My Advice to Local Businesses – What I learned in 2021

This blog post informs other local businesses and fellow content creators on what I learned in 2021, business and marketing-wise. I have studied some of the trends I have mentioned over the past few years. Take this with a grand of salt, and remember, what I will list, worked for me; what I did that work may not work for you; keep that in mind. I also learned quite a bit from my marketing and business classes last semester. Below are five main things I learned – and recommend others to do this year.

Comunity Over Competition

I know in the blogging/influencer community, there are quite a few of us that look at our colleagues and assume they are enemies/competition when that isn’t the case at all. Competition is far from the truth. When you’re in business, but your business is in a local community; Plus, building a community and connections is way healthier than viewing others as enemies or competition. Deep down, when it comes to this phrase, it is putting relationships and customers first. I often see the business owners or influencers stress about their “competition” even to the point that they lose sight of their mission or vision for their business/brand. It isn’t to suggest that we should not serve others well, but to let go of the feeling that your business isn’t “doing enough” or isn’t “as great” as the next business like yours. Stop stressing, and focus on what matters in the now.

Listen to Customer Feedback / Pay Attention to Analytics

This piece of advice may seem like a given, but I mean – dig deeper. Take reviews seriously, conduct frequent surveys about what your customers and target audience want to see, or just general feedback surveys. Survey Monkey (not sponsored) is a great way to conduct affordable-free surveys! I recommend using their service before any others for your first time.

Use Social Media to Advertise and Connect

Social media is a free way to boost one’s business or gain attraction and customers. With the changing technology and increased use of social media, it is wise to get involved and create pages on various social media sites. Tiktok is great for small businesses that can ship out products but not necessarily great for local businesses that can’t or don’t have anything to ship out. Instead, local businesses such as bakeries or services can use Instagram or Facebook to grow their business. Also, look into collaborating with creators such as bloggers or influencers to help spread the word of your business and help your pages and business grow! A lot of good advertising consists of “word-of-mouth” marketing, so ultimately, if you can get people talking about your product, business, or brand, it will pay off and help you get even more noticed!

Recently, Kentucky has ranked one of the top states for “staying connected” on social media and the web. The top five sites: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and TikTok (Sophy, 2020). If it were me, this is what kind of businesses should have what:

  • Eateries/Resturaunts – Facebook and Instagram
  • Jewelry/Accessories/Clothing – Facebook, Instagram, TikTok
  • Local Goods – Instagram and Facebook
  • Event Venues – All of the above except, Snapchat

I could keep going, but I’ll stop there for now in this blog post. It is also worth noting that local groups on Facebook also have set days for local businesses to advertise; see if there are any in your area!

Show Your Face / Show Off Employees

When you show more of the “behind the scenes,” it gives off a vibe and sense of community to attract more customers. Showing off your employees and even showing your (the owner’s) face on social media can also help create a sense of identity for your brand.

Post Consistently

Post consistently. It helps create a community within the customer base and shows your commitment to your brand. It is also easier for a business or someone to grow on social media if they post consistently. I also suggest not being chaotic with posts but staying authentic and true to yourself and your brand/business. Many customers/followers enjoy seeing posts that are packed with value; keep that in mind.

According to Auburn Advertising, “Post on social media every day. Organic reach, which is the number of people you reach without paying to boost an advertisement or post, can reach only a certain amount of people. Each time you post is another opportunity to reach your audience. Posting each day strategically and consistently maximizes your organic reach (Payne, 2020).

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Final Thoughts

And with those tips, I wish you good luck! If you would like to talk more about any of the advice I mentioned above, please email me at caitie@lifewithcaitie.com, and I will be happy to discuss any of the topics said more! This is a subject I am very passionate about, and I genuinely hope the advice helps your business or brand in some way! I suggest watching Vanessa Lau on YouTube for more tips like these, as I learned so much from her! I adore her passion and energy! Also, don’t forget to follow my Instagram and subscribe to the blog to stay updated on all things Kentucky and local – if you like to learn more about local living in Kentucky. This year in 2022, I will be focusing more on living local! If you don’t already know, my motto is, “don’t just support local, live local,” and I hope to encourage others to do the same this year! Stay tuned to my Instagram stories for updates and more!

Sources (APA7):

Joshua Sophy. (2020, July 11). Kentucky ranks as the most connected state on social media. Small Business Trends. https://smallbiztrends.com/2020/07/socially-connected-states-teneo-survey.html#:~:text=Kentucky.,LinkedIn%2C%20Snapchat%2C%20and%20TikTok.

Payne, L. (2020, December 30). The importance of consistency in social media marketing. A Service of Inner Spark Creative. https://www.auburnadvertising.com/articles/86-the-importance-of-consistency-in-social-media-marketing

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