Discovering Your Story so You Can be Found: Part One in the Quarterly Travel Alberta Storytelling Series
The timeless art of storytelling, and the feelings it evokes, has never been more important as travel businesses seek a deeper connection with potential visitors across the digital landscape.
Travel Alberta has put together a new four-part series with tips on how to discover, tell, share and evaluate the stories behind your destination or attraction.
The first step – discovering your story – is about looking at what motivates you and sharing that story in a way that motivates others to see for themselves.
1. Look in the Mirror
Remember that you are your own best story, says Travel Alberta Global Content Manager, Tom Babin.
“Once you get people talking about why they love what they do, that’s when the best stories emerge.”
Make a list of what gets you excited every day, what you love most about your job and what drew you to it in the first place.
What inspires you will inspire others. That’s the basis of a good story.
2. People Love People
One of the key elements of a memorable visit are the people who make your area or operation unique.
That can be your team, your partners or colourful locals. Pay attention to who your visitors talk to – and talk about, and start collecting their perspectives and advice. Stories that focus on real people and their experiences connect more authentically with your audience.
3. Your Day Isn’t Everyday
When you’re in the middle of running a travel business, it’s easy to forget you have a cool job linked to a very cool destination or attraction.
What may feel ordinary to you can be extraordinary to visitors who’ve never experienced a day in your life.
Some of the most powerful stories are those that take customers behind the scenes and share the everyday details of your operation – don’t be afraid to share your behind the scenes moments as part of your narrative.
4. Honour the Past
Travellers are hungry to learn about the history, culture and traditions of the destinations they visit, and look to connect the past with the present. Your story can act as the link between the two.
Develop ways to celebrate anniversaries and mark milestones – the first, the best, the biggest, and in 2017, our nation’s 150th – as a way to connect history with your story.
5. Ask Your Audience
When you’re looking for stories to attract potential visitors to your destination, your current visitors offer fresh inspiration.
What was the highlight of their trip? What experiences are they raving about? What are they telling their friends? What do they want to know more about?
Learn what gets your customers excited and incorporate their feedback into your story. Next time, we’ll talk about how you tell it.