Wednesday 1 October 2014

Shop local is more than a slogan - it's my ethos!


How can I establish links to my local community?

How can I use my local knowledge to network my services around my local community?

How can I let my local community into my business?

These are questions that have been occupying my brain today. I want to use the fact that I live in the town I'll be operating in to develop links to the local community and to promote my business. I want to let people know that the money I earn from selling their homes will stay in their local community and will be (mostly) spent in other local businesses rather than leave the town for companies registered elsewhere. I want to share the importance of local businesses with other businesses and the local community. I want the community to see my work, share in my passion and give me their instructions.

So, where to start?

I'm thinking of several ways of creating this feeling and way of working-

My website
I'm looking at adding a local community page to my website, and it will take one of two forms. Either a space for other local-owned, local-operated companies to be able to put their details on the site - hyperlink, ethos, local credentials, etc.  Or a community notice board for messages, local events, etc. my concern about the latter is that it would take some managing, and could become a forum for abuse or trolling.

Networking clubs
These are popular in many areas, but I don't know offhand whether there is one in my town. As I will be operating solely in one town, it feels pointless to go any further.

Blog on the local market
I'm thinking of adding to my existing blog portfolio by blogging on news and views of the local town. I think that people who live, or are thinking of living, in the area will find this useful and informative. It will establish my voice as an authority in the local market and mean that I will be the 'go-to-guy' when peoe want some knowledge or information about our housing market.

Links to local schools/charities/clubs/associations
I've long thought of this as a way to establish your credentials in a community and to build your business. My main ethos would be to operate a payd referral scheme. So I'd agree a project that the organisation wanted funding. For example, the local rugby club may want to invest in new goalposts at a cost of £1000. For every person who sells a house with me via a referral from the rugby club I'll donate a fee to the club, say £50. At this rate, after 20 referrals from the rugby club, their new goalposts would be paid for, courtesy of your friendly local estate agents!

A webcam in my home office
I think that if people can see me at work, can see where I operate from, can see what I'm doing, then they will see into my ethics and buy into me and my business.

Use my local base in my marketing
I will make sure that my website underlines the fact that I live locally and shop locally. It will explain why I think it's important and why I think peoe should support the principle.

Books on shopping and shop local from Amazon

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