What is the best way to advertise for a local small business?

Deyder "Eman" Cintron

If you recently started a small business or have been trying to bring in more clients after a few cycles of feast and famine, you may be feeling like a chicken with its head cut off in regards to how to best market your product or service.

You may have already exhausted your efforts with “hope marketing” and are looking for a way to systemize your client acquisition process so you can focus on what you do best.

Ten years ago, there was a time where you could just print out a few flyers and put out a basic website so that people would eventually get to your business, but the internet has now gotten crowded and very competitive.

Online marketing plays a powerful role in the success of small businesses today, especially with a mobile-first world that gets most of what it needs to know from sites like Google or Facebook.

However, the best way to advertise should not be defined by your business, but by your ideal customers.

If you can first and foremost answer the “What’s in if for me?” question that those customers have, you’ll have them as raving fans of your product or service and buyers on tap.

Focusing on the customer’s needs and working backwards from there will show you what frustrations and pains they have that you can most effectively address with your business.

How can your product or services be the Advil to their pains? Once you’ve established these key indicators, you can use them to create marketing assets that can help them with these pains.

You’ll then discover how to effectively communicate with them and the ways you can market your business so that they will listen and remember. You’ll realize the things they want to hear that give them those warm, fuzzy feelings about your brand.

With this in mind, it’s crucial that your communication always starts with your why because people buy “why you do it”, not “what you do”. This is ultimately the main differentiator between you and your competitors.

Simon Sinek illustrates this as “The Golden Circle”:


Do you remember the days when Apple started taking over the world with its iPod? Did you even know that Dell was also selling MP3 players at the time? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t, because neither did I. Nobody bought one from Dell because they didn’t start with why.

It’s important to keep in mind that most humans don’t like being sold to. We even get frustrated at the fact that we have to wait a few seconds for a YouTube ad since it’s interrupting us from what we want to watch! We’re all time poor.

This is why nowadays, effective marketing material is either educational or entertaining. The more that it feels like it blends in with the context, the more digestible it will be.

The theory of reciprocity states that when you give something of high perceived value for free, the person on the receiving end naturally feels compelled to give back.

This works in your favor in regards to starting relationships with future buyers. As a conversation starter, you can use a free guide, checklist, cheat sheet or anything you deem as an appropriate solution for their pain.

The fact that your prospect got something of value without you asking for anything in return will start lowering their “I’m being advertised to” shield.

Afterwards, the most important step is creating an effective conversion strategy. This strategy is a process that in time and with the proper steps will turn your prospects into buyers.

It’s also what you use to get the ROI out of the people that end up interacting with your content. Without it, you’d just be filling up a leaky bucket. With it, you’ve got an effective campaign that turns those visitors into customers.

After the conversion strategy is set and consistently showing healthy results, then it makes sense to perform traffic tactics known as Search Engine Optimization, Facebook Ads, partnership outreach and many of the other countless ways to have your content meet your prospects needs at exactly the right time.

Again, knowing your customer’s needs will make it easier to pinpoint which traffic strategies would be most effective. If you have the patience and maintain a consistent nurturing campaign, you will reap the glorious rewards of reaching Mt. Client.

Here’s a great video from Google showing parts of this concept:


Make sure that you have set up a Google My Business account so that when that content reaches your prospects, they can instantly validate your existence and reputation.