Guest Blog: How to Target Travel Audiences with Social Ads

 

What would you do if you worked in a bricks and mortar storefront business and your walk-in traffic dropped by 50%?  Yikes, you’d probably be thinking about moving or advertising, right?

Well, as a travel, tourism or hospitality pro, moving is probably not in the cards.  So that leaves advertising.  Now that organic social reaching is dropping quicker than you can say ‘travel’, (some estimate a 50% drop year over year) we need to power up our social ad strategy.

Audience Expertise
Social ads are the ‘way of the world’ when it comes to sky-rocketing the number of people you reach online.  Creating custom audiences of people who want and need to travel is easy, then building ads that appeal to that audience is key to reaching the right people at the right time and on the right social site.

Did you know that you can target Facebook & Instagram ads by:

  • Upcoming birthday or anniversary –think about all the milestone...
Read More...

Three “Must Haves in Your Sales Plan!”

I was recently interviewing a prospective client, who repeatedly asked, “Dan, what are we going to do about my marketing plan?”  After reviewing her efforts, I told her, “Maybe a tweak or two - here and there - but for the most part your marketing is fine.” I replied, “What’s missing is a sales plan.”  The phone went silent, and I waited while she processed what I had said. “A sales plan?” she asked, “I’m not even sure what that is.  I thought all I needed was a marketing plan.”  As I explained the purpose of a sales plan, I could practically see the light go on in her head.

A marketing plan does not guarantee that you will sell anything.  It does guarantee a substantial investment to attract and retain clients, but I repeat – a marketing plan does not guarantee sales.

 As travel professionals, we operate on a business model virtually identical to our friends who sell real...

Read More...

Is it Time to Transform Your Travel Agency?

reboot travel agent Jan 03, 2018

If your answer is "NO" and you were given an opportunity to hit the “Reset” button and reboot your travel business or career, would you do it?  

Virtually all travel professionals, whether new home-based agent or the general manager of a large, multi-location agency, struggle with similar challenges such as finding new clients, keeping the old ones happy, cash flow, and advertising to name just a few. 

You may have heard the expression “The tail is wagging the dog!” In my opinion, the biggest challenge we face, is building a business that you run, not one that runs you.

Michael Gerber author of The E-Myth (which I highly recommend) put it more eloquently, “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business—you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!”

I started both my travel and consulting businesses to gain the freedom from having a job and I imagine you...

Read More...

Who should you trust?

When everyone claims to be an expert, who should you trust? I have seen travel agents who barely know the difference between a hotel and a motel start social media groups, and suddenly have a following of thousands eagerly embracing their every word as it were the gospel.
 
Social media has given anyone with something to say a platform to share their opinion. While I can appreciate their passion, some of these forums are loaded with misinformation and unsubstantiated claims. It’s like the blind leading the blind.
 
I follow a number of online travel agent forums from around the world. Most are very good and offer travel professionals solid advice and networking opportunities. However, there are several that keep popping up on my radar.
 
The moderators use inflammatory rhetoric to whip their followers into an “us against them” frenzy. They attract anyone who will listen, in their pursuit against the OTAs, suppliers, and pretty much anyone who disagrees or...

Read More...

You are responsible for your own journey to the top!

How was your vacation?

I recently returned from a five day, solo backpacking adventure on a seventy-five-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington’s Cascade mountains. You may remember the PCT, the west coast version of the Appalachian Trail, from the bestselling book and movie, Wild.

I am an avid day hiker and have done a number of overnight backpacking trips - I have even climbed Mount Rainier, but I had no idea how physically challenging this endeavor would be.

Towards the end of the second day, I had already hiked fifteen miles with one to go. This last mile included a modest five hundred feet of elevation gain before reaching camp at the top of Cathedral Pass.  At this point, my legs were like jelly and I could go no further. As I sat there on the side of the trail, I quickly realized that I was out in the middle of one of the most remote sections of the entire PCT.  No one was going to come and get me, bring me water, or carry my forty-five-pound...

Read More...

When it Comes to Sales, Are you a Hunter or a Farmer?

I may have attended the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!), but as my Uncle Howard once told me - my real education was the summer of my freshman year I spent selling books door-to-door. In those short two and one-half months, I developed many of the life skills that have become an integral part of who I am today.

Knocking on doors and proactively presenting my product to families with a specific need my educational books could help solve, showed me that I can earn a lot more commission by taking the game to my customer than waiting for them to come to me.

As a result, for most of my sales career I have made “prospecting” my priority. I believe it is the missing link between just getting by, and real success in sales.

If you have been in or around the sales profession for any length of time, you have undoubtedly heard salespeople described as “hunters” and “farmers”. Unfortunately, the latter is how most operate, regardless of their product or...

Read More...

Finding Your Way Again.

travel agent Jul 02, 2017

Remember when you first decided to become an independent travel professional.  You were so excited to be embarking on a new career, one that could take you all over the world, live a lifestyle others only dream about, and heck -you were even going to get paid for it! The thought of associating yourself with a trusted brand or finding a business model that you worked for you made the decision that much easier.  Regardless of the reason– you jumped in with both feet. 

Fast forward to today. You are lost. You feel like the pumpkin that was once Cinderella’s beautiful carriage.  You are going through the motions, but don’t know what to do next, or in some cases- even where to start?    Sound familiar?  You are not alone, this is very common among small business owners, regardless of industry. 

In hindsight, you may have asked yourself these four questions, but it’s not too late.

1. “What is it that gets me out of...

Read More...