Category Archives: Books

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.

 

Everyday Joy: A Community Book Project with Donna Kozik

Everyday Joy: A Community Book Project, contributors include Kristi Dement

Hello, Kristi here. I had a wonderful opportunity to be part of Donna Kozik’s Community Book Project called “Everyday Joy.” Appropriately titled, we were asked to share a story having to do with anything that brings us every joy.

We are pleased it has already reached #1 best seller status for the category “Time Management in Business.” I can’t thank Donna enough for her words of encouragement to my fellow contributors and me throughout the process.

Everyday Joy is the most recent edition of her A Community Book Project series, where people come together to submit essays on a particular theme. In a weekend.

The everyday joys described include the subjects of children, pets, nature, travel, and in one case, bacon. My own essay centers around the everyday joy I receive from playing word games and solving word puzzles.

The inspirational essays, narratives, and insights hopefully will empower and uplift you, too, to be a more joyful being. Thank you for reading–and celebrating–everyday joy!

Innkeepers can make this book available to your guests to read during their stay with you. Everyone wants to think about joyful things when they are on a vacation. For your business guests, it will be a welcome break for them to read.

The beauty of a community book project like this is that we have many contributing writers, all with their own unique stories and perspectives of joy. We hope you find the book to be a joy to read.

Most innkeepers make a variety of books and magazines available on a variety of topics. This Everyday Joy book is filled with many subjects that will surely touch the hearts and lives of you and your guests.

If you are an innkeeper who has also published a book, I welcome you to comment below with your name, the name of your accommodations, and your book’s title in the comments below. Recently retired, Karen Pullen, the former innkeeper of Rosemary House Bed and Breakfast in Pittsboro, North Carolina, continues to be the talented author of several mystery fiction books including the Stella Lavendar mysteries series.

If you do happen to read the Everyday Joy book, feel free to comment below with your thoughts about it. Also, you can share the everyday joys you experience on a regular basis as an innkeeper.

Note: I receive Amazon Affiliate commissions from purchases made through Amazon links.

How To Keep The Attention of An Eager Audience

Book Cover: Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks next to a picture of him

Some people are just born natural storytellers. They know how to keep the attention of an eager audience. I can think of two close relatives who not only have great true stories to tell at family gatherings, but they know how to keep us interested throughout their telling of the story. The truth is, you don’t have to have over-the-top stories in order to be a good storyteller.

 

According to author Matthew Dicks (who has won multiple story telling competitions), in his book, Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through The Power of Storytelling, it is being able to identify “storyworthy” moments from your everyday life and to retell those meaningful moments in an effective way, that really matters.

Finding, crafting, and telling stories helps you connect with other people, including your guests. Marks of a good story will have the audience asking:

  • What does the storyteller want or need?
  • What is at peril?
  • What is the storyteller fighting for or against?
  • What will happen next?
  • How is this story going to turn out?

Matthew reveals five ways to keep your stories compelling:

  • The elephant: every story should have the thing that everyone in the room can see, a clear statement of the need/want/problem/peril/mystery; this signifies where the story is headed and keeps the attention of an eager audience; an excellent storyteller will make their audience think they are on one path and when they least expect it, show they have been on a different path all along
  • Backpacks: increase the stakes of the story by increasing the audience’s anticipation about a coming event (to load the audience up with all the storyteller’s hopes and fears in that moment) to make the audience wonder what will happen next AND to make your audience experience the same emotions the storyteller experienced in the moment about to be describe; the most effective stories describe when a plan does not work; while ultimately the audience wants to know their characters ultimately triumph, it is the struggle and strife that make stories great and keep the attention of an eager audience
  • Breadcrumbs: when we hint at  a future event, but only reveal enough to keep the audience guessing; choose the breadcrumbs that will create the most wonder in the minds of an audience without giving them enough to guess correctly; this is particularly effective when the truly unexpected is coming
  • Hourglasses: when the audience is hanging on every word, Matthew advises storytellers to drag out the wait as long as possible, including the unnecessary bit of summary to slow things down and raise the tension even further, it’s the final delay before the sentence that everyone is waiting for (this is when you flip the hourglass and let the sand run)
  • Crystal balls: a false prediction made by the storyteller to cause the audience to wonder if the prediction with prove to be true; during the telling of stories, we want our audience to know what we are thinking as well as what we are saying and doing

Matthew states that a great storyteller “creates a movie in the mind of the audience.” People should be able to see the story in their mind’s eye at all times. Always create the scene by setting every moment in a physical location.

In this book, Matthew uses several examples of telling a story the bland way and then the better way. A key way to tell a story is to add contrasting words that infuse a story with movement, momentum, and action. Instead of saying “and” all the time, use transition words including:

  • as a result
  • because
  • but
  • except
  • instead
  • so
  • therefore

The trick to telling a big story (about things that most people can’t relate to) is to find the small, relatable, understandable moments in our larger stories that people can connect to and comprehend. For example, your audience can always relate to not wanting to be embarrassed.

His strategies for preparing and enhancing a story are as follows:

  • Avoid thesis statements in storytelling (don’t say “this is a story about…”)
  • Heighten the contrast between the surprise and the moment before the surprise
  • Use stakes to increase the surprise
  • Avoid giving away the surprise to your story by hiding the importance of information that will pay off later (use other details and examples, and place those details as far away from the surprise as possible)

If possible, tell at least part of your story in the present tense. This allows others to picture it even easier. When we host or entertain our guests, we may tell stories. Use these tips to make what you tell more “storyworthy” and to keep the attention of an eager audience.

Note: I receive Amazon Affiliate commissions from purchases made through the Amazon link.

The Perfect Bed and Breakfast Books For Your Happy Guests

bed and breakfast books

 

Offer the perfect bed and breakfast books for your happy guests who love to read. Your bed and breakfast may house a small library or even a parlor or study with a large selection of books on your shelves.  If you are wondering what kind of books to make available, the following are some great suggestions:

 

  • Architecture: for readers interested in building and architectural styles

 

  • Arts and Photography: people love to look at art and photography, including books from your local museum

 

  • Biographies: especially of any legends about the people who live in your town or former tenants of your home or anyone famous in your area

 

  • Business: business travelers will appreciate books on business topics such as leadership

 

  • Computers and Technology:  including books about social media

 

  • Cooking: people may be looking for a new recipe–especially if it is your cookbook (that you have for sale)!

 

  • Crafts and Hobbies: scrapbooking enthusiasts as well as those who have other hobbies will like these types of books

 

  • Fiction: particularly if the setting in the book is in your local area or at a bed and breakfast inn, novels may really be attractive to your guests

 

  • Flora and fauna: for the garden lovers, horticultural experts, biologists, and green thumbs

 

  • Guidebooks: for guests who want to get to know your area and its attractions

 

  • Health and fitness: this could include books about eating and exercising

 

  • History books: many people love to read about history (especially the history of your location)

 

  • Home decorating: people who stay in bed and breakfasts usually appreciate home decor, art, and antiques

 

  • Humor and entertainment: these include humorous books by comedy professionals

 

  • Literature: classic literature lovers will be delighted to see books by Shakespeare or Jane Austen

 

  • Mystery, thriller, and suspense: Mary Daheim has a series of bed and breakfast mysteries that could interest your guests

 

  • Relationships: such as improving communication skills

 

  • Romance: keys to keeping the romance alive

 

  • Science fiction and fantasy: including time travel and virtual worlds

 

  • Sports and outdoors: books based on what guests can do at your inn such as fishing, hunting, golfing, skiing, and more

 

  • Success books: people love reading about having success, achieving more, and reaching their dreams

 

  • Travel:  books specific to your local area or your state will help guests make choices on what to do during their stay

 

You need not spend a lot of money if you do not already have a wide collection of books.There are plenty of good used bookstores and even yard sales that sell them.

 

Having good reading material for your guest helps them remember their stay at your bed and breakfast even more fondly.  See the B&B Books listed for a great selection of Bed and Breakfast related books!

 

 

Note: I receive Amazon Affiliate commissions from purchases made through these Amazon links.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography