Giving out free advice? Some say it’s a bad move; I disagree! | TravelResearchOnline


Giving out free advice? Some say it’s a bad move; I disagree!


I got a call the other day inquiring about pricing on our “upcoming group trip to Antigua.” Seems pretty routine, right? Well, the catch was that we did not have a trip to Antigua. I assumed she got her wires crossed and meant to call someone else, but she was insistent. In the end, we discovered she stumbled across an article I wrote in 2004 for MSNBC where I referenced a trip that we had done in 2003 to…Antigua. We shared a little laugh and then I got to thinking.

I used to write a regular consumer column for MSNBC among some other outlets and they are all still out there if you want to dig hard enough. Or you may accidentally stumble on them as my caller did last week. So is their value diminished any more just because they are old?

Some may be; yet others definitely not. I wrote solid travel advice for consumers; just like the advice you give your clients and prospects every day. And much of it is still valid, but I realized that I did not have any of it up on my agency’s site. Duh! So I now have a project on my hands.

I am going to go through an article a day and refresh it if needed (and if possible) and post it to my site under a new section called “Travel Tips.” I will have a disclaimer at the bottom saying that any trips referenced here likely have already occurred, but to please contact me for current trips of information.

By doing this, I am helping out my SEO for my site. I am providing a decidedly valuable service to my clients and prospects; and finally, with the advent of social sharing, I am likely able to get my message (and my info) spread much further than before. Some detractors will say it is free advice and we need to be paid for it. Maybe. But hey, this advice is out there and available for free anyway. Why not put it out there in the “self serve buffet” and attach your name to it?

Do you have something like this working for you? I am a bit ahead of the curve as I already have the content, but it should be fairly easy for any agency owner to start. Look for common-sense travel tips.

  • Navigating security
  • Best times to book your vacations
  • What to expect on your first cruise
  • What to do if you lose your passport while traveling
  • The importance of travel insurance
  • Why working with a professional is better than a some website
  • Best bets for seeing our National Parks
  • Ten must-do things in NYC (or any number of destinations)
  • What to do if you miss the ship

You get the idea. And these do not need to be long. In fact, the shorter they are, the more likely they are to be read and shared. No one has time for a 1000 word essay any longer. Keep it under 500 words and you are good to go.

Now, I have some work ahead of me for the next few days!

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