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Search Results for: ‘mission statement
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Posted In: TRO SMITH

Every travel agent spending the least bit of time thinking about their travel agency website has heard the truism “Content is King.” I’m here to suggest, however, content is so much more than King, if by “King” you mean it is content bringing visitors to your website through basic search engine marketing. Indeed, it is relevant, original content responsible for most of the organic, (i.e. “free”), traffic visiting your site. However, merely getting visitors to your site is only a first step. In addition, to be successful you need to also entertain (the Jester) and please (the Queen) your visitors, or they will soon be off to find better content and digital turf on which to spend their time. The Knight – he’s the enforcer, the one who makes you write often and well and with great design on a consistent basis.

Let’s spend a bit of time at court.

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Posted In: Publishers Corner

Consistently Constant

How consistent is your marketing?  In each instance where the public comes into contact with your company, the message they perceive must be the same. Whether they are meeting you in person, looking at your web site, reading your tweets or viewing an advertisement you have created, the essential ethic of the company must resonate. Without consistency, your clients and the public at large won’t understand your brand. When the consumer continually sees your travel practice presented with the same brand message, each iteration reinforces the last and has the effect of building a solid impression. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Reviewing your points of contact

Loosely defined, our points of contact are those points at which a client can form an impression of our travel practice. Points of contact range from our logo and business cards, to our presentation formats, our manner of dress and even the places where we meet with clients. The sum total of our points of contact add up to form our professional image. The more professional our image, the more confidence clients have when it comes time to turn thousands of hard earned dollars over to us for their vacation. Needless to say, therefore, our points of contact must be kept in top condition. The reality, however, is we often create our points of contact independently of our mission statement and any guiding touch point and each becomes a separate marketing tool unrelated to the others or neglected after months of use. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

Michael Dunne, Business Development Manager for Sky Bird Travel & Tours, started in the travel industry thirty years ago. He has served on the board for both the Midwest Business Travel Association (now Chicago BTA), and Mississippi Valley ASTA; Michael was also a founding member of SITE Chicago. Often found sharing sales ideas and strategies with other travel agents, Michael is always ready to demonstrate Skybird Travel’s commitment to the travel agent community. Skybird participates in multiple tradeshows per year, and Michael uses these opportunities to mix with new agents while helping them develop their own business, and achieve success by teaching them how to utilize reputable air consolidators, like Skybird.

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Posted In: Publishers Corner

Understanding SWOT

Annually a company needs to be reminded of the need for a SWOT analysis.  The SWOT acronym indicates Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The traditional SWOT looks at Strengths and Weaknesses of a business (internal factors) and tries to thereby ascertain the relationship with Opportunities and Threats (factors external to the agency). Doing an annual SWOT analysis is a good pre-requisite to a marketing plan and assists with developing the appropriate goals for your travel practice.

Generally speaking, your travel practice has certain strengths that justify its existence. These strengths give rise to opportunities that your competition may not be able to challenge. On the other hand, your agency probably has weaknesses that provide an opening to your competition where they are better capable than you of taking advantage of the market. A SWOT Analysis makes each of these factors clear  and provides a guideline for approaching each in your planning. Our SWOT Analysis Worksheet will assist you in performing your own analysis. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

The Image You Project

Who are you? Why are you here?

Can you tell clients the answer to those questions without hesitation? Do you have a mission statement? Can you recite it in a meaningful, authentic way? Do you have an answer to the question: “Can you beat this internet deal I found”?

Who are you? Why are you here? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Stop imagining it, just do it

Last week, my domains renewed. I own probably 80 domains and typically buy them through GoDaddy. While they are not my hosting provider, they are good for domain acquisition which usually comes after a cockamamie idea in the middle of the night. Anyhow, the bill processed through my bank account and it seemed that it was very high. I explored a bit and found the issue.

With some of my parked domains, they added a “Get Your Business Found” package for $119 per domain. Well, since those domains were not businesses, and I was not interested in getting them “found,” I made a call to GoDaddy. Inside of about four minutes, it was resolved and a credit was being processed. Apparently I had missed an email for this new great product that would be added to my account. Read the rest of this entry »

This past month, the goal was to gain some clarity on my objective, service, and message.  It’s actually harder than it seems!  After much wrangling and really focusing on the language for a mission statement, it’s absolutely going to become the foundation for how I currently do business and guide my future growth.  Looking back, I wish I had done this much sooner! It is never too late, and I feel that creating a clear emphatic statement in writing to guide any business can only be helpful.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

If you want to get to the top of this profession, you have to stop worrying about yourself and start thinking about helping others. Sounds absurdly simple. It isn’t.

Your primary goal is to stop selling and to start helping others.

When you try to sell, it appears to everyone that you are selling, and nobody I know enjoys being “sold.” But when you are legitimately openly and sincerely interested in helping people, you will have their undivided attention, and eventually the combination to their checkbook. Selling and helping are two entirely different mind-sets. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Social Media and Authentic Creativity

For many travel professionals, social marketing and media has proven its worth. Those who have succeeded using Facebook, Twitter and the like to generate business are actively engaged  by being both creative and authentic. No doubt, the fundamental marketing tactics of local, community oriented public relations, networking, and advertising are far more important and necessary to most travel agents than any social marketing efforts will ever be. However, layer your social marketing tactics on top of a solid foundation of fundamentals and truly excellent results can be the order of the day. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Summer Is Over

We have all of September, October, November and December to continue to build our businesses and to move forward. And we can use every minute we have.

Nearly 120 days to find and help other people achieve their goals and objectives.

Four months to shed a few pounds while introducing ourselves to more upbeat, fun, proactive people out there in marketing land. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

What Travel Agencies Can Learn From Starbucks

No doubt, you have a local coffee shop that you absolutely love and that serves better coffee than Starbucks; and I know, friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks. I get it. Starbucks is a mega-chain, an 800-pound gorilla masquerading as a quaint neighborhood establishment. There is a lot of truth in that, except for one thing: Starbucks manages to be both a national chain and yet, at the same time, very local. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

The list of qualities that makes Google a unique company would be a long one indeed. Google is an organization that views itself as a citizen of a larger world. Its mission statement (To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful) is styled in terms of its impact on its users. Google is ranked #4 by Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. Its products are excellent, innovative, and visionary. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Travel, storytelling, and social media marketing

“A human life is a story told by God and in the best of stories told by humans, we come closer to God.” – Hans Christian Anderson

What is your reaction when someone says “Let me tell you a story?” Most likely you listen attentively. The human mind loves a good story. Some portion of our psyche seeks a beginning, a middle, and an end. Every story has characters, a setting, and a series of incidents resulting in something memorable. Sound familiar?

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Posted In: The 365 Guide

The Ideal Strategy

I once was asked to stop by the automobile dealership to share a few of my ideas with a sales team who meet each Monday morning before hitting the showroom floor. Their monthly sales target is to sell 300 cars a month (That is a lot of cars). Each salesperson in the room was expected to carry a gold marker in their pocket reminding them that they were the best of the bunch. The organization’s one word mission statement caught my attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

The consumers of this decade are smarter and better informed than the consumers of the past. Their computer screens are portals into an unbelievably deep and rich world of information. Beyond that, however, today’s consumers have grown up on television, radio and newspapers. They have seen and heard almost every permutation of marketing and sales, both the good and the bad. As a result, today’s consumer can see an inauthentic sales pitch coming from a long distance away, and they want none of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Loosely defined, our points of contact are those points at which a client can form an impression of our travel practice. Points of contact range from our logo and business cards, to our presentation formats, our manner of dress and even the places where we meet with clients. The sum total of our points of contact add up to form our image. The more professional our image, the more confidence clients have when it comes time to turn thousands of hard earned dollars over to us for their vacation. Needless to say, therefore, our points of contact must be kept in top condition. The reality, however, is we often create our points of contact independently of our mission statement and any guiding touch point and each becomes a separate marketing tool unrelated to the others or neglected after months of use.

Evaluation of your points of contact  forces us to take a hard, honest look at ourselves. To project a professional image, you must use professional tools. Too many agents use logos that look like clip art and free consumer email addresses. No doubt it is cheaper to do it yourself than to hire a professional, but a “do-it-yourself” message is not one that agents want to impart Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Your company needs to do a SWOT analysis.  SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The traditional SWOT looks at Strengths and Weaknesses of a business (internal factors) and tries to thereby ascertain the relationship with Opportunities and Threats (factors external to the agency). Doing a periodic SWOT analysis is a good exercise as your develop your business strategies and tactics and assists with developing the appropriate goals for your travel practice.

Generally speaking, your travel practice has certain strengths that justify its existence. These strengths give rise to the ability to take on opportunities.On the other hand, your agency probably has weaknesses that provide an opening to your competition where they are better capable than you of taking advantage of the market. A SWOT Analysis makes each of these factors clear and provides a guideline for approaching each in your planning. Our SWOT Analysis Worksheet will assist you in performing your own analysis. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Social media and social media marketing are deceptively easy to undertake. Sign up for a Facebook page or a Twitter account and start posting and tweeting. Hundreds of millions, literally, of individuals and companies do it, right? So how hard can it be?

Like many business undertakings, social marketing is a study in fundamentals. Far too many travel agents jump into the fray without serious consideration of the need to be authentic, intentional and consistent in their social media Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

The Most Common Branding Mistakes Travel Agents Make

Your brand is a promise of quality. Wrapped up in a brand is the perception of your company held by everyone who has come into contact with your travel practice. What this means is that your brand is not entirely under your control. In fact, the center of gravity of your brand is somewhere between your intentions and the experience of your brand by consumers. Some of those consumers are clients, others are people who are aware of you through your marketing efforts and reputation. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Marketing drives sales. Marketing sets the expectations of the consumer and thereby preconditions the attitude with which the potential client approaches the travel professional. As marketing raises the profile of the travel agency in a target community, it serves the dual function of both acquiring new clients and retaining former ones. Marketing creates a relationship in the mind of the public between the concept of “travel” and the travel consultant. Read the rest of this entry »