Now that every business, including yours, has to play by small town rules, you might as well know what they are.
You’ve felt the changes over the last several years, but can’t tell where it’s all going. You can see the technology changing, you’ve felt the economic change, and you sense the change in society. Somewhere in that chaos, there is a larger pattern. The economy, technology and society all point the same direction: the world is much more like a small town now. Once you know that, you can see the way forward, the same way successful small town businesses have been moving for decades.
When every one of your customers can talk to every other one of your customers, that’s just like a small town.
You know that rule, but wouldn’t you like to know the rest of the Small Town Rules? You might as well, because you have to play by them to survive.
As a speaker, that’s the message I bring to you and your group: Small Town Rules. It’s also the message of my book with Chicago entrepreneur Barry Moltz.
Our economy is more like a small town now, with tight lending and low consumer demand. Technology has made it easy for every one of your customers to talk to every other one of your customers, just like a small town. And society is more focused than ever on small neighborhoods and local business, just like small towns. When the whole world seems like one small town, small towns are the learning lab, and small town entrepreneurs hold secrets to business survival.
For Large Companies, Small Town Rules help large brands and urban businesses that are struggling with the uncertain economy, radical changes in technology, and seismic shifts in society. Today, brands find themselves trying to compete for local customers, while being bombarded by inbound messages from consumers and fans, while also coping with drastic changes in revenue. Small town businesses have been juggling this set of challenges for decades. Small towns become the learning labs for business today.
For Small Business Owners, the Small Town Rules come straight from the challenges and successes of my own small business, as well as those around me in small towns. In a small business, there is no room to hide. The Small Town Rules bring out the most important factors to succeed in a time that makes every small business especially vulnerable.
For rural audiences, you’ll hear best practices that work in small towns, examples from small towns today. The best of our wisdom confirms what rural audiences already know, but maybe weren’t sure about. It’s validation that our experience is valuable.
For people all over, hungry for a return to business on a human scale, this is timely wisdom that’s suddenly back in fashion.
Speaking and Other Topics
My successes and my failures help me connect deeply with people, and share some of the ways that small businesses can survive and grow in small towns. These speaking topics come from my own experience using new technologies in my own businesses: a retail store, a cattle ranch, and teaching social media marketing to tourism professionals. I don’t just talk about business, entrepreneurship, tourism and rural issues; I live them.
My speaking experience comes from over 100 events ranging from my own community up to international audiences in the U.K. and Australia. Those events include entrepreneur conferences, business groups, small town conferences, tourism associations, economic development associations and chambers of commerce, with audiences ranging from 10 to 600. Teaching hundreds of classroom hours on computer and business subjects for adult students prepared me to lead useful and entertaining sessions.
My topics have included social media, small business, social networking and new technologies, economic development, and marketing. Based on your schedule, we can arrange a workshop, keynote, or a question and answer session.
In addition to my signature topic, Small Town Rules, you are welcome to suggest a topic of your own, or to work with me on a customized presentation. You can also select from my favorite topics. Any of these can be a keynote, a breakout session, or a workshop.
- Secrets of Prosperous Small Towns
Economic development for small towns will never be the same. “Chasing smokestacks” doesn’t build a living local economy; local entrepreneurs do. The tested model of Climate, Infrastructure, and Support sets out the best road map to building your small town’s future.
Small Business and Social Media:
- Getting Down to Business with Social Media Marketing
Everyone is talking about social media tools, but how do they work for small business? We’ll go through a four step process to create a living and working plan that brings social media marketing right into the heart of your business.
- Charge Premium Prices and Visitors Will Thank You
Visitors are more willing than ever to pay a premium for good works. Social media gives you the room to stretch out and share the story of your good works, so you can earn those premium prices. Now that the online world makes everything like a small town, your small town survival skills become extra valuable online.
- Growing Your Business
This interactive work session takes small business owners through a practical process for growth. You may never look at the 4 P’s of Marketing the same way again!
- Put Your Town on the Social Media Map
You’ve developed your skills to spread the word about your destination online. Now, let’s find and support the army of people who can be your online champions. Online media makers of all kinds are out there: bloggers, video bloggers, Facebook and Twitter mavens on subjects like travel, parenting, sports, foods and your locale. Here’s how to network to find them, how to evaluate them to know which ones are the right ones to work with, and how to work with them differently than traditional media.
Creative Interactive Sessions: Q&A, Discussions, Roundtables, and emcee/host
Your attendees have questions. They want to know how to apply this technology, or how this will work in their own small town. If handled right, the Q&A can be the most valuable part of any session. But a poorly managed Q&A can turn into a circus of grandstanders. In fact, many speakers refuse to take questions, because they can’t control the exchange.
I excel at moderating the flow of discussion, providing customized and useful answers without lecturing. That’s why I love to do creative and interactive sessions. I also can do “flipped” sessions, where the bulk of the material is delivered online in advance. That saves the in-person time for the most important part: the discussion about how to make this work.
This same ability to moderate the flow makes me an in-demand emcee and host for events. If you’re bringing me in for a keynote, an interactive session makes a great second way to put me to work for you.
Becky agreed to co-host the 1st Live #Blogchat event at South By Southwest in March of 2011. I threw Becky quite the curveball, as I asked her to join and help facilitate the discussion and flow at this event with only a couple of hours notice. But I did that because I knew that she could handle the event, and she did so flawlessly. Becky is a very polished yet completely natural speaker, and that resonates with her audience. She was a star of our event, and a huge reason why it was so successful.
Mack Collier, BlogChat Live organizer, Alabama
A sample of my speaking style
Small Town Rules keynote excerpt: 31 minutes
Do Small Towns Have a Future? 10 minutes
A sample of the immediate reaction to this talk:
@beckymccray wonderful talk, got me choked up, grabbing you for a hug later!!
You tell them @beckymccray ! I love your enthusiasm.
Want to see more video?
You’ll find more videos of my presentations on the Media page.
To open the conversation, stop by the Contact page and tell me about what would work best for you.