One way of really capitalising on your interests and capturing the interest of your guests or prospects is to become an ‘expert’ in something that they (and you) are interested in.
Becoming an expert gives your hotel something that will make you stand out from everyone else. It also means you are more likely to attract the type of guests with whom you can build up a good rapport and a better prospect of repeat business. It’s very easy to be enthusiastic and passionate about something that interests you, and this enthusiasm will translate into bookings if managed smartly.
An expert topic gives you the opportunity to get noticed by writing articles, blog posts, guidebooks or maybe even organising clubs or seminars in your hotel relevant to the topic. Any of these expert-related actions can form great PR and an opportunity to attract the attention of your prospects, and are also a fantastic way to help you build your prospect list. They enquire or request information and in return you get their contact details.
Here are a few examples of how you can use your expertise to get guests:
- If you have a spa, you could write articles about different treatments and therapies, and put together your own small guide.
- If your hotel is popular with golfers, you could include tips from a golf pro, blog about golf tournaments, or review local courses.
- If you have an interest in classic cars, you might want to promote classic car events in the area, write about the events, and maybe even chart your progress with your own car if you have one.
- If you have a particularly extensive or unusual wine list and want to make this a feature, you could review the wines, or ask your wine supplier to write articles for you.
- If you have an unusual or particularly renowned menu, using local ingredients, put together your own recipe book. You may even want to include the source of some of your ingredients and maybe get your key suppliers to share the costs. Then offer cookery lessons or courses centred on your signature dishes.
All these examples are ways of being unique and different using your expertise. You can make your expertise the differentiating factor of your hotel, and a way of connecting with a potential audience. If you have a very niche interest, then this will translate to a very niche target market, so try and have a focused but broad enough area of expertise.
Having a specific area of expertise also makes it easier for you to find a forum or networking group where you can get your name known, as well as finding potential opportunities and prospective joint ventures. And once established as an expert, you can build on this by offering themed events and weekends.
One word of warning on your expert topic – don’t let this detract from the basics of a well-run hotel. Get the basics right first – your accommodation, service and food – then focus on your areas of special interest. No use having the best-run spa in the county if your rooms don’t live up to it, and you certainly won’t attract wine lovers if your food isn’t up to the same quality as the wine, for example.
For more ideas on making you stand out from your competitors see the Hotel Success Handbook.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about how you can use your expert topic to add a perception of value.Share This: