Relationship marketing and Small Town Rules are what make businesses stand out from the crowd, especially in these harsh economic times. I came across a good example of Small Town Rules in action when I visited NYC in June, 2012 for the BlogWorld & New Media Expo.

Can Big Brands Succeed Using Small Town Rules?

Keri Jaehnig of Idea Girl Media won Small Town Rules Book at BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2012

Small Town Rules Book – Autographed by authors Barry Moltz & Becky McCray

There probably aren’t many people that were not affected by the economic shift in 2008.  My world was certainly turned upside down!

Three things happened: The economy continued to decline, technology advanced, and society…kept going.  People and communities began to adopt different practices in order to get by.

I was reminded of those points in a session with Becky McCray (@BeckyMcCray) and Barry Moltz (@BarryMoltz) at BlogWorld & New Media Expo in New York City earlier in June, 2012.

Small Town Rules

Based on their book, “Small Town Rules – How Big Brands And Small Businesses Can Prosper In A Connected Economy.”


Big Brands + Small Businesses.


Connected Economy.

Well, I’m connected, I am a small business owner living in a small town, and I’d like to prosper.  And, I wanted to meet Becky McCray, who I have been following on Twitter for a few years.  This session was for me!

The Rules

Becky McCray spoke at BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2012 and Keri Jaehnig of Idea Girl Media attended her session

Becky McCray before the Small Town Rules session at BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2012

Here are the main rules I walked away with:

  • Plan for zero.
  • Spend brain power before you spend $.
  • Multiply your lines of income.
  • Work anywhere, anywhen.
  • Learn customer-driven communication.
  • Be proud of being small.
  • Be local.
  • Understand how to do it yourself – even if hiring it out.

That’s the nutshell version.

If you want more, you have to buy the book.  I won my copy, and it is autographed by the authors.  🙂

How To Act Like A Small Town If You Want To Succeed

Here are characteristics Becky & Barry shared that comprise small communities:

  • Be friendly.
  • Eat together.
  • Be honest.
  • Watch out for each other.
  • Play together.
  • Contribute to causes – money, time & resources.
  • Get involved in the center of the community.
  • Celebrate together.

If you live in a small town, you know these points all too well!

Ironic, I was hearing this in “The Big Apple.”

Bright Lights, Big City

Da Marino Restaurant near Times Square in New York City

Da Marino Restaurant in New York City near Times Square

When I first arrived in New York City for the conference, dinner was near my hotel in Times Square.  That area is all about big, bright and loud!  So, a girl on her own, after a long day, the hotel recommended something close where I could eat within walking distance, without loud noise,  and where I could return safely on my own later in the evening.

I ended up at a lovely Italian restaurant, where the piano was playing, the atmosphere was charming, and the host sang to me during my meal.  The special that day: Chocolate linguini with seafood and pink lobster sauce.  Delicious!

Even better, they let me sip my wine and sit there as long as I wanted, and sent me home with a Tiramisu loaded with fresh fruit.  Who would argue?

Sandwich In Some Learning

So, two days later, I attend the Small Town Rules session mentioned above, along with a handful of others on social media, podcasting, blogging, and mobile marketing.

That evening began with a conference-related party at a hip rooftop bar.  The networking was good — I met some smart people all working to improve their efforts with some form of online marketing.  Then it rained!

Have you ever tried to get out of the rain at a busy rooftop bar?  It’s wet!  Have you ever tried to hail a cab in New York City when it’s…..pouring?  Also not a dry doing.  Lets just say fish would have been able to swim in my shoes once I finally found a ride.

The lesson: I’m not cool enough anymore to be hanging out at hip places.  😀

A Girl’s Gotta Eat

Keri Jaehnig of Idea Girl Media ate chocolate linguini at Da Marino Restaurant near Times Square in New York City

Da Marino’s Chocolate Linguini With Seafood & Lobster Sauce

Once I dried off, I realized I hadn’t eaten anything resembling dinner.  A tad hungry, it was getting late.  What’s a girl to do?

After checking my iPhone and a few conversations with the hotel staff, I ended up at the same place I ate on my first evening in New York: Da Marino.

Again, they sat me in a comfortable chair at a very nice table.  A few of their staff recognized me, and couldn’t do enough to make me happy.  When it was time to order, I let them know what I had on my previous visit, and while it wasn’t on the menu, they asked if I wanted it again.

Oh, yummy – YES!

As I watched the wait staff, my glasses were kept filled – they were quite attentive.  And they were treating others with the same excellent service.  During my evening, the host made his way back to sing to me.  And before the night was over, I clinked glasses with the owner who also sang to me.

There was an “Aha moment,” and I watched as this busy restaurant in a big city was using “small town rules” as their way of doing business.

The Night In Review

While you’re reading about my experience in short form, here are their “small town moves”:

  • They were friendly.
  • The place is all about eating together.
  • They watched out for each other, and for me.
  • Played together – Piano, singers, and dining entertainment.
  • We celebrated together – Even the owner.

Very similar to the list above, eh?

In my opinion, these principles are why people return to their location, and why they are successful in their business.

So there ya have it – How one “big city” business succeeds using small town rules.

Have you ever been somewhere that totally knocked you out with excellent service?

What do you think of using Small Town Rules in your business?

Please tell me your thoughts in the comments box below…  🙂