Lindsborg is being inspired in 2017, and that's a fact. As spring steadily moves closer, many are thinking about new collaborations, widening the circle, and fresh ideas. Hope you've noticed good energy. We certainly have.
• Have you heard of the new visual and performing arts monthly events called Makers Street? Every second Friday from 6-8 p.m., Lindsborg welcomes live music makers, makers of visual arts, and makers of creative conversations. The idea: to stir up a cool evening vibe and take advantage of Lindsborg's satisfying food and drink scene. If your business space can host a guest artist or performer on a future Makers Street Friday, please e-mail MakersStreet@gmail.com. Are you yourself or do you know a maker outside the community who would like to share during Makers Street? Again, please email. This event was successful in its first outing last month and has significant potential. Lindsborg's next Makers Street is Friday, March 10. Please be part of it in any way that works for you.
• Please do drop by to welcome Rick and Julie Bodenhamer and their Rendezvous Adventure Outfitters at 113 N. Main St. RAO is situated in one of historic redeveloper Jim Prugh's buildings -- and a beautifully finished and stocked space it is. Rick and Julie moved their family from Wichita after becoming acquainted with Lindsborg during regular hiking on the nationally known paths at Kanopolis State Park. The Bodenhamers' prior knowledge of outdoor equipment will combine with Lindsborg's new interest in promoting outdoor recreation in its area. Rendezvous Adventure Outfitters is a store that *any place* would be proud to claim. Now open Mon thru Wed and Fri 10-6, Thurs 10-8, Sat 10-5. Let's spread the word.
• A reminder: Send ideas for community service projects to Smoky Valley High School well in advance of its Wednesday, April 19, all-morning, all-school community service effort. Do you know of a worthy project that would take seven to 15 staff-supervised students to accomplish? Contact SVHS counselor Lana Charvat at firstname.lastname@example.org by Mar 1.
• Here's a hat tip to Peoples Bank & Trust's Dale Sader and local cardiologist Karil Bellah Sader and local farmer-ranchers Kent and Nancy Rawson. These two families, both of McPherson County, have received recent statewide honors for land management. The Saders were cited for improvements that encourage wildlife; the Rawsons were cited for nurturing soil erosion windbreaks. The Kansas landscape we relish needs commitment from us all -- plus the long-term investments of owner-stewards. Please thank these families for their key leadership.
• KANSAS! Magazine seeks nominations for our favorite local places to eat in the state. Nominations (only independent and small-town/local, pls) may be submitted by social media (use hashtag #bestlocaleatsks) or by USPS, email or submission form. Communities with the most nominated eats by Mar 14 move on to the next round. Lindsborg needs and deserves nominations as a rural HQ of good eats with many sit-down, take-out and mail order possibilities for food. Even Scott's Hometown Foods mail order and the Swedish Dancers' food truck can be nominated. Paint 'em a picture, folks, please?
• Alert to civic and community groups. A 30-minute presentation is available on the newly expanded Prairie Trails Scenic Byway. The 80-mile byway begins at Exit 225 on I-70 near Ellsworth and leads travelers through central Kansas history, geology and landscape. The route includes Kanopolis and Lake Kanopolis, Marquette, Lindsborg, Roxbury and Canton, including Maxwell Wildlife Refuge and a connection with I-135. More than ever, travelers are discovering Kansas' scenic byways, so it's good to be familiar with ours. If you know of someone who might be interested in a presentation, please email Sue Schlegel at Seasons of the Fox at email@example.com or call 785.227.2549.
• Did you know that Kansas households would pay an average of $525 more a year in taxes without revenues created through tourism?
• The next Ad Hoc-sponsored event is the Lindsborg Våffeldagen, Saturday, March 25, in its seventh year. The CVB says it fielded phone calls starting last fall from potential visitors confirming this date. Crazy, huh? Detailed plans coming soon; in the meantime, we invite any friend of Lindsborg to sign up to spend an hilarious hour greeting the public as a Waffle Person. For that, check in with Jan Cambridge-Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or "like" our new Våffeldagen Facebook page.
• Another March event: Bethany Home's four-course fundraising meal with silent and live auctions. That's 6-10 p.m. Friday, March 10, at the Sundstrom Center. Tickets $35 each, $60 for a pair. It's an opportunity to close the circle and support elder living in Lindsborg.
• Looking further ahead: Midsummer's Festival planners have been at work creating the fun on Saturday, June 17. Planners have listened to your suggestions and comments, and there will be a couple of tweaks this year. First, planners will try the event *without* a later-evening musical act and beer garden. Second, the festival will be presented in three acts: 9-3 in Riverside Park with traditional and new Midsummer's attractions; 3-5 around the town with fika (a Swedish word for a break with coffee and snacks with friends, plus Swedish food demos) and 6-11 at the Old Mill green with the maypole ceremony, music and dancing for all, and free late-night swim at the Lindsborg pool. If you have ideas, especially for the 3-5 time frame in your business or organization, please contact organizers. They can help with promotion and advertising. Midsummer's Festival admission is free, and festival expenses are paid through sponsorships.
• Please also keep in mind opportunities to come with the popular Lindsborg in Bloom groovy celebration of all things '60s on Saturday, April 29, and the Citywide Garage Sale on Saturday, May 6. It's not too early to scheme with Liz Lahodny of The Good Merchant and a great group of organizers! Liz is at email@example.com
• The Bethany College Board of Trustees meets on campus Thursday and Friday, Feb. 16 and 17. If you see a trustee, please thank them for their efforts.
• As you may know, the Lindsborg Kiwanis Club was among those who stepped forward in 2016 to revive Lindsborg’s Fourth of July fireworks show. The club’s involvement was key, and we all appreciated its help. The club also contributes to civic and youth projects locally and globally. On Saturday, Feb. 18, you send a little love back to the club by sitting down at its fundraising pancake feed from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bethany Church education hall, 320 North Main Street. Free-will donation for all the pancakes you wish to eat. Beverages and sausage also will be served.
• A refreshing young energy is reverberating through the Smoky Valley. Small towns crave it, and we are so lucky to have it. That’s we’re calling to your attention two upcoming opportunities.
1. A mingling opportunity hosted by Mid Kansas Coop for Young Professionals McPherson will be at the Sundstrom Center. That’s 5:30- 7 p.m,. Tuesday, Feb. 21. The purpose is to connect people, especially younger workers.
2. A mix and mingle will be hosted by First Bank Kansas and Smoky Hill Vineyards & Winery for Smoky Valley Young Professionals. The event will be in the bank's lobby in downtown Lindsborg. That’s Thursday, March 9, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Anyone of any age may attend; a special outreach is on for those, say, 18 to 45ish. Your encouragements will help.
• Looking for recommendations on improvements for your business Facebook page? Try www.likealyzer.com. (Hat tip Betty Nelson, Lindsborg Community Hospital)
As we begin polishing our social media skills in 2017, here are nuggets for your consideration:
1. A social media hashtag is a # sign followed by a word, phrase or abbreviation. Hashtags allow FB postings/tweets to be searched and compiled. That is why events, efforts and locations encourage the use of hashtags; more people can share photos and ideas on the same thing. Annnnd you can use more than one! What are commonly used hashtags in our area? #lindsborg #lbk (short for LindsBorg Kansas) and #bethanylbk. The state's tourism office uses #noplacelikekansas -- and that might also apply to posts originating from the Smoky Valley. So, c'mon. Let's Get Social -- with hashtags, too.
2. Some have asked for more tips about Facebook and other social media uses. Voila! Jim Richardson has gathered for us this how-to material about social media in small towns:
Social Media Marketing in a Small Town http://blog.bradleygauthier.com/social-media-marketing-in-a-small-town/
1. Create the Accounts: Obviously, this is step one. You may think your business will never use Twitter, Gowalla or Tumblr, but I bet you will. At least, you want to reserve your brand name. This is basic online reputation management. You can use KnowEm to search and identify networks that apply to your industry and goals. They say, “you miss all shots you don’t take.” Similarly, you’re going to miss all customers on sites you’re not signed up for.
2. Connect with the Innovators: I don’t care how desolate your town may be, I guarantee there are some residents using the networks. Start with Search.Twitter using your town name, parks, stores and other popular locations to find people tweeting in the town. This may show other community members they’re chatting with, following or listed. Also, this may lead to blogs, FourSquare accounts, YouTube videos, Facebook profiles, the list goes on.
3. Attract the Visitors: I’ll explain this one in a killer example: Imagine a social media savvy traveler is visiting a town for the weekend. And they send a tweet on Friday right before they leave, “heading to town XYZ for the weekend.” If you created an alert in Hootsuite for the town name XYZ. (saved keyword search) And by seeing the visitor’s tweet you can respond “glad to hear you’re coming to our town, hope you have a great time.” You see what happened there? If not, I’ll explain. Without any marketing dollars and without being an annoying sales person, you just created a huge brand recognition for someone who knows nothing of the town. This may open dialogue into all sorts of avenues. At least, the visitor may ask for directions to your place. At most, your Twitter account has become a point of contact and tour guide. With under 140 characters of marketing.
From: How Social Media Saved Lake Arrowhead ________________________________________
How Social Media Saved Lake Arrowhead When City Ad Budgets Ran Dry : Social Media Examiner http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-social-media-saved-lake-arrowhead-when-city-ad-budgets-ran-dry/ McLellan’s Lessons Learned
1. Jump in: McLellan had zero social media experience, but she learned fast. “Social media is so positive you really should just jump in. No-one’s going to crucify you if you do something wrong.”
2. It’s like a small town: The longtime resident of Lake Arrowhead found social media not unlike her small town, with many willing to offer guidance. “Just ask,” she says.
3. Don’t fret about details: “Don’t get mired down in the details,” she says. At first, she worried about how to use hashtags, but realized it’s more important to just post regularly.
4. Find an energetic intern: A marketing major does research on social media tools and strategies for McLellan, who does all actual postings. The intern learns in the process.
From: 8 Tips for Small Towns Using Facebook ________________________________________
8 Tips for Small Towns Using Facebook for Social Media Marketing | Placebrand http://www.placebrand.ca/8-tips-small-towns-using-facebook-social-media-marketing
1. Make Town Description Short and Concise: Make the description of your town under the 'Info' section short and concise.
• The audience on Facebook will not be interested in reading a thousand word essay on why your town rocks.
• Under the 'Basic Info', devote a sentence or two to what makes your town beautiful and unique, and then another one or two to the benefits of living there.
2. Link to Town’s Official Site: Under the 'Detailed Info' in the 'Info' section, be sure to link to you town's official website.
• Where your town's description will be the hook, this will be where you engage potential visitors!
• This is also one of the main purposes of a town's Facebook page—to bring traffic to your official site.
3. Enable “Posts from Viewers": Under the settings for your page's 'Wall', make sure to enable posts from viewers of the page.
• This setting will allow others to post about upcoming events happening in your town.
• It will allow people to post about positive experiences in your town.
• It will bring traffic to your page as people actively posting on your page will help it show up on more 'News Feeds'
4. ‘Like’ Neighboring Towns: 'Like' and become 'Members' of other neighbouring towns, or towns that are similar to you. This will ensure that potential tourists visiting those pages are also drawn to your page.
5. Use Facebook Pay-per-Click Advertising: Take advantage of Facebook's affordable pay-per-click advertising opportunitties. Facebook ads are extremely affordable and easy to use. They can be set up online and are a great way to get your page started.
6. Choose Right Demographics: Choose the right demographics to target with your Facebook ads.
• Facebook allows you to choose whose pages your ad will appear on. They allow you to choose by age, location, and interests.
• Narrow your targeted audience depending on who you think your potential market is.
• It is impossible to reach everyone on Facebook. By narrowing your focus and intended audience, you ensure that you are reaching the right people.
7. Regular Stream of Photos: Keeping a regular flow of photos of new and exciting things in your town can be the easiest and most effective way to keep your page updated and attractive.
8. Stay Active! The most important thing for your page is that you keep it fresh and updated. It can be hard for a stagnant Facebook page to consistently bring attention to your town, so keep it current.
• We encourage you to think ahead to Smoky Valley High School’s second annual community service effort on Wednesday morning, April 19. Student teams will be available that morning to do all manner of jobs to benefit the community, college, businesses and organizations, and individual and public properties. It’s part of the school’s emphasis on character and team building. Thank you, SVHS students and staﬀ. We are grateful for your help! Students will be supervised. Ideally, they would work in groups of 15, but also could work in groups of seven. Get your requests in early, folks! Pitch your ideas to Lana Charvat, counselor, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Joyce Peterson, SVHS college/career advocate, email@example.com. If you know of a homeowner who could use help with, say, spring outdoor cleanup, now is the time to get them connected with SVHS. Also think person-to-person jobs such as playing games with a child or elder, preparations for events, and such. Not every job can find a team but let’s generate as many options for SVHS as possible. The touch of the young. #SVstrong
• Have you noted the involvement of younger leaders in Lindsborg lately? We have — and are massively thankful for it. Cases in point: 1.) younger women are the fresh energy behind this Friday’s debut of “Makers Street: Lindsborg Art Walk.” Makers Street is a new every-second-Friday event along Main Street from 5-8 p.m. that celebrates the creative. Hope you’ll support this new eﬀort — if not Friday, Feb. 10, then in future second Fridays. Please, do put them on your calendar. 2.) younger leaders continue to help push the Lindsborg Arts Council’s work in arts performance, display and education. Hope you’re planning to come to the door of the LAC’s Chocolate Lovers event at 7 p.m. Saturday, at the J.O. Sundstrom Center. $20 gets you a fine evening of light appetizers, a mystery game, photo ops, old friends and new acquaintances, and a lively auction of experience packages, art and more.
• Have you liked, shared, commented on, or written a Facebook post recently about something you like about Lindsborg? An upcoming event, community eﬀort, service or experience? Look for information soon about how you can be more intentional the new “Let’s Get Social,” an Ad Hoc eﬀort to encourage crossing your use of social media cross-promotion for the benefit of all. Individuals, organizations and businesses can all take part. #lindsborg #lbk
• Reminder: Higher Learning Commission reps will be on the Bethany College campus and in the community through Wednesday morning.
• If you or your organization would like to reach audiences at this year’s Messiah Festival (or simply express gratitude and support), now is the time to contact Taylor Deutscher, Bethany College festival coordinator, 785-227-3380, ext. 8235, firstname.lastname@example.org. Advertising space in the Messiah program is on a first-come basis. Taylor, in her first year as coordinator, also has been juggling a raft of other music department responsibilities, including helping with Real Men Sing, which attracted 800 young male voices to Bethany last month. Thanks, Taylor.
• If you’re willing to loan an artwork to the popular Lindsborg Collects show starting in mid March, please contact Carol Gusenius, Lindsborg Realty, at 785-906-0285, or Marsha Howe at the Raymer Society at 785-906-0504. This display celebrates collectors in zip code 67456 — and relates stories about how a piece of art or craft came into the collectors’ care. What you may take for granted others may relish. So consider, please.
• Circles of McPherson County is ramping up offerings in Lindsborg, and that’s good news. Circles USA is a successful national eﬀort that breaks barriers on issue of poverty, and poverty is cited as an increasingly more important issue in our area. With the involvement of TACOL, USD 400 and local volunteers, Circles is bringing to Lindsborg the successful coaching-style eﬀort that has already helped many elsewhere in our county. Circles in Lindsborg now has 15 participants (adults, older teens, Bethany students) coming to weekly classes at Trinity UMC and six children coming along for child care during classes. Lindsborg participants, children and allies gather before the meeting to eat a donated meal. The Circles connections and discussion create awareness and new skills — exactly what is needed to break out of cycles and on to better things. If you know of someone who might enjoy joining with Circles in some way, just check in with Alana Murphy at 620-241-9011, or review more info at www.circlesofmcpherson.com.
Tale of the momentum tape at Bethany College:
•The college has recruited its largest freshman class in 17 years, with mid-term retention rate of 80+ percent. This means the college is retaining significantly more students from a significantly larger class.
• In the 2016-17 school year to date, Bethany athletes and coaches have worked 5,517 hours in community service. This number already significantly exceeds the Athletic Department’s goals for the entire year.
• The audit report is not finalized, but it appears that Bethany’s composite financial health index number has climbed to a breakthrough number of 1. It has climbed over a short time from past ratios of .6 -.8. The goal index number for institutions such as Bethany College is 1.5.
• Final spring enrollment will continue for a few more days. Best guess is that BC will have 530 to 540 students on the rolls, which is an 6 to 7 percent increase against spring 2016. • Campus visits are up +30 percent over last year at this time. Example: Presidential Scholarship Day attracted 50 excellent academic performing students this year against 23 last year.
• As of last night, 98 applications have been received for “The Good Life” scholarships program of free tuition for students from Saline and McPherson county high schools who quality and are accepted for enrollment. Two thirds of those applications have come since Dec. 31.
• About $1 million remains to be raised by July 31, 2017, on a goal of $2.2 million for this fiscal year. Special outreach is going to BC alums to raise the rate of alumni participation in giving (any amount) from 12 to 15 percent.
Please thank everyone at Bethany College for their hard work in helping create this momentum. If you have not seen the new “Bethany Arise” video on social media, we encourage you to view it.