Monthly Archives: October 2019

Not All of Your Guests Visit For Happy Reasons

Book Cover "When Life Gives You Pears" by Jeannie Gaffigan holding purple umbrella, raining pears, comedian husband Jim Gaffigan and their 5 kids

 

 

Your guests visit your bed and breakfast for a number of reasons. Perhaps your local area has popular restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, events, and attractions. You may have a strong reputation for good hospitality and luxurious accommodations. Your location may be the perfect stopping point on their long road trip. Of course, guests arrive to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, retirements, and more. All of these are happy reasons for their stay.

 


We Never Know What Crisis May Come

However, not all of your guests visit for happy reasons. You never know what struggles they and their loved ones may be enduring. Jeannie Gaffigan (wife of stand-up comedian and actor Jim Gaffigan, and mother to their five children) certainly could not have predicted the health challenges she would have to go through. Fortunately for her, she had a strong support network of family, friends, and prayer warriors.

Life-Threatening Challenges

When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Family, Faith, and Funny People released in the beginning of October is now the #1 bestselling comedy book on Amazon. While she faced life-threatening challenges (including a brain tumor the size and shape of a pear), she used her experience as an award-winning comedy writer and wife (to a famous comedian) and mother (of five) to poignantly share her journey (with humor mixed in).

She Gives Credit Where Credit Is Due

No one could have predicted the challenges she would have to overcome. She thanks the medical professionals for saving her life. She also gives credit to her husband Jim for his leadership in organizing around the clock care for their five kids and having at least one visitor with her at all times during her lengthy hospital stay. Plus, she needed major medical care and required physical therapy when she was finally released from the hospital. She is thankful for the prayers of loved ones and to God for the miracle that she survived.

The List of Do’s and Don’ts

Given her medical struggles, she (with the help of her sister Lizzy) made a DOs and DON’Ts list for family members helping in the hospital, including:

  • Don’t talk about delicious food if patient can’t eat
  • Do arrange room and organize personal property since the patient can’t move
  • Don’t say, “It’s not so bad.”
  • Do express empathy.
  • Don’t complain about not getting enough sleep.
  • Do organize the cards people have sent.
  • Don’t bring flowers into ICU; give them to the nurses’ station

She also made a list of rules for herself including: Do love your big family and be kind to them when they are health–they will save you when you are sick; Don’t make a rules list about your family and publish it in a book. (That made me laugh!)

Her Relationship With Comedian Husband Jim Gaffigan

Not only will you get to know Jeannie, you will learn how she and Jim came to know each other and read what she did the first time she saw where he was living as a single guy on the road a lot (it involves a lot of cleaning). She ends Part III of her book with, “The oldest of 9 children, the ultimate caregiver, marries the youngest of 6, the ultimate care-getter. A match made in co-dependent heaven.” (If there is any doubt as to who she was referring to, she was the oldest sibling in her family and Jim was the youngest sibling in his family.)

A New Appreciation For Her Life and Family

Their love for each other, their children, and their larger families is very evident when reading this book. In fact, she was surprised at how well Jim really learned what he needed to in order to take care of her medical needs at home. She realized that she should live in the moment more. Not everything in their house needs to be labeled and organized. She’s decided she will say yes more often when her children want her to read them a story, for example. Faith, family, and health are her highest priorities. Also humor!

Hosting Guests 

Innkeepers, while your guests may not share with you the sad reasons for their visit, most of you are very perceptive as to the level of interaction a guest would like to have with you. In fact, many of your returning guests come back because of the hospitality, sensitivity, and grace you show when your guests visit.

 

Do You Know How To Have The Storytelling Edge?

The Storytelling Edge book cover, word success, word customer, books

 

 

The Storytelling Edge, by Joe Lazauskas & Shane Snow, explains why businesses can succeed by telling stories. Everyone likes a good story. Stories make presentations better and ideas stick. Storytelling helps people remember you (over your competition). Great stories build relationships and make people care.

The Elements of Great Storytelling:

  • Relatability: your ideal guest should relate to the stories you tell
  • Novelty: while people crave the familiar, we also pay attention to what is new
  • Tension: conflict or curiosity gap (between what is and what could be) turns a good story into a great story
  • Fluency: great writing is easy to understand so people can focus on the story

Great stories (whether funny, fictional, or true) can dramatically increase your business. You need a mission that drives your content and resonates with people. You want readers to spend a lot of time reading your content and sharing it on their social media. Tell them stories they will remember. Evaluate what types of stories are working to share the right content with the right people.

Businesses that have the best relationships with their customers are those who tell stories. Figure out what your ideal guests want before you decide what technology to use. Create the content. Connect with your readers. Optimize both what you create and how you deliver the content.

Branding is whether and how people think of you. The stories we tell influence people’s perceptions of us. Conversion occurs when people take an action such as booking a room or calling your inn. The most powerful place to connect with your audience is on your website.

There are three main types of content. Timely content is pertinent based on news or current events. Seasonal content is relevant because of the time of year. Thirdly, evergreen content is valuable no matter when the audience sees or hears it.

Make sure you know what you want to achieve with your content. Then you can figure out what measurements matter the most. For example, if you want to promote aspect about your inn, such as its history, you could share a true story about the original owners.

The Future of Brand Storytelling:

  • Strategy: figure out what kind of story your audience wants, determine how you’ll reach them
  • Plan: decide how you will pull off your strategy
  • Create: create your story and make the right decisions to tell the best story possible
  • Activate: get your stories out there and use them to build connections with your ideal guests
  • Optimize: figure out what stories worked and tweak your strategy to do even better next time

Every story becomes part of your overarching story. The goal is to consistently tell your story in a variety of ways over time. Use stories to build relationships and make people care about you and your accommodations. Engage potential guests to build lifetime value with them. It is much easier to get guests to return than to find new guests every time! Use what is taught in The Storytelling Edge to attract more business!

 

What To Post on Social Media In The Fall Season

tall trees with orange leaves, red tree, close up of pumpkin and gourds, fall mums, fall trees on paved road

 

Your social media in the fall can be as creative as you make it. Looking for inspiration? How about changing your social media headers to be fall-themed? What about having Fall-related Pinterest boards? Wondering what to post in social media? The following suggests some festive fall content ideas.

 

Share Fall Activities, Events, & Places

Mention Apple Picking, Colorful Autumn Trails, Fall Parades, Farmers Markets, Fun Runs, Harvest Festivals, Hayrides, Leaf Peeping, and other things local.

 

Share Fall Decor

Feature items inside and outside of your inn, such as seasonal blankets, candles, flowers, pillows, towels, wreaths, & more.

 

Share Fall Jokes, Puns, & Quotes 

(Feel free to improve upon these suggestions!)

  • “Fall in love.”
  • “I only have pies for you…”
  • “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” (L.M. Montgomery)
  • “Keep calm and watch the leaves fall.”
  • “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the Fall.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  • “Pumpkin spice & everything nice.”
  • “Spice-tacular!”
  • “This weather is un-be-leaf-able!”
  • “You really autumn know…”
  • Q: “How do you fix a broken pumpkin?” | A: “With a pumpkin patch.”
  • Q: “What do you call a tree that doubts Autumn?” | A: “Disbe-leaf.”
  • Q: “What is the ratio of a pumpkin’s circumference to its diameter?” | A: “Pumpkin Pi.”

 

Share Fall Packages & Promotions

Direct attention to your Autumn packages and promotions that include Fall-related activities, foods, & events.

 

Share Fall Pictures & Videos

Show guests exactly what they will see when they visit. If relevant to your area, give them a local link to check your current Fall Foliage reports. You do not want to be in a situation where a guest is arrives disappointed because a picture you shared that was taken from a previous season or during a different time in the season (and the colors are not as vibrant).

 

Share Fall Recipes

Many of the following mouth-watering recipe titles come from Delish (or you can search online for these). Better yet, make your own famous secret homemade recipes for guests!

  • Apple Cinnamon French Toast
  • Apple Cinnamon Mini Monkey Breads
  • Apple Crisp Cheesecake
  • Apple Dumplings
  • Caramel Apples
  • Caramel Apple Crescent Roll Bites
  • Caramel Apple Pie
  • Carrot Zucchini Apple Bread
  • Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Churro Chips with Caramel Sauce
  • Cinnamon Apple Cake
  • Honey Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars
  • Maple Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
  • Maple Walnut Banana Bread
  • Pecan Pie
  • Perfect Apple Crumble
  • Puffy Pumpkin Waffles
  • Pumpkin Apple Muffins
  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Pumpkin Brown Sugar Pecan Pancakes
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars
  • Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
  • Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
  • Pumpkin Coffee Cake
  • Pumpkin Dump Cake
  • Pumpkin Pie Granola
  • S’mores Pumpkin Cupcakes
  • Sweet Potato Cheesecake
  • Sweet Potato Cookies
  • Whole Grain Apple Nut Muffins
  • Whole Wheat Pumpkin Waffles

 

Share Fall Tips & Tricks

Suggest costume options, decorating tips, and party ideas are just a few of the tips and tricks to share with your social media in the fall.

 

Your only limit is your imagination. You can also ask seasonal questions to spark social media conversation. The key is to make it fun and make it about them and the experience they will have if they visit you during the fall season.

No time or desire to consistently post in social media? Contact me, Kristi Dement of Bed & Breakfast Blogging, to help you with your social media, blogging, and email marketing.