Good morning from the coast of SE Virginia! I am Lisa Phillips-Jahnke, and I recently returned to the travel industry after a 20-year hiatus! I am a home based agent in Virginia, recently re-hired by my former employer (from 20 years ago)–Around The World Travel in Springdale, AR. Why did I return as a travel agent in this challenging time? Friends and former clients will tell you it’s my passion of learning about all the unique areas of the world and the ability to share that knowledge with my clients via social media through photo journalism.
Before I landed back with my former employer, I tried to return to the industry with little luck. I tried travel agencies, hotels, car rental firm and airlines to no avail. I contacted my former employer of 20 years ago asking for advice on how to land a job today. Her response, “come back to work for me as a home based agent!” The ability to work remotely, coupled with social media, I am able to reach clients easier, quicker & more extensively than 20 years ago. The challenge, I find, is that the Internet makes our job more difficult by falsely enabling the clients—I call it the “Blue Light Special Syndrome!”
I love combining social media and selling travel! I have had tremendous success utilizing it for my charity fundraising. I sell travel “visually” through social media with my “TRAVEL DESTINATION OF THE DAY” where I share photos and video of my friends and clients’ travel adventures. I post to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Pinterest profiles selectively; and determine how and what I post (photos, video, article) based on the medium. I continue to take social media classes with Vacation.com and others to keep abreast of great marketing avenues to use. Social media if used correctly is free advertising! Creating “buzz” and getting your photos and videos to go “viral” are the keys to having tremendous success in increasing your customer base; which, in turn, will generate revenue.
Here are some interesting statistics:
- 1 Billion people use Social Media
- 2.5 Billion people are Internet users
- 2.7 Billion “like or comment” on Facebook posts
- 175 Million Tweets on Twitter a day
- Google + has 400 Million Members
It is great to be back in the industry and I look forward to sharing my tools that have led to my success and hearing about yours!
Lisa Phillips-Jahnke is a Virginia-based home based agent from Springdale Arkansas. A self-defined social media junkie, Lisa utilizes the free platforms to spread her message and excitement of travel to the masses. In her spare time her passion is running & raising funds for her favorite charities through the newly formed, TEAM BEAST MODE. She started running races 2 year ago and has ran 30 races including 5 half marathons.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to an unforeseen circumstance, our next-up travel agent diarist was unable to continue for the full year. Rather than change figurative horses mid stream, Lisa Phillips-Jahnke stepped up to the plate and I am looking forward to hearing of her successes in social media! (JWF)