Lately, I have been using the power of social media to expand my reach, grow my community, and attract new clients with a powerful tool: MeetUp. Many agents out there have expressed interest in this. This does three things for you:
- Builds your expert authority & credibility
- Builds your database and client/customer list
- Brings people together for one common theme: Travel
The Travel Talks that I host in different cities across Canada have certainly built momentum, and I believe that many agents are missing out on an opportunity. My advice is to focus on your niche, for myself. I focus on solo and single travelers. The talks I host each month are at local eateries. There, I gather travel enthusiasts to discuss different destinations and educate the audience on different places to go, and things to do and see. Often times, I even have some of the members do slide shows on trips they’ve taken. Everyone loves seeing real people’s trips and to be able to ask questions at the end of the presentation.
What’s even cooler is that, often times, I’ll ask tour operators or suppliers to come share talks on upcoming trends and what’s hot. Through hosting these travel talks, agents are able to gain more trust with potential clients and increase their authority in the travel industry. A natural result of these talks is the building of confidence in the agent, in themselves and from potential clients. At the beginning of every meetup, I would advise you to have a sign-in sheet to capture people’s names and emails – this is how you begin building your list.
I would also recommend making the meetups fun and interactive. In the beginning, make sure to offer your members at least thirty minutes to network, perhaps even give them an ice breaker to begin with. Invite the audience to meet three new people, introduce themselves, and share one place they would want to visit this year. By doing this, you engage your members and release any tension between people. Another fun thing I love to do is to take a big, group selfie (for those interested) and then use these images for future talks or promo material.
By the way, you don’t need experience in doing this, you just need to start. Once you start the momentum, it is hard to stop. Through building your list, you can then offer the opportunity for your travel members to join you on your next getaway. How’s that for taking social media to the next level? Aside from MeetUp, I would also suggest posting your trips on Eventbrite and on Facebook as this extends your reach even farther. Most importantly, have fun, keep your clients engaged and you will be set up for success.
We all know that people buy from those they like, know, and trust – what better way to use the MeetUp platform than to do something you love.
In 2006, Melissa Mackey began her career in travel and quickly climbed the corporate ladder and became manager within months of starting. Her store was 6th most profitable store in all of Canada. As she grew these stores, her dreams and vision became bigger and stronger in the world of entrepreneurship and travel. She closed doors in retail and started Travel Chicks in 2010. She has a dedicated team of professionals who create tailor-made trips and lifestyle design services for travelers worldwide.
You can find out more about Melissa and Travel Chicks at https://www.travelchicks.ca/