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You are a media business. Whether you like it or not, you need to learn how to collect, manage and use photos, videos and the written word to propel your business. 

Traditionally this was done with brochures, posters and direct marketing. We’d spent big money on stock photos, designers and printers in producing pieces of paper with our brand and offerings on. We’d send them out (at further cost!), and hope and pray we see that investment return in some way.

Now it’s more likely that the majority of your marketing is done online, through your website, social media channels and email. For that reason, you’re going to need compelling media to promote your products and services, to give existing and potential customers a better idea of what you’re trying to sell, and to build your brand.

You might be thinking, “I’m a guide, why would I need to be a media company” and that’s understandable. Your main talents lay in being an exceptional leader, master facilitator, knowledgeable tour guide or expert river guide. However, if you’re committed to building your brand and your business, you’re going to need to begin building a database of media that you can use in the future to sell more of what you’re delivering.

Years ago I had countless arguments with my business partner about collecting as many photos and videos whilst we led trips. My argument was that by collecting images and video of everything we were doing allowed us to further the business. At the end of every trip I’d upload photos from the trip on social media, make short videos and collect video testimonials about the trip for future promotion. It really is a no brainer but just takes some time to implement and execute to avoid becoming unwieldy.

My personal choice is linking my phone to Google Photos. Firstly, the phone on my OnePlus phone is excellent (worth investing in a phone that has good media capability!). When I take photos they are automatically uploaded to my Google account via Google photos and a Wifi connection (and deleted automatically from my phone to save space). Then it’s simply a case of logging into Google Photos via my computer, popping them in a trip-specific folder, resizing and renaming for upload (I use Irfanview’s Batch Conversion feature), then bang…I’ve got media to play with!

If you’re not treating your business like a media business, start now and get the systems in place to do so.

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