Going Local: Leaving Behind the Web Jungle for the Clients Next Door

I've been threatening to "go local" for quite some time, but it never seems to stay a priority. It might not this time either.... Anyway, I've been considering doing some offline pitching of my PR writing and copywriting services to local companies (and maybe some nonprofits, since it's been a while since I've played the nonprofit PR game). Should I do it?

Why I'd Like to go Local

  1. Connections to local media make pitching local stories easier.
  2. I can meet with clients face to face for larger campaigns.
  3. There's a certain trust factor with local contractors that I'd like to take advantage of.
  4. It's just another market to reach into (I've worked with local artists and a few nonprofits, but haven't pushed much into the local small business sector).

What Holds Me Back

  1. While face-to-face can be nice, frankly, I get more work done when I'm not rushing out to meetings.
  2. When I work with clients in person, I tend to be "nicer." It's a liability oddly enough, because it's my blunt, sometimes harsh, honesty that gets me my top clients and referrals. I worry I may lose my edge a little bit.
  3. It can be more time-consuming to pitch services to offline clients than to online clients looking for instant gratification.
  4. I kind of like specializing more in the online PR front than offline (really only talking about my marketing and PR writing... not content). Online businesses are quicker to "get it."
  5. 5. Just try explaining the SEO benefits of press release writing to a mom and pop shop downtown.

How many of you specialize entirely in online writing? Do you take on local work from time to time? If so, how do you find and approach potential offline clients about your various writing services? What do you see as the benefits? What about any drawbacks in your particular niche or genre of writing?

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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