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How to stand out in 2023
Episode 2923rd January 2023 • Direct Booking Success Podcast • Jenn Boyles
00:00:00 00:11:01

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In this episode of the Direct Booking Success podcast, I talk about the term "passive income" and its implications for those in the hospitality industry. Many people who initially bought into the idea of passive income from property rentals now realise the amount of work involved and that the money does not come in passively. I also offer advice on how to stand out in the industry, including not promoting being an Airbnb Superhost and investing in overall branding to connect with guests, create a loyal customer base, and stand out from the competition.

We talk about:

  • Passive income and how it is marketed to property industry people.
  • People who initially bought into the idea of passive income from property are now waking up to the reality of the work involved.
  • There may be a surplus of short-term rental properties now, but this could change.
  • Promoting being an Airbnb Superhost is not beneficial and is actually free marketing for Airbnb.
  • The importance of investing in branding to stand out in the competitive industry.
  • Branding is not just about having a logo but a business's overall impression and personality.
  • The questions to answer in order to create your own brand strategy.
  • That your brand will evolve over time.
  • How to create your mission statement using the formula: [Business] helps [who] do [what] by [how].

I’m looking for owners and managers who have done something in their business (marketing or hospitality) that has made a difference to their direct bookings. Do you want to be a guest on a future episode? Apply here:






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# How to stand out in:

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Direct Booking Success podcast. I'm your host, Jenn Boyles, and I'm super glad to have you here with me today. There is something that has been really bothering me in the last while, and I wanted to address it today. And it's a term that I've been hearing all over the place, and it's passive income.

It really gets me because I see these bro marketers, they're not always men, but they're using that slick style of marketing, getting people into like land flipping or Airbnb'ing their properties or whatever it is, saying that they'll benefit from this passive income. So you just sort of set it up, and then, the money rolls in.

It drives me crazy. And I could go on about it for hours, but you're listening to me today means we're probably on the same wavelength, and I don't want to rant; I want to flip it. And let's see the positive side of this: many people who initially bought into the whole property passive income idea are waking up.

With how the world is right now, most people are watching what they spend, and with bookings across the entire hospitality industry down, even some of these gurus are changing their tune. This means that while there might be a surplus of short-term rental properties right now, this might change this.

I think we'll see people leaving when they see one, how much work it is, and two, how the money doesn't roll in passively. And this can only be a good thing for us. We have been in it for a long. . In the meantime, let's talk about how you can stand out to increase your booking.

Let's start by not promoting if you're an Airbnb super host. I posted about this on social media a few weeks ago, only to cause controversy, especially on LinkedIn. So, many people disagree with me, which is excellent. And plenty of people agreed, and I love seeing all the opinions.

But let me share a bit about why you shouldn't be sharing if you're an Airbnb super host. First, Airbnb started an excellent host program to keep hosts on its site. You work hard, and they give you a badge. It's nice. Except for every time you promote being a super host, you enable Airbnb, not yourself.

You are saying to the world that you work for Airbnb and you’ve done an excellent job. However, you don’t have confidence in your business, bookings, or guests. Someone considering booking a stay might see that post and say, “ Oh, they don't want me to book.

They want me to book through Airbnb instead of on their website. Oh, okay. Well, that's fine. That guest then goes onto Airbnb and starts searching and could end up booking another place. The truth is that Airbnb needs to recognise your hard. So they have put together this program. So you will tell everyone you know that you are a super host, which is free marketing for them.

This is my opinion, of course, and I know that others believe using Airbnb in their marketing gives them more credibility. Maybe, maybe not. Anyways, let's move on. I'm in a feisty mood today, am I? If it's your first episode, I do apologise; okay, let's move on. Investing in your branding is a way to stand out this year.

Now, I don't just mean having a logo, but your business’s overall branding. Listen to this quote by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. He says your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room. It is my favourite quote about branding. So hear that again. Listen, your brand is what other people say when you are not in that room.

So he is not saying anything about a logo there. Branding is the impression you and your business give. It is connecting with guests, creating a loyal group of guests who return again and again, growing your pool of prospective guests and your audience, showing everyone what you stand for, telling a compelling story and empowering others to tell everyone about you.

See, Airbnb is doing just that, aren't they? So branding shows the personality of your business and helps you stand out from the competition and how guests feel when interacting with you. So yes, your logo and how you visually show your business to the world is branding, but it's only part of the big picture.

It is essential to show your business off professionally, and by having those visual aspects of your brand in place, you can do this consistently across all platforms, your website, your social media, your email, and print materials using the same colours, the fonts, as well as the language you use. This is very good and all part of your brand expression, but let's go a bit deeper.

And talk about your brand strategy. This is what defines the place you take in the marketplace. We have the internal piece, which is what you want your brand to be, and the positioning of where you want your brand to be. So here are four questions to answer. Question one, your purpose. What is the reason you do what you do?

Question two is your vision. What do you aim to achieve with your business? Question three, your mission. What are you going to put in place to achieve that vision? And question four, your values. What principles and behaviours do you want your business to stand for? Writing down the answers to those questions will help you form your brand strategy.

And the good thing about being on this podcast is that you can pause me, rewind me, and listen to those questions again. Write down your answers. Your answers might change over time, which is fine. Your brand will evolve using the answers to those questions. You can then write your mission state.

Which is easy with this formula. Okay, so listen up. We're going to start with your business name. So my business, whatever your business name is, helps blank to blank by blank. Okay? , let me fill it in for you. Okay. Here's an example. Rose Cottage Retreat helps couples reconnect with each other and recharge from daily life by enabling them to have the relaxing space and fresh air of a stay in our cottage in the country.

Okay, here's another example. Birchwood Apartments helps those travelling for business have a comfortable and reliable place to stay by providing a reasonably priced home in London. Okay? Does that make sense? So the formula is, my business name helps who do what by how. I hope that makes sense.

Doing this exercise will help you focus on what your brand is and help you understand where your business fits in, and bring home the reasons you want to be promoting yourself and not someone else. So now, if you have done something in your short-term rental business that you are proud of, brought in new bookings or made a difference with your existing guests, come and tell me what that is.

Go to my website, direct booking thing, which is spelt out one thing, and you'll feature on a future Direct Booking success podcast episode. Wouldn't that be fun?