When we were little we were always being told to do things. If you are like me, you couldn’t wait to be a “grown up” so people would stop bossing you around. Ha! Like that is ever going to happen! Just take a look at your travel business.
You need to specialize. You must have a niche. You need to be on Facebook. You must blog. You need to be pinning on Pinterest. You have to read the latest Nolan Burris and Mike Marchev columns. It never ends! Agents today are being bombarded with all sorts of marching orders. Is enough, enough.
Maybe. None of this advice is bad—most of it is quite good. But it is not good for everyone. And, believe it or not, you are probably not the best person to determine that fit. Blogging, Facebooking, pinning, specializing are all great, but only if that is where your clients and prospects are and it is the manner in which they want to receive information. If your agency is focusing on “Bucket List Travel” for senior citizens, your Twitter, Facebook, and website efforts may be a wasted effort. If you are doing corporate travel and trying to network on MySpace, you are probably missing out. There is an old adage that you need to fish where the fish are. If your clients are not where you are sending your marketing efforts—you will fail. So how do you find out where your fish are? Ask them—they are nice and friendly and will usually tell you all the information you seek—and more!
Recently I asked my clients. The answers I received back did not surprise me too much. For my clients, they feel Facebook is more for friends than for businesses, but they enjoy my updates and they like my occasional tweets (those that knew what Twitter was). But the overwhelming majority prefer my monthly newsletter and the website. For personal contact, they highly prefer email. Hey if it works for them, it darned sure better work for me. So, rather than blindly pinning on Pinterest, sending photos on Instagram, and tumbling on Tumblr; I now know where to focus my efforts. Just ask! You will be surprised.
If you are interested, here’s the email I sent out:
I’ve spent much time reading, learning and discussing the new economy and new media, the value of Twitter, Facebook, blogs and the rest. I am trying to discover whom our clients are (generically) and how they prefer to talk to us? Does it matter? Do they want their information now via Twitter or Facebook, or later on a blog or in a newsletter? Do they want to be called on the telephone? Or to be sent an email to answer at their leisure?
The travel industry has been evolving and the only thing I know for certain, is that the old way of doing business is not the new way of doing business. And, here is where you come in.
Do you want more bloggy information? Do you want more trips? Longer trips? Shorter Trips? Larger groups? Smaller groups? How do you want to get your information from us? Mail? Phone? Email? Web? E-Newsletter? Blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook—or all of the above? Do you want more individual trip promotions? More interesting articles? More specials? More personal chit-chat? Less salesy type communication? Let me know!
I could go on with the questions I want to ask, but I would prefer to hear from you. If you have a moment, please drop me a line and let me know what works for you!
All the best—
Chief Single Dad
See, it’s easy. All you need to do is ask!