In a quaint local candy store, an older couple both wearing hats and using canes for mobility are browsing for sweet treats.

Your town is not a fit for everyone, so how do you attract new people?

You’ll never get everyone to like your town. It takes a certain person to appreciate your local quirks and charm. That’s OK because you’re not trying to get everyone on earth to move there, nor to force everyone to stay. 

The goal is for people to want to move there or want to stay for the best of reasons: because they’ll belong, because they’ll like it here.  

There are things you can encourage people to do to feel like they belong. Simple things like walking or biking around town, eating local food and being involved in activities they enjoy all make people feel like they belong. 

You don’t need to “build it and they will come.” You already have plenty of “it”, if you can just realize what “it” is. 

People want to know what’s here for them. Play up your quirky businesses, mention your local characters, and share the things that make your town unique. Flaunt your local accent. 

Of course you want to improve, and the best way to do that is by building it together. You do that by bringing people together across groups, giving everyone a small but meaningful role, and creating experiences that change people’s thinking. 

You’re not for everyone. That’s OK. You can’t lose the people who were never yours. 

Join Melody Warnick and SaveYour.Town for a free webinar June 12 – Keeping and Attracting Talented People in Rural Places. Melody will be sharing some fresh research from Virginia Tech students on what remote workers are looking for as they consider new communities. Deb will be sharing how you can tell your quirky story so it reaches your potential people. I will be sharing ways to build connections across divisions. There’s no charge for this webinar, and you can sign up here