When I first started out I was full of ambition and drive, and the excitement of being my own boss, and I knew a lot about productivity and organization AND running a business from my prior work in business management, but what I lacked was a solid, proven plan to get clients – you know – a Marketing Plan.
I tried this and that and some of it got me clients and some of it didn’t, but I learned from everything I did, and I realized that I had a natural gift for marketing.
Then I started investing more and more in formal marketing training, and began my love affair with marketing.
Today I know that no matter what business I start, I will succeed because marketing is THE KEY to success in any business.
Different marketing strategies work best for different businesses and different business owners, based on your market, your ideal client, and your unique personality (speaking of, have you taken our marketing personality quiz yet? It not, take it by clicking here now).
One of the strategies that worked best for me was JV (joint venture) partnerships because I love talking to people and I’m great at networking and making connections and coming up with win-win solutions.
JVs are a fantastic opportunity for Travel Agents! Not only will you bring in tons of new ideal clients, you will also build beneficial, long-term relationships with other business owners.
For today’s Travel Expert Insider I’m telling you what JV partnerships are and how to use them to get a steady flow of new clients calling you for bookings.
Watch the video below on what a JV partner is and how to use them to get a steady flow of new clients calling you for bookings.
I’ve heard from several agents that they are looking for Travel Agency Advertising Ideas and Travel Agency Advertising Samples. In this video I’m going to share with you a type of advertising that works brilliantly for most travel agents.
When it comes to travel agency advertising ideas, print advertising such as flyers and post cards, generally does NOT work well enough to justify the expense. There are a few exceptions, but very very few.
Instead, I recommend that you deploy highly effective strategies for bringing in new IDEAL clients. A strategy that works brilliantly for most travel agents is setting up something called a JV.
JV stands for Joint Venture and the simple explanation for it is that you’re leveraging someone else’s client base.
To show you how this works I’m going to first give you an example outside of the travel industry, then I’ll give you a couple of example of how a travel agent can apply this strategy so that you have a full picture of how JV’s work and how you can apply this strategy to your travel business.
Example Outside Travel Industry – I have a friend that owns an in-home personal training company. His ideal clients are people who are older, well to do, don’t want to go to a gym, and who want to either stay mobile and in shape, or get more mobile and in shape.
He found a small chain of locally owned fitness equipment stores that carried a line of high-end in-home fitness equipment to his ideal clients. He struck a deal with the owner of the stores that he would give a complimentary in-home personal training session to each person that the store sold equipment to for purchases over $15K.
He told the store to position it as a thank you gift AFTER the sale. That way, the customer would feel great that the store was going above and beyond by sending out a premiere trainer to their home to show them exactly how to use the equipment and to walk through a routine with them.
This JV Partnership was brilliant because it was a BIG win/win for both my friend and the small chain of fitness stores. The fitness stores wanted to have more repeat clients and if people don’t use the equipment they buy, it’s unlikely they will buy more. Also, the store offered maintenance and repair services for equipment and again, if their customers don’t actually use the equipment they buy, there’s no need for maintenance and repair.
The store gets to look like a hero by offering a valuable extra free service to their customers after the sale, and my friend gets in the home of his ideal client. Over 80% of the people he gives a free 90 minute session to, purchase a package of personal training from him and become long-term clients. Within a year of developing this one JV partnership, he got so busy with clients that he had hired 12 full time personal trainers to work for him. He now just does the first free session, sells the client, and then has one of his trainers fulfill on the paid services.
The right JV partner can be incredibly lucrative for you. Now I’m going to share with you a couple of examples of how a travel agent like you can use this same strategy.
Example #1 – Partner with local retail stores. If you’re a travel agent who specializes in some type of family travel – maybe educational experiences, or Disney, or family beach vacations, whatever it is, you could approach locally owned kids toy stores and book stores and offer to do free mini workshops in the store. The store gets to promote an event that brings their customers back in – which is great for the store because the more people that come in, the higher their sales. You would do all of the work and spend the money have post cards printed that they hand out to their customers, provide refreshments at the event, and allow them to participate in the event if they wanted to host a special sale and/or do a prize giveaway or something fun like that.
Where I’m from in the Midwest there’s a small chain of locally owned high end kids toy stores that specializes in educational toys. This would be a perfect JV partner for a travel agent who specializes in some type of family travel. You could even partner up with another agent – maybe one of you specializes in Disney and the other in beach vacations or something.
Example #2 – Partner with winery’s. If you specialize in wine tours or River Cruises or something in that vein, you could reach out to local winery’s. One way to partner with them is to host an event in their winery. Bring in other vendors such as a day spa, a local wine bar, and so on. Each vendor invites their clientele to the event, and each vendor gets to show case their products and services at the event.
As a travel agent you probably have the least amount of people to invite to the event, so what you bring to the table is the leg-work, and you cover the cost of the event, or at least most of it. You find the vendors, print the flyers, craft the promotional emails, buy the refreshments – although the winery will serve the wine and may provide some nice cheese and crackers or something.
The winery would be thrilled to have an event that brings in lots of new people would love wine and who maybe didn’t know that they existed before. You and each vendor you find to participate get to talk and mingle with dozens of ideal prospective clients. You can pass out business cards and even book free consultations with hot leads.
These are just a couple of ideas. There are a million different types of JVs that you could create and a thousand different ways you could structure the deal with your JV partners. Start by simply looking around you and taking note of people and companies that are selling products and services to YOUR target market. Then brainstorm ways that you could create a partnership with them. If you’re a member of the Travel Expert Marketing Academy, in Module #24 we walk you through how to approach prospective JV partners and how to help ensure that the partnership you create is lucrative for you.
If you want additional Travel Agency Advertising Ideas and Travel Agency Advertising Samples download the special report below this video on 14 different ways to get new ideal clients.
Now I want to hear from you. What types of businesses could you reach out to that may be interested in a joint venture with you? Please share in the comments below.
Love & Success,
Heidi and Your Marketing Team
P.S. If you missed the Email Marketing For Travel Agents live training last week (held via webinar), you’ve got one more chance to see it! This is our MOST POPULAR free training and we don’t do them very often, so you don’t want to miss out.
We’re doing it a few more times in the next couple of days.