The concept is actually quite genius . . .
While most “traditional” business/networking organizations struggle mightily to have a relevant, consistent, engaging social platform to complement their “off-line” business model, Keep It Local started “in reverse!” Keep It Local FIRST began with Lora Shipman starting an online marketing company: doing the grinding (and googling) research, honing her messaging skills to accommodate a tighter, faster format, practicing – sometimes by trial and error – to find the most effective platforms and the most engaging content that was relevant not to the “web – worldwide” but to her client’s prospects, many who lived within a 15 – 20 mile radius of their location. She was helping local businesses compete effectively in a global economy. (It’s the lil’ guy vs. the gladiator delivery drones of big business.)
It was at a tipping point: realizing that a life behind a computer screen truly had a shelf-life. That people need people: social interaction, face to face contact, engaging conversation, a human connection! Thus, the beginning of Keep It Local . . .
Now that “genius” is in your hands: YOU can become a “Big Wheel” in networking both in your Chapters and in your online communities.
As a member of Keep It Local, you now have the best of many worlds, the opportunity for regular in-person meetings, welcoming access to other geographically strategic AND on-line, ALONG with a personal portal to the some 4,000 sets of HUMAN eyes through the Keep It Local social media platforms: hint, hint – BOTS don’t pay dues!
Seriously – are you maximizing your Keep It Local membership to get the biggest bang for your “dues dollars?”
Let’s find out! Attached is a wheel with different spokes [download/printable]. Rank on a scale of 1 – 10 your participation in each of the categories:
- Attend regular meetings: that means on-time, fully-engaged (leaving the non-flippin’ cell phone in the car), ready to participate. [LINK to meeting schedule]
- Weekly one-to-one with members (after you’ve met everyone THEN commit to ONE referral a week – Imagine, if everyone in your chapter did an “e-troduction” to someone – that would EXPONENTIALLY drive your results – that’s 50(!!) more warm leads in only one year! (More on that later! – it worked for me in fits and starts.)
- Visit other Chapters on a regular basis. I’m not talking about becoming a road warrior but making an effort – you are allowed to visit other chapters which are seat specific monthly. Can’t get out of your county? Then go online, there are two Chapters meeting weekly – network in your pajamas – OR at your desk during lunch! Regardless of the competition, not everyone wants to do business with everyone: showing a PMA (positive mental attitude will go a lot farther than bullying your competition, not into attending). Personally, I LOVE it when other marketing folks show up – it allows me to differentiate myself, my ideas AND my pitch! [LINK to meeting schedule]
- Active posting on Keep It Local and your own social platforms. Getting real: marketing is like a gym membership – it only works out when you work out! Having a consistent (disciplined) schedule of engagement keeps you Top Of Mind. – Here’s the caveat though – if you’re always promoting and it’s always about you (sales/referrals) – you – and your business – become “noise” that no one pays attention to! [LINK to Keep It Local Facebook Group]
- Become an expert speaker: I’m not talking about a “Buy My Stuff” Speech – but helping the audience do their business better. Kim Washington of “Dream Big With Kim” / 31 Designs is a VERY popular speaker because she NEVER talks about her business – she talks about how to be a better business person, a better manager, a better leader. Jackie Borree of Re/Max spoke about EVERYTHING that was happening in West Pasco: from the new developments, the new schools, the new zoning laws, the elected officials – I was ready to vote for her for ANYTHING because she was SO knowledgeable about her community . . . oh, she also sells houses! Both were VERY expert speakers without once mentioning “Buy My Suff.”
RAISE Your Hand when someone needs a speaker for an event: practice helps you become more confident, enhances your ability to engage with different audiences and allows you to test new presentations and ideas. (Why do you think celebrity comics show up unannounced at clubs – they want to “test market” new jokes and new sketches).
- Invite your sphere of influence: YOUR prospects! The best way for you to show them that you’re committed to THEIR Success (and yours, too) is by helping THEM succeed. Help them build their prospect list, their referrals by inviting them to your meeting. The meeting will only solidify your relationships and your own sphere of influence.
- Use KIL Calendar for business: special event or workshop happening in your business – Post it on the KIL Calendar. Know of a community or business event? Post it on the Keep It Local Calendar! Use the calendar as a vehicle to leverage your own social platforms. Susan Sorensen, the “Happening” Realtor and President of both the Westchase and “Make It Happen” – Dunedin/Palm Harbor Chapters (AND creator/admin for Clearwater, Dunedin, Largo, Tarpon Springs, Westchase Happenings Facebook Groups) has become literally the go-to for specific communities. She knows her market – she knows real estate – and she leverages the Keep It Local calendar for real estate buying workshops. [LINK to Event Calendar]
- Blog though KIL – build your street-cred AND your “air-cred” – with timely, informative articles about your industry, your business. Lora does regular newsletters (remember those 4,000 sets of eyeballs) and welcomes your content! [EMAIL 500-600 word, value-rich, non-salesy blog to Info@KeepItLocal-LLC.com for details]
Now, connect the “dots” – are they really connected?
What kind of a wheel does it look like? Imagine that wheel is on your car? Wonder what kind of marketing “mileage” do you think you are getting. Are you wasting valuable “gas” because you’re creating your OWN potholes?
My guess is that you “get the picture” – quite literally! Your success is in your hands . . . and you can use them (your hands) to call, write or text me or Lora to learn more!
If you’d like more assistance in becoming a bigger – and perhaps more smoother – wheel, send me an email! Perhaps we can meet for one of those “1 – 2 – 1” meetings I’ve been hearing about!
Download the “Wheel” CLICK HERE
Owner Catalyst – A Marketing Company and Keep It Local Chief Marketing Officer