Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Every April in Washington state there’s a liiitttllllee thing called the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Even if you haven’t heard of it, I am sure you’ve seen the photos. We went April 22, 2018. 

Before going, I was curious about where the festival was, how much it cost, what there was to do and I had a few other questions.

First, you need to know this is an area full of tulip farms near a town where they host the actual ‘Tulip Town festival’. Because of the draw of the attraction there will be a lot of traffic so plan for extra drive time. We parked in the back lot near a bank and walked into the main street of the town for their festival which was more like a street of live music and vendors.

We stopped in for a beer and lunch at a local pub after checking out the tents and tried to decide which tulip farm we wanted to visit. There are several to go to and, from what I was seeing, for free. As you drive out there are loads of signs to turn into different fields but we only visited one. I was extremely pleased with the the one near Swinomish Village.

 

You’ll have to remember it is an actual working farm so it’s very muddy. I know you’ll want to wear a cute outfit but incorporate boots you don’t mind getting muddy into that outfit!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

It’s hard to understand just how gorgeous it is in person vs. photography. The fields are separated by colors, solid vs. mixed pattern flowers and toward the back were daffodils and other types of flowers.

 

For a majority of you, this will be several hours of a drive. Before you go you can check out the weather in the area, the bloom times, and other news updates. It’s worth taking your kids and friends up for a day trip! Note that pets are not allowed and walking in the fields is not allowed. More information begins here. If you’re looking to stay up there for a weekend there are several things to do in the area and the surrounding areas. One of which is Anacortes.

Cheers!
Marin

Are you looking for someone to create social media content for your company? Write your monthly newsletters? Create a logo? Great news. Local Collaborative does all that and more. Reach out here. 

The Three Best Ways To Lose Clients: Lessons On How To Win From Losing

You Win, You Earn, You Close, You…Lose?

There are books, videos, podcasts and coaches out there who will teach you how to find and gain clients; some even go as far as to how to keep and nurture them.

But no one tells you how to lose them.

And why would they? No one wants to learn how to lose. My hope is that if you find the lessons in LOSING that you will use that to find what helps you WIN.

 

My first job out of college was 100 percent commission selling supplemental insurance products. When jobs in my field came up short, I went in for an interview and immediately recognized what kind of working environment this would be. I told myself to stick it out for one year and it ended up teaching me everything I DIDN’T want to continue doing (which taught me everything I DID want to do and be.)

If you’ve ever had issues with a boss, employer or parent you have probably learned a lot about what you DIDN’T want to do as a future boss, employer or parent.

This is just as beneficial a lesson and in comes the ‘no regrets, just lessons learned’ quotes.

 

The entire goal of a business professional is to build your book of business, have them refer you and then continually service them while receiving commissions.

Maybe you’ve been someone who is great at closing accounts or fantastic at servicing accounts OR maybe you’ve been in the game for 10 years and have accounts you don’t even have to think about.

Then one day your star client calls and asks to cancel their subscription to your product.

“No one wants to quit when he’s losing and no one wants to quit when he’s winning.” — Richard Petty

 

If you’re active on multiple channels, working with multiple people and continually filling your sales funnel then this will be a bump in the road. If you’ve decided it’s good enough and already wiped the dirt off your hands welcome to the best way to lose clients. Here are the Top Three things I learned from gaining and losing clients.

Have a topic you want to hear more about? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it!

It’s Not Them, It’s You

I was watching tired people closing business, grudgingly setting up the account and then walking away as fast as they could with their paycheck. In fact, on multiple occasions in multiple businesses, I have been handed a list of HUNDREDS of accounts or clients to revive. They had been almost a year or more of no communication and I, as a new and unfamiliar employee, was to rekindle that relationship.

It’s not their fault; it’s your fault.

If you expect someone to love you, sign up for what you’re selling and cheer for you continually, it’s not going to happen. Like any successful relationship it requires continuous communication.

My co-workers were emailing people who didn’t use their email. They were calling people who don’t answer numbers they don’t know. They were walking in to businesses surprising them in the middle of their workday.

YIKES!

They were careless and regularly got caught showing the client they weren’t any different than the thousands of other people met in their lifetime.

Pay attention to what your client needs and how best to communicate with them. Each time I met with someone I took an insane amount of detailed notes to remember everything I could about them. Their outfit, their Alma Mater, their kid’s names…anything that came up in our conversation that I could recall and build rapport.

It is not their job to buy into you while you sit back and relax. It’s YOUR job to make an effort in relating to that person and (secondly) how your product can best fit or help that person.

Mary On The Prairie

A fun way to say you’re outdated way of doing things just don’t work anymore. My first job trained all of their agents to make hundreds (150-200) cold calls every Monday. Not kidding. It was hell at a desk. That kind of poison spreads through an office, to clients and back to you.

You’re calling people who don’t want to be called, leaving messages that won’t get returned and if you DO talk to someone it was a script that more than likely never got you anywhere.

I swore I would never get another job that required you to cold call….until I did. My next job the calls were a little bit warmer but it was still a call many found pointless or uninvited and this immediately alienated them from the company.

In the age where technology has found it’s way sneakily into our everyday life via Facebook or YouTube ads, spam calls, email blasts and more, people have a lower tolerance for the icky and awkward virtual door knocker (…and in person door knocker. No, I don’t want to buy your overly expensive vacuum cleaner.)

Time to work smarter and here is where your notes come in. If possible, doing business in person will help you win more than doing business over the phone. Think about how much can get lost in translation by not being face-to-face.

If possible, I will tell them when to expect my follow-up call. I will make sure I am showing up early and prepared on time. I can reflect on my notes to overcome possible or common objections before they come up. If someone prefers to have a texting reminder for a meeting, ensure it’s professional and leave emojis out of it.

ALWAYS make sure you’re following your state’s guidelines for communication and just because your manager says “You’re not selling, you’re inviting/just talking/asking questions” always do what you feel is right and what is legal.

If you wouldn’t want a stranger calling then why call? In the age where people text, you might find more success with a texting campaign. This will likely irk people who have opted out of your calls and emails so just leave them off the list. They’ll come back when they’re ready.

Oh, and for the love of all good things, stop asking “Can I ask you a question?”

 

Erase The Scoreboard

Difficult for people who consider themselves competitive, right? Keeping track of stats, accounts closed, clients enrolled or number of ___ sold are solid ways to keep an eye on all your quantitative data. This should be something you’re buddied up to daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly in order to reach your goals and improve your business.

But it is NOT the only thing that matters.

When you have your eye on closing five new accounts this month or enrolling twenty new people during your next promotion, you’re making them NUMBERS and not PEOPLE. I highly recommend figuring out your WHY and not just using that in your elevator or sales pitch to make you seem relatable but tattoo it on your dang forehead so you see it e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y.

We all have the same handful of friends that will send the generic message about how they were thinking of you and you would be GREAT to sell ____, or how they want you to buy ___ . You know the kind.

But these people only want to talk when I am looking for someone to hire. They don’t tell me happy birthday, they don’t message me unless it’s for a product purchase and they don’t interact with any of my posts yet they are all smiles when wanting to bring me on to their team. When it comes time for me to work with someone or buy something do you think I would go to them?

If you try to pretty up an ‘Ask’ or dodge around a topic in a way that will make them feel lied to, cheated or manipulated later on then you will lose them as well as anyone they speak to about it.

Remember people are more likely to share about a negative experience than they are about a mediocre one. Always treat every person and situation as if you were taking care of a loved one. If you continue chasing after the end goal, bonus amount or number you will never win. If you remember WHY you are doing this and WHO you are doing it for, you’ve got a client for life…not just another client.

 

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Take notes. Learn everything you can about the person and record your conversations for future use. Remember to keep it factual and unbiased to your emotion. If you see that you’ve reached out twenty times in the last year (as an example) without a return interest, let them go.
  • Communication. If you suck at listening or communicating then you’re business will suck. Show that you care and provide an awesome experience even if this means over-delivery or a few minutes longer on an already long conversation. People will always remember how you made them feel.
  • Work Smarter. If you’re doing the above two well then you can work smarter instead of harder. Use names, gather what information you can so you can speak to the correct person and do as much business in person as you can.
  • Don’t ask how to be authentic; just be authentic.
  • Say what you mean but don’t say it mean. Don’t ever talk poorly about a client (or friend or colleague, etc.) because that will reflect how YOU are, it will hardly ever damage the person you’re speaking of.

 

I hope these gave you something to think about and please share in the comments if you have any other tips for us. If you or someone you know is looking for a partner in the marketing field, let’s connect!

Cheers!
Marin

Oh, yeah, have you left a review yet? This helps people understand what they’re getting when working with Local Collaborative and I would love to review you right back!

Check it out.

www.mylocalcollaborative.com

www.mylocalcollaborative.com

 

 

 

 

Ask Better Questions

“Ask stupid questions, get stupid answers.”

Or at least that’s what we’ve been told.

Why not “Ask better questions, get better answers?” It’s got the glass-half-full ring to it and provides us the opportunity to dive deeper in our relationships, conversations and learning.

If you ask better questions to potential employees, you get better employees.

If you ask better questions during a job interview, you get a better job experience and more learning or promotional opportunities.

If you ask better questions when you’re dating, you get better partners.

 

Asking questions to ensure or communicate that you’re still listening and on the same track is imperative in live videos, webinars and communications. Don’t just say you’re listening or give a false job as a hope to keep busy…you can offer real understand and valuable help if your communication is clear and accurate.

 

Another reason to ask better questions is avoiding group think. Group think is when you’re in a group of people, maybe a team meeting, and you’re trying to solve a problem. But you can’t seem to come up with any different solutions. It’s the feeling of knowing something isn’t right but there’s a tall, wide and thick brick wall just covering up what’s on the other side.

When you stay silent you become part of the group and don’t avoid being the ‘odd one out’ by providing a different answer. When you ask the same questions, you get the same answers. Ask something different, to a different person and you’ll get a different answer.

 

What you WANT to hear and what you NEED to hear might be different. Try asking the question that provides the answer you haven’t yet, or don’t, want to hear. Be original. Don’t just repeat the same thing to every person. By tailoring your conversation and paying special attention to what the person in front of you is saying to you, you’re able to ask because you’re curious not just because you’re nosy.

Show that you’re actually paying attention by elaborating on the last thing they said and translate the fact that you were actually there with them, listening to them.

 

Try this perspective out…It’s not always YOU that has to change.

It’s the other person that needs to better understand you.

That’s your job to communicate.

If you can’t effectively speak, write or communicate yourself (or your message) in the correct order then you’re identifying a weakness. By merging your best skills and strengths you can truly influence and solve a problem.

When you speak you’re always standing up and speaking to others. People are looking for that sign and encouragement of being with you. They’ll validate you externally or in a secondary action but you can’t improve your personal development if you’re not getting personal with your topics and audience.

 

If you’re a millennial reading this you have to understand we have the most valuable thing on our side right now: TIME. Don’t waste that by asking and learning the same thing everyone else is or is telling you what you should do. Branch out, be original, think for yourself and ask everyone you meet better questions.

 

Cheers!

Marin

A phone call is always free. If you’re curious about how digital marketing and creating a brand could help you, I’d love to talk.

If you liked this, please share below!

Get More Social Media Engagement

In college, I majored in Journalism and Mass Communications. I was guided into a Public Relations degree, interned with an award-winning advertising agency and later played the role of a Marketing Manager. When it comes to mass communications and digital marketing, it’s not just the Millennials who are using social media for their benefit…all businesses should be maximizing their efforts. Every day I see people failing in this 

Social media provides a 24/7 connection at no cost to provide stories to establish connections and persuasion to sell and purchase products. While reading my latest JMC Update publication I came across some helpful, and very useful, social media statistics. The full magazine is available here but let’s look at the page I mentioned. I am going to walk you through the stats you can decide which platforms work best for your goals.

Why is this important?

  • 6 out of every 10 people in the U.S. will use social networks this year and the average person spends more than 5 years of their life on social media.
  • Businesses are hiring pros to focus on potential outreach and increase their revenues via free or low-paid services.

jmc update

  • 93 percent of Pinterest users use the platform to make purchases or plan future purchases.
    • Pinterest is best for those selling a physical or visual product. This is a great place to share your finished interior design photos, pretty cupcakes or recipes, decorated dorm room, candles and much more. If you’re an engagement, wedding, newborn or other special occasion photographer you have a huge potential to watermark and upload your photos for sharing.
    • The biggest key in any of these products is linking back to your website! If they are actively engaged and like what you’re doing but you don’t guide them back to help serve them, shame on you turning customers away. You can easily automate this through your website and a software like IFTTT. By connecting all of my initial automations, I can now see each blog with an image included shared on my board. People are saving them and reaching out for business.
    • Include plenty of keywords so you show up in searches. If you need any help with these, please let me help you!

  • 200 million people use Instagram stories per month. Plus, top brands post 4.9 times per week on Instagram.
    • I personally prefer using IG stories to Snapchat stories. You can also go live and interact to your audience, save to your highlights and directly poll your viewers.
    • If top brands are encouraged to post 1.5 times/day or about 4.9 times/week that doesn’t sound like it adds up too much, huh? I suggest researching your top demographic, scheduling or posting at the times they’re most likely active online to make the most of your engagement. By staggering times and days to test your results you will see what your audience is wanting and when.
    • Start by posting once daily in your theme and a pattern that will appear cohesive and beautiful to viewers.
    • Even if you’re a personal brand, switch to a business profile. You will see your stats live and have the potential to grow where you want to.

IG STORIES TRICK: There are a few requirements to use the See More swipe-up feature including having an IG Business account and at least 10k followers. If you have neither there are a few loopholes. Reach out if you want to learn the workaround.

  • 100 million hours of video content is watched on Facebook daily. 79 percent of American internet users are on Facebook.
    • You know how the videos on your timeline will start up without you pressing play? A majority of the time you will continue to watch the video and automatically be transferred to one similar. By going LIVE on Facebook you have the chance to engage with your audience. The best way to do this is to notify them the day before or day of so they know what to look forward to. If you have something to share immediately, the best way to be authentic is to…be authentic! Go live, don’t worry about correct grammar or the best lighting. Be as clear in your messaging and this video will live on in your network’s timeline.
    • Creating visual content that encourages people to share or prompts them to take action will expose you to new audiences. With 79 percent of users on Facebook, it’s a pillar that can (and should) be included in every social media campaign effort.
  • 67 percent of Americans report getting their news from social media.
    • No wonder this last election stirred up so much controversy. Using Facebook, Google searches or other online platforms as a news source is commonplace. If you can create news, write an article or share/create something newsworthy then you’re well on your way to fitting this niche and making yourself relevant.
    • Did you know NEWS stands for notable events weather and sports? Make stories newsworthy by including pieces after your hook and before your CTA that include recent events or happenings especially.

  • U.S. social network ad spending is expected to hit $26,007,137,644.75 in 2018.
    • The best form of advertising is word of mouth and referrals. This cuts the corner of having to achieve a know, like and trust factor with potential clients. People are well-aware of ad spending and targeted marketing when faced with certain topics or searches. To avoid being blocked, create your own posts. Look at what works well and replicate or boost for a few dollars. I wouldn’t boost a post that didn’t include a CTA asking to purchase a product or service.
    • You looking for someone to help with your ad targeting? I’ve got a girl. Let me know if you want to connect with her.

  • Posts with emoticons receive 33 percent more engagement than those without.
    • Emoticons, or emojis, offer a visual and creative way to express your message to followers. It’s the best way to reach a casual, informative, playful or expressive message. For example, Domino’s Pizza tweeted pizza emojis in the shape of a larger pizza emoji and used this to help their campaign Domino’s Pizza Anywhere.
    • Use GIFs, emojis or other fun communication to engage your audience.
  • The average internet user has 7.6 different social media accounts.
    • Sounds like a lot right? If you include your email or digital accounts and how connected you more than likely are this will add up quickly. I personally have Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter (not active), Pinterest, WordPress, and two email accounts. So this stat is fairly accurate.
    • If you’re looking for a way to reach the largest audience possible, post on every platform (automate sharing to make this easier) but pay special attention to your followers. If someone comments, comment back. Like their comments. Respond to messages or share testimonials. This is the most powerful resource you have.

 

You have an idea and the facts to stand behind what platform you choose to pursue. If you haven’t read my blog post on creating quality content head back over to the blog page after this.
Cheers!

Marin

You tired of reading about engagement and you want your own REAL results? Let’s work together.

How To: Be Content With Content (Free Guide Included!)

Personal brands, business brands, start-ups…there’s a lot that goes into creating a business. You want to do something that you love and earn compensation that reflects the work you put in.

You’ve set up the bank account, you’ve followed legalities, you’ve branded your company and purchased the materials needed to get going.

Let’s tell people about it!

 

Oh, but it’s just sharing a few photos and updates with a touch of humerous mishaps, right?

Eh….not so much.

You want to tell people about what you’re doing but it’s important to tell the right people, on the right channels, the right way. And the field of communications was born…

 

You don’t get fitter by just buying the gym equipment you have to use it!

You don’t get instantly prosperous by doing a one-time marketing session or class. You don’t get traffic or customers by just posting about it once and carrying on, hoping everyone will remember you’re selling ____ . Communication is a multi-platform, full-time job.

So you have the social media accounts but now what?

 

If you can, pick up some help. If you’re maximizing your resources, you should be BUSY and you’ll need to focus on doing the part of the business that you love. This can be difficult for many business owners because it’s usually something with your hands or that requires all of your attention.

Once you’re done working, you want to spend your time doing…well…what YOU want to do.

One of your goals in starting your own business was being in charge of your schedule.

So why are you letting it run you over?

 

I’ve seen waayyyy too many people fall just short of taking advantage of their communications strategy. Their competition, who are focusing on their communication and content strategy ALWAYS COME OUT ON TOP.

 

Creating content that converts…not just gets Likes

 

Will you let me help you?

Whether you want to be a top dog or you just want to play the game, I want to help you reach your goals. I created this content guide I’m about to share and had it in my marketplace ready to sell but knew the same people who weren’t paying for content strategy before wouldn’t now. So I made it an added bonus.

Is it worth something? Absolutely. The hours I spent on this could have been spent elsewhere.

But I believe this is valuable enough for you that it will just take putting in to action to see results. If you feel the urge to reciprocate, leaving a review, sending a referral or inquiring about working together would be fantastic. I am here to help whoever I can, whenever I can.

 

I would love to hear suggestions on what else you want to see and learn about. Please leave them in the comments below and don’t forget to share this on your social media pages!

 

Without further ado…

Here is your guide How To: Be Content with Content. Click the link to download!

(It is a downloadable document and will also be available on my website Products page here.)

 

Cheers!

Marin

Have a success story or want to leave a review? Sweet, thanks! You can do that here.

1) A false belief or 2) A BS excuse

*Feel free to share*

I went to our local farmer’s market this weekend and while we walked around purchasing random products and speaking to the owners, I noticed how they presented themselves and their tables.

One lady was head down, sitting, playing on her phone.📲 Another was standing up, energetically talking to every customer approaching the table and explaining how and why her treats were different, with a creative, cute, unique setup. 🙋🏼‍♀️

I went online to reach out to everyone and connect them with Local Collaborative. The woman sitting down had over 35k followers on Instagram (?!) and the one standing up engaging had only 300 followers. 🙇🏼‍♀️

Are you the one with 300 (or less) followers, feeling like you’re trying everything but it’s just not working and questioning if you should even do this for a living? 🤦🏼‍♀️

Or are you the 35k who think you’ve made it and have maybe taken a backseat. Maybe you don’t know the next step. You might want to sell, start something new, collaborate or expand but just don’t have the time to manage it all.

There’s a secret.

It’s absolutely priceless when you know how to communicate your story. Don’t let the fear of “not having a story” or “not being a good writer” keep you from achieving a great impact. I’ll let you choose what to call that: 1) A false belief or 2) A BS excuse. 💁🏼‍♀️

You can be both creative and strategic. Business can be fun. 💸🎉 Let this be a wake up call and take action ➡️RIGHT NOW.⬅️ If you’re a business owner or know an entrepreneur, please don’t hesitate to share.

Let’s find a solution to whatever problem you’re facing right now. Click here.

 

Cheers!

Marin

The Benefits of Collaborating

Why did I choose Local Collaborative?
In short, my vision for a marketing and branding firm is a business that provides the service you’d experience at a local small business with talented individuals I’ve met across the nation. I loved the word ‘collaborate’ because of it’s meaning.
col·lab·o·rate
kəˈlabəˌrāt/
verb
1. work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something.
“he collaborated with a distinguished painter on the designs”
synonyms: co-operate, join forces, team up, band together, work together, participate, combine, ally; More

pool resources, put —— heads together
     “they collaborated on the project”
I’ve had several unique opportunities and experiences to apply to my work and have been encouraged for my creative ideas, innovative promotion strategy and eye for design.
I’m inspired by the thought of bringing you a collaborative marketing approach from your most enthusiastic local entrepreneurs. People I have worked with and trust from multiple industries.
Together, we’ve been collaborating with companies of all types and sizes to achieve what we weren’t capable of doing on our own.
Shameless Plug: If you were wanting to take advantage of my FREE consultation and 75% Discount on your Branding + Positioning Strategy, you have until May 31st! Stop waiting to see what your potential is.
Collaboration occurs when two or more people or organizations work together to realize or achieve a goal. Collaboration is very similar to cooperation. What are the benefits of collaborating on your work? Well to name a few…
1) Sharing is caring. You’re not only cross-pollinating audiences and referral networks but you’re also sharing resources. This speeds up your efficiency and maximizes your budget.
2) The Bigger The Why. Just like you have the choice of pairing up with someone for your marketing and branding strategy, you also have the opportunity to find someone who aligns with your purpose and values. Your point of contact should be asking in-depth questions, show curiosity for learning more about your field and be as invested in your future success as you are. AND VICE VERSA.
3) It’s Complimentary. You’re probably familiar with collaborations between celebrities and popular brands on social media. You can do something similar with public figures or other companies that are similar or complimentary to yours. This is a strong marketing tactic because Word-of-Mouth is your greatest form of advertising. People trust other people they know, like and trust. These partnerships strengthen credibility, influence, retention and value.
Sound like something you’re interested in? Let’s figure out how we can collaborate on something awesome.
I’m excited for what’s to come and I appreciate you being here. Let’s go have some fun!

 

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Would you or someone you know like to join my team? Reach out, I’d love to talk!