One of the most common questions I hear from other travel agents is, “How do I outsource?” Or, “What do you outsource?” In general, I hear a lot of other agents express frustration that there is now guidance / education on this topic in our industry.
I think the main reason for the lack of guidance is that there truly is not a one-size-fits-all approach to hiring virtual support. While one travel agent may need help with posting on social media, another may need help writing blogs, while another may need help with bookkeeping, etc.
First, REAL TALK: I know you probably joined this career field because you love the creative process of designing an itinerary. Perfect! You’re in the right place! But, if you are like a majority of travel advisors today - you are an independent contractor. And...much to many people’s chagrin, independent contractor equals business owner. That means, you MUST do so much more than just designing...
As an entrepreneur we always feel the pull to do something. It's a nagging feeling often leftover from our days as an employee.
The problem is that when we end up feeling like we are not doing enough, we end up self-depreciating, feeling like we let ourselves down, or let other people down.
There is nothing like a year where we don't turn a profit to make us feel like we are not doing enough.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how it's human nature to in our moments of anxiety add chaos to chaos. If we would just add more people to our list, or if we could just post on social media more, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
By nature, 2020 has been full of uncertainty which has been anxiety inducing. In anxiety, I'm the Queen of Over-functioning. I went all in on creating KTA with Ashley and Wendy. I went all in for my clients hunting down refunds. I went all in on marketing consulting on the side.
I was also home schooling, parenting a...
Growing up, I remember my mom telling me to pick my friends wisely because I would be judged based on who they were perceived to be. “Good” kids versus troublemakers. Jocks versus stoners. Smart kids versus slackers. We were lumped together as a group with our friends.
I have to admit not giving much thought to whether I was judged based on who I associated with outside of high school. As I went to college and then onto a career in meetings and events, I gravitated to people who matched my values and interests.
Now I am an entrepreneur in the online space. My universe has far expanded beyond my gravitational point.
I was recently faced with an uncomfortable situation. It was brought to my attention that someone I had interviewed as part of “Because I Can”, my speaker series of (and for) powerful women, didn’t share my values. What does one do in this situation?
I was able to...
This month in Kinship Travel Academy, we’re conducting a Strategic Annual Planning Workshop. In the workshop, we’re going to take our “Big Hairy Dreams” and break them down into a measurable, actionable plan to implement now and in the next XX years it will take to achieve that.
Why would we do something like this?
First, it's important to put out in the universe, with a pen, and paper our “Big Hairy Dreams”. I don’t adhere to the idea that you keep your dreams to yourself. I believe if you set your intention to writing or at least, verbalize it, you get one step closer to making that dream happen. If you keep it secret, there is less accountability to yourself.
Second, we need to establish goals and benchmarks with realistic timelines to achieve our “Big Hairy Dreams”. One cannot usually go from zero to millions in a short period of time - it often takes baby steps. Setting the intention of...
Have you seen or used this soap? Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap is now widely available and increasingly popular. I first found out about it when I realized my daughters and I all have very sensitive skin. After some internet searching, I found many people recommended castile soap for sensitive skin - the most notable being, Dr. Bronner’s. I bought my first bottle at Whole Foods and the whole family has been using it ever since.
Within the first few times of lathering up in the shower, I noticed there was a whole lot going on on the label. After closer inspection, I started to notice what appeared to be the ramblings of a mad person and asked myself, “What the hell did I buy?!” (Not to mention how the design of the label goes against everything designers/ marketers advise - to keep it simple and not provide too much text.)
I finally decided to research who this Dr. Emmanuel Bronner actually was. Here are some interesting...
We hear it all of the time - I'm a luxury travel specialist! I'm a cruise specialist! I'm a group travel specialist!
Well what in the hell does that even mean?
At KTA one of the main tenets that we teach is that you should focus on the traveler, not the style of travel. It's the foundation of an effective marketing strategy.
The industry is finally getting on board with the idea of niching and letting go of the "generalist" travel advisor. "Generalist" are better left in the days gone by era along with travel booking agents. The idea is obsolete, and in the end leads to a really ineffective business model. It's unsustainable.
But how does an advisor go about narrowing down on their ideal client? Where do they start?
It first starts with themselves.
At KTA we call this process Claim Your Fame. We walk members through a course that helps them map out their strengths and identify their secret sauce. The next step is to bring their special sauce into alignment with...
You’ve probably heard a million times that the “riches are in the niches”. It's true! You usually hear about this from a marketing strategy standpoint rather than a business operational standpoint. I want to make the argument that niching is crucially important for your business operations and therefore, your sanity as well. Stay with me…
Just as it is in marketing, niching allows you to be ultra-clear in your messaging via social media, your website, and all other communication opportunities with leads and clients. By niching you can deliberately communicate to (and only to) your ideal clients. Rather than trying to address the pain points of every Tom, Dick, or Sally in the world, you are addressing the pain points of Sally, and only Sally. Doesn’t that make your life easier? You can spend all your time getting to know Sally and what makes her tick, so that everytime you blog, post on social media, create a lead magnet, etc. you are talking...
Earlier this week I posed the question in our Travel Agent Training and Mentorship Facebook group: Are you feeling burnout?
The responses were overwhelmingly: YES.
I loved the responses to come out of that post. The fact of the matter is that a lot of people are feeling burnout. Earlier this summer I wrote about how 2020 is the epitome of uncertainty for all of us, but by now we are starting to feel the fatigue from that with no clear end in site.
Drs. Emily and Amelia Nagoski are twin sisters, researchers and the authors of Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle. In that book they discuss the 3 major causes of burnout:
Last week I watched a National Geographic Documentary on Physarum Slime Mold.
(Yes. Even I have reached the point where I cannot binge watch another Grey's Anatomy episode. It was time to branch out.)
In the spirit of "there are lessons in everything," the entire show I really thought of how this applies to our industry and how it does in more than one way.
And no - I'm not comparing the travel advisors I love to slime mold, but, truly, there are some good takeaways here.
First, researchers that study physarum slime mold are wholly unapologetic about studying physarum. What's more they REALLY geek out on physarum. Their faces light up at the thought of talking about physarum slime mold. Physarum slime mold is their ideal client. And they have found the sweet spot between where their interests are and what their ideal client is. It's not enough to research just any slime mold. They find this particular slime mold interesting and exciting.
Balance. Do you have it?
Without a doubt 2020 knocked travel advisors off balance unlike ever before. But the fact remains that most advisors before the pandemic didn't have balance in their business.
What do I mean by that?
Often when I bring up the idea of "balance" people often think of busy mom's trying to "have it all" or yogis in a tree pose. And while it's not far off, today I'm talking about balance between the three main areas all entrepreneurs must balance: marketing, business, and mindset.
Why those three?
A healthy balance of marketing, business, and mindset is what propels you forward on the path to success. It gives you clarity and confidence in your travel entrepreneur journey.
Because if you don't have a marketing system - a system in place that gives you a steady stream of clients - you don't have a business. You have a hobby that caters to family and friends. You don't need to be in this business long to agree that family and...