Helping Sasha Get More Direct Bookings

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Season 11 Episode 26. This is a recap of my Facebook live video where I helped Sasha get more direct bookings.

Here's the audio for this episode:

Here's the video for this episode:


00:00 Start
01:00 Marketing Review Live
02:40 About Sasha
07:10 What Sasha has been doing in the past year
12:30 Google Search
14:50 Sasha's website
19:10 Google Ads
21:40 Sasha's Facebook page
25:20 Join local Facebook groups
26:50 Email marketing
30:00 Create business relationships

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Visual – YouTube 

Audio – Boostly Podcast




Transcript from the Episode

In this episode, we are going to be running a marketing review live. So what is a marketing review? I like to do this every couple of months. Basically, I ask a couple of questions to a host. And we get all the answers that we need. And then what I do is I take those answers, and then I share my screen. And we'll just go through websites, social media, Google search, and the whole point. And the whole goal of this is to have one to three actionable tips that our host that is watching or doing this with us can take away to put into practice to get bookings in the short, medium and long term.

About Sasha

Sasha is I'm based in Hartfordshire. And she runs SA business just with properties in Hartfordshire. Sasha has been running it about eight months. She got set up in the middle of the pandemic, and didn't follow the crowds and just did what felt right at the time. And so far, it's paid off, and Sasha is really enjoying it. And she's looking forward to learning how to market it on any scale, cuz Sasha thinks she doesn't do a great deal now. And in scaling it for the future as well.

What Sasha has been doing in the past year

I started right from the end of the first lockdown. And I hadn't really learned a great deal with regard to marketing side of things. But what happened was my guests that stayed they, I think they found me on Airbnb. I had, I've watched a lot of your videos on how to list and how to how to optimize the listing on Airbnb. So they basically found my business from Airbnb on Google. And they called me. So I managed to get it direct, straight off the bat. And I stayed in contact with them for their first week, checking how they got on. And they ended up staying for about five months.

They booked for a week. And then they booked for another week? Yeah. And I was like, it was a bit frustrating because I was like, okay, where am I going to get my next booking from? Are they gonna book next week? Or do I need to do like, should I call them? Should I text like, What do I do? And so I kind of build up the relationship and I learn how they wanted to how the guy wanted to communicate. And in the end, I just, I was just very polite. And I said How long are you staying for? And I said, Look, I'll work out a price for you. With everything included all the weekends and you haven't got to leave you can leave your stuff you haven't got to pack it up on a Friday and take it on a Monday I basically gave him two choices whether to carry on paying weekly, which was really convenient for me and a little insecure as well because I didn't have that security I only just started, or to do it on a monthly basis. And obviously I made the monthly basis a lot more attractive. But I still worked out when I say I worked out a cost I kind of picked the number that my head thought would work for me that I'd be happy with. And luckily Yeah, he went for and I had that security which was nice and I've kind of continued that concept with my guests following those guests.

So if I share my Google, Google Search now, so I just did a quick search for Jesswood Properties. And as you can see, this is what comes up. This is really key in a lot of ways. Because this is the first impression for a lot of people. Now, Sasha is doing really good, because number one, Facebook page, website, and can you see two Google Maps here in the right-hand corner? So what that means is that when they do the search, they can find everything that they need to know now, when these people find you out, or when or when the guests find you. What's really important is for Sasha to make it really simple and easy for them to reach out and contact you. So first things first you Google business, you Google business listing, and this is yours. Is this right on the right-hand side? So what I would do, very simply, is, I would just make sure that this because the hours is technically more for cafes, you know, hairdressers, takeaways and whatnot, I'd put that to 24 hours. At the end of the day, if somebody calls that number, does it divert to like a voicemail? Or have you got like an answer set apart?

That doesn't mean that you have to be awake 24 hours or on 24 hours, it just means that it just means that they know that they can, you know, reach out, say for example, if it's like, say eight or you know, in the evening, you know, whatever, it just means that it'll show up more. It just again, it just makes it accessible. But I think the main thing number one, you've got the website, which is great. We'll talk about it in a second. And you've got your Facebook page so they can come and find out more. What you're trying to do here is to show the guests that you are a proper business, you know, that's the whole point of this.

Sasha's website

But again, getting people to your website is key. Now, this is the first thing that I noticed is a really nice put together website. That pop is lovely because it gets the eyes drawn to it. The main thing for every website, let me just close it for a second and drag out a little bit more. And I mentioned this very, very quickly to Sasha before we came on, and went live. But right here is what's called above the fold is the most important part of your website, because this is where the first impression is. You do and your website designer and yourself did a really good job in covering a lot of like the key areas. So the book now button is in a different colour. It's got a big box around it, it's really clear in the top right-hand corner, if anybody's been listening to any of the things that I've been saying is the top right-hand corner is so key because that's the buying zone.

The one thing that I would love to change and when we did mention it quickly beforehand, is this tagline. Because this tagline is so important. Your main people, your main type of guests, we call it an avatar, your client avatar, your customer avatar, your ideal guest, you want to get them to read this and fully understand what Jesswood properties is, is all about and who it attracts. So with the word luxury, yeah, it looks lovely, it looks luscious. But you got to think if you were a contractor, or a PA, for a contractor, or someone trying to place a business guest etc. What should be in here, and you want it to be short, sharp and sweet. And so I did quickly show you this that you have access to just before we came online, this is part of the Boostly Content Creator, five pounds a month, if you want to know more, and you're not part of it,

But one of the new things that we've just brought him is headline generators. And so we've got headline generators for every niche. So what I recommend you do Sasha, come into our private Facebook group after this, find the business traveller one, pick one of these that is relevant, and send it off to your web person and just say change over you may think it's just a little change. But little changes can mean everything. And I encourage everybody to look at your website. And in the comment section. Everybody, if you could just put what the headline of your text is, that'd be really key. So the key part here is that what you want to be doing everybody you want to be speaking to your ideal guests to drag them in. And what's really key and it's something that I've learned very recently is if you confuse, you lose, so we really want to be speaking really nailed down here to who you want to be staying here. Because what we want them to do is either click book now, which will take them to mobile, or we want to scroll down. Now, I've said this to Sasha before we came on, but I love your website, it's laid out really nicely. All the property highlights, benefits of booking direct, which I reckon 90% of people watching this aren't doing right now, straight into the testimonials, reviews, ready to book, FAQs. It's laid out perfectly, it's not over the top, it's just clean, clear pictures are great, you know exactly what's about why choose those property highlights? It's, it's perfect. So well done. I just think that the main thing is, you know, keep tracking it, keep checking it. And the whole reason for the website that for, for contractor people is just to show credibility, just to show that you know what you're doing, you know, that your proper business. And you know, it's easy to get in contact with because what you'll find, particularly with business guests, is that, yeah, for them for the first point of contact you will have with them will be maybe via an OTA, they, you know, they will look to maybe do that first book in like they did with yourself a book for a week, for example. And then but what they're going to be looking to do on the other part is that the more you reach out and speak to them and say hey, so Mr. Guest we're you know, I'm we've got like a, you know, a big property here, here's our website. And when you start to add more portfolio in as well, it will be really good to show the cloud now.

Google Ads

The other thing that I would potentially look to do is I would look to utilize Google ads. So there is a training that Sasha has got access to that is called the bid on brand one. Now what you can do with that is that when anybody Googles the term Jesswood properties, for example. So this could be somebody that is currently staying with you or they could have said to a PA to check it out, or OTA, or social media or word of mouth or whatever. They go and search that term. And what you can have is you can have a Google Ad sitting on the top here. And you may think and a lot of people say to me, Well mark, why would I do that when I've got all of this information here.

First words that the people see is everything. And what's really important on this section here When they run this search for Jesswood properties is you can tell them as much as possible. So with a Google ad, you can manipulate the text. So if you can see the screen now, where your website is, it just says Jesswood properties is a family-run business where our goal is to create in an intuitive property management experience for our clients. We provide specialized dot, dot dot, which is great, but you can't really get fully what we're trying to explain to the reader. So with Google ads, you can really manipulate and put the exact text so it could be ideal, ideal contractor stays. It could be, you can just use the headlines that we've generated here to put it in a Google ad. So again, Google ad is everything. Google now is your homepage. So it's what Sasha can put here to get the click. And that's what you get with it. So it's called bid on brand.

And again, the cool thing is, is it only takes, say 20-30 minutes to set up. And cost-wise, it's pennies to the pound, because the word you're bidding on on Google isn't, you know, accommodation in lieu in, which is really popular 1000s of people search it, because it's just for properties, you may be getting less than like 100 searches a month, because that means that it's going to be a lot cheaper, which is which is great, really cost-effective. So that's the first thing.

Sasha's Facebook page

The second thing that I would do, was coming over to the Facebook page very, very quickly. So again, I like that you've done the post here, just giving everybody like the update, which is great. Just saying we're still open for business. But what I would be looking to do here is I would just be posting on your social media. And every time you post really targeted towards your ideal audience, whether this is Facebook, whether this is LinkedIn, I would just be figuring out who your ideal guest customer avatar is, and just be creating the content around that. Because what you'll find is that, if you start doing that, then people will start to come onto your page, and then go Okay, so Jesswood properties, this is made for contractors, you know, whoever your target niche is going to be moving forward, whoever you decide that's going to be, whatever you put out there online needs to be aimed towards that.

Now, if I bring it like back to the booster world, I could just say, Well, I'm a, you know, I'm a marketing agency. I'm a coach, you know, because I'm a business coach, but that covers all of the industries. I specialize in hospitality, you know, and so, I go while I every post that I do on social media, that's, you know, educational telling people what I do, I don't talk about you know, helping out tradesmen etc. It's hospitality is you know, service accommodation, etc. So that's, that's how I speak online. So when anybody comes on to Boostly, okay, so he helps and coaches, he does websites for social media, it's the same with hospitality. So same with like service accommodation, you're not trying to get everybody in, you've got your core focus. And again, it's, it's just one property at the moment, you've got a limited, limited stock, you know, so whenever we post online, really focus on that. So it really should help because at the moment you say to me, you know, you say, Oh, you know, I don't, I'm not very tech, I don't know, I don't post that often x y and Zed but by figuring out exactly who you're speaking to, it will make life so much easier. So again, just bear that in mind and it may not be that your Facebook business page is where you need to put a lot of tension it could be that you may need to post a bit more on LinkedIn for example, but never rule out a social media channel. Just because people assume that LinkedIn is more businessy doesn't mean they aren't or the partners aren't or the PA or the person at the office isn't on these on Facebook already. You know, I would be 100% be looking to check out Facebook groups in and around the area if you haven't done so already.

You've got bookings, you've got bookings and hopefully, Fingers crossed a big booking coming in. So it's all about now is about staying top of mind. I was always told that the best time to mark and promote your business is when you're busy. Because you'll always have top of mind. The last thing that you want to do is to start promoting marketing when you're empty.

Join local Facebook groups

There was another really good suggestion last week, in our training group, which mentioned about maybe look at joining the local group. You know, the, everything's online and virtual at the moment, but again, people, the people that go to that, potentially, your ideal crowd, it's over business people, you know, and again, it's all virtual at the moment. But everybody that goes there is like, they always have a no-compete clause. So if, if there isn't one at the moment, perfect, and save as 10 people in a room. The whole goal of these groups is, is to help the other business owners succeed. And if you come in and say, Hey, I'm Sasha, I've got rental accommodation, ideal for business people sleeps up to about a bar, this is what I do. You never know, one person that knows my goals, oh, you know who I am, yeah, I've got a friend, I've got a buddy who got brings people in, etc. So it's just about building those contacts and relationships. And you never, and you never know that there might be somebody in there who wants you to then take over maybe one of our properties, etc. associates, it's a great way event has been growing.

Email marketing

And The only other thing that I would be doing, that Sasha is not currently doing is utilizing email marketing. Or you may be thinking well, I've only got one property at the moment, you know, I don't need to, but like, the goal here is to not be the one property The goal is to get 2-5. And that is when you start now, if you can start now, even if you just send an email once a month, and you know, this is going to be going to the contractors, you know, more often than not, if you can get people on onto your email list and start emailing them, the beauty of it doing now is that you can do it on a one on one basis.

It's the beauty of when you're starting out, and you've only maybe got one or two people that you can send emails to is that you don't have to rely on MailChimp, you can do it personally, you know?

You can be slowly building a list, but when you send an email you can send to him personally and directly and the email that I love this and it's the same as the text message I like to send it's four little words, do you know anyone? And it works so well in the business world? Do you know anyone who's coming to live? And do you know anyone who needs accommodation? And you can flip it? The people that you're doing the rent to rent serviced accommodation for you can message them and go do you need? Do you know, anyone? You know, obviously, we're doing a real good job here. Just what properties Do you know anyone who needs their property looking after? And it all starts with those four little four little words, and it will help you grow? And it will help you get gas because 90% at a time they'll go on our slash? Well, I'll let you know. But the moment that one time, if you keep asking him, say once a month for whatever, you ask that one time, and they'll go Oh Yeah, we do. Actually, there's a new contract being signed or x y Zed, and then it's just a case of getting in contact. So I think proactive proactively keep posting on the alternative sites like you mentioned, Gumtree doing that which is great. Keep optimizing your listings on the otas because that is where they come. But focus on the conversion, which is what you're doing really well. So and just keep in touch, even when you're full because there will be a time when your property is full for 5, 7, 8 months. still keep asking the question because at the end of the day, if you get somebody come back to you and go Sasha, we've got 10 guys or 10 people or 20 people need accommodation, and you go well, I can't fit them in but I know someone who can. Then you can go around your network etc. Just around the outskirts or wherever and say Listen, I've got this book and coming in who wants it and then you can start to make yourself some commission referral kickback fees.

Create business relationships

Every business is built on relationships and partnerships and just keep doing it. Join a couple of Facebook groups and just communicate in now because like I say, you may just keep asking and keep prodding and keep, you know, contacting people, and even if you can't fit them in right now, that doesn't mean that you can't pass them on to somebody. And you know, later down the line, keep in contact, get started building these relationships now because the bookings may not come right this second. But you might not need it because your property's gonna be full. So it just keeps in contact with them. So when you do get more, and you can contact him say, start of January 2022. And you've got like five, six units. Like right now we can or we can fill in scale. And it's so really well done. really well done.

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