St John’s Guest House, Weymouth

st johns guesthouse weymouth interiors social media design

Discover how this award winning, seaside B&B made the most of the last lockdown to renovate their Victorian property. Owner Lynne Fisher provides handy top tips for renovations, interior design and social media.

Set in perfect seaside splendour, this award winning B&B has been very busy the last few months.

Heavily reminiscent of Victorian elegance, this beautiful building has recently had a bit of a makeover.

Owners Lynne and Andy Fisher worked hard all the way through the last lockdown to make sure they were ready to reopen in May, complete with COVID safety measures still in place to help keep everyone safe.

“We’ve closed down the guest lounge, because that’s a common area where people might be mixing, and we’ve also staggered meals in the dining room,” said Lynne.

“Last year I also developed an online booking system for our breakfasts, which the guests really loved.

“It’s just a simple Google form that anyone can do and when we check the guests in, we let them know how to order their breakfast using the form and then agree on a time with them. That way, we can limit how many people we have in the dining room at one time and it keeps everyone spaced out.”

Lynne and Andy strongly advocate for social distancing between the guests and ask them all to be kind and courteous when navigating the narrow stairs.

However, the additional COVID safety measures that have been put in place, are not the only thing that has changed at St John’s this past year.

Family Suite: BEFORE

7 TOP TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

1. Post regularly – at least once a day

2. Use different platforms

3. Try to build a following organically (avoid paid partnerships)

4. Promote local businesses

5. Promote the local area

6. Take part in social media challenges

7. Make the most of different features (e.g. Instagram stories)

URLs

stjohnsguesthouse.co.uk

floorplanner.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

FB: @stjohnsguesthouseweymouth

Insta: @stjohnsguesthouse_weymouth

Tw: @Fishersdream

Social Media

St John’s Guest House recently received ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Most Effective Marketing & Use of Social Media’ category of our 2021 Luxury BnB Awards.

They also won Silver in the Dorset Tourism Awards, as well as Silver for the Best B&B in the Southwest. With these awards under their belt, we thought we’d ask Lynne about her marketing efforts on social media.

“Social media is one of my main responsibilities in running the guest house,” said Lynne, “when we took over the business, we had maybe a couple of hundred followers on Facebook and probably less on Instagram, but I’ve really built it up over the years.

“I make sure that I post everyday, which is something I’ve started in earnest during lockdown last year, and it’s really kept the interest up. We’ve also had a lot of direct bookings from it, which is great and much better than going through the OTAs.”

King Suite: BEFORE

Having built up a large following and constantly finding ways to improve their social media, Lynne has some helpful advice on running a social media account for a hospitality business.

“One of my top tips is to make sure that you post regularly,” she said.

“Don’t publish one post and then leave it for ages, because that’s when people lose interest and I’ve noticed that I seem to gain and lose followers much quicker on Instagram than on Facebook.

“It’s also always a great idea to work in partnership with other businesses. So tag businesses that you’re working with, or businesses that you like and feel deserve a mention.

She added: “It doesn’t always have to be about your business and your house. It’s not always about your rooms and your breakfasts.

“Share the beautiful places to go to on a stormy day, or the great businesses people can visit that are just down the road. Share photos and videos of things to do and places to visit nearby.

“It just helps to keep people interested and wanting to come and visit.”

King Suite: AFTER

Different people like different platforms, so it’s always a good idea to use more than one social media platform. But whichever platform you use, Lynne suggests you try to build a following organically.

“Avoid paid partnerships. It’s more about encouraging organic growth and only using paid ads if and when it’s appropriate,” she said, “maybe to encourage a wider geographical audience.”

She added: “Take pictures of everything so that the material you use is your own, but also remember to share other businesses when appropriate.

“You can also use Instagram stories for quick, snappy posts that can be animated for a fun touch. People love that and you could also use TikToka> to produce short videos that you can share on social media.

“Personally, I tend to use Twitter less often for our business, but the focus is very much more on the hospitality element.

“It’s more about retweeting news and promoting Weymouth.”

“Post regularly and tag businesses that you’re working with. Share the beautiful places to go on a stormy day and things to do and see nearby.”

If you’re still not sure where to start, we suggest getting involved with the #bnbphotochallenge on Instagram.

Lynne took part in the worldwide Insta challenge in April. The idea is that everyday, you post something different.

“For example, Day 26 was about day trips,” explained Lynne, “and I used it to promote other local businesses because I think partnerships on Instagram work really well.

“So, one of the day trips I posted a picture from a couple of years ago when we went to the spa at a big country hotel nearby.

“I tagged them in it and it’s a great suggestion if people come and stay with us, because they can go and do that for a day.”

She added: “I would definitely recommend getting involved with that next time it’s on.”

The #bnbphotochallenge has now finished, but keep an eye out for it next year in 2022.

7 TOP TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

1. Post regularly – at least once a day

2. Use different platforms

3. Try to build a following organically (avoid paid partnerships)

4. Promote local businesses

5. Promote the local area

6. Take part in social media challenges

7. Make the most of different features (e.g. Instagram stories)

URLs

stjohnsguesthouse.co.uk

floorplanner.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

FB: @stjohnsguesthouseweymouth

Insta: @stjohnsguesthouse_weymouth

Tw: @Fishersdream

Old Chairs

“Refurbish old chairs using beautiful fabric. Ours were done professionally but can be easily tackled by someone handy.the chairs were bought very cheaply from Facebay and were upholstered by a local company. The material was bought online,” said Lynne.

BEFORE
AFTER

Social Media

St John’s Guest House recently received ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Most Effective Marketing & Use of Social Media’ category of our 2021 Luxury BnB Awards.

They also won Silver in the Dorset Tourism Awards, as well as Silver for the Best B&B in the Southwest. With these awards under their belt, we thought we’d ask Lynne about her marketing efforts on social media.

“Social media is one of my main responsibilities in running the guest house,” said Lynne, “when we took over the business, we had maybe a couple of hundred followers on Facebook and probably less on Instagram, but I’ve really built it up over the years.

“I make sure that I post everyday, which is something I’ve started in earnest during lockdown last year, and it’s really kept the interest up. We’ve also had a lot of direct bookings from it, which is great and much better than going through the OTAs.”

King Suite: BEFORE

Having built up a large following and constantly finding ways to improve their social media, Lynne has some helpful advice on running a social media account for a hospitality business.

“One of my top tips is to make sure that you post regularly,” she said.

“Don’t publish one post and then leave it for ages, because that’s when people lose interest and I’ve noticed that I seem to gain and lose followers much quicker on Instagram than on Facebook.

“It’s also always a great idea to work in partnership with other businesses. So tag businesses that you’re working with, or businesses that you like and feel deserve a mention.

She added: “It doesn’t always have to be about your business and your house. It’s not always about your rooms and your breakfasts.

“Share the beautiful places to go to on a stormy day, or the great businesses people can visit that are just down the road. Share photos and videos of things to do and places to visit nearby.

“It just helps to keep people interested and wanting to come and visit.”

King Suite: AFTER

Different people like different platforms, so it’s always a good idea to use more than one social media platform. But whichever platform you use, Lynne suggests you try to build a following organically.

“Avoid paid partnerships. It’s more about encouraging organic growth and only using paid ads if and when it’s appropriate,” she said, “maybe to encourage a wider geographical audience.”

She added: “Take pictures of everything so that the material you use is your own, but also remember to share other businesses when appropriate.

“You can also use Instagram stories for quick, snappy posts that can be animated for a fun touch. People love that and you could also use TikToka> to produce short videos that you can share on social media.

“Personally, I tend to use Twitter less often for our business, but the focus is very much more on the hospitality element.

“It’s more about retweeting news and promoting Weymouth.”

“Post regularly and tag businesses that you’re working with. Share the beautiful places to go on a stormy day and things to do and see nearby.”

If you’re still not sure where to start, we suggest getting involved with the #bnbphotochallenge on Instagram.

Lynne took part in the worldwide Insta challenge in April. The idea is that everyday, you post something different.

“For example, Day 26 was about day trips,” explained Lynne, “and I used it to promote other local businesses because I think partnerships on Instagram work really well.

“So, one of the day trips I posted a picture from a couple of years ago when we went to the spa at a big country hotel nearby.

“I tagged them in it and it’s a great suggestion if people come and stay with us, because they can go and do that for a day.”

She added: “I would definitely recommend getting involved with that next time it’s on.”

The #bnbphotochallenge has now finished, but keep an eye out for it next year in 2022.

7 TOP TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

1. Post regularly – at least once a day

2. Use different platforms

3. Try to build a following organically (avoid paid partnerships)

4. Promote local businesses

5. Promote the local area

6. Take part in social media challenges

7. Make the most of different features (e.g. Instagram stories)

URLs

stjohnsguesthouse.co.uk

floorplanner.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

FB: @stjohnsguesthouseweymouth

Insta: @stjohnsguesthouse_weymouth

Tw: @Fishersdream

Framed Wallpaper

“Pictures made of the feature paper are easy, cheap and effective. When making the pictures we used picture frames from the Range. This is an easy way to incorporate the main wallpaper design feature into other areas of the room. We think it looks pretty effective,” said Lynne.

Old Chairs

“Refurbish old chairs using beautiful fabric. Ours were done professionally but can be easily tackled by someone handy.the chairs were bought very cheaply from Facebay and were upholstered by a local company. The material was bought online,” said Lynne.

BEFORE
AFTER

Social Media

St John’s Guest House recently received ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Most Effective Marketing & Use of Social Media’ category of our 2021 Luxury BnB Awards.

They also won Silver in the Dorset Tourism Awards, as well as Silver for the Best B&B in the Southwest. With these awards under their belt, we thought we’d ask Lynne about her marketing efforts on social media.

“Social media is one of my main responsibilities in running the guest house,” said Lynne, “when we took over the business, we had maybe a couple of hundred followers on Facebook and probably less on Instagram, but I’ve really built it up over the years.

“I make sure that I post everyday, which is something I’ve started in earnest during lockdown last year, and it’s really kept the interest up. We’ve also had a lot of direct bookings from it, which is great and much better than going through the OTAs.”

King Suite: BEFORE

Having built up a large following and constantly finding ways to improve their social media, Lynne has some helpful advice on running a social media account for a hospitality business.

“One of my top tips is to make sure that you post regularly,” she said.

“Don’t publish one post and then leave it for ages, because that’s when people lose interest and I’ve noticed that I seem to gain and lose followers much quicker on Instagram than on Facebook.

“It’s also always a great idea to work in partnership with other businesses. So tag businesses that you’re working with, or businesses that you like and feel deserve a mention.

She added: “It doesn’t always have to be about your business and your house. It’s not always about your rooms and your breakfasts.

“Share the beautiful places to go to on a stormy day, or the great businesses people can visit that are just down the road. Share photos and videos of things to do and places to visit nearby.

“It just helps to keep people interested and wanting to come and visit.”

King Suite: AFTER

Different people like different platforms, so it’s always a good idea to use more than one social media platform. But whichever platform you use, Lynne suggests you try to build a following organically.

“Avoid paid partnerships. It’s more about encouraging organic growth and only using paid ads if and when it’s appropriate,” she said, “maybe to encourage a wider geographical audience.”

She added: “Take pictures of everything so that the material you use is your own, but also remember to share other businesses when appropriate.

“You can also use Instagram stories for quick, snappy posts that can be animated for a fun touch. People love that and you could also use TikToka> to produce short videos that you can share on social media.

“Personally, I tend to use Twitter less often for our business, but the focus is very much more on the hospitality element.

“It’s more about retweeting news and promoting Weymouth.”

“Post regularly and tag businesses that you’re working with. Share the beautiful places to go on a stormy day and things to do and see nearby.”

If you’re still not sure where to start, we suggest getting involved with the #bnbphotochallenge on Instagram.

Lynne took part in the worldwide Insta challenge in April. The idea is that everyday, you post something different.

“For example, Day 26 was about day trips,” explained Lynne, “and I used it to promote other local businesses because I think partnerships on Instagram work really well.

“So, one of the day trips I posted a picture from a couple of years ago when we went to the spa at a big country hotel nearby.

“I tagged them in it and it’s a great suggestion if people come and stay with us, because they can go and do that for a day.”

She added: “I would definitely recommend getting involved with that next time it’s on.”

The #bnbphotochallenge has now finished, but keep an eye out for it next year in 2022.

7 TOP TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

1. Post regularly – at least once a day

2. Use different platforms

3. Try to build a following organically (avoid paid partnerships)

4. Promote local businesses

5. Promote the local area

6. Take part in social media challenges

7. Make the most of different features (e.g. Instagram stories)

URLs

stjohnsguesthouse.co.uk

floorplanner.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

FB: @stjohnsguesthouseweymouth

Insta: @stjohnsguesthouse_weymouth

Tw: @Fishersdream

Favourite Pieces

Bird Wallpaper

“Feature wallpaper in the back of the wardrobe to continue the design into a usually neglected area. The bird wallpaper is called Amazon and we bought it from Wallpaper Direct. We had to go with more online shopping this year due to the pandemic but could order samples to help make our decision,” said Lynne.

Framed Wallpaper

“Pictures made of the feature paper are easy, cheap and effective. When making the pictures we used picture frames from the Range. This is an easy way to incorporate the main wallpaper design feature into other areas of the room. We think it looks pretty effective,” said Lynne.

Old Chairs

“Refurbish old chairs using beautiful fabric. Ours were done professionally but can be easily tackled by someone handy.the chairs were bought very cheaply from Facebay and were upholstered by a local company. The material was bought online,” said Lynne.

BEFORE
AFTER

Social Media

St John’s Guest House recently received ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Most Effective Marketing & Use of Social Media’ category of our 2021 Luxury BnB Awards.

They also won Silver in the Dorset Tourism Awards, as well as Silver for the Best B&B in the Southwest. With these awards under their belt, we thought we’d ask Lynne about her marketing efforts on social media.

“Social media is one of my main responsibilities in running the guest house,” said Lynne, “when we took over the business, we had maybe a couple of hundred followers on Facebook and probably less on Instagram, but I’ve really built it up over the years.

“I make sure that I post everyday, which is something I’ve started in earnest during lockdown last year, and it’s really kept the interest up. We’ve also had a lot of direct bookings from it, which is great and much better than going through the OTAs.”

King Suite: BEFORE

Having built up a large following and constantly finding ways to improve their social media, Lynne has some helpful advice on running a social media account for a hospitality business.

“One of my top tips is to make sure that you post regularly,” she said.

“Don’t publish one post and then leave it for ages, because that’s when people lose interest and I’ve noticed that I seem to gain and lose followers much quicker on Instagram than on Facebook.

“It’s also always a great idea to work in partnership with other businesses. So tag businesses that you’re working with, or businesses that you like and feel deserve a mention.

She added: “It doesn’t always have to be about your business and your house. It’s not always about your rooms and your breakfasts.

“Share the beautiful places to go to on a stormy day, or the great businesses people can visit that are just down the road. Share photos and videos of things to do and places to visit nearby.

“It just helps to keep people interested and wanting to come and visit.”

King Suite: AFTER

Different people like different platforms, so it’s always a good idea to use more than one social media platform. But whichever platform you use, Lynne suggests you try to build a following organically.

“Avoid paid partnerships. It’s more about encouraging organic growth and only using paid ads if and when it’s appropriate,” she said, “maybe to encourage a wider geographical audience.”

She added: “Take pictures of everything so that the material you use is your own, but also remember to share other businesses when appropriate.

“You can also use Instagram stories for quick, snappy posts that can be animated for a fun touch. People love that and you could also use TikToka> to produce short videos that you can share on social media.

“Personally, I tend to use Twitter less often for our business, but the focus is very much more on the hospitality element.

“It’s more about retweeting news and promoting Weymouth.”

“Post regularly and tag businesses that you’re working with. Share the beautiful places to go on a stormy day and things to do and see nearby.”

If you’re still not sure where to start, we suggest getting involved with the #bnbphotochallenge on Instagram.

Lynne took part in the worldwide Insta challenge in April. The idea is that everyday, you post something different.

“For example, Day 26 was about day trips,” explained Lynne, “and I used it to promote other local businesses because I think partnerships on Instagram work really well.

“So, one of the day trips I posted a picture from a couple of years ago when we went to the spa at a big country hotel nearby.

“I tagged them in it and it’s a great suggestion if people come and stay with us, because they can go and do that for a day.”

She added: “I would definitely recommend getting involved with that next time it’s on.”

The #bnbphotochallenge has now finished, but keep an eye out for it next year in 2022.

7 TOP TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

1. Post regularly – at least once a day

2. Use different platforms

3. Try to build a following organically (avoid paid partnerships)

4. Promote local businesses

5. Promote the local area

6. Take part in social media challenges

7. Make the most of different features (e.g. Instagram stories)

URLs

stjohnsguesthouse.co.uk

floorplanner.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

FB: @stjohnsguesthouseweymouth

Insta: @stjohnsguesthouse_weymouth

Tw: @Fishersdream

6 TOP TIPS FOR INTERIOR DESIGN

1. Have a colour scheme in mind before you start

2. Don’t be scared to use patterns

3. Choose neutral coloured carpets

4. Don’t be scared of taking a risk

5. Make the most of local companies (e.g. re-upholstering old chairs)

6. Utilise the era of the property

Favourite Pieces

Bird Wallpaper

“Feature wallpaper in the back of the wardrobe to continue the design into a usually neglected area. The bird wallpaper is called Amazon and we bought it from Wallpaper Direct. We had to go with more online shopping this year due to the pandemic but could order samples to help make our decision,” said Lynne.

Framed Wallpaper

“Pictures made of the feature paper are easy, cheap and effective. When making the pictures we used picture frames from the Range. This is an easy way to incorporate the main wallpaper design feature into other areas of the room. We think it looks pretty effective,” said Lynne.

Old Chairs

“Refurbish old chairs using beautiful fabric. Ours were done professionally but can be easily tackled by someone handy.the chairs were bought very cheaply from Facebay and were upholstered by a local company. The material was bought online,” said Lynne.

BEFORE
AFTER

Social Media

St John’s Guest House recently received ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Most Effective Marketing & Use of Social Media’ category of our 2021 Luxury BnB Awards.

They also won Silver in the Dorset Tourism Awards, as well as Silver for the Best B&B in the Southwest. With these awards under their belt, we thought we’d ask Lynne about her marketing efforts on social media.

“Social media is one of my main responsibilities in running the guest house,” said Lynne, “when we took over the business, we had maybe a couple of hundred followers on Facebook and probably less on Instagram, but I’ve really built it up over the years.

“I make sure that I post everyday, which is something I’ve started in earnest during lockdown last year, and it’s really kept the interest up. We’ve also had a lot of direct bookings from it, which is great and much better than going through the OTAs.”

King Suite: BEFORE

Having built up a large following and constantly finding ways to improve their social media, Lynne has some helpful advice on running a social media account for a hospitality business.

“One of my top tips is to make sure that you post regularly,” she said.

“Don’t publish one post and then leave it for ages, because that’s when people lose interest and I’ve noticed that I seem to gain and lose followers much quicker on Instagram than on Facebook.

“It’s also always a great idea to work in partnership with other businesses. So tag businesses that you’re working with, or businesses that you like and feel deserve a mention.

She added: “It doesn’t always have to be about your business and your house. It’s not always about your rooms and your breakfasts.

“Share the beautiful places to go to on a stormy day, or the great businesses people can visit that are just down the road. Share photos and videos of things to do and places to visit nearby.

“It just helps to keep people interested and wanting to come and visit.”

King Suite: AFTER

Different people like different platforms, so it’s always a good idea to use more than one social media platform. But whichever platform you use, Lynne suggests you try to build a following organically.

“Avoid paid partnerships. It’s more about encouraging organic growth and only using paid ads if and when it’s appropriate,” she said, “maybe to encourage a wider geographical audience.”

She added: “Take pictures of everything so that the material you use is your own, but also remember to share other businesses when appropriate.

“You can also use Instagram stories for quick, snappy posts that can be animated for a fun touch. People love that and you could also use TikToka> to produce short videos that you can share on social media.

“Personally, I tend to use Twitter less often for our business, but the focus is very much more on the hospitality element.

“It’s more about retweeting news and promoting Weymouth.”

“Post regularly and tag businesses that you’re working with. Share the beautiful places to go on a stormy day and things to do and see nearby.”

If you’re still not sure where to start, we suggest getting involved with the #bnbphotochallenge on Instagram.

Lynne took part in the worldwide Insta challenge in April. The idea is that everyday, you post something different.

“For example, Day 26 was about day trips,” explained Lynne, “and I used it to promote other local businesses because I think partnerships on Instagram work really well.

“So, one of the day trips I posted a picture from a couple of years ago when we went to the spa at a big country hotel nearby.

“I tagged them in it and it’s a great suggestion if people come and stay with us, because they can go and do that for a day.”

She added: “I would definitely recommend getting involved with that next time it’s on.”

The #bnbphotochallenge has now finished, but keep an eye out for it next year in 2022.

7 TOP TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

1. Post regularly – at least once a day

2. Use different platforms

3. Try to build a following organically (avoid paid partnerships)

4. Promote local businesses

5. Promote the local area

6. Take part in social media challenges

7. Make the most of different features (e.g. Instagram stories)

URLs

stjohnsguesthouse.co.uk

floorplanner.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

FB: @stjohnsguesthouseweymouth

Insta: @stjohnsguesthouse_weymouth

Tw: @Fishersdream

“At one point I wasn’t sure if all of the different patterns would all compliment each other, but when it was all pulled together and the room was finished, with the throw on the bed, I was really pleased with it!”

She said: “I think sometimes, you just have to take that risk with the patterns and colours.”In another of their King suites, Lynne chose a flamboyant wallpaper as her focus point, building the rest of the room around it.

“We’ve picked out gold furnishings like the pillows and the throw, which highlight the gold in the wallpaper.”

In addition to her advice about colour schemes, Lynne mentioned her carpets.

“We try to keep a neutral coloured carpet in all of our rooms,” she said.

“That way, planning forward, if we want to change the colour scheme of a room, we can do that without too many problems.

“It makes it easier and less expensive so we don’t have to keep changing the carpet.”

6 TOP TIPS FOR INTERIOR DESIGN

1. Have a colour scheme in mind before you start

2. Don’t be scared to use patterns

3. Choose neutral coloured carpets

4. Don’t be scared of taking a risk

5. Make the most of local companies (e.g. re-upholstering old chairs)

6. Utilise the era of the property

Favourite Pieces

Bird Wallpaper

“Feature wallpaper in the back of the wardrobe to continue the design into a usually neglected area. The bird wallpaper is called Amazon and we bought it from Wallpaper Direct. We had to go with more online shopping this year due to the pandemic but could order samples to help make our decision,” said Lynne.

Framed Wallpaper

“Pictures made of the feature paper are easy, cheap and effective. When making the pictures we used picture frames from the Range. This is an easy way to incorporate the main wallpaper design feature into other areas of the room. We think it looks pretty effective,” said Lynne.

Old Chairs

“Refurbish old chairs using beautiful fabric. Ours were done professionally but can be easily tackled by someone handy.the chairs were bought very cheaply from Facebay and were upholstered by a local company. The material was bought online,” said Lynne.

BEFORE
AFTER

Social Media

St John’s Guest House recently received ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Most Effective Marketing & Use of Social Media’ category of our 2021 Luxury BnB Awards.

They also won Silver in the Dorset Tourism Awards, as well as Silver for the Best B&B in the Southwest. With these awards under their belt, we thought we’d ask Lynne about her marketing efforts on social media.

“Social media is one of my main responsibilities in running the guest house,” said Lynne, “when we took over the business, we had maybe a couple of hundred followers on Facebook and probably less on Instagram, but I’ve really built it up over the years.

“I make sure that I post everyday, which is something I’ve started in earnest during lockdown last year, and it’s really kept the interest up. We’ve also had a lot of direct bookings from it, which is great and much better than going through the OTAs.”

King Suite: BEFORE

Having built up a large following and constantly finding ways to improve their social media, Lynne has some helpful advice on running a social media account for a hospitality business.

“One of my top tips is to make sure that you post regularly,” she said.

“Don’t publish one post and then leave it for ages, because that’s when people lose interest and I’ve noticed that I seem to gain and lose followers much quicker on Instagram than on Facebook.

“It’s also always a great idea to work in partnership with other businesses. So tag businesses that you’re working with, or businesses that you like and feel deserve a mention.

She added: “It doesn’t always have to be about your business and your house. It’s not always about your rooms and your breakfasts.

“Share the beautiful places to go to on a stormy day, or the great businesses people can visit that are just down the road. Share photos and videos of things to do and places to visit nearby.

“It just helps to keep people interested and wanting to come and visit.”

King Suite: AFTER

Different people like different platforms, so it’s always a good idea to use more than one social media platform. But whichever platform you use, Lynne suggests you try to build a following organically.

“Avoid paid partnerships. It’s more about encouraging organic growth and only using paid ads if and when it’s appropriate,” she said, “maybe to encourage a wider geographical audience.”

She added: “Take pictures of everything so that the material you use is your own, but also remember to share other businesses when appropriate.

“You can also use Instagram stories for quick, snappy posts that can be animated for a fun touch. People love that and you could also use TikToka> to produce short videos that you can share on social media.

“Personally, I tend to use Twitter less often for our business, but the focus is very much more on the hospitality element.

“It’s more about retweeting news and promoting Weymouth.”

“Post regularly and tag businesses that you’re working with. Share the beautiful places to go on a stormy day and things to do and see nearby.”

If you’re still not sure where to start, we suggest getting involved with the #bnbphotochallenge on Instagram.

Lynne took part in the worldwide Insta challenge in April. The idea is that everyday, you post something different.

“For example, Day 26 was about day trips,” explained Lynne, “and I used it to promote other local businesses because I think partnerships on Instagram work really well.

“So, one of the day trips I posted a picture from a couple of years ago when we went to the spa at a big country hotel nearby.

“I tagged them in it and it’s a great suggestion if people come and stay with us, because they can go and do that for a day.”

She added: “I would definitely recommend getting involved with that next time it’s on.”

The #bnbphotochallenge has now finished, but keep an eye out for it next year in 2022.

7 TOP TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

1. Post regularly – at least once a day

2. Use different platforms

3. Try to build a following organically (avoid paid partnerships)

4. Promote local businesses

5. Promote the local area

6. Take part in social media challenges

7. Make the most of different features (e.g. Instagram stories)

URLs

stjohnsguesthouse.co.uk

floorplanner.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

FB: @stjohnsguesthouseweymouth

Insta: @stjohnsguesthouse_weymouth

Tw: @Fishersdream

7 TOP TIPS FOR RENOVATIONS

1. Get a good builder with contacts for other tradesmen

2. Find a balance between the old and the new

3. Utilise and protect original features (e.g. tiles and cornices)

4. Be prepared for setbacks

5. Plan what you want to do in advance

6. Consider the height of the building

7. Make the most of helpful planning software (e.g. Floorplanner)

Interior Design

After all the hard work of renovating certain areas of the house, the work continues for Lynne and Andy.

Lynne’s favourite part of the refurbishment process is finishing the interiors and “picking all the little extras”.

She said: “I enjoy doing the soft furnishings and decor. Andy is very much about the technical part.

“He makes sure we’ve got USB points next to the bed, that the smart TVs are on the wall and out of the way, and making sure the bathrooms are sleek and good to go. So he focuses more on the hard furnishings and I’m more focused on the soft.

“I think between the two of us, we actually partner each other quite well for interiors.”

Family Suite, Hospitality Area: BEFORE

With their recent refurb still fresh in her mind, Lynne has some handy advice to pass on should you want to try your hand at some interior design ideas.

She suggested choosing an item, deciding on a colour for it and then building the rest around it. “As I said earlier, we like to maintain some of the Victorian touch as much as we can,” said Lynne.

“In the family suite, there are two chairs which I took to a local upholsterer. I bought the material and the local lady re-upholstered them for me.

“I then built the colour scheme around those chairs. I always try to pick one colour that I then build around.”

She added: “I think having a colour scheme in mind beforehand always makes it a lot easier.

“That family suite is very much built around those chairs and using colours that complimented them.”

Lynne also chose a patterned wallpaper for the family suite that fitted the colour scheme she wanted, as well as curtains and blinds of a different pattern.

“I then built it up and chose a complimentary paint colour before adding the curtains and the blinds,” she said.

Family Suite, Hospitality Area: AFTER

“At one point I wasn’t sure if all of the different patterns would all compliment each other, but when it was all pulled together and the room was finished, with the throw on the bed, I was really pleased with it!”

She said: “I think sometimes, you just have to take that risk with the patterns and colours.”In another of their King suites, Lynne chose a flamboyant wallpaper as her focus point, building the rest of the room around it.

“We’ve picked out gold furnishings like the pillows and the throw, which highlight the gold in the wallpaper.”

In addition to her advice about colour schemes, Lynne mentioned her carpets.

“We try to keep a neutral coloured carpet in all of our rooms,” she said.

“That way, planning forward, if we want to change the colour scheme of a room, we can do that without too many problems.

“It makes it easier and less expensive so we don’t have to keep changing the carpet.”

6 TOP TIPS FOR INTERIOR DESIGN

1. Have a colour scheme in mind before you start

2. Don’t be scared to use patterns

3. Choose neutral coloured carpets

4. Don’t be scared of taking a risk

5. Make the most of local companies (e.g. re-upholstering old chairs)

6. Utilise the era of the property

Favourite Pieces

Bird Wallpaper

“Feature wallpaper in the back of the wardrobe to continue the design into a usually neglected area. The bird wallpaper is called Amazon and we bought it from Wallpaper Direct. We had to go with more online shopping this year due to the pandemic but could order samples to help make our decision,” said Lynne.

Framed Wallpaper

“Pictures made of the feature paper are easy, cheap and effective. When making the pictures we used picture frames from the Range. This is an easy way to incorporate the main wallpaper design feature into other areas of the room. We think it looks pretty effective,” said Lynne.

Old Chairs

“Refurbish old chairs using beautiful fabric. Ours were done professionally but can be easily tackled by someone handy.the chairs were bought very cheaply from Facebay and were upholstered by a local company. The material was bought online,” said Lynne.

BEFORE
AFTER

Social Media

St John’s Guest House recently received ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Most Effective Marketing & Use of Social Media’ category of our 2021 Luxury BnB Awards.

They also won Silver in the Dorset Tourism Awards, as well as Silver for the Best B&B in the Southwest. With these awards under their belt, we thought we’d ask Lynne about her marketing efforts on social media.

“Social media is one of my main responsibilities in running the guest house,” said Lynne, “when we took over the business, we had maybe a couple of hundred followers on Facebook and probably less on Instagram, but I’ve really built it up over the years.

“I make sure that I post everyday, which is something I’ve started in earnest during lockdown last year, and it’s really kept the interest up. We’ve also had a lot of direct bookings from it, which is great and much better than going through the OTAs.”

King Suite: BEFORE

Having built up a large following and constantly finding ways to improve their social media, Lynne has some helpful advice on running a social media account for a hospitality business.

“One of my top tips is to make sure that you post regularly,” she said.

“Don’t publish one post and then leave it for ages, because that’s when people lose interest and I’ve noticed that I seem to gain and lose followers much quicker on Instagram than on Facebook.

“It’s also always a great idea to work in partnership with other businesses. So tag businesses that you’re working with, or businesses that you like and feel deserve a mention.

She added: “It doesn’t always have to be about your business and your house. It’s not always about your rooms and your breakfasts.

“Share the beautiful places to go to on a stormy day, or the great businesses people can visit that are just down the road. Share photos and videos of things to do and places to visit nearby.

“It just helps to keep people interested and wanting to come and visit.”

King Suite: AFTER

Different people like different platforms, so it’s always a good idea to use more than one social media platform. But whichever platform you use, Lynne suggests you try to build a following organically.

“Avoid paid partnerships. It’s more about encouraging organic growth and only using paid ads if and when it’s appropriate,” she said, “maybe to encourage a wider geographical audience.”

She added: “Take pictures of everything so that the material you use is your own, but also remember to share other businesses when appropriate.

“You can also use Instagram stories for quick, snappy posts that can be animated for a fun touch. People love that and you could also use TikToka> to produce short videos that you can share on social media.

“Personally, I tend to use Twitter less often for our business, but the focus is very much more on the hospitality element.

“It’s more about retweeting news and promoting Weymouth.”

“Post regularly and tag businesses that you’re working with. Share the beautiful places to go on a stormy day and things to do and see nearby.”

If you’re still not sure where to start, we suggest getting involved with the #bnbphotochallenge on Instagram.

Lynne took part in the worldwide Insta challenge in April. The idea is that everyday, you post something different.

“For example, Day 26 was about day trips,” explained Lynne, “and I used it to promote other local businesses because I think partnerships on Instagram work really well.

“So, one of the day trips I posted a picture from a couple of years ago when we went to the spa at a big country hotel nearby.

“I tagged them in it and it’s a great suggestion if people come and stay with us, because they can go and do that for a day.”

She added: “I would definitely recommend getting involved with that next time it’s on.”

The #bnbphotochallenge has now finished, but keep an eye out for it next year in 2022.

7 TOP TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

1. Post regularly – at least once a day

2. Use different platforms

3. Try to build a following organically (avoid paid partnerships)

4. Promote local businesses

5. Promote the local area

6. Take part in social media challenges

7. Make the most of different features (e.g. Instagram stories)

URLs

stjohnsguesthouse.co.uk

floorplanner.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

FB: @stjohnsguesthouseweymouth

Insta: @stjohnsguesthouse_weymouth

Tw: @Fishersdream

7 TOP TIPS FOR RENOVATIONS

1. Get a good builder with contacts for other tradesmen

2. Find a balance between the old and the new

3. Utilise and protect original features (e.g. tiles and cornices)

4. Be prepared for setbacks

5. Plan what you want to do in advance

6. Consider the height of the building

7. Make the most of helpful planning software (e.g. Floorplanner)

Interior Design

After all the hard work of renovating certain areas of the house, the work continues for Lynne and Andy.

Lynne’s favourite part of the refurbishment process is finishing the interiors and “picking all the little extras”.

She said: “I enjoy doing the soft furnishings and decor. Andy is very much about the technical part.

“He makes sure we’ve got USB points next to the bed, that the smart TVs are on the wall and out of the way, and making sure the bathrooms are sleek and good to go. So he focuses more on the hard furnishings and I’m more focused on the soft.

“I think between the two of us, we actually partner each other quite well for interiors.”

Family Suite, Hospitality Area: BEFORE

With their recent refurb still fresh in her mind, Lynne has some handy advice to pass on should you want to try your hand at some interior design ideas.

She suggested choosing an item, deciding on a colour for it and then building the rest around it. “As I said earlier, we like to maintain some of the Victorian touch as much as we can,” said Lynne.

“In the family suite, there are two chairs which I took to a local upholsterer. I bought the material and the local lady re-upholstered them for me.

“I then built the colour scheme around those chairs. I always try to pick one colour that I then build around.”

She added: “I think having a colour scheme in mind beforehand always makes it a lot easier.

“That family suite is very much built around those chairs and using colours that complimented them.”

Lynne also chose a patterned wallpaper for the family suite that fitted the colour scheme she wanted, as well as curtains and blinds of a different pattern.

“I then built it up and chose a complimentary paint colour before adding the curtains and the blinds,” she said.

Family Suite, Hospitality Area: AFTER

“At one point I wasn’t sure if all of the different patterns would all compliment each other, but when it was all pulled together and the room was finished, with the throw on the bed, I was really pleased with it!”

She said: “I think sometimes, you just have to take that risk with the patterns and colours.”In another of their King suites, Lynne chose a flamboyant wallpaper as her focus point, building the rest of the room around it.

“We’ve picked out gold furnishings like the pillows and the throw, which highlight the gold in the wallpaper.”

In addition to her advice about colour schemes, Lynne mentioned her carpets.

“We try to keep a neutral coloured carpet in all of our rooms,” she said.

“That way, planning forward, if we want to change the colour scheme of a room, we can do that without too many problems.

“It makes it easier and less expensive so we don’t have to keep changing the carpet.”

6 TOP TIPS FOR INTERIOR DESIGN

1. Have a colour scheme in mind before you start

2. Don’t be scared to use patterns

3. Choose neutral coloured carpets

4. Don’t be scared of taking a risk

5. Make the most of local companies (e.g. re-upholstering old chairs)

6. Utilise the era of the property

Favourite Pieces

Bird Wallpaper

“Feature wallpaper in the back of the wardrobe to continue the design into a usually neglected area. The bird wallpaper is called Amazon and we bought it from Wallpaper Direct. We had to go with more online shopping this year due to the pandemic but could order samples to help make our decision,” said Lynne.

Framed Wallpaper

“Pictures made of the feature paper are easy, cheap and effective. When making the pictures we used picture frames from the Range. This is an easy way to incorporate the main wallpaper design feature into other areas of the room. We think it looks pretty effective,” said Lynne.

Old Chairs

“Refurbish old chairs using beautiful fabric. Ours were done professionally but can be easily tackled by someone handy.the chairs were bought very cheaply from Facebay and were upholstered by a local company. The material was bought online,” said Lynne.

BEFORE
AFTER

Social Media

St John’s Guest House recently received ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Most Effective Marketing & Use of Social Media’ category of our 2021 Luxury BnB Awards.

They also won Silver in the Dorset Tourism Awards, as well as Silver for the Best B&B in the Southwest. With these awards under their belt, we thought we’d ask Lynne about her marketing efforts on social media.

“Social media is one of my main responsibilities in running the guest house,” said Lynne, “when we took over the business, we had maybe a couple of hundred followers on Facebook and probably less on Instagram, but I’ve really built it up over the years.

“I make sure that I post everyday, which is something I’ve started in earnest during lockdown last year, and it’s really kept the interest up. We’ve also had a lot of direct bookings from it, which is great and much better than going through the OTAs.”

King Suite: BEFORE

Having built up a large following and constantly finding ways to improve their social media, Lynne has some helpful advice on running a social media account for a hospitality business.

“One of my top tips is to make sure that you post regularly,” she said.

“Don’t publish one post and then leave it for ages, because that’s when people lose interest and I’ve noticed that I seem to gain and lose followers much quicker on Instagram than on Facebook.

“It’s also always a great idea to work in partnership with other businesses. So tag businesses that you’re working with, or businesses that you like and feel deserve a mention.

She added: “It doesn’t always have to be about your business and your house. It’s not always about your rooms and your breakfasts.

“Share the beautiful places to go to on a stormy day, or the great businesses people can visit that are just down the road. Share photos and videos of things to do and places to visit nearby.

“It just helps to keep people interested and wanting to come and visit.”

King Suite: AFTER

Different people like different platforms, so it’s always a good idea to use more than one social media platform. But whichever platform you use, Lynne suggests you try to build a following organically.

“Avoid paid partnerships. It’s more about encouraging organic growth and only using paid ads if and when it’s appropriate,” she said, “maybe to encourage a wider geographical audience.”

She added: “Take pictures of everything so that the material you use is your own, but also remember to share other businesses when appropriate.

“You can also use Instagram stories for quick, snappy posts that can be animated for a fun touch. People love that and you could also use TikToka> to produce short videos that you can share on social media.

“Personally, I tend to use Twitter less often for our business, but the focus is very much more on the hospitality element.

“It’s more about retweeting news and promoting Weymouth.”

“Post regularly and tag businesses that you’re working with. Share the beautiful places to go on a stormy day and things to do and see nearby.”

If you’re still not sure where to start, we suggest getting involved with the #bnbphotochallenge on Instagram.

Lynne took part in the worldwide Insta challenge in April. The idea is that everyday, you post something different.

“For example, Day 26 was about day trips,” explained Lynne, “and I used it to promote other local businesses because I think partnerships on Instagram work really well.

“So, one of the day trips I posted a picture from a couple of years ago when we went to the spa at a big country hotel nearby.

“I tagged them in it and it’s a great suggestion if people come and stay with us, because they can go and do that for a day.”

She added: “I would definitely recommend getting involved with that next time it’s on.”

The #bnbphotochallenge has now finished, but keep an eye out for it next year in 2022.

7 TOP TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

1. Post regularly – at least once a day

2. Use different platforms

3. Try to build a following organically (avoid paid partnerships)

4. Promote local businesses

5. Promote the local area

6. Take part in social media challenges

7. Make the most of different features (e.g. Instagram stories)

URLs

stjohnsguesthouse.co.uk

floorplanner.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

FB: @stjohnsguesthouseweymouth

Insta: @stjohnsguesthouse_weymouth

Tw: @Fishersdream

Renovations

Andy and Lynne first bought the property in November 2017 when it was already an established business.

“It was beautiful,” said Lynne, “but with it being such an old house, there was always going to be work that needed doing to it.”

Their first refurb in 2018 focused on the dining room and putting in a downstairs toilet. Lynne said: “As soon as guests turn up, the first thing they ask, especially if their room isn’t ready yet, is do we have a toilet. Putting that in has been an absolute Godsend!”

She added: “We used a bit of space from the dining room, so it’s great at breakfast time, especially when people come down with their kids and they say they need the toilet. This way they don’t have to go running back up to their rooms.”

By “knocking the walls around a bit”, not only did they make room for a downstairs toilet, but they were also able to make the dining room more spacious.

Lynne explained they usually do their refurbs in January so they’re ready to reopen for Valentines Day, but this year they were still working well into April.

“We had trouble trying to get hold of the materials, which delayed us,” said Lynne.

Despite lockdown being the perfect time to complete refurbishments due to the lack of guests, Lynne and Andy still hit some bumps.

“It’s been really difficult actually, even with all this spare time in lockdown. Just getting the materials and our plasterer for example; his daughter tested positive so he had to isolate which delayed his work here.

“Getting hold of carpets was really difficult. We bought them online and of course everyone else was doing the same because the showrooms weren’t open,” said Lynne, “it’s been really challenging but luckily lockdown gave us extra time to get it all done.”

“It’s important balance the old and the new. Really think about how you can enhance the original features.”

When renovating an old building, it’s often all too easy to erase original features. Lynne and Andy pride themselves on maintaining some of the building’s Victorian elegance.

“She’s an old Victorian lady, this house. She’s quite elegant and it’s all about maintaining that original elegance,” said Lynne.

“In some of the rooms we’ve got the original patterned cornices and in one of our suites, we’ve built in an en-suite. But we’ve made sure that the cornice is protected.

“So we’ve built a stud wall around it to make sure that, if in the future someone decides they want this as a private home again, they can push that whole wall back and the cornice will still be there.”

She added: “I think it’s important to have a balance between the old and the new. We try to keep our rooms classy but with that element of what we call ‘Victorian Chic’.”

If you are considering a renovation, or you’re already in the middle of one, Lynne strongly advises utilising the original elegance and era of the property.

Family Suite: AFTER

“Think about the era and how you can enhance the original features of the house.

“You can bring in modern elements where it’s appropriate, for example, you don’t want an old fashioned bathroom, so that’s where the modern part comes in,” she said.

Another example of maintaining some original features is the floor in their lobby.

“We still have the old, original tiles on the floor,” said Lynne.

“Some of them get a bit cracked, but I love them. They look so beautiful and people often comment on them as they walk in!”

Throughout their most recent refurb, Lynne explained how they made their family suite (Rooms 8 & 9) more family friendly.

“We’ve invested some money in this room,” she said, “it’s all about that mutual privacy.”

Family Suite: AFTER

The family suite consists of two rooms (one for the children and one for the adults), an ensuite bathroom and a small ‘hospitality area’.

Previously, the bathroom was only accessible through the parents’ room, but a second door has been installed to create a ‘Jack & Jill’ bathroom.

“Now we’ve put that door in there from the twin room, it’s accessible from either side,” said Lynne.

When refurbishing your own property, Lynne says it important to ask yourself how you can add that extra element of luxury.

“Before, the kids would have to walk through their parents’ room to get to the bathroom, but why can’t they have their own independence and luxury? Now they both have that privacy and access to the bathroom,” she said.

“It also means that the parents can settle the kids down and watch TV with a glass of wine in their own room, so it’s just focusing on spoiling them a little bit as well.”

The hospitality area of the same family suite was also refurbished. The outer door from the hallway opens onto a small room nicknamed ‘the hospitality area’, with doors leading to both the children’s room (twin room) and the parents’ room (king room).

Family Suite: BEFORE

“There used to be a linen closet in there,” explained Lynne, “just behind the outer door which leads to the hallway and now it’s a little hospitality station with a kettle and mini fridge, and it’s made a huge difference.”

After spending a lot of time and effort on refurbishments, Andy and Lynne have some helpful advice for anyone going through the same process.

“It’s so important that you get a good builder,” said Lynne.

“It can be so hard to get hold of different tradesmen, but if you get a good builder, he will have access to other tradesmen and bring in his own plasterer and carpenter.

“He might even have access to carpet fitters, plumbers and electricians and so on. It makes a huge difference.”

Andy said: “Before you start any alterations, plan ahead exactly what you want to do.”

“It’s an expensive mistake if you forget something and the floorboards and carpet have to come back up again.”

“It’s important you get a good builder with access to tradesmen.”

He added: “Make sure you take the height of your building into consideration.

“A five story victorian townhouse like ours is expensive if you need cranes and scaffolding, even for the smallest jobs on the roof.”

To help plan their refurbs, Lynne creates digital floor plans for each of the rooms.

“I’d really recommend floorplanner.com to help you visualise the layouts,” said Lynne.

“It became one of my lockdown activities. It’s really easy and free too, which we all love. I just do it on my iPad.

“You draw the outline and then you can add dividers for the walls and draw in different floor coverings. It’s very clever.”

Lynne said the floorplanner software was extremely helpful when they were working on the family suite.

But their refurb doesn’t stop there. Andy and Lynne have plans to start renovating more rooms next January.

Family Suite: AFTER

“We’ll also be renovating our larger suite on the first floor,” said Lynne.

“It’s got really high ceilings, and back in the day it would have been a drawing room. So that has a king room, a lounge with a bedsetee, and a fully fitted kitchen with a cooker, large SMEG fridge, dishwasher, washing machine and tumble drier.

“It’s lovely for guests who want a little more space with self-catering facilities, and we’ll be renovating that in January.”

7 TOP TIPS FOR RENOVATIONS

1. Get a good builder with contacts for other tradesmen

2. Find a balance between the old and the new

3. Utilise and protect original features (e.g. tiles and cornices)

4. Be prepared for setbacks

5. Plan what you want to do in advance

6. Consider the height of the building

7. Make the most of helpful planning software (e.g. Floorplanner)

Interior Design

After all the hard work of renovating certain areas of the house, the work continues for Lynne and Andy.

Lynne’s favourite part of the refurbishment process is finishing the interiors and “picking all the little extras”.

She said: “I enjoy doing the soft furnishings and decor. Andy is very much about the technical part.

“He makes sure we’ve got USB points next to the bed, that the smart TVs are on the wall and out of the way, and making sure the bathrooms are sleek and good to go. So he focuses more on the hard furnishings and I’m more focused on the soft.

“I think between the two of us, we actually partner each other quite well for interiors.”

Family Suite, Hospitality Area: BEFORE

With their recent refurb still fresh in her mind, Lynne has some handy advice to pass on should you want to try your hand at some interior design ideas.

She suggested choosing an item, deciding on a colour for it and then building the rest around it. “As I said earlier, we like to maintain some of the Victorian touch as much as we can,” said Lynne.

“In the family suite, there are two chairs which I took to a local upholsterer. I bought the material and the local lady re-upholstered them for me.

“I then built the colour scheme around those chairs. I always try to pick one colour that I then build around.”

She added: “I think having a colour scheme in mind beforehand always makes it a lot easier.

“That family suite is very much built around those chairs and using colours that complimented them.”

Lynne also chose a patterned wallpaper for the family suite that fitted the colour scheme she wanted, as well as curtains and blinds of a different pattern.

“I then built it up and chose a complimentary paint colour before adding the curtains and the blinds,” she said.

Family Suite, Hospitality Area: AFTER

“At one point I wasn’t sure if all of the different patterns would all compliment each other, but when it was all pulled together and the room was finished, with the throw on the bed, I was really pleased with it!”

She said: “I think sometimes, you just have to take that risk with the patterns and colours.”In another of their King suites, Lynne chose a flamboyant wallpaper as her focus point, building the rest of the room around it.

“We’ve picked out gold furnishings like the pillows and the throw, which highlight the gold in the wallpaper.”

In addition to her advice about colour schemes, Lynne mentioned her carpets.

“We try to keep a neutral coloured carpet in all of our rooms,” she said.

“That way, planning forward, if we want to change the colour scheme of a room, we can do that without too many problems.

“It makes it easier and less expensive so we don’t have to keep changing the carpet.”

6 TOP TIPS FOR INTERIOR DESIGN

1. Have a colour scheme in mind before you start

2. Don’t be scared to use patterns

3. Choose neutral coloured carpets

4. Don’t be scared of taking a risk

5. Make the most of local companies (e.g. re-upholstering old chairs)

6. Utilise the era of the property

Favourite Pieces

Bird Wallpaper

“Feature wallpaper in the back of the wardrobe to continue the design into a usually neglected area. The bird wallpaper is called Amazon and we bought it from Wallpaper Direct. We had to go with more online shopping this year due to the pandemic but could order samples to help make our decision,” said Lynne.

Framed Wallpaper

“Pictures made of the feature paper are easy, cheap and effective. When making the pictures we used picture frames from the Range. This is an easy way to incorporate the main wallpaper design feature into other areas of the room. We think it looks pretty effective,” said Lynne.

Old Chairs

“Refurbish old chairs using beautiful fabric. Ours were done professionally but can be easily tackled by someone handy.the chairs were bought very cheaply from Facebay and were upholstered by a local company. The material was bought online,” said Lynne.

BEFORE
AFTER

Social Media

St John’s Guest House recently received ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Most Effective Marketing & Use of Social Media’ category of our 2021 Luxury BnB Awards.

They also won Silver in the Dorset Tourism Awards, as well as Silver for the Best B&B in the Southwest. With these awards under their belt, we thought we’d ask Lynne about her marketing efforts on social media.

“Social media is one of my main responsibilities in running the guest house,” said Lynne, “when we took over the business, we had maybe a couple of hundred followers on Facebook and probably less on Instagram, but I’ve really built it up over the years.

“I make sure that I post everyday, which is something I’ve started in earnest during lockdown last year, and it’s really kept the interest up. We’ve also had a lot of direct bookings from it, which is great and much better than going through the OTAs.”

King Suite: BEFORE

Having built up a large following and constantly finding ways to improve their social media, Lynne has some helpful advice on running a social media account for a hospitality business.

“One of my top tips is to make sure that you post regularly,” she said.

“Don’t publish one post and then leave it for ages, because that’s when people lose interest and I’ve noticed that I seem to gain and lose followers much quicker on Instagram than on Facebook.

“It’s also always a great idea to work in partnership with other businesses. So tag businesses that you’re working with, or businesses that you like and feel deserve a mention.

She added: “It doesn’t always have to be about your business and your house. It’s not always about your rooms and your breakfasts.

“Share the beautiful places to go to on a stormy day, or the great businesses people can visit that are just down the road. Share photos and videos of things to do and places to visit nearby.

“It just helps to keep people interested and wanting to come and visit.”

King Suite: AFTER

Different people like different platforms, so it’s always a good idea to use more than one social media platform. But whichever platform you use, Lynne suggests you try to build a following organically.

“Avoid paid partnerships. It’s more about encouraging organic growth and only using paid ads if and when it’s appropriate,” she said, “maybe to encourage a wider geographical audience.”

She added: “Take pictures of everything so that the material you use is your own, but also remember to share other businesses when appropriate.

“You can also use Instagram stories for quick, snappy posts that can be animated for a fun touch. People love that and you could also use TikToka> to produce short videos that you can share on social media.

“Personally, I tend to use Twitter less often for our business, but the focus is very much more on the hospitality element.

“It’s more about retweeting news and promoting Weymouth.”

“Post regularly and tag businesses that you’re working with. Share the beautiful places to go on a stormy day and things to do and see nearby.”

If you’re still not sure where to start, we suggest getting involved with the #bnbphotochallenge on Instagram.

Lynne took part in the worldwide Insta challenge in April. The idea is that everyday, you post something different.

“For example, Day 26 was about day trips,” explained Lynne, “and I used it to promote other local businesses because I think partnerships on Instagram work really well.

“So, one of the day trips I posted a picture from a couple of years ago when we went to the spa at a big country hotel nearby.

“I tagged them in it and it’s a great suggestion if people come and stay with us, because they can go and do that for a day.”

She added: “I would definitely recommend getting involved with that next time it’s on.”

The #bnbphotochallenge has now finished, but keep an eye out for it next year in 2022.

7 TOP TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

1. Post regularly – at least once a day

2. Use different platforms

3. Try to build a following organically (avoid paid partnerships)

4. Promote local businesses

5. Promote the local area

6. Take part in social media challenges

7. Make the most of different features (e.g. Instagram stories)

URLs

stjohnsguesthouse.co.uk

floorplanner.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

FB: @stjohnsguesthouseweymouth

Insta: @stjohnsguesthouse_weymouth

Tw: @Fishersdream

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