The must-have photo you might be ignoring
Last week a friend who is a psychologist asked for my help. She was getting lots of visits to her website but few bookings.
I took an initial look: there was nothing actually wrong with it - it had all the right information but potential clients were just not getting in touch. Sarah's website just felt 'flat', not very warm.
You may be wondering what this has to do with you and your tourism business?
You and psychologist Sarah make people feel better, directly or indirectly.
You both nee…
Click, click, click - why you need to take more photos
How does your business and local area look at the moment?
Everywhere I look I see beautiful (mainly blue) skies, blooming gardens, lush green trees, fresh produce and happy visitors.
Now’s a good time to take photos.
Not just now and then, not just a few but of everything, everywhere, whenever you can!
I'll suggest how you can use these images in a moment.
First of all though, I really want to stress: any spare moment, when you’re taking a quick break, when you see something beautiful, wh…
Positive trends for UK hospitality
This week I've been judging the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence (accommodation) and noticed some positive trends:
1. Good businesses really are memorable, with stand-out appeal: independents manage to do this well, and some chains are trying to find better ways to differentiate individual properties. Some businesses have made significant investments in their properties, but it's not just about cash - creativity and guest-focus really count.
2. Since last year's judging panel, it seems that…
Promote your business using the 'information gap'
If I say that I can tell you '3 easy ways to increase your profits', what's your response?
The cynical ones among you might think it's too good to be true, but most people are curious and want to know more. You might think that you pretty much know everything there is to running a successful tourism business, but a little part of your brain will still want to know more, just to double check.
This is 'information gap curiosity': the idea that most humans want to find out more when they think …
Use the right images to promote your business
We often say that a picture is worth a thousand words. We know that images and videos are now an essential part of promotional activity. But do we use the right photos?
Making some simple changes to the images you use can make your marketing much more powerful.
Using the right photos is part of persuading visitors that your business is good for them, relevant to their needs, that they will be welcome and are making the right decision. Visitors need 'evidence' and using the right photos is pa…
I'm not great at throwing and catching but I am an expert juggler...
Over the years I've got used to balancing the demands of different clients and working on several projects at once, at the same time as trying to make time for family and friends, three dogs, household chores, hobbies and community voluntary commitments.
I can never resist learning and trying any new (to me) time management tips and productivity hacks. Some are brilliant. Others just don't work for me.
These are the very s…
Is it better to have a large or small marketing budget?
Asking whether it's better to spend a lot or a little money on marketing probably seems a bit daft. Surely more is better?
I've worked with thousands of tourism businesses over the years, from individual B&Bs to five-star hotel chains, from private houses and gardens to grand stately homes. Less than 10% of them have a significant marketing budget, even the large organisations.
Almost everyone believes they need a bigger budget. But is that really true?
How much should you…
How to make your marketing more consistent
There's one thing that makes every marketing activity stronger and more effective.
No, not money. Not even a lot more time.
Taking one small action every day or week can be as effective as spending ages and pots of money on bigger activities.
Consistency builds momentum.
It builds trust. It builds awareness. It builds experience.
It builds business and profitability.
What sort of marketing activity am I talking about?
I mean any action you might do regularly (and I do mean…
Don't just tell - show
We often say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but how often do we actually use the right photos to convey key points?
Most businesses have something they need to tell their visitors or need to stand out somehow. A single photo might do the trick.
Have you thought about the key messages you're trying to convey and then made sure you're using photos that tell that story?
Years ago I advised a hotelier, Dave, who ran a small hotel in an area that was notorious for dirty and run-down …
Enter awards & boost your business
Follow these simple notes to create an award-winning application. You’ll find this process can boost your business in other ways too.
I've acted as a judge for many different tourism and hospitality awards over the years, most recently on the judging panel for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. This article looks at the benefit of entering awards and gives an insight into what I and fellow judges look for.
Before you start… imagine the scene:
Congratulations! You’ve won!
What do you w…