Stop limiting your business by sticking too close to home!
There are so many reasons that a travel business is a fantastic venture, but one of them is that you can work with clients without considering where they live or work in relation to where you live or work. It’s one of the reasons this is an amazing business choice for military spouses who have to move a lot. Your business can operate seamlessly no matter how often you move.
So why would an agent limit themselves to working just with people in their own area? Probably because it’s more comfortable. But it’s not a great business decision. Expand your horizons! It’s just as easy to assist a client who lives 1,000 miles away as it is to work with someone down the street. No, the document delivery isn’t quite as easy, but everything else can be!
In order to be successful marketing yourself to a wider area you need to keep a few key things in mind. First, you have to specialize. Next, you need to be very clear about your ideal client. Finally, you need to have a clear marketing message.
Specialization is the first and most important step in any travel business for many reasons. If you don’t have a specialty how are you going to set yourself apart from the crowd? You have to be known for something. Just “booking travel” isn’t a specialty.
Once you decide on a specialty then you can determine your ideal client. That’s important because it helps you know how to reach them. Where do they hang out online? The more you know about them the better you can market yourself using social media. But remember that social media is just one step in the process. Your ultimate goal is to get them on your mailing list so you can send them marketing focused on your specialty.
This is where you must have a clear marketing message. Think of it like interviewing for a job. You (the interviewee) needs to convince the prospective client (the employer) of why they should hire you. How can you help them? What sets you apart from other agents? This is an area where your ezine really gets to shine! Remember, at least 80% of your marketing should be focused on you and what you have to offer clients, and no more than 20% should focus on destinations, vendors or suppliers. That is why an ezine (or electronic newsletter) is a fantastic resource to tell your story.
One of the keys to marketing outside your area is to be comfortable harnessing the power of social media. It is absolutely a fantastic way to reach your target audience. There are also events, conferences, and lots of creative ways to get in front of your target audience. But hands-down they best place to start is with social media.
And remember that just because you choose to market yourself outside your area doesn’t keep you from being a local expert. You can be both!