Marketing with a small budget is toughRight now, is your marketing in the zone? When you’re in the zone it generally means that you’re doing whatever you’re doing well, don’t you think? I’ve had a marketing stretch over a few weeks where I have been in the zone, out of the zone, all over the zone… and it’s all been great. Let me explain with 4 examples:

1. Because I do marketing with very little money and am constantly looking for ways to stretch marketing dollars, a few months ago I made a controversial proposal to bring a monthly newsletter in house, sell the ads ourselves and make it a revenue source. The outcome of that suggestion became a new “social magazine” which launched at the beginning of the month. I had a ton of anxiety over this project as it affected many people (positively and negatively), at times felt like a fish out of water and was totally out of the zone. But as the launch got closer, things started falling into place, and in the end those of us involved in this project were definitely in the zone and our first issue was a wonderful success.

2. Twitter hooked me up with a terrific tourism marketing connection in Australia. Manny Papadoulis of Icon Tourism and I started talking via Twitter several months ago. I just did my first webcast to a variety of tourism entities in Australia with Manny. Tourism marketing with no money has been a huge part of my career and from the get-go I was in the zone for that webcast. It was fun, exciting and the outcome of it has been totally rewarding. There’s nothing like being able to share what you have learned with others to help them out!

3. Thanks to an old friend I was a guest on a regional radio show a few days ago. This was another time in the zone as I was brought on to speak about all that’s going on at Lake Arrowhead. When you’re passionate about something, you can speak until your time is up with no problem and your enthusiasm shows. The half hour flew by and people were calling on the phone to get more info while the program was on air. Gotta love it when you know you are in the zone.

4. I was asked to keynote a regional tourism seminar and talk about social media marketing. I was in the zone preparing for the talk – this is stuff I know, stuff I’ve lived and had success with. Piece of cake I thought. Until I got there and saw the audience. People in their early twenties all the way to two ladies in their 80’s. Oops, suddenly I felt completely out of the zone. But that was a good thing. Some parts of the talk had to be changed up on the fly but I was connecting with the audience and my out of the zone feelings changed as I got back in the zone and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy and learn from the presentation (including me!).

The big lesson I learned over the past few weeks is that being both in and out of your zone is a great thing. Feel good and accept everything that is happening to you at any given moment. In marketing, when you are out of the zone you know you are expanding, you are branching out and most likely you will learn lessons from what you are doing. Being out of your zone is pretty inspiring – if you just look at it from that point of view.

To Twitter’s credit – over the past 18 months I have read lots of inspirational quotes (I really wasn’t into that kind of thing before) and tidbits regarding stepping out of your zone. Remembering those has helped with my marketing direction over these few weeks and I am enjoying and embracing being on edge just a bit.

Are you in or out of your zone right now? What have some of your marketing “zone” experiences been?

Looking for more small budget marketing tips? 

*One tip each day is posted on the  Just a Small Town Girl Facebook page – hope you will visit and drop a note on the wall! 

*The Small Town Marketing Handbook  (free short ebook) discusses how social media allows each of us to be part of our own “small town” regardless of where we live. Form over on the right hand side of the page.

*Also, if you would like to know a little bit more about how I market with little or no budget, here is our case study from Social Media Examiner – http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-social-media-saved-lake-arrowhead-when-city-ad-budgets-ran-dry/