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Posted In: The 365 Guide

Lead Generation Through Social Media: Twitter Chats

Social media excels at relationship building at a very personal level.  To effectively use any of the social media platforms as a vehicle for pulling leads through the sales funnel, it is important to develop a very subtle and deft approach to your conversational skills.  A constant stream of travel offers or direct sales pitches is far too awkward an approach.  Instead, tenor your conversations to being helpful to others and providing information and assistance they need.  In so doing, your expertise will be apparent and you are likely to be in the running for consideration the next time your readers consider travel. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Do I Really Need to be on Twitter?

It’s the monkey on my back. That nagging feeling that creeps its way into my thoughts whenever I’m online. It’s the pressure in my stomach I feel whenever I’m out with friends.

Why don’t we have a Facebook page yet?” says a colleague.

Ten Reasons Why Your Company Needs to Have a Blog!” shouts the email.

Uncle Frank just found a new client on Twitter. Why aren’t you Tweeting?” asks my mom. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

I’m a convert. For months now I have been shaking my head. I didn’t get Twitter. Who wants to know what everyone in the world is doing right now? How about Now? Now? Not me. But during my research for this article I saw the light. I’m not about to say that Twitter would be my first choice for a social marketing platform for every travel agent, but the potential is obvious and for the most ambitious of you, worth a hard look.

Twitter is often referred to as “micro-blogging.” Twitter allows friends, family, and co–workers to communicate through the exchange of short messages. The writer will post a short update, called a “tweet”. Each message must be 140 characters or fewer. URLs can be embedded in a post, and many use http://www.tinyurl.com/ to shorten the length of the URL. Twitter posts the message to your profile and then sends the message to your “Followers”.  Messages can not be edited, but can be deleted. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Email Marketing > Social Media Marketing

We all saw the memes* last week of Bernie Sanders at the Inauguration of President Biden, right? Off topic, this is my favorite; but they were good and I started to think of how our news cycle and, in fact the election, was largely guided by memes and decided I needed to have one of my own.  So here it is. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

How to Create Video Content – Lickity Split!

 

Back when I first started shooting video, I used to stare at the keyboard (procrastinating). I’d then search online for what other people were doing (time-suck). And then, I left my desk to get glammed up thinking inspiration would come to me from my make-up bag! (NOT!)

After 40 minutes, I still had nothing anywhere close to video content. Nada! Zilch!

Does that sound familiar?

The other day a travel pro asked me, “Why even bother shooting video… it takes so much time! Who’s watching travel & tourism videos now anyway?”

That got me into research mode, and here’s what I found. In their 2020 report, Wyzowl found: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Message in a Bottle

I’m thinking about containers and contents lately. We all love great containers. Last year, I went to a local shop and purchased a new hummingbird feeder crafted by an artist somewhere near Asheville. Instead of the plastic parts found on a standard retail feeder, this one has a very unique red bottle as a container. It is decorated with copper tubing from which the hummingbird drinks and metal flowers are soldered onto the copper. It is a real work of art, and I enjoy it tremendously.

I’m pretty sure the hummingbirds, however, care more about the content in the bottle.  If I put something less to their liking in the bottle, it doesn’t matter how attractive the container.  Not only will they not drink from it, they will eventually quit coming to that particular bottle. Birds are quick learners. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

3 Reasons Why Social Ads Fail

 

Are you ready to give up on social ads?

Maybe you don’t feel like your ads are generating any interest. Well, you’re not alone; 62 Percent of Small Business Owners Say Facebook Ads Miss Their Targets.

Stop wasting your time and effort creating ads that fail!

But wait… why even look at this if social ads fail so often? Here’s the deal: out of all of the B2C companies using social media, 97% of them use Facebook! It matters! It works! Let’s explore 3 steps to get you on the road to fail-proof ads today. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

Travel Agent Success Stories in the Time of Covid

 

2020 may be the worst of times for the travel industry, but some advisors still are having a pretty good year—thanks to new niches, new marketing and even new offices.

In Pennsylvania, for example, president Jennifer Doncsecz and the team at VIP Vacations are celebrating a record year in destination weddings that had the phone ringing through the pandemic.

They moved all but five of the 100 groups that were on the books for 2020 to 2021—and then booked even more every single month during the Covid crisis. By July and August, they were booking 25% more groups than in the same two months of 2019. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

Costa Rica Travel Insurance Requirements

What type of coverage is needed? How to choose the right travel insurer?

Costa Rica announced on October 2nd, 2020 that all residents from all the states of the United States will be authorized to visit Costa Rica starting on November 1st.

In an effort to reactivate the country’s economy and maintain a controlled risk of infections due to COVID-19, Costa Rica has established new entry requirements to ensure that visitors are and feel safe.

One of these requirements is that travelers must have travel insurance to enter Costa Rica. The coverage must include medical and extended stay related to COVID-19. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Taking Control

Be Careful Out There

 

Working in travel in this COVID environment is difficult in so many ways. There’s the slowdown in bookings, the uncertainty of when this will end, and the seemingly constant stream of bad news about the virus.

If you spend too much time on social media, it’s even worse. The barrage of posts from friends and colleagues about new cases, infectivity rates, or studies by this group or that one, can spiral you into a COVID depression. Not only is it dizzying, but sometimes it’s hard to know what’s real and what isn’t.

Let’s take the airline industry for example. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

How to Get Creative in Tricky Times

Are you still wearing your hair the way you did after high school?

Do you eat the same thing for breakfast every single day?

While there’s comfort in sticking to habits and styles that work, the thing I’ve found in this pandemic is that trying something new and different works NOW.

Who would have thought that our industry would be turned upside down? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Our contributor, Steve Frankel, is one of the first travel advisors to complete a five-course certificate program in Epidemiology taught by the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

According to CNN, which developed this graphic, April Fool’s Day had a special meaning this year: It was about the date that European Union redoubled its efforts to control the Covid-19 pandemic, and the United States shifted its focus to “rebuilding the American economy and restoring our quality of life.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Sky Bird Travel & Tours

Sky Bird Travel & Tours is an award-winning airline consolidator who has served as a top resource for all types of travel agents since 1976, committed to connecting its clients with the lowest net fares from nearly 100 airline partners. Because of the close relationships Sky Bird has with the world’s best airlines, travel agents find incredible airfare deals for clients while simultaneously securing higher commission by choosing their own markup. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s All About Action

 

In my live seminars, I often share a story about an interview with Howard Cosell and Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder. Howard Cosell was an ex-lawyer turned broadcaster whose claim to fame hinged on his relationship with Mohammed Ali. The “Greek” was an odds maker turned football analyst until his on-air faux pas ended his career.

I love this interview and use it often to deliver an important message.

Howard: Jimmy, what do you like best in life?

Jimmy: That’s easy Howard. I like to win.

Howard: Then, what do you like second best Jimmy?

Jimmy: That’s easy. I like to lose.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

How to get more clients and more profitable clients

My clients love me, of course they’ll return. My clients had a good experience, they’ll come back, I’m pretty sure. Well, they said they had a good time, I’m pretty sure they might come back next time. I wonder where they went?

Sound like a familiar refrain? It does to me. And I can confidently say that it is likely nothing that we have done to see a client list dwindle. Times have changed and that client list is not nearly as valuable and robust as it once was. Last week we talked about the CAC and the ATV; and this week, let’s talk about keeping them around once we get them—that is the goal right? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

How to Build Social Awareness for Your Next Group Tour

 

Have you ever been to an industry event and met someone who instantly exchanges cards and then walks away? You know the type; they don’t really start much of a conversation with you and it seems like all they want is to grab your card and run off to the next person.

#Fail!

Would you ever re-connect with that person? Or, more importantly, do business with them?

Probably not! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Times are changing. In the past thirty years, we have seen such an incredible technology explosion, it is hard to keep up. But you must if you are to survive in an industry such as ours.  It is dog eat dog.

Gone are the days when your competition was down the block from you and you were both vying for old Miss Smith’s business. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Is 2020 The Year of the Travel Agent?

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had a fun and safe holiday and that Santa was good to all of your loved ones!  The final two weeks of each year, we take a break at TRO to rejuvenate and refresh. It is a much-needed respite from the weekly deadlines. But, once that is over, it is back to the grind. I was thinking about topics for the first column of 2020 and was struggling when my girlfriend handed it to me on a silver platter—is 2020 the year of the travel agent? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Sky Bird Travel & Tours

Sky Bird Travel & Tours is an award-winning airline consolidator who has served as a top resource for all types of travel agents since 1976, committed to connecting its clients with the lowest net fares from nearly 100 airline partners. Because of the close relationships Sky Bird has with the world’s best airlines, travel agents find incredible airfare deals for clients while simultaneously securing higher commission by choosing their own markup. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Sit down. Be quiet. Come here. Take this. Run there. Wake up. Go to bed. It seems all our lives we’ve been told to do things. And it hasn’t stopped since we’ve become adults—well most of us have become adults.

Today in the travel industry we are constantly being bombarded with suggestions and best practices from those in the industry. You have to specialize. You must charge fees. You have to sell this resort. Don’t sell a non-preferred supplier. And that is all pretty solid advice for most agencies. But are you most agencies? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Where is Your Community?

Like most technology geeks with a marketing background, I am fascinated by the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.  I get the social media stuff; I believe in it and I think there is a place in almost every travel agency’s marketing plan for these online tools.  However, I also believe the marketing that really counts is rooted in the local, physical community of each travel professional.  My concern is far too many agents hide behind their computer screens when they should be out speaking locally, writing articles, developing word of mouth tactics, and practicing public relations instead.  I know, I sound like a parent fussing at the kids to get away from the computer and get outside and play.

Actually, I suppose that is exactly what I am doing. Read the rest of this entry »







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