If you do much work on local tourism, you know that you get asked for basic information and photos over and over. If you’re like most of us, you have to search through folder after folder of photos, or dig for descriptions you wrote up last year.
Time to create your Secret Weapon for dealing with these requests.
Make a new folder on your computer.
For bonus points, put it on a shared drive, a shared cloud service like Box.net or Evernote.
Call it your Secret Weapon.
Start filling it with photos.
Put in reusable photos from attractions, events, people, activities. Include the details in the file name or file properties.
Every time you upload photos, pick the few great ones to add to the Secret Weapon.
Throw in descriptions.
Make text files or documents with commonly used descriptions including websites, physical addresses, driving directions, etc.
If you have to type it once for something, send a copy to the Secret Weapon.
When you write something with just the right words, or you see the best description ever on a local attraction’s site, put a copy (with proper attribution) in your Secret Weapon. Even if you don’t use those exact words again, you can call on them for inspiration.
Remember that great blog post by the travel writer who visited your big festival? Well, let’s get a bookmark in the Secret Weapon. Add the bookmarks to news articles. Include the text of those posts and articles along with the bookmark. (You can do that as a note in Evernote, or as a document.)
Important: always, always, always cite the source if you use a quote from other authors in your future work.
When you get that next request for info, just smile and open up your Secret Weapon.
Hey, I know this sounds basic, but how many of you actually do it?
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Downtown Dan says
This is a great idea. Also, if you’re sharing the folder, your magic weapon may become a great branding tool for you or your business. Depending upon the content you share, you can dictate was others learn about you. Beyond saving time, you’re doing yourself a favor by building your brand!
Chris Marsden says
Or better yet… just create a sub page or sub-blog on your site. smallbizsurvival.com/secret-weapon. Always forward facing, easy to remember/explain over the phone, and builds traffic for your site (potentially).
Great idea, though. I might have to create a series of secret weapons to use here.
Nice article Becky, thanks for sharing.
I do pretty much the same thing, although I haven’t yet created a folder called “Secret Weapon”, maybe will do so today. The tool I use is Odysen, http://www.odysen.com, where all the applications are integrated into a single folder.
So, you can create a folder called “Secret Weapon”, either share it with others or just keep private, then add the content to the appropriate apps. Such as adding photos to Documents, descriptions to Notes, or websites bookmarked to Websites.
The result being the same, with everything being easily accessible in one folder, use as needed.
Becky McCray says
Dan, that’s a great point about branding. Not only are you making your work easier, you’re making your work more consistent and effective.
Chris, I like the idea of making it public. Lots of potential benefits there.
Matt, you can use what ever tool works for you. The key is to use it consistently. Thanks for sharing the one you prefer.
Amber Graham says
Could be used for job search too, to hold things like your resume, cover letter/s, reference letters and digital versions of certificates.
Becky McCray says
Amber, that’s a good extension of the idea.