Selling A Small Town

February 5, 2016

Think of the community that you live in and why someone that didn’t live there would want to visit there. Why would they want to live there? What’s unique about where you are? What makes your town stand out amongst incredible towns throughout the world? I’m assuming of course, that you love where you live.


A couple of months back, I took the time to do just that. I live and own a business in Livingston, Montana. Population 7,000 and change. We’re nestled between three mountain ranges alongside the Yellowstone River, 50 miles from Yellowstone National Park. Enough said right? But there are plenty of other towns that could have a somewhat similar description. When I sat back and thought about all the incredible qualities of this community, it didn’t take me long to come up with a very long list.


There was a purpose for my pondering. I saw a Facebook post from author/blogger/entrepreneur Chris Guillebeau that announced he was releasing a new book and going on a 30 city book tour. The question was posed,  “where should I go?” The majority of the stops had been planned, but the rest would be “determined based on interest and co-host availability.” My immediate thought was, he should come to Livingston! That was quickly followed by thoughts like, why would he come to Livingston, Montana? and then Why wouldn’t he come to Livingston, Montana? and What do I have to lose? I filled out the questionnaire which posed seemingly simple questions like “What makes your city amazing?” In a way I felt like I was selling a small town.


I wrote about all the things that make this small town in Montana remarkable. The landscape being an obvious choice, but also the rich culture it provides, the access to myriad outdoor activities, and most of all, the passion of its people. It’s sometimes funny to talk about something so literally close to home. You want people to see it the way that you see it without sounding like a crazy person. There is nothing wrong with having pride in where you live. If you don’t, then either A). you are living in the wrong place or B). you may need to work on your pride.


It was weeks later that I woke up one morning and hopped on Facebook as I made the morning coffee. One of the first things I saw was a Facebook event for Chris Guillebeau, Born for This Tour, Livingston, Montana. I was the only one awake at this point except my dog Banjo, but I am pretty sure I screamed and may have even jumped for joy a wee bit. I was ecstatic!


I hope find out soon enough what it was about what I wrote that made Chris and his team decide to make a stop here amongst the other much larger cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver and Toronto. Whatever it was, I felt proud for our small town. Both for getting such an amazing opportunity but also for the fact that our town is remarkable and we get to share that.


So I encourage you to sit down and think about your own community and all those quirky or exceptional things that make you love where you live. And then think of your business the same way you thought about your town. Why would someone want to do business with you? What makes your business remarkable? What makes you stand out amongst your competitors? I’m assuming of course, that you love what you do. And if you do, it should be easy to figure out what makes your business special. This is the message that you want to convey to your clients and prospective customers. Make them love what you do as much as you love it and you will find customers for life.


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