Digital literacy means you can choose rural

When I read the introduction to 9 Clouds’ new book, I immediately asked Scott Meyer for permission to reprint it here. Scott obliged, did a bit of customization, and threw in the infographic (because everything needs an infographic). Yes, I am mentioned in the book, but trust me, this is an excellent guide for small town businesses. –Becky

Guest post by Scott Meyer, bro-founder of 9 Clouds

Orange BuffaloYou can live the life you want anywhere in the world.

Seems simple, right? That’s the guiding force of everything we do at our digital marketing and education firm 9 Clouds. Unfortunately, it’s a statement that most people don’t believe. If you know what your life could be and you pursue that frontier, you will find it. It won’t be easy and most people, including your friends and family won’t understand. Visionaries, however, are rarely understood until their vision is realized. Fortunately, you can pursue your vision from anywhere. Thanks to digital technology, you can connect with the people who will help you, will buy your products and services and will provide inspiration as you pursue your frontier. We call these visionaries digital homesteaders. The challenge for digital homesteaders is becoming digitally literate by knowing which tools to use and how to use those tools. As you can tell from the social media infographic at the bottom of this post, there is no shortage of options, but the right tools depend on your audience and skills.

Navigating Social Media PaperbackNavigating Social Media: A Field Guide

When you are digitally literate, you are no longer stuck. However we realized from our homestead in rural South Dakota that often businesses and individuals don’t know where to start. To solve this problem we’ve published a field guide for marketers, business owners and moms: Navigating Social Media: A Field Guide. In the Social Media Field Guide (available for free as a pdf or for purchase as a paperback, Kindle or audiobook), we cover the tools that offer the greatest success for rural businesses including strategies and tutorials on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Google Plus

Knowing how to use digital tools is worthless however without a vision of how to succeed. That’s why we talked to leading entrepreneurs, many in rural areas, to learn what worked for them. These Field Notes include inspiration from:

  • Chris Guillebeau
  • Pamela Slim
  • Srinivas Rao
  • Becky McCray (know her?!)
  • Many successful local businesses and marketers

Start Right Where You Are

Your community, wherever you choose to be (or are forced to be), is the perfect place to create your life. It might be in your hometown, a new country or on the road, but you now have the power to choose both your community and your life. The life you lead is not dictated by the company you keep. You may however, feel that your community is holding you back or discouraging you from exploring the frontier. The fact is, they’re afraid. They actually need you to explore the frontier to prove to them it is possible. By leading through example, you will inspire your community to be better. You may be the original homesteader, but inevitably, one homesteader attracts another and soon a new community is formed. You hold the power to homestead. Others may help provide the tools or even a guide such as this, but you have to strike the first nail and stake your claim. Get started now.

Scott Meyer is the brofounder (brother + cofounder) of the digital marketing and education firm 9 Clouds based in South Dakota. Download their free Social Media Field Guide for strategies and tips on building a business in a rural community using digital technology.

Choose the Best Digital Tools for Your Business:

Social Media Infographic

Click to download your social media field guide.

Get the infographic at: Navigating Social Media Infographic
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