In the Make Money Selling Travel Blueprint (MMSTB), GIFTE’s signature online learning program, the very first module is about business models. Why? Because most travel business owners have a broken business model based upon how travel businesses made money 25 years ago. The module talks about why most travel business models are broken (and why we have a profession full of accidental hobbyists), and then instructs students on the 4 business models that ARE working for anyone who wants to make money selling travel.
Among the 4 business models is the “Queen Bee.” This is a business model where you, the travel agency owner, bring worker bees (independent contractors) into your business to help you shift from a 1-to-1 business model to a 1-to-many business model. This is also known as leverage.
For example, if you are booking travel for your clients, you will make commission on and collect service fees for your client base. You won’t have any other sources of revenue. When you choose the Queen Bee business model and fast forward to where you have 10 I.C.s selling travel under you, your sources of revenue have multiplied because you collect your own commission/service fees and you keep a portion of all others’ commission too. These 10 extra streams of revenue without any work on your part indicates you have created leverage.
The Queen Bee business model is very attractive because of the leverage… but it also elicits a lot of questions on how to set it up. Possibly one of the most common questions it elicits is how to attract good I.C.’s. In this article, I will answer that question.
The simplest answer to the question of how do I attract good I.C.s is this: It’s no different than attracting good clients to your travel business. Those of you that own the Make Money Selling Travel Blueprint know that client attraction can be broken down into 3 simple steps:
- Craft a Core Compelling Message
- Establish Your Marketing Foundation
- Create Your Marketing Systems
So when it comes to attracting I.C.’s, following these 3 steps is the solution. Let’s see how that looks…
Craft a Core Compelling Message
Your message is how you articulate your value to prospects. It’s composed of the answers to 3 questions: A) What’s your medicine? B) Who needs it? C) What are the benefits of it? When it comes to attracting I.C.’s, answering these 3 questions is very useful. As a brand and travel business, what is the medicine you can provide to your I.C’s. Is it business guidance? Is it a new agent training program that is very nurturing? Is it the best environment for selling a specific supplier (i.e., Disney)? Then answer the question, who needs the medicine? Is it experienced travel agents that are new business owners? Or maybe it’s teachers who want to start their own business selling travel. Last, answer the 3rd question, what are the benefits of your medicine to those people that need it? Maybe you offer business tools or training they wouldn’t get elsewhere.
Establish Your Marketing Foundation
Once you have your core, compelling message and are super clear on what you offer, who you offer it to, and what the benefits of it are, it’s time to establish some form of foundation for marketing your business opportunity. It might be as simple as a 1-page website. Or you might need a physical brochure too. Whatever it is, figure out what marketing “assets” you need to attract good IC’s and go create them.
Create Your Marketing Systems
Depending upon how many IC’s you want to attract, you may or may not need to establish marketing systems on an ongoing business. If you want to attract 3-5 I.C.’s, then you won’t need ongoing marketing systems but you WILL need some form of marketing. Maybe it’s a local newspaper listing or an online listing. Whatever it is, you’ll need some form of marketing your opportunity. If you want to attract a few hundred I.C.’s, then you will certainly need ongoing marketing systems. And pulling from the teaching of the MMSTB again – you will need 2 types of ongoing marketing systems….1)List Building and 2) Relationship Building. What those look like will depend upon where your target market hangs out and how they consume marketing materials.
As systematic as this answer is to the question, how do I find great I.C.’s, the deeper, more relevant answer is to adopt a mindset of positive expectation. “You get what you expect.” I know travel business owners who have 5, 10, and even 35 I.C.’s who did very little to attract them. They are a magnet for great I.C.’s because they believe they will show up. They expect it. They have no resistance around this subject. So it might be as simple as changing your expectation. Or it might be that going through these 3 steps facilitates a shift in your expectation :).