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What do Crocs and our founder and chief inspiration officer, Wayne Stanley’s childhood dreams, have in common? They both made a comeback in 2017. While Crocs were trending in fashion and people were jamming out to Ed Sheeran’s hit song, Shape of You, Wayne Stanley was making his entrepreneurial dreams a reality. 

This week marks five years since Bowe Digital made its’ debut in 2017. In the five years since, we’ve accomplished a lot and made tons of memories, friends and amazing partners along the way.

Here are 5 things we’re proud of in the 5 years since Bowe Digital began.

1. Being named #12 on the Best Places to Work in Indiana list 

Landing the #12 spot on the Best Places to Work in Indiana list this year was HUGE! We’re super fortunate to have a team that brags about our company as much as they do, but this award speaks for itself. Compiled by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Best Places to Work awards are based on anonymous employee surveys with questions about company culture, pay, diversity, and more. We’ve learned first hand that happy employees produce better satisfied partners and productivity. 

2. Making a name for ourselves in the title industry

Our company has carved a niche in the land title insurance industry, and we’ve made a name for ourselves through our outreach by attending and speaking at events like NS3, ALTA HOP and ALMA Agency Seminars. Even if most of you think that our name is Bowe Digital (Bow-ie) and not Bowe Digital (Bow)...we forgive you. We are proud to set the standard and serve title and real estate companies across the U.S., and we feel lucky that companies outside of title and real estate have trusted us, too.

3. Offering our customers custom solutions

The Bowe Digital difference is that all of our marketing, communications and advertising strategies are 100% custom. Forget pre-made templates… we recognize what makes you unique and start from scratch to produce original content that’s branded to fit your needs and meet your standards. We pride ourselves on being an extension of your team. Our goal is to deliver on your vision for connecting with your customers and making an impact in your industry. 

4. Encouraging our team members to learn and grow

Since getting our start in 2017, we have always encouraged the members of our team to set educational and professional goals and to never stop learning. Pushing our team to further their expertise and career helps them to better serve our partners. It’s a win-win. We’re proud to share that our entire team is Hubspot certified by Hubspot Academy and that almost all the members of our team have been certified as ALTA HOP Leaders with eight earning that certificate this year.

5. Growing the Bowe Digital family 

Half of businesses fail in the first five years according to the Small Business Administration, but not Bowe Digital. Despite being tested by the pandemic in 2020, our company grew faster than ever, providing the best service and support to our growing list of partners. What started as five teammates and a dream of helping a few trusting partners, has evolved into a team of almost 20 full-time employees, serving nearly 200 partners. Our team truly is a family - it means everything to us - and we treat our partners like family, too!

Like Crocs, Bowe Digital likes to make a statement. We provide our partners comfort with a bold look that customers can’t miss, and while we’d like to give Crocs all the credit, we can’t. We really owe it all to Wayne and to his grandparents, Shirley and Glen Vernon Bowe who inspired him and inspired more than just the name of this company. We honor them each day by sticking to the promise to work hard, play hard, and respect everyone. We can’t believe it’s been five years, and we’re raising a glass to the next five…and the five after that…and the five after that! Visit bowedigital.com to learn more about our story, and join us in celebrating five years by partnering with us!

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. 

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.

“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.

From Guest Blogger & Bowe Digital Intern, Marissa Weiner:

Like ghosts, ghouls and goblins, Instagram is feared because it’s unknown to many. Though the photo sharing app launched nearly a decade  ago, many businesses remain reluctant in entering the “new” platform. Additionally, with most Instagrammers using Facebook as well, some business owners see no pressing need to join the Instagram realm if they already have an online presence on Facebook. However, if you want to reach a younger demographic, particularly millennials, creating a free Instagram account is paramount, as 71% of the app’s users are under the age of 35. 

Instagram shouldn’t be spooky; it doesn’t have sharp fangs or long claws. It has red eyes, but those can be easily edited and removed. Though creating an Instagram feed followed by many may seem alien to the inexperienced user, the guide below will help your business stand out above the rest. 

DO: Utilize Instagram stories to tell your story 

No matter what your business is selling, your brand has a story-- consumers want to flip the pages. Did Veronica, your sales representative, just have twins? Thanks to Veronica, you’ve just gained 15 new followers. By sharing the little moments that make your company unique, people want to literally follow along. Along the way, your company builds trust and credibility, associating faces and memories to what was once just a company name and cheesy slogan.

DO: Filter your photos consistently

The word “aesthetic” seems to spew out of the mouth of every Instagram user nowadays. While building an aesthetically pleasing feed worth following may seem impossible if your company sells and manufactures toilet plungers (or title insurance), it isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Consistency is the key to Instagram fame and fortune, so it’s essential that each photo is filtered using the same preset. But b filter photos judiciously , careful not to oversaturate an image. 

DO: Show company culture through Instagram’s Live Stories 

It’s no coincidence that The Office is Netflix’s most watched show—broadcasting the mundanities of everyday life is appealing. Did Phil just spill his coffee for the second time this week? Kevin spilled his chili in season five episode 26 of The Office, and I’m still laughing. No, I’m not saying you should use Live Stories to bully your colleagues. Instead, use Live Stories to give consumers a real-time behind-the-scenes glimpse at the characters of your company. If your office has its own Kevin-esque character, consider yourself (and your Instagram) lucky. 

DON’T: Use stock photos 

Stock photos have a place in your marketing plan, but it’s not on Instagram. The photos may be better utilized on a platform like Facebook, in which an older generation is targeted. Millennials, however, will take one look at the photo of your “receptionist” and know there’s no way “Miguel” is smiling that wide on a Monday morning. Rather than finding artificial photos on Shutterstock or Pixabay, take real, in-office photos. Maybe you spend one Friday evening having a photoshoot, allowing a database of photos to be locked and loaded for future use.

Marissa Weiner is a senior Butler University student pursuing degrees in Communications and Media and English Creative Writing. She interned with Bowe Digital during the summer of 2019. 

Creating The Culture of an Employer of Choice:   

Build Your Bench Strength

 

Candidates in today’s job market will do their homework to learn about the climate inside a company. A job applicant today wants to know about how your employees and customers view your company behaviors and how you fulfill promises. They want to know if you are a fit for their needs and skills before they apply. In order to attract a better applicant, you need to know where you stand now.

When we talk about all the things that need to happen when recruiting new team members, we cannot forget our current bench. Your current bench is sharing your current culture to anyone who will listen.  In the Maxwell Daily Reader, John Maxwell calls this managing the revolving door. Making sure that candidates joining the team are better than those who are leaving. To attract that level your reviews need to reflect a strong culture.

I do not believe anyone takes a new position with the mindset that they want to fail at it. Unfortunately, several leaders hire poorly, place people in positions they can’t do their best at, or simply manage them with a leave alone… zap mentality. Leave alone… zap means you do not give direction or feedback until someone makes a mistake, then you zap them with criticism. The goal should be to retain staff. You hired them because you saw something you could appreciate and needed. It falls to the leader every time to create an environment that promotes and encourages development. The culture your company is known for is the talent that it will attract for the future.

Your bench is your future. Investing in the bench will increase the number of starters within your inner circle. Loyalty comes from the heart not a contract. A loyal culture comes from the belief that you have the team’s best interest at heart.  What does the company do to get the right tools for success in the hands of their team member? Future success for your bench is making sure they have continued training and are encouraged to share and use their new found knowledge. When this is not happening, they may look for a greener pasture. First, they will be sure to let others know that you did not fulfill your promises.

Flexible hours is one of the top priorities of today’s job seekers in terms of benefits. Source: Harvard Business Review. Flexible work hours and work-life balance are particularly popular among millennials and parents. According to FlexJobs, around 8 out of 10 parents polled chose flexibility and work-life balance as the most important factors in a potential job opportunity. While it is not possible for all businesses to offer some of these flexibility ideas, they can learn to be more creative. For instance: Closings do not all have to happen between nine and five. If a closer could attend a child’s school activity and then perform a closing after 5 or on a Saturday, at the benefit of the client who also works nine to five, it is a win win. Have you ever looked at a four-day work week? Work through the pros and cons for your office. You could have later hours for some, offer Saturday work for those who prefer it or have a need to be off occasionally on a week day. It does not have to be inconvenient for everyone. It is called being flexible. Not all jobs can be remote and not everyone is capable of working remotely. They simply want another consideration.

 

Building a strong culture towards being the employer of choice can start with a simple checkup of where you are now. Learn what steps you should take next. Attracting the right people to your company will save you lots of time, frustration and money. Being an employer of choice can improve your profit margins. Understand how your story can be shared better by those who you depend on daily. We can help bring to life your vision of your culture by emailing us at contact@bowedigital.com.

LinkedIn’s mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.

And so far, they’re executing well. It’s likely you already know the platform as your go-to spot for hosting your resume. But this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what LinkedIn can do for you and your company.

Thanks to its focus on professionals, LinkedIn has fostered an engaged community that wants to hear what career advice, work tips and professional development guidance you have to offer. It’s an amazing (and often underused) platform with a fast-growing captive audience. It’s time you make posting content on it a priority whether its through a company account or your own personal page.

We put together this handy list of best practices when it comes to posting, such as what to post and how often to post. These tips will help stop your content from getting lost in the noise and turn it into content that can truly make an impact.

The foundational best practice: We can’t stress this enough. You need to start by completing your LinkedIn profile. According to LinkedIn, companies with a complete profile receive 30% more weekly views. This means that your description, logo and company information all need to be filled out. (If you want some inspiration to get started, check out this Best of LinkedIn Pages that LinkedIn created.)

Now here are answers to two follow-up questions that you might be asking us.

LinkedIn is a platform that needs to be taken off the backburner and made a priority. Where else can you find so many people who are ready to engage with you? If you need more help creating and managing content, call Bowe Digital today at 317-410-1690.

A few weeks ago, I found heaven in Arizona—Bloody Mary heaven! During the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3), I had the opportunity to visit Hash Kitchen.  There were so many options and you were completely in control of how you made your drink. Spicy rim salt, jalapeno infused vodka, spicy Bloody Mary mix, shrimp, cheese, a Slim Jim piece, jalapeno, horseradish pickle, bacon, celery and, of course, more bacon -- that’s how I made mine, anyway.

So, what does all of this have to do with marketing your business? If you think about it, marketing is a lot like that Bloody Mary bar, and no I’m not writing this after a few drinks myself!  Think about it. There are so many different ingredients that can go into both a Bloody Mary and marketing, and you just need to find the perfect combination that fits your needs and desires.

How does marketing have ingredients? In the form of options. So many options. And not all those options will work for your market, but when you find the ones that do work, it’s like a perfect Bloody Mary crafted by your own hand. What ingredients do we recommend? A well-rounded strategy that meets people where they are. What does that mean? Where are your customers spending their time? Are they on mobile devices, social media, email etc? Wherever they are, that is where your marketing should be.

Just because someone else is putting jalapeno infused vodka in their Bloody Mary, doesn’t mean it will be the right flavor for you. Same goes for your marketing. You may have business friends in a different state using Snapchat and seeing great results from it, that doesn’t mean you should use it. And it definitely doesn’t mean you will get the same results from using it. Test your market. See what works for your area, and don’t be afraid to throw away some ingredients that just aren’t working. Not sure how to test? Just start by asking your customers where they are most active.

Get started today! Pick some ingredients and begin experimenting on your way to that perfect concoction. Need some help getting started with your initial testing? That’s why we’re here. Contact me today at 317.410.1690.

Let Bowe Digital be your business best friend.  Together, we’ll find what works well for your business and toast to your future success.