By Emily Peters
January is well-known as a hectic month in the travel industry, as post-holiday deals accumulate to keep momentum going into the new year. And while we hope all of our travel professionals are flush with new prospects, that may not always be the case—especially for new travel agents who are just beginning to grow.
Spoiler alert: this is not the time to take it easy. We’ve got a few tips to help you use any downtime wise as a travel professional as we launch the new year.
Plan like you’re the next Bill Gates.
Your friends, family and clients will respond to confidence—so take your travel agency seriously and get your business plan ready and raring to go for 2018. A business plan can be as simple or as complex as you like, but should ultimately map out your current business state, where you want to go, and a few ideas on how to get there.
Not sure where to begin or how to evaluate? MTravel’s Business Development Team is the perfect resource to guide your process and provide valuable feedback. You’ll feel a million times better once this piece is done, dusted and propped on your desk as a constant reminder throughout the year.
Update your marketing calendar.
It’s completely okay to use last year’s marketing calendar as a template for the one to come. Map out major periods of travel activity: the holidays, summer vacation, key clients’ anniversaries/birthdays, spring break, etc. and build marketing efforts to augment those periods of activity. Blast emails, ads, social media marketing, direct mail, webinars, agency events, etc. can all be scheduled with their content created in advance.
Downtime is also a good chance to evaluate what marketing was successful from the year prior and make adjustments. New to the biz with no prior history? Start with regularly reaching out to your low-hanging fruit on and establishing your social media presence, then expand from there. Again, the MTravel team is invaluable in determining which tactics make sense for your audience, budget and time.
Segment your prospect/client list.
Let’s be honest—none of our prospect/client lists are as tidy as they could be! It’s time-consuming, detail-oriented and easily put off, yet it’s one of the best ways to improve your marketing without spending a dime.
Segmentation not only allows you to determine what messaging best galvanizes specific client groups, but exposes strengths and weaknesses in your existing client base. Are you missing out on more romance travel by not realizing how many couples you have in your list? Are there potential corporate or group leads that you’ve been ignoring? Use downtime for a deep dive into your clientele to determine their tastes, travel habits and other helpful details. Your marketing and PR tactics will vastly improve on account of it.
What are some other ways you use your downtime wisely as a travel professional? Follow us on Facebook and share your tried-and-true methods of productivity. Good selling!
Are you ready to start your independent travel business with MTravel? We are here to help! Contact us here or call us at 800-870-5799. Be sure to check out our website at www.MTravel.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.