The Value of Local Network Marketing

local network marketing Feb 13, 2024

How to Leverage Local Network Marketing to Boost Revenue

When you think about marketing for your brick-and-mortar fitness or wellness business, what comes to mind? There are so many different strategies out there: emails, content marketing, and online ads to physical flyers and billboards. It can feel overwhelming when you’re trying to create a strategy to boost name recognition and attract new clients.

But many business owners overlook one of the most powerful marketing channels — their local community. Building relationships with local businesses, personalities, and organizations can be a powerful way to stand out in your industry and provide unique value to your clients. 

So let’s go over some of the most important aspects of local network marketing — and how to do it without feeling guilty.

Benefits of a local marketing strategy

What can you expect by investing time and money into local network marketing? Here are some of the potential benefits:

  • Increased visibility: Making a name for your business in your local community is important — that’s how word-of-mouth referrals happen. And it’s also the foundation of good partnerships that benefit you, other local businesses, and the community overall.
  • Cost-effectiveness: One of the best things about local network marketing is that you know your target audience already lives in your area and frequents businesses in your community, so they’re more likely to respond to your marketing efforts.
  • Competitive advantage: Your boutique business probably won’t have as much time or money to invest in marketing as a national chain. But when you position your brand as the small community favorite, you encourage locals to choose your studio over a big chain.

Clearly, local network marketing can be very effective. So, how do you actually do it?

Local marketing tip #1: Have an online presence

Even though you have a brick-and-mortar business and you’re leveraging some “old-school” marketing ideas to stand out in your local community, you still need to be active online. Most people who see your brand on a flyer or hear about it from a friend are going to go look it up online first. It’s crucial for them to find a professional, attractive website with accurate information.

That doesn't mean you need to spend tons of money to hire a professional website developer. Your site can be small and simple. Just make sure your branding is on point and your information is accurate. Make it easy for a potential client to find out the info they need to know to feel comfortable booking a session or dropping in for a class.

Once your website is up and running, get on social media. You don’t need to post multiple times a day on every single platform. In fact, trying to do so will just lead to frustration and burnout. 

Instead, choose one or two social media platforms that your target audience frequents, and be active there. Post some valuable content, encourage discussion, and share helpful resources you find — make your profile an extension of your brand. Doing so can help you gather leads that you can then convert to clients.

Local marketing tip #2: Prioritize local SEO

You don’t need to drop thousands of dollars to build a huge website, but you do need to invest in one crucial aspect: local SEO (search engine optimization). Most people go straight to their computer or phone whenever they want to find a new business or provider — even if they’re looking for brick-and-mortar establishments.

When someone searches for a gym, Pilates studio, yoga class, or physical therapist in your local area, you want your website to show up at the top of those search results. And local SEO strategies make that happen. 

Start by just making sure your site and content feature localized keywords, such as “gym in [your area]” or “[your city]’s best Pilates studio.” Using the right keywords on your helps local residents and prospective clients find your business.

Local marketing tip #3: Find potential partners

Another crucial aspect of a local marketing strategy is partnering with other businesses in your area. Doing so offers benefits for you and that other business, because you can help each other boost sales. 

But it also benefits the community and local residents. You’re making it easier for them to find the products and services they need in their area. And you’re helping them decide which businesses to patronize because they know they can trust the brands in your network.

So think about local businesses you can potentially partner with. If you have a fitness business, choose other brands that serve a similar clientele:

  • Health food stores
  • Local coffee shops
  • Smoothie shops
  • Activewear retailers
  • Local restaurants
  • Chiropractors
  • Physical therapists
  • Bookstores

Once you have a list, reach out to the businesses on it to see if they’re interested in collaborating or building a cross-promotional campaign. 

Local marketing tip #4: Create a strategy

Now that you have some local partners, work together to create a plan that offers value to potential clients. It doesn’t have to be something big. Even small, inexpensive steps can have a significant impact:

  • “Take over” each other’s social media feeds.
  • Guest on each other’s podcasts.
  • Offer branded swag they can give away — bookmarks, coffee sleeves, coupons, coasters, stickers, etc.
  • Host a joint event that serves the community.

Even if the first few campaigns don’t have a huge conversion rate, that’s OK. You’re still building brand awareness as a trustworthy name in your community. That sort of reputation will pay off in the long run.

Build a marketing strategy that benefits your local community

I hear from so many business owners who are hesitant about marketing in their community because it feels “sleazy.” But there’s a right way to engage with your local network that provides real value to the people in your area, even if they don’t end up becoming clients.

How can you do that? Focus on helping your local community find the resources and providers they want. Many people prefer to support local businesses over chains — you can help them find the businesses in the area. 

People feel confident when they get a word-of-mouth referral to try something new. If you’re doing cross-promotions with a local coffee shop, for example, you’re just encouraging referrals on a larger scale. Marketing isn’t selfish — you’re just helping people who are looking for your services find them!

If you want to learn more about marketing (and every other aspect of running a business), join Fit Biz Foundations. This online program covers all the fundamentals of pricing, time management, sales, finding your niche — all the things that allow you to grow a successful, sustainable business. Get all the details and join today!