How to Tell Your Story to Bring in More Bookings

Storytelling is a powerful tool – if you’re not using it yet, you should be! In our February 2022 webinar, expert writers Neely Khan and Emma Greer joined PHS Talks to share their advice on how you can use your story as part of your marketing strategy.

This ties in with Visit Scotland’s theme of the year, Scotland’s Year of Stories, which aims to highlight the rich cultural and historical narratives that make Scotland such an interesting and unique place to visit.

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First to speak was Neely Khan, who specialises in story-led content. Outside of her work writing for the travel and short-term let sector, she has a wide range of experiences writing fiction stories and poetry, with her first collection of short stories due for publication in April 2022. She has a really thorough grasp of the psychology of storytelling - which is invaluable when it comes to marketing!

Neely has her own business, Neely There, which helps businesses in the hospitality and leisure industries boost their content creation. You can also find her on LinkedIn.

Neely’s main insights:

1. Know the difference between personal storytelling and corporate storytelling.

  • Personal storytelling is what we are most familiar with – this is when people talk about themselves and their experiences. This can be used to make a connection with your audience and gain customer trust.
  • Corporate storytelling, on the other hand, is when you place your guests/audience at the heart of the story you are telling.  This is the most commercially impactful way of using storytelling. Great stories have heroes, tensions, and solutions - think of your guest as the ‘hero’ of the story, while the ‘solution’ is the product/service you offer (and you are the aid, the robin to their batman so to speak!)

2. Understand the psychology of storytelling.

  • Stories wrap facts and information in something a little extra, communicating things that aren’t necessarily interesting by making them more exciting! In a short term lets context, this could be used to convey the features of your accommodation, or important statistics. The more emotionally engaging stories are, the more memorable they become. This is because at their heart, stories aren’t about words, but feelings. Tension and release – or ups and downs – release different chemicals in the body such as cortisol and endorphins; this creates the emotional connection, which in turn makes an audience ready to act (i.e., book a stay!)