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Proud Texan

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Ladies and Germs,
We are officially started up and are looking to expand our exposure both locally and on the internet. We are weighing the advantanges and disadvantages of joining area Chambers of Commerce and/or using online services such and bedandbreakfast.com.
The fees start adding up after a while! We have "X" amount of dollars allocated for advertising and much of that has already been eaten up with printing costs for brochures. To get the most bang for the buck, which services have you used and rejected and which have you found to be the most beneficial in actually getting you business?
Thank you all in advance,
Randy
 

EmptyNest

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You had better get yourself ONLINE!!! Printed materials provide very little value. Get on BBONLINE.com and Bedandbreakfast.com....if nothing else. DO IT ASAP...that is where just about where every on line search for a B & B begin...after a GOOGLE search.
 

Morticia

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You know, I would research the multiple directories (check the 'resources' section on here) and then add one/month. You REALLY don't want them all coming due at the same time and certainly not in your quiet season (whenever that may be).
Joining a local chamber can be great, IF, the chamber is active in getting tourism into your area. OR, if your niche will be local getaways, they work well for that even if not actively courting tourism. However, if your chamber is just a social organization, it may not do you any good.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Do it now and it will pay for itself. Sooner is better than later, even with the cash flow being tight.
Do a search for your area, pick the top three or four that come up.
BBonline is #1 for us.
BnBfinder is great
LanierBB STINKS TO HOT HEAVEN for us
BedandBreakfast.com does well for others, not so much for us. There is a glitch in the system somehow for VA.
Our chamber one block away is for business and ZERO tourism. Our chamber at the lake is 75% for tourism - so we are on that one and a nearby city who promotes the area.
ilovesinns I joined this year and the jury is still out. Nice website, nice promos, nice news releases - but where are the guests?
Whatever YOUR COMPETITORS (even tho there may not be any directly nearby) whatever THEY ARE ON, you should be on.
Regional websites (we have Blue RIdge Mountains), STATE TOURISM websites and STATE ASSOCIATION websites.
Also start a blog as that will make your website and content pop up all over the place.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Athens TX lodging and Athen TX Bed Breakfast:
BBonline - best bang for your buck! TOP LISTING and LEAST EXPENSIVE!! GOOD FOR YOU.
discover our town
bbexplorer
innsite
bedandbreafkast.com
 

Samster

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Get listed with the following ASAP...they are FREE!! Google Business & Yahoo Business. I believe I also registered under MSN. Each of those also have travel sections. It may take several weeks for your listing to become active. This is the single biggest thing that helped me as we show up right at the top of the searches for each of those search engines by being registered. Make sure that your map location is correct too when you sign up.
Do you have Canton Market Days in your search terms on your site? You should get a lot of hits from that.
I agree with signing up with one directory at a time so they're not due all at once. Do a search on the various terms that you think people will be looking for your area & see which directory shows up on top. I'd sign up with that one first.
 

egoodell

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The best advice I received when new was to do a search on Google and Yahoo for:
Bed and breakfast (insert your town here) and (insert your town here)Bed and breakfast and B&B (insert your town here) and (insert your town here)B&B.
See what directories come up
For me it was always bbonline.com and bed and breakfast dot com.
Those are the two I'm registered with along with my state's free listing and my town's convention and visitors services listing.
google anything to do with visiting your town and see if you can list for free
Go to google maps and do your free listing
Riki
 

happyjacks

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Definitely get on the big B&B directories, but don't stop there.
One of our best referrers is our provincial tourism microsite which lists experiential packages. We get a lot of B&B virgins because they find us in connection with an activity or experience they want to do. They tell us they never thought about trying a B&B--but don't worry, we convert them
.
So if there's somewhere you can list birdwatching or fishing packages (or whatever else you offer on-site or nearby), give that a try. The B&B directories are great for catching B&B-goers, but there are a lot more travellers out there to catch, too.
 

Samster

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Also, do your searches for your area in a couple of different ways: your town state bed breakfast, your town state bed breakfasts, your town state bed and breakfast, bed breakfast your state town, etc. You get the idea. People look in all kinds of ways.
99% of the time when I ask how people found us, "we Googled you". HA!
 

Proud Texan

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Good advice. Thank you.
Doesn't BedandBreakfast.com take reservations for you, or do I still need Webervations to actually do that?
 

EmptyNest

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Good advice. Thank you.
Doesn't BedandBreakfast.com take reservations for you, or do I still need Webervations to actually do that?.
No they do not take your reservations for you. You need to buy REZOVATIONS to do that or a less expensive product such as webervations.
 

Proud Texan

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We're already signed up with Webervations, but are still on a free trial period.
 

gillumhouse

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Your State Association, local CVB, DEFINITELY one or more of the big three Directories. Look for Directories that are subject specific to what you have or do. Example - I do overnight stabling so I list on horsemotel.com ($40), Horsetrip.com ($35) and a couple other horse sites. I also have great mororcycle roads so I list on motorcyclegoodies.com ($125) a Goldwing site I have a rail-trail 50 feet from the house so I list on bbbiking.com ($40) and www.wvrtc.org AND on what I consider the big three and my association and get a listing on my CVB's web site.....
I also have brochures that I give to the Welcome Centers, CVBs, guests take them to give to friends, and I carry them in my purse along with the MABB Directory, and the rail-trail locator brochure and hand out all the above whenever appropriate. I personally do not downplay the importance/place of brochures.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Also, do your searches for your area in a couple of different ways: your town state bed breakfast, your town state bed breakfasts, your town state bed and breakfast, bed breakfast your state town, etc. You get the idea. People look in all kinds of ways.
99% of the time when I ask how people found us, "we Googled you". HA!.
Samster said:
Also, do your searches for your area in a couple of different ways: your town state bed breakfast, your town state bed breakfasts, your town state bed and breakfast, bed breakfast your state town, etc. You get the idea. People look in all kinds of ways.
99% of the time when I ask how people found us, "we Googled you". HA!
This is true. Majority on my referral report are click thrus from google. Not a directory. So the website needs to be found!
If I had cabins I would also use key words that would bring out those on weekend motorcycle trips. The majority of our bikers guests are staying at a cabin at least part of their trip.
 

seashanty

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Your State Association, local CVB, DEFINITELY one or more of the big three Directories. Look for Directories that are subject specific to what you have or do. Example - I do overnight stabling so I list on horsemotel.com ($40), Horsetrip.com ($35) and a couple other horse sites. I also have great mororcycle roads so I list on motorcyclegoodies.com ($125) a Goldwing site I have a rail-trail 50 feet from the house so I list on bbbiking.com ($40) and www.wvrtc.org AND on what I consider the big three and my association and get a listing on my CVB's web site.....
I also have brochures that I give to the Welcome Centers, CVBs, guests take them to give to friends, and I carry them in my purse along with the MABB Directory, and the rail-trail locator brochure and hand out all the above whenever appropriate. I personally do not downplay the importance/place of brochures..
hands down, best value for me have been
bbonline
and
webervations
the webervations will work for you while you are sleeping ... it really has been wonderful for me.
bbonline sends me the most guests of anything i have subscribed to or signed up for.
this year i signed on for bedandbreakfast.com and it has been a disappointment how many book just from seeing that listing. you can't get the least expensive one because there is no link to your website. without a link on a site, i don't think it's worth it.
people DO react to the specials they see on bedandbreakfast.com ... so all the bargain hunters call about the HOT DEALS when we list one there.
what is the most popular place or activity in your area? try to link up with that site. a HUGE amount of business comes to us via reciprocal linking with one particular business. i promote them, they promote me. cost ... nothing! value .... immeasurable! just make sure it is something you want to be linked with ... then go for it.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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people DO react to the specials they see on bedandbreakfast.com ... so all the bargain hunters call about the HOT DEALS when we list one there.
I am, glad to hear this, I listed HOT DEALS for 3 years and had a certain NAME for each special and never had one call for it.
 

Morticia

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people DO react to the specials they see on bedandbreakfast.com ... so all the bargain hunters call about the HOT DEALS when we list one there.
I am, glad to hear this, I listed HOT DEALS for 3 years and had a certain NAME for each special and never had one call for it..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
people DO react to the specials they see on bedandbreakfast.com ... so all the bargain hunters call about the HOT DEALS when we list one there.
I am, glad to hear this, I listed HOT DEALS for 3 years and had a certain NAME for each special and never had one call for it.
Me, either. No one ever called for the hot deals.
 

gillumhouse

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Re webervations - a definite yes. They also do a discount if you are a member of an association.
Re Hot Deals - NEVER EVER had anyone use it. That is really funny because in addition to a bargain rate during the winter for 10 cans of food for the food bank, I offer an extra bonus of $15 Jimmy's Diner Dollars forthe 11th can of food. I made up the Jimmy's Diner Dollars - something that can only come from me and I have not designed them yet because NO ONE HAS ASKED FOR IT!! It will go back on this winter when the food bank is having a hard time keeping up with the demand.
 

JBanczak

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You had better get yourself ONLINE!!! Printed materials provide very little value. Get on BBONLINE.com and Bedandbreakfast.com....if nothing else. DO IT ASAP...that is where just about where every on line search for a B & B begin...after a GOOGLE search..
We have monthly pricing at BedandBreakfast.com now... so you do not have to pay for the full year in advance. You also get a 90 day money back guarantee, so there is no risk.
The biggest thing you can do though is get a decent website (Acorn does a great job for reasonable price, so do we at Rezovation), and get it bookable - if you get people to your site you want to impress them and get them to book!
 

swirt

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Wow!! I miss checking in here for 12 hours and I lose the chance to get some advice in edge wise LOL
One of the few pieces of advice I can add, make sure your site is at the top of its game (see the advice section of my site). If you have the time to write content and the talent to do so, do it. Whether it is in a blog or within sections of your own site matters little. More quality pages equals a bigger fishing net.
 

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