Author Archives: Kristi Dement

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).

 

Why Your Enthusiasm Makes All the Difference

Book Cover "Enthusiasm Makes The Difference" and sun shining behind clouds, hot air balloon, yellow tulips

Your enthusiasm makes all the difference in life. It makes the difference between success and failure, according to Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s classic book Enthusiasm Makes The Difference. Enthusiasm is the priceless ingredient of personality that helps to achieve happiness and self-fulfillment. Enthusiasm is the dynamic motivator that keeps us persistently working toward our goals. Most outstanding achievements are accomplished over great odds.

The committed person is the one who finds real excitement in living. You can make yourself an optimist. You can develop your level of enthusiasm.

One method Dr. Peale advises is to determine which characteristic you desire to possess, hold that image firmly in your consciousness and develop it by acting as if you actually possessed that characteristic. Then believe and repeatedly affirm you are in the process of creating the quality you seek to develop.

Noted psychologist Williams James called it the “As If” Principle: “if you want a quality, act as if you already have it.” In other words, act on the assumption that you are what you see yourself as being, and you will in time strongly become that as long as you persevere in the process.

A vital element in developing enthusiasm is the way in which you start your day. The more good news you tell yourself, the more such is likely to be. That which the mind receives upon waking tends to influence (and to a considerable degree determine) what your day will be. Choose enthusiasm daily and you are likely to have it permanently. Have the kind of enthusiasm that believes there is always something new and better ahead.

Find a need and fill it. When you have something you really believe in, then you can put the amazing power of conviction behind your efforts. When you communicate and develop rapport with people, they will like you and buy what you have to offer.

When it comes to being an innkeeper, find a way to fill a need that is not currently being met. What can you do that is better or different than what other accommodations provide? Determine how you can stand out from the crowd.

Focus on what is right about life. Life is too short not to do that. To be a success requires that you give of your whole self, your whole mind. Peale stated the greatest selling job you will ever have to do is selling yourself on yourself. Believing in your own abilities requires the most enthusiastic persuasion. Make yourself believe that you can be better than you think you are.

Enthusiasm can cancel out fear, worry, doubt, depression, and anger. When you keep enthusiastic, the negative emotions do not have a chance. Worry and enthusiasm cannot occupy the same mind at the same time.

According to Dr. Peale, deeply built into human beings is the desire to excel. Competing with oneself (to be the best you can be) is the highest form of competition. Enthusiasm changes the quality of a job because it changes people. Enthusiasm is the powerful drive that makes things happen.

The author tells about his experience interacting with a hotel dishwasher. Being at the bottom of the totem pole at the hotel did not matter to this man because he dreamed of one day becoming the director or manager of this European hotel. By giving the best possible service in his current role, this man continued to assume new responsibilities.

Several years later, when Dr. Peale returned, this man was the Head Waiter, even closer to achieving his dreams. When a person applies enthusiasm to their job, the job becomes alive with exciting possibilities. Peale points out that there is always something new and imaginative you can bring to a familiar job.

Any person who develops enthusiasm for something (and the fortitude to carry it out) can make the most amazing things occur. No one has to be a victim of their circumstances. Enthusiasm builds power under all circumstances (no matter how difficult). Difficulties are part of the maturing process. You are being shaped for the real purpose of your life.

The attitude of a person toward their own self is very important in determining how well they perform and the outcome of their whole life. According to Dr. Peale, often our low status in life is not because our abilities are inferior, it is because our opinions of ourselves are inferior.

Let enthusiasm grip your mind and it will make all the difference. You can have what you want from life provided your enthusiasm is strong enough to push barriers aside.

 

How To Finally Stand Out From The Crowd

Anomaly Book Cover next to large orange game piece with little white game pieces behind it

 

 

Want to stand out from the crowd? The book Anomaly: How to Finally Stand Out From The Crowd by Zack Miller tells us exactly how to do that.

 

 

An anomaly is defined as something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected. The author advises us not to be afraid to do something different than others. Being different is what gets us noticed. When we stand out, people want to see what we’re all about.

Offer some free content to your ideal guests (your target market) in exchange for their name and email. Find creative ways to stand out to them. They will stay on your e-mail list if they feel they are receiving value from you. Emails should be short, sweet, and to the point. If you do not follow up, nothing will happen.

Stay consistent in the way you communicate. Your relationship with your guest (or potential guest) should not end after they leave your accommodations. You can continue to reach out to them via email (as long as they do not unsubscribe). By sending a regular email (such as weekly or bi-monthly), you are teaching your following to expect something.

Your content is unique because it is from your point of view. Take inventory of the content you already have (website, blog posts, social media, and so on). Your best content should be given away and consistently promoted.

What other kinds of content can you offer? According to Miller, the most important thing is producing content people crave and engage with.

Promote any past wins relevant to your hospitality business. This could be your award-winning recipe or your leadership in a B&B association.

Create a content calendar and automate your social media. Schedule when you want to post and note which keywords, hashtags, and phrases you will use for your content.

Write down the questions you are asked by guests and potential guests. The questions you receive may come from email, over the phone, in person, and through social media. Take the top questions and create content around them.

By asking questions, you can learn a lot. Let the market guide you as to what you offer your guests.

Display your awards, media recognition, association memberships, inspection rating, average online travel review, and much more to attract new guests. Add their logos to your website and social media. Prominently display your achievements for guests to see when they enter your bed and breakfast inn.

A simple handwritten “thank you” (such as thanking them for being your guest) can go a long way towards keeping their visit with you top of mind. Send them home with some homemade goodies, a coffee mug with your inn’s logo on it, or something else that makes you more memorable.

When guests are booking their rooms with you, do you make it easy for them to add extras? This could be add-on items like roses and chocolate, or even bigger items like guest packages.

By regularly adding blog posts to your website, you are sharing fresh, relevant content that makes you more visible in online search engines. The longer a guest stays on your website, the more likely they are to book a room or a private event with you.

By not doing what everyone else does, you will stand out and not be lost in the crowd. Tell the story you want your followers to know about you. The more they can learn about you, the better your chances of them becoming a customer.

Display your positive testimonials on your website and in social media. This can mean the difference from a guest choosing you over your local competition. Learn from bad reviews and promote good reviews. Publicly respond to every review (since they took the time to leave a review). Also, other readers will benefit from reading your responses.

Read reviews of your competitors to learn what they are doing, see what their guests are posting, see ways you can improve your own business. You must be conscious of the customer experience from the moment they arrive until they leave.

Feeling overwhelmed and/or you’d rather focus on your guests? Contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging. During our first conversation, I can get to know more about you, your inn, and your future vision for your hospitality business. You are welcome to ask me questions as well.

I successfully manage the online marketing of bed and breakfast inns (Bed and Breakfast Blogging began in 2013). I am a Vendor Member of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International. I provide my clients with consistent and effective blogging, emailing, and social media marketing as well as hospitality consulting. Together, we will choose what services are best for you.

 

Do You Know What “Hygge” Really Means?

Flag of Denmark, The Hygge Game, colorful buildings in Denmark

 

Do you know what “hygge” really means? “Hygge” is a Scandinavian (specifically Danish) word for enjoying the good things in life. It evokes an atmosphere of coziness accompanied by a feeling of contentment and well-being. There is nothing more “hygge” than spending quality time with the people you love.

 

The board game Hygge has over 300 thought-provoking questions designed to spark meaningful discussions. Cozy conversation in pleasant company.

Responses will allow the others to better get to know each participant’s:

  • character
  • desires
  • emotions
  • interests
  • motivations
  • opinions
  • personality traits
  • values

25 of my favorite questions:

  • How would you define intelligence?
  • In what ways to you make other people’s lives better?
  • If you could be guaranteed an honest answer, what would you ask and to whom?
  • If you could have one million of anything (except money), what would you choose?
  • If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?
  • If you had enough money to retire tomorrow, what would you do with the rest of your life?
  • If you had the whole world’s attention for thirty seconds, what would you say or do?
  • Name one thing most people don’t know about you?
  • Should students get to grade their teachers?
  • What actor/actress would play you in the movie version of your life?
  • What book changed your life?
  • What can we learn from children?
  • What compliment have you received and never forgotten?
  • What does the world need more of?
  • What do you do differently than most people?
  • What is the best song ever written?
  • What is the best television show of all time?
  • What is the most meaningful gift you ever received?
  • What is the one key trait that makes people successful?
  • What is your greatest wish for the upcoming year?
  • What kind of people do you most admire?
  • What movie do you wish they would make a sequel to?
  • What personal quality do people appreciate about you?
  • What quality do you appreciate the most in a friend?
  • What would you do if you won the lottery?

What board games, if any, do your guests play during their stay with you? Do you offer them a library of books to read during their stay? Guests appreciate the extras, such as access to games and books, that you offer them during their stay.

On a personal note, my daughter participated in a high school student exchange program a few years back. We hosted a Dane (someone from Denmark) and then she stayed with another Danish student during her time in Copenhagen, Denmark. This was her first international trip and it was a very memorable experience. She understands what hygge really means.

You are welcome you to share related comments about any of the following below:

  • The name of the most popular board game your guests play
  • A meaningful experience hosting guests from Denmark
  • If you are an innkeeper of a B&B or guest house in Denmark

 

Recipes You’ll Want to Add to Your Menu

food on tablecloth covered-table with 5 B&B association logos

Looking to add to your menu? If you want some online recipe inspiration, consider going to these five bed and breakfast association websites which feature absolutely delicious innkeeper recipes. The recipes are not just breakfast either! It includes tasty recipes for appetizers, baked goods, dinner meals, and even desserts!

 

CABBI (California Association of Boutique and Breakfast Inns) Recipes

CABBI welcomes you to a taste of California with our collection of bed and breakfast and boutique inn recipes. Each recipe was carefully selected to tell the story of the inn from where it is served. Some recipes are house specialties, others are family traditions. Some dishes include locally-grown ingredients from an inn’s region, while other dishes are the reason guests return time and again. The bed and breakfast inn was born of sharing food with friends. We hope that you will enjoy these CABBI favorites with your friends and loved ones, as we do with ours.”

IBBA (Indiana Bed and Breakfast Association) Recipes

“A beautiful Bed and Breakfast Inn is not complete without the tastes and smells of homemade cooking. The Bed & Breakfast Inns of Indiana have opened up their secret recipe books and would like to share the meals and deserts that you enjoyed when you were their guest. These recipes represent some of the personal favorites of the innkeepers, and we are proud to bring them to you.”

NCBBI (North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns Association) Recipes

“Our innkeepers love to cook. Here are some of their favorite recipes – not just for breakfast!”

TBBIA (Bed and Breakfast Association of Tennessee) Recipes

“A beautiful Bed and Breakfast Inn is not complete without the tastes and smells of homemade cooking. The Bed & Breakfast Inns of Tennessee have opened up their secret recipe books and would like to share the meals and deserts that you enjoyed when you were their guest. These recipes represent some of the personal favorites of the innkeepers, and we are proud to bring them to you.”

WBBG (The Washington Bed and Breakfast Guild) Recipes

“Enjoy making these great breakfast recipes from experienced member innkeepers and chefs of the Washington Bed and Breakfast Guild.”

Many innkeepers share their recipes on their own websites and some even have their own cookbook. Foodies especially love to taste yummy new foods.

Bed and breakfast guests appreciate having a variety of foods available to them. Most innkeepers offer complimentary snacks and beverages. Some innkeepers offer extra food to their guests in packages or picnics. Of course, inns that host events most definitely will offer refreshments to their guests.

Half of “B&B” stands for breakfast so inns may be known for their delectable “signature dishes”! With that in mind, there are plenty of resources available (including these websites) for ideas and inspiration to add to your menu. Bon appetit!

 

Food Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

 

Proven Activities For Health, Wealth, Happiness, and Success

Book Cover Napoleon Hill's Action Activities
Who does not want health, wealth, happiness, and success in life? The book Napoleon Hill’s Action Activities: for Health, Wealth, and Happiness is an official publication of the Napoleon Hill Foundation to continue his legacy of leadership. It includes excerpts from his books as well as ideas for ways to apply his teachings in today’s world.

Attributes of Personal Initiative include:

  • Adoption of a definite major purpose
  • Motivation to inspire continuous action toward that purpose
  • Self-discipline and persistence to keep moving forward
  • Habit of going the extra mile
  • Capacity to concentrate your full attention on one task at a time
  • A positive mental attitude at all times
  • Habit of following through with any task once begun

Anything worth having is worth pursuing. According to Hill, the desires would not be placed in us unless we had the potential to achieve them.

Have a world vision that is larger than yourself. Give yourself away for a cause that is greater than you. This must be something you willingly give to others because you find it rewarding.

Many innkeepers decide to become B&B owners and hosts because of their desire to help their guests feel welcome. Proprietors also have the opportunity to promote their local area.

Magnificent Outcome (M.O.):

  • What you desire: Who am I? What is my special calling? Innkeepers may ask, “How can my inn reflect the talents and gifts that are uniquely my own?”
  • How you will achieve it: What positive dream engages my mind, monopolizes my thoughts, and pushes me forward? What is it I would do for the sole enjoyment of doing?
  • The positive outcome you can expect to achieve for staying the course: How, when, and where do I envision my magnificent outcome?

There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from using your unique talents and gifts. Your gifts could include teaching a cooking class, guiding guests on local trails, giving yoga instruction, hosting private parties, demonstrating art techniques in your retreat, coordinating weddings, leading conferences, and so much more. The key is to choose the things that you love doing and that will help your inn to stand out from your competition.

Habits Are the Stairway to a Richer Life

You can see many outcomes in your life (and the lives of others) based upon examining personal habits. When habits are entrenched, people operate on autopilot. Little brain power is involved in recalling these habits once learned.

Little actions taken over time create profound lifetime habits that determine our destiny. Through our simple daily actions we create the patterns that become automatic through repetition in our lives. Habits of action will create the life you choose to live one step at a time.

“A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.” (Napoleon Hill)

Habits begin with thought. Look for the positive (rather than the negative). Look for something to praise (rather than something to complain about). Our thoughts shape our world and, in turn, shape our earthly destiny.

The 12 Riches of Life:

  • A positive mental attitude
  • Sound physical health
  • Harmony in human relationships
  • Freedom from fear
  • The capacity for faith
  • Willingness to share one’s blessings
  • A labor of love
  • An open mind on all subjects
  • Self-discipline
  • The capacity to understand people
  • Financial security

When we discipline ourselves, our life goes better. Our lives are the results of the choices we make. When we delay gratification, we can reach higher, more ideal levels of performance. Self-discipline begins with the mastery of our thoughts. Self-discipline enables you to think first and act afterward.

Develop the Habit of Going the Extra Mile:

  • Do more than you are paid for
  • When you sow the seeds of excellent service, you reap the harvest
  • Listen to those around you to see if you can uplift them in some way
  • Do something special for someone else

Going the extra mile is related to the hospitality that innkeepers extend to their guests. Innkeepers seem to be blessed with the seemingly effortless ability to anticipate the needs of their guests. I admire their dedication to go above and beyond guest expectations.

Live Life to the Fullest:

  • Celebrate the beauty of life and cherish the time given to you
  • Choose life each moment and live it to your fullest potential
  • Think good thoughts and keep focused on advancing your life
  • Memorize and recite positive affirmations and quotes
  • Express heartfelt gratitude for what you already have
  • Make time for relaxation and fun
  • Read biographies of successful people
  • Identify positive attributes that you want to develop
  • Move beyond your comfort zone to expand your horizons
  • Share your blessings and be a giver
  • Be true to your calling by defining your purpose and acting upon it
  • Focus on completion and not perfection
  • Bloom when you are ready
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” (Napoleon Hill)

I believe it is important to continue to read and learn throughout your life. I read more books now than I did in college and graduate school! I love that this book encourages readers to continue to develop your mind and your habits because that influences your destiny. Napoleon Hill lived an inspirational life and his legacy continues through his foundation.

 

How To Find The Best Social Media Content Themes

social media icons

Social media content themes are specific types of content shared via social media. The key is to consistently feature a variety of content that is aimed at attracting your target audience, the type of guests you serve.

No two bed and breakfast inns are alike. However, there are some common social media content themes that work well for a wide range of accommodations.

Amenities

Potential guests like to see what amenities are available to them during their stay. Be sure to show pictures of amenities such as private hot tubs and pool tables.

Behind the Scenes

Since people are naturally curious, showing a sneak peek at something (like preparing for an event) is quite popular. Show details like table settings.

Blog Posts

Always share your blog posts on social media. By regularly blogging and sharing blog posts on social media, you will have a strong online presence.

Branding

Feature what you want your inn to be known for including your logo and slogan which represent your hospitality business. Only share messages you want associated with your brand.

Events

Showcase events that your inn hosts. Whether they are private events or events open to the public, by featuring these events in social media, you draw attention to your inn.

Guest Services

Perhaps you offer a complimentary wine and cheese social time every day. Maybe you offer the option for breakfast to be delivered to guest rooms. Be sure to show evidence of your unique hospitality touches.

Holidays

Show off holiday decor at your inn and share upcoming holiday-related activities in your area. The holidays are a great thing to promote in social media. In fact, having holiday-themed pin boards on Pinterest is really popular.

Hospitality

Extending generous hospitality should be a part of your signature as an accommodations provider. Be sure to share guest testimonials that thank you for your hospitality.

Humor

Everyone likes to laugh now and then. It is okay to feature something funny as long as it is clean and appropriate.

Income Boosters

It is okay to occasionally promote extra products and services your guests can purchase. Be sure to feature images of these products and services to grab the attention of those on social media.

Local attractions

Since people often choose their location BEFORE they choose their lodging, it follows that you should promote your local attractions. Be sure to feature what draws most people to your local area.

Local businesses

To support your fellow local businesses (including restaurants and shops), it is always a good idea to promote (and tag them) in social media. You may want to arrange for exclusive deals your guests receive (like a coupon for free dessert at local restaurant).

Local events

Is your area known annual events that take place every year? Festivals, marathons, performances that regularly occur are great to promote.

Milestones

If you (or your inn or your town) is celebrating a milestone (like 20 years in business), then by all means feature that in your social media. With their permission, you can even feature the milestones your guests are celebrating (such as birthdays, anniversaries, and promotions).

Networking

Social media networking occurs as you interact with your public. This includes previous guests and potential guests as well as local organizations with whom you want to keep in touch (such as your Chamber of Commerce or local Welcome Center).

Niche related topics

This depends upon the types of guests your inn wants to attract. Your inn could be pet-friendly, on a farm, near famous attractions, attract adventure lovers, and/or being historic. Feature those things that attract those types of guests. Pictures are very helpful in attracting potential guests to your social media.

Occasions

These could be special occasions for your overnight guests or private events you host. If there is a specific theme to your celebration (ex: costume party), you can let your social media audience know that as well.

Packages

Feature your guest packages on social media. Show pictures of what comes with each package (like a romantic package that includes rose petals scattered on their bed).

Pictures

Almost every post should have an attractive or attention-getting picture with it. Wow your guests by letting them see what they will experience. Professional photographs are essential to attracting guests.

Press

Be sure to feature any positive press you receive. You can also set up a Press Kit on your website, which lists links to every mention of your inn in the media. You can provide the name of the person to contact for interviews.

Products

Whether you have your own gift shop or sell a handful of things like T-shirts and coffee mugs, you can share the occasional picture of your merchandise. Of course, for every promotional post or tweet, you should have four or five social media shares that are not.

Reputation

Always share something that enhances your reputation such as your high average guest rating. If you are a member of Select Registry or a bed and breakfast association, be sure to include that in social media as well as the logos on your website.

Rooms

Guests love to get a look at where they are staying BEFORE they book their rooms. Professional photographs of all of your rooms and guest bath rooms are essential to attracting guests.

Questions

Engagement happens when people interact with your content. By asking your social media audience questions, you are encouraging them to respond and interact with you.

Quotes

Quotes are always popular. They could be said by a famous or notable person or centered around topics such as love and travel.

Recipes

Be willing to share some of your most popular recipes in social media or provide information if you or your B&B association offers a cookbook. Be sure to share pictures along with your recipes.

Seasonal

You can promote the seasons in social media. These can be outdoor pictures as well as decor pictures. You can offer seasonal packages or specials as well.

Stories

Stories are memorable. When you share your own story (how you became an innkeeper) or the stories of your guests (like the couple who returns every year to your inn), you develop a connection with your readers.

Testimonials

Testimonials are a great way to share the awesome things guests are saying about you (without being the one to brag about it)! People trust reviews from guests who have stayed with you. That is why guest satisfaction is so important.

Trending topics

On Twitter, there is always a list of trending topics. If there is something trending that is positive, and you’d like to mention it, then you can.

Trivia

Make getting to know more about your inn or your location fun with trivia facts you can share in social media. Some social media contest have guests guess how many of something is in the glass jar (like jellybeans) and the closest answer wins something like a free overnight stay.

User-generated content

If a guest shares a great picture they took and gives you permission to post it, then by all means do so and be sure to give them credit for their image. You can also share guest comments you have received. If they wrote their comments in a guest book, you can take a picture of their comments.

Videos

Video content is in high demand. According to the Wall Street Journal, over one billion hours of video are watched on YouTube each day.

Summary

By consistently varying your social media content themes, you will attract (and/or maintain) a high social media following. Innkeepers, would you rather focus on your guests than do social media and/or blogging? Contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging today!

 

Find Your Why to Boost Your Success

Book Cover Find Your Why and question marks

To boost your success, you must find your why. Previously I wrote a blog post about Simon Sinek’s bestselling book Start With Why. This post will discuss his companion book, co-written with David Mead and Peter Docker, called Find Your Why. Simon explains that this book provides the steps to show people exactly how to find their why.

 

Sinek explains it is not what you do that keep you fulfilled, but why you do what you do. Everyone has a why, their deep-seated purpose, a cause or belief, that is the source of your passion and inspiration. Fulfillment comes when what we do connects directly to our why.

Once you understand your why, you will be able to clearly express what makes you fulfilled. Knowing the why helps us set a vision to inspire others and guides us to act with purpose, on purpose.

WHY statements are always:

  • simple
  • clear
  • actionable
  • focused on the effect you will have on others

 

TO ___________ SO THAT ____________.

 

  • The first blank is the contribution you make to the lives of others.
  • The second blank is the impact of your contribution.
  • Your why must be relevant in both your personal and professional life.
  • Your why is a statement of value. It’s who you truly are.

The book advises that you choose a partner (someone who knows you, but not so much that they can finish your stories). Tell them at least five or six meaningful stories from your past. Each story must be a specific time, place, or moment and share it in detail.

Find Your Why suggests two different methods. The first method, “Peaks and Valleys” is where you think of both happy memories and memories you would not want to relive but have shaped who you are today. The second method, “Memory Prompt” is where you answer questions like:

  • Who has helped make you who you are today?
  • What was a pivotal moment in your life?
  • What happened that changed the way you think about your world and your role in it?
  • What have you accomplished in your life that you are really proud of?

Have the person you are telling your stories make notes of the facts in one column and the meaning or feelings in the column next to it. The stories you tell can be those that shed light on who you are at your best as well as specific experiences and people that have shaped who you are today.

Later both of you will look for recurring themes, words, phrases, and ideas. Once you tell stories and identify themes, you are ready to draft your WHY statement. As mentioned, your why statement should read, to _______ so that _________. It should be expressed in affirmative language that resonates with you.

Perhaps, as an innkeeper, your why has to do with serving your guests. It may be about providing them with friendly hospitality and luxurious accommodations that allow them to relax and strengthen their relationships.

Your WHY statement should be something that you agree with completely. It should not be written for your guests, but written for you as a guide to help you make decisions in life. Knowing your WHY statement will provide you with direction and boost your success.

 

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