Business Guide: Surviving the Virus Outbreak

Vashon Island Businesses business Guide for Virus 2020

I bet we are all thinking about this coming year and how this virus will impact our businesses. During these sorts of events, I think it is important to keep calm and focus on driving our businesses forward. My guess is that the businesses that focus on not just tactical but strategic-collaborative marketing efforts will weather this storm, the businesses that don’t evolve will be left behind. I feel we need to start preparing for lower than usual traffic to our businesses.

What we can mention to our customers

  1. Our shops are disinfected (and tell them how) every night. Show the products use and staff cleaning in posts.
  2. We ask people who appear to be sick to immediately leave, offering some sort of remote service (bringing goods/services to the car, etc)
  3. Mention that we (the shop owner) would appreciate their support through this tough time. Make it personal “My FAMILY appreciates your support…” etc
  4. We publicly suggest that older folks stay home and ask others to shop for them

Here are some things we can suggest customers/clients to do to support us

  1. Purchase gift cards for use later in the year
  2. Have one of Vashon’s couple of food/delivery services bring product to their home (we have 2 of them on the island)
  3. When customers come in, mention you have hand sanitizer (if you have it), encourage them to wash their hands before and after they shop/eat.
  4. Offer some sort of discount
  5. Suggest they call in and order take out

Benefits for shopping at local businesses now

  1. Smaller crowds
  2. Take advantage of new discounts offered due to the virus
  3. Shops are never cleaner than they are now (mentioning that the shops are disinfected nightly, which is a good idea)
  4. First and foremost, they will be supporting our local businesses.

Vashon Island Real estate: How to sell during a virus outbreak?

Upside of free time. Things we can do while business is slow

  1. Update, create or add content to website
  2. Stay away from creating events, focus on your product or service
  3. Build an email list (you got this email from me because I built a list… It takes time, but its worth it) and send out updates to your current fanbase.
  4. Create, Update or add to your social media platforms
  5. Perform OUTREACH on social media. If you don’t know how to do this, just ask.
  6. Find collaboration opportunities. For instance, come to my brewery to fill up a growler to go, and pick up a pizza to go on the way home. Cross promote with other Vashon businesses and leverage their audience in marketing.
  7. Connect with island bloggers and tourism sites (like mine, Explore Vashon) to help encourage off island visitor to visit YOUR location. Again, building that consumer confidence that we are doing our best in disinfecting our establishments and making a SAFE shopping environment is very important.

Support. IMHO, we need to leverage each others strengths to ensure we all weather this storm. I have set up a Facebook group where you can ask any sort of Vashon Island business/marketing question. Also, feel free to reach out to me directly if you wish, I am here to help.

Keep safe, keep strong and collaborate folks.

Knowing Your Target: First Steps of Marketing Online

Vashon Island Marketing. 98070 Media

On Vashon, we have some unique challenges when marketing our product or service. Vashon Island marketing is made MUCH more difficult because of a little body of water called the Puget Sound which separates us from potential customers, thus dividing our customer base into two distinct groups.

First group of people to market too is Vashonites, our regulars.The first group we probably already know, it’s Vashonites. Folks who live on the island, play on the island and spend on the island, without these fine people, our businesses would never make it through the winter. These are our “regulars”, our “bread and butter” our base. These folks have habits that we can count on. We see them up and IGA every Tuesday. They’re filling up at Mom’s in the morning. We are creatures of habit and that’s VERY evident with islanders. We do certain things over and over again.

The second group, which is much harder to reach and understand are the folks from town or abroad. These are visitors or tourists to the island. These people are hard to find because we don’t really know when they are coming if they are coming and why they are coming to the island. Fortunately, we have some people working to identify and reach out to this crowd, folks like Explore Vashon, The Lodges on Vason and The Vashon Island Chamber, which assist with island tourism.

Now that we understand those two groups, now let’s look at your business. Let’s ask yourself, “Who is my ideal customer?”. I said IDEAL. I want you to think about the perfect customer you would want for your business. We need to identify who those folks are, in detail. We need to profile them before we can target them with our marketing. So, to end this first post on marketing on Vashon Island, do me a favor, fill out the questions below and profile your ideal customer.

  1. Sex
  2. Age
  3. Race
  4. Financial status
  5. Marital status
  6. Lifestyle activity (are they active)
  7. What do they like to do in their free time?
  8. Dependent status. Do they have pets? Do they have children?

In the next blog post, I will show you how to USE the data you have collected in this marketing profile exercise.

#supportlocalbusinesses #vashonislandmarketing

Vashon Island Marketing. Let’s Get Started

Vashon Island Marketing. Let’s Get Started

Vashon Island marketing is tough. In fact, doing business on Vashon Island is not easy overall. Marketing, or getting your message, product, service in front of people is difficult… but it CAN be done.

As a kid raised here on Vashon, I was extra kind to people. I was taught by my mother to try to help others whenever you can. Look for opportunities to build other up. Sometimes, nothing will come of it, but more times than not, you will receive much more in return. I have lived my life like this.

One thing I have noticed on the island, is that there are quite a few people who say they “know” internet marketing, social media marketing or whatever you want to call it, but here’s a little secret:

There are very few that truly understand Vashon Island marketing as a whole.

Vashon Island marketing is not just social media, not just having a website.. not just sending emails… it’s about DOING SOMETHING! Marketing is work. Anyhow, enough of that. Let’s get down to it:

I am going to tell you, AND my competition exactly how to market their business or service to people. Yes, all you “marketers” who are trying to “help” local Vashon Island businesses, I am going to teach you how to do your job. Why? It’s because I want to help. My goal isn’t to help YOU, but to help the customers you support. If you are better at your job, their businesses will grow, the island grows, everyone is happy.

So, first things first. Let’s talk about they types of people you want to market too. I think of it like the Army. My nephew is in the Army overseas right now, fighting some very bad people. Before they ever engage, the do recoinsence on their enemies. They know who they are, where they eat, where they go for fun, who are their friends. You need to do the same for your business. I call it RECON. I will talk more about this in future Vashon Island marketing blog posts.

Vashon Island Marketing 98070 Media

So, do you know WHO your ideal customers are? Are they Islanders? Are they tourists? Do they even come to Vashon? Once you know who they are, then you can try to find out WHERE they are so that you can figure out how to get your marketing in front of them. For instance, if you want Vashonites to see you message, are you posting on the Vashon Island Blog or the Vashon All Facebook group? If you want your message to get in front of tourists, are you posting/advertising on Vashon’s Tourist site, Explore Vashon?

So the first thing you need to do is recon. Find your ideal clients. Find out where they are online. Is it Facebook? Is it Instagram? Is it email? Is it text messages? Is it word of mouth? Answer these questions and I will start on my next blog post.

Vashon Island Marketing

Vashon Island Small Business Marketing

Creating effective Vashon Island Marketing is tough. Anyone can put your name or company on a website and call it “marketing”, but ask any small business owner having a website means NOTHING if there are no eyeballs looking at it.

98070 Media knows how to get eyeballs.

Here on Vashon we have two distinct groups. You have locals and non-locals. Sure, we have folks that come over for the summer, but we consider those folks locals. Marketing to the different groups requires a different set of strategies. For instance, you would not want to advertise your island based landscaping business on a Vashon Island Tourism website….. Catch my drift(wood)? Understanding your targeted audience is super important.

Once you know your potential customers, now we can focus on HOW those customers are searching for goods and services. For instance, when off islanders come to Vashon, some will do research on what to do on Vashon. How will they be doing that? Well, if they are at home, they will be most likely looking for information on Vashon Island via a PC or tablet. If they are in route to Vashon for the day, or weekend, they might be researching on the way. Thus, most likely using  mobile phone.

SO, now  we know WHO is coming to Vashon, HOW they are looking for goods and services but, lets break it down even further. In fact, we MUST break it down further… but I digress.

This blog post is the first a series of blog posts that will focus on helping you as a Vashon Island business, market your product or service to locals as well as off islanders.

Other marketing companies would like to sell you this information, fuck it. I’m going to give it to you. Under one condition… that is: If you end up needing help, you hire me to help you design or implement your own marketing plan. Ok? Deal.

So, for right now, here’s the agenda for my blog posts:


Why is Marketing on Vashon Island So Difficult?

Definition of Marketing on Vashon Island

Understanding your Value

Understanding your Targeted Audience

Where is your target audience searching?

How are they searching?

What are they searching for?

Website: Do you need one?

Selecting the Social Media to dominate.

What is SEO? And why should you give 2 shits about it?

Why your Vashon Island Email list is so important?

As I have time, I will create these blog posts and like I said, I will give this information out freely. The best way to make sure you get a notification when one of these posts are finished is be subscribing to my newsletter.