In spite of appearances there is more to being an innkeeper than cooking, cleaning, greeting guests, going out to dinner, hiking, theater, concerts and other events as well as exploring historic sites in the region near our Asheville Bed and Breakfast! After we do all of that in an effort to make sure we can offer you the best experience possible, we have to market our inn in such a way as to help people find us.
It used to be that you got yourself listed in a few guidebooks, AAA, tried for some type of press and sent out tons of brochures. Not any more and certainly not in Asheville! Not only has the whole world of marketing changed but also Asheville is one of the most competitive markets in the USA for bed and breakfasts. This is good for you–it makes good B&Bs better–but it also makes marketing a real challenge. You must be asking yourself, “Why am I telling you this?”. Well I just got a really interesting report from our Chamber of Commerce about who comes to Asheville, why, and what they think they are going to find here.
You see, all this time I’ve been telling you about the great restaurants we have, the amazing breweries, the wonderful theater and concerts and festivals and it seems that you have been thinking “Biltmore and Mountains“. So how do we get the word out about how much there is to do and see in our town? The Asheville Tourism Development Board is one of the best in the country and they can’t do it, so how can I? (Obviously, you know I’m going to tell you, don’t you?)
The Carolina Bed & Breakfast is a member of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association. This is a group of seventeen of the finest inns in Asheville who have come together in the spirit of cooperation and friendly competition to work together to get the word out that Asheville is a B&B town! The Carolina’s tiny little marketing budget can’t do this but we are all getting together and pooling our resources to try to make people think of staying at a Bed and Breakfast when they think of visiting Asheville. I am heading up a small committee which is conducting the search for a publicist. This is one of the things I love about this job: the learning never stops. Since we bought the Carolina Bed & Breakfast four years ago, I have increased my computer literacy by multiples, researched and learned the history of an era in our town and region along with the architectural changes which influenced it, as well as planned and executed (with help) our landscape. And now I am learning more than I thought possible about publicity, campaigns and brand recognition.
I have to admit, it’s kind of fun, especially when they start talking about celebrity visits. I can just picture Bobby Flay in my kitchen, flipping pancakes! Unfortunately I have feeling that is just a dream and more realistic methods will have to be used. All of this has also gotten James and me thinking about some new packages and ideas to entice people to our town which is so much more than the Biltmore and the Mountains! They are still works in progress but you know that this will be the first place to hear about them.