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Let's talk!

Are you one of the following types of people?

Economic Developer
Community Developer
Main Street Director
Planning District Commission Director
Workforce Training professional
Chamber of Commerce Director
...or anyone else who works in revitalizing America's local communities?

If so, read on.

This fall we'll be launching an exciting new project to help professionals like those above share stories of how they are successfully revitalizing their communities, and we're looking for interesting people to interview for our podcast. We will also be looking for guest bloggers, so if you prefer writing over talking, let us know! Or, you can do both if you're really brave (don't worry, we can guide you if you're not used to writing).

The podcasts will be short conversations about the initiatives that are making a difference for communities across the US.

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Well, I might be stretching it a bit, but you never know...

This morning we had an envelope from the Social Security Administration in our p.o. box that didn't belong to us so I returned it to the mail counter. It was a social security card, but the address ended up not being a good address (though very close to ours) and they didn't know how to find the person. Being in a small town and knowing the Post Office staff (they're great, by the way!), I asked them to hold it and said I would see if I could find the person on Facebook.

Within several minutes I found a local woman that I thought must be her, messaged her, got a reply that she was indeed the person it was addressed to, and arranged for her to pick it up at the Post Office!

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I was having a conversation with a friend and long-time business associate the other day, and we got to talking about difficulties in executing our jobs. I'm a designer and brand strategist, and he directs a group of communities to help with economic growth. Because our jobs are so different, you'd expect our problems to be different. But something interesting happened during the conversation. We realized that many of the problems we experienced in our work – be it with branding clients or with helping a community attract new jobs – came down to the same core problem: vision.

You'd think that almost all of our jobs would just be getting down in the weeds and doing the work, but a huge part of it is coming up with and selling a vision. But why is a common vision so important? Simply put, if everyone isn't working towards the same goals, then nothing will change. Communities are just that: communities. Even if you're some obscenely rich tycoon who is trying to turn your town into a better, more beautiful place, you're not going to get very far without the town on your side. Coming up with a clear vision and being able to express it in words is a crucial first step to that.

So how do you come up with a vision statement?

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At the end of the day prospecting for new businesses is like dating. You have to know who's a good match for you and do what it takes to meet and attract them. Put these 8 points into action to increase your exposure and attractiveness:

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