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.

 

Did You See “Falling Inn Love” The Movie?

Netflix Movie "Falling Inn Love"

 

At the time of this writing, there is a new movie called, “Falling Inn Love” that is streaming on Netflix. It is an American romantic comedy film directed by Roger Kumble. From a screenplay by Elizabeth Hackett and Hilary Galanoy that was released on August 29, 2019. The movie stars Christina Milian and Adam Demos.

 

Meet Gabby

A busy professional woman named Gabby Diaz, from San Francisco, wins a bed and breakfast in an essay contest. Since she lost her job and left her boyfriend, her hopes lift after the news of earning this prize. However, the inn is located all the way over in New Zealand.

After three bus rides, she sets her suitcase down on a steep gravel road and it crashes into the truck of a guy willing to give her a ride. She declines his help. When she finally gets there, it is nothing like the picture shown in the contest. As she is touring this place (in much need of repair) she hears a strange noise coming from inside a closet. When she opens the closet, she is shocked to see a goat she later learns is named Gilbert.

Meet Jake

Gabby is an independent woman and is reluctant to receive help fixing up her place. However, being low on funds, she makes an agreement with an attractive contractor named Jake Taylor (who happens to be the same person that offered her a ride earlier).  Sadly, Jake’s girlfriend died a few years ago so he is also single. They keep running into each other in town. He teases that she is following him.

Their Renovating Challenges

Together they make an agreement to restore the inn and split the profits. Of course, it would not be a very good story, if the characters did not have even more challenges. Her challenges include a local innkeeper wanting to buy her inn, having differences of opinion with Jake about the restoration of the inn, and her former boyfriend surprising her with a visit and bringing along another prospective buyer.

Along the way, as she gets to know more about Jake, she also grows closer to the helpful people in the town. Not being from New Zealand, she hears several interesting phrases and learns she is driving on the wrong side of the road! I highly recommend this movie if you like romantic, feel-good movies. The “Falling Inn Love” movie is rated PG and is 98 minutes.

 

How To Increase Your Revenue and Improve Your Results

Inside of cabin with brown wrap around coach, stone by wood burning fireplace

 

 

Do you know what your ideal guests want? Who are you trying to attract to stay at your inn? The more you understand about who you want to serve, the better you become at meeting their specific needs.

Know What Your Guests Love About You and Your Inn

Are you getting their attention with the headlines you use? What do you receive the most compliments about from your guests? Be sure to feature what you know guests love.

The Benefits Of Frequent Guests and Guest Referrals

It is much easier to host returning guests than to find new guests. Do you offer incentives for frequent stays? Do you reward guests who refer you new business? This could be complimentary room upgrades and other incentives.

There Are Other Ways To Earn Money (Besides Overnight Stays)

Do you offer more than just the option of staying overnight? There are other ways of earning additional money. Why limit your hospitality earning potential?

Earn More By Offering Related Guest Products

You can offer additional related products and services to “up-sell” your guests. Of course, they have to really want what you offer. The best way to know what your guests want, is to ask them directly!

Increase Your Income With Guest Packages

Be sure to show professional pictures of each item for sale or that comes as part of a package. Guest packages can be centered around activities, specific themes, special occasions, and the four seasons. Think about what your guests like to do and the common reasons for their visit.

Host Events and Groups To Boost Your Earnings

You can also host private events and groups. Do you have enough space to host weddings and/or private local groups? The more details you can provide, the more inquiries you will receive.

Most People Buy Based Upon Their Emotions (Not Logic)

Do you tap into their fear of missing out? Most people making purchasing decisions based on their emotions. Expiration dates motivate!

Share Content That People Can Connect With

Do you provide them with enough content (blog posts, emails, website information, social media) to convince them that your place is the next place they want to visit? Share inspiring stories.

Prominently Feature Your Guest Testimonials

Do you feature guest testimonials on your website and in your social media? People put more stock into what previous guests say about you than what you say about you. That is why online review sites are so popular.

In Summary

The more of these suggestions you implement, the greater your odds of hospitality success. You can become the go-to accommodations in your local area.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

How To Effectively Market Your Bed and Breakfast

Guest room with large bed, fireplace, windows, ceiling fan, view of outdoor area beyond the room

 

 

Wonder how to effectively market your B&B inn? You’re not alone. More and more innkeepers are realizing that in order to effectively market their bed and breakfast, they need the outside help of hospitality marketing professionals.

 

There are, of course, B&B owners that do a wonderful job marketing themselves. One of the best examples is Chloe Tuttle, Owner and Innkeeper of Big Mill Bed & Breakfast in Williamston, North Carolina. Chloe shares her own photographs (which include pictures of the bountiful produce and gorgeous flowers she grows). She writes Chloe’s Blog, and she makes her own recipes that she writes about in her blog posts. She also takes the time to let potential guests know what they can expect from a stay at her place.

Chloe is active on social media. In addition, she even gives her website visitors the opportunity to enter their email address to, “Sign up for Updates from Chloe at Big Mill B&B” and Get updates of happenings on the farm, recipes and things to do in eastern N.C.”

However, it is perfectly reasonable to want to focus on taking care of your guests and handling the administrative and operations parts of your business. If you are frustrated with marketing (or simply lack the time or interest to effectively market), hiring an outside expert may be exactly what you need.

A good hospitality marketer will make sure that you making the most with your website, your blog, email marketing, social media, advertising, and other promotions. An outside perspective can help you better see things from your guests’ perspective. They may share some great ideas that help your marketing take off.

These are all great ideas that B&B marketers should recommend that innkeepers do:

  • Join one or more hospitality associations for networking, education, and added credibility
  • Make sure your website is mobile responsive (it adjusts to the size of whatever device it is being viewed from)
  • Make sure your website is (https://) secure meaning that your data is encrypted and it has a firewall to protect it from hackers and viruses
  • Show plenty of professional photographs (of all areas that guests can access, make sure to have great lighting, and good photographers use props such as coffee mugs and blankets)
  • All photography on your website should be “pinnable” meaning that a visitor to your website can easily pin your images to their Pinterest account (millions of people use Pinterest)
  • Be sure to have social media icons on your website so that people can find you on social media. Bonus points if your social media handles match across networks.
  • Make sure your booking engine (your website reservation software) is easily accessible via your website (and the two work seamlessly together)
  • Prominently display your B&B name, city, location, phone number, and email address on your website
  • Be consistently active across a variety of social media websites. See my blog post about social media content themes. It is always good to share different types of content.
  • Your blog should feature the best about your inn, your local area (including other local businesses), and your local events (especially those that happen every year)
  • Be sure to have a thoroughly filled out About Us website page
  • Seek permission from each of your guests to add them to your email list, then they will continue to receive regular updates
  • Remember that innkeepers are not limited to earning income solely from overnight stays. There are plenty of extra things you can do to boost your income (such as offer packages, host events, and have a B&B shop, restaurant, tea room, and/or spa)
  • Encourage happy guests to give you a review online. Be sure to respond in a timely manner to anyone who leaves your inn an online review.
  • Reward your guests with a frequent stay and/or guest referral program.
  • Be sure to present your inn as a consistent brand (this includes your logo, your messaging, your topics of focus, and more).

If you are looking to hire a B&B marketing professional to effectively market your inn, Kristi Dement is available for a free 20-minute phone call. Contact Kristi and set up a phone appointment today.

I have been helping inns with their marketing since 2013. I am also the Marketing Director of Bed & Breakfast Magazine. I will be launching Retreat Business Academy with my partner (and Retreats Expert) Kirsten Polman in the next month. I will share more details as the time nears.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

What You Need To Know About Conversation Marketing

Conversation Marketing Book Cover alongside words: listening, feedback, like, and trust

This post is based on the excellent book, Conversation Marketing: How To Be Relevant and Engage Your Customer By Speaking Human by Kevin Lund. You can deliver the right kind of content to the right audience at the right time when you have a deeper understanding of who they are, what they want to talk about, and how they want to be spoken to.

 

Conversation marketing adds value to your business. It promotes engagement since it allows you to connect with your customers on a deeper level. It adds a personal touch since you can make your customer feel valued, special, and appreciated. It also maximizes conversions by letting you develop a lasting connection which ensures that they respond positively to your product or service. According to Lund, when customers trust a brand, they automatically gravitate toward the company.

This book discusses 10 ways to be relevant, engage your customer, and speak human to them. We will briefly look at each way.

How You Can Earn Attention For Your Brand

  • Develop your brand’s voice: your brand’s content personality and style
  • Choose your brand’s tone: your brand’s attitude; be interesting and engaging
  • Be clear: plain, use language your audience will understand
  • Be clever: memorable, amusing, heartfelt, and/or captivating
  • Be concise: sometimes it is the shorter messages that have more impact
  • Be consistent: your brand voice and tone should be consistent for your audience
  • Regularly publish: useful, memorable, and shareable content

Tell A Story

Good storytelling lets you hold someone’s attention long enough to break down a topic, engender his or her trust, so that he or she remembers you and is left feeling smarter. Good storytelling presents facts in a compelling and meaningful way. Benefits to telling stories:

  • Translates complex data through a narrative lens: appeal to their mind and heart through feelings and emotions, not facts and data
  • No one can argue with a story: a story is processed completely different than data
  • A story elicits an emotional response: they remember how you made them feel
  • A story touches the hearts of the audience: we are reminded in a positive way every time we hear it

Stay Humble

  • Be approachable and relatable
  • Focus on your audience’s pain points
  • Know your product/service/industry
  • Do not talk about yourself
  • Don’t pitch–teach
  • Show how your company makes a difference in the lives of others
  • Write to your audience to address their needs

Pick Your Party

Content is created to attract and retrain your customers. Conversational content includes: blogs, videos, social media, podcasts, native advertising, digital newsletters, white papers, print magazines, digital magazines, books, e-books, and webinars. The audience is your first priority. Stay focused on their needs. Be able to answer the following questions:

  • What are we trying to accomplish?
  • How do we want to get there?
  • Where are our customers hanging out?

Be Relevant on a Molecular Level

  • Make sure you are talking about topics that interest your audience
  • Address their pain points in a language they understand
  • Make sure relevant content gets to each individual at the right time and place
  • When you solve problems and provide easy-to-find answers, you’ve become a resource to them
  • Build an audience with good, relevant content
  • Give that audience a reason to buy from you
  • Know how you can address, answer, or solve their pain point in a relevant, unique, and useful way

Open Up and Listen

  • To be a good conversationalist, you have to be a good listener
  • Listening validates the other person
  • What do customers/prospects need right now?
  • What are the topics they want to talk about?
  • What is being said about your brand?
  • What are your audience’s pain points?
  • How can you take care of their needs right now?
  • How can you make them feel connected to you?

Start the Conversation

  • What is your unique selling point to your audience?
  • What does your target audience need to know about right now?
  • How can I talk about it in a way that hasn’t already been talked about?
  • What do you want them to do?
  • Captivate your audience with content that explains how to accomplish one task activity, goal, or result

Know When to Stop Talking

  • Know what your audience is saying, not saying, and what needs to change
  • Use tools like Google Analytics and Hootsuite
  • Look at blog and video comments and survey responses
  • Interpret the data correctly, make sure you have enough responses

Get Your Customer Involved

  • Find influencers, fans, and brand ambassadors
  • Generate content from fans and customers
  • Monitor what customers say online and respond
  • Always respond to what is being said by your customers
  • Encourage them to share your content

Ditch the Checklist

  • Ask bigger questions about your company and their ultimate goals
  • Make sure your unique marketing strategies align with a deeper motivate than earning money
  • Every brand has its own personality and mission
  • The mission needs to be a goal, task, or endeavor you feel passionate about and are willing to stand by
  • Forget about what everyone else is doing
  • No two content marketing strategies will work exactly the same
  • The difference today often comes down to content

I highly recommend this book since it shares excellent examples of real companies and brands. Their successes as well as lessons learned. How can you relate more to your guests? What kind of content are they looking for? How can you stand out from other accommodations? What are your guests saying about you online? These are all important answers to learn for the success of your hospitality business.

Feel free to comment below about what you found to be most helpful from reading this. Also, if you have any questions, I am happy to respond.

 

This Is How Powerful Signature Stories Attract More Business

book cover Creating Signature Stories, signature of Picasso, What's Your Story written in chalk

 

Powerful signature stories come from telling stories with a strategic message. They are powerful because they attract more business to you. This post features the book, Creating Signature Stories: Strategic Messaging That Persuades, Energizes, and Inspires by David Aaker.

Why Stories?

Stories are much easier to remember than facts. They also apply meaning to facts. They tell you why you should care about something. Stories make your messages come alive. Stories allow you to gain exposure, activate social media, and be remembered.

Communicating strategic messages can be difficult in this age of information overload. Stories provide interest, add authenticity, and raise credibility. The story’s heroes and plot become the focus. Stories provide a way to break through distractions and disinterest. Audiences take notice when stories are told.

Signature stories are an enduring asset continuing to provide direction. A strategic message to your audience. Stories are narratives that portray actual or fictitious events and experiences. Signature stories grab attention, support a strategic message that clarifies or enhances the brand vision, customer relationship, organizational values, and/or present and future business strategy.

Criteria of Stories

Stories stimulate work-of-mouth communication both personal and via social media. Signature stories must meet four criteria:

  • Be intriguing or fascinating: the story needs to grab attention
  • Be authentic: authenticity means the audience does not perceive the story to be phony, contrived, or as a transparent effort to sell
  • Are involving: means the audience is drawn into the story, empathizes with characters, the plot becomes important, and it encourages a cognitive, emotional and/or behavior response
  • Have a strategic message: connects the brand to the signature story

6 Ways Brands Can Connect Their Message to Stories

According to Mr. Aaker, there are several ways the brand can connect their message to the signature story. I list the book’s example along with a way for hospitality businesses to apply the same method.

  • Brand as hero: when you recall the story you recall the brand
    • Example: Blendtec company has popular “Will it blend?” videos with unusual items to put in a blender (one of the most popular was them blending an i-pod!)
    • B&B Application: have a photo contest on Facebook, encouraging followers to post pictures related to a theme (such as nature) and offer one free night’s stay for two at your inn (or some other meaningful reward) to the picture that best captures what you are looking for (be sure to specify the rules in advance and you may want to appoint outside judges to determine the winner)
  • Brand surrogate as hero: the hero can be something very close to the brand
    • Example: Budweiser Clydesdale stories (horses are an accepted symbol of the brand)
    • B&B Application: tie something related to your name into your advertising and/or logo (Rosemary House Bed and Breakfast in Pittsboro, North Carolina has an image of rosemary spice in their logo, the herb of friendship and remembrance)
  • Story reflects passion of customer base: a shared value
    • Example: the Molson brand demonstrated their passion for hockey by building an ice rink in the mountains
    • B&B Application: share pictures of projects (renovations, gardening, etc.) that you completed at your inn in social media (and mention how beneficial staying at your place is for people who also like to work hard)
  • Supporting programs that carry brand name: events that have special meaning
    • Example: Avon’s Walk to End Breast Cancer (featuring personal stories about the event)
    • B&B Application: become a sponsor of a local event so your name is listed in its promotion (it’s more meaningful if you have a personal connection to the event)
  • Prominent display of brand as a story sponsor: putting the brand name on the story
    • Example: the Always brand is prominent during their stories
    • B&B Application: become featured in a magazine and share stories of people in your local community who make a difference in the lives of others (and share how you came to know this person)
  • Adjacent communication: stories featured alongside the brand
    • Example: Charles Schwab commercials played alongside the “Person Who Changed My Life” stories
    • B&B Application: (with each guests’ permission) write a blog post featuring meaningful stories told to you by your guests (you do not have to share their last name) and connect it to your inn

Benefits of Telling Signature Stories

Powerful signature stories take stories to the next level. They are persuasive, inspiring, and they stimulate others to act. Signature stories elevate brands and they persuade without lecturing. Signature stories can help change the conversation when a brand is in a crisis. Signature stories are vehicles to promote the strategic message. Aaker states that an organization must be story friendly.

Do you use storytelling to promote your hospitality business? If so, please comment below.

 

5 New Bed and Breakfast Novels Your Guests Will Love

Book Covers: Inn at Hidden Run, Magnolia Inn, Peach Clobbered, Seeing Red, Summer HouseIntroducing five new bed and breakfast novels your guests are sure to love. All of these books are centered around B&B businesses. Plots include discovering family histories, chasing killers, reading about secrets, falling in love, and uncovering other mysteries. It is always good to have books available for guests to read. You already know they love inns!

 

The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport (Book #1 Tree of Life)

A father-daughter genealogy team link present to past on family trees. Meri’s family has been producing doctors for so many generations that no one remembers why, so when she flunks out of medical school, she runs as far from her parents as she can get. In the small town of Canyon Mines, Colorado, she takes a job at the Inn at Hidden Run B&B. And waits. It’s only a matter of time. What she doesn’t count on is genealogist Jillian Parisi-Duffy and her father, Nolan, having her back when it takes everything she has not to bolt again but to stay and face the truth that only unfolding her family’s history will reveal. While Nolan works on keeping Meri calm–and in town–Jillian pulls out of her gems of information she doesn’t know she has and arranges the puzzle pieces. But none of that changes the fact that Meri’s family is closing in to haul her back to her “real” life. When their arrival inflames tensions and Meri finally does bolt, Nolan and Jillian may be out of time.

The Magnolia Inn by Carolyn Brown

A #1 Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller. New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown brings together two wounded hearts in a Texas romance of second chances and twice-in-a-lifetime true love. Inheriting the Magnolia Inn, a Victorian home nestled in the East Texas pines, is a fantasy come true for Jolene Broussard. After living with the guilt of failing to rescue her self-destructive mother, Jolene knows her aunt and uncle’s B&B is the perfect jump start for a new life and a comforting place to call home. There’s just one hitch: stubborn and moody carpenter Tucker Malone. He’s got a half interest in the Magnolia Inn, and he’s planting his dusty cowboy boots squarely in the middle of her dream. Ever since his wife’s death, Tucker’s own guilt and demons have left him as guarded as Jolene. The last thing he expects is for his new partner to stir something inside him he thought was gone forever. And as wary as Jolene is, she may have found a kindred spirit–someone she can help, and someone she can hold on to. Restoring Magnolia Inn is the first step toward restoring their hearts. Will they be able to let go of the past and trust each other to do it together again?

Peach Clobbered by Anna Gerard (A Georgia B&B Mystery)

What’s black and white and dead all over? Georgia bed and breakfast proprietor Nina Fleet finds out when she comes across a corpse in a penguin costume. Nina Fleet’s life ought to be as sweet as a Georgia peach. Awarded a tiny sum in her divorce, Nina retired at 41 to a historic Queen Anne house in quaint Cymbeline, Georgia. But Nina’s barely settled into her new B&B-to-be when a penguin shows up on her porch. Or, at least, a man wearing a penguin suit. Harry Westcott is making ends meet as an ice cream shop’s mascot and has a letter from his great-aunt, pledging to leave him the house. Too bad that’s not what her will says. Meanwhile, the Sisters of Perpetual Poverty have lost their lease. Real estate developer Gregory Bainbridge intends to turn the convent into a golfing community, so Cymbeline’s mayor persuades Nina to take in the elderly nuns. And then Nina finds the “penguin” again, this time lying in an ally with a kitchen knife in his chest. A peek under the beak tells Nina it’s not Harry inside the costume, but Bainbridge. What was he doing in Harry’s penguin suit? Was the developer really the intended victim, or did the culprit intend to kill Harry? Whoever is out to stop Harry from contesting the sale of his great-aunt’s house may also be after Nina, so she teams up with him to cage the killer before someone clips her wings.

Seeing Red by Dana Dratch (A Red Herring Mystery)

If it wasn’t for art thieves, spies, and killers, Alex Vlodnachek’s life would be bliss. Her freelance career is catching fire. Her relationship with B&B owner Ian Sterling is flirty and fun. She’s even attending a glittering cocktail party at his sprawling Victorian inn. But, to this ex-reporter, something seems “off.” When Ian’s father vanishes, the enigmatic innkeeper asks for her discretion, And her assistance. Meanwhile, Alex is having the opposite problem at her tiny bungalow. People keep piling in uninvited. Including a mysterious intruder found sleeping in her kitchen. Her grandmother, Baba, who shows up “to help”–with Alex’s own mother hot on her heels. When the intrepid redhead discovers a body in the B&B’s basement and a “reproduction” Renoir in the library, she begins to suspect that Ian is more than just a simple hotel owner. With editor pal Trip, brother Nick, and rescue-pup Lucy riding shotgun, Alex scrambles to stay one step ahead of disaster–and some very nasty characters. Can she find the missing man before it’s too late? Or will Alex be the next one to disappear?

The Summer House by Jenny Hale

From this USA Today bestselling author comes a delightful read about friendship, family, and the healing power of love. Callie Weaver and her best friend, Olivia Dixon, have finally done it: put their life savings into the beach house they admired through childhood summers, on the dazzling white sand of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. They’re going to buff the salt from its windows, paint it’s sun-bleached sidings, and open it as a bed and breakfast. Callie’s too busy to think about her love life, but when she catches the attention of local heartthrob Luke Sullivan, his blue eyes and easy smile make it hard to say no. He’s heir to his father’s real estate empire, and the papers say he’s just another playboy. But as they laugh in the ocean waves, Callie realizes there’s more to this man than money and good looks. Just when true happiness seems within reach, Callie and Olivia find a diary full of secrets…secrets that stretch across the island and have the power to turn lives upside down. As Callie reads, she unravels a mystery that makes her heart drop through the floor. Will Callie and Luke be pulled apart by the storm the diary unleashes, or can true love save them?

If you have a common room that is perfect for guests to read in, consider having a library of books available for them to read during their stay. Books like these five new bed and breakfast novels. See our blog post about the perfect bed and breakfast books for guests. Happy reading, to you and your guests! Feel free to comment below with your own B&B book recommendation!

 

How You Can Offer Popular Guest Room Amenities

popular guest room amenities

 

Popular guest room amenities attract potential bed and breakfast guests.  Bed and breakfast guests are willing to pay more for bedrooms offering more amenities. In fact, some guest reviewers mention the amenities they enjoyed during their stay (which attracts more guests to stay at your inn).

 

Some bed and breakfasts have a room comparison chart that lists the guest room amenities available and then puts a dot or check by the amenities that correspond with each particular guest room.  This makes it easy for online visitors to see a room comparison and the price differences since there may be some rooms that have more amenities than others within the same bed and breakfast.

The amenities bed and breakfasts offer often depend upon the location and size of each bed and breakfast.  Geographical location plays a role in choosing guest room amenities (fireplaces usually more common in climates with cooler weather).  Likewise, the size of the bed and breakfast matters.  Typically the more rooms an inn has, the higher the likelihood of upscale amenities.

The amenities at bed and breakfasts range from small things (like an alarm clock and stationery) to big things (like wi-fi internet access and a large flat screen television). There are certain amenities that are usually standard.  For example, almost every bed and breakfast offers a private bathroom to their guests.

Other amenities in bedrooms are less common place.  For example, in-room hot tubs are seen as an added luxury.  This is typically found in bed and breakfasts that cater to those seeking a romantic destination.

The following is an alphabetical list of some guest bedroom amenities and features your bed and breakfast may offer:

  • Alarm clock radio
  • Antiques
  • Bathroom (private and connected)
  • Beds (oversized and comfortable)
  • Bedside table on each side of the bed
  • Blankets (extra)
  • Books
  • Bottled water
  • Ceiling fan(s)
  • Chairs
  • Chocolates
  • Coffee maker
  • Coasters
  • Coat rack
  • Comforters (extra)
  • Desk
  • DVD player
  • Ear plugs
  • Evening sweet treat
  • Fireplace (hand carved wood or marble)
  • Flowers
  • Furniture (such as antique or leather)
  • Guidebook with local maps and restaurant menus
  • Hair dryer
  • Handicap accessible amenities
  • Hangers
  • Hot tubs
  • Ice bucket and glassware
  • Individual climate control
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Lamps (such as Tiffany lamps)
  • Lighted make-up mirror
  • Luggage racks
  • Magazines
  • Microwave
  • Mini-Bar
  • Mini-Fridge
  • Mints
  • Mirror (full length)
  • Outlets with USB ports
  • Pillows (extra)
  • Pictures
  • Plants
  • Postcards
  • Private balcony, deck, patio, porch, or veranda
  • Private entrance
  • Reading lamps
  • Refrigerator (small)
  • Robes
  • Rose petals on your bed
  • Rugs
  • Separate sitting area
  • Sink (in the bedroom)
  • Slippers
  • Snacks or evening dessert in your room
  • Sofas
  • Stationery
  • Table
  • Tablet computer (stays in the room)
  • Technology charging stations
  • Television (large flat screen) with premium cable channels
  • Windows showing a breathtaking view
  • Wine and cheese
  • Wireless internet access (complimentary)

We wrote a separate blog post about guest bathroom amenities. Bed and breakfasts may suggest a packing list to help their guests prepare for their visit.

Bed and breakfasts are wise to point out exactly everything that is included in the stay at their luxurious bed and breakfast versus what guests may have to pay for if they chose to stay at a hotel (concierge, breakfast, parking, free wi-fi, wine and cheese, and much more).  By offering popular guest room amenities, bed and breakfasts can separate themselves from other lodging destinations and host more guests.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

 

« Older Entries