Grab the Ultimate Checklist for Local Business Owners!

5 Steps to Set Up Instagram Shopping For Your Local Business

If you are a local merchant or maker selling goods in your community, this may be your sign to get your Instagram shop up and running in time for holiday shopping.

Many of your potential and current customers are eager to support your local company, but they're looking for an easier, faster way to do it. Enter: Instagram shopping.

We're going to break everything down for you step by step so you have zero excuses to getting up and running. You down? Let's do this.

1. Ensure you are eligible to sell on Instagram

You must operate in a specific market, have eligible products to sell, be compliant with Instagram's agreements, and have a website you can sell your products from.

Once you have some of those business items buttoned up to ensure you are even in the right country, you need to ensure your account on Instagram is ready for potential buyers.

2. Switch to a Business Account

Most of you reading this likely have a business account at this point, but if you're still operating as...

Continue Reading...

6 Reasons Why We Love Canva

In the wave of this modern marketing era, visual content reigns supreme. Videos, images, and graphics are a surefire way to draw in your ideal customers and get them excited about who you are and what you're building. It's easy to share a photo you snapped or a video you took but graphics? Those can be a little harder, especially if you're not an Adobe products wizard. Enter our best friend: Canva.

Canva entered our lives and we never looked back. You've probably heard of this fantastic creative tool, but if not, let us share the gist. Canva allows you to create customized graphics and images with their user-friendly software that's completely FREE. We upgraded to the pro version (so worth it) but we love how accessible this tool is for local business owners who are operating on thin margins.

And if that doesn't convince you, here are three more reasons why Canva is a local business owner's best value add. 

1. It’s perfect for beginners.

Do you want to...

Continue Reading...

6 Digital Marketing Strategies that Are Doubling Revenue for Local Businesses


This post (and podcast!) wasn’t queued up to go live for a few months but after a sales call I had with a potential client a few weeks ago, I knew I had to press publish NOW.

The woman I chatted with runs a really successful retail brand in the Des Moines metro and is pouring a TON of money into advertising services and products that aren’t returning anything for her. And she isn’t alone. I’ve talked with so many business owners that are still using old-school, pricey marketing that’s all glamour and no grit. Impressive reach and numbers but no return on investment in terms of dollars, relationships, or connections built.

So I set aside a few hours and pulled together clients I’ve worked with to share some of the things that we did together to holistically grow their business, things that generated new business, repeat business, and helped their brands expand. Holistic strategy is my bread and butter because...

Continue Reading...

Everything You Need to Know About Instagram: For Local Business Owners

On Small Business Saturday, I watched my old coworkers, my best friends, and favorite local business owners posting the local brands they were supporting. I saw their Instagram Guides popping up in Stories, I witnessed business owners going Live to talk about the local brands their followers could also shop in their district, and I held my finger on dozens of Stories where people listed out local brands on their very own shopping wish list.

Users are getting savvy with the Gram and are ready to elevate the experiences they love to their 100 to 5,000 local followers.

The features Instagram has continued to release over the last few years are making Instagram the very best place to get visibility quickly, build an audience of raving fans, and consistently generate revenue.

And yet…

We continue to see local business owners are still only posting to the Grid and consuming Stories.

Their approach to Instagram is what worked five years ago, not what’s working today.


Continue Reading...

8 Email List Opt-In Ideas for Your Local Business

Inbox: 55 new emails!

Do you ever open up your computer to see that staring back at you? Yeah, me too. So when another brand asks me to “join their newsletter,” I’m usually inclined not to, unless I know and love the owner or I’m pulled in by their opt-in.

What’s an opt-in? Opt-ins are incentives you can use to show people the value of signing up for your list. “Join our email list,” doesn’t quite have the same punch to it as “New email subscribers get 30% off their first purchase!”

Now that’s a reason to join a list.

As a local business owner, you’re always seeking new ways to connect with your community and meet new people who may be interested in your brand. Emails are one of the best ways to showcase who you are and what you have to offer but they do very little if no one’s on your list.

So how do you draw them in? Opt-in’s!

Many times, people are willing to exchange their email for whatever is...

Continue Reading...

Why Local Business Owners Are Moving to Flodesk

Email marketing.

Yep, we’re talking about it again. But today we’re switching it up. Instead of sharing all the reasons you should have an email marketing strategy (there are many) we’re going to assume you already do. But it may be time to make a switch in your platform. 

There’s a new email marketing option on the block that local business owners are flocking towards. 

What are these fresh new digs convincing local biz owners to leave their old platform behind? Flodesk!

Flodesk is a new, beautifully designed platform literally "built with small business owners in mind.”

Finally a platform that’s easy-to-use AND visually appealing. But that’s not the only reason why local business owners are making the switch to Flodesk. We’ve got five.

1. The email builder is intuitive and user-friendly.

Beauty without function is useless, a fact I’m sure you’ve discovered in your journey as a local business owner....

Continue Reading...

Local Business Owners: Diversify Your Income Streams

COVID-19 has been pretty tough for most local business owners. They’ve seen revenue streams dry up and profits dip drastically. For those with a retail store, shopping ceased. For those offering services, many had to immediately stop offering them. Most businesses had to innovate and pivot very quickly to stay alive and it meant changing the distribution of products, services, or experiences.

Almost every business created an e-commerce offering or ramped up their social media to sell through Instagram Stories in a creative way. Many in-person local events found a way to go virtual and still create a ton of value for the attendee.

Although most of these changes were done out of necessity, I believe some of the shifts have allowed businesses to serve their customers even better than before!

For example, we loved watching our retail stores make it easier than ever for customers to shop. Personally, I know with my schedule it’s hard to make it to a certain part of town...

Continue Reading...

Is a Facebook Group Right for Your Local Business?

Curious about all things Facebook Groups? This is the post for you. Over the last six months, it has become very clear how hard it is to gain momentum on Facebook Business Pages unless you’re a paying customer.

Organic posting alone simply cannot be how you expect to bring in new customers to your business. While it’s absolutely worthwhile to keep content fresh on your Business Page (it shows your brand has a heartbeat), it’s very hard to rely on to generate business, even if you have hundreds or thousands of people who “like” your Page.

In many of my chats with business owners interested in Local Business School, it’s evident how frustrated they are at the amount of time they spend posting on social media with very little return. They might get a few likes and maybe a comment from their most loyal customer, but otherwise it feels like most activity on social media falls flat.

A few of the clients we work with and local businesses we see...

Continue Reading...

Why Ambassadors Are the Secret Sauce for Local Businesses

When I was growing a local networking group in Des Moines, I relied heavily on others getting the word out.

I wasn’t sitting around creating a bunch of blogs, social media posts, and emails to tell people how awesome this group was and how they should join it.

I was equipping, mobilizing, and incentivizing OTHERS to! And the group went from 5 people to 500 in a year.

It’s the difference between a business putting a billboard up or a print ad with YOU telling US how great your business is.

When you flip the script and do it the way I did, it’s OTHERS telling YOU how great your business is.

What do you trust more? A television ad promoting a new restaurant or your friend raving about the meal they had and highly recommending you and your family try it next time they’re in town.

What’s more credible? What message do you trust more?

I certainly find that I learn about local businesses, events, projects, and everything in-between based on who I am friends...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.