Marketing your business is more than just a great web site and strong organic placement … we remind our clients of this constantly. It includes networking with fellow business owners in your community, volunteering in your community to stay visible, giving your past guests a reason (and a nudge) to comeback, and yes … getting your name in print with local and regional newspapers.
Here is a testimony from Linda Horn, owner of Whispering Pines B&B in Atwood Lake, Ohio on the experience she had when one day a travel writer randomly showed up at her door.
We couldn’t say it better, so here is the story in Linda’s words … you can read her full account on her Blog.
“Travel writer Steve Stephens of the Columbus Dispatch was in the area doing research for an article about Northeastern Ohio wineries. He had no intention of writing about Whispering Pines and I did not even know he was a travel writer until he arrived and we started talking. At some point I asked him if he would consider mentioning our B&B in the wine article. He said he felt it deserved a story on its own. So, he snapped some pictures, and never really asked us too many questions. He was so easy to talk with. When he left I gave him a packet of information that I always have ready for these ‘just in case’ encounters. He departed and I didn’t hear from him again. I knew he had to clear it with his editor so I assumed she didn’t approve it.
The rest of the story:
Last Sunday, Aug 16th, in the morning I began to receive online reservations and the phone starting ringing. I knew something was up. I went to the Columbus Dispatch online and saw the story. Never had a chance to read the article until that evening. It is a fabulous article. Then I guess the Cleveland Plain Dealer picked it up because yesterday, Aug 23rd it was in their Sunday travel section and again the phones began ringing. We are very happy innkeepers!
So far 70 room nights, gift certificates and add on’s, basically in one week. Amazing.
This translates into $$$. I have also sent off the article to a writer in the Pittsburgh area and when I get a chance I’m going to reference this article to more writers. This was free advertising and this has brought us more return than any paid advertising. I have also had past guest send emails telling us they read the article. The other important thing about this – I did not have to do any selling, basically I am just taking reservations – Steve did the selling for me and did it better than I could. When people called it was to book a room and not to ask questions.
This has certainly been a boost in many ways for us and we are very grateful Steve stayed at WP and for his excellent writing skills. We have of course invited he and his wife for a getaway at anytime, complimentary of course.
Speaking about print versus/web, Steve also made that comment that he was glad to know people are still reading the newspaper.
If you need answers to more specific questions, email me. Ran out of cookies, I’m baking now.”
Author: Linda & Bill Horn Owner & Innkeeper of Whispering Pines Bed & Breakfast
Whispering Pines is a longstanding Acorn Internet Services, Inc. customer that works diligently to stay on top of their site placement and utilizes all the new social media opportunities available on the internet to promote their inn and business!
And watch for their new customized Blog design that is currently in development!
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