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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...

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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...

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20 Service-Based Local Businesses Doing Something Right on Instagram

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Instagram is one of the places we recommend local business owners show up to start gaining momentum. The ability to connect with your followers, collaborate with other local business owners, and integrate yourself into the community is all right there. You just have to leverage it.

We wrote a blog post sharing product-based businesses killing it on Instagram and knew we had to come back with another one, this time focusing on service-based businesses.

These brands were chosen for a variety of reasons. You might see brands with big or small follower counts or lots of Reels or curated photos. Please know that you don’t have to do everything you see these brands doing. They aren’t. They are honing in on their strengths and making the most of them on Instagram. This blog post is meant to inspire you to hopefully see the potential for your own service-based business.

(P.S. If you’re looking for more of our take on...

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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...

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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.


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20 Product-Based Local Businesses Doing Something Right on Instagram

Instagram is the place we recommend local business owners start hanging out to gain traction.

Whether you run an annual event, a spa service with dozens of employees or a brick and mortar as a solopreneur, it doesn’t matter, all local brands can use Instagram to cultivate community, build a loyal customer base and grow their business.

Today however, we’re focusing on the brands crushing it on Instagram with physical products. We chose these brands for a lot of reasons. You might instantly go to their account, see thousands of followers and beautiful photos, but please understand that creating success on Instagram in 2021 is NOT about follower count, likes/comments, and a perfect feed.

You’ve read our blog post on everything you need to know about Instagram, right? Are you a product brand? We compiled 20 product-based local businesses across the country currently killing it on the Gram. From brands curating handmade goods to donut shops that will have you drooling,...

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7 Local Businesses Crushing It on Instagram

One of our favorite things to see is local business owners using social media effectively. We're dropping 7 random examples for you to show you what we see and how it gives these brands an advantage.

1. Northern Vessel

This is a coffee shop in my own community and I have really enjoyed watching them pivot with the pandemic. They started delivering coffee all around town. Then they added on a semi-regular coffee delivery using a subscription model. THEN they opened their outdoor coffee cart. Not to mention their social media presence is beautiful, articulate, and FUN. We love them.

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A post shared by NORTHERN VESSEL (@northernvessel)

2. The Collective DSM

We can't get enough of this account and how Jamie incorporates her cat, Sophie, into her content. What Jamie does really well is share her passion about sustainability and vegan lifestyle while simultaneously sharing what she sells. When you...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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