle but that’s really the workflow that we did at the web agency. I talked to them at the start, I talked to them about their digital strategy. It was effectively the sales person. So I was the reason why they were buying. I was the person that they were connecting with. They love talking to me. They really wanted to work with me, but I wasn’t their project manager. I wasn’t the one doing the design. I wasn’t the one doing the programming, so we had to transition them from me to the person that was … the project manager. Like you said, I would be in the first call and I would hype up the project manager and what an expert they were and how awesome they were and then I would back out. But I would still occasionally check in. I’d let them know that I wasn’t just running off.

And then we had a closing meeting normally for end of the project where I was back on it so that we could go over this strategy I proposed, had we hit all the targets? Had we met all the goals and were they still happy?

Rachel Brenke: And by the way, the reason I’m having Christine and I to flesh out this after the whole like sale or engagement or whatever is because that’s still part of marketing.

Christine T.: It is.

Rachel Brenke: You can inject yourself or your brand, whatever messaging that you’re putting out there and carrying that experience through, then those clients become the on the ground marketers for you.

Christine T.: All right, great. I’m thinking about like I met the owner of our air conditioning company. It’s very critical company in my life living in Houston. I met the owner of the owner of the air conditioning and so that’s who I connect with and that’s where I bonded and that’s why I trusted his company. But I also know he’s not the person that’s showing up on Friday to do the work on my air conditioning unit or my heating unit or whatever it is. He’s probably not the person that’s going to show up, but it’s still really good practice like if he shows up later on and says, “How did it go.”

Because we can still have a service business and have 20 employees, 50 employees under us, and it’s still just a local, I shouldn’t say just. It’s still a local business, we’re not traveling across the world or we’re not even traveling across the state we are just in this local market where we’re working.

Rachel Brenke: And you know what’s interesting and perhaps we should have started the conversation in the very beginning with this. I think sometimes it’s easy for entrepreneurs to get frustrated with marketing locally. A, because we already mentioned there’s so much education that’s about like across the world, across the web type of marketing. But they also are thinking it’s a finite set of clients or customers. It is but you guys have heard me talk about in other episodes, imagine the client avatar, having a good solid USP. And I think a big importance within that, the framework, you have to realize you have to have a certain sized pond of fish from and the smaller the pond, the quicker and easier you can catch those fish. So don’t be discouraged if you’re having to market locally, whether you’re in a small town or massive big town that’s still smaller than trying to throw a net out onto the big inter web.

Christine T.: Well, an awesome example, I’m in Houston, it is the fourth largest city in the nation, in the United States. But the city is also 600 square miles. It’s massive. When I used to live on the Northwest side of town, I didn’t market at all to the Southeast side of town because that would have been like an hour to an hour and a half drive for me. I didn’t want to drive that far. And part of why we moved to the neighborhood that we are in now and when we moved to The Heights was because this was the majority of the venues I was working at were nearby. The majority of my clients were booking those venues and that was where I wanted to be.

Now once I hit the point where I couldn’t serve all the inquiries that were coming in that wanted to book, I might bring on an associate that’s out on the west side of town and have her serve that market under our brand. I might have somebody on the south side of town who serves that market under my brand. So there are so many different ways to run a business, whether solo or you have employees or you have hundreds of employees. All of them are valid options. You have to know what your goal is. How many is such an important number I don’t feel like enough people talk about it. Because initially when we’re marketing, we’re just I want everyone [crosstalk 00:32:36].

Rachel Brenke: [inaudible 00:32:37] people no or cut someone off.

Christine T.: Right. But when I actually, weddings is great example, I only wanted to book 25 a year because that means I get … I want 26 a year because then I get 26 weekends off. So I wanted like 26 a year. I didn’t want or need everyone to look at me. That’s actually one of the first things I have people do in my course is to figure out their monetary goal and their number of client goal because that dictates how big of a pond do you need. If you only need or want 200 customers a year, 300 customers a year, you don’t need 10,000 people to see you necessarily to get that. So think about what that goal is and how do you get in front of the right people. How many followers you have as such it’s a vanity metric.

Rachel Brenke: I’m glad you mentioned that because I was going to say that earlier and actually I think Christine and I we went toe to toe on Facebook and I actually have done a video on this like last week. If you guys don’t know, Christine and I are fairly good friends. We travel a lot together when we do speaking stuff and we went to-

Christine T.: We easily go toe to toe together. People probably think that we’re fighting and we’re just actually like we’re hashing it out but not fighting. We’re just like talking through it because I think that’s how we both process it.

Rachel Brenke: Yes. And Christine’s one of those people that you just heard it. Vanity metrics, don’t need to worry about the numbers. And I agree, but to a point, I do think that there’s an element in this day and age where it is what it is. It’s social proof. Having numbers of followers is important. Now let me stop you guys right here.

Christine T.: And I agree. I agree from the social proof perspective.

Rachel Brenke: Okay. All right. I’m going to go into it here in a second, but by the way, do not run and go buy followers because it’s going to skew your algorithms, you might lose your accounts. It’s not worth anything. What Christine and I ended up getting into the other day, and this is actually perfect for this marketing locally stuff. There was like this viral copy paste, put this on your personal page so people will go follow your business page, invite them to do this, invite them to do that. And Christine’s position was, oh, this is bad for marketing. You’re not going to get the people everything that she was just talking about.

Christine T.: I ended up getting invited to like a car dealership in Ohio. Invited to like a hair salon in Eastern Washington. I was just invited to like something else that was like a local business in New Jersey. And my position was, what the viral posts was that was going around was invite all your friends and then tell them to invite all of their Facebook friends. Well, that’s fantastic if all of their Facebook friends are just local, but I don’t need to be invited to like somebody’s business page in Ohio. I will never ever-

Rachel Brenke: And that for marketing locally, this is where the big thing was. We ended up realizing we were kind of talking past each other. We were both getting down to the sentiment of yes, call to action. Invite people to like your page because you never know when they’re going to need a car they’re going to need a lawyer, et cetera. But what Christine just said, if you are a local on paraphrasing, this is what I gleaned from what you just said. If you are a local based business, obviously you’re listening to this podcast, you’re looking how to market locally. You don’t necessarily need someone inviting their great aunt Sally in Seattle when you’re living in Washington DC, I’m doing business in Washington DC.

Christine T.: Right. And I feel it and my comment was actually pretty specific to Facebook, but Instagram is owned by Facebook. So we don’t know how much of the team is going back and forth. But I feel like if you’re a locally based business, but you have 5,000 followers that are all over the globe, I feel that Facebook does not reward you for that. Because they’re not the followers that are actually going to become buyers. And having somebody like your page but then never engage with your page. So let’s say I had liked the car dealership in Ohio, but I’m never going to go back and engage with their page ever again. What? So they’ve got a [inaudible 00:37:16] on cars this Saturday as a model year end blowout. Cool. I’m not going to Ohio for it.

Rachel Brenke: And I think the key thing, the takeaway of this to integrate into marketing locally is going back to your sales copy. And copy is not just the selling portion, is to creating of, the connection authenticity, but reinforcing over and over. If you’re a local based business, what do you need to be sharing in that info? Where you’re locally based.

Christine T.: Right. A lot of times I don’t see it, I don’t see it on websites [crosstalk 00:37:55]. Business Bites is not a local business.

Rachel Brenke: No.

Christine T.: My course Insta local. That’s not a local business. So I’ve actually had somebody come back to me and say, “Well Christine, you’re teaching this but your Instagram account is doing this.” And I said, “Yes because I sell something that is a global commodity not local focused.” Now I do have a second business that is local focused. And so these are the tactics that I use on that local focus business. And more importantly the thing I’ve tested. I’ve been effectively testing it for 20 years. Or as new platforms come up, like I test this stuff before I teach it. I don’t just pop up an idea. I have other people test things, not just myself.

Rachel Brenke: And the thing with that is it’s hard to remember every time you go to write something, if you’re trying to locally target, your location, who you’re talking to and what your unique selling proposition. That’s a great formula. Many times, and I am guilty of this, I’m like, I don’t want to say the same thing over and over guess what though? You’re the only person that’s seeing it over and over because you’re the one writing it. Not everyone else is sitting with rapt attention on their Instagram or Facebook feed waiting to see what you’re going to post. There’s a chance that they’re not going to see half, if that of what you post

Christine T.: And if your business has core foundational messages, this is another thing they actually teach in the classes. I have people create a manifesto for their business. So like what are the things that you as a business stand for, whether if you have a team working with you or if it’s just you solo. Either way what do you stand for? Because then you can go back and look at that and be like, oh, I stand for this, I’m going to talk about this today. Stand for that I’m going to talk about that today. Because I feel like if you don’t know those things, that also leads to feeling like you’re repeating yourself.

But if you have 10 items on your manifesto and you spread out talking about those over the weeks. Each time you talk about the same thing if you’re truly passionate in something, if you truly, truly believe in it, you’re still going to present it a little differently each time. They’re going to hear you differently or maybe they weren’t ready to hear you the first time you posted it, but now they are.

Rachel Brenke: And that’s okay too. Everyone in your audience, your potential customers locally or online even are all in a different phase. Thinking of it also like touchpoints. Are they on touch point number one with you or touch point number seven or 10

Christine T.: Right.

Rachel Brenke: They’re going to have a different mindset.

Christine T.: They’re going to have a different mindset. Or if they just had something go wrong the day before where now they need help, maybe they didn’t need help at first. But now they do.

Rachel Brenke: And I’m one of those feels that that’s like that. I feel like the majority of people that come to us in a reactionary standpoint and so it can become frustrating for me. I’ve been putting out podcasts and I’ve been putting out this for a year. Why didn’t we proactive? But sometimes, especially in something like this, people just don’t know or they just can’t get their head around, they have a block or whatever. And so their approach when they come in the door and how I respond to them is going to different. And I just have to remember they haven’t seen the 104 podcasts that I’ve already recorded. [inaudible 00:41:40] blank slate.

And I think it really takes some intuition and I have to consciously remind myself of that with clients. So I will always ask them, what do you know about me? What do you know about my business and what do you know about this type of law? And it gives me a good starting point so that I’m not talking over them or under them either.

Christine T.: Right. Because I’ve had that happen where I start to tell somebody something and they’re like, “Oh we already saw that.” A great lesson I learned, I write much like I speak. And I tell people, I said, “If there’s something that you talk about in every single sales meeting that you have, that should be a blog post and Instagram posts and Facebook posts, et cetera, but you should put it out there, you should put it on your website.” And for some people that hesitation is, well then it won’t be fresh and new to my potential client when I do say it to them in the meeting. And I’m like, you know what? That’s okay. Because there’s actually a psychological benefit to that.

When they hear it, they’re like, oh my God, I’m so smart. I’m in the know because I already knew that. You’re actually giving them a chance to be the hero. So it’s okay. It’s okay if they hear you say it seven times, it’s okay. Because then they get to feel really super cool because they knew that.

Rachel Brenke: So let’s do a recap on this. We’ve kind of gone through the life cycle of marketing locally, online to in-person, getting that core group interacting with them. Micro blogging, actual blogging, SEO, interacting, going into in-person stuff, doing follow ups.

Christine T.: Yep. Oh, I got to do follow ups. Yes.

Rachel Brenke: Do follow up. And then also making sure that you always inject in your marketing, your unique selling proposition. Make sure it’s phrased who you’re trying to talk to and also your location. Location is so super important. And by the way, when we say location, like things like on Instagram, and maybe Christine should throw this to you, is putting the location like at the top where it says add location, is that enough or should I be putting it in my caption?

Christine T.: I feel like location at the top helps, but then use location specific hashtags. Like not necessarily. So Rachel and I went to Austin together. Yes it’s cool if you put Austin in the caption but then I would also put like some Austin specific hashtags or in my case Houston specific hashtags. Caveat to that hashtag thing though. Let’s say you’re a business owner in Houston with me. Let’s say you are me and I’ve got a Houston business, but now I want to open a location up in Chicago, but everything I’m posting is so like a Houston related photo. Maybe one of my photos is the Houston skyline.

If I put a bunch of Chicago hashtags on that, Instagram is smart. It knows what’s in your photo. Instagram would not reward me for that behavior. That posts is not going to get the reach to the Chicago audience that I’m desiring. Be careful using just random hashtags. If I’m posting about something in Houston and using Houston hashtags, the photo should be something in Houston. It shouldn’t be my trip to Austin with a bunch of Houston hashtags on it.

Rachel Brenke: It’s so funny because just look at the way that technology has changed with iPhone recognizes when there’s a dog in the photo and all of that. All of the websites and social media platforms are doing that.

Christine T.: They’re smart and it’s just getting smarter by the day. So you trying to like gain the system, I’m going to put a bunch-

Rachel Brenke: Not going to work.

Christine T.: It’s not going to work. And that’s really what the algorithm is. The algorithm is truly rewarding the behavior that the platform wants. So that’s where you get kind of smacked down by Instagram. Oh, you’ve put a bunch of hashtags on this that are for Chicago, that’s a picture of the Houston skyline it makes no sense to me so I’m not going to show it to people.

Rachel Brenke: You know what’s funny about this episode as like a quick recap here. I feel like we talked about a lot of stuff for the last like 45 minutes. On the surface very common sense, but when Christine and I work with clients or even within ourselves, it’s not being played out like it’s common sense. It’s being ignored or done wrong like this hashtag thing that Christine’s talking about. So I really, really encourage you guys to take this episode, re-listen to it. We’ll have the outline, we’ll have notes at rachelbrenke.com/epi104.

And I also really encourage you guys to check out Christine’s stuff. She is one of the most trusted people that I go to when I have questions for stuff and marketing locally is so important. And even if you’re an online based business, guess what? Online is still including in your local area, gets to know your local people too. You can’t just sit behind a computer all the time. You will leverage networks so much more by being in person. And so yeah. Christine, do you have like one last killer and parting tip that you want to leave with them today?

Christine T.: Yeah, I’m actually going to point right back at what you just said because I’ve watched people in my Houston market grow their businesses globally. People that sell products because it started though with the local market. They started talking to the people locally and they became friends with people and people really liked them and then those people became their super fans became their advocates, their champions and spread the word for them. So yeah, take advantage of getting to know the peoples that are local to you no matter what you’re doing.

Rachel Brenke: I love it. Well Christine, thank you so much for this, guys make sure you dig into the Business Bites Facebook group. We will also have Christine in there. You guys can talk about this, bring other tips to the table or what’s worked for you, questions you have and I will see you guys next time.

Sponsored by Big Picture CPA

Featured Guest & Resources

Christine Tremoulet has been a professional photographer since 2007. She hit her goal within the first year of business bringing in 6 figures, and sustained it every year after, thanks to using the power of blogging and social media to share her story and connect with her ideal clients. Based on her business growth experience and through working as a coach with other photographers, she has developed & tested the InstaLocal™ strategy to help others create connections that lead to conversations & clients.

When she is not home with her family and their two cats in Houston, Texas, Christine can often be found on road trip adventures in her Mini Cooper. With photography clients across the country, she has driven solo to 48 states & 4 Canadian Provinces … so far. Her lifelist goal is to visit all of the National Parks across the USA.

You can find Christine here:
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Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke

Rachel Brenke

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