The 5 MUSTS to Attracting Clients
Whether you are looking to attract your very first client or you’ve been selling travel for 10 years but want more clients, attracting clients to your travel business comes down to 5 simple “Musts.” Here they are:
1. You Must Have a Specialty
I feel like a broken record with this “MUST.” But the truth is that experts make more money. A specialty is you claiming a stake as an expert at something. Figure out what you are an expert at and then claim that and get known for that. You can claim romance travel, family travel, special needs travel, group travel or many other things as your expertise.
2. You Must Have a Message
Most people don’t realize that claiming an expertise is only HALF of the process of picking a specialty. The 2nd half is finding a way to articulate your specialty so that it is magnetic to your ideal prospects, i.e. a message. When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one. And when you speak in terms of features, it’s dull. You won’t get people’s attention. A great message focuses on the benefits, results and dreams you deliver. A great message pulls at the emotions of your ideal clients. Thus, instead of just settling for being a romance travel specialist, it’s far more magnetic to tell your prospects that you help couples ignite and maintain the passion and romance of a new love for many years to come through planning romantic escapes.
3. You Must Send a Weekly Electronic Newsletter
This is The. Most. Effective. Marketing. Vehicle. Ever. That is, when it’s done right. When it’s done right, it serves as your virtual storefront. The purpose of a weekly electronic newsletter is to stay “top of mind” as a source of valuable information. Its NOT to send specials. Your clients will not see your weekly newsletter as spam or a nuisance if you structure it in a way that it builds “know, like and trust.” In other words, begin your newsletter with a friendly greeting that shares a little bit about what’s going on in your life. This builds the “know” and “like” factor because you are letting them in to your world. You are showing them that you are a human being with similar life wants and goals. Follow your friendly greeting with a great, high content article. It doesn’t have to be long. In fact, it shouldn’t be long because they won’t read it. But write about things they are asking about. Your own client conversations are the best hunting ground for article ideas. You can add any other section to your weekly newsletter when you have these 2 present. Follow this formula, send it consistently and reliably and the perception of your business will go up astronomically. Your engagement with your clients and prospects will improve dramatically. This is the smartest thing you can do for your business. It surprises me that so many people fight this one little thing. They think they don’t have the time. I say you can’t afford NOT to do it.
4. You Must Have a System for List-Building
As travel agents, we can be great at keeping in touch with existing clients. Why? Because we have so many resources to do so. Our suppliers offer free marketing materials. Our host agency and franchises do marketing for us. But all the marketing that’s “done for you” is to your existing list. When you don’t have a system for list-building, your business grows at the rate of a snail. Creating list building systems is a huge blind spot for this profession. So commit today to implementing 1 list building system. It could be speaking, networking, trade shows, Facebook ads, or many other things. A list building system is one where you capture the name and e-mail address of your ideal prospect. Go figure out where your ideal prospects are hanging out, decide upon a list building system and implement it!
5. You Must Have a Branded (Individual) Online Presence
Your online presence can be as easy as a simple website and a Facebook page. But the point here is that it is branded to your message. This is why the template websites don’t work!!! This is why paying someone else to post on your Facebook page doesn’t work!!! Do you really want to look like every other travel agent out there? And by the way, travelers aren’t looking for travel agents. They don’t need them. They ARE looking for expertise and an opinion. Just look at the traffic generated by tripadvisor.com. If you want to establish yourself as an expert - you have to have your own content and message on your website and Facebook Page.
GTN’s Travel MBA Program covers all 5 Musts to attracting great clients and much, much more. If you are looking for guidance on how to attract clients and how to build your business as a travel agent, then check it out here: www.getyourtravelmba.com.