I was five when my mum and dad moved from their little farm holding in Harwood Dale back to Keasbeck Hill Farm (which my Grandad and Grandma owned). It was a beautiful 200-acre farm and was a pretty exciting place for a young lad to grow up.
After my Grandad passed away, it was too much for my Grandma to run on her own. The farm was never quite the same after the foot and mouth crisis hit the UK and my parents eventually decided to turn the farm into a guesthouse.
Getting my first taste of the hospitality industry at such a young age apparently made a pretty profound impact on how much life was going to turn out.
It definitely didn’t start as a mission to become a world-class hospitality marketing agency though. Not even close!
I met people from all over the world, and their stories and adventures gave me itchy feet.
I wanted to see the world. So I left the farm in 2002 to explore.
As exciting as life was as a traveller, I was starting to think of a family of my own, so I “settled” in London in 2009.
I got a job in sales and marketing for some of the most significant review companies in the world. I saw how important social media and digital marketing was becoming in the modern world.
It didn’t take me too long to realise that my heart wasn’t into corporate life, but the skills I developed there were priceless.
In 2012 after a “family meeting”, my wife, one-year-old son and I moved back to the farm.
My parents were still running the farm, but they were struggling. They had always relied on word of mouth and regulars returning…but everything was changing.
To survive these days, it seems like hospitality owners have to have a marketing degree, a massive budget and a full-time staff of millennials to man their social media pages.
My wife and I had some deep conversations with my parents, and they asked us to come back into the business. They hoped we could help them run it and maybe bringing in new blood would bring in new business.
The timing was perfect, and it was a fantastic opportunity for my family and me, so of course, I jumped at the chance.
The years I put in for those review companies paid off quickly. I applied my marketing knowledge to The Grainary, and things began to take off.
Within 18 months, we had achieved a Top 3 position on TripAdvisor, our new direct bookings increased, and our Facebook page became the highest followed independently owned business in the Scarborough area.
We had to bring in more staff. Anyone who has hired staff knows that the more you have, the more drama it creates!
We loved it.
I’m not going to say it was all rosy (try working with your Mum and Dad and wife 24/7 AND raising a young child!), but I’m very proud of the work we did at The Grainary.
I’m not one to stay put and get comfortable in one place though, and I started to think…
There must be thousands of other hospitality owners that are expected to be internet marketing experts as well as cope with the day to day demands of this crazy industry.
And so Boostly was born…
I may have been born and raised in the Hospitality industry, but I can’t stop at one property.
Every month, millions of people use Google to search for a place to stay in the UK.
And where does the majority of that business go?
To hotel chains and online travel agents with unlimited marketing budgets.
There is a way to compete with these large budgets. I proved this with my family’s business.
I’m not just me anymore; with Boostly, I’ve become a “we”.
As a team, we all know the struggles of small, independently owned hospitality owners.
With our help, independent hospitality businesses like yourselves are fighting back against the big corporations, winning back their direct bookings and referrals, and getting more customers to their properties.
More heads on beds – that’s the goal, right?
Now is a critical time for hospitality owners.
Boosting your social media traffic helps raise awareness for your business. This means new customers, great reviews and referral based traffic – the best you could ever hope for.
Changes to your website can make sure you’re converting views into customers. You have a very short window of time to attract the attention of potential visitors and turn them into new customers, so you need to make it count!
Every property is unique, and there is no such thing as one size fits all approach.
That’s why the Boostly Academy covers everything from your website & booking engine to social media, and advertising and marketing. We also include coaching calls to tailor all this information to your unique needs.
If you want to get to know me a little bit better, to make sure I’m the right fit for you, my podcast is free, and you’ll take away actionable ideas with every episode.
One thing is for sure, you need to do something. How you chose to move forward is entirely up to you. But let’s get started…