A quick fly through the Whole Shebang.
A condensed version – or how to explain to your group, mate, mum, dog, whoever how it all works and what you need to make it TotallyLocallyTastic.
A good place to start is here. Grab a brew and listen to Chris rabbit on a bit from when he was filmed in Adelaide South Australia at Place Leaders Asia Pacific Conference.
Why do we do it?
We love our independent shops & 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 towns & Independent High Streets 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?
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 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 –
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 (don’t forget to answer all the required questions when applying to be a member!
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.
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.
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 often 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.