What is storytelling? And why does it matter in your travel business?
Brand storytelling is using a narrative to connect you to your ideal client by conveying what you stand for and sharing your values. Sharing your stories and your values are what bring you into alignment with your ideal client.
Wendy went through this in much more detail during our Virtual Travel Career Summit this week.
So how to you begin to tell your story?
One of the biggest things to stand out in Wendy's talk was when she pointed out the makeup of a story.
What does a story consist of? It includes a beginning, middle and end. It has characters, a setting, and conflict.
A beginning, middle and end seems straight forward enough. Conflict and resolution is often easy to convey.
But then later on it occurred to me: Most travel advisors are not the main character in their website copy. Travel suppliers often are. Sometimes it's destinations. And that needs to change.
Last week I watched a really interesting conversation between Richard D'Ambrosio and David Chait the founder of Travefy. It's part of Richard's new series “Real Talk” with his Travel Business Mastermind group. (PS: If you're not following him and watching that please do!) It's the first of his series and I think he's going to have a lot of really fascinating guests speaking on topics.
I loved the conversation he had with David about how David recognized fairly early on in the life of Travefy that it was essential that he pivot the model of his business in order to be fully successful. It was a fascinating story and interesting business case.
However, I wanted to break it down a little bit more and make it applicable to travel advisors. What kind of lessons we can learn from that topic? I feel like there's four major lessons in ways that we can be more pivotable as travel advisors.
David found that there were...
I'm not going to ask you how your business is doing now. If you are a member of the travel industry I can already guess. When I ask fellow colleagues, I get replies like "dumpster fire" and uncomfortable chuckles thrown back at me.
And I get it. Me too.
So what next?
I was watching a show the other day and the main protagonist said, "Living day to day is surviving with no regard to tomorrow."
That really got me thinking. Before COVID were you thriving in your business, or were you just surviving?
By that I mean, did you just take whatever business came along?
Did you have a marketing strategy?
Did you know who you were marketing to?
Did you even like the trips you were planning anymore?
And (I mean let's just get right to it) were you making any money doing it?
For so many agents, they are just surviving. They are limping along day to day with whatever generic business comes along. They are stretched thin, have no scaleable plan, work with crappy...
You remember Fred Rogers, right?
You know - of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Red Sweater. Soft Voice. PBS legend.
Yep. That's the guy I'm talking about.
And all of these years later still teaching us a thing or two.
This week I've finally been listening to the podcast Finding Fred. It's insightful, nostalgic, and incredibly captivating. And I keep coming back to the travel industry every time I listen. Because all of these years later I'm still learning a thing or two about life from Mr. Rogers and I'm excited to be able to share them with you:
Fred Rogers knew his audience - inside and out. His audience - his ideal client - was children. Young children. And he spoke directly to them. Not to their parents. Not about them or over them. He spoke to them.
Who do you speak to? When you write emails and newsletters, do you speak to a large audience? Do you speak to the masses and just hope someone is listening? Can you picture...
There has been a lot of talk recently regarding the changes that will be necessary in the travel industry, but frankly there hasn't been enough of it.
Our friend, Richard D'ambrosio, business coach and content marketing consultant with his own firm, Travel Business Mastermind, recently wrote this article for Travel Research Online where he points out key areas that need to be addressed for Travel Advisors to survive this pandemic.
At KTA our entire mission is built on this principal - that it's time for the next chapter of travel advisor. One that is digitally savvy, business savvy, and marketing savvy. Otherwise they won't survive.
It will be awhile before traditional networking opportunities are opened back up, and it is our opinion that those opportunities will be forever changed. So let's talk more and add to the discussion, shall we?
There are so many great reason's to blog as an entrepreneur: it helps with SEO which helps drive traffic to your website, it helps you to list build, it helps to establish yourself as an expert, and it helps to build Know, Like and Trust. But, where do you begin? In our last Virtual Travel Career Summit, Mackenzie Jervis mapped out a great argument for why you should blog, as well as gave us some great blogging strategies for travel advisors to help get you started.
Now is the best time to set up your blogging strategy to finish the end of 2020 strong. Check out her video to learn more.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never navigated a business through a pandemic before. It’s completely new to me. And doing new things is the epitome of uncertainty, vulnerability, and discomfort.
Brene Brown says that the only way to get to the other side of the discomfort of being new is to push right through the middle. Experience teaches us that as much as we want to fast forward through the hard rocky parts of doing something that we’ve never done before, we just can’t.
And this pandemic is pushing us through tough, new things more than usual.
One of the biggest things I hear from travel entrepreneurs when they talk about struggles in their business during normal times is that they put off doing things that they know that they should do, because they are uncertain, uncomfortable, or scared to try.
What I also know is when Travel Advisors give up trying new things, when they give up on learning something new because they...
Digital Marketing is the buzz phrase of quarantine. Everywhere you look, people keep telling you to rehaul your marketing strategy, make good use of this time, and other similar sentiments that tend to be less helpful and more anxiety inducing to the average travel entrepreneur. But you might be wondering what to do when social media has you overwhelmed in your travel business.
That’s why today I wanted to talk about a few strategies for social media marketing that you can take to heart today to ease the anxiety of getting started and find clarity in your marketing strategy.
Wait - what? Yep. You heard me. There are plenty of successful travel entrepreneurs out there that don’t heavily market on social media. Here’s the kicker. They have a great affinity for networking and list building and have an established email list that they...
During the COVID Quarantine my family and I have been indulging in quite a bit of video binging, taking advantage of all our streaming services from Disney+ to Netflix. Naturally, when Disney made Frozen II an early release, my 7 and 2 year old daughters were all over that. Thus began the Frozen Eicher Repeat Adventure Part II in our house.
But while Frozen is on replay in the background, my mind is still spinning on travel. As a Travel Advisor and Marketing Coach, I can’t help but constantly be turning my wheels.
Strategy. Strategy. Strategy.
What to do next?
Where do we go from here?
How do I know what the right thing is?
And what the heck is even going on?
This. This right here. This is for all you lovely newbies in our industry.
The ones that started in the Fall of 2019 or the Winter of 2020. And then all hell...
Summer is taking off and the great debates are starting in our industry once again - should I stay or should I go?
What started as a few weeks or a few months interruption in travel planning, has started to morph into a benching of the 2020 season. Many agents I know are struggling with what to talk about from here. So let’s talk about it.
The most important thing you can do as a travel advisor right now is continue to be generous with your information and establish yourself as an expert.
Stay relevant by sharing updated travel advisory information - there’s never a shortage of information. It changes daily. And there is so much nuance to all of the information. You don’t just need to know about the travel advisories where you live, but also where you are going, and any place you pass...