Tag Archives: passion

How To Be An Irresistible Brand With Loyal Fans

Fanocracy book cover 100% satisfaction guaranteed stamp

 

Loyal fans return again and again to see the people and places they love. This post features the book Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans by David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott. The authors argue that business success comes from creating fans of your business. Moreover, creating fans means building personal relationships with your customers.

 

Build Personal Relationships

“To be successful in a world where fans rule, we must be convinced that relationships with customers are more important than the products or services we sell to them.”

The way we do that, is by taking a genuine interest in the things our customers love. Anticipating their needs and wants.

Be Within Close Proximity

Face-to-face interactions (being within close proximity) increases the likelihood of building relationships with others. In fact, according to the authors, participants in book clubs often enjoy one another’s company more than the books they discuss.

When someone asks to take a “selfie” with you, this allows you to become closer in proximity.

“Fans share their experiences because they’re motivated, inspired, and excited.”

Love Your Fans

When you love on your fans, they will love you back. They will become loyal fans.

“When brands design to understand their customer, to solve their problems, to meet their needs, to delight them on every front they can within reason, then the outcome will almost invariably be customer loyalty and advocacy.”

According to the authors, people are going to talk about your business no matter what. That is the hyper-connected world we live in. In hospitality, that is why potential guests read reviews from past guests.

Give Unexpected Gifts

“When we give to others rather than take, we develop a fanocracy.”

Giving unexpected gifts is just one way to wow your guests. Gifts build fans and result in people sharing on social media and in person to their friends. Those gifts are often so unexpected that we can’t help but talk about it with others. You receive high praise from your loyal fans.

Become Part of Their Identity

“When someone takes ownership of a brand they love, it becomes part of their identity.”

Brands can be powerful ways of identifying ourselves to others. People care about expressing themselves as individuals. They can take a popular product and somehow make it their own.

When customers have the chance to establish an emotion bond with others as a result of doing business with you, it sticks. They feel compelled to experience it again and tell others about the fantastic experience you gave them.

Reveal Behind The Scenes

Being shown what’s behind the scenes makes the experience more memorable. Giving people an opportunity to experience what most people don’t see is good business.

“Treating your fans as part of the family leads to your fanocracy.”

That is the power of providing guests with memorable experiences that last a lifetime.

“Fanocracy brings like-minded people together to celebrate what they love.”

A great way to create love for what you do is to figure out ways to let guests into your world. Allow them to create their own experience or be an important part of what you do.

Successful businesses understand their customers and the problems they face. Moreover, they know how what they offer helps solve their problems.

Share Your Passion

We all have passion inside each of us. What ignites that passion is different for each one of us. Your relationship with your guests starts with your curiosity about them. Listening to their stories can make all the difference. You develop loyal fans.

“Building trust is an essential ingredient in creating a fanocracy.”

Tell The Truth To Build Trust

When you engage with fans, you should always tell the truth. They deserve to know what’s happening. Be clear and specific. Maintaining transparency is key to building your relationship. They will honor and respect you when you are open about making a mistake.

“Be consistent in your behavior and you can win the trust of your customers.”

Continue to engage with followers on social media–especially when things go wrong. According to the authors, when your fans know you are always open and honest, especially when you make a mistake, they honor and respect you for that and are eager to do business with you.

Develop Loyal Fans

Thus, it all starts with developing loyal fans. Think about how you can put yourself in close proximity with others who share your same interests.

“There are infinite ways to weave our own passions into our lives to be more successful and happier in the work we do.”

People who find it easy to be inspired are those who go above and beyond to make things happen. Passionate people get excited about the future. Energy that your loyal fans create can be massive and powerful. As a result, people who share their passions with others create richer and more fulfilling lives. “Fandoms” can bring you closers to your customers, your friends, and your family.

 

Why Passion Can Make You Irresistible To Guests

the passion economy book cover next to a success welcome sign

Passion can make or break any business. Author Adam Davidson wrote the book, The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the 21st Century.

He argues that where we have both passion and ability should determine our pursuits. When we find something we love to do and that we do well, then we need to find the people (or guests) who most want that.

Value and Price

We need to create value that can’t easily be copied. The passion economy is about the quality we offer (which cannot be mass produced).

Moreover, he asserts that the price we charge should match the value we provide. Our products and services should be so special to guests that there is no obvious reference point with which they can compare.

First, Davidson advises that we imagine doubling our prices/rate. Second, we should think about what we would need to do (in order to deserve twice as much). We must understand what we offer that provides the most value.

Value pricing requires selling to the right people (the right guests). As you develop a reputation among your target customer base, more guests will reach out to you.

Your Story

You can (and should) tell the story of why you do what you do. Davidson claims that passion is story and that your story should be told in every detail of your business. Focus on the core value you create.

By definition, a passion business stands out from the competition. For that uniqueness, you can charge a higher price. Telling your story can be an inspiration to others.

Your Niche

Your passion can be your bed and breakfast niche. This passion can be based on activities and interests that you do for pleasure and that you’re talented at doing.

You can teach classes, host retreats, or offer guest packages that involve your both your interests and talents. The potential guests who share your unique passions, will be drawn to your place of hospitality.

Possibilities

By no means would I ever attempt to come up with an exhaustive list of hobbies that be incorporated into your hospitality business. However, I do want to share some ideas, as a starting point:

  • Acting
  • Adventure
  • Art
  • Astronomy
  • Baking
  • Bird watching
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Calligraphy
  • Card making
  • Cooking
  • Fashion
  • Fishing
  • Flower arranging
  • Furniture building
  • Games
  • Gardening
  • Geo caching
  • Golfing
  • Hiking
  • Historic tours
  • Jewelry making
  • Karate
  • Karaoke
  • Movies
  • Photography
  • Reading
  • Scrap booking
  • Soap making
  • Quilting
  • Wine making
  • Wood turning
  • Writing
  • Yoga

Of course, innkeepers need not go it alone. Bringing in outside experts (as long as there is large enough interest and you can afford to compensate them) is always an option.

Passion Adds To Your Appeal

Guests who share the same passions, interests, and hobbies will start to come to you IF they know about you. This is why having the right marketing is essential to your hospitality business.

Blogging, email marketing, and social media marketing should align to spread the word. Consider adding a web page to introduce your new classes, retreats, or guest packages.

Your passion will attract those guests who enjoy similar activities and pastimes. This goes a long way in becoming irresistible to your target audience.

 

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.

 

The Power of Visual Storytelling: Twitter

visual storytelling Twitter

The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand is a fantastic online marketing book for businesses.  Authors Ekaterina Walter (@Ekaterina)and Jessica Gioglio (@savvybostonian) do an excellent job of giving practical advice that businesses can apply to better market themselves online.  This particular blog post focuses on what the authors tell us about Twitter.

 

Twitter is an innovative marketing tool as well as a keen way for businesses to connect with their audiences and provide quality customer service.  In fact, of all the social media platforms, Twitter is currently the most popular with Fortune Global 100 Companies.

Super Twitter Statistics:

  • More than half of all links shared on Twitter are images
  • Over 460,000 accounts are created every day
  • 20.6 million adults in the United States access Twitter at least once a month
  • 177 million tweets are sent every day
  • 24% of Twitter users check Twitter at least once a day
  • 54% of Twitter users are male and 46% are female
  • 46% of users are aged 18-34, so a high percentage of young people
  • 67% of users more likely to buy products from brands they follow on Twitter

Smart Twitter Capabilities:

  • Companies that use Twitter gain twice the number of leads each month that their non-tweeting counterparts
  • Twitter cards make it possible to attached media experiences to tweet that link to your content
  • Tweets that link to participating websites can be expanded by users to show a whole range of media
  • If you add the code on your own site, you can determine what sort of content will be shown by a Twitter link
  • Users interested in a particular offer or promotion will be able to fill out a field on the card
  • That field links their existing information, allowing them to quickly register

Savvy Twitter Strategies:

  • Develop your company’s voice
  • Tweet around several key passion points
  • Provide company news and updates
  • Offer unique deals to your Twitter followers
  • Give your clients (and potential clients) excellent customer service
  • Know what you want your followers to associate with your brand
  • Give them reasons to follow your company
  • The photos and videos you share should integrate with your overall strategy
  • Show a more relaxed side to your brand
  • Each tweet should be able to be understood on its own
  • Mix up your content
  • Ask questions to spark conversations
  • Use links to articles, photos, videos, and blog posts
  • Retweet your followers
  • Find out what your followers are interested in and share that
  • Use hashtags (#) to join in bigger conversations on a topic or start your own (#)
  • Use calls to action including RT (retweet)
  • Consider the locations and time zones of your audience
  • Use Promoted Tweet or Trend features to support your key messages

Given the popularity of Twitter and its capabilities, it makes sense for businesses to follow these social media strategies in order to promote their business and provide excellent customer service.  A special thank you to authors Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio for letting me share some of the content in their book.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Fun Bed and Breakfast Retreats

fun bed and breakfast retreats

I went online to BnB Finder to search for bed and breakfasts and to my pleasant surprise, I found some fun bed and breakfast retreats. These retreats include a board game tournament, a night walk, private art classes, and a literary weekend.  Typically, most bed and breakfasts do not offer these kinds of special retreats which makes these bed and breakfasts all the more attractive. Read on for more retreat ideas that you can apply to grow your own B&B business.

 

In Saugatuck, Michigan (near where I grew up in Holland, Michigan) at Sherwood Forest Bed and Breakfast they offer a Monopoly Tournament from November through April. If the entire B&B is booked, they promise to organize the “hippest” Monopoly Tournament ever played! The winner receives a complete set of Sherwood Forest Gear.  Lunch will be catered. This offer may expire at the end of this year.  Call for details at 800-838-1246. This reminds me of my Pinterest Board called Bed and Breakfast Games which features different board games and game rooms at various bed and breakfasts.

In the Saratoga Region of New York at Mariaville Lake Bed and Breakfast, they offer a Night Walk for a small extra fee.  This B&B invites guests to take a walk, guided by the innkeeper, to experience the full night sky. Guests will use a night vision scope and will be amazed at what they can see such as beavers working hard at their famous beaver pond. Advance notice is required and subject to availability and weather conditions. The offer may expire at the end of this year.  Contact the innkeeper for more details.

In the Hudson Valley Region of New York, at the Pine Bush House, they offer Stay and Paint private art classes with local artist Lana Privitera.  Originally from Spain, Lana graduated from the Fine Arts School of Zaragoza, where she majored in Fashion Design and Art History. Lana has won numerous art awards.  She is the current Art Curator for the Pine Bush Public Library.  A sampling of her work can be found on her website.

Currently, there are one day and two day Watercolor Workshops (four hours each) available and all tailored to suit individual needs, taste, and ability.  Supplies loaned by the instructor, but guests have the opportunity to purchase.  Guests receive one FREE double white mat and backing piece (plus an acetate sleeve to protect their “masterpiece”).  A list of art material suppliers as well as recommended art books will be provided.

Contact Lana Privitera at lanaprivitera@gmail.com or Barbara at barbara@pinebushhouse.com for detailed pricing! Discounts available if staying two or more nights.  This opportunity is available at least through June 20, 2015.

In lovely Vermont, The Governor’s House in Hyde Park offers Jane Austen Weekends full of literary-inspired diversions.  Quietly slip back into Regency England in a beautiful historic mansion.  Take afternoon tea.  Share your thoughts at a book discussion.  Attend an informal talk over desserts. Test your knowledge at the quiz brunch and possibly take home a prize.

Take a carriage ride or sleigh ride (depending upon the season).  Join every activity or simply spend the weekend watching the movies. Try English country dancing. Dress in whichever century suits you. Jane Austen fans unite!

Examples of bed and breakfast retreats, special packages, and events include:

Innkeepers are only limited by their imagination.  So get creative and think about what you have passion for. What interests, skills, experience, and talents do you have?  Innkeepers do not have to be the instructors.  In the Stay and Paint retreat example, the innkeeper has a professional artist and art curator coming to her inn. Arrangements can be made with the experts hosting the event if they are not the bed and breakfast owners or innkeepers.

If you are a bed and breakfast owner or innkeeper and have been successful with a particular retreat, package, excursion, or other event at your B&B, I would love to know about it.  Write about your successes to Kristi Dement below.  I promise to read every comment and reply when appropriate.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Kristi’s Promise to You

Kristis promise to you

 

Kristi’s promise to you. I am 100% dedicated and committed to my clients.  I love writing and I love bed and breakfasts.  If I say that something will be completed by a particular date, it will be.  Honesty, integrity, and respect are important to me. I keep my word and always strive to exceed my clients’ expectations.

 

I love learning.  That is why I write blogs.  I get to investigate whatever I write about to make sure I have the best and most attention-grabbing information for my clients’ audiences. Bed and breakfast owners can count on me to discuss issues that are important to their potential guests and it can range from their area’s attractions to each bed and breakfast’s history to the delicious breakfast they serve to the decor and amenities of their inn’s rooms.

I make it my passion to be passionate about my clients’ bed and breakfasts.  When you succeed, I succeed.  I enjoy helping bed and breakfast owners reach new business goals such as increasing and consistently full occupancy rates! When you need a blog with regularly updated fresh content or a greater social media presence, I have the friendly personality and attention to detail you need to get it done right.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography