When first starting this branding and marketing agency I knew I wanted to focus on a local business feel, a collaborative effort, starting from simple roots and providing endless potential. Like my tagline in the cover video here.
While working with small business owners I have noticed they are all seeking to start from the basics (usually designing a logo, putting out convertable content on a regular basis and/or building a website.)
I also see quite a few mental obstacles several entrepreneurs aren’t ready to face. Maybe they’re scared the products are too expensive (Spoiler Alert: Local Collaborative is more affordable than a majority of your subscription services!) or there’s a fear of commitment to sharing log-in info or having someone else’s vision navigate what you’ve put blood, sweat and tears into building.
So they attempt to go at it themselves. Because it seems simple enough, right?
Then what happens…
Things happen. Life happens. Business occupies all of your time and social media is the last thing you should be focusing on (NO, NO, NO!! Please share everything about your business online! People LOVE BTS of who and what they’re buying!)
Similar to when I am on a run, I continually repeat You Can Slow Down But You CANNOT Stop. Would it be great to post 3-5x a week for your audience? Yes, that’s why you bring in help to make that happen. Is it more necessary to put out one post a week to let them know your doors are still open?
-You can slow down but you can’t stop.-
Your track record, so far, of making it through bad days is 100%. You have so far overcome or learned from every problem or issue that’s arose. Remember how many times you’ve been in that position and had that feeling? You’ve done it before. You can do it again. You can slow down but you cannot stop getting in front of your audience, serving them with massive value and putting yourself out there like all of your competitors are.
Make a goal RIGHT NOW to post at least once a week. Anything. A video, a photo, a client testimony or a helpful tip. If people aren’t seeing your posts or hearing from you then they don’t know you’re still in business and they will never refer or buy from you.
Check out our portfolio for the results and insane transformations businesses (like yours) experience with simple efforts.
I’ve always had an urge and a drive to be doing something productive and never turned down a job or opportunity to earn money.
I’ve babysat and nannied, I was a lifeguard, a waitress, a secretary, a warehouse worker, a food stand worker at Chiefs and Royals games, emcee, a housekeeper, organizer (dreamy!), an insurance salesman, a marketing manager and much more.
Most recent title: business owner.
Maybe others saw I had an entrepreneurial spirit, a creative drive paired with a constant work ethic or maybe it came as a complete surprise. It was for me.
Over my years of working, before and after college, there was not much consistency. I knew everything was temporary until I graduated and received a ‘big kid job.’ I was highly disappointed by options available for military spouses and even more disappointed in my employers and their business structure.
After two years of working for more, more, more, I decided it was time to take my passion for strategic creativity and develop a business I, and others like me, could benefit from.
I was excited!
I was nervous to say I was a founder.
I was encouraged to move forward anyway.
Although I am still waiting for that big salary to reflect the time and effort put in (someday) this is exactly what I am meant to be doing. I’ve loved keeping myself employed on my terms instead of following mundane tasks that lead to no tangible results. I have never once cringed from unethical behavior or business practices. That in itself is a success to me.
I’m a firm believer that making money is better than sitting idle waiting for the next big opportunity to fall in your lap. Part of this means you say YES to doing a job and learn how to do it after that. Even the most experienced bartender had a first shift at one time in their life. The best plumber knows what to look for because he’s worked day in and day out in his field.
You have to start somewhere.
I have never been nervous to say I wasn’t sure how to do something but I was willing to learn and ask questions. I was motivated to work a little longer, a little harder or a little more than my peers in order to get the job done.
And it always paid off.
Just like working out you might not always be thrilled to go in to work or motivated to do something but your discipline will keep you showing up day in and day out until you get to do what you want to do instead of what you have to do.
Maybe you find yourself ready to take a step toward a promotion? Toward leadership? Toward another job or starting your own business? Hopefully you’re already a leader, boss or employer and are seeking a way to treat your team better.
This is The Evolution Of The Employee I’ve come across online and I not only love that it resembles what’s happened for me personally but also what’s happening in the work culture.
When you find the release from poor management or micromanagement you find what you learned about leaving for college. A newfound freedom. A relief. Maybe a freak out when it comes time to memorize your SSN. I get it.
But you figure it out because maybe mom won’t answer her phone in time. So you have to figure out who to call and what office to visit. Maybe they’re not there to hand you gas money, entertainment money or tuition. So you’ve got to figure out how to earn money and budget your necessities vs your vanities.
“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails.” – Elizabeth Edwards
So I encourage you to start today. Start right now. Go do something that will get you one small, tiny step closer to where you want to be. Even with your full-time job, your busy home life or your lack of resources (time or money) just go do something.
Start writing blogs, start taking photos, go to the gym once a week, then twice then three times.
Start reading books, listening to podcasts and watching documentaries. Start researching, learning, investing and attending.
You’re sitting there, starving for something to eat but you definitely won’t be making it. You click open a new tab and start searching for delivery, clicking anything over four…ok, settle for three stars. You start skimming through reviews to see who actually has the most authentic street tacos and if there’s a photo; even better, you’re going there.
You’re driving down the long winding road you take to get home every day, singing every word to that song you just can’t stand and DA-DUNK you’ve hit a pothole and hear the dreaded rumbling of a flat tire that (of course) had to bend your frame and throw off the alignment.
Time to look for a trusted shop who will accept your insurance, replace the broken pieces without overcharging you and get it all done in a timely manner. Bonuses include filling your tank or washing up. How do you know what to expect?
If there’s anything we’ve learned by living in a mega-connected world it’s that every person has the ability to speak their mind. Some welcome; some not so welcome.
The first place a client is likely to go after being overcharged for their manicure, a shotty job on their plumbing or an expensive wedding earring that broke like a twig on the big day (…….) is to the vendor’s social media page. Here you can leave an in-depth review on your experience: the good, the bad, the ugly.
Why are businesses so eager to ask if your pet had a great time at their vet appointment if they know it could potentially lead to a nasty, exposing comment?
Because word-of-mouth is the number one referral. What you’ve turned out to subconsciously view before taking any considerable purchasing action is to hear from others like you.
People who also had the same combo skin and were looking for a great facewash.
People who also went to that movie theatre and found gum under their seat.
People who are on the same path to a similar fitness goal and worked with that trainer.
There is comfort in numbers and there is comfort in knowing what to expect.
So how do you, as a business owner, provide your customers with an experience they’ll want to rave about?
The more ‘stars’ and/or higher ratings you have will bump your business to the top of a potential customer’s Google search. The higher up you appear, the more click-throughs you receive, the more business you close, the more sales you make. The more attention otherscan draw to your business, the better.
Provide an experience they’ll want to talk about. A meal, a service or a simple exchange is all about the experience. People are craving connection and experiencing something shareable. What stickers, backdrop or colors can you use that are photo-friendly? What fun hash tag can they include on that photo? What is a unique way to bring the check to the table? Can you provide a surprise to the service that you don’t advertise? (A car wash, a gas fill, an air freshener, items to hang the photo, a welcome home sign, a journal with a thank you note, etc.) If you need help brainstorming some creative ideas, let’s talk.
Provide the social proof. Get legit! Every business is out for a certain purpose; usually to help, to entertain or to please in some way. Even if you have ONE review it’s proof that you’re in business and someone actually went there. Instant trust and often a deciding factor. Photos and videos you provide are meant to be aesthetically pleasing but coming from the smartphone of a client is the raw, real image of what to expect. ALWAYS respond and thank someone for leaving a review.
The gift that keeps on giving. When asking someone how their experience was, thank them for coming and ask them to share their experience online. Some people offer a giveaway or another small gift as a way to say thank you. DO NOT BUY the review but incentivize. For example, if someone gives you a kind review, interact with them in public and automate a thank you email with a 10% off coupon for their next visit. They will keep spreading the word about you and you’ll reap the benefits of repeat and new business.
You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Similar to #3, people need to be told what to do. If you don’t ask for referrals, if you don’t ask for a review, if you don’t make it clear what you want then they’re probably indifferent to leaving a review, regardless of the great time they had. Every bit of feedback you receive, positive or negative, is feedback you can use to improve your business. Once you ask is it easy for them to find and use? I’ve started leaving great reviews for companies but they wanted me to keep going and going and copy/paste my review on multiple platforms…it’s too much. Have them review you on Facebook and you can copy/paste it to your website.
Get the employees in on it. Like a bonus structure but without the pushy perfume lady. Make it easy for customers to see your employee’s name and be able to shout them out online. It brings a personal touch to your company, makes the client feel like they can come back to see a friend and praises the employee for a job well done which will add fuel to the fantastic customer service fire. Encourage employees to leave a review online. You can add a light-hearted competition, a day off or another perk for every milestone of reviews.
How, can we as customers, leave a constructive review?
Whether good or bad you might still want to talk about it. Unless there was a glaring issue, I usually avoid leaving a poor review. In many cases that is someone’s job or how they’re paying for their daughter’s dance lessons. There’s no reason for me to ruin their dream because it wasn’t the best food I have ever had.
How can we help these businesses out?
Leave a review. Sounds simple but even just sliding the stars to the right without copy is better than nothing at all!
Be specific. Can you include a name of someone who helped you? Did they have ‘good beer’ or did they have ‘the best IPA I’ve ever had! Try the Piggyback Peach when you visit this brewery.’ These keywords help the business’s SEO by pulling up the most relevant keywords. The more matches of closely related search and content pairs up to provide the best result. If someone is looking for the “Best restaurant for girls night out” and you wrote a review saying “Best spot in town for a girls night out” it’s like the internet angels are singing.
It’s a visual world. Include photos and videos of what makes this place unique or what you most like to look at. If you order drinks based on their cool-factor, post a photo with the type of drink you’re enjoying. A beautifully plated meal. A well-lit back patio with live music. The menu. The ambience or the outside of the building. Help patrons get an idea of what to expect and what to look for.
Is your business taking advantage of this branding opportunity? Do you know what your highest performing SEO keywords are? I can help.
Having said that, if you’re still leaving a ‘negative’ review make sure it’s filled with constructive criticism. Businesses then have a chance to respond, apologize or compensate. Pay attention to how they respond.
Did you talk to the business? Things happen. People have off days. If possible, talk to the business before you go public. The service experience doesn’t end once the transaction goes through. If you’ve given them a fair chance to reply and correct the problem then give credit for their attention to fixing the problem.
Keep to the facts. What happened, not what you interpreted. Did you just not like the shade of white she painted your walls or did she do it ‘because she was lazy’? Is she really bad at haircuts or just botched yours because ‘she thought you wouldn’t tip’?
Keep the emotion out of it. If they were providing a personal service such as a lawyer, doctor, masseuse, wedding planner, etc. and acted in a blatantly unprofessional manner then this is important to report. Say what you need to say while realizing slander and libel are very real things.
They’ve lost my business. So? If they lose the $20 you’d spend on the next visit would they really go in the red? If a stranger is reading your review and has no clue who you are is that helpful to them or is it just dramatic? A simple “I won’t be returning” or “I might go back here in the future but only as a last resort” is more helpful for patron’s to decide how they stack up against competition.
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 losethem.
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.
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 NOTthe 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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 arefocusing 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!
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.
I’m going to tell you something that you probably heard a lot in middle school;
it’s alright, completely normal; everybody does it.
When a friend, a co-worker or an emergency presents you with a problem there is a mini flight or fight response that drives you to find a solution. It’s alright. We all do it.
When you’re in a state of discomfort or danger you find the next best solution and put your blinders on as you charge toward that until you know you’re safe. This is completely normal.
What I am talking about is searching for problems or searching for solutions.
There’s a blessing and a curse for us all that tells us to be the caretaker or the guiding light when a situation close to us requires you to find a solution. We want to give the rightanswer but in the hurried attempt to do so are you really providing the best answer? The permanent one? The one that’s going to stand up best to multiple scenarios?
It is just the right answer that is solving the wrong problem?
If you’re not the person providing the Devil’s advocate to a situation then I highly encourage you to find someone who will. The point of gathering a group or being inclusive or priding companies on diversity is being presented with a different answer or perspective than you would be able to bring to the table.
While listening to The Originals (I mentioned this in my last Book Club post)he brought up the fact that if you’re always looking for people to say or uncover the right thing (aka what you want to hear) then you’re not looking for what-ifs or constructive feedback/criticism. If you could unearth a genius, a negative space you didn’t realize was there, would you?
When you come across an issue and begin thinking of a solution, take an extra ten minutes. Take the afternoon if you can. By getting out of the urgency, you can step away from your environment completely and while working out, taking a walk, lying in bed falling asleep…you come up with something even better. If you can just give it time.
After all of your prep and this amazing moment how could anyone turn it down, right?
You very well may get turned down. You might get told to go ahead and try it. You might be completely dismissed or they might just want a few tweaks.
This isn’t a foul move on anyone’s parts but an opportunity to take it from another angle or go one step further. Look for the next best solution to the next most relevant problem. Don’t let a few setbacks or questioning eyes discourage your search to bring more ‘what-if problems’ to the table. If it’s all in the interest of doing what’s best, you’re well on your way to the best.
How long have you had to deal with standing in the problem area? Let me know in the comments.
OH and before I forget…
I am going to be sharing a content guide in July that I probably should be selling but YOU get it for free! I am only posting it in one of the upcoming blogs so make sure you’re subscribed (Follow link to the right.)
For the last three years, Drew and I are lucky enough to live hours away from the most beautiful sprawling combination of ecosystems in the world. We’ve frequented nearby day hikes but having the time to travel and stay in the area gives you an entirely different experience. You have gorgeous, clear views of the Olympic Mountains, old-growth rain forests, the Pacific Ocean and natural wildlife.
A Few Tips Before We Get Started:
If you are within driving distance, know that we came from the South entrance near Aberdeen so our timeline will be simple to follow. If you’re flying into SeaTac you will need to rent a car and make sure to hit up Seattle while you’re nearby. (Stay tuned for some Seattle posts by following this blog.)
We used the four-day Memorial Weekend and it wasn’t as crazy-packed as we thought it would be. Keep in mind summer is the peak traveling season for this area because of the great weather and conditions so plan accordingly and be patient.
While it will be sunny and hot, you are in the PNW and on the coast which serves for freezing water and frigid breezes, night time is consistently cold, too. You will be near several fairly developed towns to refresh items but it’s mostly wilderness and nature which makes the views that much better! Bring lots of layers, pack food and plan on starting fires during the evening.
Through this post, I’m including times so you can get an idea of true-driving time and estimate how long you’ll spend at each location. Feel free to use the same outline for your own trip, if you’d like. It also might be helpful for tides and high traffic times. I hope this helps!
HI.KING.BOOTS.Really good hiking boots. They’re a must. I wear Salomon’s with a gel arch insert and I was still feeling sore in my feet after this. We covered well over 30-40 miles on our feet over several terrains and tennis shoes just wouldn’t cut it.
I got these on sale a few years ago at REI so if you have time, look around to get a discount.
Backpack. Even if you’re not backpacking, carrying in a small pack of snacks, map, layers and water will make the trip more enjoyable.
I wear a Camelbak with a built-in hydration pack. I usually carry 20-30 pounds if it’s full. Drew carries a Mystery Ranch larger pack with usually around 30-40 pounds. He loves his because he also uses it for work.
Bring cash. Many campsites only accept cash or check and there won’t be a front desk to run a transaction. If you’re using a card and coming from out of state you’ll want to have a back up in case it’s denied. Don’t forget to notify your bank of travel plans.
Discover Pass/Park Pass. Military get the pass for free; see if you’re eligible. There are several places to buy in person or you can pre-order and have it mailed.
The annual pass is $35. If you purchase this you get unlimited access and would save about $20 for this trip. Lots of options just look at the website to decide what you want to do.
Otherwise plan on paying $25/car/entrance. They prefer debit or credit cards at the gate unless you have exact change.
Trailblazer App. We use the free Trailblazer app by Washington Trails Association (WTA) in the app store for our hikes. You can search for criteria, length, trail closures or updates, etc. Hikers also leave reviews and post photos which is extremely helpful the closer you get to your planned hike. Download it for your trip or if you live here!
Let’s Get Started
Many of the areas allowed on-leash dogs but you were restricted from bringing them to lookouts or trails in several locations if they weren’t banned completely. For this reason, we took our dog to a boarding kennel on Friday morning. From Yelm to Quinalt it was just over a three hour drive.
Welcome to Aberdeen, home of Kurt Cobain
Lake Quinalt Lodge
View over Kalaloch Beach next to Kalaloch Lodge.
Our campsite at Kalaloch Campground
You have neighbors but feel like you’re in the middle of the woods
Driftwood and fallen trees are on every beach and make for fun climbing.
We stopped at the Quinalt Ranger Station which is right next to the Lake Quinalt Lodge. It was a historic-looking lodge and I’ve seen them offer discounts or complimentary rooms for military. We drove through the Quinalt Indian Reservation and arrived at Kalaloch Lodge at 2:30 p.m. You can pull over here to grab food or spend the night in their cabins. It offers an outlook of the beach for anyone just wanting to step out for a look. We weren’t planning on camping here since it’s first come first serve but if you drive over to the board you can see which lots are available, choose an empty lot and pay for your stay. We had a lot which was next to the beach and the restrooms. We were shielded from wind but still walked over to watch the sunset.
Kalaloch Beach is popular for it’s Tree Root Cave aka Tree of Life. Take the steps down to the beach, turn right and walk a few hundred feet. Keep an eye on the right and you’ll see it along the bank. You can climb over driftwood and walk inside the shallow cave to look at the roots and layers of rock.
This beach is also near Ruby Beach which we had visited in December a few years ago. Beautiful views that you should check out if you haven’t been before!
We walked through the really fine sand for a while during low tide and saw many rocks, wood, crabs and tidepools filled with tiny creatures. During the summer, the sun doesn’t set until about 9 p.m. and even after it stays bright for a while. We setup camp, grilled hot dogs, s’mores, trail beer and a cigar from my husband’s collection. The sunset was gorgeous and it’s awesome to be the last ones in the U.S. to see it go down.
While we didn’t see any whales during this trip, keep your eye on the horizon and in the waves for blowholes and whales. People standing where we were earlier in the day saw a few!
TIP: Whale season is winter and early spring but summer has brought us some luck on the coast.
We didn’t set alarms during the trip but woke up at 7:30 each morning. We made a campfire to heat up pre-made breakfast burritos and walked to the beach for a last look before breaking down camp.
TIP: Breakfast burritos were awesome sources of protein, filling and delicious with taco sauce! Mine were wrapped in foil and the tortilla would stick when heated up. I would wrap them in wax paper and foil, freeze, let cool in cooler and before you heat them up remove wax paper. This might help.
Driving into the Olympic National Park
Five Mile Island. Our view of the Hoh River.
Five Mile Island. Our view of the Hoh River. The trees to the right is where we saw the baby deer come out to graze.
Five Mile Island.
My first MRE. His millionth.
Hiking the Hoh River Trail.
We left Kalaloch Campground at 10:20 a.m. and an hour along the coastline to the Hoh Rainforest which felt like a long, winding drive until we reached the entrance of the Olympic National Park. At 11:40 a.m. we were parked at the overflow lot next to the Hoh Rainforest’s Visitor Center. This was one of the busiest areas we had hiked up here since it’s easy for families and offers longer backcountry hikes for the adventurous.
I really wish we could have spent more time here to make it to Glacier Meadows and summit Mt. Olympus. We warmed up on the Hall of Mosses before heading out on the Hoh River Trail. We had a fairly easy trek out to Five Mile Island with a few elevation gains and minor obstacles. We stopped for a break at a waterfall on the way in where we climbed to the top for a quick snack.
During the hike there are a few chances to step out on the river and get a view of the Olympics. We didn’t see any large wildlife but made noise and conversation as we walked since you are in cougar and bear country. They have been spotted so the easiest way to avoid surprise is calling out or clapping now and then. It is a popular trail. Once we made it to Five Mile, I ate my first MRE next to the Hoh River. The edge of the river was filling up with campers settling in for the night but no one noticed a baby deer who came out to the meadow to graze.
Hiking to Five Mile Island and back is 10.6 round trip, added with Hall of Mosses we went a total of 11.5 miles in 4 hours 20 minutes. This was mostly taking pictures and stopping to look at the scenery but we keep a pretty good pace throughout.
When we got back to our car there was an elk just across the field who came out to graze. We left the Hoh and drove to Forks, WA. Forks recent claim to fame has been the Twilight novels and movies and there were lists of filming locations along with numerous shops and signs designated to them. We even got a radio station named Twilight. There’s a grocery store on the edge of town where we grabbed a few things then arrived at the perfectly secluded camping area, Last Chance Campground. Veronica owns the green pasture along with some chickens and horses we woke up to each morning. It had a port-a-pot, lots of space and running water for simple things like rinsing dishes or washing hands. There’s a wild elk herd that comes onto and nearby the campground so you will get plenty of close-ups of them. We also saw several bald eagles flying and perching in the trees.
View from our Forks campsite, Last Chance Campground
View from our Forks campsite, Last Chance Campground. The wild elk herd.
Our Forks campsite, Last Chance Campground.
This campsite is minutes from the highway and within 30-40 minutes of all hikes and beaches we planned on seeing for the next two days. Watching the sunset in this little valley next to the mountains was beautiful. The moon was so bright it drowned out the stars but s’mores with Reeses tasted just as good! I prepped meat for walking tacos with chip snack bags which were the perfect meal after a long day of hiking.
We woke up to chickens, birds and a bright, hot sun. The elk herd was at the fenceline looking at me as I stepped out of the tent. Veronica gives you lots of free firewood so we were able to keep morning and evening fires going, no problem. Kalaloch had a grate over their firepit but luckily we had brought our own grate from our firepit. I warmed up cinnamon rolls in a pie tin, breakfast burritos, jetboil coffee and some watermelon. We saw an eagle fly overhead while eating and it landed in a tree above the elk herd. A baby elk yelled out and it was the coolest experience to be in the middle of it all like that.
At 10 a.m. we left for the iconic Rialto beach. We got there just before the scheduled high tide at noon so it was fairly simple to find a parking spot.
TIP: Make sure to check the tides before you go or else some locations will be impassable.
This is all rocks so definitely wear your walking shoes and pack flip flops if you’d like. It’s 1.5 mile hike out to Hole-in-the-Wall but you’ll see lots of cool rocks, driftwood, fallen trees, campers and hikers along the way.
We sat down on some fallen trees right in front of the rock formations to air out our shoes (those waves will sneak up on ya) and have a snack. I believe the rock formation was Cake Island. While we were there we saw eagles, a sea otter, lots of birds/ducks and a seal! By the time we got back to the truck it was PACKED. If you’re able to go earlier to avoid the crowds, I would suggest it.
There were lots of leashed dogs allowed here, in case you were wanting to bring your pup along.
We left at 2 p.m. for Second Beach and arrived there at 2:30 p.m. It’s out on a two-lane road so your best best is the overflow parking at the top of the hill (you’ll see a sign). The regular lot was full but it does drive through to overflow, heads up if you decide to check them out. Just allow a few minutes to look and take the first open spot you see. It’s a novice hike, about two miles in, with a few steep inclines and switchbacks but I saw so many people do this, you’ll be more than fine.
It’s the best beach we’ve been to here so highly recommend this is a must-see for you!
The hike through the forest is standard PNW but you will hear the ocean as you get closer before you see it. As you breakout on the ridge you catch a glimpse through the trees then the base of the trail opens into an arched entry to the beach, perfectly merging the ecosystems together like a dream. We loved this beach because the only way to get there and see it is a hike. You also have to climb and jump over a wide area of driftwood to get to the sand. The water was freezing. We saw tons of hermit crabs, urchins, and anemones in the tide pools and tons of eagles in the sky flying mainland to the Crying Lady rock and islands.
Hike down to Second Beach
End of the hiking trail. This is the driftwood you have to climb across to get to the Beach.
Second Beach. Drew walking through the rocks and tidepools.
This beach was covered in really fine, soft sand and it was huge! There are lots of campers and visitors on this beach but it’s very expansive so you’ll have a lot of space to play or walk around.
We ended up climbing up a smaller looking Crying Lady rock (maybe 50 feet tall?)
Second Beach (this is the rockstack we climbed up.)
We climbed up on one of the rock stacks to get a better view.
Second Beach, on top of the rock we climbed.
We hiked back up to the truck at 5 p.m. ready to try out a restaurant Veronica had told us about. She said ‘a restaurant’ and it was clear there was only one when we got into La Push. The tribes have a strong presence in these areas and there are several signs with their language, images and historical markers to represent them.
View from the Rivers Edge. Quileute River.
View from the Rivers Edge. Quileute River. We saw tons of wildlife here all fighting over fish and just moving around!
We ate at the Rivers Edge and were amazed at how much wildlife we saw in the span of a few minutes. We watched sea lions and seals catch and eat fish by slapping them against the water. Each time they did this, seagulls and birds would flock over to try and mooch off them. Fisherman would throw their chum in the water and the animals would go NUTS trying get a piece of the meat. That’s when the eagles would swoop down and catch the fish with their talons. It was the best dinner show we’ve ever seen! The food was fresh but don’t expect five-star service here…it’s a small fishing and lumber town, they have their own ways 😉
That night at 7 p.m. we stopped at their creek store for some ice and goodies. They had several paintings and totem poles here and was one of the more convenient options before you drive back into Forks from the North.
Four days?! Yep, we like getting a lot done on our trips and filling our days while we’re at places. This was Memorial Day Monday so we were going to head up North to close out the loop of what we’ve seen before and hit some old favorites. By this day my sunburn was hurting very bad (LOL) even though I continually put on sunscreen. siigghhhh, cue ‘That’s Life’ song.
Three nights, four days of camping and backpacking…
We heated up the usual cinnamon rolls, breakfast burritos, instant coffee and cleaned up camp. We were out at 10 a.m. heading north toward Lake Crescent. It took us about 40 minutes to get there. I really wanted to visit the Sol-Duc Falls & Hot Springs but that would require more time than we had. The highway drives you along the lake for miles and seeing the blue of the water and the tall mountains around it is serene. This is another popular area for water sports, hikers and vacationers. There’s lots to see including parts of the Discovery Trail, PCT and the Lake Crescent Lodge. We did a short, easy almost two mile hike to Marymere Falls. This waterfall was easy to get to and offers a great view that would be occurring whether people are looking or not.
Drew catching my athletic abilities..
I would have loved to do the Storm King hike that you access from this trail but we had other hiking plans for the day. We already talked about going up another time.
We took the end of the trail to the Lake Crescent Lodge which we were so glad we did because of the history. The lobby, bar and screened in porch have a quaint lodge feel with the historical colonial-style cabins lining up the sidewalk. While there we found out the lodge was built in 1915 as one of the first buildings in the Olympic National Park. Franklin D. Roosevelt stayed there and discussed the proposed Olympic National Park with Park Service and Forest Service advisors. Following his tour of the Peninsula, the President signed authorization for the creation of Olympic National Park in 1938. We found all this out from photos in the lobby but you can get more history here.
Lake Crescent view from the lodge.
Lake Crescent Lodge
After all the walking around it was 12:40 when we got back to the truck and a quick 20 minute drive over to Port Angeles. We had been to Port Angeles two years ago when Drew’s family visited. We drove up for a day trip to go whale watching and ate at the Next Door GastroPub before heading to Hurricane Ridge and back home.
The next summer Drew and I took the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles during sunset and saw several whales pop up.
This time Drew and I decided to go back up to Hurricane Ridge hoping for a clearer day
(It seems that there are always clouds in the mountains but the weather has always been different when we break above them. No matter what, drive up!)
Hurricane Ridge outlook
Hurricane Hill hike.
Our last visit was during July so we were sort of surprised to see snow up there during May. It was covering many of the paths we hiked last time. You are high up and it’s named ‘Hurricane’ because of the wind so wear something warm, no matter the time of year. Deer walk freely around the parking lot and trails. This is an area you can have dogs at one lookout next to the Visitor’s Center but not at the Northern lookout point. We heard a few disappointed visitors so if you did bring your dog I would suggest finding a playdate/daycare for the day. The trails are simple but do get a little steep. You can get to several points for valleys, meadows, to view Canada and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
TIP: I did get Canadian roaming charges and you can pick up Canadian radio stations so if you’re worried then put your phone on Airplane mode.
During this trip, Drew and I looked out and saw some amazing ridge trails. We decided to go check it out and found the Hurricane Hill Trail. Drive to the back of the Visitor’s Center and there is a very narrow, no guard rail, winding road about one mile to the trail entrance. We had to find a spot in the overflow lot but it was 1/4 mile walk so nothing awful. We wore our packs and you will be working so we wore minimal layers. Hurricane Hill might be one of my favorite hikes and it’s definitely in our Top Five.
On the peak of Hurricane Hill hike
It’s 3.2 miles roundtrip but our GPS told us we walked about 4 miles in 1.5 hours. It was a gorgeous day, well-maintained trail with some snow to easily navigate over and lots of people. We saw several deer and chipmunks on our way up and I spotted a black bear in the meadow across the valley where we were headed (he was gone by the time we were going back down.)
At the peak we noticed several marmots and you can hear them squealing. From a distance this does look like you’re on a narrow ridge, making for steep views and great perspective photos but you never feel like you’re in trouble up top. We stopped a lot for photos and just to look at different areas the farther along we hiked in.
Hurricane Hill Summit
While most hikes in the PNW have you going through deep forest switchbacks, this was a gravel and dirt path and you’re out in the open for nearly all of it. When at the top you’ll definitely be throwing on your coat but sit on the outcrops to look down at PA, across the Strait at Canada or over the range and down at a further river trail.
It’s breathtaking. This isn’t so steep that it kills your knees on the way down but another hike that will be more comfortable with proper shoes. If you have kids or just wanted to get out for a view you can always go out part of the way before heading back in.
We had to go back to the Next Door Gastropub for ole times sake and, even though it was super busy, we waited thirty minutes to sit down and we’re glad we did. We got a few local beers, Tiger eings (small but SO good!) then burgers and fries we long-awaited all weekend. We judge places based on their fries and Next Door ranks in our Top List for Washington. (Wow. Huge honor, right?!)
We had enough sun to drive back home to Olympia/Lacey and went through Hoodsport as we had a million times. There are lots of hikes here if you’re looking for a place to stop and visit. We always end Hoodsport hikes at the Hoodsport Coffee Company to treat yo’self with coffee and/or ice cream before heading back. There were also Orcas reported in the Hood Canal recently but we didn’t spot any during our drive.
That was our 4-day weekend trip exploring the Olympic Peninsula! It is such a unique experience to be around people who are there to enjoy the scenery and adventurous nature of the upper left corner. If you have kids (maybe middle school or above?) they would easily be able to navigate these hikes but we saw everyone from toddlers to elders in walkers getting out to explore.
Nearly everything was free. We filled up gas one time and besides food and drink, didn’t pay a thing for any other activities making this a super valuable low-cost trip for couples or families.
We’ve lived here for three years and are sad to go. Although we’ve used every available weekend to explore the area there is always more to do. Every single day here leaves me grateful and I hope my friends and family get to experience it. I hope this gave you insight for your trip and please let me know if you have any comments or questions. Let me know what you think!
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.
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.
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!
PS: Would you or someone you know like to join my team? Reach out, I’d love to talk!