Last week we talked a little bit about how to slay your competition and a local market. Today, we’re going to dive in a step further and figure out how do you outpace your competition so you don’t have to become an Insta Barbie, take out a billboard, or be on your phone even more. I think you’re gonna love this one.

Today we are on part three of our series on local marketing. It is a favorite topic of mine. And I’ve been so excited to dive into it all month. So today I am hot off of an event where I spoke to a big group of realtors about how to grow their personal brand. 

And so I thought so much of the information ties over to question the service-based providers and anyone in a local market also,  so I wanted to dive into the big points about How do you outpace your competition? 

Don’t try to sell to your whole town.

First, to get traction happening in your business, you need to go back and look at who your market is. Either your market has not been identified clearly enough, or you’re identifying the wrong market and you’re not solving a big enough problem in your business so you’re not different enough to stand out, which will cover all those things here. 

For so many local service-based providers, you can work with a wide range of people or groups. so it can be a little bit murky when you try to figure it out. But when you try to serve everybody, you end up reaching no one and this is a big pitfall I see with local businesses. 

I know it sounds crazy, I am telling you to niche down. But you have to stand out in your market by being the best at something, not by being generic about everything else. 

So what are some ideas for that? 

• What is the catalyst for someone needing you? 

• What are the trends? 

• What are we typically seeing people come in for us for?

• At what point are they in their life? 

• At what point are their health journey? 

• How old are they and what else have they already tried? 

These are some of the questions that are helpful to start to break down because you need to think differently about your market to stand out. When you’re able to stop thinking about everyone and get narrow and your focus, you’re going to see a lot more clarity and ease with which you can grow. 

Get crazy specific about WHO you serve

Now as entrepreneurs, yes, I fully recognize there is a big difference between scarcity and specialty. Trust me, I know, if you aren’t out there hustling to close the deal, then the money doesn’t come in and you don’t have a business. So there can be a lot of fear around niching down because you think you’ll never get clients.

Actually it’s going to be the opposite.

Not only are you going to get the dreamy clients who value your expertise, but you’re also going to attract people who aren’t even necessarily in your niche because they want to ride those coattails. They want to be a part of what it is you’re doing. The closer and the more narrow you can get your niche, the more you’re going to elevate yourself.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the example: 

It’s like the whole ideas of doctors. We all know our general practice doctors, and they get paid a fine amount. But then there are specialists like surgeons and the heart specialists and they get paid in a whole nother bracket because they’re specialized. And they only cover like one tiny part your body in theory, right, as opposed to a doctor who knows so much about every little bit of everything.

That’s the same thing with your business. If you’re being a generalist in your business, even a little bit about a whole lot of stuff. But you’re not the expert. You’re just someone who can help with lots of things and so you’re not going to be the go-to person in your market. 

Are you taggable?

The filter that’s really helpful to us to kind of think about this differently. is are you taggable?

Can someone tag you on social media because they know exactly who you help and how and know what buzzwords equal a perfect client for you? 

We’ve all been “tagged” on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram — because someone KNEW we were perfect for that cat meme…. Or that funny video… or that question that popped up in the local moms group.

How does that translate to your business though? 

Can someone tag you on social media because they know exactly who you help and how and know what buzzwords equal a perfect client for you?

If not, figure out what you want to be tagged for — and start spreading the word.

Local businesses that collaborate grow faster

Collaboration explodes when you combine visibility & niching down. 

Here’s an example for a realtor.

There are realtors everywhere. They’re entrepreneurs; they need to grow their brand, just like everybody else. So imagine you’re a realtor in your town, you can sell to literally anybody who needs a house. This is what most realtors are doing out there these days. 

However, what happens if you become the go-to person for some big corporate accounts in your town, that pay for the moving expenses and setting up new employees and selling houses for employees who are moving out of here? What if they need someone to be the expert at handling those types of transitions, which could be really quick or have a very specific type of house or usually happen in a higher price market which often can move slowly? 

If you become that go-to person, think about how differently you’re going to be showing up for your business and showing up online. If you’re this go-to corporate person versus anybody that can serve anybody in your town, you’re going to start to appear different, you’re going to brand yourself different, you’re going to have different conversations, you’re going to seek out different types of people, and locations and specialties. 

Another example would be if you were a school district expert as a realtor. How different would you show up?

Your marketing would allow you to easily highlight businesses in the district, highlight the school and make connections there, feature the teachers, talk about things for kids, and family events.

Anyone (like I did last year) who is looking to move to a specific school district will clamor to work with you.

In these examples, the realtors who can serve anybody, their marketing all looks the exact same. If you’re the corporate real estate agent versus the local school district real estate agent, your marketing and sales approach looks completely different. 

Craft your personal brand. 

Crafting a brand in the online space feels natural to us because we’re used to having a lot of conversations around branding because your website and your presence online is pretty much how you got to this point. 

But if you’re a local business, or you’re reaching a local market you typically fall back on your business logo, you sometimes have a website that’s likely not awesome (or optimized to convert to sales), and you might do some print advertising or hand out flyers, or those kinds of things. 

But your personal brand doesn’t really come into play it for the most part. Want to know how serious I am? 

Google your name right now. Look at how your personal brand is showing up online right now. 

I guarantee your ideal clients are googling you before you even know that they’re on your radar. 

Did you know that 88% of people who Google a local business will show up or interact with them in the next 24 hours?

That’s fantastic turnaround time, a lot faster than what happens usually. 

But what if they can’t find you? Typically, what’s going to show up thanks to Google, if you have a website, and its domain is set up as your name. If you don’t, you can also use your business name, too. 

The social media platforms that you’re active on are going to show first and then the other ones you’re on. And then the ones you’re not even active on trust me, they’re going to show up. Also, remember how the internet never dies, right? So there are all kinds of goodness, you’re going to find pictures that never die. If you’ve been featured on other websites, in the media or have been in videos, articles written about you, on a podcast, videos on YouTube — all of this will show up on Google.  

The thing is, your ideal client is having a conversation with Google about you and you have no control over it unless you control your personal brand that shows up online. So I would tell every single business owner, but especially local businesses who rely on Google, you’ve got to get it together and make your profile look amazing.

How do we do that?

Make sure you have a website that’s decent and it looks like it’s from our era.

Next, make sure you’re active on social media platforms. I would pick one to be amazing on that you’re comfortable on and that your people show up on that you’re actually going to engage on. 

If nothing else, at least create the profile, set some basic details that explain who you are, that’s updated, and some relevant pictures to have on there as a placeholder. 

When you actually search for yourself on Google,  ask yourself:

  1. What is your impression of yourself right now?
  2. What shows up for you? 
  3. What’s missing from your profile that you wish is showing up? 
  4. How do you want to show up? How do you want to control that conversation? 

Get social.

Clearly, we talked about social a lot on here. But I want you to think about social in terms of an overall strategy as opposed to being platform-specific. 

I don’t care what platform you’re on, right? As long as you’re on a platform that you will show up on and your people show up on. Okay, it’s gotta be agreeable to you and agreeable to your people. And you got to actually like, be there. So that’s the first caveat, this could apply to any of the platforms you choose to focus on. 

A crippling mindset thing that I’ve noticed around social media with local businesses is that if you create a post, and/or you boost the post, it’s going to bring an influx of traffic to you, which means sales. 

Unfortunately, it hardly ever works like that, if ever. 

Instead, it needs to be used as an engagement platform where you’re connected with your ideal client and showing up to what be social, right? 

Your people are on there to be social, just like you’re on there to be social as well. Connect with people, because people just want to see you be human. They want to see you as a real person because that’s going to exponentially grow that know like and trust factor. 

Sales will follow if you engage and follow up, and if you are consistent. 

Be authentic. Don’t try to be somebody who you want to you think your people want to see. You’d be surprised how many fake personas show up online versus when you meet them in real life, right? 

With local businesses it’s even more important that your brand online matches what people are going to come in and see. Because they are comparing to see if it looks the same. 

Be consistent.

Show up every day in a way that feels good for you on your platform. Thanks to information saturation you have to show up 50 times before someone is going to interact with your brand in a way you notice. 

My business coach always says Be the water, right? Because the water is going to be the Grand Canyon every time it’s going to carve those holes over consistently running and hitting those rocks. 

You’re going to break down the barriers to find the people who need you most by being consistent and showing up

I often see entrepreneurs both online or running a local business grow tired of their own voice.

We get tired of our messaging. We get tired of our offers and what we do and where we’re from. And we just kind of get bored with the whole thing. And so we stop showing up  and then wonder why sales are down or why our traffic’s changed or why people aren’t converting as quickly as they used to be. 

Assume everyone is new.

Why? Remember how it takes 50 times for someone to take action? Show up every post, every interaction, every video like they’re a brand new person because that’s how you build the relationships that are going to grow your business.

Ok locals business owners. You can DO this.

Want help figuring out your approach or accountability to actually do the BIG things that move your business? Let’s chat about the possibilities together:

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The Marketing Magic podcast is where women entrepreneurs trying to do all the things come to get inspiration, business strategy, and on-air coaching on how to get their business noticed and growing. If you have a business that people need to know about in order for it to grow, you’re in the right place. This is the place to uncomplicate your marketing. Be sure to listen, subscribe, and leave a review! Join the conversation of other unapologetically successful women in her Facebook community, The #girlboss Club.