After some of the dust has settled and you’ve taken care of all your clients’ travel plans, you might be left with little to do to feel productive at work. We understand that and know the importance of keeping our minds active in this period of downtime. There are so many things that we all never get around to because our busy lives don’t allow us. The temporary decline in worldwide travel has given us the opportunity to cross some of those big things off our to-do lists so we can all come out of this feeling strong and ready to get things back on track!
1. Continue to reach out to clients
It may seem counterproductive to reach out to clients who may have cancelled or postponed their trips or who are not thinking about traveling anytime soon, but we think this is just excellent customer service and shows that you care. Not only will it be nice to connect with your clients, but you might be able to conduct some market research or get ideas for your clients’ future travel plans. Once they start to reschedule or plan new trips, they’ll be eager to reach out to you since you’ve already been in communication.
2. Continue professional developmentDid you ever think “if I had the time, I would attend that seminar”? Well now’s the time to act! Whether you’re looking to brush up on your customer service skills or build your business acumen, you can continue your path down professional development. The Travel Institute is a great place to start, and is offering its Business Planning learning module free of charge. There are also a few other affordable programs to take advantage of!
3. Listen to podcasts or attend a webinarTravel Pulse has some great podcast options, and the Travel Institute offers free webinars to attend. Viewing webinars or listening to podcasts can be something you put on in the background as you continue to go about your life during downtime (it can also be a refreshing break from news updates!). Don’t allow yourself to get rusty, because we will be going back to work.
We do recommend networking virtually (i.e. on social media) and although it’s not the same as meeting up in person, it can still be a great way to stay in the loop while socializing – something we all need right now. This also gives you a sense of how other travel advisors are handling this situation. If there’s anything we know about travel agents, it’s that you are very supportive people. Think about what you can share with other advisors and what you’d like to learn from them. There are tons of online communities for travel advisors, and if you weren’t a part of one already, now is a great time to join!
5. Grow your offering & define your selling proposition
Have you been wanting to expand your repertoire of destinations that you’re able to sell? Now is the perfect time to put together new materials or offerings. There are always new and trending destinations out there to be explored so don’t limit yourself. As you grow your offering, think about how you define your selling proposition and how that relates to your pitch or marketing materials. Once travel picks up again, your clients will be eager to get out there to explore new destinations!
6. Think of fun marketing/promotional ideas
If you’re in desperate need of a creative outlet, you can use your dowtime to think of exciting marketing campaigns or new promotions. We know that people will start traveling again soon and when they do, you should be ready with a catchy marketing campaign or an eye-catching promotion. Put yourself in the shoes of the future traveler – what would they want when they start traveling again? This might be a fun idea for the whole family – get a good brainstorm going!
7. Optimize your current marketing
Do you have automated emails that haven’t been getting the love they deserve? Use this time to invigorate your marketing – or even do a full rebrand! Your digital marketing might be easiest to update without leaving your house, but you can always put together additional plans for some field marketing. Here are some project ideas to get you started:
- Develop personas for different groups of travelers (couples, families, luxury travel, budget travelers, adventure-seekers, etc.)
- If you have a big database of clients, you should consider segmenting them (using the personas you created!) so that your email marketing is more effective.
- Put together testimonials from previous/current clients and layer them in your marketing. Social proof is very important to clients.
- Create videos that you can embed into your emails to give them a professional, yet personal touch!
8. Update your social media
Similar to your email marketing, have your social media pages been collecting cobwebs over the past few months? Now is a great time to give them a facelift! Other than your website, travelers will look for inspiration and validation in working with you based on your social media presence. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to the basics or attend our webinar for more detail. Take the time now to engage with current clients on social media and you’ll be top-of-mind when they start planning their next trip soon. Here are some suggestions:
- Let your clients put a face to your name. Update your emails and social media with photos of you on your own trips. Travelers love feeling connected to the advisor they choose and now is a great time to share your favorite family vacation with your clients!
- Inspire them with photos of beautiful beaches or intricate architecture. It will brighten their newsfeed up and allow them to experience the world virtually while they’re at home.
- Share positivity. Do you have a great story of local heroes or ways that your community has been coming together to support those in need? Share it with your clients! It may not be the usual travel content they’re used to from you, but a bit of positivity goes a long way in times like these!
9. Identify any areas of development
We’ve already mentioned stepping up your marketing, but think of any other areas of development you could work on, such as team training/cross-training or customer service. Were there past experiences that did not go the way you would have wanted that you can take the time now to figure out how to improve them in the future? Similarly, have there been any positive experiences that you’ve had in dealing with other companies that left you thinking “Wow, what a great experience!” Now is the perfect time to think about how to offer that same level of service to your own clients.
10. Plan your own trip of a lifetime
You never know how much you take something for granted until it’s gone. Use this time to think of the vacation of a lifetime for yourself. Self care is important, people! Allow yourself to be inspired by places you haven’t explored around the world and start planning. Once business picks back up again, you’ll be glad to have a vacation planned and on the calendar for yourself!