By Cat Zuniga
In the sales industry, you always hear, “Sell! Sell! Sell!” Most of us in the travel industry are commission-based, and sales are our bread and butter.
With that said, there are many different ways to sell. Some view volume as key, while others find more value in fewer and more high-end reservations.
Call me modern, or simply a Millennial, but gone are the days where passing out flyers was your sole method of advertisement. The digital world is where it’s at. People constantly ask me how I advertise. The truth is that I do social media, and then let my clients do the rest. With social media, I can simply promote a property or destination, and let my clients, friends, or followers to do the rest.
Another advantage of this sort of marketing approach is that there are so many resources for even non-graphic-design-inclined “dummies” like myself to create beautiful promotional material for your business and some of your key destinations.
Successful social-media and internet marketing requires following a recipe that goes like this: Show attractive images, add a few words, but let the pictures tell the story.
Here are five ways you can find the raw materials you need to add internet-based marketing to your travel-selling mix without a ton of skills, knowledge, or experience.
Supplier images. Reach out to your suppliers and ask if you can use their high-quality images as a resource for your promotions. Nine out of 10 times they’re thrilled to let you do so. This not only shows clients and potential clients that you aren’t just Googling images, it gives you good quality photos that look official. Not only that, but it also helps eliminate any potential lawsuits, fines, or fees from stealing images. Ask the supplier how they want to be credited for the images, and always give credit where credit is due. It does not show weakness on your part. Rather, it shows a great relationship with your suppliers. Finally, always share links to your finished product with your suppliers. Who knows? They may want to share your material with some of their contacts.
Your own images. Many of you travel all around the world. After all, it’s in your job description. So why would you not take loads and loads of digital images to share with your clients? But, remember, these images should be good quality – better than you might think, once they’re cropped and enlarged to fit your space. When you prepare to travel, have a list of the kind of images you want to capture for your business (like the layout and view from a resort-view room as opposed to an ocean-view room, for instance). These will show your clients that you’re familiar with the properties and have had a chance to experience them personally. Not to mention, it’s your own image, with no usage restrictions or extra fees.
Canva. This is a great resource that lets you use high-quality, stock images for free or at a very low cost. You can also upload your own images and edit them. It’s very user-friendly, and a great resource tool to use for not only images, but email marketing, blogging, social-media marketing, birthday cards for your clients, and so much more.
PicMonkey. This source has a free basic package, but a few different options up to $5 a month for great design resources, and also stock images as well. This is very similar to Canva, but has its own twist, and is definitely a good resource.
Google Images. You can actually find a lot of great images on Google that you can use for free, but you need to know how to search for them. Once you go to Google Images, there’s a menu of options below the search bar. When you click on “Search tools,” you get another drop-down menu that includes the option called “Usage rights.” Click on that and you get a drop-down menu that includes the category “Labeled for reuse.” These are the photos you can use. There’s often a nice selection of photos, especially of popular destinations. Just be sure to go to the page where the image originally appeared and see if you have to provide a line crediting the photographer. This is occasionally the case with these royalty-free images.
If you’re a home-based agent and don’t have a company providing you with online marketing material, you can see that it’s easy to create what you need on your own, at minimal cost. Tap into your resources, and show your clients why they should book with you! Learn how to turn your computer into your virtual money machine.
Finally, as a home-based agent, you of all people should understand the importance of needing to be protected. Our friends over at Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection have you and your clients covered – you with errors-and-omissions coverage for your business, and your clients with innovative travel insurance. The question is, are you protected?
Cat Zuniga is an award-winning travel specialist. She specializes in tropical vacations for families, groups, destination weddings, and honeymooners. Visit her today at http://www.TarverdiTravel.com.