Monthly Archives: May 2019

How To Develop The Right Idea At The Right Time

Book Cover "The Creative Curve: How To Develop The Right Idea At The Right Time" next to computer keyboard with button "create"

The Creative Curve: How To Develop The Right Idea At The Right Time by Allen Gannett is an inspiring read for all entrepreneurs, including hospitality providers. I absolutely loved this book. With compelling research and examples, the author shows us that creativity is not limited to the chosen few. The author argues that the world’s best known creative people actually follow a consistent pattern of behavior.

 

4 Ways To Develop The Right Idea At The Right Time:

 

  • Imitation: Learning the necessary constraints and formulas of your industry. Constraints include length of guest stay, dietary restrictions, and guest budget. Guest satisfaction comes from factors like attention to detail and offering extras including packages. This leads to positive reviews, returning guests, and guest referrals.
  • Creative Communities: Building communities refines skills, increases motivation, and finds people with whom to collaborate. This includes:
    • Certifications: from respected organizations like TripAdvisor
    • Listings: in elite clubs like Select Registry & Historic Hotels of America
    • Memberships: in professional hospitality associations
    • Partnerships: with local businesses (florist, restaurants, spa, etc.)
  • Iterations: Being aware of timing and engaging in iterations enables using data and processes to improve work. Ways to measure progress include:
    • Accounting: evaluating revenue/profit (from bookings, events, packages, etc.) and costs/loss (food, maintenance, staff, etc.)
    • Email service provider: email open rates, clicks on links, etc.
    • Google Analytics: to tell the performance of website pages and blog
    • Guest reviews: take note of what guests are saying about you (share positive reviews and make necessary improvements)
    • Reservation software: mobile friendliness, occupancy rates, visitor behavior, etc.
    • Social media: reach, likes, comments, follows, shares, clicks, etc.

Author Allen Gannett refers to “The Creative Curve” as a measure of the balance of the familiar (for guests to feel comfortable) and the novel (different enough to attract their interest). Implementing and monitoring these four ways enables hospitality providers to find that sweet spot and to develop the right idea at the right time.

Are You Happy With Your Hospitality Business Results?

Bed and Breakfast Blogging's logo and green paper money with white dollar bill sign on it

How often do you think about your hospitality business results? Is there a nagging feeling like you know you need to do something different, but you aren’t sure what? My clients hate relying on online travel agencies (OTAs) for bookings and they hate losing out to uninsured AirBnB properties, but that’s okay because I’m here to help them consistently and easily attract their ideal guests without having to lose OTA commissions.

I also show them how to generate more revenue by offering profitable guest packages (that save your guests time and attract them to your inn) as well as highlighting your local area (since people often choose their location before they choose their accommodations).

I also know how to write content that attracts people to your website, and more importantly, attracts visitors to your bed and breakfast! My philosophy when it comes to marketing your inn is to showcase your unique amenities and your friendly hospitality (what your guests tell you they love the most).

If you’re looking for instant results, we might not be a fit, because in my experience it is consistent effort that leads you to a better bottom line. My clients recognize the value of promoting other local businesses and events and the advantage of being seen in the media and that’s my style, too.

Are you a hospitality provider that wants to consistently earn more revenue? Do you need to improve your occupancy rate? Would you like to offer guest packages? Ready to boost your business like never before? 

This can all be achieved by putting the needs of your guests first. After all, without guests you just have a property. Let me help you grow your business.

My name is Kristi Dement and I have been working with luxury accommodations since 2013. What’s so special about me? I treat every client’s hospitality business as if it were my own. My success depends upon your success.

Use my contact page, call me at (919) 931-6168, or email me (contact@bedandbreakfastblogging.com). I’m here to get you the hospitality business results you want!

 

How To Be Featured In Bed and Breakfast Magazine

Bed and Breakfast Magazine with Nicolette Johnston

 

Have you checked out Bed and Breakfast Magazine? This is published by Nicolette Johnston of Colette Publications who recently presented on a PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International) webinar about “How To Pitch To Journalists” hosted by Heather Turner, the PAII Marketing Director.

The traditional (but more formal) way of getting press is by submitting a query letter (by email or snail mail) or sending a press release (through a specific channel or direct email). Nicolette likes how trackable emails (which are less formal) can be when she recalls a previous email that was sent to her. While she may not be able to use your images or information in the current issue she is working on, what you propose may be ideal for a future issue, depending upon the theme of the particular issue.

Since editors and marketing divisions of the press are becoming more accessible, you can contact some by direct message on social media. Some things to ask BEFORE you approach the press:

  • Is this interesting to their readers?
  • How well will this sell?
  • Does they have similar content already in this magazine?
  • Does it fall in line with the theme of the magazine?

Nicolette’s tips for sharing things via the press:

  • Be creative, unique, succinct, original, and creative
  • Know who you are pitching (research the publication beforehand)
  • A picture is worth a thousand words (and food images and recipes sell)!
  • A good story works well, too!
  • Provide as much information for the journalist as possible so they do not have to dig for information
  • Keep a query letter to no more than one page and include a brief background

Press releases can be about:

  • Winning an award
  • Highlighting an upcoming event
  • Showcasing a unique fact
  • Piggybacking on the success of local businesses and restaurants in your area

In social media:

  • Use hashtags (such as #bedandbreakfast, #innkeepers, #breakfastrecipe)
  • Follow the press
  • Comment and like other posts
  • Direct message press
  • Tag @bedandbreakfastmagazine and other press
  • Editors scour social media for unique and eye-catching images

Nicolette said in this webinar that the press is always looking for great content. If you do not get a response, then follow up in a couple weeks asking if they need more photos or a recipe. Be sure to send good images, especially for recipes.

The typical editorial schedule:

  • Newspapers and blogs: 1 day to 1 month
  • Monthly publications: 1 to 3 months in advance
  • Quarterly publications: 3 to 9 months in advance
  • Social media: immediate to 6 weeks

Bed and Breakfast Magazine is a quarterly magazine. The Spring Issue goes to print on June 1st and will be on news stands in the beginning of July. They can be found at Barnes and Noble bookstores. Nicolette says she plans on there being both print and digital formats of the magazine.

The Bed and Breakfast Magazine Summer Issue (2019) will feature North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns, which are located across the Tarheel State. From the Mountains to the Piedmont to the Coast. They are including a recipe from NCBBI Member (and Past-President) Monica Edwards of Morehead Manor Bed and Breakfast for her delicious Pecan Stuffed Croissant with Homemade Raspberry Sauce.

The Yellow House Bed and Breakfast in Waynesville, North Carolina will also be featured. They have 10 luxurious rooms and suites situated on five lush acres with scenic mountain views. They host elegant weddings and memorable family reunions (with the option to rent their entire inn) for your event. I (Kristi Dement) am honored to be a Contributor to this issue.

The Fall Issue of Bed and Breakfast Magazine (since it is published four times per year) will feature Victorian bed and breakfasts as well as Cookie Tours and Christmas Villages. To be featured in Bed and Breakfast Magazine, please email (editorial@colettepublications.com) and visit Colette Publications for more information about subscribing to their Bed and Breakfast Magazine.

 

Why You Need a Vacation Guide On Your Website

"traveling is everything" poster with camera and journal

Consider putting together a local vacation guide on your website for guests. It is so vital to promote your local area, so others will know exactly what they can do and see during their stay. Often innkeepers will have a list of places, brochures, and even menus available on-site for their guests to look at. Your local area guide can and should be put on your website for potential guests to easily download AND join your email list!

Activities and Entertainment

  • Galleries
  • Historic Monuments and Sites
  • Museums
  • Shopping
  • Spas (if you have your own spa, then just promote that one)
  • Sports Arenas
  • Theaters and Shows
  • University Campuses
  • Wildlife Areas and Zoos

Annual Events

  • Concert Series
  • Conferences
  • Cultural Celebrations
  • Festivals
  • Holiday Festivities
  • Marathons
  • Parades
  • Restaurant Weeks
  • Tournaments

Food and Drink

  • Bakeries and Cafes
  • Breweries
  • Casual Eateries
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Deli and Sandwich Shops
  • Dessert
  • Fine Dining
  • Food Trucks
  • Quick Bites
  • Restaurants
  • Wineries

Outdoor Recreation

  • Bird Watching
  • Canoeing (or kayaking)
  • Fishing
  • Golf (or miniature golf)
  • Hiking and Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Photography
  • Sailing
  • Skiing (snow and/or water)
  • Tennis
  • Zip lining

For each place you are featuring, be sure to link to its website as well as to Google directions. By making it easy for guests to learn about your local area, you make it more likely that they will choose to stay at your accommodations.

Think about what activities, restaurants, and sites your guests rave about. Those should definitely be included in your guide. Of course, what you put in your local guide will depend upon what is in your local area (so not everything listed will apply to your inn).

Customize packages that guests can buy ahead of time. By making it easy for them to get local tickets and restaurant reservations (among other options), guests are willing to pay more to have this already done for them. Think of a creative and catchy name for your package.

Partner with other local places to exclusively promote each other. For example, if there are two horseback riding places in your area, you can make a deal with one to exclusively promote them in exchange for your guests getting a discount (or by making some other fair arrangement).

Regularly email those now on your list (because they requested your vacation guide). You can update them with the latest news related to your inn or local area. Emails are also a great place to share links to your most recent blog posts.

By staying in regular communication with guests (with the required unsubscribe link at the bottom of each email), they will be reminded of their desire to come for the first time or return for another visit. Thus, I recommend having a vacation guide on your website.

You may know where your guests like to go, but you may have no interest or desire to put together a local vacation guide. Contact Kristi Dement for a free consultation about putting a local vacation guide on your own website (and getting guests to opt into your email list).