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Marketing 3-4-5™ Framework & Approach

Simplifying local marketing with quick 15-minute activities

You don't have to be limited by time, technology, confusion, or fads - Marketing 3-4-5™ equips you to leverage your authenticity and relationships to do effective marketing.

Create your free Locable account to streamline marketing

An introduction to how Marketing 3-4-5™ saves time and shows you how to do local marketing

Let's start with the Marketing 3-4-5™ framework to make better marketing decisions, waste less time and money, and avoid falling prey to fads and fast-talking salespeople.

It's important to understand that marketing is not just about customers (hiring?), it isn't just advertising, and it is something you can do effectively to reach your goals, help others, and positively impact your community in the process.


Reasons to Do Marketing

Attract Customers
Grow Team
Support the Community


Reasons People Choose to Work with You

Likeability / Friendliness / Ambiance
Values & Community Involvement


Ways People Find You

Direct Traffic / Referrals
Ads & Social Media
Email Newsletters
Google / Search Engines
Local Connections
Content (Business Blogging) & Distribution

Marketing continues to get more complicated

The internet has become incredibly fragmented between your website, social media, email marketing, cross-promotion, and search engine optimization (SEO) but the Marketing 3-4-5™ approach to content distribution simplifies the process.

Content of Consequence™ like business blogs, events, job openings or volunteer opportunities, coupons, and more should live on your website, get shared to social media (primarily Facebook), sent via email, and cross-promoted by your Local Connections™ which enables you to rank higher and more broadly on Google.

Creating content is an intimidating prospect for most people. Fortunately, the Marketing 3-4-5™ approach is prompt-based which means you can create compelling and authentic content simply by answering a series of questions about your business and activities. 

The result aka what you can expect from Marketing 3-4-5™:

  • Zero creativity is required & content can often be created in under 15-minutes and shared to social media - read the Guided Blogging feature announcement
  • Email distribution (through our Express Email Newsletter feature) can be done in under 5-minutes,
  • Search Engine Optimization is improved i.e. you rank higher on Google
  • You automatically cross-promote with local businesses and nonprofits that you support and endorse
  • As a result, you drive more referrals and convert more leads into customers, improve your hiring & retention, and positively impact your community

Next steps:

We wrote the Local Lovin' Book on Marketing

Simplify marketing into 15-minute activities that help you get found - everywhere!

Let's dig deeper into the Marketing 3-4-5™ approach

Become More Effective at Local Marketing Without Having to Become an Expert at Local Marketing

Local communities and small businesses are outmanned and outgunned by bigger competitors when it comes to marketing. Competing on their terms is a dire situation but small businesses have an unfair advantage these corporate companies can’t recreate: Authenticity and Relationships.

Our Marketing 3-4-5™ Framework is designed to simplify local marketing so you can become effective and efficient without having to become an expert. It’s time to grow your business through content marketing without having to be creative or a particularly good writer.

Join our mission to #TakeBackLocal by effectively marketing yourself and supporting others in your community.

15-Minute Local Marketing Activities

We know that as a business owner you don't have a lot of time so Marketing 3-4-5™ is designed so you can fit marketing activities into those 15-minute downtimes throughout your day.

Whether you’re between client meetings or waiting for someone to enter your store, you can create something meaningful in your free time.

Create a plan to move your business forward

Maybe business is good and you don’t think you need to market your business.

Perhaps you actively use social media but do so nearly exclusively.

Or, you're like most local businesses that simply don’t do anything and think their lack of experience, time, technical expertise, or other excuses are valid - they are not.

Marketing doesn't have to be complicated, time-consuming, or expensive but it does need to be done and you can do it. We’ll show you how.

Marketing 3-4-5™ will NOT turn you into a marketing expert, ninja, or superstar

Marketing 3-4-5™ will make YOU effective and efficient by using local marketing & SEO secrets everyone should know, by working smarter not harder...

"I've seen a lot of different marketing [concepts], but this one is different. This is one I can actually do and immediately see the value/potential." - Chris W., Financial Services

Follow this step-by-step guide to local marketing from scratch to apply a Marketing 3-4-5™ approach for your business.

We recently conducted a Marketing 3-4-5™ Quick Course webinar

Watch the Free Recording Now

The Marketing 3-4-5™ Framework 

Marketing 3-4-5™ will help you explore the 3 reasons you do marketing, the 4 reasons people choose to work with you, and the 5 ways they find you.

From there, we help you learn how to quickly and simply use content marketing to engage and attract people wherever they are: on social media, on Google, via email marketing, even how to drive more referrals and convert them into customers.

3 reasons for you to do marketing

Marketing is more than advertising, a lot more. In fact, while attracting customers is a major driver there are other reasons for you to market your business.

  1. Attract & serve customers
  2. Grow & retain your team
  3. Positively impact your community

Effective marketing gives you choices depending on your goals (your “why”) such as growing your business, staffing up, giving back to your community, or even working less.

Your “why” is different from other businesses and it will change over time. The important thing is to understand why marketing is important to you now so that your actions reflect that.

Depending on the nature of your business and your personal priorities these three “whys” will vary in importance.

4 Reasons people should choose to work with you

Why do people work with you? Your customers’ and employees’ “why” is also unique. Perhaps you are a gifted practitioner, provide unmatched customer support or people love your store.

People choose to work with you because of your:

  1. Experience includes the projects you’ve completed, partnerships or vendor relationships you’ve developed, training you and your staff receive, your unique abilities and the tools you’re qualified to use or have access to, proprietary processes and more.
  2. Expertise includes certifications, awards, education, industry recognition and trade association participation.
  3. Likeability from your practices, to visual cultural artifacts, your in-store or in-office ambiance, employee training, etc.
  4. Values that guide your business, community involvement, etc.

Alignment with any one of these can be sufficient to make someone want to work with you.

Knowing what makes you unique - the unique parts that people care about - is critical to effective marketing.

It needs to be important to potential clients and, as much as possible, unique to you.

For example, there are over 1 million real estate professionals in the United States and most of them can competently complete a transaction but do you actually want to spend an afternoon in the car with the real-estate agent looking at homes? Competence alone isn’t enough.

As such, the key to differentiating yourself is to help people realize that your business, your products, your services, and even YOU personally have unique benefits that they should care about.

This means you need to utilize your website, blog posts, social media, and email newsletters to share real-world examples.

5 ways people find you

How people find and engage with you is where the rubber-meets-the-road.

People regularly, and foolishly, say things such as “I get all of my business from referrals and word-of-mouth”. This is an excuse to not practice effective marketing.

People find you or your organization through:

  1. Referrals & word-of-mouth
  2. Advertising & promotion, including social media and offline channels
  3. Email marketing & newsletters
  4. Search engines - primarily Google
  5. Local Connections™ - cross-promoting and collaborating with the local businesses and nonprofits you have a relationship with in real life

Referrals are always great and the best way to attract customers and employees but you don’t want to feed your family based on the unmotivated goodwill of others.

If the idea of managing multiple marketing channels sounds daunting that’s because the way most local people do it is simply unsustainable. As you’ll see below, the Marketing 3-4-5™ approach to creating and distributing content is surprisingly straightforward and will even help you drive more referrals.

Are you interested in bringing us to your community?

Learn More About Our Marketing 3-4-5™ Tour

Who do you want to reach?  

Attracting more customers alone isn’t always great, you want to attract more of the right types of customers… or employees… or volunteers.

The content you create, the messages that you share, the channels you use all should be done with “who” you’re trying to reach in mind.

Describe your ideal target customer

If you’re a restaurant owner, saying everyone is a customer because everyone eats is a poor answer.

The customer who is looking to come in on a date night has very different wants and needs than the catering client. As a result, it’s important to think about each type of customer separately with a focus on your ideal customer type - or two.

You may have multiple types of target customers but it’s important to resist the urge to think of them altogether. In general, your activities to reach each group will be different and addressing the following questions can help you quickly convey value:

  • What value do you deliver or what benefit do they get from you?
  • Why do they buy from you?
  • Is it a necessity or a luxury purchase?
  • What’s unique about what you do and why do people care about it?

Attracting the right kind of customers is just one of the three reasons why you should market your business.

How are you involved in the community?

What about “here” matters to you? Shopping and supporting local has always been important but with growing threats from large companies and, more recently, the pandemic supporting your community is more crucial than ever. There’s even a nationwide movement to Shop Local.

Highlighting your community involvement as well as causes you care about is an easy way for you to support your local community while also looking good in the process.

  • Are there nonprofits you support with time, money, and/or promotional support?
  • What businesses do you patronize, refer people to, and cross-promote with today?
  • Are there organizations, activities, historical significance, or trends you’re proud of about your community?
  • How do you currently highlight nonprofits you support, businesses you endorse, or clubs you participate in?

If you’re regularly solicited for donations you should consider creating a donations request page on your website.

It may seem counterintuitive but a donations request page will save you time, result in fewer requests on a whole, help you deliver more value to those you support, and saves you from having to actually say “no”.

Marketing 3-4-5™ Content and Distribution

Content is the currency of online marketing. In fact, Content Marketing is so important and effective it’s become an industry unto itself. You should be blogging for your business… 🤯

Yea, yea, yea, “blog” is a confusing 4-letter word and while it sounds offensive to a lot of business owners, business blogging is different.

Business Blogging is simply creating content drawn from real life. Content Marketing, therefore, enables you to share your passion, expertise, and experience with easy-to-understand examples. Our business blogging tools simplify this process and can be added to any website.

A blog is simply an article of some-sort that lives on your website - each post has its own page which means it has a unique URL and context matters - which means the content should be weaved into related pages throughout your site. Posts can vary dramatically in length but usually includes a title, at least one image, and a few hundred to few thousand words.

It’s an expression of your value and, frankly, something you should be proud of.

"Without examples, nobody knows what you’re talking about. Without examples that are relevant to me then I don’t know what you’re talking about." - Brian Ostrovsky

Our brains are hardwired to engage with stories, to share them and remember them… industry-speak buzzwords, not so much.

Additionally, we live chaotic lives and we’re prone to take what businesses do for granted. Consistently reminding people of the value you deliver and the benefits they receive as a result is a surprisingly simple yet effective way to stay top-of-mind.

It’s important to remember these facts about blogging:

  • It is simply a way to share your daily business activity and experiences
  • It doesn’t have to be long-form or creative - bullet points with a picture and a few simple sentences can be powerful
  • It demonstrates what makes you unique
  • Doing it right is nearly as easy as doing it wrong

To make this a little more clear, let’s imagine that you sit down with a friend over a glass of wine or a beer. As you’re chatting, they ask you about your day at work. What would you tell them? This hypothetical conversation is what can make up your blog!

A repeatable approach to small business blogging

The key is implementing a simple and repeatable approach to blogging as well as our Universally Simple Local Blog Post Template for Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Community Organizations™ which utilizes a prompt-based approach.

You might be asking yourself, “What do you mean by prompt-based approach?”

Glad you asked. 

Prompts are simple questions that guide you in creating content simply by answering them. Here’s an example for businesses that do something with a visible outcome - which is to say, you can see what was done which we call "Highlight a Creation." 

First, take a picture of what you did and then answer the following questions:

  • What did you make or what was the outcome?
  • What ingredients or process did you use?
  • What is a unique attribute of your creation such as light, heavy, smells like oranges etc?
  • Did you run into any challenges?
  • How did you address them?
  • What unique skill or experience helped you to deliver this for the customer?
  • Who was the customer (describe) and what did they think (quote if possible)?

With this simple set of prompts, you can quickly “Highlight a Creation” to demonstrate the benefits of working with you with real-world examples.

A prompt-based approach enables you to quickly create business-specific content that is compelling and engaging - creativity not required!

The most common topics or themes that you may want to use in your business blogs are:

  • Highlight a creation
  • Spotlight an experience
  • Product overview/unboxing
  • Professional services example
  • Employer or volunteer recognition
  • Profile a business, a cause, or a relationship post
  • Event story arcs

If you can remember what you do at work then you can be effective at business blogging.

Effective Multi-Channel Content Distribution

When it comes to creating and distributing content, it's important to note that doing it right is nearly as easy as doing it wrong. This starts with where you post your content and how you distribute it.

The key is that all content of consequence should live on your website directly... on your blog, on your calendar, on your job board, in your coupon board.

A simple test: if you think to yourself, “I’d like to rank on Google for this content and phrases or ideas included in it” then it should live on your website.

Marketing 3-4-5™ Content Distribution Flow-Chart

  1. Marketing Content Lives on Your Website
  2. Content is Shared to Social Media
  3. Provides the Meat of Your Email Newsletters
  4. Drives Local Cross-Promotion & Collaborative Marketing
  5. Google observes your content and how people engage with it to determine how you rank.

Content should live on your website so you can share it to Facebook or send in email newsletters as a preview. Then, when people click on your content wherever they see it they go back to your website.

Google is Big Brother and sees just about everything that happens on and around your website as well as the content you create and the people who engage by reading and sharing it.

Google and Bing love content and, as a result, business blog content provides businesses with a natural SEO boost. Plus, search engines like to see that content is engaging so whenever your content is shared to social media (even by you) it can further reinforce your position.

You probably want to rank on Google for all of the content you create. If it lives on your site, visitors and Google both see it and it’s easy to discover other related content.

Include Cross-Linking and a Call-to-Action (CTA)

Getting someone to read your content is great but you want them to take an action such as calling, scheduling an appointment, or coming into your store.

Within each page of your website including each blog post, you should include a call-to-action to get readers to take action with clearly communicated next-steps. You can use the call-to-action builder in your Locable account to easily manage and track CTAs.

Cross-linking is related. The Internet was originally known best as the World-Wide-Web which is to say, a web of connected web pages via links.

As you create content for your web pages and blog posts you should incorporate links to other pages on your website so that people can quickly explore related content.

For example, if your blog post is about catering an event then you should include a link to your catering page for those who want to better understand the services you offer.

This linking enables you to provide more content for those who want to dig deeper while keeping each page more focused and digestible.

In most cases, you’ll link within your site but you may also link to other sites when it’s relevant and valuable to the reader.

Collecting & Promoting Customer Reviews

There is a surprisingly simple way to grow your authority, build your reputation, and reach new people… it’s by Collecting & Promoting Customer Reviews.

Customer Reviews are modern-day testimonials for local businesses on the searchable internet - you know, it shows up on Google. However, collecting positive reviews, highlighting them on your website, and promoting them can be cumbersome without the right tools.

There are a number of reasons why it’s worth making Customer Reviews a regular component of your marketing strategy including:

  • Social proof - showing off testimonials on your own website
  • Useful for SEO & Social Media
  • Drives word-of-mouth
  • Feels good to hear you made a difference

Did you know, Customer Reviews can be driven i.e. you don’t have to wait and hope?

This helps you take more control over your word-of-mouth or referral process rather than the unreliable process of waiting and hoping.

When you request a review from someone who intended to promote you and share their experience but got distracted by a text, call, email, or other alerts from the demanding device in their pocket requesting a review reminds them. You might say, it puts that goodwill toward your business back in their brain and they’re more likely to praise you on social media or actively refer you to a friend.

Customer Reviews further fit into content marketing and, because it’s from your clients, they provide additional opportunities for new phrases, words, and ideas to be featured on your website which helps you rank more broadly on Google.

Tap into the power of your Local Connections™

Authenticity and relationships are two unfair advantages local businesses have when it comes to marketing yet most people fail to capitalize on either let alone both.

In the real-world, businesses make referrals to other businesses, volunteer and donate to nonprofits or local causes, and regularly feature promotional materials for organizations they support in their front windows or on a community corkboard.

Content marketing, as we’ve explored above, provides ample opportunities to highlight your authenticity that is, those things that make you unique.

We are also here to show you how to leverage your relationships online with our free Local Connections™ features.

These free tools enable you to tap into the power of your Local Connections™ to increase reach and generate more local awareness by automating cross-promotion and distribution.

Add a local directory to your website to highlight businesses and nonprofits you support... remember, relationships are one of the two unfair advantages that you have.

If you embrace the Donations request page idea above, you can create a directory of the nonprofits you support. In that example, you can invite them to sign up to control their identity (logo, hours, address etc) and request that they create a directory to highlight you and their other supporters on their website.

Perhaps you support your local Main Street association, some nonprofit organizations, and some businesses that regularly have events like live music… in this example, you can create a Community Calendar to add to your website like a digital version of flyers in your window.

Why should you cross-promote?

On the one hand, if you support a business or nonprofit then you’d like visitors to your website to learn about them and their activities. You care because you care.

On the other hand, if someone is considering working with you and they learn that you support a cause or business that they care then they become much more likely to recognize your shared values and interest. They may literally hire you or shop at your store because you both care about similar things.

Local Connections™ Distributes Your Content Automatically to Your Local Network

But wait, there’s more… If you're using our free Local Connections™ technology, that same content you post to your website such as events you post to the calendar on your website will be distributed to your network - to local business and nonprofit websites that endorse you.

You have a moral obligation to effectively market your business

You probably haven’t thought of marketing as a moral issue but it is because you have 3 constituents who are relying on your efforts.

First is your organization - maybe it’s just you or maybe you have employees, whoever is involved in your organization is relying on you to effectively market.

Second, are your customers. If you offer something of value that will benefit me and I don’t find you or understand your ability to help me then I may not work with you and I end up suffering as a result.

Finally, your community relies on you. If you don’t effectively market yourself then you’re a drag on your community’s efforts however if you effectively market yourself then others in your community are elevated alongside you.

If you go further and participate in local efforts to #TakeBackLocal and cross-promote with the folks you truly care about then you’re actively working to strengthen your community.

Marketing is important, Marketing 3-4-5™ and our local marketing tools are here to help.

Start implementing your marketing with Locable and this small business marketing guide & checklist

Join our Intro to Marketing 3-4-5 Quick Course.

Registration is free.

Please note: This program will NOT turn you into a marketing expert, ninja or superstar - It's for beginners & those looking for a rock-solid foundation!

Join the Marketing 3-4-5™ online training course interest list

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