Smoke em' if you've got em'... (or not...)

Published 4 months agoΒ β€’Β 6 min read

Last week was "Book Direct Day." How did you... celebrate?

Hey Reader,

Back in the mid-80s, I smoked Benson & Hedges Menthol Light 100s. I'd slip between buildings at the high school, hoping I'd get caught by Mr. Dunn, who would put me in detention for smoking OR if I were lucky, would give me a lick on the ass with his paddle so I could walk to town and go riding around till my mom picked me up from Detention, 2 hours later. πŸ˜‰

Good times. If any of that was foreign to you, that was life in small-town Texas in 1987...but I digress.

The point of the story is to remind you of the Great American Smokeout - the day each year the American Cancer Society chose to remind all of us heathen teenagers and everybody else who smoked, which was nearly everybody back then, that smoking was bad. Really bad.

It was the original "awareness day". And it worked for millions of people. Maybe not for me back then, but eventually, I got the message.

Why... because the American Cancer Society didn't just stop talking up the benefits of quitting smoking the next day... and then go back to whatever it was they did on normal days.

Nope. they continued to share the message. Smoking = bad. Breathing = good.

Okay, Jodi, get to the point...

You may know that last week was "Book Direct Day." Originally started by Amy Hinote, this awareness day calls attention to the benefits of booking vacation rentals directly from the owner/host.

If you are booking direct, then it's a good thing. And even if you aren't yet, it's good to "teach" the world that they can benefit from direct bookings. But just like all the other awareness days, we shouldn't forget about it tomorrow.

I'm challenging you to dust off those social media posts about the positives of booking direct (remove any "book direct day" captions) and share them again and again and again.

Other ideas:

  • Take a screenshot of your rates on VRBO or Airbnb and share on social media or in your email newsletter once a month.
  • Share a review from a repeat guest who received a special offer or VIP experience when they booked directly.
  • Take a video of your website and explain the secure booking process, or share an image of your website and let people know you book direct.
  • Send a press release or write a blog and share it with your local community.
  • Record a video to share with your guests after they leave and ask them to book direct next time.
  • Share your message in tourism and vacation rental related Facebook groups!

There are SO MANY WAYS you can share the message. I wrote a blog post with ideas and social media graphics you can share. You can find those here. 10 Ways To Share Book Direct Day​

Are you not quite ready to Book Direct, or do you need some help making it happen? Download my free guide - Five Step Book Direct Roadmap.​

OOOH, and this is cool!

You might remember a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had been nominated for the Book Direct Show Award for "Outstanding Influencers and Game Changers." Well, guess what - I was shortlisted for the best marketing company!

You can check out the other finalists here - Book Direct Show Awards. I wish I could go to Barcelona and watch someone get their prize (hahahaha). I was asked to speak and would LOVE to be there, but flying overseas scares me to death without my I couldn't commit. :(


Shoutout to my email marketing accelerator students!

We just wrapped up my 5-week LIVE Email Marketing Accelerator and I am super proud of the students who put everything into place to start or improve their email marketing. One student, Linda F. (*taps mic - are you here, Linda??), won the challenge at the end of the five-week program. Want to see the highlights? Look for my Instagram reel next week...

If you want to join the next Email Marketing Accelerator and get in on the challenge, it starts next week and runs for four weeks - and you have access to the videos forever!

What's up for March? Glad you asked! I'm super psyched because starting in March I'm bringing back INSTA-BOOKED! And this time, I'm doing it live (plus lifetime access to all content). If you want to learn all the Instagram things (and some Facebook and TikTok tips, too) from yours truly, with live lessons, accountability, and homework. You can get on the waitlist by clicking this link. Insta-Booked For Savvy Hosts! I offered this program for the first time in 2018!!


Tools & Resources

PMS Webinar

Are you ready to take control of your business and increase revenue with automation? Check out this webinar hosted by my friend Jennifer who is an OwnerRez expert! It's free and full of great info, even if you are using a channel manager / PMS already - she is full of insights. I sent it to a client who was using another service and he was super impressed with what he learned.

I'm lovin' this...

Have you heard of Book.lee? It's an amazing tool that works as a mobile-friendly landing page for your listing. It automatically brings in your listing from Airbnb, including photos and reviews, plus you can add your direct booking website, social media handles, email signup form, and trip planning ideas. It's super affordable and works with one property or more. I'm excited to set one up for a new client soon. Learn more and get a free trial here - and if you purchase it and use my link, you'll get a little gift from me (yes, this is an affiliate link.)


Latest website:

My friend Sara Sokul runs this amazing group and listing site for U.S. and Canadian properties that welcome dogs; it's called "Dogs Welcome," she also owns the #1 Pet-Friendly Vacation Rental in Maine and chose me to build her property website!

Check out Little White Dog Properties, where she hosts plenty of dogs and their people in her amazing ocean-front cabin. You probably know how much I love pet-friendly accommodations, and I had a great time creating this fun website full of happy dogs.


Do you have a dog-friendly property? Or do you want one? Check out my podcast episode - it's my third most popular episode - all about ways to market your pup & kitty-friendly spaces (plus a list of my favorite dog-friendly amenities like this waterproof blanket.) I also go over Sara's Dog Welcome group. It's a great place for dog-friendly properties!


Bourne This Way...

What's been going on in my world - if you're interested. :)

I didn't post anything in advance of Book Direct Day this year. In fact, I haven't done much of anything in a while. My youngest brother, Jason, died suddenly in early January. I don't think I've made it through a day since without crying. Grief is a horrible thing. I have had many clients, students, and some of you who saw it on my personal Facebook or Instagram reach out to express your condolences. Hearing from people who understood and gave me the grace and space to mourn was so nice. I am still working through this grief of course, but life is getting back to normal.

Jason was a fun, funny, tough, and big-hearted guy who made friends easily and kept them forever. You can read his obituary here in our hometown newspaper if you want.

Here we are on his first birthday back in 1977 and again last year at a concert in Austin.



Running a small business is hard when you are in charge of all the things. So, if that's you, I commend you. And hope you have systems in place so things will run smoothly when life gets in the way.


That's all for now - have a rockin' great day! And smoke 'em if you've got 'em...

No, not really. Smoking = bad. I've been mostly convinced of that since 1990, but I have to be reminded occasionally.. 😏


PS - The Savvy Host Podcast is back. If you've been waiting, new episodes are being released next week and I'm excited about all the positive feedback I'm getting from those who've noticed I had taken a break. If you haven't listened yet, where have you been?

listen --->


PSS - Are you in my Savvy Host Community yet? I'm growing this new community outside of Facebook just for Savvy Hosts who want to grow their brand. Starting this month, I'll be doing live calls, sharing private podcast episodes, and more content I don't share anywhere else. As soon as you join, you'll get access to cool freebies like my 5-Step Book Direct Roadmap and The Perfect Guest Avatar Workbook; plus, it's a great place to meet other hosts.

Check it out and request to join if you feel so inclined. I'd love to see you there.


Why are you getting this...? Well, you signed up for one of my free workbooks, or you purchased a course or program (even if you used a free coupon). I try hard not to fill up your inbox with too many messages, but if you hate getting tips, tools, and resources to help you with your vacation rental / Short-term rental business, then by all means, unsubscribe. I won't hold it against you. But, I promise I'm entertaining, and even if you don't love this email, you are bound to love the next. Sometimes, I share funny memes; I've been known to share videos of my favorite bands and so much more.


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