So far, 2017 has been a lackluster year for my travel business. I have friends who are always asking me for travel advice and I give it to them every time. I do that because I believe that when they are ready to book, they’ll come back to me, but that’s not the case. I belong to a community association and they are always looking for trips to organize, so they ask me for advice.
Again, I haven’t gotten much follow-up business from that. I write articles for the local paper and answer people looking for advice on Facebook, but, well are you seeing a trend here? Aren’t these things I’m supposed to be doing? If so, why isn’t my business growing?
That’s so easy (and it seems like you know the source of your problem).
Why should anyone come to you when you’re giving them everything they need for free? It’s okay to give out ‘some’ advice to people looking for it, but most successful businesses don’t give away everything without a price.
Let’s take business consultants, for example, because their job is just that, to consult with you, but if they give away all of their advice without charging for it, they’d go out of business. For the most part, doctors and lawyers do not give out free advice. Professional trainers charge for their advice by the hour. Professional organizers aren’t going to tell you how you should organize your home. They are going to show you, for a price.
What’s the common denominator in this equation?
All the businesses I’ve mentioned treat themselves as that – a business. Travel is a commodity. You are not your client, Treat your travel agency as a business and not as the end product, a vacation.
Your business is not a hobby. It is a business and you’ve worked long and hard to make it pay off. Start making it pay off like a business today.
The next time your friends ask you to provide them with tips about where to go, let them know you have connections at these resorts or destinations and would be willing to help them set up their reservations. Share the fact that you can get them a better deal. Make yourself valuable. The community associations that need trip advice should be encouraged to partner with you for the trip, so that the booking goes through you. Your friends on Facebook? Some advice is okay, but do the same thing with them. Give them a link to your website that has your trips or excursions or a contact me page.
Every time you open your mouth to give advice to someone, think about how you can turn that into a business return. It takes practice, but give it time and you’ll get it.