Focusing on a niche is something we hear about quite often. We have discussed some of what might be considered the typical niches: small ship cruising, luxury travel, all things Disney, vegan travel, etc. Jacob Marek has possibly touched on an underserved niche; introverts. We recently sat down with Jacob to discuss his business and his new-found niche.
Travel Research Online (TRO): Let’s start with what you did prior to starting your own travel agency.
Jacob Marek (JM): Straight out of college I spent about ten years in the travel industry on the marketing side. I mostly worked with tourism boards and private operators. After several years, I launched a travel marketing company specifically for travel consultants; Forty-Five Degrees Marketing.
Afterwards, based on my own research, my time in the industry, and my own interests, I decided to launch my own agency.
TRO: How did you decide to focus on travel for introverts?
JM: As an introvert myself, I felt that most group and tour travel was very focused on extroverts and how they travel. I wanted something that fit my introvert style, and it just wasn’t there.
TRO: How do you focus on the introvert way of traveling?
JM: Right now I am focusing on customized FIT travel for my introvert clients. I’m primarily finding clients through social media, especially Facebook. I have a private Facebook group, and use very targeted Facebook ads for marketing towards introvert travel.
TRO: When did you launch Introvertravels?
JM: We launched a month ago, on July 16, 2016. I “soft launched” back in April and started building up my contact list for three months before our official launch in July.
TRO: Although your agency is new, you’ve been in the industry for a decade. What tips would you share with other agents or agency owners based on your marketing background?
JM: My first tip is to be hyper-focused on a niche. Get really specific about what you specialize in, and find something you are passionate about. Personalize and customize your niche so that it is impossible for clients to book it elsewhere online. It can be a balancing game, because you don’t want to get so specific that you don’t have a viable market to attract.
My second tip would be to inject your personality into your business and marketing. Be authentic, and people will connect with that. Give people goosebumps with your infectious excitement about your niche.
And third, don’t try to be everything to everyone. There needs to be a mindset shift from a place of scarcity to a place of abundance.
TRO: How would you recommend an approach towards marketing a niche?
JM: Be very clear about your ideal client. Is your ideal client male or female? Age? Where do they live, eat, and work? Give them a fictitious name. Once you have fleshed out who that ideal client is, then focus all of your website content, Facebook ads, newsletters, direct mail, etc., to that specific client.
TRO: What is ahead for Introvertravels?
JM: Eventually I would like to start small group travel for introverts.
TRO: Would extroverts be allowed to join those groups?
JM: They probably won’t want to, and I definitely won’t be marketing to the extroverted travel market. We’ll see; maybe I’ll let an extroverted spouse come along once in a while.
Susan Schaefer is the owner of Ships ‘N’ Trips Travel located in Tennessee, and specializes in leisure travel with a focus on group travel and charity fundraisers. Through their division Kick Butt Vacations, she focuses on travel for 18 to 23-year-olds. Susan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (888) 221-1209.