Stop following gurus, think for yourself

I was talking to somebody recently who was trying to market a small, local service business. Doesn’t matter the niche, but point is that she wanted to attract local people to pay for a service.

Thing is… like a lot of people in this phase of business, she wondered how to promote it. How do you get the message out there?

She had thoughts of blogging.

Of starting up a Facebook page and trying to get “likes” to it.

And, I get it. It clearly works for some people. People like me, perhaps. But…

It is entirely the wrong fit for a local service business.

She doesn’t need fans. She doesn’t need an audience. She just needs customers.

For her, messin’ around with a Facebook page or a Facebook group would be about as targeted  (in terms of marketing) as one of those people who sit on the side of a road spinning a sign in circles and dancing to try to get attention. Almost every single driver on that road isn’t the right target market. If they look, it is just because they think the person looks funny sitting there doing the dirty dancing on the side of the road, or wearing a dumb costume. 🙂

Don’t blindly follow the “gurus”. You simply have to think for yourself.

Not all marketing applies the same to every idea.

A small, local service business needs a blog. However, they shouldn’t be using that blog like a “blogger” does. The content is there to bridge the gap between the prospect’s current awareness and being aware of YOUR solution. We can talk more about that later.

In terms of promotion, you need to apply some common sense.

For a local business, I’d be using Craigslist. Facebook MarketPlace. Maybe even NextDoor.

Perhaps some Facebook ads or Google ads for your local geographic area.

I wouldn’t send people, necessarily, just to a phone number or a blind contact form. You want people to communicate to you, but you need to bridge the gap between where they’re at and where you’re at. Just giving people a phone number is often too big a jump and will only apply if they’re ready to hire.

So, perhaps, use blog content (again, engineered for its intended purpose). Offer up a lead magnet suitable for your service business. There’s lots of ideas there.

but, again…

What you DON’T do is start trying to do what normal “blogging gurus” teach, OK? You’re not a blogger. You have a local service business. Things need to be done differently.

And, just on a general basis…

Don’t blindly follow a guru. You have to think for yourself. Not everything a guru says is going to apply across the board for everybody. Not only that, gurus sometimes say stuff that worked in some cases, but doesn’t work in others. And they won’t always tell you that.

It starts with putting yourself into the mindset of your potential target customer.

Then, working backwards with them in mind.

– David