Have you always dreamed of being a luxury travel advisor?
It’s one of the hottest careers in the industry right now. And it all starts with an understanding of who your target audience is and what they are looking for. This article will show you how to identify your perfect client, build relationships with them, and sell them on the idea that your company can offer just about anything when it comes to their next vacation.
Let’s get started!
Step One: Define Your Target Audience
This is the most important step because it will help you when developing the rest of your luxury travel marketing campaign. For example, do they like to travel with someone else or have their significant other tags along?
Do they vacation in small groups or are they solo travelers? Are they high-maintenance and need a lot of special attention or do they just want to get in and out of town as quickly as possible? There’s no right answer here; it all depends on what type of company you want to develop.
Remember that this is a long term investment – the more time you spend getting to know exactly who you are trying to attract, the better off you will be down the road.
Step Two: Social Media Marketing
If your target market is active on social media, then this step will required a little more work than if they aren’t. Keep in mind that while millennials were the first to sign up for these accounts, 2010 was also the year that baby boomers began leapfrogging them as well.
And now, 80% of all Americans over age 50 are using Facebook regularly – and they represent $1 trillion in annual spending power.
That’s because older consumers tend to be less likely to change their shopping habits once they have established a routine – and unlike young people who have dozens of different hobbies and interests, senior citizens are far more loyal to one or two things.
This means that you will need a way to reach this group. That’s where social media marketing comes into play. Here are some tips for doing it effectively:
Social Media Marketing Tips:
- Use organic & paid ads carefully
- Post regular content (but not too much).
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
- Use a CRM to track interactions.
It’s social media marketing, not social media advertising! People won’t buy from Facebook or Twitter. They are less credible than search engine results and other social media posts. People only click on ads if they know that brand already.
And what better way to get that pre-existing relationship going than by building real, strong communities on those platforms? The networks have the ability to leverage user interests and demographics unlike any other medium.
Social media marketing is a great way for small business owners to take control of their own marketing, save money on staff and connect with customers in an interactive manner.
Explore Twitter or Facebook, along with blogging and the use of online video to reach out to your audience. Some social media sites are using advertising tools where you can pay to promote certain messages or posts so that they stand out among others (think Google Adwords).
This allows you to gain new followers and hopefully send more people back to your website. By posting valuable content regularly it keeps people coming back again and again creating a solid reputation for the brand through attracting new clients and increasing sales.
Every day, millions of individuals from all over the globe log onto social media sites to interact with others.
Social Media Marketing (SMM) makes use of this worldwide reach by helping businesses and organizations connect with potential consumers, effectively spreading brand awareness through social channels and platforms.
In order to be successful at social media marketing, marketers must focus their efforts on creating genuine content that people want to engage in and share while understanding how each channel affects each audience.
Besides, not every Social Networking Site (SNS) is the same – which means they are not going to be used for the same purpose.
The underlying principle of SMM, however, remains largely the same: that brand interaction with consumers occurs most frequently through social channels and sites in order to build loyalty and engagement.
Step Three: The magic of direct mail
Direct mail is one of the most effective methods around for reaching older and more traditional consumers – especially those on Medicare, which means that it doesn’t require a lot of advanced planning.
Your best bet is sending out letters with addresses handwritten by you as opposed to simply going with an address generated from your database program. You may even want to consider using special paper like linen or photo printing techniques.
These things send a message that sets you apart from everyone else and makes sure that they know why you were personally interested in contacting them about travel opportunities.
For tips on how to get more leads and turn them into buyers, check out this video by Travel Leaders
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, there are over 1 million travel agents in the country, most of whom receive income from commissions and fees earned during a booking process.
This number is much larger than that of those employed directly by travel companies (the US Travel Association cites numbers less than half that size). But unlike employees, these agents have the ability to represent multiple brands.
And consequently sell many different products at once – making it relatively easy for them to earn higher incomes as compared to other sales professions. The only hard part? Finding clients who are willing or able to pay enough income taxes so that agents can continue to make a good living.
Step Five: Link Building
Link building is most effective when it’s done in conjunction with other forms of marketing.
For example, paying to have a guest post published on another website that you want to link back to your own website can be a good tactic for increasing the number and quality of external inbound links.
Another popular method is purchasing an ad on Facebook and using their advertisement placement tool to redirect users who click on that ad directly from Facebook over to their own website.
The point being that you don’t need to do link building alone – there are lots of creative ways for you to get more links, you just need to be open minded about it!
Because affiliate networks offer income based upon commission rather than the sale price of goods, the products they can offer are typically less expensive than those found on most retail sites. This can be a distinct advantage when attempting to market products or services that may not have a high-profit margin.
Affiliate marketing is an incredibly easy way to monetize your website/blog / Youtube channel / social media profile or whatever it is you’re using for content creation.
It’s also one of the best ways to do so since the barrier to entry is so low – you don’t have to create any kind of content (though you will probably need some at some point anyway), and in many cases, all you have to do is link out!
Wikipedia says affiliate marketing …is a type of performance-based advertising, which rewards affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by their marketing efforts.
It’s a pretty neat and rather simple concept. You do the work, pay the fees and if you bring enough people in from whatever your affiliate application, you get a cut of the profit. So why is it so popular? Honestly, because it works (if done right).
Step Six: Monetize Your Website
Monetizing your website comes down to a few options. You can sell advertising on your site, you can accept donations from visitors, or you can make use of affiliate marketing if you have a product/service related website. Each one has its own benefits and drawbacks in terms of time spent and money earned.
You may also consider building an email list with your subscribers. Once they are hooked into receiving updates from you – which could be once a week, daily or multiple times per day – they will want more content from you…and that’s where the real income is made!
By now, most people online have heard of Adsense. Google’s popularity makes them one of the biggest payment processors available online.
If you have a website, you can sign up to Adsense and start serving ads on your own site (if they meet Adsense’s criteria – usually no more than two ads per page).
The fees vary depending on how much traffic your site receives…but in general, you need to receive quite a lot of hits each day for it to be worth the effort.
Advertisers bid on keywords, so people searching for something related to your products or services can see their ad when they search Google. You get paid every time someone clicks on the ad and is directed to their website.
Step Seven: Make Money Blogging
If you have a blog, you can monetize it by displaying ads on your site. There are plenty of ad networks out there that will sell advertisements for your site, and often they’ll let you choose the type of advertising you want to display.
For example, if you select text-link ads as an option, companies may compete to display their links in your content so they appear when someone searches for something using those words.
In order to start making money from your blog posts (and other types of web content) online marketing agencies like (OptimInfo ) use ‘affiliate marketing.
This is where an advertiser will pay a commission every time someone clicks through from their advert onto one of their products or services. Each click-through is called a ‘conversion’.
The affiliates who sell the most conversions are often those with the best websites or blogs since they have built up high levels of trust in their visitors and customers.
You can still make money by building your own ‘store’ online, such as Amazon’s affiliate program, which lets you put products for sale within your website and then receive a commission if anyone buys anything from that link.
I personally find that this works better for some products than others but there’s little doubt it can work very well at times. It’s also worth checking out eBay including craigslist to see if you could be selling things already…
If you want to become a luxury travel advisor, there’s no better time than now. The industry is booming and more people are looking for ways to spend their money on unique experiences that will make them feel like they’re living in the lap of luxury every day.
Don’t wait any longer! Start researching different destinations and what it would take to start your own agency today so you can get started making plans with clients who have enough disposable income or liquid assets to pay your high fees upfront (or at least provide an initial deposit).
I am John, an outdoor gear staff expertise with tons of practical knowledge. My favorite hobby is moving around the world and adventurous in all the parts of the earth. I have been a worldwide traveler for over 10 years now with no sign of slowing down. I’m happily espoused and residing with my kids in California.