How To Market Your Brick and Mortar Business Online


This question comes in from Monohan.

And they say, I have a bricks and mortar business specializing in kosher food and wine, and we've run this family business now for nearly 34 years. We've not advertised and customers just came in because of our reputation and good experience.

Now, I don't not attack all the growing online market and how to go about getting the right audience from around our nearby areas to get to know us and what type of content to be able to deliver to them. I would like to keep them updated on an engaged Facebook page or group and perhaps get them to offer up their recipes, cetera. The ingredients could be offered at our store.

Let them know about our delivery service, et cetera. Although I've been dealing with this for a long time, I have come to realize that a lot of our existing customers with whom we've been trading for over 20 years don't know that we offer some of the services we do.

For example, party platters from our local kosher bakery and birthday cakes from another baker, etc.. I don't know how to best set things up for people to find out about us and give us a try. I'm trying to learn all about WordPress and setting up a Web site, but I'm stuck as to how to structure it and what information to put into it. I've purchased so many tools and courses over the last four years that it's unreal.

I've tried to sell things in the US, but I'm based in the UK and none of this relates to what I have been doing over the last 26 years. I know I need to focus on my current market as this is already established. It's just that newer, more tech savvy and younger competition is eroding our business. I would love to learn how to be able to not just retain but grow our business as five families are dependent on this. I have your Google average course time manager, etc., but until I have a presence online, I don't even know what to do with them. I would be grateful for any help you have to offer.

OK. So there's a lot to unpack here. And ultimately I'm going to give you a strategy or an idea and I'm going to tell it in the form of a story. And because I can't know, I can tell you to do a course, but the story will tell you where the course fits in. And so what I'm hearing from you is that you have this core business that needs to have an online presence. And I'm going to just put it in context. But imagine a world where you have a Facebook page, which I'm guessing you have right now.

You know, every day of the week you make an update talking about what you have in the store, what recipes people can use, what what's interesting. And you just engage with people on a level where you're creating value by showing what you have and helping them get more out of what they have or what they need. That's, to me, the world that you want to be in. So either via a Facebook page or email or some kind of other method of delivering it.

But I would say between Facebook and email, that's what you want to do. You can get people to know what you have. Now, I just moved to a new area. I'm in California now, and I actually did subscribe to the Facebook pages and to the end to the mailing lists of these new stores to find out what they have, because that's how I find out what's coming along, both their weekly ads as well as what's on the menu during the quarantine situation.

What are they putting out there? What's what's happening at restaurants? That's how I find out the local area. And so that's what I've had to do, is just subscribe to things online and read and read and read until I figure out what's going on or ask locals what's happening. And so you need to have some kind of presence or I would recommend having some kind of presence so people can find out what you do.

Once they're subscribers, you can just keep on giving them value, just showing sharing what you do. So from a Facebook perspective or from, you know, from a perspective of emailing out, it's basically just taking what you have and putting it to the outside and in trying to engage people with it. So it's not just simply like, hey, we have this kosher product. It's more like showing how that kosher product could be used in a recipe or how it could be helpful for people.

It's encouraging people to share this with their friends. It's encouraging people to interact with you. It's doing all that all the tactics around social media that people talk about or the email tactics that people talk about in order to get that that list up and running in that group of people that I call your house audience, palace audiences, people who have opted in to hear from you. 

And so that's what I would focus on first is building that house audience. And then once you have that in place, you can start to and once you know what they want and what they what they have and once you know that anybody new coming in and have a great experience, whether it's an email, welcoming email and onboarding email that gets them caught up with where you're at, which would be really helpful for me.

Moving to a new area, it's sort of like your greatest hits of your classics once they sign up for your mailing list or once, you know, once they join you on Facebook, then you can give them your greatest hits and show them who you are and what you do. Maybe you even say when you follow us on Facebook, we'll give you this guide and it's a PDAF with all the things you do. And so basically your store, everything you have is content and use.

What you have to do is you to turn that content in a way that somebody can consume it on their schedule, not on yours, so they can discover you and then get to where they're going through email and through other channels because they're part of your your house audience. And so building up that house audience I think is the most important thing you can do. And the way you build that up is by being genuine, by engaging in actually putting stuff out there on a pretty consistent basis and then also giving them context as.

Who you are, and the more you do that, the more people are going to become aware because that's just who you are. That's the expectation. And I know a lot all this stuff seems like a lot of work, but actually sending an email once a week with a link to something that you have. Or putting out a Facebook post. Those are things you can do on a schedule. You can batch schedule a bunch of these things in advance. You can automate a lot of that stuff and have it go forward. And then once you have all that in place, which is a lot, but not that much time, frankly, if you if you just say, I'm going to do this every day, I'm in a post something on social media that can be less than 30 minutes of your time to do the post.

Right. Or to do an email do to a recipe that somebody else submitted, which is cool. Right. If you're engaging with them and the recipes that you think you understand engagement, you just don't have the audience ready to go yet. Are you're still working on building that. But basically, you start with the engagement. You get all the you have people source their user generated content as much as they can by submitting their recipes or sharing stories and testimonials. And then once that's in order, you feed the machine, which is feeding out to your channels, which is email and Facebook, for example, the Facebook fan page.

The next thing you do is you work at amplification strategies, which is defined more new people. So you have to have something that's working online before you advertise. Don't spend a single dollar. Even though you bought my course on Google ads, don't spend a single dollar with Google or Facebook or Twitter or any other platform until you have product market fit online, until you know what your voices and until you know what people want to hear.

Don't waste your time with that stuff, right? Don't don't amplify because you don't need to amplify it. You're not going to pay for something that you haven't proven it yet. You need to prove that this works, need to prove who you are and that you're going to be committed to doing it for more than just a couple of days at a time and then giving up. Right. You need to prove you're in this for the long haul. And then you go out there and you use these networks, you rent an audience from them. You basically pay for each click or impression to rent that eyeball.

And then you have them with with very extreme geo targeting. They both allow you to target right around you, right. A radius around you in the UK and you have them come to you in that way. And then if that's successful, then you start to branch out, then you make a bigger radius around the UK, around your city. And then you branch out even more. And you might go to the United States. You might go and find an area that has a community that wants kosher foods and start there, prove it out and then expand from there. That's how this works. Like anybody sees the end result that other people are touting, like, hey, I'm so great at online. And I think that it's an overnight success or an overnight thing to happen.

But everybody that I know that's been successful online, including myself, started with something small, committed to it, and then kept on branching out and branching out and branching out. And eventually those small little things they did, they became much bigger than they could have ever done. They would have started out with a bang. Right. So it's more of a slow creep up. It is a brand building event. It is something that happens over time. And you've been in this for a long time, right? You said twenty six years. You've been going at this. You have a long point of view. Right.

So now is the time to start building the presence for the next twenty six years. And I can guarantee you that that's going to be online or in some kind of digital format. And maybe Facebook won't be around. I'm pretty sure email will be around. Maybe you can text people updates and stuff like that, whatever the medium is. It's all going to come down to you turning the story inside out and showing people what you have. Show, don't tell. And sharing people's experiences to get them to say, yeah, I want to cook this way tonight or I need this thing that you're talking about and you only build that out there, trust and consistency.

And so bottom line is, don't worry about a million things to do. Focus on getting some. Giving something. Finding what message resonates with people and what gets them to react. And then once that happens, do it consistently over and over again and then focus on scaling much later in the game. And that's where you're gonna see the biggest impact. But you have to have those fundamentals in place first and foremost. So that helps. And I do look forward to hearing about your success. And it sounds like, like you said, having a lot of families riding on this and having spent a lot of time trying to make this work, you're going to spend even more time, are going to keep on going. Right. And so that is really where I think you're going to see the most success. And I look forward to hearing about that in the future.

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