startup

Pop quiz: how connected is your business to the city that supports it?

Although today’s startups often operate in a world that’s overwhelmingly digital in terms of marketing and networking, businesses have an obligation to make themselves known to their local communities.

After all, how can you expect to establish any sort of reputation in your area if you never leave the office?

Fortunately, making yourself a staple to locals doesn’t have to be complicated, nor does it need to be expensive. Below are four ways you can make it happen ASAP.

Spend Time at Coworking Spaces

While startups today might romanticize the idea of treating their offices like battlestations, don’t’ neglect the power of making face with fellow business owners in your area.

Arguably one of the best places to find like-minded workers is through local coworking spaces. From others in your industry to potential hires or influencers who might not know about your business, simply being visible to such people can lead to meaningful conversations.

Making frequent trips from your office to such spaces is a smart but subtle move toward forming more relationships in the community.

And if you’re in a downtown district and need to get from Point A to Point B, consider how ridesharing can get you there quickly without distributing your day-to-day activities. You can use a Lyft fare estimator to figure out how much any given trip to a coworking spot costs and budget accordingly as you make an effort to get out of the office.

Rethink Your Social Presence

In terms of online marketing, a savvy social presence can work wonders toward signaling that you value your local community. For example, consider the following you can do for business and personal accounts related to your brand:

  • Tag yourself at local hotspots, showing that you make an effort to support local businesses in the area
  • Interact with the content of other businesses in your area, especially those in your industry (think: frequent comments, likes and posts)
  • Fill up your social feed with content that shows off your own office, making a personal connection with potential followers and reminding them that you don’t just exist in the digital realm

Get Involved with Events

Going to networking events is a no-brainer, but the importance of face-to-face networking is so often overlooked these days.

Networking events aren’t the be-all, end-all of putting yourself out there, though. Take a look at local presenters for meet-ups, for example, and see if there’s a good fit for someone in your company to be a presenter. Offering a presentation works double duty as you show off your influence and help out promoters who need to fill their schedules.

Event planners are always looking for fresh faces, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

Look into Charitable Causes

Beyond the mere act of doing good, people are looking for companies to wear their hearts on their sleeve and show compassion to the communities that support them. In fact, research shows that millennials overwhelming support charitable companies for doing exactly that.

Whether in the form of local fundraisers or community events (think: charitable 5Ks), making your presence known consistently puts your business in good standing with your city at large. Of course, the purpose of charity isn’t just to make yourself look better: consider causes that you truly believe in first and foremost.

Startups can’t afford to be islands, plain and simple. By making yourself more visible in your local community, you open yourself up to endless opportunities and likewise have an opportunity to leave others with a positive impression of your brand. In short, it’s a win-win.