These idea-generating jamborees have become a tradition at DM. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, I suggest you give them a try.
Dec 13, 2019 at 10:00 AM in In the News
You all have really unique talents and things that work well specifically to your market,” said Laura Potter, Production Manager of Discovery Map International, at the recent Franjam in Denver, Colorado. And while the first day of the two-day event was focused largely on debriefing attendees about what was new and exciting at Discovery Map, the second day showcased panel discussions that allowed the franchisees to share their experiences. Actually during the whole two-day meet up–from the get together of many of the franchisees for dinner the night before the official start of the program through to the parting photographs taken at the end of the last session–the spirit throughout the gathering was much about networking, becoming better acquainted with the DM staff and their doings, sharing tricks of the trade at every opportunity and yes, lots of fun socializing replete with super tasty food and drink. (There was even a fun event in an Escape Room to top it all off.)
Peter Hans, Discovery Map president, steered the program most of the time with the help of Laura and Rob Amon, Head of Franchise Development. Presentations highlighted current doings at DM, online order forms & CC payment information, marketing and social media and an introduction to Local Loot, a new and exciting perk and app soon to be launched by DM.
I handled the social media part at the Denver FranJam. My name might be familiar to many of you, since I have had the opportunity to work with a number of Discovery Map franchisees. I’m a freelance writer that does much of the writing for Discovery Map. You may know that DM is working hard at making their website even more of a draw than before. In case you didn’t know, having a strong online presence is where it’s at. I have been working on creating content for the site, writing up destinations and contributing to the Map Geek blog. In my presentation, I explained how the write ups serve to give the flavor of the destination; they are about furnishing the reader with a taste of a certain locale by showcasing certain themes such as outdoor activities or cultural doings. They are not meant to be all inclusive and although these write ups typically feature some advertisers, they are about providing as much editorial as possible within a small space, or in writer’s speak, by adhering to a specific word count. (It’s best, in fact, not to focus on advertisers too much, since Google prefers clean, fresh content free not tied in with advertising. And, of course, we want to boost our rankings with Google. It’s all about the clicks, you know.)
Here are some tips I provided during my presentation:
-Be sure to tell your advertisers (and anyone else that will listen) about Discovery Map’s internet presence. Tell them that there’s extra information, including lots of fun tidbits and helpful tips, at the DM website. Remind them to tell their patrons about this, something that’s particularly important with a hotel where a concierge can provide an added bonus to their guests by directing them to the DM website (in addition to supplying them with an actual Discovery Map).
-Make sure you have a designated Facebook page and Instagram account for your destination and post there as often as possible. Remember that these platforms are called social media for a reason–they’re all about interacting. Just imagine how it would be if you went to a chamber of commerce mixer and stood in the corner and didn’t talk with anyone. You want to be the
guy or gal in the room chatting everyone up whether you’re at a networking event or on social media.
-I talked about the Map Geek blog that showcases lots of cool information. You can share a link to those stories, for example, on your social media. There’s one of particular interest entitled Digital Maps vs Paper Maps that could be helpful to you in landing more ad contracts. Hint: Both are important.
-Consider sending out a short newsletter to your advertisers and other important contacts as a way of staying in touch with them and building your audience.
Attendees of the Denver FranJam had the benefit of tons of other tips as well. In addition to what Peter, Laura, Rob and I shared, all of the franchisees talked about what works for them. Laura and Aidan Gordon, from the El Paso, Texas market, were very generous with their tips, some of which are as follows:
-Don’t call Monday mornings before 10am. -Don’t call around lunchtime. -Don’t call Fridays after 3pm. -Send out regular distribution reports to advertisers and potential advertisers. -Make appointments about a week ahead of time.
“Our buzzwords are “polite persistence,” said Laura Gordon. "People say that it typically takes seven contacts to land a contract. In my experience, it’s more like twelve to thirteen.” With an outstanding number of advertisers and a total map distribution into the tens of thousands their first year of operation, you can bet that these ladies are very dedicated to their polite persistence approach. It’s no wonder that Laura and Aidan were the proud recipients of the first annual Discovery Map Award of Excellence, a custom-made wooden piece handcrafted in Vermont.
David Moler, from Durango and now Telluride, Colorado, shared that he likes to flip the script when he cold calls. He uses “You sound really busy right now” instead of “Is now a bad time for you?” He’s had great success with that tactic and he explained why in fascinating detail at the Denver FranJam.
“My whole approach these days is going into the establishment directly, shared Tom Griek, owner of the Breckenridge, Boulder and Estes Park, Colorado maps. With three very successful maps to his credit, he should know.
This is just a hint of what took place during the Denver FranJam in October. Apparently the FranJam in Burlington, Vermont was also a big success. If you attended one this year–or have been a participant in the past–you know that this is the best way to recharge your batteries and walk away with a fresh take on Discovery Map. These idea-generating jamborees have become a tradition at DM. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, I suggest you give them a try.
Good luck with all!
By: Maribeth Clemente Travel Writer - Bounjour Colorado: http://bonjourcolorado.com