I've got Bob Marley's words singing in my head: let's get together and feel all right.
It really does feel like it's time for us all to work together. Tourism can be affected by so many different factors (Floods, Brexit, Coronavirus) which we can't control. We can however make everything feel better.
Community. Collaboration. Kindness. None of them cost anything, yet they have enormous power. Visitors love to be in places where these qualities are strong. Everyone likes to feel a little uplifted and more positive.
If there was something you could do to benefit your business at no cost, and make others happy, would you do it?
I hope your answer is 'yes'?
Amazingly, most people don't do it. Their marketing is very 'me, me, me'. It's often uninspiring, static and unsuccessful.
There's a very simple way to make your marketing better, and benefit others. Be generous.
Relax. You don't have to splash the cash. It's about an attitude of mind, not emptying your wallet. Changing the way you market your business, being more generous, can actually generate better profits for you.
What do I mean? I'm talking about generosity of spirit. Looking outwards instead of inwards. Talking about other businesses, not just your own. Showing visitors that you're not just a lone body.
Here are a few simple examples:
It doesn't cost anything, and makes people happy.
The businesses you recommend will be happy.
Visitors will be happy because they find out about new places to go and things to do. Visitors want insider tips and recommendations, and to feel like they've found a local expert - that's you. Most of us want to buy from people who are good people, so anything you can do that's positive and generous will help.
Generous marketing can work to your benefit in other ways.
Most people want to visit places that have plenty to offer - things to see, good food, interesting activities. If you talk about your area and other businesses, your website will be enhanced, potentially with higher search engine rankings. Talking about other businesses can make your social media posts more interesting, building your reputation as a local expert.
Reciprocity is important. If I invite you to my party or sponsor you to run a mile, you're more likely to invite me to your party and sponsor me to swim a mile. The same applies to recommendations and generous marketing. It won't happen immediately, but your neighbours will gradually reciprocate. By working together and making genuine (just linking to each other doesn't work as well) recommendations, more and more people will notice and perceive your area as welcoming and positive.
You have to put real effort and meaning into your generous marketing though. People can tell when you're just going through the motions.
There's power in an unexpected generous gesture or kindness. It makes everyone feel good. And it can benefit your business. Even better, it's easy to get started with more generous marketing. Nothing is standing in your way. So you can start right now. Let me know what you've done or will do next?
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Please note: all articles are copyrighted Susan Briggs