Marin Davis is the Founder of the Branding and Marketing agency Local Collaborative.
Since 2014 Marin has worked professionally in the marketing industry with teams of creative professionals on brands like Cuties, Mighties, Panda Express and celebrities like Alex Borstein. After marrying an Active Duty Army Soldier, they moved and Marin began working as an insurance salesperson (AWFUL) and a Marketing Manager for an author and speaker. When that job ended she was left with a decision that was simple to make: Start her own marketing agency or job hunt every time the military moved them.
In 2018 she founded Local Collaborative with one thing in mind: Pair simple, creative approaches with strong, clear communication strategies to provide small businesses with the marketing they need to succeed. Since being a military spouse requires constant moving and adaptation, she had a dream to collaborate with talented professionals I’ve worked with during my years in the advertising and marketing industry. She actively seeks out talent from work-from-home parents and military spouses who want to continue their professional pursuit while prioritizing family.
Local Collaborative’s team collaborates with you to create a memorable brand people will fall in love with. They offer executive level results with a hometown experience because they don’t believe things need to be extravagant to make an impact. They love seeing the relief small business owners have after they take the stress and overwhelm of social media marketing off their overflowing plate. It’s time to get you back to working on what makes you happy!
What You’ll Learn in This Episode
- Discovering/knowing your brand and how to portray it online
- Rebranding your business to stand out / Standing out in over saturated market
- How to juggle military family life, mom life and worklife
- Content creation: how to elevate your brand (idea generation)
- Employing military spouses and giving them remote work opportunities
- Why Marin started her company and how it has changed her life
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for High Velocity Radio.
Stone Payton: Welcome to the High Velocity Radio show where we celebrate top performers producing better results in less time. Stone Payton here with you this morning. You guys are in for a real treat. Please join me in welcoming from the local collaborative, Miss Marin Davis. How are you?
Marin Davis: Hi, Stone. I’m doing well. How are you?
Stone Payton: I am doing great. I have so been looking forward to this conversation. I got a ton of questions. I know we’re not going to get to them all, but I think a good place to start would be if you could share mission purpose. What are you and your team really out there trying to do for folks?
Marin Davis: Yeah, so for everybody listening, my name is Marin Davis. I am the owner of Local Collaborative. We’re a branding and marketing agency who focuses on mid-sized businesses and solopreneurs. And our whole mission is to provide that executive level experience to clients who want to feel like they’re working with a hometown business, especially being a military spouse who moves around. I wasn’t able to have that hometown experience, so I wanted to bring that small town Kansas town girl to everybody in every state that I moved to. And we love doing what we do and who we work with.
Stone Payton: So you mentioned Kansas Town Girl. So what is the backstory? How did you get started with this thing?
Marin Davis: Great question. I ask myself that all the time. How did I get into this? I am from Kansas. I grew up there from a farming family, multi-generational foragers, and whenever I was in college, I met an army guy. We decided that he would put a ring on my finger and I’d move around the country with him. So that started my journey into a job hunt, and I graduated with a marketing degree. But it was so hard to find a job because no one wanted to hire someone who would be there for 2 or 3 years. And after a couple of different job placements and one working from home where I was a marketing director for an author and a speaker, I found out that I really liked working from home and I loved working in the marketing field compared to other fields. So I decided when that contract was up, you know, even if I don’t make any money, this is what I want to do. And we knew in the future we wanted a family and I would have to be the flexible primary parent. So it just made sense for me to start my own agency. And that was 2018 when I started this company. So ever since then we’ve been growing with a lot of work from home parents, hiring other military spouses, and the vision has stayed a little bit the same. But we’ve been very flexible in how we’ve grown what feels like every couple of weeks.
Stone Payton: So talk about the work a little bit. What are you doing kind of a day in the life of Marin? Are you helping them with their image, with their brand, with their messaging? Probably a little bit of all of that, right?
Marin Davis: All of it. It’s so to me, it’s really fun. And this is the stuff that I really geek out on. So cut me off if I go if I go too long. But the branding part of it, our business really is 50 over 50. The branding side is what people usually think of with colors and logos, but the way that we do it is focusing on brand archetypes, which I know several entrepreneurs have heard of before. But in case they haven’t, there’s 12 different brand archetypes that have been developed and essentially think of it as the character for your business. It helps guide the psychology of how you relate to a customer. So that’s how we feel about Target versus Walmart or Apple versus Samsung, things like that. You have different character stories that you build. And the reason that’s important for a brand is because it not only guides what the visual part of your brand looks like, but how we communicate with your customers. Humans love stories and storytelling. It’s how we remember information and how we really relate to people. So leaning into brand archetypes is how we build that customer’s brand that will be everlasting. And then that translates very well into how we market that business. So a bulk of our business is content marketing or social media marketing. People don’t want to be on Facebook all day. They don’t want to learn TikTok, so they hire us. That’s what we’re here for. And a lot of that is just more of the day in and day out, increasing engagement going for if they have a campaign or a sale. And we we build out plans and strategically post for them not just flying and posting things today just to say that they posted something online, It’s really let’s live your business and then see what’s important to share not oh, I have to share something today and just I’m going to post something for that’s not going to do anything for me or the people that I serve.
Stone Payton: So do you find that there are different considerations or different things to take into account or different elements to a plan between, let’s say, branding something from, you know, an ideal on a cocktail napkin and getting it out there to maybe something that’s become a little bit stale. And I guess it’s the right word is rebranding. Is it are they? I’m sure there’s a lot of overlap, but there’s probably some things you’ve got to undo or push, I don’t know, between branding and rebranding.
Marin Davis: Yeah. And that is something that we see a lot. People want to they say they want to rebrand because they’re tired of their colors or they think the new trendy thing is with the bubble letters or every letter is different. They they follow trends. And that is not how a brand creates that identity for a customer to remember them. That’s why the successful longevity of brands is, Oh, they look like this, they sound like this, they do these things. So when people come to us and they want to rebrand, you know, every year, every six months, it shows us that there is no identity. They don’t have an identity of their brand. And so that’s where we try to focus in and say, okay, you need this solidified so that maybe if it’s a holiday, you can have some fun with things, but that you stay memorable for your clients and your customers. If someone’s coming in and they do need a refresh, what a lot of people have been doing instead of a full on rebrand has been simplifying. And that’s ironically, our tagline. All You need is less. We’re all about simplifying business. We’re not trying to we’re not trying to sell people things like, Oh, you need this and you need this and you need this.
Marin Davis: We really look at your business and say, you can pull back to doing two platforms. You need to pull back to do this, and we really build you up from the ground up to take that overwhelm away from your business. So if someone’s feeling overwhelmed, they want to change how things look when in reality we give a nice little therapy session to their business and we say, okay, let’s come with me over here. And this makes you feel so at home that you don’t you don’t feel like you need to change things all the time because it’s truly who you are and who your business is. So I do see companies. Some come to us from the initial launch date. They want us to develop it from the ground up. And then we have had some people come through who have whether they changed their name or they changed the way that they do business or something and they do need a rebrand. We do that all the way from the yeah, the visual to the verbal aspects of their brand.
Stone Payton: Okay, let’s talk about me for a minute. You know, it is my show. Okay. No, guys, look, if you ever want to get some really great free consulting from bright, passionate, experienced people with a really deep expertise in their domain, get yourself a radio show. You get a lot of free advice. But so I am an equity partner in Business RadioX, this network of studios, and we take a hyperlocal focus with our with our core model, right? We have studios and communities. And then I also the other hat I wear is I run one of those in little old Woodstock, Georgia. And we have a we have what I believe is a pretty strong brand in the space Business RadioX And then I’ve got a community partner program out of our studio and many of our studio partners do. I don’t think the Stone Payton brand even exists, like, so let’s just play out the work a little bit, especially the early stages. Like, like if I were to come to you and say, okay, I want to, I want to do some things, you know, maybe I’m on the right path. Like, what are some of the first conversations we might have? First questions you might be asking, asking me in a in a case like that.
Marin Davis: Yeah, absolutely. So I usually ask about people’s pain points. People know what they don’t like or what’s making them feel a little bit off on their brand, even if they don’t really know what to ask for. Hearing what you don’t like or where you feel something’s off tells me what we need to look for in the future. So that’s one of the first questions. And then the next one. Usually from that, people are saying, you know, I have a lot of people coming in. They’re just not buying or why don’t I have repeat clients or whatever their questions are. A lot of that can relate back to what do you want your brand to be known for and what are your current customers or clients saying about you? So a really easy way and people listening can go do this like now in the next 5 to 10 minutes, they can go look at the reviews that you currently have on Facebook or Google or wherever people are talking to you and see what is consistently said about your brand. And does that line up with maybe the top three values of your brand that you really want to get across? So if that is that you are a staple in your community, what is the cause marketing that you’re doing or what local philanthropies and causes are you a part of? And if you haven’t really done that, then there’s the gap that we need to fill.
Marin Davis: So how we would go about that is creating a marketing strategy. And I don’t mean that to sound any kind of way like, Oh, we’re helping people, but strategically it is showing what’s the best collaboration. Hence my name that you can do in your community. With fall and winter coming up, a lot of people have blanket drives or coat drives. If there’s a pet company, we obviously partner up with a pet shelter to do something for them. It’s something that makes sense with your brand. And it’s not just out of the blue. A lot of people can also do a portion of sales from their business to something that they’re passionate about. So once we once we find out the pain points, we look at what they want for the future, they look at what their customers are saying and what we want people to say and how we get there. It’s really like, think of it like a funnel, right? So at the top is all this chaos and all of the overwhelm that you’re feeling. And as we talk about it, I’m hearing different maybe five different points that we need to hit. So I take those five and from that I might whittle it down to three different tactics of how we’re going to actually execute that in the digital marketing space and maybe publicity or email marketing. I have three different things in my mind, and then we start executing it by, okay, your launch date is November, so this is how we’re going to work backwards and the due date for all of these things that need to go live on website, on socials in person, X, Y, z.
Marin Davis: So that is how I work in my mind. I, I listen for like everything here. We’ll use another Kansas analogy that I’ve never really thought of before, but the funnel made me think of like a tornado, right? So they have the tornado in your mind and everything’s whirring around and you’re just one person. And here I am and I’m going to pluck out all of these things from that. And then before you know it, storm’s gone. You’ve asked for help, you’ve got the help. And then there’s this clarity of it feels good because I wanted to help out my community and now I actually am. And here’s what actually happened. And I think when people find that clarity, it just makes them feel calm and at peace and in, you know, in alignment. And I’m not a woo woo person, but it makes them feel in alignment and at an at peace with what they’re doing. And it resolidifies to get rid of that burnout. It solidifies what you are doing your business like what you’re doing in your business and how and why you started your company. I love it.
Stone Payton: Well, I can tell and I know our listeners can tell as well, just the enthusiasm in your voice. You mentioned early in the conversation content marketing, you mentioned simplicity, and now the word that stands out for me is clarity. Something that really only occurred to me very recently was we’re blessed in a lot of ways in our firm in that we’ve been at it a while. So we’re kind of like the OGs, right? Like in the whole digital radio podcasting world. But we’re a content factory, right? Like we can generate so much content so quickly, which is a marvelous blessing. But on the other hand, it occurred to me that maybe we’re just overwhelming people with content because we can dump so much on them. And and of course most of our content is we get a chance to share stories and profile people like you out there doing good work. But it’s also easy for, like, Lee and I to hop on a zoom and knock out 10 or 12 Pro Tips, right? Like we can knock that out in a half hour. And so while that’s great, it also occurs to me, well, yeah, that’s cool, but maybe you’re just dumping too much too quick, you’re not being clear. And I mean, that’s a that can be a too much of a good thing, right?
Marin Davis: I think that’s awesome that you said that because you are not only producing client that or content that is great for the people that are listening, but it’s also helpful for people like me, right? Because you’re providing us with content as well. So it’s really that giving and receiving factor of what you are creating. But as far as business radio, so okay, it’s not just a radio show, it’s about it’s business focused. And so you know who your audience is and you know who your guests are. If someone came to me, like if you were saying, We feel like we’re all over the place and that how are we best serving people? What we do every month for our clients is and maybe this would be interesting to you guys, maybe you’re just going to say, okay, cool. And but just listening to what performed well. So we look at insights on all different platforms and the top three pieces of performing content. We show them what that was and sometimes it’s what we didn’t think was going to be interesting, and other times it’s what I knew. I was like, Let’s just do it. And it worked great. So I think that sharing what usually comes out on top is the background stories, at least for our clients.
Marin Davis: The background stories of someone like introducing a team member, and those always perform really, really well. That person is tagged, that person wants to share it, Their family wants to support everyone shares it, everyone likes it. The other pieces of performing content are what the business owner usually doesn’t think. We’re so into our own businesses, we don’t have that outside perspective, which I think is another huge benefit. When people go to a third market or a third agency like a marketing agency or a advertising agency, because I can view it as a potential customer who knows nothing about. I’m thinking of one client in particular, like a tree service. He’s an arborist. I don’t know anything about trees. I live in a neighborhood now. I don’t even own a tree in my yard. So we’re working with him. And I said, You know what happens whenever you guys take these trees down? And he said, Well, you know, we grind it up into wood chips and then we put it at this local chicken farm and they like it for all the chickens. And then they have the eggs and where we put it over here on this playground. And to him that wasn’t interesting. But to me, I was like, a lot of these people don’t want to be cutting down trees or after the storm, but to other people, it’s interesting.
Marin Davis: And he’s like, No, it’s not. I was like, let’s do this. Let’s let’s share the story like you, Let’s film it. And then you tell me exactly what happens. We posted it and it was one of his top performing posts that he actually ended up pinning on his profile. So it’s and what’s the what’s the worst that happens? Okay, This. Okay, then what? Well, life goes on, right? So you have to test things out to see what works. And what if people like that? And ever since then, he’s been doing more introductory posts or more story posts about a specific because he could show himself cutting a tree down every single day that’s going to get boring. Tell us about the client or how that saved that client’s house and all the big storms that came through Tennessee last year. He was booked out for weeks from that. So sharing different stories about doing the same thing essentially is super interesting for people. And then it makes me feel good that it’s not just going to waste, it’s going to, Oh, this farm that I buy eggs from, right? So I think that if people if you feel like you’re not serving somebody, take the feedback that’s already given to you and see what had the most listens, the most shares, see what people even maybe in a month.
Marin Davis: So if there is, I think what is it, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I think that’s also Women’s Health Month or something like that. If you look at what’s coming up locally or nationally, that can give you a really good idea. So for like Women’s History Month, you could interview in that month all women business owners and then kind of giving like themes for each month gives you a direction. And then that can be a good way to say like not only maybe we’re not always focusing on an ag business, but maybe for this week it is all ag businesses and that gives you a little bit of a taste to not only break up the monotony for you, but to give people a focus of knowing, okay, this is the segment or this theme that I’m going to listen to. So that’s if we were working together and if you were my client and you came to me and that was an overwhelm point, that’s something I would suggest that we do. And then we see where it goes.
Stone Payton: I am so glad that I asked. No, that’s incredibly helpful. And you really are good at this simplicity thing, because as you’re describing some of what you said, I’m thinking, yeah, keep an eye on what’s working and do more of that. Stone Right? Yeah.
Marin Davis: It makes I to tell myself that too. And I’m like, Just go back. I was like, Do what you tell people.
Stone Payton: So now that you’ve been at this a while, I think you said you got it off the ground in 18 2018. Yeah, Yeah. So what are you enjoying the most? What are you finding the most, most rewarding about the work?
Marin Davis: Wow. I there are so many different factors of it, but I love that we work agency style so that we’re not just focused on one industry. We’re constantly learning about different industries and different people. And being a military spouse, I there’s a lot of factors that go into your personal and your professional demands. But the fact that I started this to serve my personal life and not the other way around is a feeling that I’ve wanted to give to other military spouses. And I think finally, after Covid, people are understanding that you can work from home, you can work from a computer and get things done, and they’re much more receptive to virtual aides. So if someone comes to me and they want to work ten hours a week, 20 hours a week, whatever it is, I say, yep, let’s, let’s get it going. And the talent that is not only on my team, but if someone’s looking to hire someone like an a virtual assistant or someone on their team, I would highly recommend reaching out to military spouses if you don’t know how to find one. Dm me and I’ll find you one. They they want to work. We have so many. You would be shocked at the amount of talent that’s out there. But just because of the I’m going to use the word sacrifices that we give for our husbands or partners jobs, it is so difficult to find that own sense of worth for those people. So that’s that’s been the biggest motivator for me and the biggest return for me of enjoyment, of enjoyment and fulfillment is seeing that the people who want to work but get to focus on their families first and that I was able to provide them with that opportunity and this team was able to provide them with that opportunity was is just incredible. I love it and the people are just fantastic. Highly recommend. Let me know if you want to hire somebody and I’ll find you somebody guaranteed.
Speaker4: Oh, well, that’s.
Stone Payton: Good to know. So I don’t know when in the world you would find the time. Although you strike me as an incredibly organized person because you do have all these responsibilities to be that support system at home as a military spouse. But I’m going to ask anyway about any hobbies, passions outside the scope of your work. Anything you kind of dive into Nerd out about?
Marin Davis: Yes. So I am actually I do CrossFit. And for both my my sanity and my own torture, I like CrossFit a lot. I am a our first duty station was in just south of Seattle, Washington. So that turned us into craft beer snobs. So when we can we love to not only hike and explore the different cities of wherever we’re living at during that time, but to also find local breweries. We we just have a big passion for local breweries, local restaurants, local hikes and just enjoying where the army sends us to call home and learning everything we can about that area. So I would say any kind of exploring and local things as well as working out and spending time with my best day ever, would be spending time distraction free with my kids just playing. They’re they’re the coolest. They’re the best things that have ever happened to me. Love them.
Stone Payton: All right. Let’s leave our listeners, if we could, with a couple of I call them pro tips. Just a couple of things to be thinking about reading, doing, not doing as they sort of revisit this, this whole idea of branding, positioning, marketing, what are some things they can be thinking about?
Marin Davis: So I’d love for them to go to their Instagram profile or if they don’t have that, their next social media and your clients and customers are going to find you because of the SEO and the things that are in your bio and your captions and your text. They will stay with you, buy from you, return to you because of the experience that you provide them with, and that is in your content and how you serve them from the point of sale onward. So I would encourage you that to think about, okay, on this post, does it have your logo in the corner? Does it have your brand colors or fonts on your highlights? Are they all cohesive and make you look like you have your stuff together? Right? Because we are all organized professionals, I would beg them to please stop putting links in the Instagram captions that only goes in the story like in your stories. And I would I would encourage you to post at least maybe three times a week, see where that’s going. If you’ve been doing more and feel burnt out, focus on three quality posts. If you’ve been doing you know, if you haven’t posted since the summer of 21, I would encourage you to maybe post something this week and show people that you’re still in business or how you’ve changed. It’s it’s super easy from even free sites like Canva or asking We offer free discovery sessions and Instagram makeovers for people who maybe they’re not ready to fall on hire somebody, but they need a jumpstart. I would highly encourage you to look for if it’s not us, another marketing agency or some third party to help you out with that. And I think that that you’d be surprised at how much that can really affect your business and have a huge impact for you.
Stone Payton: Okay. What’s the best way for our listeners to connect with you or someone on your team website coordinates, LinkedIn, whatever you feel like is appropriate, But I want them to be able to tap into your work and have a more substantive conversation with you guys. So yeah, leave us some coordinates.
Marin Davis: Yeah. If you’re interested in looking at our portfolio or downloading any of our freebies, our website is let’s collab dot work and then I’m most active and usually on Instagram, which is at local collaborative. I’m sorry it’s so long, but you can find us and that’s, that’s where I’d love to talk to you and you can see the day in and day out, free tips, free tricks. And we are always here to help everyone’s businesses.
Stone Payton: Well, Marin, it has been an absolute delight having you on the show with us today. Thank you so much for your insight, your perspective. Don’t be a stranger. Keep up the good work. Circle back and keep us updated with with what you’re doing. I also sense that there’s a book in you. So when when you get that book ready, we’ll we’ll profile the book as well. But thank you so much. This has been fantastic.
Marin Davis: Thank you, Stone I’ve had a great time talking to you, and I hope that you and Holly are doing well.
Stone Payton: Oh, thanks. My pleasure. All right. Until next time. This is Stone Payton for our guest today with the local collaborative Miss Marion Davis. And everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying we’ll see you in the fast lane.