It’s 1952. You’ve just opened your business in the downtown of your city. You get your space, put out your sign and wait for the flow of people to walk in. Guess what, people came in and you were a very happy person … as long as you had quality service, friendly staff and competitive prices. Life was good.
On occasion Sheriff Taylor or his deputy, Barney Fife, would walk in and say Hi, giving you and your customers additional peace of mind.
No matter what your business, the owner needs to come across as the area expert in that area. How can YOU be that? It is both easier and much harder in 2012 than it was in 1952.
In 1952 you used the local newspaper which was the dominant form of media in your community. You dropped by the local AM radio station as well and attempted to appear on the popular shows being broadcast to your community. Then you had your nice downtown office where people walked right in to see you.
In 2012 there is a tremendous amount of additional media sources and ways to impact customers and potential customers. Are you using these media opportunities to make an impact in your community?
Newspapers are not dead but they don’t have the impact, especially locally, like they used to. However, some newspapers have been able to create a web presence which is being used by the public. There are even “local” web based community newspapers which get local exposure.
Finding out what your options are and reaching out to the writers and editors is critical. This will not create instant success, but over time they may reach out to you to help them with a story. Not only does that create exposure for you but helps set you up as the area specialist in your field in your community.
Instead of one or two AM radio stations, now there are many AM & FM stations of all types of formats. Know your stations and local hosts and discover how you can help them help you. Local news/talk stations always need topics and guests. Morning shows and some afternoon shows will need guests as well. Some stations have midday news or farm shows where your specific expertise could be used. Introduce yourself to the producers and the hosts and establish yourself as an expert.
Think you are too little for TV? Nope. Many local TV stations have the need for guests on their morning news shows which wrap around the GMA’s and Today Shows. Watch or tape them on your DVR and see what they need on local segments. I’m not from Omaha, however, last summer when visiting I was a guest on local TV talking about the 3in4 Need More Campaign.
(see here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZqtPcw4U_4)
Contact the local producer and see how you can get on TV. Then use these appearances for your in house promotion. If you have the talent you can even host your own “show” on cable access or even buy a half hour or hour on local radio or TV.
Don’t forget the new media as well. Do you have a website? Does it have good content? How about your own “app”? What do your emails look like? Your email signature should convey a strong message. Include a photo, contact information, links to your website, etc.
You are a brand. Use your brand to tell the public that you are the specialist in your field. Really doesn’t matter if you are a Long Term Care Specialist or a specialist in something else. You need to look like you know what you are doing. Everything from the voicemail message on your phone lines to your letterhead should send a strong message. Then act like the specialist that you know you are.