Social Media and Online Marketing Success ~
with a small budget ~that’s what it’s I’m all about!
Here’s a Short Scoop on Me
I am truly just a small town girl. I grew up in a small, rural town in Southern California; moved to the big city (Los Angeles) after college, traveled the world, got married and then came back to a small Southern California resort town, high in the mountains called Lake Arrowhead. I spent the last 21 years marketing Lake Arrowhead as a destination on very little and sometimes with absolutely NO marketing/advertising money. Over the years Lake Arrowhead successfully held their own in the Southern California tourism market against destinations with huge, multi-million dollar marketing budgets. Oh, by the way, I was officially the Director of Marketing and Tourism for the Lake Arrowhead Communities – I did this part time.
I don’t only do “destination marketing” on a small budget though. Over the years I have marketed entities, with very little or no money, such as a resort retail shopping center, a resort hotel, a school district, consulted with a couple of other cities, a yearly summer concert series, a film festival, countless small businesses, a ton of events, been part of the marketing of the Inland Empire region of California and a startup theatre company to name a few.
Currently I am a partner in a social media company that specifically works with tourism and hospitality professionals and the small businesses that are their members. The company is Tourism Currents and we travel nation-wide as social media personal trainers. I also have continued my own consulting business.
Marketing with no money is certainly a challenge, but for me, it’s always been totally FUN too. If it wasn’t fun, I never would have done this for the better part of my adult life. I do spend a bit of my time speaking at various tourism and marketing events.
I’m in the Trenches Daily, Just Like You!
Most small businesses are overwhelmed with marketing, PR and social media. This is where I come in! Here are 3 reasons that I hope will entice you to follow my blog and be part of the Just a Small Town Girl community:
* I have been marketing with little or no money and competing successfully with entities that have huge budgets for over 20 years.
* I’m in the trenches, the same as you, day in and day out, walking the walk, talking the talk.
* I know what it takes to run successful marketing, pr and social media programs – and have a track record to prove it.
Social Media ROI (Return on Investment) Proven!
* In November 2009 I received the great news that Lake Arrowhead held its own, as a destination, in this tough economy solely via social media efforts as we had no money to spend on print advertising that year. This was a huge coup and I’m excited to share my roadmap as to how we did this. **I’m sure you are wondering how I know this…..My information comes from the County of San Bernardino as they provide us with an annual tourism marketing grant based on bed tax collected. In 2009, a slightly higher amount was collected than in 2008 and our only marketing was via social media outlets! So there is our validation – pretty exciting!!
You can watch a short video from the 140 Characters Conference Small Town where I talk about this social media success here. (You’ll find my talk in Block #2 at approx. 47:20). I love to share exactly how we did this, and love travelling and speaking with groups about this success.
My husband and I have two boys, a couple of horses, 3 Springer Spaniels and two very loud birds. When I’m not working, I’m a PTA mom, sports mom, and a community volunteer with a whole bunch of local organizations.
So there’s a bit about me! Thanks for taking the time to read about me – I look forward to connecting with you along this wild and wonderful digital journey we’re traveling together.
To do marketing properly (and especially with no budget) you have to continually learn, continually connect with people, never stop looking for new, cutting-edge angles to generate interest. I hope that we can connect and talk about what works, ask questions and contribute new ideas to help each other.
Remember, You can market with little or no money and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!!
eTourism Summit – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts-M1QeirLo (my presentation starts at 29:30)