As we near years end, inspiration to achieve goals and set resolutions feels virtually endless. While I do believe that goals are immensely important, I find one major flaw in the non-stop stream of Instagram posts reminding me to make 2020 my best year yet. Very few seem to be talking about HOW to achieve said goals. It can sometimes feel like we are just supposed to manifest our dreams and cross our fingers that they happen. Call me a realist, but I'm just not convinced that is going to cut it. Achieving goals takes effort and follow-through. Although a worthy part of the process, no beautifully crafted vision board alone is going to get you there. The best way to create goals that actually stick is to first - dream big; THEN make a solid plan and stay consistent.
Now, please don't throw your vision board into the fire and archive your motivational Instagram posts. These elements have their place. If you've gotten this far, you are well on your way to successful goal achievement. My five step process to creating goals that actually stick is designed help you fill in the missing pieces for the rest of process.
Step 2. Visualize
Settle in to a quiet seat and start with a few deep breaths. Now, can you picture yourself a year from now? What does this look like? How do you feel? Write this down (or create your vision board) to begin to embody this visualization.
Here is an example of how this might look.
Goal: Increase my Number of Clients by 3 per month
Action Step: Use my social media channels to build brand awareness and attract more potential clients to my business.
Task: Spend 15 mins/day engaging with my target audience on Instagram.
Step 5. Review
Review your goals and progress weekly. It is important to set measurable expectations for each goal, and have a system in place to report on those expectations. Applying a quantity to your goal means that, at the end of the week/month/quarter, you can review your results and make informed business decision on your strategy. Am I seeing progress? Where do I need to shift? Remember - this part is not always linear and does require some critical thinking. Perhaps you only had one new client, but your social media following grew by 25 followers - this is still growth! Now... how do we get those social media followers to convert to clients.... a post for a different day ;)
Whether it's your website, your business page on Facebook, or your airbnb vacation rental listing - nailing your digital presence could mean the difference between business, or lack thereof. No matter the channel, successful digital marketing most always stems from identifying your target client and marketing to their pain points. Therefore, perfecting your vacation rental profile means knowing your ideal guest, understanding their needs, and positioning your rental as the best solution.
In addition to being the solution to your guests vacation needs, you must also cut through the clutter of ALL the other listings, and provide an authentic, positive and memorable guest experience before your guests even step foot in your home. To make things even more interesting, this all has to happen within the confines of your listing site. To do this well can be challenging. However, given the current travel market, the drive for authentic experiences, and the surge of shared-economies - I deem this a challenge worth pursuing. If you are reading this, I'd say you do, too. To make this challenge a bit more manageable, here are a few tips to consider when perfecting your vacation rental profile:
Don't Over-Promise and Under-Deliver
When making large ticket purchases on the internet, such as a vacation, convincing your consumers to trust you is one of the biggest hurdles. One of the best ways to grow trust is though social proof, meaning - guest reviews. Now, the quickest way to get yourself a bad review is by not being upfront or honest about your offerings. To avoid this, definitely do not over-promise and under-deliver, and don't leave out important information that would change the guest experience.
That said, there are ways to be honest without selling yourself short. For example: if your house is a block from the beach, do not list it as "oceanfront." However, be sure to let your guests know just how quickly they can walk to public beach access. If your loft is in the middle of a busy, downtown district, I wouldn't say "city noise is a problem." But I certainly would say something like "located in a lively, urban area," so guests know what to expect.
Market to Your Ideal Guests
If your property is an ultra sleek bachelor pad in the nightclub district, I probably would not describe it as "family-friendly." If your property is a yurt on an organic goat farm, I wouldn't recommend marketing to business travelers. These examples are extreme, but you get my drift. Often times we are afraid to define a niche because we don't want to "miss out," however I assure you there are plenty of business travelers, just as there are plenty of families looking for rentals. If we can identify and market to our ideal client, we end up offering a much more positive guest experience. This leads to better reviews and more business.
There you have it, folks - a few tips to help perfect your vacation rental profile. Oh, and one last piece of advice - don't forget to block out a few weekends for your own enjoyment before your listing calendar fills up! If you need any assistance putting these tips into action, email me - I love this stuff.
I am calling it now - 2019 is going to be a year of epic collaborations.
It seems to me, the most successful entrepreneurs I know are pushing right past fear of competition and, instead, choosing to work alongside like-minded brands and businesses.
So, I'm just going to say it: If you have a total brand-crush on someone, it's time to make the first move. Start by taking some time to think strategically about how you could work together, create a proposal (or at least write your ideas down), then reach out!
Still feeling those giddy nerves reminiscent of a high school romance? Let's break it down so you feel a bit more sure of yourself.
2. The Ability To Do More: As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we are often only one person (or a small team). That means, unless you have found a way to add more hours in the day… you can only do so much. However, when you collaborate, your bandwidth increases, making it possible to do more in less time! That being said, a word to the wise - be sure to outline in advance who is responsible for what within the collaboration to avoid confusion or frustration down the line.
3. Brand Strength: Working with a strong business like your own can help to validate each of you and position you both as experts within your industry. Clients will feel confident in knowing that another legitimate business thinks you are good enough to partner with.
4. Leads + Referrals: Ultimately the goal is to grow your business. With expanded reach and increased brand strength, you should see your leads and referrals rise as a direct result of your collaboration.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – a rising tide raises all ships. Do your best, support other entrepreneurs just trying to do their best, be nice, and learn from one other. If you are interested in ways to co-market your business and build your community, reach out! I am always happy to help brainstorm or make connections.
If you are new to the #digitalmarketing game, you may hear marketers refer to an Editorial Calendar. If you are wondering what the heck that is and why people keep talking about it when discussing your marketing strategy – keep reading. This blog is for you.
If you read last month’s post, you know how much I love a good plan. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to you that I find great value in editorial calendars. In short, an editorial calendar is essentially a master plan for your content. Your content is organized in calendar form and planned in advance. The result of this effort has many amazing benefits. Here are my top three benefits to using an editorial calendar:
For example: (We've all done this) When you post on your business social media page "just because you haven't posted in awhile and need to post something today." but you really have nothing relevant to say - sound familiar? When we do this, content can quickly become scattered and serve no real purpose. This is not effective in achieving long-term business goals.
Who wants to spend a whole bunch of time on content that doesn’t actually serve any type of purpose?
No one. That's who.
2. An Editorial Calendar Keeps Your Content Organized
With a little bit of planning you can organize your content into categories. Categories are defined by your marketing goals and action points (I realize this requires a bit more explanation – but that’s a whole other blog post). What is important to note is - defining your content categories helps ensure that your content is relevant to your goals, and that you are sending consistent messaging about your brand and business to your audience. An editorial calendar is helpful in this endeavor because you can visually see your content spread out to cover ALL your goals over a time period. This way, you don’t keep hammering the same point home and missing all the others, or focusing on one goal and losing sight of the rest.
For example: Not all your posts should be a sales pitch. Not all your posts should be promoting an upcoming event. Your audience will get sick of hearing about it and lose interest in you all together (ouch).
Once more - your calendar should be comprised of alternating content categories to ensure ALL your goals are getting equal love throughout the month.
3. An Editorial Calendar Helps You Get the MOST out of One Piece of Content
So, there you have it! My top three benefits to using an editorial calendar. At this point - I think it is pretty clear I’m really into using Editorial Calendars, and I definitely think you should be, too.
If you need a hand getting started – contact me, I love this stuff.
I am a marketing professional with a passion for wellness and community.