One of the main concerns many of our Travel Counsellors face when deciding to start their own business is where they’ll get their customers from. Will anyone want to use me? How will I find new customers? Will I get marketing support to grow my business?
In part one, we gave you some great tips and ideas for finding customers if you start your own travel busines. But if you’re looking for more ideas, carry on reading!
One important type of local or regional event is the wedding fair. Creating a wonderful bespoke wedding abroad or honeymoon experience is often one of the nicest parts of wedding planning - so the service you can offer as a Travel Counsellor can be a big draw at a wedding fair. Again, you’ll have access to ready-made weddings and honeymoons marketing materials.
Use Social Media
Social media is an effective and low-cost way to reach new people. Choose your favourite social media platforms – you will find it easier to post regularly to the ones you are most comfortable with. For travel, Instagram and Facebook are good starting points. If you are focusing on Corporate Travel, you might find LinkedIn is more useful for you. Create your business account and business page and post regularly. Travel topics are great to post about because there are lots of attractive images to share. It’s also great to post – and encourage your customers to post – good reviews.
Build Relationships with Other Local Businesses
Social media is also a great place to reach out to other local businesses and explore the potential to help support others in your local business community. Get talking to the people in your local high street – take along some business cards and leaflets and see if they will put them on their noticeboard or share them with their customers. We can help you with marketing materials, such as professionally branded posters to put up in shop windows or perhaps the local post office, nursery or sports centre.
Advertising doesn’t have to be expensive. What opportunities are there for you to put an ad in the local school magazine, or the local newspaper? Our business development team can help you get the messaging right and through our ‘Brand Centre’, you’ll be able download and print ready-made adverts – all you need to do is add your own personal details. Not sure where to advertise? No problem! We’ll give you advice and guidance about that too!
PR can be a very low cost way of getting attention. Free publications, local parenting publications, and local or free newspapers are often keen to receive articles, especially if you can write about a topic of seasonal or regional interest. If you have an idea for a topical story, choose a suitable publication and call to suggest you might be able to write a feature for them. There’s usually a phone number inside you can call to speak to the editor and pitch your ideas. But if you’re not sure where to start, you’ll have access to press release templates and advice - so you don’t need to worry about being a PR expert!
Experiment and Have Fun!
It is amazing how many ideas you can find for getting your name out there, when you begin to think about it. Although it is hard work at first, it is incredibly rewarding – especially when you know that it is you and your customers who are benefitting from all your hard work.
The majority of our Travel Counsellors will build their business largely through recommendations. This is thanks to the freedom the Travel Counsellors model gives you to create memorable holidays for your customers that exceed their expectations, and helps ensure your customers keep coming back for more.
The key to getting started is to give it a go. Experiment with different types of promotion and see which is most successful for you and which you are most comfortable with – you may be surprised to know how often the answer to these two questions is the same!