Best Practices in Social, Learn the Basics.

Working in the service industry is tough, even just looking at a service blueprint can be enough to make someone’s head spin. Navigating the digital world with today’s changing trends and themes can just be too much a lot of the time. Hopefully, some notes from my experience will help you survive and thrive in the digital world!

The very first thing that applies to any facet of business but especially your digital presence is a phrase that I was told when I was younger, Keep it simple, stupid. I would always go about making these huge elaborate plans when in reality the solution was far easier after all. My way I try to simplify things is simple, you should be able to communicate your point in two sentences or less. If it takes more than that to explain reevaluate your presentation first then if the problem still persists reevaluate your plan. When building a website efficiency is key, make sure they can find what they want when they want it no useless pages or,content, everything serves a purpose.

The next one relates to media and its use. Simply put with media, show don’t tell. Why would I tell you, You are going to have a good time when I could show you people similar to you enjoying themselves. Using pictures to communicate feelings is an invaluable skill. When it comes to photos never underestimate their importance, if you don’t Have a current stock of photos it’s worth it to get some professionally taken, your website is often people’s first impression of you it’s worth it to make it a good one

My third point is just don’t overdo it, your customer is there because they want to be, play it cool. Don’t try too hard to “fit in” the harder you try to seem “cool” the less cool you are.

Make it about the customer not yourself, lift them up, don’t try to make their content your own and design your content for their enjoyment.Create a sense of belonging even after their experience incentivise involvement. Have them share pictures, stories, anything, to show that your experience is about them. Lastly, don’t try to dazzle them, try to relate to them. If you show you’re here for them they’ll be there for you.

That builds on my last point. Just have fun with it, if everyone’s having fun people will want to come back. Make jokes, write stories whatever you and or your team is comfortable doing you can make work.

If you and/or your customers have a creative hobby, use your outreach to involve them, the contributor gets exposure and a sense of self-accomplishment while you get community aware content and outreach. If you do have in-house features on your outlets make sure you and your staff can cover each other’s responsibilities. In this communication is key, meetings and shared documents to make sure everyone can access information and expectations about projects are crucial.

Hopefully, with these in mind and a creative spirit, you too can go out into the digital world and thrive amongst the millions of others trying to make it in this emergent format.

5 Steps To Create Great Recreational Tourism Experiences

In this article, I will be discussing a few steps on how to ensure great experiences regarding recreational tourism in the state of Maine. These steps will be straightforward and easy to follow. However, many people miss these small details that truly make all the difference in the end to create lifetime customers.

1: Treat them like Family

When people travel all the way up to Maine they appreciate one great thing Maine has to offer, hospitality. People from Maine are friendly when a cashier asks “How are you today?” They mean it. They look into your eyes and smile with sincerity. This is not a common behavior everywhere.

If you are running a guide service, or whatever it may be, it is important to remember names, to ask them their concerns and to make sure they are comfortable. This is important to people. Remember they are on vacation, they want the most limited amount of stress possible while they are trying to have a great experience.

2: Be prepared

When people spend money on a fishing guide they are expecting to catch a fish. When people go hunting with a guide they expect to take home an animal, although, sometimes this isn’t so. Guides must be experienced. They should be prepared to work around the least ideal situations. It is important for them to schedule dates to go out accordingly to ideal conditions. It’s hard to predict these patterns and sometimes you will be forced to perform in the least ideal conditions. Going out on days by yourself and observing patterns is key. For example, a carter fisherman should go out on days they would normally not catch and attempt to do so. This will make them much more prepared for a day where the weather is not ideal because even on the least ideal days you want that customer to get the ideal experience they paid for. 

3: Look the Part

Whatever the activity is, it is important for professionals to look like pros. This means they must be using the best and most up to date gear. Backcountry ski guides should be using the most up to date skiing equipment and safety gear. Hunting guides should be wearing the proper equipment and if they have hunting dogs, they should look in shape and well-trained. If they are a fishing guide, having the proper tackle that gets the job done is important. This also goes for whitewater rafting guides with all their equipment. There are a couple of key reasons why this is very important. One is that it shows the professionals are prepared. The next reason is it shows the client that they have an idea of what they are doing. Regardless of what the business is, having the proper equipment makes a big difference and gives the client some piece of mind.

4: Capitalize on the great moments with Pictures and Video

Whether the customer has just hit their first great line on skis, shot their first big buck, or if they just caught a monster fish, it’s necessary to capitalize on these moments because it highlights what customers have been waiting for all along. Pictures and videos are a great way of doing this. For example, whitewater rafting professionals hire a photographer and a videographer on the river to capture moments of the customers experience going through the rapids. When the trip is over the customers can watch a video of themselves and hold those great experiences dear. They can even bring the video home to show friends and family. 

5: Have Fun

By showing the client that you enjoy the job you are doing makes the overall experience much more memorable. The definition of recreation is an activity done for enjoyment when one is not working. That being said, the activity at hand shouldn’t appear like work for the professional. Having fun with the clients shows them that you are truly living out your passion. Furthermore, when people are having fun all around you, this, in turn, should give the client the ability to have fun as well. This will ensure that great memories will be created. 

How To Create A Great Tourism Experience

The tourism industry is currently going through a major shift as businesses strive to create experiences, rather than simply providing quality services. The reason behind this is simple: tourists are looking to gain lasting memories from their travels, and experiences are just more likely to satisfy this need. Interested in learning how to create great tourism experiences? Here are five characteristics that your business should be emulating:


  1. Globally Unique: Great tourism experiences are globally unique. When designing your tourism experience, consider what makes your geographic location special, and incorporate that into the experience. For example, tourism experiences on the coast should embrace their unique location by incorporating the ocean and coastal culture into the theme or activity.
  2. Personalizable: Creating an experience that meets each individual customer’s wants, needs, and/or desires is a great way to show that your company is willing to go the extra mile to ensure a great experience for each individual. For example, a guiding company can personalize their experience by offering outings that serve people of different experience levels and by allowing customers to choose between different trip lengths, group sizes, and activities.
  3. Interactive: Great tourism experiences get the customer involved and actively learning. When creating your experience, think about fun and engaging ways that the customer can get involved. This is particularly helpful advice for turning products into experiences – you can build an experience by getting your customer actively involved in the process of creating a new product.
  4. Involves All Five Senses: Get the customer immersed in the experience by involving all five senses. This makes the experience more engaging for the customer and can help make the experience feel even more authentic. For example, although a spa’s main service deals with touch, a spa can involve the other four services by designing a visually calming environment, playing relaxing music, employing aromatherapy, and offering water and nutritious health foods after treatments.
  5. Memorable: Most importantly, the experience should be memorable. Customers should leave the experience with memories that will last a lifetime. For the most part, businesses can make their experiences memorable by focusing on what makes them unique and exciting, and by striving to meet and exceed the customer’s expectation. Businesses can also help customers literally take home memories by allowing customers to purchase souvenirs and photographs from their experience.

8 Essential Steps to Creating a Unique Tourism Experience

As we shift from a service economy to one focusing on experiences the tourism industry has the opportunity to connect with customers on a new level. Instead of promoting the same old tourism services to a blanket audience and competing on price, tourism providers can now create unique experiences that compete on value.  A unique tourism experience isn’t something that can be built in a day and it requires hard work and an understanding of your resources and your customer’s needs. Here are the eight essential steps to take when creating a tourism experience.


  1. Get to Know Your Customers.


If you don’t know who your customers are or what they want for an experience it’s difficult to even get started crafting a successful package. Knowing your target customers profile of likes and dislikes can help focus in on what types of experiences they would be interested in.  Customer profiles can be developed by simply surveying your current customers or by looking at your local tourism market research to gain a better understanding of who is visiting your region.  Using either method allows you to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and craft a better experience that meets or exceeds their expectations.

Now that you know who you are serving and who you could be serving its time to find out what will make our experience special.


  1. What is Going to Make Your Experience Special?

If you create an experience that can be copied by anyone you will be competing for customers on price alone. Understanding what makes your experience special adds value that cannot be copied so easily. Take a look at your community or region and think about what makes it special or unique? Who or what makes people want to visit your location? Are there some lesser known hot spots like restaurants or hiking paths that are only known to locals? Does your area have a historic industry that might allow you to partner with a non-traditional tourism business?

A great example of this would be the Kennebec historic log drives or ice harvesting business. Is there a local carpenter that uses reclaimed wood from those historic drives or someone who can bring the history to life and really engage your audience? Try to balance physical and emotional elements that can give your customers a well-rounded journey.


  1. What Type of Experience Fit Best With Your Business?

Now that you know what makes you special it’s time to refine your options. What elements of your community fit best with your already existing business? Is there a certain experience package that you could develop that fits or adds value to something you already offer? Start by grouping like experiences together under broad titles like outdoor adventures, reliving local history, or eating your way through Southern Maine. Start to think about what customers will leave your experience feeling and how they can share their experience with others. Will they write a review on Tripadvisor or will the share a video or their journey on Facebook for everyone to see?


  1. Plan Your Experience Program or Package!

Now that you know everything you can offer it’s time to plan what you are actually going to offer customers. Try to build your experience around a story or theme that fits with local attitudes. This will give your customers a consistent message throughout their journey. Now that you have a theme or story determine what the core elements or the experience will be. These elements should be the major focus of the program that customers cannot miss!

After you’ve determined your core elements develop a detailed plan that includes where guests will go and what they will do as well as all key players who will be guides or storytellers involved. Make sure you plan activities that will engage customers and immerse them in the story more than a demonstration would.


Ensure that for each step of the journey you have a contingency plan in place so the whole experience does not unravel if one thing falls through.


  1. Find your partners, suppliers, and staff!

With every element of your experience planned it’s time to find the people who are going to make this dream a reality! Find businesses and suppliers who will be your key partners in delivering this experience. This could be partnering with a hotel to use a dining room or a paddleboard rental to get equipment for an on the water tour.


When hiring your staff make sure each employee is ready to help deliver every element of the experience so the customer gets a cohesive message. Make sure each staff member knows their part in delivering the experience and how they fit into the big picture. Develop a detailed strict for each part of the customer’s journey but allow for flexibility so customer don’t feel rushed or miss out. Make sure you train each employee thoroughly and work out any kinks before real customers book. This may take a few dry runs with friends or family members at little or no cost to make sure everything is working efficiently.


  1. Find Your Place in The Market and Determine Your Price!

To determine your price you have to find your place in the market. Determine if you are offering this to domestic tourist, international tourist, or both. You should also decide if this is a niche experience or something that everyone wants to do. Answering these questions will help you define your experience and find its place in the market.


Once you know your place in the market it’s time to decide on your selling price. Understanding what similar experiences in your market are priced at will ensure you do not underprice.


It might be hard in the beginning to determine the value so it’s okay to set an exact profit margin and develop the price that way. Test prices and find what one works best in your market or perhaps develop different price levels for customers who might only want and value parts of the experience.


  1. Market Your Experience.

Market your experience on the best channels to reach your target customers. This will require the development of a detailed marketing plan for each channel you plan to use. Be aware of what customer are saying about your business and change marketing plans accordingly.


Look to your local chamber of commerce or state tourism organization for opportunities to market. Maine has two great websites &  that cater to tourist and can help you market you experience


  1. Deliver and Evaluate Using Feedback.

Deliver your experience and be ready to reevaluate the experience from yours and the customer’s mindset. Continue to identify ways to better the experience from feedback from customers as well as key partners. Use both of these methods to fine-tune your experience and make it the best in the market!

Now it’s time to  go through these steps to create your own  unique experience that customer will book in a heartbeat!

5 Simple Steps To Help Create a Memorable Tourism Experience



     There are many different techniques and methods for destination firms to use while maneuvering through the experienced filled minds of tourists. Finding the right mix of advertising content to display, can differ from each segment your firm wishes to target. What is it that firms can use in order to not only draw the attention of set tourists but to keep them coming back time after time? Here we will venture into a guide to best practices that are used in order to keep your guests happy and fulfilled.


     We start by getting to know your customer. One might ask specifically what it is that we need to know about them. It is important to remember that each guest that you target will be different and in sense will have different needs and fulfillment objectives. Get to know them by asking them questions about their age, and where they are coming from.

     Once you have started to get to know your guests, you can now start to determine what it is that they specifically need. What factors can you implement and display to your guests that will directly help them fill that need? Again, it is important to note that each segment will have different needs.


     Now that you have determined your direct customer needs, you now must a establish a sense of product and service use. Here your customer must be able to fully understand what it is that you have to offer. If a customer is unable to clearly identify themselves with your product or service, there is a good chance that they will become a product of the competition.

     For a customer to truly understand your product or service and to help develop a sense of need fulfillment, a story or theme can be used while relaying your content. By doing so it will help your guests relate to you on a personal level, therefore targeting their sense of emotion. As a result, your guest will become more open to giving information that might be needed to target their needs, making it easy for the firm to relate. A good example to help us understand this concept further are the Disney theme parks.


     Another strong way to relay your content is to make the guest aware of surrounding events that they might be interested in. By doing so, you are not only providing them with helpful insight but also helping them relate themselves to the surrounding area, again, to create enjoyment on an interactive personal level. Levels of creativity are now in the hands of the guest, allowing them to become excited and entertained with the use of customization.


     It doesn’t stop there, selecting key partners with surrounding businesses might be in your best interest. This can positively affect your firm’s ability to expand in the sense of customer interest. Simply because, if a firm(s) has more to offer, the more chance of catching the customers attention. However, you must keep a close relation to your allies and be aware that sometimes, things don’t always work out.

GO, GO, GO!!!

    Now that you have read through the various practices, go out and apply them! Throughout your process, it is important to remember to stay close to your customers and to really develop a full understanding of what they need. In today’s world, everything is needed at the end of fingertips at the best convenience possible. If that’s not delivered directly to the customer, then wave goodbye to your potential customers.

Understanding the Beauty behind Fall By: C.L. DeLisle

From a walk on Oct. 22nd, 2017

      I hurried out the door at 5:30 pm for a quick walk in the fading moments of twilight. Here in Maine, it’s that time of year where the insidious darkness of the encroaching winter becomes vivid. The sun had already set as I stepped onto the gravel drive. Utter silence dominated the air. There were no more boats cruising the lake, no more “summer people” walking their dogs, nor were there any cars. Not even a single squirrel could be heard prancing about the woods.


A still Great Pond. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson). 

The foliage is at its peak. Or, in many places, maybe even on that dirt camp road, it’s on the decline. It’s starting to become noticeably colder after an unseasonably warm and welcoming fall. My hands were shoved into the pouch of my Bauer sweatshirt, my breath visible as I walked. An increasing number of leaves were falling from the treetops, covering the gravel of the narrow road beneath a colorful carpet. The carpet was stitched with various shades of red, orange, and yellow leaves that had been knocked free by a powerful wind that blew the night before.


Hathaway Lane in Rome covered in a blanket of leaves. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson). 

Towards the end of the road, the woods open up on the left to a field of wilting grass in which horses once grazed. Across this field there’s an ancient white farmhouse in which a cranky old man lives. There’s a large red barn with a sign hung above its wide doorway that reads “Lakeview Farm”. At the very end of the road, the field opens on all sides to reveal a spectacular view of Great Pond. That night the lake was calm, mirroring the image of the burning sky at dusk perfectly.

While approaching the end of the road, I noticed the sky becoming increasingly visible through the thinning canopies of the white birch trees. The sky looked as it did in the springtime, though the remaining leaves that still clung to the branches were now crisp and brown – in spring, they were moist and green.


Adolescent leaves budding in spring. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson)

Arriving at the end of the road, I stopped to look out over the still lake: there weren’t many lights left on along its shore. After a few minutes, I turned and headed back towards home. The crimson, maroon, fire orange, and bright yellow canopies of treetops across the field caught my attention; I thought of how beautiful fall is. But then I began to contemplate why it is that fall is considered so beautiful.


Colorful tree line across the field on Jamaica Point. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson)

Of course, the reason is largely due to its aesthetically pleasing foliage, as people from around the world who travel to New England this time of year will vouch for.


Tree at peak foliage in the Belgrade Lakes. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson)

But more importantly, fall is beautiful because is is the END. It is the end to something long anticipated and lusted about year after year; it is the end to summer. We often make the fondest and most cherished memories during those long days and warm nights.


A campfire along the Dead River this past summer. (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

But when we are living through them, people will often argue that summer is never as sweet as we imagine it; I couldn’t disagree more with this argument.

On my walk earlier that spring, around the same time of day and looking at the same trees I see tonight, only then full of youth, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the excitement that comes with spring. The days would get longer and warmer, everything would get better. I dreamt about all the times to come laughing and living with friends and family. For me, the reality of summer always seems to outshine the fantasy of the dream.

Sure, the present is often unsatisfactory. But it is also where lasting and cherished memories are made. By focusing on each aspect of the present, knowing that soon it will become a memory, each day becomes more valuable. With every leaf that shakes free and dances towards the ground, I can’t help but see a new memory of mine lying within.


A lone leaf that fell from the trees during early fall. (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

I see journeying through the Blue Ridge Mountains, looking out over the spectacular expanse laid before my eyes and feeling the warm breeze against my back (read previous blog: “A Walk Along the Ridge”, if you want to know more about that experience).


Horizon line from atop the Blue Ridge Mountains. (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

I feel the sweat streaming down my spine on a sweltering June day in Portland. The uneven cobblestone streets of the Old Port make me unbalanced as I hobble around in a walking boot. The annual Old Port Fest is underway and I’m with a group of laughing and smiling acquaintances.


Old Port Fest 2017. (Photo courtesy of Michael Leonard) 

I see four friends lugging an absurd amount of camping gear down a secluded dirt road running along the Dead River. A light mist is falling and they are slightly intoxicated due to a successful “play run” (a non-commercial rafting trip) on the Kennebec River earlier. One of the girls is complaining and asking, “How much further?”. To this, I see myself, still wearing a walking boot, replying: “Just around the next corner,” for the entire two-mile trip.

Adventures consist of both highs and lows


A group of three friends and myself wading in the Dead River. (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

I feel the weight of a hiking bag full of equipment pulling heavily against my shoulders as I ascend a mountain with a pond on top to campout. That night, a violent thunder storm rolled in and I can hear the endless pattering of rain against the tent’s roof throughout the starless night.  I feel the stickiness of waking up the next morning, two friends having slept in a pool of spilled boxed wine (just the bag, no box, too bulky for hiking mountains).


Alexandra McCown and Myself atop Tumbledown Mtn. (Photo courtesy of Alexandra McCown)

I see a group of bearded AT (Appalachian Trail) thru-hikers from around the world walking along Route 201 in The Forks with their dirty thumbs out trying to hitch a ride. I see slowing down to pick them up, hearing their fantastic stories around a campfire that night, and bringing them rafting for free the next day on a play run (“Trail Magic” is what they called it). Man did they stink after almost 2,000 miles of walking through the woods!


Group of raft guides and AT thru-hikers enjoying a sunny day on the Kennebec River. (Photo courtesy of Matt Morelli)

I see myself conquering the tallest mountain in Maine with another group of four friends. I can feel my shirt being whipped about like a flag in the cold wind as I drink a similar bag of wine while standing triumphantly atop the Mount Katahdin sign.


Drinking a bag of wine atop Mt. Katahdin with Alexandra McCown. (Photo courtesy of Chris DeLisle)

Fall is most beautiful because it is the end; it’s the end to one chapter and the beginning of another. Overtime, the leaves become part of the ground they fall upon, reshaping the face of the Earth. Like the leaves, our memories become part of us. The people and places that helped make them may fade, but they (the memories) never leave us. They add to us. They teach us. They help us grow and become stronger. They reshape us.  And best of all, they never stop coming.

More Foliage

Orange and Red foliage on Jamaica Point Road. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson)

Soon, all the leaves will be gone and there will be a seemingly endless darkness. But as we all know, nothing, not even the Earth and sky, lasts forever. A few months from now the atmosphere will once again start to bloom full with life. Each fertile leaf that’s buds from the treetops will hold the promise of new memories to come.


New leaflets blooming in the spring. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Wilson)

Pay attention to the little details of the present and choose your company wisely, for those are what make a memory eternal.

  • What do you all think about this latest blog post?
  • Do you agree with my idea of why fall is beautiful? If not, what is your reason?
  • What are some of your most cherished memories made during the summer of 2017?

Shoot me an email or a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts!