If you’re a regular reader, or have attended any of my internet marketing workshops, you’ve met Chantal and River Dancers Rafting Company in Northern California.
Chantal and I have been working together for three seasons now. You can read more about how we started, and what kinds of marketing assistance I have given her here: Did the Recession affect your rural business? Let’s talk.
Here’s the point: It’s been a tough three years for rural tourism businesses, but NOT for River Dancers.
They had the best season ever this year regardless of the terrible spring weather and the third year of the Great Recession.
“Why? How??” you might ask.
It is simple, but has not been easy.
River Dancers determined a number of years just who their Perfect Customer was.
They resisted the urge to market to everybody in hopes that that would fill rafts during the height of the recession.
They continued to do the small, simple, doable things that connected them with the people who were making travel buying decisions for families looking for reconnection, outdoor fun etc.
They learned how to effectively use email marketing, post to blogs, create and update a website that works, and use social media to reach that Perfect Customer.
Here’s the kicker.
This season, Chantal admits that much of her well-oiled marketing machine went to hell during the summer months! She was busy packing trips, guiding when needed and answering the phone and email.
Facebook still got regular photo updates, but if you look at her website today, it doesn’t look much different than it did in June.
What is the lesson from River Dancers great season?
1. Target your Perfect Customer relentlessly.
2. Create good marketing bones –
…a great optimized website, good understanding of how to use email marketing and social media, knowledge of how SEO and how to attract that Perfect Customer.
3. Know how to write good content… when you have the time to do so.
4. Do what you can when you can.
Once you have your marketing engine purring, you can coast a bit when other things need your attention.
The key is to only rest on your laurels for so long before giving that marketing engine another shot of gas. In Chantal’s case, she’s planning on spending time NOW getting everything tuned up and ready for another great season next year.
The major takeaway is that your successful marketing efforts need not overwhelm you. They will, in time, become as natural a part of your life as getting ready for work.
Here’s another blog post featuring River Dancers: