How to Grow A Local Business with Facebook Ads - Rick Mulready

rick mulready

How to Grow A Local Business with Facebook Ads

July 19, 2016


NOTE: Free Live Online Training for Local Businesses, October 26th, 9am PST!

If you’re a local business, and since you’re reading this I’m assuming you are, I’d like to invite you to a LIVE Encore online training on Wednesday, October 26th at 9am PST:

You’re going to learn exactly “How to Grow Your Local Business With Facebook Ads This Holiday Season (While Cutting Your Marketing Budget)”

Click here to see the agenda and register now


What if I told you that as a local business, the fastest way to grow your business is with Facebook ads.

Yep, that’s right.  The fastest…

Between Facebook’s targeting capabilities and the attention-grabbing ad types you can choose from, it’s never been easier to get customers “in the door” as a local business.

But, and this is a big BUT, you’ve gotta be willing to put in the effort.

You don’t put up a Facebook ad only to have paying customers magically appear in your business (I wish it were that easy!).

There are a few strategies you need to follow in order to make Facebook ads work for your business.

And in this article, I’m going to share these strategies that are specifically tailored to help you, the local business owner, grow your business with Facebook Ads.

You’ll be able to use what you learn here to create and implement an effective strategy so you can finally start seeing big results.

I’m going to show you exactly how local business owners have done things like:

  • Spent $250 on Facebook ads to generate $45,000 in revenue
  • Been able to drastically decrease their overall marketing budgets
  • Quickly create high-performing ads that capture the attention of their ideal customers
  • Grow their local business by 40% in 3 months using an education-based marketing approach
  • And a lot more…

So let’s get to it…

Start With Targeting

It sounds so obvious, but as a local business, you’ve gotta start with targeting…

The problem is, though, so many of us think we know who are target customer is when in reality we only kinda have an idea.

If you want to quickly grow your business with Facebook ads, you NEED to be crystal clear on who your ideal customer is.

Sure, you can target geographically around your business (which we’ll talk about in a minute) but you also need to know what your customer is interested in.  

What are their hobbies?  What do they read?  What activities do they like to do? Stuff like that…

You’ve probably heard the importance of creating a customer avatar, well, this is one reason why. It’s super important!

The clearer you are on these attributes of your ideal customer, the more easily you can attract them to your business.

And then you can combine these characteristics with location targeting.

Location Targeting

Location targeting is a no-brainer for local businesses.  You want to reach people in the area you serve.

There are a couple different ways you can do this:

  • Target people near your business.

This option will help you reach people who are physically near your business — regardless of where they actually live.

Let’s say you own a dry cleaning business located in a bustling downtown area. If you target people within a 1-mile radius of your business, your ad would be shown to residents in the apartments above your shop, as well as the conference attendees staying in the hotel two blocks down from your shop.

Local Business Epic Blog Post July 2016

  • Target people who live near your business.

This option will help you reach people based on the location they’ve specified (where they live) in their Facebook Profile.

Let’s say you own a hair salon that appeals to the “millennial mom” demographic. You could choose to target women in your city, and then specifically narrow your audience (by dropping pins) to include only women in newer, family-friendly neighborhoods.

You can even choose to only include, or to specifically exclude certain neighborhoods.

Local Business Targeting Screenshot

Being able to choose the radius of your ad targeting is huge. BUT, it comes down to you fully knowing who your target customer is.

  • Do you own a business that appeals to people visiting your city? Or does it only make sense to target local customers?
  • What type of people can afford to invest in your product or service?
  • Does your target audience live in affordable urban apartments, affluent suburban neighborhoods, etc.?

Ask yourself these types of questions before creating your Facebook ads.

Attract Your Ideal Customers With A Great Offer

One of the biggest things I see local businesses struggle with when it comes to effectively using Facebook ads to grow, is not having a clear offer.

Again, before running any ads, you’ve got to have a strategy that will take your target audience from becoming aware of your business all the way through to becoming a paying customer (and hopefully a repeat one).

As a local business you have to give your audience incentive to stop in, book an appointment, pick up the phone and call you, etc.

It’s not enough to just run ads that promote your website or Facebook Page.

Here are a couple ways you can move your audience to take action when they see your ad:



Lise Kuecker, my good friend and local business owner of four fitness gyms, was a guest back on episode #84 of The Art of Paid Traffic podcast.  She does a killer job growing her businesses with Facebook ads.

An example of an effective strategy she used was she targeted her ads within a specific radius around her business promoting a contest/giveaway for a FitBit.  

Once people clicked on her ad, people had to enter their name and email for a chance to win.

She strategically ran this campaign during the slowest time of the year for the health and fitness industry (November-December).

The overall campaign cost her $250 to run (including the price of the FitBit) and produced more than $45,000 in revenue.  Not a bad ROI!

Her secret to making this promotion a huge success was following up with everyone who entered the contest (new leads!) and offering them the opportunity to come in and work out for free.

Nearly 50% of people who entered the contest ended up buying packages or memberships!

Aside from her targeting and offer, what made this campaign work?

She had a systematized process for selling people once they became a lead.

And, since the giveaway was only available for a limited time, she created a sense of urgency for people to take advantage of the offer.

In addition to offering limited-time giveaways, you could also offer discounts, special upgrades or another type of value-add that your target customers can’t resist.



One example of a local business using limited time offers to bring customers in is David Brandt who owns a business called Sips n Splatters.

Sips n Splatters offers art parties where you can drink your favorite beverage while painting.

David has 4 locations in the midwest and he’s been marketing his businesses lately through Facebook video ads.

He’s seen huge success running locally targeted 60-second video ads (shot with his iPhone) that give people an inside look at what an art party is like.

The videos are fun, colorful and entertaining and he offers a special discount at the end of the video.

Once people click on the ad, they’re taken to a landing page where they have to enter their email address in order to access the discount offer. This means that in addition to generating business he’s also growing his email list.

The ad and offer are working so well that with a recent campaign, David made over $4,000 in revenue while spending only $300.

This is a strategy any local business can do.

Get creative with your offer while always keeping your business goals in mind and experiment to figure out what works.

Appeal to Your Local Customers In Your Ads

The Facebook News Feed (where your ads will show up) is a busy place.

So needless to say, you’ve gotta stand out.  Luckily, as a local business you can easily do this by incorporating some local appeal into your ads.

Here’s what I mean by that…

  1. Use local people in your ads. Take photos of actual customers and clients who love your products or services. Ask them what they love about your business — you can use their exact words as your ad copy. I mean, how simple is that? If you survey your customers from time to time, check out those responses for top-notch creative inspiration.
  2. Hold a challenge or event. The fact that you can gather local people together with your ads is a huge plus. People love to feel a part of something. Creating a sense of community is the fastest way to build a foundation of raving fans who will happily share your products and services with their network.  And, while your customers are gathered in one place, talk to them and use what they’re saying in your ads!

If you’ve struggled to know what to include in your locally-targeted Facebook ads before, now you know that the answer is much closer than you think. And maybe even within a few mile radius of your business!

Become the Local Business Authority (Roofing Company)

Now, if your local business sells high-ticket products or services, a giveaway or discount right off the bat may not be effective.  You may have to begin a relationship with people before they’ll buy from you.

What if you’re a local roofing company, for example, that sells roofs for $6,000+?

In this case, a great way to leverage Facebook ads to grow your business is through education-based marketing because it builds relationships first.

Education-based marketing is when you create valuable content that people looking for help in your niche will find helpful.

Let’s take the roofing example…

Adam Sand owns a roofing company in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.

His business’ website has articles and videos geared to helping people who are looking for information about roofing — what they need to look out for, how to save money, etc.

The content isn’t focused on promoting his own business.  Rather, it teaches people what to look out for with their roofs.

It positions his roofing company as an authority in the local roofing space.

When people in Edmonton need a new roof, who do you think they’ll go to?  The authority in the space!

Adam then uses Facebook ads to promote a short PDF guide that teaches people what to look out for when hiring a roofing company.

People click on his locally-targeted ads, go to a page on his website where they have to enter their name and email and then download the guide.

And then on the thank you page, he tells them the guide is being emailed to them.  He also has an offer for a discount on roofing as well as a free estimate.  If people want the offer, they then give (again) their name, email and phone number.

The strategy has worked like gangbusters!

In fact, it’s worked so well, Adam has stopped running Google AdWords because his Facebook ads are far outperforming them.

And, his business has grown 40% in less than 3 months.

Choosing the Right “Objective” for Your Campaign

When setting up your Facebook ads, you want to make sure you’re choosing the Objective that aligns with whatever the goal of your campaign is.

The Objective you choose tells Facebook — show my ad to as many people within my target audience who are most likely to take “this” action (like convert or click).

For example, if your goal is get people to opt-in for a giveaway or a free download, you’d choose “increase conversions on your website.”

If you’re wanting to send people to a helpful piece of content so you can turnaround and retarget them with another ad, you’d choose the objective “send people to your website.”


Local Business Targeting Screenshot Objectives

You’ll also notice an Objective called “Reach people near your business”…

I wouldn’t use this objective if you’re trying to get people to opt-in for something. This is more for awareness, if you’re just trying to send people to your Facebook page (which I don’t recommend) or to your website.

If you want to send people to your website, I recommend using the “send people to your website” Objective.

So, essentially I’m saying you don’t need to worry about this “local business” objective. 🙂

Free Live Online Training for Local Businesses!

If you’re a local business, and since you’re reading this I’m assuming you are, I’d like to invite you to a Free LIVE Encore online training on Wednesday, October 26th at 9am PST:

You’re going to learn exactly “How to Grow Your Local Business With Facebook Ads This Holiday Season (While Cutting Your Marketing Budget)”


Click here to see the agenda and register now

The holiday season is upon us and NOW is the time to have your marketing plans in place.  As a local business, the fastest and easiest way to grow your business (while cutting your marketing budget) is with Facebook ads.  You’ll learn exactly what you need to do in this training.

As a local business, have you used Facebook ads before?  If so, were they successful?  If not, what’s held you back?  Share in the comments below.

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