Last month, Travel Pulse performed a survey asking agents about their New Year’s resolutions and came up with an outstanding list that really showed the passion and professionalism in this industry. Despite the pundits, we most certainly are NOT a dying industry. The top 9 resolutions (and I went back and counted to make sure there weren’t 10, because 9 is weird) were…
- Get the word out
- Get certified
- Be proactive
- Increase profit
- Get more travel experience
- Increase sales skills
- Increase product knowledge
- Find a niche
- Show more appreciation
And since I am not sure anyone could have done a better list, I thought it might make sense to take the next few weeks and discuss each resolution and offer some thoughts on how to best achieve them. Are you game? Let’s go!
Get The Word Out
Out of sight, out of mind. We have all heard it and it is true. As Mike Marchev likes to say, “if you are not in front of someone, how do they know you exist?” How true. It used to be that a Yellow Pages ad and a periodic “travel specials” ad in your local newspaper would do the trick. Today? Not so much! That’s the bad news!
The good news is that today we are no longer shackled by geography and the costs to getting the word out are very affordable.
I try to never pass up an opportunity to tell people about what I do. I always have business cards handy. I tweet. I Facebook. I blog. I podcast. I guest speak. I network. All of that at very little cost. I probably should YouTube, but I don’t.
I can’t recall my last Yellow Page or newspaper ad, but I do use an email broadcasting service where I am able to retarget subscribers based on what they clicked.
And, believe it or not, I am also a fan of direct mail…not email…mail! Direct mail is relatively inexpensive, and as technology has evolved, so have the mailing houses. You used to pick a zip code. Now you can target to specific neighborhoods; and with the amount of information today’s consumer volunteers, you will be surprised at how targeted direct mail can be. It’s a perfect choice for groups.
My other choice for getting the word out it another old-school method—the business card. I have a local company that prints mine on heavy stock for $30 for 1000 double sided, full-color cards. For $0.03 a card, there is no better investment in my book. Every coffee shop, library, community center, rec center all have a few cards tacked to their bulletin boards. I give them out to anyone I come across. And a sneaky way to get out of a conversation is to say “hey I need to run, but would like to continue this conversation—here’s my card; please give me a call or email tomorrow and we’ll get together.”
And finally I am a huge fan of Facebook advertising. Pick your ideal client and find them on Facebook. I assume we are all on Facebook as a user. And every time you do a quiz to find out your Game of Thrones character, or like a page, or comment on a joke, they are building a more and more detailed profile of you and your likes. Use their information to seek out those clients. Looking to make more profit (3 more weeks) look for people that like Tauck or Crystal. Got a Rock N Roll group—look for fans of the bands that may be featured. Looking for single parents (like me)? Look for the relationship status that has been changed to “divorced” in the past three years. The targeting is literally endless!
So, there are my thoughts on getting the word out about your agency. What tips and thoughts do you have?
Oh, and by the way—Happy New Year!