How to Create you Totally Locally Mini Site

Get your WordPress head on, and let Totally Locally Marc walk you through how to set up your town mini site. Complete with interruption from the postman halfway though. Eat your heart out Hollywood Production Company…..

Warning ‘Geek’ is spoken on this video – and a few ‘errs’

The Two Minute Overview

A quick fly through the Whole Shebang.

a condensed version, which probably repeats itself in other places, but hey, we lost complete track of everything.  How to explain to your group, mate, mum, dog, whoever how it all works and what you need to make it TotallyLocallyTastic.

Why do we do it?

We love our independent shops and businesses, and realised that the competition from the big multi-nationals was killing our high streets. Our background is in branding, marketing & business consultancy. We realised that what is missing from most small businesses and towns is a structured branding and marketing approach (sorry this is sounding a bit corporate but bear with us), something that everyone can get their teeth into, which is easy for the general public to buy into. And it’s proven!
We get excited that we could possibly make a big impact on the towns of the UK by being a bit clever, working with great people who care and playing the big boys at their own game. Totally Locally is our “unreasonable passion” – and everyone should have one of those.

Why should you do it?

Triangle Emporium Totally Locally Shop

Totally Locally is about reminding people of what they have in your town, and that if they want to continue to have these great things that they only need to make small changes to make a large difference.

Totally Locally is a showcase for your town’s independent businesses and shops. It gives people a reason to shop in your town and reminds them of all the great things that they have and may have forgotten. It changes public perception and shopping habits so that people look to spend money in your local shops instead of just at supermarkets, online and chain stores.

Totally Locally is not just about individual shops or businesses though. It is about working together to lift your whole town. It is a long-term campaign that can be run on a shoestring, but one that has successfully changed both the bottom lines of shops and businesses and the way people choose to shop.

And It’s Really, Truly Free?

Yes. As long as you are a volunteer group.

What do you mean? As a good guide – Do you or your group / organisation get paid to work on high streets or town regeneration? Do you draw a wage for what you do? If the answer is yes, then you need to look at the paid for licence (we believe if you get paid, so should our people – that’s only fair).

If the answer to the question above  is no, then it’s totally free. NOTE: Please don’t try and get a free kit if this is going to enhance your job, and make you look good in front of your boss. This whole thing is about being honest and being fair. We will find out 😉

What’s the catch?

You’ve got to get Totally Locally  started and you’ve got to keep it up. If you ignore Totally Locally it will fade. You’re in it for the long-term, but in the end that’s why you got into business in the first place, to do exciting and good things. You can move on and do your own stuff, and even let Totally Locally fade into the background. That’s ok. It will have done its job. No more catches.

Ok I’m in. What happens next?

Here’s your shopping list (no pun intended).


You – someone who wants Totally Locally in their town – very much!

Main contact – find someone to be our main point of contact in your town. They’ll need to be able to send emails, organise meetings, be on the end of a phone… generally be an organised kind of sort. It can be you, but doesn’t have to be.

Your supporters – you’ll need a group of at least three people who want to change your town. One can make a difference, three can make a huge difference. Start talking about Totally Locally on your local high street. Share this website.

In the meantime, spread the word about what you’re doing. Get people excited, see who can do what, and most of all take a fresh look around the place that you live. You’ll be surprised by the Totally Locally expertise on your doorstep.

Start a Facebook group that people can join, then use it to announce your first Totally Locally meet-up in a local venue.


Everyone has a facebook, but not everyone knows how to use it. Twitter can be a very powerful tool in the right hands, and Instagram is rapidly catching up on the two (in fact more people under 20 use Instagram than facebook!). Across the three you can hit a huge audience with your news and hidden gems etc. You just need to know how to use them properly!

A Youtube channel for your town


It will add loads to your campaign too. And your films around town can be done to a good standard on an iphone and edited on free software. And again, youngsters watch Youtube more than you watched telly when you were a kid. It’s huge! Again, if in doubt ask your kids!
A thick skin – you’ll be told “We’ve tried stuff like this before”, “it won’t work”, and lots of other things. Just get on and do it. When it works they’ll all want to be part of it.

Good People

Totally Locally Scarborough

Get good people on board –  including photographers, writers, deliverers (these can be shop owners, as there are a lot of frustrated creatives running small businesses, or people from local colleges, or retired people or just people you know who may like to give it a shot) the local paper / magazines, and people who are generally positive characters!

You’ll Need to Talk to Other Town Champions – So Join the Town Kit Doers Group on Facebook.


This is where people running the campaign or who are thinking of starting it, hang out. You can introduce yourself, ask questions and join in the debates. It’s great and people are very friendly. What if you don’t do Facebook? Tough. You need to get someone who does, because this is a really important part of the campaign. You need to know your social media. Totally Locally thrives through good social media. .

You need to understand the ethos behind Totally Locally ……….


It’s not about “What can I get out of it?’. It’s about looking at yourself and finding out how you can change the way you shop (especially if you are a business yourself) and practicing what you preach. If your shop has 5 local suppliers look at your suppliers list. Is there anyone in your town that could supply you, instead of buying from a big multinational, or from somewhere half way across the world. A good example is one Yorkshire cafe we know stocks Ginger Beer made in Australia – delicious but travelled a long way!. But for the same price they could buy a locally brewed very famous ginger beer that everyone loves too. Not hard, but if everyone did things like this places change!

Done. What’s next?

Apply for your free licence.

Get Totally Locally In Your Town

Everything is free (a campaign like this usually cost ££ thousands)  but we do ask if you could donate a small amount towards helping us host your mini website and to pay for a bit of admin time for us to get you up and running. If you can’t manage this, it won’t exclude you, so please contact us if you are struggling. We work on the economics of being nice. Help each other in every way you can. That way we all thrive.

We will get back to you with logins to your mini website. You must now populate this website to show us you have the skills to get Totally Locally running, and to make sure you are seen as part of the TL family (you will feature on our website). . It’s simple if you or one of your team knows WordPress.  If you don’t please contact us.

Once this is done we will send you a password to download all the free templates.

Get some photos together of your town and shops.


See our Photo Guide. PLEASE no shop exteriors. This campaign is about people and what they sell, and how they interact with their town. Photos of smiling shop owners in their place of work, or business people doing their job. We have a guide on just how to do it here>>

Write a bit about your town.
What you love about the place, how many businesses you have, what makes it special.

Download the files for the kit and go for it. Please let us know too. We receive a lot of enquiries about Totally Locally (being free and excellent and all…) so it’s great to know that you’re committed.

Start thinking about your Hidden Gems for your Facebook page & Website. These show what great shops are on people’s doorstep. People oftenn say “the photos just make me want to go to the shops right away”. Your photos should show the Hidden Gem owner and elements of the shop & products they sell. There’s more about taking a great photo in our Hidden Gem bit of the Town Kit.

Plan a Launch – guide here>>

Get a launch idea together. This can be as big or small as you like. It’s just a focus for you to tell the press and people that you are committed to the Totally Locally Ethos.

When can we announce that we’re a Totally Locally town? We’ve found that it’s best to go “official”, as in start talking to your local journalists, once you have a date for your launch event in your diary. It’s just that as a Totally Locally type you’ll be talking to the press rather a lot in the future… it’s best to start it with a bang!

In the meantime…..


about what you’re doing. Get people excited, see who can do what, and most of all take a fresh look around the place that you live. You’ll be surprised by the Totally Locally expertise on your doorstep.

The Launch Event

We finally wrote a guide about how to do a launch event because it was one of the stalling points in the process. People had got enthusiastic about having Totally Locally in their town, they had got others on board and interested, all revved up but couldn’t think of a launch event.

It basically boils down to how much time you have before you want to launch and how many people you initially have on board…but with anything Totally Locally if in doubt start simple and build on it.


A few tips. Avoid the months of July & August, as people are away on holiday, and the months of November, December & January, as people are too busy with Christmas, or too miserable after going back to work in the New Year. And it’s bloody cold. Ideally you should go for March to June & September October. As ever, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, as we have launched campaigns in February. But we did get wet. Very.

We’ve had everything from a low key Local Market to a huge Movies in the Park with thousands of people. It’s up to you and what suits your town best. Just be creative and get excited.

Most of all though, when you’ve got your idea, ask yourself “Would I go to that, even if I’m busy, or even if it’s raining”.

Put yourself in other peoples shoes. They may not be as passionate as you about supporting their town, but they may be curious. If you do something really interesting they will be more than curious, and they will probably come, get a bit giddy and start to really think about where they live.

If you do ‘same old, same old’ they will probably just remain curious. And then go to Tesco.

How to ‘do’ a launch event.

When you launch Totally Locally in your town, it’s best to think about an event to help people & businesses focus on the whole idea and also to give press, radio & TV something to hang an article on. It makes sense too, in the fact that if you are handing out flyers about the whole concept of Totally Locally, an event is the perfect thing to demonstrate the whole big idea.
So…. what to do.

Totally Locally is about getting people to use their local shops, getting shops to look at their suppliers, getting people to re assess what’s on their doorstep and helping businesses to start looking at working together. This applies to all sorts of shops and businesses, be they hardware stores, bakers, accountants, etc., and you name it really.

BUT, the one thing that people will automatically associate with shopping locally and supporting local businesses is food. Why? Well we all eat (!), local is perceived to be best and with more and more programmes like River Cottage on TV, there’s a real hunger (excuse the pun) for local food. So it makes sense that any launch event should focus on food – not entirely, but it’s a way of enticing people to come and have a look at what’s going on. And when they are there you can hit them with everything – crafts, clothing, and music, whatever.

A Totally Locally Market is always a great event to hang a launch on and this has been successful in every town we’ve done one in. It’s no coincidence that some of the supermarkets are even using traditional markets in their adverts to try and make people think their produce has a quality and ‘home grown’ feel, (See Morrisons 2011 Christmas ad for example) so it makes sense that when it’s the real ‘Totally Locally’ deal, this is the way to go.

With all of these things, music is a great accompaniment. If you look at our West Bridgford video on our YouTube Channel, you’ll see it was completely music-tastic, with everything from jazz to barbershop to classical to blues. It was brilliant. If you involve the little ‘uns from the local school, you KNOW that mum & dad, and grandma & grandad and great Auntie Elsie are all going to come too. The more the merrier!

We just missed a pie competition in Ampthill by a couple of months. How good would that be to run the launch alongside!! The scope is limitless, but you have to make it easy for people to want to engage with the event and to get excited about.
Offers and Treasure Trail

This is one of the most popular launch events as it revolves totally around the £5 message and getting people to ‘explore’ their town again. The shops put on a special launch day offer and there is also a small treasure trail around the shops for Children to do.This can be themed if you are launching at certain times in the year, but works equally well with “What is the name of the owner of the Butcher’s?” A bit of a hamper as a prize from drawing out of all entries and everyone goes away happy.

Take a look at the Town Maps and Offers in the downloaded files and this will give you a good idea of what has been done in the past.

Other Bits and Bobs

There are loads of marketing materials in the Town Kit that you can use and also the press release template in the kit for when you talk to press.

Also don’t forget the new forums that we are opening up alongside the kit so you can post up a question or comment and a fellow Totally Locally lover or one of the team behind Totally Locally will lend you their ears.

Don’t forget to have a look at what the other towns that are running Totally Locally have done or are doing. The sharing of ideas is what is really pushing Totally Locally along.

© 2009-2015 Totally Locally Ltd. Totally Locally® is a registered trademark of Totally Locally Ltd. Privacy and Terms

How to Take a Totally Locally Photo

A quick guide on how to take a photo that fits in with everything else.

Lets be honest, there’s some great photographers around, probably one or two in your town who could do you some stunning shots.
But you can’t rely on them to take every photo for the campaign can you? It wouldn’t be fair on them. So here’s how to build up your library….

Totally_Locally-photosWhen we take Totally Locally Photos we tried to use equipment that most people have, shot in the most simple way.

Tip 1


You can use your phone, as long as the camera is a good quality one. I-phone cameras and the likes od Samsung Galaxy (or let’s be honest, most camers phones) are so good now, that they are winning international photography awards. Or you can use a good compact compact camera. And with INSTAGRAM you can add a great retro feel to everything. We recommend this tutorial if you haven’t got a scoobydoo (clue). >>>

Here’s  some tips to get great photos:

Tip 2

TURN THE FLASH OFF. It makes everything seem warmer, and doesn’t give those horrible reflections off shiny surface, and stops everything looking stark. It requires a steadier hand, but the results are worth it.

Tip 3

Shoot pictures mainly inside the shop. People can see the outside of your shop as they drive past it. They probably don’t know whats inside. Let them see. This is really important!

Have a lot of photos with shop owners and staff in. The public love a smiley face (and make sure they ARE smiling). Get some nice close up shots of unusual products, especially locally made or individual stuff. Instagram is great for this. (rememebr the flash rule!).

Totally_Locally-photos3Tip 4

Check out Instagram App for your camera phone. It can make an average photo look good. But it can make a good photo look great!

instagramUse these tips and add a few filters, and you have some warm, retro-styled images for your site. When you take Instagram shots, always hashtag (#) your photos with #TotallyLocally and #yourtown.

Make sure you  set up an Instagram account for your town minisite.

If you haven’t a clue what we’re on about, ask your 12 year old kid. They’ll tell you……..

Tip 5

A main photo should be the shop owner with a good bit of what they’re about in the picture.
If it’s a cafe, have the coffee machine in with some cakes displayed.
If it’s a clothes shop, the owner could be leaning on a shelf, with neatly arranged clothes an shoes.
If it’s a butcher hold a string of sausages with pies and meat cuts in the background.
Baker – holding some loaves etc. etc……

Tip 6

Use the Totally Locally materials as props to get the messages across. It shows a unity across all the businesses. HQ-site-teddington

Tip 7

Spend some time arranging things. take a quick snap, have a look at it and see if there’s any old dishcloths Tesco carrier bags(!) notes on the wall etc. – anything that may distract but also make your place a little less loved.

When the main pic is done, take a few of your window (see above for arranging stuff) or some of your stock – close ups of cakes, jams, clothes, pies to add a bit of extra interest.


THEN you could have a small pic of the outside of your shop.

Have a look at  the other towns on and see which you think looks best – then copy them!!

Tip 8

Or you get a professional photographer in your town to do it! 🙂

Hidden Gems

The Totally Locally campaign is all about Independent Shops and Businesses. These are the things that make your town and area different from any other town in the world so they are a precious commodity.

These are your Hidden Gems in the town.

Totally Locally was created, and continues with passion, to celebrate the fantastic shops, businesses and people that we have in our local areas. Shops and businesses like yours, and people like you. These (you!) are the Hidden Gems in our towns that make the place that little bit different, that little bit more colourful, and that little bit better to live in.

Writing about a Hidden Gem

Example of a Hidden Gem:

Saker is one of those classic Hidden Gems. If you know about it, you will love it, and visit it it at every opportunity. If you don’t……… well here’s where that stops.

So here’s us telling you all about a bakers co operative, based in Todmorden & Hebden Bridge, creating beautiful organic breads, cakes pies etc. So far, so worthy you may say. But just TASTE their food! It’s wonderful. And before you say, it’ll cost a fortune, do a price comparison with the supermarket. A hand crafted, organic loaf for the same price or less than a bland supermarket sliced (or LOADS cheaper than supermarket ‘taste the finest, difference, whatever’, stuff)- we kid you not.

The breads (everything from white bloomer to wheat free rye) is just like bread should be – unbelievably tasty, filling and eaten best on it’s own with a big lump of butter. The cakes are melt in the mouth amazing. The Caramel & blackberry crumble cake is said to do “strange things to women” and the shortbread….well we’ll leave it to you to discover. Find Saker on Market Street in Hebden Bridge, try their food & be converted. Join the queue…..


The Hidden Gem Photo

The Totally Locally campaign is all about fantastic pictures that capture what each business is about and that mean nothing that makes it look like an Estate Agents window! Take a look at our guide to Totally Locally Photos.

Triangle Emporium Totally Locally Shop


Files from the Kit

We ended up creating a bit of a form for getting information about Hidden Gems. It’s in the kit.

Can Chainstores or Franchises Get Involved. Take Part?

Totally Locally is made specifically for INDEPENDENT shops. It is a branding project with a marketing strategy.
It isn’t for use with national chain stores and even franchises.

Chain Stores

It goes without saying really. Chainstores have their place on the high street, and they can help small businesses thrive, by bringing a certain presence to a town. It can also show that there is confidence in the town has allowed big decision makers feel that the town is right for their big store. BUT one of the main reasons for the demise of the high street is the unfair competition that the big guys bring (Amazon & Starbucks not paying UK taxes anyone?). They have huge marketing budgets, central marketing teams. They don’t care about the little guys, so it goes……

(This may seem ludicrous to even think that they would be interested, but when we tell you that we’ve had requests from Tesco, Dorothy Perkins and WH Smith and many others to join in in town Fiver Fests, it makes a bit more sense why we mention this!).

What about a Franchise?

This is our grey area and in the end it is down to the champions in the town to decide…but you need to be careful. The Post Office might be a yes due to its place in the community, something like Vision Express probably not…but that doesn’t stop them helping out or contributing.
Why not? Because Specsavers and McDonalds, although usually owned by and employing local people, have their own marketing budgets, campaigns and advertising. They are linked to a big machine. Everyone knows about Specsavers (not singling this or any other ocular company out) and what they stand for, but probably don’t know about that 3rd generation family run optician at the bottom of the street.

If you add well known high street giants to the campaign, it de-values what people think about Totally Locally.
A good definition of brand is the “The gut feeling that someone gets when they think about you, your organisation or what you do“. If that gut feeling is confusion (Why is Thorntons in the Totally Locally campaign, but not that little sweet shop?) you fall at the first hurdle.

BUT, if someone running a franchise understands this, they can still get involved by helping. In Retford this happened. The wonderful lady running Specsavers helped tremendously by working with businesses, helping with the launch day etc. But she can’t be on the publicity. Sorry, it will lose credibility in people’s eyes, and you WILL cause the campaign to stumble. But she helped, and their launch day was the busiests the town had in years. So her shop was busier. Simple really?

Remember this is about independent shops and businesses. That’s it.


In the kit there is a template for Hidden Gems Posters. Once you’ve written your Hidden Gems, as well as put it on your website, you can drop the write up into the poster template.


Don’t display your own. How much more powerful if every shop had a Hidden Gem that was someone else in their window! Your shop recommending another shop. Pretty special we think.

Core Messages

This is a small but very important page in the kit as pretty much everything that Totally Locally is all about can be distilled down into a few core messages.

Each message has its own explanation pages but if it were a shop the £5 message would be the sales pitch to get customer in, the Hidden Gems would be all the goods that were being sold and The Magic Tenner would be the financial transactions in the back room.

Everything thing about the Totally Locally campaign is built around three core messages:

1. The £5 Message

2. The Magic Tenner

3. Hidden Gems


These concepts underpin the way that Totally Locally talks about itself, how if celebrates the things that make our towns and areas different from each other and how every activity in the campaign pushes at least one of these three messages.

The Magic Tenner Message


The Town Kit has a poster called The Magic Tenner. This is really popular with shoppers, as it states “When you Shop Here, You Support Another XXX Businesses Who Supply & Work With Us.” It shows exactly how shopping locally can make a big difference on a local economy, even when you spend a small amount.

The Magic Tenner campaign is all about how money flows around the local economy and highlighting just how much impact local businesses and shop have in the community.

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How To Do A Fiver Fest


The Totally Locally £5 or $10 Message has captured the imagination of so many people. They get it. It makes it easier for them to shop locally. They don’t feel overwhelmed and don’t feel that they have to boycott their supermarket or the big shops. So they do it. Then they start to think more about their town.

So when you hit them with a Fiver Fest not long after they have seen the £5 / $10 message, it makes the whole thing even stronger.

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