We hear it all of the time – I’m a luxury travel specialist! I’m a cruise specialist! I’m a group travel specialist!
Well what in the hell does that even mean?
At KTA one of the main tenets that we teach is that you should focus on the traveler, not the style of travel. It’s the foundation of an effective marketing strategy.
The industry is finally getting on board with the idea of niching and letting go of the “generalist” travel advisor. “Generalist” are better left in the days gone by era along with travel booking agents. The idea is obsolete, and in the end leads to a really ineffective business model. It’s unsustainable.
But how does an advisor go about narrowing down on their ideal client? Where do they start?
It first starts with themselves.
At KTA we call this process Claim Your Fame. We walk members through a course that helps them map out their strengths and identify their secret sauce. The next step is to bring their special sauce into alignment with their ideal client. The intersection is what we call the “marketing sweet spot.” It’s where the magic happens.
Why start there?
Because knowing ourselves – our why’s, hopes, desires, passions – helps us to narrow down the scope of what we can tolerate from an ICA. It helps bring about our messaging and our mission statements, which can often be the cornerstone of our brand.
For example, if you hate cruising, why would you ever what to sell cruises? Consumers can smell bullshit a mile away, yours would be no different. It comes across as inauthentic. It also leads you to show up at work sluggish and uninspired.
Knowing who you are, what you jive with, and who you serve leads you to showing up inspired in your work and in your marketing. And that feeling is infectious.
The next step would be to lean into your ideal client – who do you want to serve? What is their name? What is their pain point? And how does your brand of travel solve that problem?
Bringing these things into alignment gives you clarity in your marketing strategy. You know what content to create to attract your ICA because you really know who you are talking to. And if you can focus on talking to just one person, and forget about the rest, you can cut through all of the noise out there.
It also gives you more latitude in the types of trips you can plan. Because most travelers aren’t one dimensional. They want to see/experience a variety of different things in their lifetimes. But knowing who you serve, gives you a narrow focus on the suppliers you will work with and the types of trips you’ll need to prepare for. And then when there is a global pandemic or shutdown, you aren’t locked out of your section of the industry indefinitely. You’ll know where/when to pivot when necessary.
In the ultimate show down of niching vs specializing, in our eyes there is a clear winner. You have to go beyond the general niching strategies that are taught and really lean into creating a brand that serves a specific audience. Not only will it make your life easier, but it will help give your business a purpose.
In the end, aren’t we all just looking for a purpose anyway?