“Being selected as the Vice President of The Local Marketers Association is an honor that I take very seriously, not only do I get to help educate business owners on what is working in Authority Marketing and help close the gap between offline and online marketing,” explains Tracy Hanes, “I get to be able to impact a veteran’s life with new skills. It is very exciting!”
Hanes’ entry point into entrepreneurialism was at an early age. One of the first experiences he had as an entrepreneur was every year in Indianapolis, Indiana at a local radio station; they would have a raft race down the White River. He wanted to build a raft, but he didn’t have any money to do it. The guy that owned the local grocery store was a big shot business man and Hanes had always admired him.
Hanes explains, “I walked in there and introduced myself and said, ‘Hey, I’d like to enter this raft race and I’m wondering if you’re willing to fund it?’ He said, ‘Well, what’s in it for me?’ I said, ‘I tell you what, I’ll put your sign on my raft if you give me 50 bucks and we’ll get you some marketing as we go down the river. He handed me $50 and I was hooked.’ I thought, ‘Man, that’s pretty cool!’ I guess I was 13 years old and that was my first local marketing deal that I ever did in my life.”
From there Hanes had a love for photography. He would watch his father take pictures. He started studying photography books and model photographers. Again, he was trying to meet people. He was trying to find a way to meet girls so he thought photography would be the best way to do it.
He took that and connected entrepreneurialism and he made a decision early on that he was going to be a photographer. Hanes still has his first business card. It was called “Good Image Photography” and he secured a gig photographing a wealthy gentleman’s inventory of his home for insurance purposes. He paid Hanes $500 to do that. “I was always envisioning myself running a business. I always had that vision from a young age. I’m not sure where it came from because my parents were hardworking blue-collar Americans, and worked hard at providing for me.”
Hanes dropped out of college and he heard about being a photographer in the US Navy. He thought it would be a great idea to be able to travel the world, get paid for it, and do photography. Find your passion, he advises. Do what you love and love what you do. ask yourself, What would I do even if I wasn’t paid to do it? Or, as Suzanne Evans of Help More People asks, “What could you do all day long that you forgot to eat?” Hanes retired as a US Navy Photographer and Video Cameraman/Producer in 1998.
“I had a couple of people approach me to form a company to consult on safety leadership. I used my leadership, Internet skills, video marketing, and positioning to position ourselves in the market as the authority on this particular topic. It took off. During that time, one of my partners was an inventor. He knew nothing about publishing a book and he asked me if I knew anything about self-publishing. I said, no, but I’m willing to find out. He said, Well, I have a couple of books I want to self-publish. That was in 2010. Hanes explains, again, I went on a mission. I immersed myself on how to self-publish. I published this gentleman’s first book and when I did he was so excited that I accomplished this for him. I mean, handing him that book was priceless. His face and his excitement were priceless and I was hooked. I knew that this was what I was supposed to do, solve that problem.”
That is how The Local Marketers Association (TLMA) came to be. They wrote curriculum for training newcomers to the industry and continuing education to keep all of them at the top of their game. They took the additional step of establishing a credentialing process for their members so business owners can be assured that the consultants they are working with are endorsed by them. “Smart Start” was established as an entry-level training program designed for returning Veterans or anyone wanting to start a career as a local marketing consultant.
Lori Snyder, President and Co-founder of (TLMA) says, “Tracy Hanes has brought incredible talent and leadership to The Local Marketers Association and we are very happy and fortunate to have him as part of our executive team. Tracy’s strong background in publishing and videography adds an entirely new skill set that we can leverage to help our members and clients position themselves to best reach the people who most need what they have to offer.”
She adds, “His long military career has also given him a deep understanding and appreciation for the needs of Veterans and service members making the transition to civilian life. He has generously agreed to head up our ‘Smart Start’ initiative aimed at helping former service members become business owners and leaders in their communities. Working on the premise that a rising tide lifts all boats, I am confident that with Tracy at the helm, this program will have a real and lasting impact on communities everywhere.”