How To Magnetically Market To Attract The Right Guests

Wooden desk and chair in front of window with view of mountains

 

Magnetically market to attract the right B&B guests? That terminology comes from Dan S. Kennedy’s book “Magnetic Marketing: How to Attract a Flood of New Customers That Pay, Stay, and Refer.” Kennedy has some actionable advice that can be applied to hospitality.

 

According to Dan, priority number one is that you must know WHO you want to attract (to be your guest). What specifically will you do that’s different than your competition (other accommodations)? Kennedy recommends that you craft a compelling, emotional message that reaches their hopes and dreams.

Write it in THEIR language. Use words and phrases that resonate with them. How does your ideal guest think and talk? What do they hope and dream? You must establish credibility, authority, and trust to attract them to stay as guests.

Do you know where your WHO goes online? Kennedy advises for you to be where they are and not where they are not. Makes sense, right? Well, I think to many people commit to marketing without having a strategy for why they market where they market.

When you sell exactly what they want to buy, it draws in those who fit those wants. Dan urges us to know their needs inside and out and to meet them where they live with what they have been looking for.

You must get the right MESSAGE (a truly compelling reason why they should stay with you) via the right MEDIA (the best places to reach your audience) to the right MARKET (to those most likely to respond) and it all starts with knowing your WHO. Your offer must match precisely with the right people.

Kennedy encourages you to ask yourself WHO you want to host as guests over and again. The deeper needs you may be meeting are their need for: peace, connection with others, relaxation, making memories, feeling important, and so on. Be able to answer the question of WHY guests should want to stay with you despite numerous other options?

Kennedy briefly mentions the hospitality industry (along with advice for other major industries) when he suggests that hoteliers (innkeepers) can bundle a package of goods, services, and experiences together and call it a clever (and memorable) name to promote it as a one-of-a-kind buying opportunity that is both compelling and irresistible.

“Your Ultimate Weekend of Food & Fun for Only $XXX!”

  • 10% savings on a regular 2-night room rate (not applicable to other discounts)
  • Free gourmet dinner for 2 on both nights (can be gift certificates to local restaurants)
  • Complimentary bottle of champagne when you arrive (or sparkling cider)
  • Complimentary limo service from and to the airport (or a limo ride for an event)
  • 18 holes of golf for 2 plus cart (include something that applies to your area)
  • Movie tickets for 2 plus popcorn to boot (or something else instead)
  • Limited availability, reserve your spot before… (time frame depends on offer)

Kennedy also talks about the important of having a lead generation offer (information you offer for free in exchange for their name and email address). This allows you to regularly email them unless they unsubscribe from your list. The offer lets people identify themselves as having an interest. Examples of lead generation offers that potential guests would enjoy:

  • Free guide to your local attractions
  • Free guide to your local restaurants
  • Free travel tips

Once they “opt into” your email list, Kennedy directs us to send a monthly e-newsletter out. The content can include:

  • Briefly reaffirm the uniqueness of your hospitality and accommodations
  • Include puzzles, brainteasers, local trivia, recipes, cartoons, etc.
  • Talk about what has been happening at your inn and in your local area
  • Always include a call to action! Tell them what you would like them to do and urge them to book now before it’s too late… (for whatever the reason or event).

According to Kennedy, front end marketing is to reach out to attract new guests and back end marketing is encouraging guests to return and refer you to other people. “We really depend upon guests like you for referrals…”

In your email campaign, Kennedy states that you must have repetition if you want impact and response. A series of emails (appropriately spaced out) each with legitimately valuable content (about you, your area, your packages, testimonials from your guests, etc.), and a call to action every time.

If you note guest birthdays or anniversaries, you can even send an email or a postcard in advance of the dates reminding them to return. Perhaps throw in an incentive like a free bottle of wine or a free upgrade to a more expensive room. The bottom line is to stay on guests’ radar as the place where they want to stay and return again and again.

 

Why You’ll Love Signs by Danthonia Designs

6 Danthonia Design signs

 

Does your Bed and Breakfast need a sign? Today Danthonia Design’s 40 plus designers, artists and artisans use office and work areas of over 60,000 sq/ft to create signage of all sizes for clients across Australia and internationally. Many of their beautiful hand-carved signs belong to bed and breakfast owners.

In addition to their Aussie market – they ship between 100-200 signs per month to the USA. The Aussie dollar is lower than the US dollar and Australia / United States have a free trade agreement – this means that US clients get a good value for their money.

Handcrafted hotel signs, B&B signs and restaurant signs are easily recognizable and impress each guest upon arrival. Any successful hospitality business needs to make that good first impression. Danthonia creates award winning signs for the hospitality industry. Effective inn and restaurant signage convert passers-by into regular patrons. Hand carved bed and breakfast signs can become local landmarks.

Their on-line sign-designer tools allow bed and breakfast owners to customize your own sign. Try out different colors, change the artwork or font, and order when it looks just right for you! Although each Danthonia sign is individually handcrafted, they have developed a team approach that allows a 21 day delivery for most US orders. For a rush fee they can deliver in 15 days.

Over the last years articles by or about Danthonia, their hand crafting techniques, their people and their award-winning sign designs have appeared in the following publications:

  • SignCraft Magazine – USA
  • Sign Business Magazine – USA
  • Signs of the Times – USA
  • Sign Gallery Series – USA
  • US Sign Council Calendar – USA
  • Visual Impact – Australia
  • Image Magazine – Australia
  • Outback Magazine – Australia

Bed and Breakfast Blogging thinks that Danthonia Designs is a great place to go for high-quality, durable, gorgeous hand-crafted signs for your bed and breakfast inns. They are sure to impress your guests who drive by and those who see your sign on your website.

 

What You Need To Know About Virtual Concierge

Virtual Concierge Service logo and founder Dana Young

 

 

I interviewed Dana Young, Founder of Virtual Concierge Services, to learn more about how the technology works and how it benefits bed and breakfast owners and innkeepers.

 

  • How about you share with us a little about your background and how you entered the hospitality industry?

I’m an engineer by training and over the course of my career I’ve focused on technology and software. About 12 years ago we bought an old lodge on the shores of a lake in north central Washington. Built in 1933 as a summer getaway for a local lumber baron, it had never been updated other than some Linoleum and Formica put down in the 60s. To fund renovations, we began renting the place out to families for summer vacations at the lake. I knew nothing about hospitality at the time, but dove into the community to learn best practices, like those you share in your blog.

With my background in technology, I constantly look for ways to differentiate our property with new tech. That’s what led me to the application of voice assistants to hospitality. Since then we’ve added talent in both software development and business operations, built a strong relationship with Amazon and continued to enhance the Virtual Concierge platform.

 

  • Will you tell us about the growth of smart speakers with voice assistants?

In 2016, only 1% of US adults had access to a smart speaker. In 2 years, that number went up by 20x. By next year, 75% of households will have one. A study by Edison Research revealed that 42% of smart speaker owners now say these devices are “essential” to their daily lives.

 

  • Will you elaborate on the benefits of interactive Virtual Concierge for hospitality providers (including guest communication)?

The benefits are largely around the guest experience. The Virtual Concierge platform provides hosts the ability to define a custom virtual concierge on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Content can be individually tailored to each property.  This platform is built on a flexible natural language understanding model, allowing guests to ask questions in many ways. Guests can say things like, “We’d like some restaurant recommendations”, or “What’s the wifi password?”, and get immediate answers. But these aren’t answers like you get from Google. They are personal recommendations from the innkeeper, and specific details about the property. In addition to providing quick answers in a way that guests enjoy, it also helps offload the burden of fielding these questions by the host’s staff.

 

  • What instructions and recommendations can innkeepers provide ahead of check in through this technology?

The principle way of engaging with the Virtual Concierge during a guest’s stay will be through a smart speaker device like an Amazon Echo or Google Home. In addition though, guests can get access to the Virtual Concierge as they prepare for their trip. The host provides them with a passcode, and the guest can then use Google Assistant on their phone to access all the property’s custom content.

 

  • How can it help with lights, temperature, security, entertainment system, and other smart home features?

Voice technology is a way to simplify interactions with smart homes. Sometimes this tech can be daunting. It is wonderful to be able to simply say, “Hey Google, turn the heat up”.

 

  • Will you let us know some of the features having to do with music, ambient sleep sounds, and group games?

These are all great examples of use cases for a smart speaker in a hospitality setting. Music is a feature used by almost everyone. Ambient sleep sounds are a wonderful way to help guests sleep in unfamiliar surroundings. There are dozens of options available, from the sound of a thunderstorm, to crickets chirping or just pure white noise. Many group games are available on these voice assistant devices as well. For example, Name That Tune, or a variety of trivia games are very popular. Some of the best times I’ve had on vacation were playing games with the family, and voice games are a new way to spend time together. The hidden value for innkeepers is that there are no small pieces to get lost or stuck in the vacuum cleaner!

 

  • What can it do with regards to “routines” that can be set up?

A great example of Routines that you can set up is a ‘good night’ routine. If guests say the phrase, “Alexa, good night,” the virtual assistant will proceed to turn off all the lights, lock the doors, and shut off the downstairs heating system.

Routines can be initiated with either a trigger phrase, or you can assign a specific time for the routine to run. Routines can control smart home devices, as well as including elements like news, traffic and weather. You can also make it so that music begins to play as part of a Routine, or play a podcast.

Another interesting capability as it applies to hospitality is that a routine can also including having Alexa speak something of your choosing. An example that ties together a full guest experience is a morning Routine for guests. Alexa could start the coffee maker, turn on the lights, read the day’s weather forecast for your area, and then offer concierge services to help plan activities for the day. For example, “If you would like to hear the owner’s recommendations for places in the area and things to do, just say Alexa, use the concierge service. Have a great day!”

 

  • I know this is becoming more popular for rental properties to have, but why is this something bed and breakfast innkeepers should consider for their own properties (when many innkeepers are available to answer questions from their guests)?

There are times when an innkeeper may not be available, but probably a bigger reason is that some people actually prefer not having to trouble their host with questions. As people begin to get accustomed to Googling information, they expect technology to be able to help them. With the Virtual Concierge, innkeepers can have it both ways – engage with guests that seek them out for answers, and enable others to get the same answers using technology.

 

  • Is there any research that shows a greater increase in guest return rates (and guest referrals) when you compare lodging that does and does not have this technology?

Probably the best examples we’ve seen are where guests leave glowing reviews, and specifically mention their delight in having the Virtual Concierge available to them, together with other features from the voice assistant. As we know, positive reviews are critical to the success of independent hospitality providers.

 

  • What do you say to innkeepers who do not consider themselves to be “tech savvy” and are hesitant about using this?

This kind of tech used to be too complex and costly for the average user.  But Amazon and Google have done a fantastic job of making voice technology easy to use and accessible to everyone. I’ve heard from self-proclaimed “technology dinosaurs” that they have successfully set up the Virtual Concierge, and I’ve received a lot of happy emails about the way it functions. This space is evolving very quickly. Both smart home and digital assistant technology has hit the mass market, and while it is good today, we will see even better reliability and functionality over time. The important thing is to get started, and not be left behind.

 

  • What are the options available, and costs involved, for innkeepers?

From a hardware perspective, devices like the Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home Mini are available at less than $50. On the software side, the Virtual Concierge is available in 2 options: VCS Standard and VCS Pro (Pro is only available with Amazon Alexa). VCS Standard is $5/month, and VCS Pro is $10/month with discounts for larger deployments.

The Pro version has everything that Standard has, but it also includes centralized management and monitoring of all Amazon Echo devices. It also includes calendar integration, so that when a guest checks out, the device will be reset, clearing any alarms, timers or notifications that may have been enabled. With the Pro version, guests will soon be able to say “Alexa, add my account” which will then enable them to play their own music, audio books, and so on.

 

  • How can innkeepers contact you?

More information about Virtual Concierge is available at their website

Innkeepers can email Dana directly at (dana@virtualconciergeservice.com) and they can

Connect with Dana Young on LinkedIn

 

Thank you, Dana, for sharing this valuable information with us. 

 

 

Did You See Bed and Breakfast the Movie?

Bed and Breakfast The Movie cover

 

Bed and Breakfast the Movie (available on Amazon Prime at the time of this writing) had mixed reviews when it was released in 2015. However, I wanted to watch it from the perspective of observing what to do (and what not to do) when you are a hospitality provider.

 

Both Dean Cain’s character (Jake) inherits a bed and breakfast, but wait so did Brazilian Ana (played by Juliana Paes). Bill Engvall plays Jake’s brother (a police officer that likes to drink beer when he is off the clock). This is a romantic comedy. While the plot line is not realistic, I did observe some things:

  • While the sign changes three times in the movie, it is an important reminder of how essential is to have a visible sign to welcome guests.
  • The maid takes the picture of Jake and makes the valid point that guests need to see that they can trust you (the innkeeper) if you are asking them to come to your house (however not all inns share pictures of the innkeepers).
  • The Certificate by the California State Commission gets put up a couple and made straight a few times, a reminder that innkeepers should proudly display their licenses as well as awards and honors.
  • There was a mess everywhere since they were not supposed to open for week (somehow an ad showed an earlier date) this demonstrates the importance of being on top of your advertising and promotions (it is good to have a press kit).
  • The maid could not cook (it is a necessity for at least one person on staff to be skilled in cooking) and the maid snooped into Ana’s luggage (a major violation of guest privacy) to discover that Ana was not who she said she was.
  • When a guest pointed out that there was “a hole in the floor where the toilet should be” Jake tells them to take a wine tour (at his expense) and when they return everything will be fixed (the inn would never be authorized to open unless inspection standards were met) but that was quick thinking on his part (which innkeepers often have to do but not for missing a toilet).
  • When asked how it “got in such awful shape”, Jake admitted, “It was left for a long time and obviously I’m still fixing it.” There are situations when an inn is open for business as it is being restored, but there could be a better way to word that improvements are still going on.
  • The couple that was on their honeymoon was making loud noises which annoyed the other guests (at breakfast time Jake suggested that they eat breakfast in bed to avoid their public display of affection).
  • It was only several days later that their landline phone worked (it was not realistic that calls were not being received on Jake’s cell phone). Yet guests were coming because of the wine festival in town.
  • Jake’s legal dispute with Ana was mediated by a retired judge who was meditating when they arrived and he led the meeting (from his cramped trailer home) more like a couples therapy session. No lawyers were present which would not have been the case in real life.
  • When Jake learns that the most famous reviewer in the state of California is staying with them, he and Ana work together to see if “his dream would have worked” and they throw a very successful couples dinner party.
  • They picked fresh produce from their garden and Jake found two bottles of fine wine. Towards the end of the evening, they asked the reviewer (played by actor Eric Roberts) what he thought.
  • The reviewer said, “You put together the perfect blend of both the exotic (being the most risky or risque) and the familia (being the most comfortable). Keep it up and you’re bound to go far. And to think if there would have been a room anywhere else, I might have missed the best meal of my life. I guess that’s what you call serendipity.” (It was not realistic for the “best reviewer in the state” to not have a place to stay.)
  • Being from Brazil, Ana did not know what the word serendipity meant (nor how to pronounce it correctly), and Jake explained that it is when something pleasant happens unexpectedly. It is known as a “happy accident.”

I won’t spoil the ending for you (in case you want to watch the movie). If you have seen the movie (or you do end up watching it), please feel free to share your comments about it.

Core Values and Why They Are Important

checkerboard with heart pieces and two green coffee mugs on table

 

Core values “represent the character of your organization,” according to strategy coach Michael Synk, author of “Rock and Sand: A Practical Insight to Business Growth.” Establishing core values benefits the employee (to know what is expected) and the guest (to know what they can count on).

 

Since every place of accommodations is different, it follows that the core values of each hospitality business will not be the same. That is how it should be. Each inn has its own personality and priorities. There are some common themes around core values set in the hospitality industry, including:

  • Above and beyond
  • Accessibility
  • Accuracy
  • Adaptability
  • Alertness
  • Appreciation
  • Attention to detail
  • Availability
  • Awareness
  • Balance
  • Beauty
  • Being the best
  • Brilliance
  • Calm
  • Capable
  • Caring
  • Character
  • Cheerful
  • Cleanliness
  • Collaboration
  • Commitment
  • Communication
  • Community
  • Compassion
  • Competence
  • Composure
  • Concern for others
  • Confidentiality
  • Connection
  • Consistency
  • Continuous improvement
  • Cooperation
  • Courage
  • Courtesy
  • Creativity
  • Customer focus
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Dedication
  • Dependability
  • Discretion
  • Diversity
  • Eagerness
  • Efficiency
  • Elegance
  • Empathy
  • Encouragement
  • Enthusiasm
  • Exceeding expectations
  • Excellence
  • Experience
  • Fairness
  • Flexibility
  • Foresight
  • Fun
  • Generosity
  • Good will
  • Gratitude
  • Happiness
  • Health
  • High standards
  • Honesty
  • Hospitality
  • Humility
  • Humor
  • Inclusive
  • Imagination
  • Individuality
  • Innovative
  • Inspiration
  • Integrity
  • Inviting
  • Joy
  • Kindness
  • Leadership
  • Listening
  • Loyalty
  • Mindful
  • Neatness
  • Nurturing
  • Open-minded
  • Optimism
  • Order
  • Originality
  • Passion
  • Patience
  • Performance
  • Perseverance
  • Persistence
  • Positive
  • Privacy
  • Punctuality
  • Quality
  • Relationships
  • Relaxation
  • Reliability
  • Resourcefulness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Responsiveness
  • Rest
  • Safety
  • Sanitary
  • Satisfaction
  • Security
  • Sensitivity
  • Serenity
  • Service
  • Simplicity
  • Sincerity
  • Stewardship
  • Surprise
  • Support
  • Sustainability
  • Talent
  • Teamwork
  • Thankful
  • Thoughtful
  • Timeliness
  • Tolerance
  • Transparency
  • Trustworthy
  • Understanding
  • Uniqueness
  • Value
  • Variety
  • Vision
  • Warmth
  • Watchfulness
  • Welcoming
  • Wisdom

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • “What do I want my inn to be known for?”
  • “What do my guests value?”
  • “What compliments do I receive the most from guests?”
  • “How can I stand out from other accommodations?”
  • “How do I want guests to feel during their stay?”

It is important to list your core values on your website and blog as well as share in your social media and e-newsletters. Be sure to list if you have won any hospitality awards or are members of prestigious groups like Select Registry or Historic Hotels of America. Let your core values serve as a way to distinguish your inn from your competition.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

How to Have a Thriving Bed and Breakfast Biz

snow-covered cabin in woods

Wondering how to have a thriving bed and breakfast biz? Consistently booked rooms AND a profitable hospitality business? Bed and Breakfast Blogging helps make that happen with our professional blogging and social media expertise.

Blogging is a great way for guests (and potential guests) to get to know all about your fabulous bed and breakfast as well as your area attractions. The benefits of blogging include:

  • attracting more people to your bed and breakfast
  • providing fresh content that search engines reward
  • positioning yourself as a top bed and breakfast
  • increasing trust and credibility with your guests

We can tailor keyword specific content for your bed and breakfast website as well as attract more visitors with a regular blog.  We can describe wonderful amenities of your bed and breakfast such as a cozy fireplace, romantic whirlpool tub, and plush king-sized bed as well as a private balcony, spacious swimming pool, and flowering gardens.

Imagine your potential customers reading about your delicious breakfasts and even sharing some of your delicious recipes with them. Bed and Breakfast Blogging can discuss the unique history of your own bed and breakfast. We can even write about your custom packages that may include concert tickets, spa treatments, and tickets to local attractions.  

We take the time to understand what make your accommodations so special so we can communicate that with your audience. We can feature any of the following (and more) that apply to your property:

  • Amenities
  • Art
  • Classes available to guests
  • Cookbook(s)
  • Complimentary (extras that guests receive at no additional charge)
  • Flowers (arrangements and plantings)
  • Gardens and landscaping
  • Gift shop
  • Guest rooms and bathrooms
  • Jacuzzi/hot tub(s)
  • Meeting space
  • Parking space
  • Pools to pool tables
  • Private events (birthdays, anniversaries, showers, etc.)
  • Restaurant
  • Retreats you host
  • Spa and spa services
  • Tea room
  • Vehicle charging station
  • Weddings
  • Wine collection or tours
  • Yoga

Contact us today so we can set up your own personalized business strategy to unlock your B&B’s greatest potential. We help bed and breakfasts become more profitable as well as grow their social media presence and add effective blog posts that feature what makes you, and your local area, worth experiencing. We take care of marketing your bed and breakfast inn so you can take care of your guests! 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Are You Making The Most With Pinterest?

Pinterest logo, American flags, fall trees, red chairs, Spring flowers, snow covering trees

 

Bed and Breakfast Blogging is making the most with Pinterest. We have over 265 Pinterest boards (organized groups of pins by themes or categories) and 30,000 people view our pins every month! That is the power of Pinterest! We do not have all the United States represented, but our goal is to feature B&B’s from every state in the country.

The Pinboards (where Pinterest users can group pins that are similar in some way) that you focus on will depend entirely on your target audience (who you host or would like to host as guests), your local area (including climate and attractions), your amenities (like swimming pool or billiard pool table), your packages (and specials), etc.

The following lists ideas for specific pin boards. It all depends upon what applies to you. Include as many of your own pictures as possible to attract more guests. You may want to have your inn’s name (or your website address) on each pin, so that when each one is shared, others know it is your pin.

  • Activities (popular activities in your area such as hiking and canoeing)
  • Awards (Select Registry Member, Diamond Property, TripAdvisor, etc.)
  • Amenities (electronic charging stations, in-room coffee pots, etc.)
  • Antiques (found in your inn and/or antiques for sale)
  • Art (your own art and/or art for sale)
  • Balcony (pictures of the balcony and the views from it)
  • Baskets (your own baskets, holiday baskets, and/or gift baskets for sale)
  • Bath amenities (soaps, salts, lotions, etc.)
  • Bathrooms (feature tubs, showers, and sinks as well as linens)
  • Beach (indoor decor and outdoor items related to the beach)
  • Bedrooms (be sure to have pictures of every guest room)
  • Birds in your area (for guests who enjoy bird watching)
  • Blog posts (each of your blog posts can be grouped on one pin board)
  • Bread (your own recipes and/or recipes that look good to make)
  • Breakfasts (your own breakfasts and/or breakfasts you’d like to make)
  • Brick (pictures of your brick exterior and/or paths)
  • Cabins/Cottages (you can choose a separate pin board per cabin or cottage)
  • Christmas (your indoor & outdoor decor as well as local area sights & events)
  • Cinco de Mayo (if you have some fun recipes and/or decor)
  • Collections (share collectibles you have on display for guests)
  • Common areas (guests like to see these before they arrive)
  • Cookbook(s) (if you have your own for sale or recommend other cookbooks)
  • Crepes (your own crepes that you make or recipes you have found)
  • Country (feature what is unique about your country including its flag)
  • Decks (show the deck areas on your property)
  • Decor (feature unique decor, seasonal decor, and party decor)
  • Desserts (your own desserts and/or recipes you’d like to make)
  • Dining (your own dining area(s) for breakfast and for other events)
  • Doors (if you have decorative doors, you may want to feature them together)
  • Easter (decor, fashion, recipes, themes, wreaths, etc.)
  • Eggs (your own egg dishes as well as recipes that look good)
  • Entertainment (at your inn and/or in your local area)
  • Entrances (if you have any grand entrances to show off)
  • Events You Host (you can have separate pin boards by the type of event it is)
  • Fall (decor, fashion, recipes, themes, wreaths, etc.)
  • Farm (animals, crops, land, equipment, etc.)
  • Features (pin any positive press or attention you or your inn received)
  • Festivals (local and regional festivals–especially annual events)
  • Fire pit (your own fire pit & maybe guests roasting marshmallows for s’mores)
  • Fireplaces (if you have many fireplaces, you can feature them together)
  • Flowers (have different flower boards by season if you have enough images)
  • Food (food that you serve to guests including goodies and at events)
  • Fountains (outdoor and indoor fountains can be quite attractive)
  • Foyer (for those who have impressive looking foyers)
  • French Toast (your own recipes and/or recipes you’d like to make)
  • Fruit (your own fresh fruit and/or recipes that look good)
  • Furniture (you can feature different types of furniture on their own pin boards)
  • Games (board games, cards, outdoor games like croquet, etc.)
  • Garden (plants, vegetables, herbs you grow, etc. or local public gardens)
  • Gazebos (including those decorated for events or lit up at night)
  • Girlfriend getaways (or guy getaways if you offer them)
  • Gluten free (share your own gluten-free recipes as well as others’ recipes)
  • Green Inn (Green leader award, solar panels, energy efficient light bulbs, etc.)
  • Groups (groups that you host like a local book club or Chamber of Commerce)
  • Hallways (especially if they are seasonally decorated or feature antiques)
  • Handicapped (elevator, wheelchair ramps, handicap accessible amenities, etc.)
  • Hanukkah (lighting the menorah, decor, recipes, gifts, etc.)
  • History (historic inns can feature past owner(s) and notable past)
  • Holidays (major and minor holidays your inn celebrates)
  • Home Decor (themed decor, seasonal decor, and more)
  • Hot tubs (if you have multiple hot tubs on your property)
  • Innkeepers (your pictures, names, inn roles, activities, hobbies, talents, etc.)
  • Kid-Friendly (playground, kid-friendly menu and rooms, swimming pool, etc.)
  • Kitchen (for either behind-the-scenes look or if open to your guests)
  • Lake (views of the lake as well as from the look to your property)
  • Library (books, DVDs, games, etc.)
  • Lighthouses (your own B&B lighthouse or local/regional lighthouses)
  • Lights (indoor and outdoor lights as well as holiday lights)
  • Linens (your plush towels and sheets)
  • Local area (popular places and activities in your local area)
  • Local businesses (promote other local businesses to share the local love)
  • Lodges (for lodges or log cabins)
  • Mirrors (maybe you have a unique collection of mirrors throughout your place)
  • Modern (modern inns can feature their modern design, decor, and amenities)
  • Mother’s Day (moms love bed and breakfasts, you may have a mom package)
  • Mountains (your mountain views as well as views of your inn from the outside)
  • Murals (feature any murals or uniquely painted areas at your inn)
  • Murder Mysteries (pictures of guests in costume, clues, dinner, etc.)
  • Packages (include the valid dates for the specific package on each pin)
  • Pancakes (your own pancake recipes as well as recipes you want to make)
  • Parlors (especially common in historic inns)
  • Patios (outdoor patio areas with their furniture, amenities, and views)
  • Patriotic (patriotic holidays like 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Veteran’s Day)
  • Pet-Friendly (feature guest pets, where they sleep and play, & your own pets)
  • Pillows (your own pillows or pillows you like based on a theme like location)
  • Pinterest (tips on making the most with Pinterest)
  • Plants (indoor and outdoor plants)
  • Ponds (outdoor ponds and plant and animal life)
  • Pools (indoor and outdoor pools and other amenities like chairs and floats)
  • Porches (views of your porches as well as from your porches)
  • Quotes (pin by theme like travel quotes, success quotes, etc.)
  • Ranches (feature animals, buildings, equipment, events, etc.)
  • Recipes I Want to Make Soon (an easy-to-find place for recipes of interest)
  • Red Chair (if the Red Chair made it to your inn and/or town)
  • Restaurant (your own restaurant with its food, decor, and staff members)
  • Retreats (each type of retreat you host should have its own pin board)
  • Robes (plush robes your guests can wear and/or buy from you)
  • Romantic (romantic packages, amenities, places, poems, vows, etc.)
  • Scrap-booking (if you host scrap-booking retreats, show guests & scrapbooks)
  • Shop (if you have your own shop, the items you have for sale)
  • Shopping (local and regional shopping places including downtown and malls)
  • Shows (your inn hosts and/or shows in your local area)
  • Signs (your outdoor sign, bedroom door signs, local area signs, etc.)
  • Skies (share images of different looking skies throughout the year)
  • Social Media (pictures of and links to your other social media websites)
  • Soups (your own soups and/or soup recipes you want to share)
  • Spa/spa services (your own spa, in-room spa services, or local spa partners)
  • Specials (discounts for last minute, or off-season, or mid-week, etc.)
  • Spring (seasonal decor, fashion, foods, flowers, activities, wreaths, etc.)
  • Stained Glass (found in historic homes and former churches turned inns)
  • Stairs (indoor and outdoor stairs that are unique in some way)
  • State (state bird, motto, flag, flower, etc.)
  • Statues (indoor and outdoor statues on your property or in your area)
  • Stoneware (coffee mugs, cookie jars, plates, etc.)
  • Stonework (impressive and/or unusual stonework on your property)
  • Summer (decor, fashion, food, flowers, recipes, activities, wreaths, etc.)
  • Sun Rooms (view from your sun rooms as well as of your sun rooms)
  • Tablescapes (featuring different themes, events, or holidays)
  • Tea (tea time at your inn and/or your own tea room)
  • Technology (wi-fi, video streaming services, device charging stations, etc.)
  • Terrace (views from your terrace as well as images of your terrace)
  • Tile (tile throughout your property both indoors and outdoors)
  • Travel tips (what to pack, ways to travel, etc.)
  • Tree houses (do you have a B&B treehouse or a treehouse at your B&B?)
  • Tropical (your tropical location if applicable)
  • Urban (your urban setting and amenities)
  • Valentines Day (crafts, decor, gifts, ideas, packages, wreaths, etc.)
  • Vegetables (that you grow or that you got from your local Farmers Market)
  • Vegan and/or vegetarian (that you make and/or you think will taste good)
  • Videos (your own as well as other local videos and tourism promotions)
  • Waffles (your own waffle recipes as well as recipes you’d like to make)
  • Wallpaper (historic homes tend to have wallpaper more so than modern inns)
  • Water (swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes, rivers, oceans, etc.)
  • Weddings (indoor, outdoor, and tent weddings and receptions)
  • Windows (stained glass, skylights, bay windows, etc.)
  • Wine (if you offer wine tastings and/or there are local vineyard tours)
  • Winter (seasonal decor, fashion, recipes, wreaths, etc.)
  • Yoga (yoga for guests each morning and/or yoga retreats)

You can use a social media scheduler like Buffer, Hootsuite, Pingraphy, Tailwind or Viral Tag to share pins now or later. This above list was a suggestion of what you can post. This is not to say that other pin boards would not work as well. When you know your target audience (the guests you would like to host) and their interests as well as what you offer, you can pin relevant things they like. Happy Pinning!

The Best Hospitality is Personalized to Guests

Rookwood Inn, guest room, innkeeper, bath tub

 

The best hospitality is personalized to guests. Owner and Innkeeper Amy Lindner-Lesser, of The Rookwood Inn in Lenox, Massachusetts, attributes the longevity of her hospitality business (22 years) to her continually adapting to the needs and wishes of her guests. Part of her B&B logo says, “Where memories are made.”

 

She says it is the responsibility of both the guests and the inn’s staff to be sure that wonderful memories are made. “We have guests, a couple who came the first fall we owned The Rookwood Inn and they have stayed more than thirty-seven times since then.” She has many repeat guests.

As both a MA licensed Justice of the Peace and a Universal Life Church (ULC) Minister, Amy performs interfaith and intercultural weddings. She takes the time to learn about the couples’ individuality, how they met, what they share, their ideas for their special day, family traditions, and wedding likes and dislikes. She strives to make this the dream wedding for every couple. She also enjoys working with more mature couples for whom this is their second or third wedding. “These are the type of couples who prefer our more intimate and unique setting for their wedding.”

I like that she features a room comparison chart, on her website so guests can easily make choices among the inn’s twenty rooms on three floors. It lists the type of fireplace (11 guest rooms), type of bath (all have showers; some have separate clawfoot tubs or a shower combination with tub), MP3 dock (8 guest rooms), porch or deck (4 guest rooms), TV (10 guest rooms), bed size(s), sleeper (4 guest rooms), location (3 floor levels), and maximum occupancy (2, 3, or 4 guests per room). Since the price varies by season, she does not list that in the chart.

Guest compliments include:

  • Attention to detail
  • Best hospitality around
  • Cleanliness
  • Location (in the heart of the Berkshires on a residential street half a block for the center of town)
  • Walking distance to shopping, restaurants, museum theater; close to Boston symphony

The Rookwood Inn guests come for the culture as well as to celebrate special occasions and for romance. The summer and fall are the busiest times of the year. She also hosts retreats throughout the year. She recently hosted a two-day retreat for entrepreneurs called, “Awakening the Shaman Within” to help them become new people for the new year (she graciously had furniture moved around at their request). She also hosted a retreat for Inn Partners for prospective B&B owners (she provided the needed equipment for them). Amy is accommodating to whatever the needs are and her guests appreciate that.

Amy tells guests, “The only cookie cutters we have are in the kitchen.” Everything they do is customized to best suit the wishes of each of their guests. Guests say Amy and The Rookwood Inn go above and beyond with their extra touches. They offer an individualized experience that hotels lack. The best hospitality is personalized to guests.

The Only Historic Bed and Breakfast in a Beautiful Georgia Town

Simmons Bond Inn outside, historic plaque, downtown Toccoa, dining table, breakfast, stained glass windows

The Simmons-Bond Inn is the only historic bed and breakfast in a beautiful Georgia town. The name of this town is Toccoa which literally means “beautiful” in the Cherokee language. People love their 115-year old Victorian Queen Anne with ornate woodwork especially the stairs (built by a furniture maker who owned a lumber yard). Guests love the stained-glass windows.

Amenities include flat screen televisions with free premium cable and free coffee service in every guest room, free wi-fi throughout the house, antique and modern books, numerous games and other entertainment. Their wrap-around porch has an exquisite view of an historic courthouse that offers public tours.

They are within walking distance from antiques, art galleries, museums, and restaurants. They are close to a hospital (they host doctors) and to Toccoa Falls College (they also host visiting professors and prospective college students). A train station is only two blocks away and an airport is just four miles away.

The Simmons-Bond Inn is centrally located on Main Street of Downtown Toccoa (part of Northeast Georgia) with more than two-dozen places with fun things to do located within thirty or forty minutes. Less than a two-hour drive from Atlanta.

They are now hosting private events:

  • Baby Showers
  • Business Gatherings
  • Chamber of Commerce Meetings
  • Church Groups
  • Family Reunions
  • Holiday Parties
  • Luncheons
  • Weddings
  • Wedding Receptions
  • Wedding Showers

The Simmons-Bond Inn can host up to 25 people in the common areas of their downstairs. The B&B can accommodate 13 overnight guests (this will book the entire house) for occasions like family reunions and weddings.

The Simmons-Bond Inn accepts guests of all ages, but no pets. They receive rave reviews for their delicious three-course breakfasts. Guests tell them they appreciate their warm hospitality and they love being treated like family.

Call friendly Innkeepers Dan and Tanya directly at 706-282-5183 and they will be happy to plan your event with you. They have access to local bakers, catering companies, and florists to make your meeting or celebration even more special. The Simmons-Bond Inn customizes events to meet the desires of their clients in their beautiful Georgia town.

Why You Need To Feature Your Local Community

C.W. Worth House outside, large room with fireplace, and two guest rooms

Do you feature your local community? Margi and Doug Erickson, innkeepers of the historic C. W. Worth House, the longest running B&B in Wilmington, North Carolina (open since 1985), do an excellent job promoting their historic town of Wilmington. Their 7-room B&B (each with private bathroom) was first constructed in 1893 by Charles W. Worth, a wholesale grocery merchant and a commission merchant in cotton and naval stores at the turn of the 20th century.

On their website, they provide a sample itinerary to let people know all that is available in their local area. Innkeepers can promote their community in many different places: on their websites, blog posts, and social media. Margi & Doug feature:

  • Activities (like golfing, kayaking, and shopping)
  • Airport (Wilmington International Airport)
  • Antiques (like Cape Fear Antique Center and Antiques of Old Wilmington)
  • Aquarium (NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher)
  • Arboretum (New Hanover County Arboretum)
  • Architecture (19th century urban architecture)
  • Attractions (including historic sites, gardens, parks, and trails)
  • Battleship North Carolina (open daily to visitors)
  • Beaches (they are midway between Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach)
  • Bicycle Rental (City Bicycle Company)
  • Craft Breweries (Waterline Brewing Company and Edward Teach Brewery)
  • Chocolate (Mon Ame Chocolate and Wine Bar)
  • Colleges (Cape Fear Community College)
  • Convention center (Wilmington Convention Center)
  • Dining (including Pilot House, Manna, and Pinpoint)
  • Downtown (one of the largest historic districts in NC covering 200 blocks)
  • Entertainment (various live entertainment)
  • Event Venues (including The Loft on Front and Bakery 105)
  • Festivals (Azalea Festival; Wilmington Wine and Chocolate Festival)
  • Film Locations (Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Iron Man 3, Safe Haven, etc.)
  • Food Tours (Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours)
  • Galleries (like the New Elements Gallery and Art in Bloom)
  • Gardens (Airlie Gardens by the Sea)
  • Ghost Walks (Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington)
  • Golf Courses (Magnolia Greens and Coastal Golf)
  • Historic Sites and Tours (3 Historic Mansions Open to The Public)
  • Holiday Events (holiday parades, Christmas by the Sea, Island of Lights)
  • Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours (Historic District)
  • Museums (Cape Fear Museum of History and Science; Cameron Art Museum; Wilmington Railroad Museum)
  • Music (including jazz and blues)
  • Nightlife (Satellite Bar & Lounge and Tavern Law)
  • Parks (Greenfield Lake Park and Hugh MacRae Park)
  • Performing Arts Center (The Wilson Center and Thalian Hall)
  • Plantation (Poplar Grove Historic Plantation)
  • Ports (a Coast Guard City that is home to USCGC Diligence)
  • Real Estate (they have 2 local realtor links)
  • Restaurants (like NeMa Lounge & Eatery, Elijah’s Seafood, and Caprice Bistro)
  • Running Trail (lots of trails to choose from)
  • Segway Tour (Historic Wilmington Segway Tours)
  • Shopping (The Cotton Exchange, Cape Fear Spice Merchants, Candles Etc.)
  • Theater (5 local theater groups performing year-round)
  • Trolley Tour (Wilmington Trolley Tours)
  • Universities (University of North Carolina-Wilmington)
  • Walks (Cape Fear River Walk)
  • Water Taxi and Water Tours (Wilmington Water Tours)
  • Wine Tastings (Fortunate Glass Wine Bar and Mon Ame)

Like many innkeepers do, Margi and Doug think of themselves as ambassadors to their city. They stay active in their community and welcome guests to visit them. They are open all year long. They set a great example for other innkeepers on how to feature your local community.

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