Even the most seasoned travel agent can feel like they’ve hit a roadblock trying to reach new clients. Despite the many communication tools of our digital age, it seems more difficult than ever to be heard above the noise and to generate qualified leads for your independent travel business. Many independent and home-based travel agents are looking to expand their client lists without breaking the bank or trying to cold-sell. These three tips can help you make new clients and organically grow your travel business:
Leverage existing customers
Don’t be afraid to tap into your existing client list to reach new people. Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most powerful tools to generate leads. People are more likely to trust the opinions of their friends than the advice of a stranger online. Not only is this tool often free, it requires less work on your part to seek out potential new clients.
When a client returns from a trip and is pleased with their experience, ask them to share your service with any of their friends or peers that may also need a travel agent soon. You can offer incentives such as discounts on upcoming trips or free gifts for each new client your current client sends your way. Even if you don’t feel comfortable asking clients to directly refer your service to their friends, you can encourage them to review your service on Facebook or write a brief testimonial to be shared on your website.
Blogging is an often-underestimated tool for reaching new clients and increasing awareness for your travel business. Not only does posting frequent blog articles to your website boost your chances of being found through internet search engines, it also provides you with a free way to show your expertise and share it on social media. Provide useful information to travelers that conveys your knowledge on the subject as well as your passion for helping your clients experience the best travel possible.
Potential blog topics could be tips on getting through airport security, upcoming travel destinations, how to guides for popular cities, packing lists and more. Be sure your blog is a helpful resource for travelers and not simply a marketing tool for your business.
Maintain a presence on social media
We’ve shared tips before on how travel agents can use social media platforms, such as Instagram, to reach new people. No matter what your travel niche or specialty, social channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter are free tools that you can leverage to get your travel agency in front of potential clients.
But how specifically can these platforms be used for lead generation? Twitter and Instagram are excellent for finding people interested in specialty travel or destinations through hashtags. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to link to articles or blogs that will get people over to your website. LinkedIn also allows you to connect with other industry professionals. No matter which platforms you are active on, keep your voice both friendly and helpful. Don’t hesitate to include photos of destinations or previous trips and share experiences from your own travels.