Yesterday we discussed the need to continually foster creativity in your travel practice. When you finally arrive at an idea that seems reasonable and workable, how do you figure out if it will work before investing too much time or money?
Imagine you have decided to promote yourself and your travel practice through a travel blog for your local market. You feel that when people read your blog about local drive market travel they will begin to see you as a local travel expert and therefore be more likely to consult with you their travel needs. You feel it would be a great way to get your name into and circulating in the market place. But you are concerned about the learning curve and the investment of time and money that starting a blog will involve. How can you best “test the waters” to gain some comfort that your idea is a good one?
This 365 Marketing and Sales Tip is provided free to the travel agent community by:
To begin, let the idea sit for a few days. Many ideas that seem absolutely outstanding early on lose their luster after the initial rush of adrenaline has worn off. Quit actively pursuing the idea, don’t add any further bells and whistles, just let it sit. If it still looks as good to you on Friday as it did on Monday, it is a good sign.
Next, run the idea by a trusted friend – but here a big warning. There are times when your most trusted friend will not sufficiently understand your idea. Their knowledge of the industry or of marketing will be too limited, or they may not understand the concept of a blog, etc. The general rule is that if they like the idea don’t get too excited and if they don’t like the idea don’t be too disappointed. Take in their comments and use it to further shape the idea.
Once you have more fully fleshed out the idea, take it to other professionals. Here is where travel professional forums like TRO’s Community are important. Run your idea by a group of people who DO understand your industry. The chances are good that if the idea has merit, other professionals will better comprehend the idea and will have seen similar examples. If so, that is a good thing. Most good ideas are variations on existing themes. If others have had success with a similar idea, it bodes well for your own.
Finally, let your gut rule. Learn to trust your intuition. If you can see the idea working and you find support in the steps above, explore ways to test your idea in reality. Go the next step. Work as conservatively as possible with your resources and create a prototype to test it on a small market. In the final analysis, once you decide to go with an idea you must act. Don’t let perfection stand in the way of a good idea. In our example above, research blogging on the internet, at Barnes and Nobles and with other professionals. Read other blogs for ideas. Find the least expensive (yet professional!) way to launch out and, to paraphrase Nike, just do it.
Not every idea you develop will work as well as you may hope. But don’t be stopped by fear of failure. Dreaming big is an important part of the human equation.