As an entrepreneur, you must have a vision. Why? You can’t take a journey if you don’t know where you are going. Along the way, it’s inevitable you will encounter moments when your view is obstructed…otherwise known as a “blind spot.” So maybe the secret to success is to identify your blind spots so you can remove them and have an unobstructed view of your path to your vision.
While your blind spots may differ from someone else’s, there are some common ones that I see every day (and experienced myself). In this article, I highlight the 3 most common blind spots for travel agencies.
1. You don’t know what your medicine is.
Travel agencies may plan travel, but there is so much more that they do. What do I mean by medicine? As human beings, we have gifts. One person might be gifted with a great sense of humor and can lighten a mood with a few words, while another might be gifted with a nurturing teaching ability and can handle a roomful of 5 year olds 7 hours a day, without blinking an eye. We are here to use our gifts for other people. Our gifts are unique. It’s like we are all equipped with our own specific medicine that we can use to help others. But not everyone needs our medicine. So we have to figure out what our medicine is and who it’s designed for. When you build a business around your medicine and aim it at those who need it, you will find great success. This is true for any business and specifically for those selling travel. When you do the work to identify your medicine and who it’s designed for, you recognize your value. When you own your value, marketing becomes easier. When you don’t do this work, you either don’t value or undervalue your services. It’s not very easy to market something that you don’t value. So understanding your medicine and who needs it most is critical to your marketing success.
2. You don’t consistently list build.
Marketing really should be divided into two different types: 1) List building and 2) Relationship Building. In other words, you have to get people into your platforms before you can build a relationship with them. Most travel agencies are great at #2 – relationship building. Why? Because suppliers, consortia and host agencies make it very easy by feeding you content to send to your existing clients and prospects. Keeping in touch with clients and prospects can be a “no-brainer.” But an enormous blind spot for travel agencies is list building on a consistent basis. In other words, they are not partaking in marketing activities that consistently add prospects to their marketing platforms like email databases, Facebook Likes, Twitter Followers, etc. You might be sending emails, posting on Facebook and Tweeting regularly, but if you are not growing your lists, it’s a complete waste of time. How does one grow their list? You have to strategically and deliberately do it. There are the offline methods, like exhibiting at trade shows, networking, speaking and developing joint ventures. There are the online methods like Facebook Ads, search engine optimization of your website, video marketing, podcasting, and the list goes on. You don’t have to do it all. But you must have your eye on list building and consistently implement your chosen list building marketing activities.
3. You don’t fill up with “entrepreneurial nutrition.”
When I tell people the importance of support, they may not roll their eyes at me, but I often feel the energetic version of doing that. Being an entrepreneur and running a business will require you to step outside your comfort zone on a regular basis. You will do this at least 10 times as much as someone sitting in a cubicle in a corporate job. We are not wired to constantly step outside this zone. In fact, we LOVE the comfort zone. But everything you want in your business is outside your comfort zone. It’s almost impossible to do this alone. So get support so you can tap into and fill yourself up with entrepreneurial nutrition. That is, people who are on a similar journey. They “get” you. They “see” you. They know how to pick you up when you are feeling down or frustrated, they know when to give you a kick in the butt, and they know how to celebrate your successes, no matter what the size.
There you have it – the 3 most common blind spots for travel agency owners. Do you experience one of these? Or more than one? Or maybe a different one. Let us know what yours is by posting on the GIFTE Facebook Page!
If you haven’t done it already, get clear on your medicine and who it’s designed for. Get deliberate about building your list and establish specific marketing activities to do it. Find a supportive group that can feed you in your entrepreneurial journey.