Have you ever thought of inviting an influencer to stay?
That's what today's guest Emily-Jane Tams did, and the results speak for themselves.
Emily-Jane tells us how she did it and lets us in on a few do’s and don’ts along the way…I think you are going to enjoy this one.
We talk about:
Have you done one thing in your business that has made a difference?
I want to hear from you! Let me know what you’ve done and you might be a guest on a future episode. Apply here: https://directbookingsuccess.com/onething
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36# Having an influencer to stay with Emily-Jane Tams
Jenn: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Direct Booking Success podcast. Today we are with Emily Jane Tams of Mallory Mellows in LTI Assure England, and we're going to hear about the one thing she has done in her business that has made an impact. Welcome, Emily.
Emily-Jane: Hi. Thanks for having me. Oh,
Jenn: it's lovely to have you here today.
Let's start by telling us a bit about who you are and where you are and what you do.
Emily-Jane: I am a mum of three, and we own, run and manage our holiday lit business on our two-and-a-half acre site where our home is. We've got four cabins and two round houses, which we let out for short breaks, weekends, and midweek days.
And we have been doing that for the past five years. We've just passed by our fifth birthday.
Jenn: Fifth. Well, congratulations. Five years. can you? How did you get started? Did you live there previously?
Emily-Jane: No. I'm a farmer's daughter. I love being outside, doing, being, being busy outside and doing, and didn't want to go into farming, but, I could quite happily do hospitality.
so we found this property with the land put in planning permission, and, and here we are. Wow.
Jenn: Wow. And is, is your husband working in the business with you or is it you doing it on your own? Or is everyone pitching in?
Emily-Jane: he has a full-time job, but he does all my webby stuff. . Okay. And men's, all the broken things as they need.
Mending, thank goodness. Right. . Right. So he mucks in when needed. He really does. He really does. . Yeah. And what
Jenn: about the kids? Do they help out at all?
Emily-Jane: Oh yeah, they, they definitely, when they're back from uni and college and stuff, they muck in in the summer. We have a whole team family effort. It's Oh, that's great.
It's really good for actually .
Jenn: Yeah, I bet it is. I bet it is. Cuz especially in the summer. So that's six, six
Emily-Jane: units altogether, is it? Yeah, it's a whole day change over Friday, Mondays,
Jenn: yeah. Yeah. So it would be a lot of work, especially in the summer.
Emily-Jane: Yes. Yes. It certainly keeps us fitting on our toes. . Yeah.
Jenn: great. So tell us, you've got, you said four
Emily-Jane: cabins. Yep. So, we've got, six units in three different styles, say two of each. Two are, gingerbread style with the verandas and, except small families with a king size bed and safer bed.
And they're pet friendly too. We've got a couple that are a bit more shepherd style. They're just for couples. And then we've got two round houses that are more secluded, slightly more private and got under floor. heating
Jenn: Lovely. That sounds like you've got a place for everyone, don't you?
Emily-Jane: We try
Jenn: Let's get into the one thing you've done, because you told me this in passing the other day and I thought, this is brilliant. We need to tell more people about this because it is something that I'm asked about regularly and there's, oh, it could be a minefield, you know? And I also know people who've been burned, but can you tell us what that one thing was that you did?
Emily-Jane: Okay. so recently we had an influencer to stay. and on the back of that, we gained significant amount of followers on our social channels and bookings from the locality that that influencer influences. So, that was, we saw that as quite a result The bookings came in very quickly, and we saw a huge spike in our website visits while she was here and posting on her social media.
Jenn: Great. So she was posting as she was there? Yes. Brilliant. Okay, so let's go back to the beginning. Why did you decide to, to try this?
we get lots of inquiries from influences who are looking to come and stay and promising us the world. so we said, okay, so maybe we should have an influencer to stay but we need to choose who that is.
Emily-Jane: We've researched our target market. and we have, um, identified our ideal guest. So we looked for an influencer who spoke to those people. Mm-hmm. . And that led us to a lady who very much influences and works in our local city and county in Lestershire. She, has around 30,000 followers and visits all the cool places in town, all the cool places in the county, and really, Shouts about local independent businesses, which seemed to fit our brief.
Jenn: So she hadn't contacted you? No. You actually was lo you had other people contacting. You thought this was, maybe there was something in this idea and you went about doing your research and how did you do that
Emily-Jane: research? So we, we just went on social media, looked at who was visiting where, seeing.
and we also worked out where our guests come from. Our guests are local. They like to not travel too far for a weekend break, so we looked locally in Lestershire, Darbyshire and Birmingham Way and highlighted this lady as being really active. She has a blog on her website so we can have some evergreen content.
Emily-Jane: And, approached her with a, with an offer, come and stay. And would you mind doing some post stories and blogs for us?
Jenn: That's great. That's great. And it's great that you looked at what would be the best fit for you instead of going, we've gotta find somebody who's got like a million, or is this international star?
you went for somebody who may be, I don't know if it would be, I don't think they'd be, maybe they would be considered a micro influencer because they have such a specific niche, but it sounds like it was such a great choice.
Emily-Jane: We were. We were so pleased cuz we have had influences to stay and gone. Ooh, that was a non-event, , right.
but this one really had an impact. We really did the research. We worked out exactly who it was, what she was going to do for us. Right. And it was what
Jenn: she was going to do, but also that her audience. So those people following her would also be the exact person that would come to stay with
Emily-Jane: you? Exactly.
She targets the young, vibrant couple markets. People who like to go out and do things. But approached our place as a, you haven't got to travel very far. You could almost get a taxi if you don't drive. you can bring the dog, you can relax and enjoy the peace and quiet and, and getting away from it all that malu my day's offers.
Jenn: And how did you work out sort of agreement with her of what she would do for the stay. so you gifted the stay to her, did.
Emily-Jane: We did, which she declared on all of her postings and
Jenn: things. Right. And, and then she, did she tell you exactly what she was going to do? Like how many social posts or blog posts or anything
Emily-Jane: like that?
She didn't, we, we, she didn't, we just. We saw what she'd done for other places. so we just said you do what you think is, appropriate. And, and she, we trusted her to do a good job. She did. She did us proud. Right.
Jenn: And because you had done that research and you knew sort of what she did for each place she visited, you felt comfortable not having to specify, we want five, you know, reels, you know, a blog post alive, you know, these kind of things.
You felt comfortable that she would treat it in the same way that she's done for.
Emily-Jane: Yeah, we wanted a more spontaneous approach so that she would do it as she felt it. Okay. so that, it was perhaps more genuine, not, not her trying to look for something to not
Jenn: so prescribed. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But I just thinking of, of pitfalls, if you had somebody to stay and maybe you hadn't done all that research, they could come to stay and do one post and nothing come from it.
So needs to be a happy medium there, doesn't it?
Emily-Jane: Yeah, absolutely. We, we had a conversation with her about what, what we would like, but we didn't have a formal agreement with her. Okay.
Jenn: Okay. So how did the Wish came for a weekend? How did she, how did it the weekend go?
Emily-Jane: The weather was lovely and frosty, so everywhere looked beautiful.
Yeah, so that was very photogenic. she brought her dog and her partner. they, we recommended places for them to eat and visit. which they did and also promoted their local businesses around. So that was right. Win-win a bonus, it really was. And, she kept herself to herself. We didn't, we didn't interact particularly during the weekend.
and every now and then my phone was bonging cuz the stories were live and, and people were commenting on them, so. Oh, that's
Jenn: really exciting. Yeah. And to see also through her eyes of what she's really enjoyed.
Emily-Jane: It was a really fascinating insight into the guest experience for us. What
Jenn: came out of it?
Can you give us any ideas or any
Emily-Jane: examples? so within the following seven days, we had, multiple bookings from Lester Ship post codes from customers who have never visited us before. And, our social media followers went up by, several hundred. Over, over the period of her stay. Wow. so that's more people to talk to.
Our mailing list increased as well by a few people signing up. more people to talk to, more people to show what we do. and a few bookings too, where iceing on the cake.
Jenn: Yeah. No, I just think it's fabulous what you've done. And I think the key to it is that research that you did at the beginning to make sure that they were the
100%. 100%. There's lots of influences out there, but you have to pick the right one for you. Yeah.
Jenn: Yeah. And I think it's the word influencer too. We think of like the Kardashians or something, you know, and that's not quite, that's not quite right. getting somebody sort of in a smaller setting probably is a
Absolutely look for somebody who's passionate about the things that you are, what your business displays, what they like to what they like to show, and making
Jenn: sure that their audience is exact fit for your ideal guest.
Emily-Jane: Absolutely. It's the groundwork that counts.
Jenn: Yeah. So would you do it again?
Emily-Jane: Yeah, absolutely.
I think we're going to look at doing one a quarter just as a wow. As a sort of rolling program. Yeah. To, to look at different localities or within sort of an hour's drive from our hard place to highlight, raise awareness. And, that should just give us a, a ticking up of, people Yeah. That we like to talk to in bookings with the same influencer.
No, look at different ones. So we're going to research and do one every quarter. Okay.
Jenn: Okay. Well, it'll be really interesting to see how it works out and if they have the same level of success,
Emily-Jane: I'll let you know. ,
Jenn: that'll be great. You'll have to come back on and tell us, you know, the second thing you've done and the third thing you've done and and talk more about it.
I think that would be really great. . Yeah. Okay. Any other advice for anybody who you out there that you think is thinking about
Emily-Jane: trying this? well, it just comes down to your research. I, if somebody approaches you, I would probably decline. I think it, you have got to be the driver to, to get what you want out of it.
there's lots of people out there looking for a free holiday. Yes. And that's not what we're about. It's, it's got to be a marketing, marketing plan. Mm-hmm. part of your plan.
Jenn: Yeah. Because the, you know, we use this word influencer so easily, but it's, it's their job. You know, they are basically promoting other businesses, you know?
Absolutely. To those following them. So you have to, you have to approach
Emily-Jane: it as a. Yeah, yeah. Business to business chat and, and work it out. But, yeah, the groundwork is probably the most important thing that I would recommend somebody to do. Mm-hmm. .
Jenn: And from the, from the stories and the reels and the posts that she did, was there anything in there that surprised you or that you were really glad she was highlighting?
she, she was just able to capture lots of shots because she was living it, she was living the weekend. So lots of, photographs that we probably wouldn't choose those angles, because we are just, we're working in it. Mm-hmm. , it was really lovely seeing it through somebody else's eyes.
Jenn: Yeah. Yeah.
Oh, that is so good. So good. And the bookings also, the best thing about these bookings is they've come in direct. Absolutely. Yeah. That's a big win-win win. So, and I know your business is year after all those direct bookings, so can you tell us what direct booking success means to you?
Emily-Jane: Okay. I've made some notes about this one.
Oh, great. . So, booking direct success to us means having, Being able to, set your own prices, not pay the commission to the big adas. connect with our guests right from the beginning of their booking journey. So from their first inquiries till their departure, and building up a relationship with them so that they like what we do, they value us as people, and they thoroughly enjoy their stay.
We can accommodate needs, we can, make sure they have the best experience. With them because we've had a relationship with them right from the start. Brilliant.
Jenn: Well, thank you, Emily. Jane, I will put links to your website and your social media in the show notes. Can you remind us of your website? Just for those
Emily-Jane: listening, it's mallory medows.co.uk.
Jenn: I'll put those, I'll put all the links in the show notes so you can head over there to, connect with Emily Jane and maybe look at the influencers, stuff that they posted on on Instagram. That would be, that would be really fascinating.
Emily-Jane: Thanks for coming on. Thank you very much for having me. Nice to talk.
Jenn: Thank you Emily Jane for joining us today and sharing your story. Listening to Emily Jane's story reminded you of something you've done that has made an impact in your short-term rental business. Come and tell me what that is. Head to my website, direct booking success.com/one thing, and that is spelled out o n e.
One thing I'd love to have you on a future episode of the Direct Booking Success Podcast.