Dear Tammy: It’s March and, for me, business isn’t going well. I have been working hard trying to get new customers in, but my business isn’t doing the same volume as last year. Any tips on how I can drum up new business?
Boy, I can write a book on how to drum up new business as a travel agent. That’s because there are so many different ways you can reach customers these days. Many of these promotional tools that are at your fingertips do not even cost anything. It’s a matter of finding the time to use them.
First, you need to make time in your day – and I mean every day – to promote your business, even when it’s at its busiest. This is because when business slows down you’re already behind in drumming up new business. Promoting your business is vital to the growth and survival of your company and if you just rely on the people who are calling now, you’ll be in for a big surprise if that suddenly slows down and your name isn’t out there in front of your potential customers.
So, how do you get your name in front of your potential customers?
The easiest and most cost effective way is by using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There’s also Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Tumbler, all are easy to use and do not cost a penny.
Each one of these is a great marketing tool for you. Write a blog post and provide a tip and a photo on Twitter. See a new resort and post some photos on Instagram. Take a short video of your experience at a new destination and post that on Snapchat. Get quoted in a news article and post that on LinkedIn. The more that your name is in front of your customers with valuable information and fun photos, the more you’ll become a respected name they can trust and will contact you when they want to plan a trip.
Another cost effective way of promoting yourself is by using your mouth. Tell people about what you do and make sure your customers tell their friends and family what a great job you did. Much of my business is by word-of-mouth and again that doesn’t cost a dime.
Of course, if you have the budget, consider buying some ad space on google, or on facebook or other social media sites. You can figure out what media works best for you (if you’re not sure, compare all of them and see which one you reach the most customers).
You see, it’s not about how you need to drum up business, it’s when and that is now. It should be a part of your daily activities, not something you do when business slows down. Work hard at promotion and you’ll see that it pays off.