Ch. 10 of the Comprehensive Checklist for Growing Your Business: Community Outreach

In the midst of your crazy day of managing a business, the thought of community outreach and social responsibility probably isn’t floating around at the front of your head. They all say, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and that applies to raising a business as well. Without the support of your neighbors and community, your business probably wouldn’t exist. Let’s take a minute to surface the real ROIs on doing a little something for your community.

There are different levels of involvement that you can choose from that best fits your availability. You can sponsor local events, organize meetings/networking gatherings, or participate in a meetup. The opportunities of helping your community can get really fun and creative while also being a cost-effective method of marketing. It’s also a great opportunity to rally up your employees for good old team building and morale boosting. Now, on top of all those positive things, let’s get to how it can help build your business.

  1. Get yourself publicly known by your locals.

    The more you put your name out there, the more your community will gain awareness of your business. Community outreach is heavily effective because it puts a real person in front of prospective customers. In contrast, with an ad, or website, it garners a one-way communication to your audience. Making real connections to people involves engagement, and a moment that you and your customer share – it’s hard to forget that.

  2. Build long-lasting relationships with them.

    By putting a face on your business and engaging in conversations with people in your community, it’s only natural that you start to build long-lasting relationships with them. You get to know first names of pivotal people in the neighborhood, their family, and story. Slowly, business owners can build their network and make important connections that are beneficial for the long run. However, these connection are symbiotic. The more resources and value you can provide for your customer, they more they depend and come to you.

  3. Increase company reputation and image.

    By staying active and involved in community events, it builds fantastic repertoire amongst your neighbors and customers. The driving force of purchasing decisions are made by emotion. If you can connect with your community on an emotional level, it’s a win-win for them and your business.

Community outreach can build your clientele and strengthen your presence in your community. By participating in these events, businesses can develop customer loyalty and top of the mind recall. It is also fantastic for building a positive reputation which can then lead to long-lasting, returning customers. Investing time into this method of marketing doesn’t have to be a complex process. Doing something as little as printing branded bookmarks for the library, or providing water for your local marathon can leave an unforgettable, lasting impression on your business. You may even want to start looking at how to implement customer loyalty programs with the likes of Epsilon for your valued and loyal customers, so they have even more incentive to carry on returning and using your business instead of another, retaining a loyal customer is a lot easier and cheaper than trying to find and appeal to new customers.

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