July 26, 2018 Blog

One of the top pain points for a lot of travel agents is client attraction. They don’t have trouble getting product and destination knowledge, but how do you get people to sell those products and destinations to? Sure, your friends and family are where you start, but that is rarely enough to create a successful business. So you need to build a list of clients and potential clients. We’ll talk later about what you do with them, but for now let’s focus on building the list and why it is so important.

One of the first mistakes people make when they get into travel is start randomly posting travel promotions on social media (particularly Facebook) in hopes it will help people recognize they are in the travel business. It may help people know you’re in travel, but it doesn’t help them know anything about why they would benefit from working with you. And the reality is you are using social media wrong.

The highest and best use of social media is to reach people who are your target client and drive them to your website or some other site where they join your email list. That’s when the magic can happen! Email is still the most powerful tool available for building your business. I wrote an article on this topic recently. In it I shared that according to the Adobe Marketing Insights Study, people preferred email significantly more in 2017 than they did in 2016. And yes, they like it more than social media, which fell quite a bit in the rankings between 2016 and 2017.

So, that means that you need to be emailing people. But if you don’t have anyone on your email list, who are you going to reach? Or maybe you have some people but wonder if it is enough. While that list should constantly be growing, bigger is better! Not long ago I ran the average number of emails for a top-producing group of agents. The average was 1,274. Since it’s an average there were agents with more and some with less, but no one had below 900. Of course, it takes time to build a list of prospects, but it should be a constant priority for you.

And no, having lots of followers on social media isn’t the same. Why? Because you can’t control what they see from you – if they see anything at all. If they are on your email list you can see how often they read your messages and how engaged they are. Remember, your goal with social media is to get their attention and get them on your email list.

If this is something you struggle with, you aren’t alone. There are lots of agents out there who find client attraction to be a particularly challenging topic. That’s why we included it in our event next week: Travel Agent Startup Week. This free virtual summit will explore how to be successful in building a travel business. It’s not just for those who are new to the industry or just getting started. If you feel you need a jumpstart in your business it is great for you too! You can register online for this free virtual event kicking off Monday, July 30! I hope you can join us! If you have questions, email joinus@giftedtravelnetwork.com.

By Sandy Saburn