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Direct Booking Simplified Podcast – EP01 – Building a brand foundation with Steph Weber

Show notes:

On this week’s podcast we have Steph Weber, season marketer and brand strategist. She highlights the importance of building your brand to create a long term sustainable STR business. She steps through the steps to build your brand and attract more guest to find you and remember you.

Follow Steph on Instagram at @theweberco

Transcription:

The last handful of years, short term rental owners have been able to list a home on Airbnb and Vrbo and make really great money. And I think that the platform and the space has just shifted, right? As more investors have entered, it’s just changed. And so the need and regardless, again, I just go back to like, You have no ownership over Airbnb.

So if they want to put you on page 12 tomorrow, guess what? They’re gonna do it if it’s in their best interest, right? That’s it.

Hey folks. Welcome to direct booking simplified. I’m your host, Gil Chan, the founder of Catastase. And on today’s podcast, we have Steph Weber. She has over a decade of experience in marketing. She has her own portfolio of STRs, and she’s now getting into new builds. Today’s podcast. She’s going to break down how to get started in building your brand and build long lasting relationships with your guests.

So without further ado, let’s bring in Steph. Hey Steph. Thanks for joining us today. How are you? I’m so excited to be here with you. Yeah. What we, I met you only more, more recently, but I really found that like what you’re doing on building a brand. I was like, Oh, I got to meet her. I got to get her in here as much as fast as possible.

Yes. Well, I love it. And I love everything that you guys have going on with crafted stays and your entire short term rental journey. So I’m excited to dive into all the things today. Oh my God. It’s been, it’s been quite a journey. I never thought like when I got into short term rentals, it would turn into like pretty much like replacing my entire life in every aspect.

and I, and I remember like chatting with you last week, it almost did the same thing into your career as well too. I guess maybe like to like dive right in. Do you mind giving, our guests, a little rundown of kind of who you are and where you came from and kind of like what your journey has been.

Yeah. Yeah. I will, I will try to give you all the, short version of a very long story, but, my name is Steph Weber. I’m the CEO of the Weber co hosted by the Webers and. One of the partners in cabins on the Cumberland. So for the last 10 years, for the last decade, I have been supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses in their branding and organic marketing efforts.

So anything, social media, influencer marketing, email marketing, et cetera. That has been my focus. I’ve had my own marketing agency. I’ve helped a number of different types of businesses from brick and mortar retail stores to. The chiropractic office up the street from me to the wellness center that just opened on the South side of our city to those in the online coaching industry.

So, so many different businesses and entrepreneurs that I’ve had the opportunity to serve and work with over my decade long career in the branding and marketing space, which is crazy to say so many changes and so much opportunity. And that led me to building my own brand, which. started actually as a fashion, beauty and travel influencer.

So this whole business started under the name trendy and Indy. And in that I was really partnering with small businesses to help them promote their clothing, their beauty products, their hotels. I had an opportunity to work with on Dawes on wall street and also in Napa Valley and 25 hours hotels over in Europe and the Lark hotel group, out on the East coast.

So lots of different, amazing opportunities. And that though, Gil, what I was realizing, my, my purpose really felt like for those businesses was from a branding perspective and being able to tell their story that they were trying to leverage to target a specific audience. Right. And I also knew that there were so many businesses I was working with that were just missing that branding mark.

And then it was impacting their overall marketing efforts. So I said, okay, I can, I can solve this problem. And I was sitting at New York fashion week as an influencer in 2018 going. This is super cool. And it’s so many people’s dream to be sitting here at a runway show for New York fashion week, and have been invited to this and all the things and.

I have a different dream now. So I created the Weber co, which has been my focus for the last really, since 2018, and partnering with businesses and entrepreneurs in that way through our agency, and then also through coaching programs, the world of short term rentals is something that my husband and I have wanted to get into for a period of time, but.

We had babies, we moved across the country, and it just hasn’t, hadn’t felt like the right timing until 2023. And when we entered the space, we purchased our own home here in Indianapolis. We also in that learned about co hosting and I said, well, let’s start a co hosting business. And in about nine months, we onboarded 14 properties, which was insane.

Yeah, it just, it grew. And also in that time, the opportunity for cabins on the Cumberland came my way via Facebook and I have, there, there are four total couples in on that partnership. So we formed an LLC. To build cabins on the Cumberland, which is a riverfront retreat featuring nine cabins on the Cumberland river in Kentucky.

So basically in 2023, I said yes to the short term rental industry. And I built three businesses around it and went all in headfirst all the way. Here we are. Oh my gosh. So what does, 2024 look like for you then? Yo, great question. right now, 2024 looks like implementing systems and processes, which we, we have implemented those, especially from a co hosting perspective, but now it’s about integrating a team.

So we have our, our runner who’s here locally, who will go and do errands around all of our properties and anything I need her to do. We just onboarded our guests. Experience representative who will largely be handling guest communication so that I can focus more on the owner side of things, the pricing side of things, and then also work on growing the business and the vision of that as well.

but like this weekend, for example, we’re headed down to the cabins to start the install on the first one. So. We’re working on that this year. also this year, my one of my biggest missions is to really be able to support short term rental owners and understanding what it looks like to have ownership of the marketing of your property and understanding that marketing your property isn’t just about optimizing your listing on the OTA platforms, but really, how are you creating ownership over The marketing of your business and hopefully leading them to direct bookings, which I know we share in that mission quite a bit.

Before we kind of get into like the, the marketing of it, like you now been in two pretty big industries. Now you’ve been in e commerce and you’re like head in a hundred percent on hospitality. Like how similar are those two worlds or how different are those two worlds? So Gil, it’s so interesting because there are so many parallels.

And first of all, you’re, you’re dealing with people, right? These are people focused businesses where we are dealing with customers or we are dealing with guests. And ultimately at the end of the day, we’re selling them a product. And in that we also want them to come back to us time and time again, to continue to buy with us or book a stay with us.

So we also have to make sure that we’re building brand loyalty. So there are so many parallels to the e com industry, which is an industry that I was in for, again, like. My fashion industry started when I was 17 and I say that it ended when I was 27 but it really didn’t because I still work in the fashion industry with various different clients, but So many parallels and really at the end of the day it comes back to how are you serving your guests or your clients or your customers in a really powerful way that makes them stay loyal to you and Allows them to continue to buy from you and refer to you The word of mouth marketing is always going to be the most powerful.

So that’s it. So paralleled. Yeah. Do you find that like the, the core components of like how you talk to customers, how you build up your brand, your messaging around that? Does that, is that hold true between both industries as well too? Or are there some differences? Yeah. I mean, I think it holds true.

Amongst really any industry, right? I mean if you are if you’re if you’re building a people centered business where you’re dealing with guests Or you’re especially if you’re dealing with issues, right? It’s again about like how how do you build a brand that really exists to serve those people? And what does that sound like and how does it feel and what is the perception of your brand?

And what’s the emotional tie and the emotional connection that your audience has to your brand, right? So in terms of the brand building side of things itself, I say that the brand building process is very similar no matter what industry you’re in, but it becomes personal because your brand is personal, right?

Like you’re the one that’s building it. You’re crafting the narrative and the story around that designed to hit a specific target audience. And so that’s where branding becomes this really cool, powerful thing that impacts your marketing efforts. Yeah, that’s, that’s so true. You mentioned earlier that Marketing is way more than just getting all your descriptions and your property images all on Airbnb correctly.

What did, what did you mean by that? So I have seen, Gail, since I’ve entered this space, I see co hosts or property management companies say, and we market your property for you. And when they’re about that, it’s like. Yeah, well, we go on to Airbnb or to Vrbo or whatever, and we optimize the listing. So maybe we use a platform like Rink Freezer and Telehost or whatever, and we’re like, oh, okay, based on their suggestions for the description or the title, then we optimize and then that’s marketing.

Okay, that’s not marketing, right? That’s, that’s not, that’s Airbnb or Vrbo saying, here’s what we need to do or what you need to do as the host in order for us to then show your property to people who are searching in your area, right? But that’s not marketing in and of itself. Marketing is really what you are doing as the property owner, as the host, in order to get your property in front of the right target audience that you’re working to attract so that then you can lead them to book direct and then you get to save on all of those fees and you get to make more as a property owner, right?

Yeah. Yeah. So it’s almost like as if what you’re describing was like almost like SEO specifically for Airbnb and VRBO where you’re trying to optimize so that you get on their ranks. But there’s just this whole bigger world out there that like hosts are really not tapping into. like when you get into branding and starting to build your own base and starting to build your repeat users or repeat guests, that’s a whole new world.

how would you recommend folks? I have no experience in this and don’t come from 15, 10, 15 years of, of marketing experience. Like how do they even get into that? Yeah, so I think first Gill, it really does come to understanding what branding means and what branding actually is. I was listening to a podcast earlier today and they were talking about a similar concept, but I think often when we hear branding, we think of the visuals, we think of the logo, we think of the colors, we think of the name, we think of the cute tagline, right?

And those are pieces of the overall branding puzzle. But the brand is the way that I like to say this is the brand is the foundation. So for all of you who are short term rental owners, you’ll understand this analogy. I like to say that if you were to go build a home and you were to try to put up studs and start putting up the walls without first laying a foundation and you go to try to put on the roof, what’s going to happen?

The house is probably going to crumble and fall, right? Because you haven’t laid a solid foundation. So it’s the same for any business owner that I’m speaking with, right? If you don’t lay that solid brand foundation, And you just start marketing whatever it is that you’re trying to sell. Your message likely is a little bit confusing.

Your target audience may not be clear enough. So then you’re just trying to market to everyone. And then at some point in time you’re going, Are the efforts that we’re actually making every day even working? Are the posts that we’re putting hours in of time into on social media even working? Are they hitting the right audience?

Likely, probably no, right? So your brand is how you’re perceived in the market. Your brand is the emotional connection that your audience has to you. Your brand is what people are saying about you, right? Sure. It’s guest reviews, but it’s ultimately like, Hey, what did someone who stayed at your property go and tell their friends about your property and about their experience in their stay?

Your brand is the experience overall. Right? So I think really understand. Starting first with understanding what branding is and then diving into the steps of, okay, now how do we act actually craft and define the brand that we’re building here, right? And there that, that can be expansive, that can be pretty vast, and pretty intense work to do.

But once you do that work, I’ve seen this time and time again with the hundreds of business owners I’ve worked with. They’re like, wow. When we were going through that branding process stuff, I didn’t fully realize its impact until XYZ story, right? I had an owner wellness center come to me once and they were looking for a property In order to be able to build their wellness center.

They were chatting with multiple different leasing agents, etc and Finally, they connected with one who was like, well, tell me about your mission and tell me about your vision. Like, tell me about what you’re doing. And they said, we were so glad we had our brand messaging because that would have been a really difficult conversation otherwise.

So you know, it comes back to like, what’s your overall bigger message and mission that you’re working to convey to an audience and what’s the story that you’re selling and telling at the end of the day, the audience has that emotional connection to it because we’re human beings and we want to be able to connect.

to the brands that we’re doing business with. We do that through the power of story, we do the power of really feeling like the brand that we’re choosing to say yes to has our back, has our best interest at heart, and knows who we are and knows what we want. Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s very true. As, as you think about like crafting that story, are you thinking about a specific person in mind when you’re crafting that story?

Are you trying to reach the millions of people that all search in Airbnb and you’re trying to get them all? Like, how do you, how do you actually break that down? Yeah. So branding really does start with your guest avatar. So any business owner that I’ve ever worked with, and this is true for the short term rental industry.

So I use the term guest avatar. target audience, ideal guest, whatever terminology makes sense for you, but you are thinking about a specific person or maybe a specific group of people, right? And of course you’re going to have outliers from this, but it is really important to make sure that you are targeting.

A very specific group or a very specific person because otherwise you do start to market to the masses And when you do that your message gets muddled your message gets missed We live in a world now where you guys were being marketed to all day long every day And those that are superior with their marketing are seeing huge opportunity and huge growth because they’ve nailed their target audience and they haven’t been afraid to limit themselves.

I’m using quotes here, right? Because really, I think that’s, that’s one thing that people have fear around. It’s like, oh, well, if I define and like focus on this one specific person, aren’t I limiting myself to everybody else who’s out there? Like, if I specifically focus on couples, are families going to want to come here?

Or are singles going to want to come here? Right? Because we’ve created this space specifically as a couples getaway. And it’s like, no, that’s, that’s speaking to your ideal target audience. And you, you would be amazed by how, when you lean into the niche, how many more doors and windows of opportunity and your profits also are actually impacted in the most positive way.

Because you’ve said we’re committing to this. To this message, to this narrative, and that’s who’s attractive to you. Yeah. How does that, so where do, what are the touch points that that touches? Like we hear email campaigns quite a bit and social, like what are the different like elements or parts where you want to actually convey your brand into?

Anywhere that your brand has a presence, your story should be very clear, who you’re targeting should be very clear, your story should be very clear, so it’s any marketing effort that you’re actually making, so that might be social media marketing, it may be email marketing, it may be paid advertising, it’s obviously your website as well, any of those organic searches, it’s any kind of promotional material that you even have inside of your property, right?

Anywhere that your brand is present, Anywhere that Again, it should be very clear. Oh, this is who this is for. This is maybe a challenge that they’re experiencing, and this is what they ultimately want at the end of the day. And we know the story and narrative around that to speak to that group of people or that specific group.

Yeah. And how does that, we talked to the other day about like how the guest experiences is, is actually really started in the physical space is like when guests actually walk into your place, what they feel, what the experience they have, like how does that brand, how do you translate that brand back into your stay?

So yeah, this is a great question, Gillian. For me, the brand experience, the entire guest experience really starts whenever they hear about you or see your property for the first time. Right. Yeah. So if that touchpoint is social media, your brand experience starts there. If that touchpoint is on an OTA, then your brand experience is going to start there.

So it’s everything from, yes, your messaging. I think oftentimes when we talk about guest experience, people want to talk about, Oh, all of my different messaging funnels are like the way that I talk to guests. And yes, that’s like a piece of the puzzle, but it is also that component of when they walk into the property.

What’s there for them to experience and oftentimes we can talk about this from a design perspective from a marketing perspective It’s what moments have you created inside of your property where your guests are taking photos and then they’re tagging you on social media Because maybe you’ve encouraged them to do that or you’ve invited them to do that and every month You do some sort of gift card giveaway or a 50 towards your next day, right?

We always have to make sure that what we’re doing from a marketing perspective goes right back into our properties, ties back into our guests and encourages them to continue to share our message. When they’ve already experienced it, right? A guest who’s already stayed with you is one of the most powerful people to help you spread your brand message and gain visibility and gain new followers, gain a new audience because they’re experiencing and they’re sharing and now their followers are also seeing that experience, right?

So when you have social media and you’re leveraging that as part of the marketing for your property and you’re encouraging your guests to say, Hey, use our hashtag and make sure that you tag us when you take a photo here or whatever it may be. And hey, every month we actually do a gift card giveaway. So we draw, we draw a name of whoever’s tagged us for the month, and you’re going to get 50 towards your next day.

Imagine how many more guests might actually tag you and might actually take the action if there’s some incentive in it for them. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve always struggled to have our guests tag us back in there, but I’ve never tried the giveaway technique. So that’s definitely, that’s something that I need to, I need to implement myself.

Yeah. Yeah. It’s a, it’s a good one to implement. I think oftentimes too, we have to remember like There is a level of privacy on social media and some guests are simply private accounts So you’re not going to see what? Hashtag they’ve used if they have used your specific property hashtag or you may not be able to use their photo on your social media As user generated content as an example But yes who don’t have private accounts and aren’t as concerned about that if there’s some kind of incentive for them Why would they why would they not right?

Especially if they’ve had a great experience with And especially if you have multiple properties, which so many of you in the short term rental industry I know do. So why not leverage that and make sure that you’re creating that experience consistently across your properties and allowing guests to feel like, Oh, now I have a reason to share.

Sure. I want to come back and stay with you at your space and golf shores after I’ve just stayed with you in the Smokies, right? Yeah. Yeah. What’s been, one of the more memorable tags that you’ve seen yourself? Our home specifically, we really targeted, I want to say we targeted more of the like friend trips.

Right. So we were going after those who use Indianapolis because we truly are the crossroads of America. I don’t think that that’s our state motto anymore, but I do think it used to be, but people meet you’re so often Gil from various different States because we’re so central. I mean, almost every day I get messages across our properties that are like, We’re using Indy as a, as like a halfway point for all of us and we’re just so excited to meet up.

So I really wanted to create a space where friends felt like this is our space where we can hang out and meet up. So we get tagged and I also get personal like messages from our guests in front of this beautiful neon sign that we have in our property that has our branded hashtag and it says what happens in Indy with our branded hashtag.

And so my favorites are like those moments that I’ve created specifically inside the property that guests are like So you actually crafted the way that you actually drawing people to actually want to post for you. And, and like, that’s kind of like, you’ve, you’ve like kind of got to your moments like that is actually one of the moments that you have inside your stays.

Yep. That’s amazing. Absolutely. What about you, Gail? I remember I was with my kids and we were in, we were in Maui at the time we were visiting actually happened during like the fire Maui. this is like a couple of days before, but I remember very vividly that I get a message from my guest with an image.

I’m like, Oh crap. That’s like the first thing that you, that you think about, right? And it follows with another message. I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t see the other message, but I click into it. It ended up being that they proposed on the deck of my cabin in the Smokies, and I was just blown away and ended up, they ended up sharing, it’s not social media later, but like, that was one of like the best moments that I’ve ever had.

I ended up even comping them another night stay at my place and I was like, I don’t have anyone staying here. Like, like you guys deserve more time together at like as fiances. And I was like. I love it. Like, I just wanted them to like create more stories in my place and be a part of their journey. So like, I didn’t care if I actually, like, if I had to pay for utilities for another couple of days, like another day, like I had, I had it free.

Like it didn’t, it didn’t cost me much at all, but like just to be part of their story meant just, just so much to me as a host. That’s amazing. That’s so beautiful. And that’s, that I think is like the important thing to keep in mind about what we’re doing in the short term rental industry. Right. We are part of these moments.

We’re part of these stories. And I mean, I think about my times that I went on vacation with my family and the times that we like spent together and the game nights that we had. I mean, I distinctly remember renting a condo in Myrtle Beach and our family played this card game called 31. Like I have such vivid memories of this.

And we talk about that now as we get together, right? Like our properties that we’re creating, Yeah. Yeah. Are in people’s stories for years and years to come. That’s so cool. Yeah. Like, as I’m thinking back, like I asked you a few things of like, Oh, how do you think about these things and how you kind of break it down?

But it’s, I think kind of like to unwind it back. It’s really about understanding what your entire guest journey is like. It’s not about like, Oh, are you doing, do you have your email campaigns all set up? Do you have all your messaging? Do you have all your branding? Like it’s, it’s not, it’s. Yes, you have to include those things, but like kind of like the bigger overarching thing is like, can you put yourself in front of your customers?

So I’m going to talk a little bit about how you can set up a funnel for your guests or your guests like view and actually walk with them through what it’s like to stay with you. What do you want them to feel? How do you want to, how do you want to talk to them? And that’s really where I feel like really good brands do a really good job because they’re not thinking about, okay, I checked out all these like six different boxes now.

And I have my funnel all set up and my messaging campaign all set up. It’s not really about that. It’s not about checking it off. It’s like, are you actually resonating with the guests that you have that you want to stay with? Or that one stay with you. Yeah, yeah, it absolutely is. And making sure that you’re curating the experience for that specific guest, right?

And like exactly what you said, Gil, like really putting yourself in their shoes. And when we talk about this, I think it’s important to like call attention to a couple of things. Number one, When you’re defining your guest avatar, it’s really important for you. Yes. There’s probably like some demographics that you’re going through, right?

Like you’re going through maybe their age, their marital status. Do they have a family? Are they a family of six? Like whatever, right? You’re going through some of those core demographics, but you’re really, you really are tapping more into their emotions. So you’re tapping into their challenges. You’re tapping into their current situation and you’re tapping into what it is that they actually want and desire.

And when you can nail those three components, that’s where your brand messaging really is strong because you put yourself in their shoes and you’ve really walked alongside that, walked alongside them in order to craft this experience. Yeah. maybe kind of skipping onto like, social media, just, just, just a bit.

I know that you. You know the space very, very well. What channels have you found most effective for our, our specific industry? Specifically for short term rentals, Instagram seems to be the predominant platform for success. TikTok I think is definitely one that’s growing. I also think it’s one, it’s, it’s a very different platform than how short term rental owners are using Instagram, right?

That’s the thing I think you have to keep in mind with social media. When you choose to jump on these platforms, you have to understand how they work and how they function. I had someone the other day say, Well, I have a Facebook page, but it’s not doing anything for me. So how can I grow my audience there?

And I’m like, well, is that where your audience is? Is that where you should be spending your time, energy and focus? And arguably the answer there is probably no, unless you’re planning to run ads or if you’re driving guests to review your property there or whatever it may be. But most likely Instagram is where as a short term rental owner, you are going to see.

The most success because there’s a few different things that you can do with instagram, right? Number one It’s a it is a video and photo driven platform, which is great for all of us as short term rental owners You also can leverage instagram stories to share more of the everyday moments or share more user generated content Maybe that your guests are creating on your behalf You also can go live on the platform and really make your audience feel like they’re a part of the experience with you especially those of you that are Building something.

This is why I’m probably so excited about our cabins on the Cumberland project. People love to be part of a transformation story. So we didn’t, we didn’t dive into the specific brand stories, but one type of brand story is the transformation. So when your audience feels like they get to be a part of from the ground up, you have a huge opportunity to grow an audience and to grow an audience that’s very engaged.

And then they followed you this whole time. You’ve been building this thing. Before you even launch your property, they’re like, where can I book with you? Because this has been amazing to watch and they feel like they’ve been part of it with you. And when your audience gets to feel that there’s just a deeper level of commitment and emotion there.

And that’s powerful. Yeah. Yeah. Talk to me, talk to me about that project a little bit more. So you right now you’re working on, you’re working on this property. It’s not up and running yet. And it’s probably, you’re still a few months at least out until, until you’re launching it. How are you building that base of customers?

Okay, Gail, so this is a great question. So I decided to, with Cabins on the Cumberland, I decided to leverage my econ background here a little bit. So we actually created an entire Cabins on the Cumberland merch store, because again, we know that our ideal guest avatar for this specific property is someone that loves camping.

It’s largely families and friend groups, right? Who love camping. They love the outdoors. They probably enjoy lake life in some capacity because we’re close to the lake. They might enjoy kayaking. They’re adventurous people, right? And so we knew that when we were creating Cabins on the Cumberland, we needed to speak to all of those different elements.

But from a merchandise perspective, I was like, people love to wear shirts and tees and sweatshirts that say, Lake Life or Happy Camper, right? So why not create our own merchandise that’s branded as Cabins on the Cumberland and allow our audience to purchase from us, get on our email list before we even have Cabins on the Cumberland to launch, and then by doing that, I’ve already been building my email list with this, right?

In addition to this, inside of each of the cabins, we’ll have a lovely QR code that you can scan to shop Cabins on the Cumberland with our branded merchandise, as well as like Our Lake life and happy campers that you can wear, you know, wherever you want to, wherever you want to wear that. So this is a huge test for me and I wanted to just see if my theory would work.

and see if we, if we could do this and launch it and allow our customers who are there to then become guests when we were ready to launch the cabin. So that’s part of it. We also have started our social media accounts. I’m actually going down to the cabins to do our first install this weekend on cabin number one.

And in that, I’ll be sharing our journey on social media. So we did start our social accounts as well and I started building our audience there. So you’re, you’re building a property from the ground up, you’re building an e commerce product on the side, and then you’re flipping that into actually hosting that.

Like you’re going multi level on, on this project. Yep. Sure. I’m Gil. Yeah. I mean, for us, and again, I think that this just comes back to my background in terms of how I can leverage all of the different skill sets that I have and in like what I know to be true of people. I mean, when we go on vacation, you’re likely purchasing, I always purchase an ornament when I go on vacation.

I probably should just have a hat or a tee. Or a sweatshirt because if I’ve loved it, I’m going to wear it. And then that’s just like walking promotion for you everywhere, you know? So again, it’s just thinking like, how are you also making sure that the guests that have had a great experience are still sharing what their experience was.

And so when they have our sticker on their water bottle that says cabins on the Cumberland and they head to the gym and someone’s like. What’s cabins on the Cumberland? Now there’s a whole conversation and hopefully a booking because of it. Yeah. Or they look at it every single day and like, Oh, I can’t wait.

Yeah. Every year. I never thought about that. Like, yeah. When we travel, we, we always walk away with some sort of gift. Like it’s either a magnet or an ornament. Actually we do a lot of ornaments that tree’s getting pretty full, but I never thought about like. How to actually build that back into the guest experience.

That’s, that’s pretty darn smart. Yep. Yeah. So we’ll launch ornaments when we launch our, well, what we’re planning to do is be able, we launched a handful of products initially. We’ll do a seasonal launch. So we’ll do launches every quarter. So when we do our launch for the winter, we’ll have ornaments included in that.

Yeah. You mentioned last week that with Airbnb, there’s a huge lack of consistencies. Like you. Are in the seat of folks that have been on Airbnb for a very long time. They haven’t, that they haven’t updated their property in a long time. They’re, they’re like veteran hosts. And then you have a new age of host that’s coming in that’s really thinking about the entire guest experience.

And they’re really striving for not just like, oh, I wanna get five star reviews, but like, really I want to deliver an experience that people remember and come back. and how do you kind of contrast like that lack of consistency and. What you are trying to build and really promote to others like really want to do, like how can you still be successful in just be, be on Airbnb and just marketing completely on there?

Or do you really need to elevate yourself? It’s my personal opinion, Gail, that I do not want my entire business to rely on a platform that I have zero control over and zero ownership over, right? I own my home, but at any point in time, Airbnb could say, oh, you didn’t get a booking for two weeks, so we hate you now, we’re going to put you on page 12, right?

At any point in time. Whereas if I have control over my own marketing and my own audience, my own email list, my own social accounts, my own direct booking site. Now I have a space that I can really claim as mine as the business owner that I can then guide and direct traffic to and for me, that’s what makes sense.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the Airbnb and all all of these different booking platforms are amazing and absolutely hold their space. And as short term rental owners, I think it makes sense for us to be on a variety of different platforms, right? In order to increase our bookings, etcetera. But that being said, I also think that we don’t live in a world anymore Where we can just put a home on Airbnb and say, Oh, we’ll hope for the best and we’ll see what happens.

Right? I think the space shifted. I also think, of course, with every platform, Airbnb has become much more saturated over the years, right? As more investors have entered the space and more homeowners have entered the space and more people who have a room in their basement have entered the space. So again, and it does come back to keeping in mind as well.

Airbnb has their own brand So they can choose to go whatever their ever direction They want to go at any point in time because they’ve built their business in their brand And you know again, I think that this goes back to two. I was having a conversation with a friend the other day We were talking about influencer marketing in the short term rental space and she said I would love to know how to find properties Where I can actually direct book because I would prefer to do that versus going to Airbnb.

I would prefer to find properties that are incredible that I can just go and have a direct booking experience with versus, Oh, I’ve got to go on Airbnb and spend hours trying to find the perfect home for our family of seven, et cetera, et cetera. You made a really good point just now. That Airbnb is basically they’re, they’re marking, they’re, they’re, they’re basically a marketplace.

They’re marking their own marketplace. And it makes me reflect back to about some of the campaigns that they’ve ran through the years. Like, if you thought about like in 2022, early 2023, they were very, very big on unique stays. They had this like OMG campaign. And if you’re, if you spent any time on YouTube right now, the campaign they’re doing is right now is like, why stay, why stay with friends in separate hotels when you’re trying to get together?

So like, it almost feels like Airbnb has many things to promote and over time it’s going to switch its positioning. It’s going to switch the marketing campaigns. It’s going to spend their dollars in different areas. And it may or may not be in your best interest. I still like, I get a lot of anxiety of like, Oh, am I on the first page?

I like in the very early days, I would consistently look at rank breeze. I’m like, okay, am I on the first page? Oh, I dropped to three. Oh, I’m, I’m dropping to five right now. And it consistently, it’s like, it’s very emotional. It’s very, very emotional because your livelihood, your ability to pay for mortgage.

It is based upon like where you fall in their ranks and you have very little control. You can dial your pricing down as far as possible and get back to page. One of you really, really wanted to, but like outside of that, like you don’t have a lot of levers that you can pull. You can definitely like, like spruce up your space and really like invest a lot into your stays.

But like, you’re still at the mercy of Airbnb. and that’s kind of where like I found that with direct bookings is that you’re able to think of it not as a transactional thing. Like you’re not thinking about like, Oh, your next day on Airbnb and trying to get that next day, what you’re trying to do is like grow a base of guests over time and really make sure that like, Over time, that, that, that, that, that guest list is going to grow really, really long.

And the ability for you to market and talk to people is going to grow really long. So your leverage over many months, many years is going to be phenomenal. Like you’re, you’re going to be able to almost at some point be able to get majority of your bookings just straight off of your own marketing campaigns.

Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. That’s such a, such a big contrast. Like that, that’s kind of how I think about like, if I want the next transaction, Airbnb is a great way to get the next transaction to get the next booking. But if you’re really looking to grow a sustainable business, you have to go, you have to do your own marketing.

You have to invest into it. And not everybody’s going to, like if you have one property and this is your side thing, like. You probably don’t need to invest into marketing and direct bookings and so on. But if you’re starting to scale up and you want to make this a long term investment, like it’s in your best interest to really make sure that you’re hedging your bets and you’re really building a business for yourself.

Absolutely. Whenever I’m talking to short term rental owners who are like, well, is it worth my time to, you know, spend my time on social media? Because here’s the thing with marketing, right? You’re either going to spend your time or you’re going to spend your dollars, or in some cases you’re going to spend both.

So really where are you going to get the most return on investment for your time? Or for your dollars and if you’re a short term rental owner that has one property and you have zero plans to expand and you’re Just like I have this one property and we’re just gonna see what happens with it And if we make money great, and if that’s what your goal is Marketing and just putting your properties on airbnb verbo booking whatever platforms you choose That might be really great for you.

However, if you are short term rental owner, who’s coming into this, like we were and said, we know we want to have multiple properties. We know that we’re really going all in on this industry. I’m going to start marketing from the very beginning. And no matter where you are in your journey, even if you are the person that’s like, man, we have 10 properties and I haven’t really done much with marketing yet.

That’s okay. Right? Like it’s never too late to start. So don’t feel like you’ve missed the mark. Start now. If you’re 10 properties. Consistently have guests. If you’re using something like Staphy and you’re using email marketing, think about how quickly you’re going to be able to grow your email list. And now you can market your various different homes to those guests.

It’s huge. There’s huge opportunities. So never feel like it’s too late, but it’s also, in my opinion, never too early for you to start marketing either. Yeah. Yeah. You’re, you’re absolutely right on like the never too early. And like, if you had the vision of like growing your portfolio and really. Creating experiences where people want to come back to you consistently, like you can have one property and market yourself.

And over time that basis is going to grow stronger and stronger and stronger. Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. Well, for sure. So Steph, how would you recommend people getting started with getting their social media accounts set up? I think a couple of things when it comes to social media marketing specifically, I think when I talk to short term rental owners, it’s like, Oh, there’s so much that goes into social media marketing.

Like where do I start? What’s going to be the best? How do I grow an audience? How do I get people to take action? Right? Because I think oftentimes we think we hear marketing and in that we’re hearing sales, but we have to remember that marketing is about how we’re weaving together multiple touch points in order for somebody to make a buying decision with us.

And when we’re, when we’re marketing our properties, we’re marketing potentially what 5, 000, right? Or 10, 000, depending on where your property is and when they’re traveling, all of the things that’s probably not a decision that someone’s like, Oh, I saw a post click by, right? It’s much different than selling a 40 product on Instagram as an example.

So it’s important for you to keep in mind what the experience needs to be on that social media platform. And this really comes back to a few different things. So number one is content and your content should be designed to entertain, to educate, or to inspire your audience. And so if you’ve nailed your content strategy, it’s probably doing a portion of the job on social media for you.

Social media is called social. Media for a reason the content is the media side of it. Then there’s the social component and that’s where engagement comes into play for us to be able to actually have two way conversations with our audience leveraging dms leveraging comments Encouraging shares encouraging saves so encouraging your audience to take action On the content that you’re actually sharing.

and then of course there are various different ways that we can partner in order to be able to grow our audience. Partnering with other short term rental owners, partnering with local businesses, partnering with influencers or creators who are staying at your property. So, many different ways that you can go, but it comes back to where is the next step.

for that potential guest or where are you leading them to next in order for them to book their stay with you? And how are you taking them along a journey to get there? You mentioned something interesting about social social media, like kind of the definition there. And there I’ve learned personally that the types of posts that you consistently post about content that you post about makes a huge difference on.

Yeah. Whether or not someone will even want to follow you or will want to engage with your posts. I, I made the mistake of posting all of our, all of our beautiful pictures of our cabins and all the different places and like having little captions on there that, that I thought would, would draw people in.

And that just doesn’t work. That stuff does not work at all. Like people do not want to follow a bunch of accounts that just talks about their one cabin over and over and over again. Like, I don’t know if you’ve seen the same and, and, and, and contrast that with something like that, the types of contents that people do want to engage with.

So many short term rental owners, y’all you love your listing photos And I know they work so well for you on Airbnb and Vrbo and all these platforms and that’s great however, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook like those platforms are Lifestyle content heavy, right? especially when it comes to like the video side of things and you’re it you can’t just take your listing photos and Put them in a reel and put some music behind it and think oh this is gonna Explode and really connect to my audience right because it’s not And it’s one thing for those photos to serve their purpose on the OTAs.

It’s a completely different thing to create content for social media. So number one, I would tell you, absolutely make sure that you’re getting lifestyle content and make sure that you are getting lifestyle video content. I would also say like understanding your brand story. So there were three, there are many different types of brand stories, but three that I see work really well in the short term rental industry.

Number one is the transformation story, which I mentioned earlier. So that story of We’re building this thing from the ground up, or even if you’re not physically like building something, you’re likely designing the space or you’re putting it together. You’re bringing to life the guest experience. Take your audience on that journey, ask them questions, leverage things like the poll feature in stories and say, would you rather have this or that?

Would you rather see this or that inside of our property? Right? So you can do that for transformation. You can do things like that from a transformation story perspective. And then you’ve got your disruptor story. So your disruptor story, I like to say this is how you are disrupting the market or doing something that’s a little bit different.

I literally have a text that I haven’t read from a friend yet who just sent me a message that apparently Ego is building some sort of like, Pancake or waffle themed home or themed property or some kind of stay? I’ve got to read the entire article But when you’re creating something that is to use airbnb’s unique stays concept, right?

You are creating something that is unique or you’re doing something that’s different You’re providing a really epic guest experience or you have something inside of your property That allows you to kind of disrupt the market and shake things up That’s another component that you can share and again, it’s like the lifestyle content that’s behind that And then you have your inspiration story.

And the inspiration story is what the story is that you’re telling your guests about what they’ll experience at your property in terms of really what they’re seeking, what they’re looking for, right? So let’s say that you’ve created a, an epic romantic couples getaway. Then the story of inspiration that you’re sharing is how this couple is going to be able to reconnect.

In your space, what are those moments that you’ve created of allowing them to reconnect? How are you contributing to that story and to that guest experience as a whole right? So those moments of inspiration or how they’re going to feel When they’re coming to stay or if you have created a space that’s designed for families How are you making sure that the family is going to be able to have their needs met on vacation?

Inside of your space, right? I was talking to one of my friends the other day and she was like, I love when airbnb’s Have things for kids like one of our properties here in Indianapolis has an entire loft dedicated to a kids play area, okay? That’s an amazing thing that maybe kids don’t have at home My son actually went to this property the other day with my husband and my husband was like he didn’t want to leave He loved this kids play area a lot, right?

So again those moments of inspiration where you’re sharing Hey, like this is what your kids get to experience when you come here. And we know that you may not have an whole arcade movie room inside of your own home. This is what you get to see when you’re here. Yeah. Yeah. We, and in one of our, in one of our spots, we have a, we have a tube slide in there, inside the property and like our guests love that place and they constantly talk about it.

Like that’s the, that’s the type of content, like you want to like recycle over and over again, like, because pretty much everybody that gets that, that books, our place always looks forward to that one. Yeah, always looks forward to it. Yeah, absolutely. It’s because again as front and you have to think too, like from a parent perspective, like who, who are we marketing to in this case, right?

So if using your tube slide example here, Gil, you are marketing to the parents because the parents are the ones that are making the buying decision, but the parents are thinking about how are our kids going to feel in this space? And this is going to be a vacation that they talk about and remember for the rest of their lives.

Like this is going to be such a fun time and a fun memory for our family. And also. It’s going to be an area where they can go and hang out. I can go and like get a glass of wine and just like chill because I know that they’re just hanging out on the slide and having a great time. Right. So again, that’s like, what’s the story that you’re telling there?

And if you can also even build into your messaging, like I even Now that I know that so much of my guests talk about it and they come for that, I actually include it into the messaging that I send to my guests, like days prior to their stay. If you know your avatar is going for that and is booking because they want that privacy, they want, they want that, that moment there, like go ahead and include it, keep on talking about it.

And like, that really resonates with, with, with your guests. Yep. Yeah, it absolutely does. And that’s what attracts them to you as well, right? Like if you’re getting, again, when we go to book our vacations and book our stays, we have a specific story and memory and thought process. We have a specific experience that we’re looking for.

So when we find a property, that’s like, Oh, That’s it. Right. I mean, for example, my husband and I, his birthday is over Memorial Day weekend. Almost every year. His birthday is May 30th. So typically it’s around Memorial Day weekend. Typically we go on a trip somewhere because why not? Unless we’re going to the race.

We’re Indy 500 fans. So all that being said this year, I was like, you know what? Let’s go somewhere. And I knew that we were looking for like, yeah. A couple’s focused getaway. We were not going to take the kids. I just wanted it to be us. And one of our other friends, friend, friend, couples that’s going alongside of us, and I just wanted a space for the four of us to be able to like hang out, be outside, be able to hike, be able to have a hot tub to enjoy.

So I already had a vision of what I was looking for. And then I came across the cliffs at Hawking Hills and it’s a four hour drive from us because they’re located in Ohio. And I was like, this is perfect. I don’t have to get on a plane. So if I need to get home to my kids, I can. And it’s exactly what I’m looking for.

There are hiking trails around. There’s the hot tub. It feels private. It’s like clean and beautiful. This is what I want. Quick book. Yeah. Yeah. What do you, what do you recommend for folks that are just starting off right now and they’re trying to grow the first set of followings? Like they haven’t gotten that momentum on there.

What do you recommend for them? I would tell you to figure out who you can partner with in order for your audience to be able to grow. So I think, there’s a couple of different ways that you can do this. In the short term rental space, I know that there are so many different opinions around influencer marketing and user generated content creators And I totally understand that however If it contributes to one booking for you Most likely a one night free stay in exchange for social media content that you can now use on your accounts Is going to be hugely beneficial for you if that’s what the agreement looks like, right?

Again, it’s really important to make sure that your your Partnering in a way that’s mutually beneficial all around where all parties have agreed to whatever whatever you have agreed upon in terms of deliverables, but partnering in that way helps you gain visibility to an audience that you may not have otherwise if you do choose to do that Doing some kind of a giveaway even if it’s a like hey We’re going to give everyone who comments the word x on this post a hundred dollars towards their three night minimum stay You guys that’s huge like encouraging those kind of comments and you can automate so much of this as well, right?

But encouraging those comments That’s how you’re going to grow a social media following quickly because you’ve partnered and you’re leveraging someone else’s audience that they’ve built Partnering in a way that’s mutually beneficial and now your audience is growing as well. So that’s great You can partner with local businesses as well.

I did a partnered it was it was a giveaway and we actually did a giveaway for our one night stay here at our place in indy and I did it in partnership With four or five other small businesses all of us in different industries and we all gave one specific winner each thing that we were giving away We gained about 200 followers that are our ideal target audience in this and that was huge for us So partner partnering with small businesses in that way is great I also would say making sure that you’re taking advantage of every possible visibility opportunity So part of that is encouraging your guests to follow you on social media, right?

Asking them to actually take that action. Not every guest. Again, we always have to lead our guests to the next step or lead our ideal target audience to the next step. So what do we want them to do? We want them to follow us on social media. Great. That is in our, that’s in our check in message. So that message they get three days before it’s like, Hey, be sure to tag us in pictures and use our hashtag.

It’s also obviously on a wall in our own property, but we also have it on signage in every property that we co host on as well. So again, just making sure that you’re encouraging the engagement too. Yeah. What I’ve learned is like, it doesn’t, you don’t need to have an influencer that has hundreds of thousands of followers.

Like that is not necessary. Like, I think what is probably more important is that you choose an influencer that kind of going back to your, your ideal guest avatar is like. That really resonates and that really connects with it. Like for us, like one of our properties in Branson, like I have a family that all they do is post about all the wonderful things to do in Branson for families.

They have two kids of their own, the kid, they take their kids to all the like attractions out there. And I was like, you are actually. the people that I want to stay at my property. And that’s, that’s, and I would be more than happy to, to give them a free night stay because like when they talk to people, people listen, they really resonate with their group.

Like I’m less interested in having someone that has hundreds of thousands of followers that know that like having them stay on my property, it’s going to be well worth it. Well, and think about this too, Gail, just using that as an example. When someone is looking up things to do in Branson, you can actually go to Instagram now and type in what to do in Branson, or things to do in Branson, or activities in Branson.

Their account is probably popping up, right, in terms of their content, because of the hashtags they’re using, because of the keywords that they’re using, etc. So when someone is like, I think maybe we want to take the kids to Branson for the weekend. What, what is there to actually do that? And their account pops up and they click and they start scrolling through their posts because this is how we use social media.

Right. And then they see your property and they’re like, Oh, I can stay here. Cool. Where do I look right now? You’ve likely just gained another follower as well. So that your example is perfect. It’s not about using influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers. Can that work? Sure that you can choose to do that and you can decide what your marketing budget looks like and that might make sense for you or you can choose to use micro influencers that do have a smaller but highly engaged following that hit your specific target audience, right?

Again, if you are looking for, if you’re looking to attract families or large families to your home, then you’re probably going to want to work with an influencer that has that that avatar in their audience, right? Just making sure that you’re doing your research and your due diligence, and that’s where successful partnerships.

Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. I, I love like the passion that you have in talking about these things. I love it. I love it. Yeah. I am. I am passionate about it and I’m passionate about it for this industry because I know that there’s such a huge need for it. I think it’s just helping short term rental owners.

Shift a mindset and shift a perspective. I think so for so like the last handful of years, short term rental owners have been able to list a home on Airbnb and Burbo and make really great money. And I think that the platform and the space has just shifted, right? As more investors have entered, it’s just changed.

And so the need, and regardless, again, I just go back to like, you have no ownership over Airbnb. So if they want to put you on page 12 tomorrow, guess what? They’re going to do it if it’s in their best interest, right? That’s it. Yeah, Steph, can you imagine what it’s going to be like five, 10 years from now, like hosts are consistently up leveling what the experience is like.

And I think five, 10 years from now, you’re going to get these really good hosts that make these great stays. And like people are one are going to want to book directly with folks and want to have that same experience. And almost like for me, like. I want to keep expanding my portfolio. So I’m in more places and I’m like, I can really tailor by guess so that when they’re going for the next vacation, I’m there with them.

Like, I really think things are going to get up level significantly. We’ve already seen in the last like three years, like the stays that people are putting together are very different than what they were like five years back. Yes. Yeah, they absolutely are. Yeah, they totally are. I know five to 10 years from now, I think it’ll be very interesting to see.

I also think that that means Marketing is even that much more important because again like guests are going to have options and like this conversation I was having with a friend the other day who was like, I would love to book direct But how do I find places to direct book? like I think guests again are just so we have to I almost talked about this in the episode but like We have to think about the language.

When you’re talking to a group of friends about going on vacation together, they either say, I’m going to go book a hotel, or they say, let’s book an Airbnb. They’re not saying, let’s book a short term rental. That’s the term that we all use in the industry. They’re saying, let’s book an Airbnb. Airbnb has created such a powerful brand name that that’s what, that’s what guests are saying.

So instead it’s like, how do we shift guests to saying like, Let’s go book at milk and honey ranch down in Texas, or let’s go book at the Clifton Hawking Hills in Ohio. Let’s find a really cool space to go stay where we can book direct. And it’s like booking with a hotel or a business for lack of better terms, you know, versus yeah.

Things are, things are massively going to change. We have to remember the language that our, our guests are using. And so part of, you know, social media marketing is, how are we also helping them shift their narrative and like their perspective to. And understanding, Hey, like, yes, we have this. And we’ve created this incredible stay in this incredible experience for you.

And this is what the brand is. That’s like, again, like for cabins on the Cumberland, I didn’t want people to say, Oh, we’re going to go to Lake Cumberland, Kentucky and take our boat out on the lake and whatever. I wanted people to say, yeah, we’re going to go down for the weekend to cabins on the Cumberland.

You guys want to join us. They have nine different cabins. You can rent one, too. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. All right. Well, Steph, we, we spent a lot of time on just like breaking down all the different parts of social media and how that, how we can actually like leverage that more effectively, how we can leverage our brand and build that over time.

And really, really start that flywheel because that’s what it really is. It’s a flywheel that over time, it may take a while for you to start that, but over time. That thing is going to start spinning on its own. And you may find that like most of your content is not going to be from things you record yourself or nothing, nothing that you post, but like, it’s from the UGCs, it’s from other folks that have raved about your experience that you’ve cracked for so long.

That’s my hope for everybody here that, that, that listening to this is like start small, start anywhere. Yeah. to kind of close this out, I have two questions for you. One’s a mindset question and one’s an actual question. So the mindset question is what is, what’s the one mindset advice that you would give to someone that is trying something completely new?

Two things. Number one, I would say, Make sure that you really understand the skills and knowledge that you bring to the table and don’t let anyone diminish that or take That away from you. No one can take away your skill set It doesn’t matter. I I hear all the time stuff Like you just got started in the short term rental industry like a year ago Like how did you grow this fast and i’m like because I really understand my skill set and my background And yes, am I still learning so much about the short term rental industry?

Yes, are we all learning a lot about the short term rental industry because it changes Literally every month. Yeah, that’s how any industry is, right? But i’m not afraid to learn and i’m also not afraid to say yeah But I have this skill set and this is what I bring to the table and this is where I know my zone of genius Is so i’m going to take it and ride it and allow others to come along the journey with me, right?

And not being afraid to share that. I would say that’s probably thing number one is just like, go all in and, and don’t, don’t be afraid of it. The second thing that I would say is, don’t think that your 10 year plan can’t happen in nine months. especially when you are, Very willing to share your vision with others and share what it is that you’re going after and that you’re working to build that’s how cabins on the cumberland happened for us I shared a post in april of 2023 when we started our co hosting business Of what I wanted our short term rental journey to look like the very last slide is called the big dream It is literally gill almost exactly what cabins on the cumberland is and that opportunity came my way Two months after I posted that so and Don’t you guys don’t get me wrong?

Like we did not have the capital to be able to figure out cabins on the cumberland on our own which is why I shared the vision and why I talked about it on social media and I was like listen like This opportunity just came our way and i’m so excited about it And I had like 50 different people reach out and say tell me more I want to hear and then of that we found three other partners to go in on this deal with us so pretty much anything is possible when you are committed to your vision when you’re showing up, when you’re leveraging your brand.

and when you believe in something strongly enough to just say, I’m gonna do this and I’m gonna go after it and I will figure out all of the learning curves and challenges along the way which there will be and come hell or high water it’s gonna happen. Yeah that’s so true like you need like you had not gotten that deal if you did not.

And I really truly believe too, like this deal happened because of the brand that I’ve been building since 2018, you know, like our, actually I started my trendy and indie Instagram account in 2016. I became an official LLC on February 14th of 2018, but I’ve been building that my brand since then. And my brand has gone through multiple different pivots, right?

This is the power of branding and the power of just building an audience. And because of that, I truly believe that people have seen what I’ve done and they like, like my partners were like, we trust you and we know your skillset. So we know that this is going to work out and be good. That’s awesome.

That’s awesome. Last question. What’s the one action that you want people to take today? I would encourage you if you haven’t done the brand work around your short term rental business as a whole, if you have multiple properties or property specific brands. Start there do understand the story that you’re trying to tell understand the guest avatar that you’re working to attract and you may need to Add some things to your property.

You also need to start your social media accounts and or email marketing, right? Starts with one of those two components if you haven’t already And if you have, make sure that social media and email marketing, like anything you’re doing from a marketing perspective needs to be working together in some way.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed or confused by that, or you’re like, I don’t even know where to start or what to do, pick one thing and really focus on it. Pick your email marketing and dial in your funnels and test them and see if they’re working and test their effectiveness or pick social media and really focus on creating some great lifestyle content that your audience is actually going to be able to connect to.

It doesn’t have to be. This big overwhelming thing. It can be very simple, but you have to pick a, you have to pick a starting point and go all in on it. And then continue to grow and build. Yeah, that’s, that’s very good. All right. So Steph, where can people find out more about you? Can follow you? I would love for you to connect with me on Instagram, at the Weber Co.

That’s probably going to be the best spot to connect with me. You also can follow along our journey for hosted by the Webers and cabins on the Cumberland, but the Weber Co. West Trinity and Indy, that’s where I’ve been building the longest. It’s typically where I show up the most, and very transparently as well.

So I, I’m not, not afraid to shy from the hard moments. That’s, that’s for sure. So hang out with me there. We’d love to connect. and happy to support you from a branding design marketing perspective as well in the short term retail industry. Yeah. And then tying that back to like what, what you’re doing personally, what, what are the topics that you’re most passionate about that, that you would love to talk to people about?

I’m most passionate about helping you understand and identify your brand, and then understand what it looks like for you to be able to market your property, specifically if you’re leading to a direct booking site. I mean, if you’re not, and you’re, you’re just on the OTAs right now, again, like start marketing today, start marketing today, because then when you do launch your website, you already have an audience that you can say like, Hey, you can book direct with us now.

Right. So don’t feel like you’ve got to wait. but if you are like, I know I need to get my email marketing funnels going great. I love, I love to create a good funnel. So let’s chat all things, email marketing. If you’re like, man, I really could use some help with my content strategy and just understanding what to do with social media.

Great. Let’s have a conversation about that. I’d love to support you. Awesome. Well, Steph, it was really good having you here. I. I would love to have you back in the future and to go even deeper because we just scratched the surface on so many of these different things. And for our guests listening here, I would highly recommend like hitting stuff up and, and really like being able to leverage her, like she has so much knowledge on this space and like, there’s.

This is one hour recording. Like it’s not going to do it justice. Like, so definitely, definitely messenger. Thank you, Gil. I appreciate that. It was such an awesome conversation and I’m looking forward to connecting further. Absolutely. All right. Thanks. Bye. Thank you.

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