Principles of Marketing Your Bed and Breakfast, Guest House or Inn Using The Internet

Season 5, Episode 1,   Nov 27, 2018, 12:15 PM

Hello I’m Yvonne Halling and in this video I’m going to talk you about how to use the internet to bring you more guests, more fun and more money, so if you’ve been frustrated and overwhelmed by so much conflicting advice out there on how to really use the internet for your benefit, then this series of 4 videos will help you.

There are 4 basic principles of using the internet to bring you more guests, and they are:

#1 Build a list

#2 Nurture and care for that list

#3 Provide regular content for that list

#4 Make offers to that list

In this video, I’m going to show you how and why you need to build a list of guests and potential guests, because without this first step in place, the other 3 won’t work. This just isn’t any list, this is a list of names and email addresses that you have control over, and can communicate with on a regular basis.

So let’s start at the beginning.

Why do you need to build a list?

There’s a reason why the big online travel agents like booking dot com and Airbnb don’t share guests email addresses with you because they want to keep them for themselves. They’re building their own list, and right now, that list is so big they can do anything they want with it.

They can send emails to that list offering anything they like, even other peoples’ products and services like insurance, car hire, rooms at other B&Bs in different parts of the world, or even in your town because having a list like that is pretty much a licence to print money.

Every time they send out an offer to that list, a percentage of the list buys and they make money.

Can you see why you need to build a list too?

It doesn’t need to be as big as the online travel agents’ lists but you do need your own list, and the good news is you probably already have a list of guests, but you’re not controlling it. We’ll come to that part later, but today I’m going to show you how to start building a list of potential guests, meaning the people you’d love to welcome who haven’t yet made the decision to book a room with you.

Step #1 is to know who you want to attract and why. The internet is a big place with lots of noise and if you’re trying to attract the attention of anybody and everybody, it’s going to be a lot more difficult than if you can narrow it down to just a particular type of person, who likes a particular topic or two, that you also know about, and who also is potentially likely to visit your area.

Then you’ll be able to track them down much more easily.

So let’s take an example.

If you want to attract people who like crafting or quilting, you’ll be able to find them hanging out together in groups on Facebook. There are around 620 million groups on Facebook, all dedicated to their own particular topics, so do you think you can find a couple that relate to you? I think so too.

Step #2

Now that you’ve identified who you want to most welcome and you’ve found out where they hang out on line, you can request to join the relevant groups and find out what they’re talking about. Taking the example of the crafters or quilters, you could ask them if they ever go on crafting or quilting retreats, and if so, where do they like to go. Ask lots of questions to learn about them.

You’re gathering valuable intel which you’ll need for the next step.

Step #3 

Once you’ve gathered the information, make a list of the questions, challenges or topics they’ve raised and you can now turn their questions or challenges into content which will help them choose retreats, destinations and even you as their next retreat venue. 

So open a Word Document and list around 7 – 10 questions or challenges they’ve raised in your specific groups and which you can answer, then answer them with around 200 – 300 words. Add a picture for each topic if you can, then pop your branding which is something similar to your website banner to the top of each page. Add a photo and short bio about you and finally your website contact details and you’ve created what is known in internet marketing language as a “lead magnet”.

Congratulations! Now let’s put it to work for you so you can build a list of potential guests.

Step #4

You’ll need to sign up with what is known as a “list manager” such as Aweber, MailChimp or Constant Contact, and create a little sign up form on your website, where those who are interested can leave their name and email address in exchange for your new lead magnet.

Now you’re on your way to building a list - the first basic principle of using the internet to market and grow your business.

If you’ve liked this video, then hit the subscribe button to be the first to be notified when I post the next one, and if you’re curious to know how other B&Bs, guest houses and inns have put these basic internet marketing principles in place to add at least 25% to their income in one season, while working less and having more fun, then click on the link below to register for my next Masterclass.

Click on the link and I’ll see you there.