I was excited to see the WAYWO: What are you working on? diary by Temmoku. I'm working on something, and I'm excited about it, and I was interested to see what others are up to!
But unfortunately for me, that's a diary about crafting... and I'm not doing any crafting at the moment. I have a project in the works to make a bed, but I won't be starting that for at least a month or two.
So I decided to offer the diary where I'd actually have something to say. This is What are you building in the "I built that" sense: I want to hear from all you lovely Kossacks who are launching or developing small businesses. With any luck, we'll have bright ideas for each other... and we can validate each other as fellow members of that too-often ignored and forgotten bunch, America's progressive entrepreneurs.
So my baby is Detour Travel, where I lead small group trips to Latin America for tourists who hate tourists. I'm a tourist who hates tourists, not that I necessarily have anything against them/us personally... but I travel to experience a foreign country/culture. That doesn't happen in an area where everything revolves around gringos. So I spend my time as a tourist in places less accessible to English-speakers, and that's where I take my tours.
(Here's an example - Tequila, Mexico. There are tourists, but most of them are Mexican nationals. So it's not like the local culture has to adapt to accommodate them, which would happen if the place were overrun with USians and Canadians.)
Next month is a special trip for me. I learned over the summer that what sells isn't so much a great sales pitch. It's when people hear about my trips from someone they know... or even see a picture on my website of a customer they can identify with. That's why we all look for user reviews instead of believing a company's own description - because we trust the people in our shoes, not the people trying to make money off us. I'd been mistakenly focusing my promotion on my destinations, and who I am, and what I'm trying to do, and what my (and my company's) values are.
So on this upcoming trip, I'm doing a special "Smile for the Camera" promotion. I've invited only people I know, or people they know, who I expect to get along well with each other. So it should be a pretty feel-good trip. I've given them a discount on the understanding that I'll be taking photos and videos here or there. They're also going to give me written feedback, which is normally optional for my travelers, on the understanding I can use it as testimonials.
Once I've got some people-focused photos, videos, and testimonials up on the website, I'm going to do a social media push. I'm excited about it. One of my ideas is, I'm doing a photo contest for everyone on this tour. They'll all be able to submit a couple photos, and I'll let people vote through my Facebook page for which is the best picture. The winner will get a fabulous prize, and I'll also be a winner, with a bunch of kickass photos I can use in my promotions, plus the traffic from everyone who participates in voting.
I'm also going to do more social media stuff during the tour - putting up photos and blog posts as we go, so everyone's friends at home can follow our experience.
So that's what this entrepreneur is enthusiastically doing, when I'm not doing political stuff! Who else has a story to share?