SEO creative copywriting for soulful adventurers and imaginative business owners craving charismatic copy.
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That was one of my first thoughts in Zion National Park.
And not, ‘oh shit, this is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen!’. More like, ‘oh shit, what are we supposed to do now?!’
Picture this: It’s 6:00 a.m. and pitch-black outside. My friend and I climb aboard a shuttle bus taking us to the trailhead for Zion National Park’s most strenuous hike – Observation Point. As we travel through the park, we listen to a cheery voice narrate the park’s history and announce the shuttle stops.
‘Stop 5 – Zion Park Lodge. Due to a bridge collapse, you’re unable to hike the entire Kayenta Trail. Take the shuttle to stop #6 if you’d like to visit Emerald Lakes.’
‘Stop 6 – The Grotto. This is the stop for Emerald Lakes, The Grotto, and anyone with a permit to hike Angels Landing.’
‘Stop 7 – Weeping Rock. Disembark here’.
Weird, this is our stop but there’s no mention of Observation Point. As we turn the corner, we find out exactly why. Tall, barbed wire fences and a ‘DO NOT ENTER’ sign block the Observation Point trailhead.
‘Oh shit, now what?’
One of the best things about running your own remote business? It’s a ticket to endless adventures and learning opportunities.
But back in Zion, amidst my ‘oh shit’ moment, I didn’t immediately think about how this hiking mishap could teach me something about running a business. I was too busy frantically pulling up our maps app and finding other ways to get to the lookout.
In hindsight, adapting on the fly, taking risks, and overcoming challenges are common threads in adventures and entrepreneurship. Being open to new experiences and embracing on-the-go learning is key to both worlds.
So in this blog post, we’ll unravel the small business lessons I gathered from Utah’s 5 national parks.
Sure, I could talk about how exceptional the client experience was at every single park – but that’s expected from parks that are this popular. Instead, we’re going to dig a little deeper and come away with clear lessons you can apply to your own business.
Let’s get into it.
Capitol Reef National Park, with its striking sandstone formations, may seem vast and imposing at first glance. But a very different vibe comes once you’re deep inside the park.
Families snack on pears and apples in fruit-filled orchards. Horses graze next to quiet campsites. Park officials wave away your park pass because they work on a trust system and tell you which trails are ‘incredibly boring’ and which ones are worth the trek.
(Old Wagon Loop = boring. Cassidy Arch = worth it)
This is a park that trusts its visitors to follow the few rules in place and treat the park with respect. And in return, visitors enjoyed an intimate, transparent, and laidback experience.
Now, I’m not saying you should tear up your contracts and blindly trust your clients! Please don’t.
But being honest about what you can help your clients achieve and what’s out of your wheelhouse lets you create trusting relationships that your clients value.
Want to see how I do that in my own business? Then check out this Instagram post where I let my audience know I won’t promise them the first page of Google.
Bryce Canyon’s hoodoo-filled canyons captivate visitors, yet each person can experience the park in their own way. For us, that meant a 15 km loop through the canyon and storm-watching at our campground. Others though, enjoyed a horseback ride through the hoodoos, a scenic drive along the canyon ridge, or a luxurious night at the lodge.
Just as Bryce Canyon caters to a diverse range of visitors – from seasoned hikers to families with little explorers – businesses must also grasp their audience’s unique needs.
By understanding where your audience is at in their journey, you can start to understand what type of support they need, and then tailor your services to meet them where they are.
It’s one thing to have a great business idea you think everyone would benefit from. But it’s a whole other thing to know what your clients actually want and need.
In my own business, this looks like offering Strategy Calls for newer brands who are in the thick of DIYing their messaging and also offering complete Done-For-You website copy for those who want an expert to handle all things brand voice, SEO, and sales techniques.
Back to Zion, but let’s clear the air on a few points.
You know what the takeaway is here.
No matter how big or how small your business is, clear and consistent messaging is 100000000% necessary.
And honestly, in most parts of Zion, the messaging was spot on. Shuttle announcements were informative and signage was explicit about permit-required trails versus open ones. But here’s the kicker: it felt like the park expected us to just know about a rockslide from years ago. And somehow, amid the 42 TikToks, 15 Instagram Reels, and 86 blog posts we dug through in our trip prep, that crucial piece of information never surfaced.
Clear, detailed, simplified messaging about your brand is important. But equally important is the part that gets overlooked: repetition.
Share your unique perspectives, the experiences you offer, and the difference you make in your clients’ lives online. And then share it again. And again. Make sure your message is so clear and loud that no one can miss it.
(And if you’re wondering if we made it to the viewpoint, we did! After a 90-minute drive, bottoming out my car on a remote backroad, and a 5 km trek through a forest, we made it to Observation Point!).
Arches National Park – an iconic Utah gem.
Arches is one of the most iconic parks in Utah, if not in the USA. The sandstone arches can be seen on postcards, t-shirts shirts, bumper stickers, and billboards across the state. If you’re coming to Utah, chances are you’re headed to Moab to witness those arches firsthand.
Who needs a marketing strategy when your work draws crowds on its own?
Here’s the takeaway. Your branding, your messaging, and your services make promises to your audiences. But your work? Your testimonials, portfolio, and case studies? That’s tangible proof of what you can deliver.
Remember, it’s show and tell. Not just tell.
Don’t just talk about what you can do for your clients, show them how you’ve done it before. That’s what will make your audience want to experience everything you’ve got to offer.
So it’s time to put your proof proudly on display.
Canyonlands National Park, where the Colorado River carves its path through rugged terrain to create striking landscapes. Here, everything from scenic viewpoints to day hikes to overnight trails is focused on one thing and one thing alone.
With Arches only minutes down the highway, there’s no point in Canyonlands trying to compete on the sandstone arch side (though they do have some scenic ones). Instead, Canyonlands zones in on what makes it distinct from its neighbouring park.
So even though the phrase ‘find what makes you unique’ might seem overplayed in the business world, it’s a strategy that still rings true.
Your distinctiveness isn’t just a feature, it’s your biggest asset.
Whether it’s your authentic voice, innovative style, unique approach, specialized offerings, or specific niche, carving out your space online makes you unforgettable to your audience.
This Utah adventure gave me more than sore feet and scenic vistas – it was a masterclass in finding opportunities to learn in every experience. And the main biz takeaways from this journey?
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Creative copywriting for open-minded adventurers and imaginative entrepreneurs seeking new experiences.