How to attract more local business – 10 steps

OK so I was on a call with a new 1:1 client yesterday, a garden designer, who has just set up her business in the past few months and she’s keen to get new business just from her local area which is understandable. She doesn’t want to travel too far and wants the freedom of having her own business – fab! I thought this would make an awesome blog post particularly as I get asked this question a fair bit in different ways. So, here’s how to attract more local business in 10 steps.

If you’re a business that only wants to serve a particular area say for example you have a physical fixed abode like a beauty salon or an estate agent or a lawyer with an office where you receive clients, then this is the blog you need in your life.

If you’re in my The Visible Vibes community you’ll know that I LOVE the phrase “keep it simple” and with attracting local business it’s no different. It can be really easy to overthink things, to try and reinvent the wheel, to think that everyone else is doing the same things but guess what? We’re all unique, and even if I taught exactly the same thing to 10 people let alone thousands that I have taught, they will take something different from what I’ve shared and implement it in their own unique way. And I love that! So grab a drink and have a read on how you can attract more local business. Ready? Let’s go!

1. Get your business on the map

First things first, you need to put your business on the map, quite literally. Get set up on Google My Business for free and you can start getting found in that maps section at the top of Google search results.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Use your Google account to set up a profile on Google My Business
  2. Add the details of your premises in the relevant boxes. Don’t panic if you work from home, you can hide your actual address details from public view.
  3. Google will send you a postcard to verify your business to check you are legit.
  4. You’ll need to enter the code on the postcard to verify your Google My Business account
  5. Start adding images, posts and offers to your Google My Business account to show Google you’re interested in getting more clicks
  6. Request reviews by sharing the link to your Google My Business page so past clients + customers can boost you, and build it into your workflow to request reviews on Google after working with each client + customer

2. Use your words

In order to get in front of more of your potential clients + customers’ eyeballs you need to be showing up in the results of whatever they’re Googling. But how on earth do you know what they are typing into Google to find someone like you? Enter stage right – a brilliant budget-friendly tool called Keywords Everywhere. There are lots of tools that do this but they’re often SO expensive that I’m thrilled to have stumbled across Keywords Everywhere a few years ago and now I tell all my clients + members to use it.

Here’s where you need to start:

  1. Brainstorm all the different ways you describe your services + products
  2. Next add to that list all the different ways your clients + customers describe your products. Don’t know? Ask them!
  3. Then add all the locations you want to target and start making different combined phrases with the list of words. You’ll have a nice growing list by now
  4. Install Keywords Everywhere as a Chrome extension and set up an account. It’s $10USD per 100,000 keywords. Make sure you set your account to the Google in the country you wish to target so you get accurate data
  5. Next, get your list from steps 1 + 2 and one by one, type into Google. You’ll see a “Volume” underneath that will show you the approximate number of people a month searching for that phrase. You want to keep an eye out for high volume (no set number, just the highest volume in your niche) whilst also staying relevant to your business goals. If you go off on a tangent and start trying to target keywords that aren’t relevant to your business, guess what, your efforts aren’t going to pay off.

You can listen to a podcast I’ve done all about “What are my keywords” and you might also want to check out my Smashing the Myths blog on ‘how on earth do I rank for this keyword?”

3. Ready, set, match

Now that you’ve got your nice long list of keyword phrases and how popular they all are, you can start matching your keywords to your pages + blogs. Don’t have enough pages or blogs? Now’s the time to start creating those additional pages + blogs. Say for example you’re a wedding photographer who also offers engagement photography, family photography and portrait photography. You need a page set up per service so you can focus your marketing efforts by service rather than trying to group them all together. You can then have a focus keyword phrase per page from your list. That’s how you’re going to attract those people searching for your type of business. If you’re wondering where and how to add the keywords to your pages + blogs, do check out my podcast on “The Power of Yoast” – a brilliant tool available to certain websites to help you rank your pages + blogs better.

4. Get listed

Of course, the point in having an online presence is so that people will come and look at you, think you’re the cats’ pyjamas and want to book you / buy from you. But it can be hard to get eyes on your website especially when you’re new. So you need other websites to link to you, preferably quality relevant websites that will actually boost your business. You can Google business directories in your local area, you can check out your local press + blogs to have a look at their websites and see how you could get featured / listed / mentioned on their websites. If more well known quality relevant websites link to your website, the better it is for your business and you’ll get noticed more.

You may want to dive into my blog on “Four ways to get more links”

5. Tell Google you exist

Another day, another Google tool. This time you need to tell Google Search Console all about your website so that you have a chance in hell of being listed in the search results when people Google your type of business. When it comes to getting your website listed for FREE so Google can see it and show your fabulous business to more people, you have to hand over a map of your website to one of Google’s free tools – Google Search Console. Download my free guide to tell Google you exist.

6. Build a referral network

If I had a penny for every time I had heard the complaint “Oh but only my peers / friends / mum clicks like on my stuff, never potential customers or clients” oh Rodders I’d be a millionnaire. Use that network of support and ask them to share your stuff. Those keen beans want to support you and what you do, so make the most of it ESPECIALLY if they live near you because this is a blog on how to attract more local business. If you’re feeling like you want to upgrade this process, build a referarl network with people who could send business your way, and vice versa. For example if I send business to a lovely copywriter I know, I get discount off the next time I book her. Do not underestimate the power of a network.

7. Get blogging

You knew it was coming…you need to get blogging. I have a blog on “Do I really need to blog” which lists 65 reasons you need to blog, yes really! Here are my ten favourites

  1. It’s a free way to promote your business
  2. It’s great for building your brand
  3. It gets you noticed
  4. It builds trust in your readers’ minds
  5. It makes you stand out from the crowd
  6. It helps you grow in confidence
  7. It gives you content to use on social media and newsletters
  8. It ensures your latest work is always published
  9. It’s a chance to offer value to your clients
  10. It shows potential clients more in-depth information about the products you sell

So where do you start? Start by choosing a question at a time as a blog topic – what do people ask you about your job? What do you wish they asked you? There are lots of free tools online to get inspired and I’ve shared about them in my blogs on “Finding ideas for content”, “Six things to do with your blog once you’ve hit publish” or listen to my podcast on “How to never run out of content ideas again”

8. Stop tweaking your website

This is a key one, particularly as by the time you get to this point in the blog on how to attract more local business you’re probably thinking ‘gosh there’s a lot to do’. One of the things you can cross of your list is constnatly tweaking your website. I see you there, thinking oh I’ll just go in and tweak so-and-so and before you know it, a whole morning has passed and you haven’t been proactive in your marketing at all and suddenly it’s time for a meeting or a client call. Instead, create a doc (I like Google Sheets) where you have a wishlist of things you want to do next time you’re updating your homepage or one of your service pages. Visit on a quarterly basis by setting a reminder in your calendar (stagger the reminders so you’re not aiming to update every page at once every quarter!) And then you’re not constantly going back on yourself.

9. Talk about your business

I was giving a talk on confidence + motivation to a group yesterday in Croydon and this kept coming up. As a business owner, it’s up to you to carry the vision of the business, to drive it forward and you have that talent already. It’s in you, that’s why you’re here. But to feel it confidently and to keep believing in yourself when frankly the world is telling you to stay small and stay quiet means you will never feel confident until you actually get out of your comfort zone and talk about your business.

By finding people who support me in what I do (and it’s rarely the people I have ever expected it to be), then I feel boosted to continue to grow and evolve. It’s never one and done, but that’s part of the conversation too. I love talking about what I do because I always have my vision in mind – to help as women live as independent lives (whatever that means to them) as possible. And for that reason, my business continues to evolve to work towards that vision.

10. Don’t do it alone

If you’ve got to the end of this list and thought, ok great but I desperately need accountability to actually make this happen, then do come and join us in my The Visible Vibes Community where you gain immediate access to a community of friendly women all learning to be visible. I host live trainings each month and you get access to loads of recorded trainings and resources all to help you feel more confident, be more visible and have a successful business – however that looks like to you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog on how to attract more local business, it’s fun to share knowledge in this way. Do come and tell me on Instagram what your favourite tip is.

I’ll see you soon


Maddy x
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Maddy Shine - Visibility Expert