Embrace Who You Are
I always used to try to please everyone. As a child I wanted all the other kids to like me, and as an adult I never wanted to cause conflict. Then one day it clicked. It is impossible to always agree with everyone. You can’t force people to like you, and you absolutely should not compromise who you are for others. Once I had this revelation, I was able to attract friends that were likeminded. I now surround myself with people who respect me and make me a better person.
The expression “You Can’t Always Please Everyone” is true. And the sooner you realize that your camp should follow this same idiom the better!
It’s tempting to want to appeal to everyone, but just like I discovered, that is not the best strategy. Once you know your ideal client, focus on those people. Those are the individuals that will mesh with your community and bring joy to your camp.
So how do you identify your target audience?
Some things are obvious. For instance, if you are not a sports camp, then you are not going to target children who want a competitive athletic program.
Other things are not so obvious. As a camp, you have many different audiences; potential families, returning families, staff, alumni, donors, the media - just to name a few. Your business objectives will determine which audiences to target. Once you have that information then you need to dig deeper.
Decide on the demographics of the audience such as age, gender and where they live. Analyze the psychographics of the people you want to attract. Just like building friendships, you want to “hang out” with people that like to do the same things as you. Consider interests and hobbies, but also make sure their values align with yours. For instance, if you are a sustainable camp, then families who make that a priority in their daily lives are good leads for your program.
Remember, you can’t be everything for everybody and that is OK. Your results will be greater if you focus on the families and staff that are the right fit for your camp. Craft campaigns that speak directly to your alumni and donors. And most importantly, be true to yourself!