Now we get to the bread and butter part of this process, how to insure consistent income in a small community…
In smaller communities, there are several cost effective/free marketing opportunities that can help you generate income; but you must make an effort to find them. Community centers, senior centers, your local grocer, your local convention and visitors bureau, etc. are all excellent locations for marketing. I use them all, with varying degrees of success. There are two keys for making them work for you:
- consistency- you must visit and/or participate in the activities of your local community center(s) and convention and visitor’s bureau, chamber of commerce, etc. Do not just sign up…be an active member. I am an active member of our local Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). Our Chamber/CVB has an annual festival that I have participated in (as a volunteer) for the past 10 years. This membership (and volunteer effort) gets my name out to the business community at very little cost.
- commitment: you must include local marketing into your daily routine. I contact local customers weekly (some daily). I treat every minute that I am visibly a part of my community as a potential “marketing opportunity”. Example, in my community, I make it a habit to visit the local grocer 4-5 times a week. The result is that thirty percent (30%) of all new, local business comes from conversations I engage in while simply shopping for groceries.
Volunteering is not a dirty word. I volunteer at a local community center that helps with food, clothing and emergency shelter. Forty five (45%) percent of my local business comes from contacts made from this activity. So, if you are doing the math, seventy five percent (75%) of my local business comes from just making myself a very visible part of my community. Great stuff, huh?!?