If you're a local business, you want your community to be on board with your efforts. That's just common sense.

But what's also common sense is the other side of that equation: You have to be on-board with your community, too. It's not enough to cross your fingers and hope new customers will walk in the door. You've got to work hard to be a community participant and give back if you want the relationship to work both ways.

So what are some simple ways to reach out to your community? Here are just a few.

1. Use your social media for the greater good

When you can share important community information (like health events, non-profit fundraisers, and community celebrations), you take the spotlight you've created with your social media presence and shine it on others.

Make yourself known as a community resource. It's as simple as sharing a Facebook post or retweeting others every now and then.

2. Be a local expert

Find ways to share your knowledge with the community to position yourself as the local expert. That might mean speaking to civic groups, appearing on local radio shows, or writing a regular column for a local newspaper or magazine.

While they require a little extra time and effort, these activities are helpful for your fellow neighbors and build name recognition for you and your brand.

3. Partner up

You can reach new audiences when you partner up with a local business or organization. Maybe you co-host an in-store fundraiser, or you provide the food and drink and a community art event. Any time you can get your foot in the door and meet new faces, both parties reap the benefits.

You can keep your investment low while still seeing a large positive impact.

4. Lend a hand

If your business thrives on referrals, look for ways you can build trust with your community by being an active participant. Coach a soccer team. Lead a civic group. Join a book club.

Not only will you get some enjoyment out of it, but you'll form new relationships with families and peers alike.

Being a beacon to the community means people grow to feel a source of pride when associated with your business. You become a trusted friend and well-known name throughout the area. Give it a try, and see how it impacts your business relationships.

 

Google+