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All businesses share one common goal, and that’s to achieve steady and continuous growth. I’m sure we could make a laundry list of tactics that could help us get there, but one thing stands out above the rest: COMMUNICATION. If there’s one thing that your team should be focusing on this year, it’s improving their internal and external communication practices.

Whatever efforts you’re making now can be improved with some reflection and a plan. Good communication has no ceiling, and it’s worth putting time and effort into because it builds your reputation, establishes your brand, and ultimately, sells your products and services.

Internal Communication

The members of your team need to be on the same page. There are four types of business communication, and three of those are internal: internal upward, internal downward and internal lateral. All three aid in creating consistent messages and uncovering problems for customers. Additionally, keeping the members of your team informed on internal news will make them feel more involved and invested in your business.

Whether it be at an in-person meeting, virtually or over email, always ask your team what questions they get asked the most by customers. By uncovering recurring problems, you can find a way to solve them. If a customer asks the same question to multiple team members, the goal is that they’ll get the same answer every time. To achieve this kind of consistency, you need to establish a standard for the entire team and determine what you want to say about your business. 

Don’t know where to start? Our Bowe Digital team helps businesses establish their brand voice and presents them with the strategies they need to communicate effectively with their audiences through our Story Arc Process. We interview your customers to find out what they really think; then, we combine that information with your values and goals to present a story everyone on your team can follow.

External Communication

Now that you have the ammunition, you need to communicate with your customers proactively with a consistent message. It's time to act as a resource and establish your team as industry experts. Eliminate commonly asked questions by answering them before they’re asked. AmeriTitle’s blog is a great example. As a partner of ours, they use this space to explain the complexities of their industry and provide tips, covering topics that commonly trip up their customers. This kind of proactive communication can be done through blog posts, social media, emails, etc. 

All communication to your external audiences should be timely and of substance. The golden rule is to not keep customers waiting and to not waste their time. Never communicate just for the sake of communicating. Instead, make sure you’re always providing content that is relevant or of value to them. Focusing on communication with your internal and external audiences this year is the best way to invest in your business. Who better to help you improve your communication than our team of communication experts at Bowe Digital. We’re here to help you reach your audiences in a way that works for you! Contact us today.

When it comes to family pets, choices previously seemed to be Team Dog or Team Cat.  However, we have seen family dogs, cats, chinchillas and rabbits on Social Media. If you scroll through Bowe Digital’s Facebook page, you can find pictures of Pebbles, Samson and Ike..donkey, dog and horse, respectively.

When looking to buy a home, pets also play a huge factor. Families no longer just focus on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.  Many strongly consider how their dream home can also satisfy their pets’ needs, and for some, it can make or break the deal.

DID YOU KNOW?

In fact, according to an article from Business Insider, many millennials bought their first home based on the amenities available for their dog. Man’s best friend gets to vote on this big, life decision, and Bowe Digital can help you be a winner at the real estate polls. 

When marketing and selling homes to pet lovers, Bowe Digital can help you increase your furry friends' customer base through social media, blogging, and marketing emails. Bowe Digital would love to show you how. Please email Bradley Erb at bradley@bowedigital.com, and check out our menu of service here!

Long ago, Dr. Seuss wondered, “What pet should I get?”, and whatever the decision is for you, Bowe Digital can help you market to pet lovers regardless of your business.  Whether you are in real estate or another business sector, we will work with you to maximize your brand so you become the cat’s meow. 

The whole Bowe Digital team hopes you had a great Thanksgiving. We know for many of you -- and for us -- the holiday was a little bit different this year, but that's OK. We actually had a great holiday blog written by our intern Mackenzie that was full of tips to prevent hosting Thanksgiving from being stressful. However, we held off posting it as the advice rolled in to make gatherings smaller this year. With that in mind, we still wanted to share this cornucopia of knowledge with you for next year.

Here is the blog in its original form.

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As Thanksgiving inches closer, often the stress surrounding hosting Thanksgiving dinner does, too. The cleaning alone is enough to make you regret hosting...let alone all the preparation. Most of the time you’re so worried about having the perfect Thanksgiving that you aren’t able to enjoy it with the people you are thankful for...and that’s what the day is all about! We’re here to give you some tips to make this year’s Thanksgiving the best one yet.

Cleaning? Don’t wait, do it now!

Cleaning the entire house is probably one of the scariest things about Thanksgiving...especially that one room that hasn’t been cleaned in months. Yikes! There’s no need to cram all the cleaning in one day. Every day leading up to Thanksgiving, choose one room to clean. By breaking the cleaning up into chunks, what at first seemed like an unbearable task is now manageable. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, your house will be spotless, and you saved yourself trying to fit a week’s worth of cleaning into one day.

Bring your own dish 

When hosting Thanksgiving, many feel obligated to do all the cooking, as well. This creates a lot of pressure to make the perfect dishes and prepare them all in time for dinner. Let’s not forget about the most stressful dish… the turkey. There is no way you can enjoy friends and family if you’re stuck in the kitchen all day running around like a turkey with his head cut off (too soon?).  Having everyone who’s attending bring one dish is a great way to reduce stress. It’s also fun to see what everyone brought and try new dishes. Here are some tasty sides to help make it even easier!

Activities 

One way to have a memorable Thanksgiving is having some games to play while waiting for the big feast. It’s a great time to unwind and get to spend the day with the people you love. Board games are a classic and definitely spark a little friendly competition among the fam. To make it even more special, have everyone attending write down three things they're thankful for. At the dinner table, everyone shares. This heartwarming activity always puts a smile on everyone’s faces and reminds us we have so much to be thankful for.

While there is a lot of work that goes into Thanksgiving, at the end of the day, we’re surrounded by friends, neighbors, and family; that makes it all worth it. With such a crazy 2020, take this next Thanksgiving to relax and laugh with those you love. As always, Bowe Digital is extremely thankful for all of you, and we are wishing you an amazing (and stress-free) Thanksgiving. 

Mackenzie is a Fall 2020 Bowe Digital intern and attends Illinois State University studying communications. She’s majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Sociology. She loves writing, dancing and spending time with friends in her free time.

Let’s face it! 2020 will be remembered for many things, and numerous crises will top the list. If the Bowe Digital team has learned anything at all, it’s that there is no time to plan when a crisis hits. Being proactive with a crisis management plan can help keep your company, employees and you stay calm, cool and collected.

Last month, our leader, Wayne Stanley, and our good Bowe Digital friend, Patrick Harris from Western Title Company in Reno, Nevada, teamed up for a great presentation at ALTA ONE. Their focus? Four particular Do’s and Don’ts titled, “Nobody Panic! Acing Your Next Crisis.” Above anything else, it is important to have a plan...and sticking your head in the sand cannot be the plan. To maintain your company’s reputation, be upfront and honest about what you are experiencing and what comes next.

The four Do’s and Don’ts that can help you ace your next crisis are:

  1. Be prepared. Brainstorm four crisis scenarios, and develop a plan for each one. Just like a routine fire drill, it is important to practice the scenarios and plan with your team so each member knows who is doing what, when and how.
  2. Know your crisis response team. This team is critical. You know your people, and this team needs speed, efficiency, confidence and decision-making skills. This is not a job for the office gossip. Choose wisely, and prepare them to react quickly and calmly.
  3. Communicate fast with transparency. When the crisis hits, remember that you have prepared for it and get to work. Tell it all, and be honest. If you can’t fix what is happening, say that, and while humor can be effective, this might not be the time for it. Read the room.
  4. Own your mistakes. We all mess up, and when you do, take responsibility. Gather all the facts, and stay calm. Round up the troops, and reward team members who support your organization and you during this time. Tell your story with confidence, and be consistent.

With proper preparation, patience and planning, your company will show your customers that they made the right decision to choose you...even during a crisis. It’s an opportunity to promote your hard work and ability to adapt. In addition, Bowe Digital can help you develop a plan that works for your team. You can contact Bradley Erb at bradley@bowedigital.com with any questions concerning crisis management planning. We look forward to hearing from you!

When you are asked to tell your story, what comes to mind? For many, it can be an intimidating experience. If you are a small business owner, what is the story of your company? Can you define your brand?

When given the opportunity to attend my first ALTA ONE conference from the American Land Title Association, my thought was, “I’m not sure what I am getting into.” Being both new to marketing and the title industry after a career in teaching, I am after all the information I can get. Little did I know, I’d be presented with a lesson I’d want to pass on to all of you so quickly!

One of my first sessions was called Telling Your Story: Why It Matters to Your Business. I am a content writer for Bowe Digital, and we tell the stories of title companies (and other small businesses) across the country, and this session seemed right up my alley. 

Also, I recently attended an event and was asked to speak with vendors concerning their products and experiences. The goal was to collect information for our event planners/partners and to give each vendor a platform to present their stories. I was shocked to find that most vendors did not want to participate. Many didn’t know what to say and didn’t want to be recorded, but I considered it an opportunity missed. 

What was reinforced during Telling Your Story is that as a small business, it is important to figure out how your brand intersects with your audience. Where does your business story meet your customer’s story?

Mary O’Donnell, ALTA’s outgoing president and one of the presenters during this session, told the audience, “Your biggest single selling point is you. You are your brand.” It is important to personalize your business so customers recognize that it is a part of who you are. It’s a point Wayne and the rest of our team has always hammered home for our partners as well, but it was good to hear it from an industry leader. 

ALTA recently embarked on a marketing experience where its leadership walked through a process that eventually narrowed their business story down to one word...protection. (Check out this ALTA video that encompasses their journey.) As a team, they worked together to pinpoint exactly what it is they do as a company. 

At Bowe Digital, we’re here to tell every chapter of your story. Our innovative and fun story arc experience can help you find your voice, your brand, your purpose! As a small business owner, you are busy and drawn in many directions. We can walk beside you as you pinpoint why you are who you are, how that links to your business, and how all of it connects to your customers. Please contact Bradley Erb at bradley@bowedigital.com to initiate your story arc. You have a lot to say...let Bowe Digital help you say it.

From Guest Blogger & Bowe Digital Intern, Mackenzie LeClere:

Today, more than 90% of businesses use social media to promote their brand. Hopefully, your business is one of them. Even if you’re on social media, are you using it correctly and efficiently? Social media can be a great thing when done correctly, and Bowe Digital is here to help.

Having social media is a must these days if you are trying to take your business to the next level. To begin with, it’s cost-efficient!  Social media is one of the most inexpensive and easiest ways to market towards your customers and the public. Instagram, Facebook and other platforms can have a huge impact on your sales and reach potential clients or partners without hurting your marketing budget. 

By having an active presence, you can engage and reach people who have never heard of your business.  For example, you share a post to 100 of your followers advertising your business. Those followers share and repost your post bringing in 100 other new eyes. All this leads to new customers -- and more awareness -- for your brand with a click of a button.

Not only is it important to have social media to bring awareness, but it’s an awesome way to form relationships with customers. Within Instagram and Facebook, there are features designed to message people. This allows people who have questions about your business to ask and get a response right away. This is a plus for you because you’re showing them that customers are a priority, making you stand out from other businesses. 

TIPS

Hopefully, these tips come in handy. If you’re looking for more help in this area, Bowe Digital is here. Let’s talk today!

Mackenzie is a Fall 2020 Bowe Digital intern and attends Illinois State University studying communications. She’s majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Sociology. She loves writing, dancing and spending time with friends in her free time.

“Do not try to do everything. Do one thing well.” -Steve Jobs

Being a business owner is more than a full-time job. It’s the realization of a dream that has been your focus, possibly for a long time. You know what you do, and you do it well.

Whether searching for the right insurance agent or the best popcorn in town, most of today’s customers begin their search online. Your net presence is often a customer’s first impression of you, and your brand should be on point.

Bowe Digital can get your message heard. As you focus on your business, our marketing specialists put a spotlight on your efforts, and we work hard, play hard and respect everyone as our team steps up to the marketing plate for you.

Wherever you are in your marketing plans, Bowe Digital can position your brand for success without breaking your budget. Just look at what we offer!

Bowe Digital offers all of this and so much more. You know your business, and we know marketing. Together, we make a dream team with one goal in mind…to take you to the next level. Contact our Business Development Manager Bradley Erb, or reach out to us through bowedigital.com. Trusting us with your marketing needs is a step up on the ladder to success.

Growing up in Galveston, Indiana, Kokomo was THE BIG CITY to me. When I heard my parents talking about “going to town,” it meant we were headed to Kokomo for the best adventures. We came here for everything exciting -- shopping for school clothes, eating out after church, (Anyone remember Duff’s Smorgasbord?) and the occasional movie.

When I met my husband at Ball State University, one thing we had in common was growing up in a small town. We got married and knew we wanted to raise our kids in a place that felt small but had all the big-city amenities.

Howard County was, and is, a perfect fit. We are proud to tell people that we are from Kokomo. Our first daughter, Jordan, graduated from IUK with an English degree, and our second daughter, Katie, is on her way to an elementary education degree. My husband, Jerry, is the sheriff of Howard County, and I have the privilege of working with Bowe Digital, a remote digital marketing company whose roots are all Kokomo. Led by founder Wayne M. Stanley, a 2004 graduate of Kokomo High School, more than a third of our team has ties to this great area.

One of my favorite things about Kokomo is the revitalization of our downtown area. There are restaurants, coffee shops, new YMCA, bookstores and the downtown library. I can go to Main Street Cafe for an Italian cream soda and head to Beyond Borders Bookstore in a matter of two city blocks, and I would pass (and probably enter) the Artworks Gallery by the Kokomo Art Association (These are personal recommendations. Full disclosure...none are Bowe Digital partners.) There is also a great chance I will meet a friend on the short walk.

All of the businesses mentioned above are locally owned and operated, and there are many great places to explore and discover. Bowe Digital wants to help small businesses create big-time marketing, advertising and communication. Our team can work with you (and your budget) to create a marketing strategy and increase your bottom line. In my time here, I’ve worked with partners from all over the country but would love to help businesses in this great community tell their story to new -- and old -- customers. We’re also proud members of the Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce.  

Bowe Digital’s mission is to support your needs and become part of your professional family. If you are interested in checking out what we have to offer, click the Let’s Talk button at the top of our home page. Wayne or Bradley Erb, who is our business development manager and another Kokomo native, will get back to you quickly! 

My city has so much to offer, and Bowe Digital can help you reach the Kokomo community and beyond. Bradley is currently visiting Chamber members, and he would love to stop by to show you all Bowe Digital has to offer. Schedule a meeting with Bradley today! We can help you become a first in the City of Firsts.

Buying a home, especially if it’s your first one, often feels like a rite of passage. Traditionally, you save for your down payment, find a Realtor and attend multiple open houses and showings, all on the search for THE ONE.

And while in-person interaction is being minimized right now, real estate professionals are finding new and exciting ways to keep all buyers (and sellers) safe and in the loop. Your Realtor, loan officer and title and closing company are all here to be a resource for you whether you’re looking for your first home or have been to the closing table many times. As you know, June is National Homeownership Month, and despite current events, the summer housing outlook is very positive.

Here are some interesting facts and figures about homeownership from the National Association of Realtors:

The NAR maintains an evolving guide for its members to use as they navigate COVID-19 and support their customers. Throughout previous months, many of us in real estate have become pros at using technology to communicate with each other and our customers. No matter what, our goal is to maintain the personal connection you seek when conducting business.

Virtual home showings can allow you to see your options before you SEE your options, and you may save time and money by paring down your choices before you visit these homes in person. A traditional home listing contains dimensions, descriptions and design, but listings online allow real estate agents to show every angle of that farmhouse sink you have been looking for.

What is most helpful during the home search process? Patience. Patience with every aspect of homebuying will relieve your stress during an already stressful time. You can buy a home safely, smoothly and successfully -- even during a pandemic -- and you’ll have a whole team of real estate professionals with you every step of the way!

Post written by Robin Asher.

Robin has been an elementary teacher for 16 years.  She is a mother of two who has been happily married to her husband, Jerry, for 25 years. When she’s not being an awesome content contributor for the Bowe Digital, she loves reading, singing and spending time outside in the yard.

Bowe Digital is grateful for all of you during the last few months and takes immense pride in partnering with you. However, it’s time to get down to business, and that’s what we’re going to do today.

When customers of any kind start their search for products or services these days, most begin with one page -- Google. Google My Business (GMB) is a tool that can help all of us use search results to our advantage, and now is the time to take control of your Google My Business account if you haven’t already. COVID-19 has taught all of us the importance of quickly communicating changes to our customers, and a Google business listing is a great vehicle to easily do that.

Keeping your information up-to-date through GMB lets your customers know your current hours (Real estate never sleeps, but think about shops or restaurants), contact numbers, and special offers. You can add important images like a logo and photos to your account, and clients can add reviews. All of it will be included on Google for prospective clients to see. Important...yes! Free...yes!

Creating and claiming your profile is an important first step when getting started. The Google My Business page does an excellent job walking you through each portion of the process, but if you are looking for more specific, section-driven directions, check out How to Create, Claim and Verify Your Google Business Listing from ThriveHive.

After you have everything set up the way you like, it is important to circle back to your account at least once a month. It might be a good idea to add a reminder to your calendar. By updating your material consistently, you stay current for your customers. One last thing…while you’re fortifying your Google presence, you should ask for more reviews, too!

In an era where we Google everything, why would you risk missing a business opportunity when you can stay on top of things on the world’s most powerful search engine?