If you have a local fitness, health or wellness business, be sure to participate in community events. This is a great way to increase awareness, win customers, build strong ties, build long-term loyalty, and build a better community at the same time!

There is no substitute for interacting with potential customers face to face. As a smaller local business, you understand the needs, wants and opinions of your community. This gives you a unique advantage over the larger national companies. Make sure you choose events that appeal to your target audience.

Here are some ideas for you to consider.

1. Teach a class

If you have special knowledge on a topic, offer to teach some free classes in your community. Are you a personal trainer? Teach a class about safe weight lifting techniques. Are you a nutritionist? Teach a class how to select healthier foods at the grocery store. Are you a wellness coach? Teach a class how to make healthier lifestyle choices. You will be surprised how quickly your name will come out as an expert to turn to.

2. Sponsor a local event

Sponsoring a local event is a great way to connect your business with a good cause. You will get some publicity and you may even be able to speak at the event. Just remember to go easy on your sales pitch. Keep your focus on delivering value and building brand awareness for your business and the cause you are promoting.

3. Organize a networking event

You can join local businesses and create a social network of people who can use each other’s services. It can help companies find each other and build strong relationships. This will provide great opportunities to learn about other local businesses and how they can help each other.

4. Partner with a non-profit organization

Be the go-to person for a nonprofit in your community. Offer your services at discounted or pro-bono rates and you will be noticed. Keep in mind that the board of directors of nonprofits is generally made up of people who have power and influence over the local community. So if you do a great job for them, it can generate referrals and more local “paying” businesses for you.

5. Offer a free workshop or seminar

You can help people in your local community by providing useful information and the opportunity to ask questions. Talk about the benefits of exercise or good health. Treat yourself to a fitness training camp or yoga relaxation day. Don’t be pushy about your services or talk too much about sales. Remember, the focus is on helping your potential customers and delivering real value to them.

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