A hotel wants to hire me for building their online presence. What to charge and how?

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by archive23, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. archive23

    archive23 Newbie

    Oct 30, 2011
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    This is my first post on BHW, so please be gentle :)

    An Amsterdam hotel I work for as a night receptionist wants me to build their online presence. Their goal is 2-fold: Get more visitors and get more positive reviews.
    In order to attain the second goal, I will be providing feedback to what can potentially improve the situation of the hotel so that people actually do leave with a positive experience. So all in all, it will most likely be an ongoing process of constant re-iteration.

    So far, what I've came up with is the following:

    The Plan

    SEO: Google, Bing, Yahoo
    Plan of approach: Just follow the guidelines and do some onsite / offsite optimization. Do the maximum it takes to rank, as long as it's within the bounds of the TOS. I don't want the hotel to be banned lol.

    Directories: Google Places, Yahoo Local, Superpages etc.
    Plan of approach: Add the records / update directories with relevant info about the hotel (the more the merrier).

    Sites & Blogs: Blogger, TypePad, Tumblr, WordPress etc.
    Plan of approach: Other than a home blog of the hotel I have no idea how to pull this off. Pay bloggers to write good reviews maybe?

    Content: Metacafe, Slideshare, Flickr, Picasa, YouTube etc.
    Plan of approach: This could get difficult too, the only thing I'm thinking about is a video of the rooms and activities. Lots of slow panning and relaxing music.

    Reviews: Bookingdotcom, Google Places, InsiderPages, BBB, TrustLink, TripAdvisor, CitySearch, Yelp etc.
    Plan of approach: They plan to give me full admin accounts of the hotel on bookingdotcom and TripAdvisor, but other than that I have no clue how those sites work. I've heard it was easy to write game TripAdvisor, so I'm thinking about registering multiple accounts and writing some good vibes reviews.

    Social: Facebook, Twitter, TwitPic, Zvents, Tumblr etc.
    Plan of approach: Here as well, I'm going to get full admin account of their hotel's Facebook page. I am going to be in charge of the PR and posting infotaining things (includes deals). With managements consent I'll also use Facebook's advertising feature to get to the target audience which will most likely be our future guests.

    Location Based: 4square, Gowalla, Shopkick etc.
    Plan of approach: No idea, same as entry is directories?

    Deals: Groupon, Livingsocial, Yipit, Zagat etc.
    Plan of approach: In consultation with my boss, we present deals according to events and holidays.


    So, this is the cake. I'm thinking about billing them monthly. I have no idea how much time I will spend on this, but based on pretty much nothing I came to the conclusion of charging 10 euros per hour, working 3 to 4 hours per day and 5 days a week. How does that sound?


    If there's anything I've missed or left out please feel free to give me some (any!) advice. Even though this is my first venture into the field of online presence creation, I think I'm fully capable of managing this.

    Thanks very much in advance :)
  2. carlikito

    carlikito Regular Member

    Dec 28, 2009
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    Good for you pal/gal.

    Since there are so many things you can do for them, I'll recommend you start with the option that'll give you fast results, because that will position you as a real expert.

    Forget SEO and videos and the like for the moment, you want results fast, so the fastest surest thing I know is to use deal sites like Groupon and Livingsocial. If you play your cards right, you'll make them instant cash and look like someone they can count to make their marketing pay off.

    Charge them 10% of the sales to start and then take it from there.

    Then you can start building a comprehensive marketing strategy using SEO, ppc, local marketing etc.

    Hope that helps.
  3. therage

    therage Senior Member

    Jul 18, 2012
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    Strategist / Psychologist
    Stupidity Makes Me Puke!
    You're going about the pricing WAY wrong. First for them to have a massive "increase" in sales you first need to learn psychology and sales. This is the "heart" to drawing a crowd in. Once you got that down, you might want to make sure that they know advertising is NOT cheap. You are ripping yourself off at 10 euros an hour, when you need to first get down a extensive marketing and advertising strategy. Your only goal is to let them know that A. To be online for seo in a competitive niche is going to cost a pretty penny and B. For them to get customers you need to be equiped with the proper tools like testimonials, special packaging offers, etc.

    Hell, I wouldn't touch the project for anything less than a budget of 100,000 euros for 1 month, and me with a hefty 25,000 euro fee. The amount of back breaking work is costly, and to be honest they are unfair for asking for immediate results. You could cheat and do a fast turn around results, but even still you need a psychological sales strategy in mind. Don't think my fees or budgets are unrealistic, you could make them a very hot viral hit just simply using black hat world BSTS and some strong strategical thinking. Its up to you, and ultimately your abilities so if you think working for peanuts and breaking your ass is worth it go ahead because I'd rather make sure their huge budget went into making them a viral sensation, perhaps even if just promoting over youtube and such other sites.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. archive23

    archive23 Newbie

    Oct 30, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for the advice guys, I'm trying to reply to everyone but my post is somehow triggering the spamfilter, with the message which is asking me to donate to remove it.
  5. jak19

    jak19 Elite Member

    Jan 5, 2013
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    agreed with above much bigger budget is needed, 800 euro a month for a hotel? way way too cheap, 8000 may be nearer the mark. They have to spend to get customers and they know it, commission deals are not worth it at all you will lose, fixed fees for fixed jobs is way better
  6. sgmoney

    sgmoney Junior Member

    Apr 7, 2007
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    Depends on how large the hotel is. I have a feeling OP is working at a midsized hotel and a 100,000 euro a month budget right out of the gate might be a problem.

    I would ask what the hotel's USP is. You need to craft a strategy which is tailored to their needs and their clients. Groupon might be okay. But if it's largely a business hotel you'd be changing up the demographic quite a bit with groupon (still good if you want to create traffic for the hotel during off peak periods)

    Just my 2 cents. All the best with the project. Would be interesting to keep an online journal of progress. :)
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. jakeparker

    jakeparker BANNED BANNED

    Mar 23, 2011
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    This sounds exactly how I got started in IM. I worked a night shift at a hotel and resort. On the side of me working there, I was in school for design and learning internet marketing on the side. The hotel manager soon enough hired me with a second salary to build up their online presence.

    The first thing that I did was submit them in many travel web sites likes hotwire, travelocity, etc.

    Another thing that I would suggest is to make sure they are up to date with the social media presence.

    Best Success!

    P.S. How much is a nightly rate for a BHW member? lol. I would love to go back there sometime.
  8. weBay

    weBay Senior Member

    Oct 12, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Hotel owner / Internet Marketer
    koh samui, thailand
    I do marketing for hotels also. PM me if you want to share ideas.
  9. Alexanderine

    Alexanderine Newbie

    Sep 22, 2012
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    United kingdom
    I too can help pm me
  10. YenSync

    YenSync Newbie

    Nov 23, 2011
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    too busy to be looking for it
    Since OP works in the hotel, his boss will never agree
    with more than 10 or 12 euros an hour. That's how things work.
    But, if he proves to be valuable, he might be promoted to
    marketing manager.
    This means more earnings, better working hours,
    more responsability and respect, and it looks better on your CV.

    This could be a great experience and even if initial earnings
    aren't that great, could result in escape from a life as an employee.
    Being your own boss and receiving big fat checks.
    That's why I would definitally go for it!
    Go for it man! Don't think to much about your initial earnings.
    Have a bigger plan. The sky is the limit.
  11. dog-tag

    dog-tag BANNED BANNED

    Oct 19, 2010
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    True, your boss doesn't think your worth anymore than 10euro an hour. I personally wouldn't touch a job like that, if you do bad you won't be paid and could even lose your job.

    If it was me I'd say I'll manage your PPC campaigns, and do reputation management for 2,000euro a month. Of course the hotel will pay for all advertising fees. That's reasonable in my eyes.

    If he doesn't think you're worth that, then just walk away and tell him to get someone else. It's not an easy job, so don't sell yourself short. You could be doing other projects and earn more.

    After you've proven your worth start charging more, and again if he's not happy tell him to get someone else.
  12. Patrick Bateman

    Patrick Bateman Registered Member

    Nov 5, 2012
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    Load of BS made up by the guy.
  13. r4ys--

    r4ys-- Junior Member

    Nov 10, 2010
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    Pro-bono Consultant
    My suggestion is you show some desirable result first.
    Give your "client" something that can be quantified with numbers and stats.
    Show your boss your value and have some leverage first before asking a raise.
    Most business owner are picky and take huge consideration before spending any money so don't put too much hope in charging premium.

    Be conservative in promosing result but deliver as much as you should since internet marketing is too technically geeky for most business owner.
    e.g. promise can deliver 100k traffic within 6 months but instead deliver 3-4 months
    When you have results and good credibility, then you can demand for a better pay with concrete reason and with style. :)

    Build up your rep and portfolio first.
    If your demand are not met or took too long to be met, at least you have a good portfolio to show to your future client or employer.