Clients want certainty. When consumers look at your marketing, they want to see a consistent brand message in every brochure, in every advertisement. Your brand is an assurance of quality, that your performance will be consistent with your promises.
The trick is you must be consistently different.
What sets you apart? What is the unique quality of your travel practice that makes you different from all others, that makes clients want to do business with you? After all, your clients have many options. They can book online at hundreds of sites, they can book direct with a supplier or they can book with another agency. Do you have a unique characteristic that makes you stand out from the crowd? If you do, can you tell me what it is in such a way that it means something to me as a potential client?
Great service? I don’t think so.
What does “great service” mean? Look at the web sites of five different travel agencies. Chances are pretty good that at least three of the five websites will look almost identical to each other. Chances are also pretty good that all of them promote their “great service” or some close variation, as something that sets them apart from the crowd. But if everyone promises great service then it is difficult for that to be a distinguishing characteristic. Promises of outstanding service have become the norm.
So how do you manage to distinguish your agency from all others? How are you different? Why should clients do business with you?
It’s time to do a uniqueness inventory.
Step back for a moment and find those qualities about you that are truly unique. How did you get into travel? What makes your story unusual? What adversities have you overcome? What activities do you engage in? What niches have you carved out for yourself? Did you fight in a war, work on Wall Street, give up a career in medicine to be a travel consultant? Do you have any famous relatives? Have you lived outside the country, did you grow up in West Virginia, have you ever swam in the Amazon? Did you grow up poor or rich? Did your parents keep you in the attic?
You see, YOU are unique. The exact combination of history, abilities, interests, niches is not likely to be found anywhere else. You have a personality! Let’s find a way to tell the world. Your experiences, your personal history and story in travel give you unique insights and capabilities.
Once you discover what makes you truly unique, you are half-way there.
Now you have to express your uniqueness is such a way that clients understand how it benefits them. You’ve been to 35 countries? Great! What does that mean to your client? Does it mean that you will use your relationships with local suppliers to enhance your client’s experience? Wow! Then say so. That’s pretty unique. You fought in Desert Storm? Then you probably understand veterans and what they look for in travel abroad and have a unique insight into their needs. You have a disability? Does that give you special insight into the challenges of travel that you can impart to clients?
Absolutely you must be consistent in your marketing. But being consistent doesn’t mean you should look like everyone else. Completely to the contrary, in fact.
You must be consistently different.