Ideas & knowhow
Is the price right?
You can learn how to do social media. You can learn how to make your website better. You can learn how to take better photos.
We talk about needing to get more direct bookings. We talk about needing more off-peak business. We talk about visitors, how we feel, what we're doing.
But we don't talk about prices or making money. I've rarely seen anything that helps tourism and hospitality businesses think about the prices they charge, how to increase their profits, how to make more money, or even…
Words and phrases to avoid in your marketing
Everyone wants to find a way to promote their business as cheaply and effectively as possible. You probably want to make your website, social media, mailings more effective without spending anything?
The answer is to stand out, or stand for something. Staying neutral and being vanilla might not create enemies but it will make people yawn. I'm not talking about your decorating style here, but the words you use. Words are the cheapest form of promotion you have so it's worth getting them right. …
The powerful lure of nostalgia in tourism marketing
Sometimes it pays to look backwards and think about the past, to use old ideas to create new opportunities and new markets. Nostalgia is a powerful motivator, and particularly effective in tourism marketing.
After the past difficult year it's perhaps not surprising that nostalgia has become so important. It's been found to help counteract loneliness and anxiety, conjuring up positive emotions. A glimpse of happy times from the past can help people cope with stressful times in the present.
One short word - one big mindset change
Do you ever look at what others are doing and feel left behind?
Perhaps you see other business owners with more bookings or imagine they're generating more income. Or maybe they have more followers on facebook or a more popular instagram account.
You might see others being more confident in their business, or socially, or see the way they just take on new challenges and seem to leap forward in all kinds of other ways.
Perhaps you're a little fearful about trying new technology or asking pe…
A quick idea for a really good social media post
I saw a genius social media post last week. I don't think the person posted it with any intention of generating as much response as they did. It didn't even promote their business very well - but it could be so easily adapted and used for yours. Quite a few of you have already seen it, and commented.
So what made it so good?
First of all, they choose a topic that most Brits feel quite strongly about - a full cooked breakfast. They asked a question, a really simple question.
Why are posts l…
What your visitors are thinking right now - and why it matters
When VisitBritain first started to promote Britain to Chinese visitors, there was a problem. Chinese travellers were less interested in coming to Britain than other European countries. When Chinese people were asked to think about London and what they expected to see, they thought it might be foggy, perhaps even dirty. London was rarely thought to be as attractive as Paris. Why?
It turned out that the Chinese media had depicted London as foggy since Victorian times, drawing on descriptions in …
The best tools to get results from mailings
I often recommend direct mail as one of the most effective, lowest cost marketing methods to build your business. It's a simple thing to do: send out carefully written mailings to people who have opted in to receive your updates. if you do it by email, it's incredibly cheap, practically free.
Once your list grows larger than about 50 people, it becomes necessary to use a mailing service provider such as Mailchimp or Mailerlite. If you just send out bulk mailings using your usual email system, …
Get results with LinkedIn
Millionaire entrepreneur James Caan says he made his money by 'zigging' when everyone else was 'zagging'. I'd say LinkedIn is the social media equivalent of that strategy.
Since Microsoft made their investment, LinkedIn has gone from strength to strength yet a lot of tourism businesses don't use it. LinkedIn's main initial use was to help professionals make connections with each other. Now it's evolved to become a sort of facebook for professionals.
It's not the obvious place to go to, to look…
Promote your business to just one visitor
Small businesses have a great advantage over larger ones: they can offer a much more personalised service, and tailor what they do to suit their customers better.
It can sometimes be hard to convey this to visitors though.
When you write words on your website, in a mailing or on social media do you ever feel like you're casting your words out into the world, not knowing where they'll land or who will read them? I know the feeling!
It's hard to write in a way that will appeal to potential new g…
Make your website more powerful
Do you know what information you need to include on the home page of your website to get results?
Most people don't.
We could have a long conversation about search engine optimisation and how using lots of headings and putting the most important information at the top of the page is essential... but there are some other very straight forward things you also need to do.
Of course every site is different and has varied objectives but it's worth checking that you're doing all these. A lot of…