Los Angeles is massive and media buys are too expensive for small businesses, but here are 10 low cost ways to promote your business in the greater LA area.
1. Yelp – Yelp is especially helpful for business to consumer and B to B for small businesses. A chiropractor in the San Gabriel Valley told me much of his business referrals come through Yelp.
2. Google Places for Business and Google Plus – Google is the ten-billion pound gorilla on the Internet – unfortunately in some ways. Four years ago, I helped a hair salon in Pasadena that has a 1-page web site get a listing on Google Places and no updates have been made since.
In the past 30 days, that salon received 1,500 impressions – people who saw the listing as a result of a local search inquiry.
3. Your Company Website – Add a local page (even if you serve a region) and highlight other businesses who will reciprocate. This is more than getting back links to your site. Do a write-up of 40 to 50 words with one tip for readers and they do the same. This provides content to the visitor.
4. Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce – the LA Chamber likely has the best value for an annual membership, representing large and small companies. Attend committee events to get to know others.
5. Meet-up.com – Join a Meetup group or start one. A person could fill up a calendar based on the existing business Meetup groups for entrepreneurs. Most Meetups have no fees.
6. Business networking groups – BNI, TEAM Referral, Le Tip, the Art of Active Networking with Mark Sackett and many more are in abundance. Get to know your power partners in the groups – those who are in related businesses and can send referrals.
7. Regional economic councils – check your area like the San Fernando Valley or San Gabriel Valley and attend an economic council meeting and volunteer.
8. Press releases – submit a newsworthy topic to local newspaper, TV, and radio or submit through a press release service.
9. Certified Public Accountants – this will take time but develop a relationship with a CPA and let them know how you might benefit their clients. Don't rush it.
10. Speak at a local business school – business professors at the many local business schools may be well connected or some of the students may as well.
Whatever methods you choose to promote your business in Los Angeles, do it consistently and evaluate results.