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Hello Everyone!
An Innkeeper friend suggested I post my questions for other Innkeepers in this forum. So, here I am!
I am wondering, what is your biggest marketing challenge when it comes to marketing your B&B Inn?
You know, the one that keeps you up at night?
I really appreciate your time and answers. Thank you.
To Your Success,
Kim
 

Morticia

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Are you asking in order to write an article about marketing? It would be helpful to know if our comments will be used outside this forum.
 

Morticia

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Yes, that helps.
 

JBloggs

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My biggest challenge is the umpteen amount of phone calls I get per week from someone who doesn't even know we have a website and does zero background work before cold calling, who knows better than we do on how to market our inn. The dozens of spam emails and solicitations who know very little about this industry who tell us how it is done.
Now if they had some articles on the subject and we read/hear their feedback and emailed or posted them, then they might get some interest in what they are trying to sell.
 

gillumhouse

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For me it is getting enough money to pay for the marketing and then the marketing making enough money to have made the spending worthwhile.
I do not lose sleep over much of anything. To me, marketing is something that is on-going. I never stop marketing - from talking to people in line, noticing an out-of-state plate with bicycles on a rack or motorcycles at a gs station, etc. I am working at Twitter, Facebook, and blog - doing best with blog.
I categorize marketing in two separate things - target and shotgun. Directories are shotgun (newspapers are birdcage material) meaning trolling for whoever/whatever comes to the surface and targeted is in a publication or web site that is interest oriented - and usually a lot less expensive than shotgun with an excellent ROI (usually).
 

Morticia

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Yes, that helps..
Would you be willing to help me out by responding to my question? I would greatly appreciate it!

.
The personal interface. Going out and meeting all the people who I need to know to get my biz known. Joining Chambers and other like organizations and then having to 'press the flesh' every week so my name is out there. The reverse of that is having to listen to everyone else's marketing pitch at the same time. You need insurance? I know insurance agents!
 

Breakfast Diva

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Part of the problem with a lot of the marketing strategies is that they all take time. A lot of time. It's something we typically don't have. You'll find that the innkeepers on this forum are about as tech savvy as they get and most of us do it all ourselves.
What we need are marketing tips that are proven they work for our industry. With doing everything innkeepers do, then add facebook, twitter, Youtube, blog, schmoozing, website, lodging directories, associations, and sometimes actually having a few minutes to spend with family, we're strung out pretty thin. We don't have the time or the energy to "try" anything new unless it makes real sense to us. Sometimes proving it to us is a very difficult task.
So, with everything I said above, what's 1 small tip you would give us right now to add to our arsenal?
 

Morticia

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My guess is I'm not the only one who hates these meet and greets and the cold calls to secretaries to let them know we're here. So, it would be better to ask the group, because asking me just gets my opinion!
My first attempt at getting some 'insider info' at one of these events was met with 'don't call us, we'll call you,' and you can be sure they didn't. They didn't even give me their biz card. 'Oh, sorry, I forgot to bring them.' To a meet and greet? Why'dja bother showing up then?
I haven't given up, tho, I'm off to another one tonight!
 

gillumhouse

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My web site was redesigned (took the things I had on the old one - text mostly and made it better and demanded new photos) by a wonderful web designer and he gave me WordPress for my blog. Once I got the hang of WordPress, it was easy - I have to thank him for me blogging.
Thanks to this Forum and a digital camers a very much-missed pro-photog friend told me to get, the pictures look pretty good.
 

domsmom

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My biggest challenge is the umpteen amount of phone calls I get per week from someone who doesn't even know we have a website and does zero background work before cold calling, who knows better than we do on how to market our inn. The dozens of spam emails and solicitations who know very little about this industry who tell us how it is done.
Now if they had some articles on the subject and we read/hear their feedback and emailed or posted them, then they might get some interest in what they are trying to sell..
Ugggh ! That makes me crazy too!
 

domsmom

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So many options is my problem. It is what keeps me up at night.
Where to invest my time/money to acquire the guests I want. I notice the other innkeepers are also aware that we don't want ALL the guests. Not all of them are a good fit for our individual inns.
I made the HUGE mistake last year of listening to an rep who puts ads in airline magazines. He said he lowered the price, I would get 40,000 people looking at my ad as their airline did not have any internet on board.
I bought into and did not get 1 lick of business! I am in debt to them and they produced nothing.
There are so many sites out there, so much to keep track of and it all costs money and time. Something we have so little of. Trying to decipher what will produce the guests and revenue without breaking the bank, that keeps me up at night.
 
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MarketingMojo

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My web site was redesigned (took the things I had on the old one - text mostly and made it better and demanded new photos) by a wonderful web designer and he gave me WordPress for my blog. Once I got the hang of WordPress, it was easy - I have to thank him for me blogging.
Thanks to this Forum and a digital camers a very much-missed pro-photog friend told me to get, the pictures look pretty good..
That is fantastic! And, by the way, I love Wordpress and have been using it for 3 years! I am an amateur technology geek, so I have figured out how to use lots of the plugins and make my site(s) look exactly how I want it to look. Right now I only have a "landing page" up so google and the other search engines will find it while I am building it and finding out if Innkeepers want marketing help from me.
 

Morticia

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So many options is my problem. It is what keeps me up at night.
Where to invest my time/money to acquire the guests I want. I notice the other innkeepers are also aware that we don't want ALL the guests. Not all of them are a good fit for our individual inns.
I made the HUGE mistake last year of listening to an rep who puts ads in airline magazines. He said he lowered the price, I would get 40,000 people looking at my ad as their airline did not have any internet on board.
I bought into and did not get 1 lick of business! I am in debt to them and they produced nothing.
There are so many sites out there, so much to keep track of and it all costs money and time. Something we have so little of. Trying to decipher what will produce the guests and revenue without breaking the bank, that keeps me up at night..
I just got an offer for an airline mag...same 40,000 viewers! The price is way over my budget so it wasn't even tempting.
 

egoodell

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My guess is I'm not the only one who hates these meet and greets and the cold calls to secretaries to let them know we're here. So, it would be better to ask the group, because asking me just gets my opinion!
My first attempt at getting some 'insider info' at one of these events was met with 'don't call us, we'll call you,' and you can be sure they didn't. They didn't even give me their biz card. 'Oh, sorry, I forgot to bring them.' To a meet and greet? Why'dja bother showing up then?
I haven't given up, tho, I'm off to another one tonight!.
Morticia said:
My guess is I'm not the only one who hates these meet and greets and the cold calls to secretaries to let them know we're here. So, it would be better to ask the group, because asking me just gets my opinion!
My first attempt at getting some 'insider info' at one of these events was met with 'don't call us, we'll call you,' and you can be sure they didn't. They didn't even give me their biz card. 'Oh, sorry, I forgot to bring them.' To a meet and greet? Why'dja bother showing up then?
I haven't given up, tho, I'm off to another one tonight!
I go to the meet and greet tourism meetings that our Convention and Visitors Bureau does. They have a terrific website that is free for me to be on and are working hard to promote tourism. I find that when I go to these kind of meetings we are all working towards the same goal so it is not so uncomfortable. RIght now they are using me to tour a couple of writers coming down for a couple of days - that 's another thing - their leads are good ones so I don't have to wonder if I'm wasting my time. And the more I offer to assist, the more I figure my name will be remembered by those in the industry.
RIki
 

Morticia

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We have had the meet and greet here and anyone who wanted to come was invited. (Chamber of Commerce) I've also done tours in the afternoon.
No, the problem with the meet and greet is me. I'm shy. (Don't laugh. I really am shy.) But, you have to go to these things or there's no sense in belonging to any sort of groups. No one does biz with people who can't be bothered to attend events.
 

Morticia

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My guess is I'm not the only one who hates these meet and greets and the cold calls to secretaries to let them know we're here. So, it would be better to ask the group, because asking me just gets my opinion!
My first attempt at getting some 'insider info' at one of these events was met with 'don't call us, we'll call you,' and you can be sure they didn't. They didn't even give me their biz card. 'Oh, sorry, I forgot to bring them.' To a meet and greet? Why'dja bother showing up then?
I haven't given up, tho, I'm off to another one tonight!.
Morticia said:
My guess is I'm not the only one who hates these meet and greets and the cold calls to secretaries to let them know we're here. So, it would be better to ask the group, because asking me just gets my opinion!
My first attempt at getting some 'insider info' at one of these events was met with 'don't call us, we'll call you,' and you can be sure they didn't. They didn't even give me their biz card. 'Oh, sorry, I forgot to bring them.' To a meet and greet? Why'dja bother showing up then?
I haven't given up, tho, I'm off to another one tonight!
I go to the meet and greet tourism meetings that our Convention and Visitors Bureau does. They have a terrific website that is free for me to be on and are working hard to promote tourism. I find that when I go to these kind of meetings we are all working towards the same goal so it is not so uncomfortable. RIght now they are using me to tour a couple of writers coming down for a couple of days - that 's another thing - their leads are good ones so I don't have to wonder if I'm wasting my time. And the more I offer to assist, the more I figure my name will be remembered by those in the industry.
RIki
.
Even the CVB ones are hard for me! I don't go to those because nothing is free here. The CVB is over $600/year, so out of my range for something that gives me no biz at all. (I tried them for 3 years, got one room.)
I'm not good at schmoozing.
 

Morticia

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My point... maybe you need a new perspective about yourself? Maybe you aren't shy... but worried about saying something "wrong," etc. could be many reasons why you believe you are shy.
Ha, ha, how much have you read from me on here? Afraid to say something wrong? Nope, don't fit the description.
 

Morticia

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I actually follow a life coach...Laura Ber man Fo rtga ng (spaces so this thread doesn't show up in a search for her name).
She's helped me quite a bit over the years (about 12 at this point!)
 
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