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Your travel agency is all about you, not about the suppliers you work with or the deals you can offer. Those are mere transactions. You are not an order-taker; you are transforming lives through travel. You have the personality. You have the unique combination of attributes: enthusiasm, knowledge, experience, compassion and focus - that will deliver remarkable travel experiences for your clients. Here are five ways to market you:
1. Craft your 60-second commercial or elevator speech. Do you know how many words fit into 60 seconds - 150! How many words does your personal commercial have? Hone it down to 150 words or less. Then, hone it down to a 30-second personal commercial. That's 65 words or less. Trust me, it may seem impossible, but you will love your 30-second commercial. It will be focused, effective and powerful. Practice your delivery in the mirror. Then ask someone to listen and give their feedback. Be certain that your enthusiasm shines through. If you are excited, the person you are talking with will get excited, too.
2. Create a blog/guest blog. Write about your travels - paint a picture with your words or include photographs. Write about how you serve your clients' needs (it is all about them) - make people want you to take care of their travel. Offer how-to tips that improve your readers' lives. Guest blog on highly rated blogs that mirror your philosophy and complement your areas of expertise.
3. Create an integrated Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and/or website presence. Only choose the channels where your clients, and potential clients, are active. The focus should be on the type of experience your clients will have with you and/or the type of travel experiences in which you have expertise.
4. Write for local publications or specialty publications. This includes local newspapers and magazines; convention and visitors bureaus' newsletters and websites; specialty publications for college alumni; doctors, dentists, architects, lawyers, young professionals or executives - see what I mean?
5. Develop a searchable library of information on your area of expertise. Keep itineraries, event calendars, destination information and recommended drivers, tour guides and resources, so that you have that information at your fingertips. This allows you to speak to your expertise more readily when talking with clients.
Host agencies such as Nexion can assist in these areas, such as coaching you on your elevator speech and providing social media tools to help you with your integrated web presence. However, it's up to you to ensure your clients know how you will provide those lifetime experiences for them.
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