How My Camp Formed a Partnership with Delta Airlines and You Can Too

As many of you know, I'm a big fan of getting other people to do my marketing for me and signing up lots of kids at once rather than one at a time. It's a much more efficient way to market a camp, or any business or organization for that matter.

The way you do this is forming partnerships, joint ventures and strategic alliances with like-minded organizations who share the same customer base as you, but with whom you don't compete. Then you each market to each others' customer and prospect bases so everyone wins.

It's the easiest way to reach a ton of new campers quickly and all at the same time.

I'm Not Just Blowing Smoke

I hope you know I'm not just another one of those marketing guys -- frankly, frauds -- who always tell you what to do, but don't have the first clue how to do it themselves. I practice what I preach.

Just to give you an idea for how to get started, I suggest reaching out to an association, employer, membership club, or some other organ…

How to Market Your Summer Camp for Free

One of the number one ways to get new campers into your program is to offer a coupon, discount or special promotion.

Some camp directors feel offering a discount "cheapens" your program. I disagree 100%.

The truth is, you need to give parents, kids and families a reason to try your camp over another. Offering a coupon is a smart marketing move. It gives people an incentive to sign up with you especially when money is tight and other camps are not offering the same special deal families can get from you.

The initial cost of offering a coupon is nothing compared to the money you'll make on the back end assuming the camper stays with you for a couple of years.

And by the way, you don't have to offer a financial discount. A coupon often works just as well if you offer a free t-shirt, camp sweatshirt, or something else from your camp store.

The reason I'm mentioning this is because I have just launched (actually, relaunched) my website where you can p…

How to Use Video to Market Your Camp

The other day my dishwasher rack got stuck and I couldn't pull it out. So what did I do? I turned to YouTube for help. Bingo! I watched a "How To" video on how to remove a stick dishwasher rack and I was set.

I'll bet you've done tons of internet searches on "how to do" something or "how to find" something, etc., too.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post.

One of the more successful marketing activities I've engaged in lately (well, for the past couple years or so) has been making instructional videos and posting them on my camp's website and YouTube channel. (Your camp does have a YouTube, channel, right?)

Anyway, the thing I like about video marketing is that pictures speak louder than words and videos speak louder than pictures. There's no more engaging social media or content marketing strategy you can find than video marketing, where everyone in the world gets the opportunity to meet your staff, see your program and act…

The Easy Way to Market Your Camp to Parents and Kids Alike

As summer camp marketers, sometimes we struggle with how to effectively market our programs to parents and kids alike.

It's imperative we appeal to both groups, but figuring out how isn't always easy. We tend to overthink what we're doing, then get frustrated trying to decide who to tailor our marketing content for, and whether we're doing it the right way.

But it's not as hard as you think.

I have a strategy I use at my own camp that helps me simplify my marketing in this regard, irrespective of whether I'm creating online of offline marketing content: I use pictures, images and video that appeal to kids, and text that appeals to parents.

If you struggle with creating duel marketing messages that effectively target parents and kids together, try this strategy and you'll be fine.

The reason it works is because kids and parents often browse the internet together, but even when they don't, we know the kids will eventually show their parents your cool webs…

How Three Magic Words Can Help You Sell the "Why" of Your Camp Every Time

Back in May, my friend Travis Allison on his Go Camp Pro blog posted a very interesting and worthwhile article about how families go about choose your camp or, more specifically, the reasons WHY they do it.

As Travis explains, it's all about selling the features, not the benefits, of the camp experience you deliver to kids. That means you're not just selling the camp experience itself, but something deeper.

You're selling the OUTCOME of that experience in terms of personal growth for kids, making new friends, overcoming fears, or whatever else kids TAKE AWAY from the program you deliver.

Selling benefits, outcomes, or, as Travis explains, the reason(s) "WHY" families choose your program over another isn't always easy to convey.  But I learned a little trick regarding how to do it, which works every time, and I'm happy to share with you.

Seven years back, I discussed this trick in another blog post. I wanted to recount it here because Travis' excellent…

Exhibiting at L.A. Camp Fair 2018 Could be Great Way to Fill Your Camp With Kids!

Years and years ago (we're talking 2005) I organized Camp Fairs for the American Camp Association. Then, not only did I stop promoting them for a period of time, I stopped attending them altogether. My feeling was the internet made Camp Fairs irrelevant. Boy was I wrong. Here's the backstory.

Last year I decided to put on my own camp fair (without ACA) in Calabasas. I called it the L.A. Calabasas Camp Fair. I wanted to see what, if anything, I was missing by not going to Camp Fairs. Aside from the uneasiness I always feel knowing my competitors went to Camp Fairs when I didn't, I wanted to know if Camp Fairs still worked as a summer camp marketing tool.

Things went pretty well last year for the first time out. Over 400 families and 51 camps attended the Calabasas event. Needless to say, I am once again a staunch supporter Camp Fairs for marketing a camp, namely because it's the best way to find so many potential campers all in one place.

We're Expanding to Three …

Camp Fair Tips and Strategies for 2018

Everything comes full circle, including my opinion on the value of attending camp fairs as a summer camp marketing tool.

Fifteen or 20 years ago, I felt attending camp fairs was among the best (if not the best) summer camp marketing strategy around. You couldn't really count on filling your whole camp just by going to camp fairs, but just signing up a couple campers per camp fair provided a huge return on my marketing investment not to mention the opportunity to meet so many new family prospects in single spot.

Then the internet came along and, pretty quickly, rendered camp fairs irrelevant in my view.

With so much information available online, why should anyone (camps or parents) waste time at a camp fair? Families could just go online, find your nice-looking website, read some good reviews or testimonials about your program, and sign up for camp instead.

But now I've changed my mind again. I feel like I did 20 years ago. Ironically, the internet itself  has made attendi…