Without question, the guiding business is a fiercely competitive one. Your success depends on getting your brand in front of the right people at the right time, and making sure they choose you over your competitors. To do this, you must find a way to make your business stand out.
Easier said than done?
Not necessarily. Here are 10 proven tactics that you can start using today to position your brand at the head of the pack.
Make a stellar first impression.
Do you know how much time a web visitor will stick around after landing on your website? Fewer than 59 seconds. This drives home the critical importance of making an amazing first impression. How can you accomplish this? Start by investing in a powerful, user-friendly website. Then, put high quality content on your website that will draw people in and hold their attention.
Go above and beyond, always.
Good customer service is a given. Exceptional customer service is something that will give you a leg up on the competition over time.
Make impressing your clientele a top priority. Always go above and beyond. You will be rewarded in the form of positive reviews, which in the digital age, are worth their weight in gold – especially in the outdoor industry.
Embrace what makes you special, and talk about it. A lot.
What is it that makes you special and sets you apart from your competitors? What can you provide to your clientele that others offering similar services cannot? Identify these key differentiators. Promote them every chance you get in the content on your website and your advertising and social media activities. Don’t leave it to chance – let your prospects know why they should choose you!
Be a resource.
Your main goal is to get as many clients for your guided trips as possible. Accomplishing this takes building a reputation first. You can achieve this by positioning your brand as a trusted and valuable resource in your particular niche. Say, for instance, that your specialty is snowmobiling excursions. Instead of just promoting your tours, you can also provide helpful content that is relevant to your target audience. For example, write a blog post about winter safety tips.
Make your customers’ lives as easy as possible.
Today’s consumers want instant gratification and on-demand service. If you don’t provide this to them, they’ll move on until they find someone that does. You can capitalize on this – and the fact that many of your competitors are lacking in this area. Focus on customer convenience and user experience. Offer a mobile-optimized site with prominent information and the ability to contact you at the click of a button. If they can find what they need right away, they won’t have to look elsewhere.
Give back to the community.
You love the community in which you live and work. Why not take the extra steps to show those around you how much they matter? Host a local charity benefit, sponsor a nearby little league team or contribute to other events in the area. Doing so will solidify your role as a proud, contributing member of the community. It will also establish your brand as one that is trusted and well-known around town.
Find the missing puzzle piece.
There may be half a dozen or more guide businesses in your area that offer identical services. One way to step away from the crowd and effectively stand out is to identify what might be missing and take advantage. The best way to do this is to tap into your most valuable resource – your existing customers. Invite suggestions and reward feedback. Ask your clientele specifically what they’d like to see more of and take the appropriate steps to make it happen.
Be social, for real.
Sure, you already know how important it is to be present on social media. But to really stand out from others in your niche, you have to bring social to the next level. You have to go beyond posting an update on Facebook, sharing a photo on Instagram, or tweeting about your next adventure. Try not to approach social media from a promotional standpoint. Instead, with the goal of establishing, nurturing and maintaining relationships with your customers. Don’t be afraid to let people see the real humans behind your brand.
In today’s extra-large-everything world, it’s common to see businesses focus on rapid, explosive growth. There’s nothing wrong with this tactic, but it often comes at a cost – usually in the form of losing your personal touch. There are dozens of white water rafting companies in a tiny town in Maine. The one that outperforms the others also happens to be much smaller than the competition. Yet people choose them, year after year. Why? Because they prefer a more personal experience. It’s ok to grow. In fact, it’s encouraged. But try to do so naturally and in a customer-centric way.
In an ever-changing world, people are craving consistency and stability. You can capitalize on this. Your brand will stand out by establishing your message and delivering it consistently across all channels. Show your customers that they can always count on receiving exceptional, user-friendly services.
There are plenty of different marketing tools at your disposal. The one thing that will bring your guide business to the next level is the ability to differentiate yourself from the competition. The 10 tips above can help you start carving out that special niche and position your brand as the obvious choice over all the rest.