Is there value in being involved in your community? Does it make sense to go to things like Chamber mixers, to volunteer for stuff or be involved in activities around the community? How much marketing value is there, really in these sorts of things?
You can actually volunteer all your time away. In fact, some big companies have positions that are nothing but community involvement. Why would they do this?
Consider a company like Coca Cola, McDonald’s or Chevrolet. I’m sure you’ve heard of these companies. You’ve probably known about them most of your life as well. They’re pretty famous. But they also advertise regularly. If you watch television or listen to the radio there’s a chance you’re going to come across an advert for these companies.
Same is true if you’re fiddling around on the Internet. You very likely might experience a paid message from these companies that you’ve definitely heard of before. Why would they do that? Aren’t they famous enough already?
Yes. But they also know that, maintaining a place in front of your face means that they’ll be top of mind the next time you want to have a soda pop and a hamburger inside a brand new car. Or whatever the combination.
Well this is the same thing for the entrepreneurial marketer that this series is for. You want to remain top of mind so that, the next time someone needs something that you provide, they’re going to think of you.
There’s the benefit of being involved in your community. This is especially true of being involved in your business community through things like attending Chamber mixers regularly or being part of a service club. People do business with those whom they think of first.
But I’m too busy
Your value as a business owner is not sweeping floors or paying bills or doing the shopping or any menial and routine tasks that a beginner can handle. In fact, this is the biggest waste of your time.
If you’re doing the plumbing or electrical or maintenance instead of being out schmoozing and earning new revenue, you’re truly looking at the business in the wrong way. All the hourly employee-grade tasks should be left to the hourly employees.
Your job is to get your name out there in the community and make sure that people know you and your brand. Over and over I see small business owners focusing on the little things that can be assigned to someone else and missing the mark in the marketing department.
Sales, marketing and community involvement are all things that are critical to feed the funnel that keeps the business in business.
In our community there are certain businesses whose owners or managers are regularly involved in community events, attend Chamber mixers and belong to service clubs. When it comes to the products or services I tend to use, those are the people I tend to see.
Funny thing - we have a biennial event in this county and the leading participant this year is a chef who, with his partner, owns a restaurant, an ice cream shop and teaches at the college. Yet he makes time to participate in community events as well.
What got me thinking about this subject was that I was having dinner thinking about this event which made me think of ice cream. So I got in my car with my wife and drove past two other ice cream stores to patronize his. Of course I also think his is the best but I could have walked to one of the places from my house.
If you haven’t attended a service club meeting recently or gone to a Chamber mixer of late, it’s time to reassign the routine to the staff and get out there and shake hands and kiss babies.