Your ideal client. Your ICA. Your avatar.
Whatever you call it, there is a PERSON behind that list of demographics and psychographics that you have in mind. Yet so many marketers lose sight of the PERSON behind the avatar.
In this weeks episode, Krystal breaks down how to find your PERSON and what you should be really thinking about when trying to nail down and niche appropriately.
Transcript of today’s show below:
Krystal Eicher 0:01
People are multifaceted beings. They are not monolithic. And I think oftentimes we try to whittle them down to monolithic creatures. My clients are people who want to save time and money traveling. Well, duh that’s kind of a given. What are the bigger things that they worry about?
Hey, travel advisors, you are listening to the Travel Biz CEO podcast by Kinship Travel Academy. It’s not enough to just love travel. You need to have the appropriate business system, marketing strategies and mindset, tuneups and coaching to make it in this business and step into the role of CEO. That’s why we focus on all three. We are Wendy, Ashley and Krystal, your host of Travel Biz CEO, and the founders of Kinship Travel Academy. We are three travel advisors that saw a glaring need at the travel industry, the need to look at the full advisor. Through our own travel business journeys we all joined communities and signed up for courses and masterminds to help push us to the next level. And all of them ended up falling short of our expectations. That’s why we started Kinship Travel Academy, where we focus on the mind, body and soul or the marketing, business operations and mindset of a travel advisor. It’s a program for modern travel advisors created by modern travel advisors. Welcome to the next chapter of the travel industry.
Hey, fellow travel advisors. My name is Krystal Eicher and I am the marketing educator for Kinship Travel Academy. And today I wanted to talk about something that we keep beating and beating and beating to death on this podcast and that is how do you identify your ideal client? And how do you create content to attract your ideal client? If you go back to season one, you can see that we did an episode about ideal client specialization and in that podcast, we really talked about how a lot of travel agents in our industry when they niche down or you ask about their niche, or you ask about their specialization, the focus is on the type of travel that they do. It’s a destination focus; their an Italy specialists, an Australian specialists, a Europe specialist. Or they specialize in honeymoon travel, group travel, luxury travel, except that that’s not really a specialization. And I think the focus when we talk about that takes the focus off of the human being that you’re serving; the client. And really keeps that eye on a bright and shiny destination. And while the destination is an important piece of this, it is an important part of this, it’s not the whole piece. And I think when we niche down in such a specific way, we lose sight of the ideal client. Now there’s a lot of really great arguments on this. And if you want to hear more, I suggest you go back and listen to that episode. But today, I really wanted to talk about how you can really dig in to your person. And so in KTA, we say dig into your person. Why person? Because I want you to always think of your person, as a human being, as somebody to really focus on but then I also want you to think of person as an acronym.
So let’s get started. So when you think of your person, I want you to think of P-what’s the problem? I want you to think about their personality, their values, what do they like and enjoy? What do they not like and enjoy? What are common complaints that they have? How do they talk about their problems? How do they talk about the solution to those problems? When I say problems and solution, guys, I don’t just mean travel related. If you’re a travel advisor that focuses in special needs travel or adaptive travel, your clients problems are way beyond how do they like to travel? Way beyond just the nuts and bolts of travel planning. Their problems are way beyond trying to save time and money in travel. People are multifaceted beings. They are not monolithic. And I think oftentimes we try to whittle them down to monolithic creatures. My clients are people who want to save time and money traveling. Well duh, that’s kind of a given. What are the bigger things that they worry about? What common sayings do they have? What common complaints that they have? Really P-what’s the problem?
Next would be E-what’s their ecosystem? In the marketing ecosystem, in the Big Picture of things, you need to not operate in a vacuum. You need to think of your marketing and your business as operating in an ecosystem. So same thing with your client. Again, they’re not monolithic. So what sort of blogs do they read? Magazines? Articles? What sort of podcasts do they listen to? Where are they in social media? Are they on Instagram? Are they on Facebook? Are they on Pinterest? I gotta say guys, more than likely, they’re on all of them. Are they on tik tok? Are they watching reels? Are they on Snapchat? Before you say no, my ideal client is 40 years old and they’re not on tik tok, I want you to think again. Because I wasn’t a big fan of a lot of social media things but as I get a kid that gets a little bit older, I’m on social media platforms. What sort of events are they attending? What sort of trade magazines are they looking at? Again, in a marketing ecosystem your clients are in a lot of different places, and both online and offline. In your community, in your local area where are they at?
Next would be R-residents. This is the basic demographic. So guys where do they live? What kind of housing do they have? Age and income? Relationship status? What kind of census type info can we really box them in at? Oftentimes, when people are identifying their ideal client, they really just kind of settle in this R category. I really want to point out, this is probably the least important category of all categories, because it’s really hard to box travel clients in because travel is a different priority for different people. So though somebody might be in a lower tax bracket if travel is a high priority for them, they will come up with the money to do so. Likewise, people are in a higher tax bracket might not view travel as a priority. Their car might be a priority, their housing might be a priority, their boat might be a priority, I don’t know. The point is, is that travel is such an eclectic thing and it attracts a wide variety of people. So I’d be really, really cautious of boxing yourself into a certain income demographic.
Next would be S-status. So we’re up to P-E-R-S of your person acronym, S-status. What are their priorities? When I think of status, you really want to think about like, where theire status is in the world? And again, this is that priority thing that really can make that income bracket really obsolete. So increased status to them looks like, do they care about driving a fancier car? Or carrying a certain kind of handbag? Or what kind of coffee they like to eat or drink? What does decreased status look like to them? Again, this is really getting into the psychology of your ideal client, of your person. What do they prioritize when they travel? Do they care more about the experience or more about the accommodations? I did a great qualifying call actually, with another Disney agent shout out to Michelle with Nick and Henry’s travel and she did a great job of qualifying my family on that call, because she really wanted to know, is room important or experiences at the parks important? Do you want the fancier room? Do you not care about the room because you’re not going to be there? For us it’s a little bit of both. But you really have to know, what is the priority for your client when you’re qualifying them? Is it location? Is it thread count? Is it a certain type of breakfast? Are they particular about the breakfast? Foods really important when I travel. I don’t know about your client, though. Is a Starbucks going to be okay for your client? Or are they only going to want a very local very specific cafe? Or do they think that Starbucks is a fancier coffee? It’s all really important questions to know and it seems very silly and it gets really down into the minutiae of things but these things matter. And so this is where their preferences for vacation and luxury and what does that mean to them? Really, really matters. A lot of agents out there say I’m a luxury specialist. Well luxury isn’t just a price point. Luxury is having what you want when you want it and that means different things for different people. And different people are willing to splurge more on different aspects of their vacation. Luxury to some might mean private plane, five star resort, butler concierge services, Michelin star dining, and private shopping experiences. For others luxury might mean a business class ticket, fine dining experiences, a four to five star accommodations, butler service not required, with a higher preference for an ideal location, and private guided tours over a Michelin star restaurant and private shopping experiences. For some people, none of that matters at all. They just want to blow a lot of money to have a quality vacation time with their grandkids. Lluxury and price points and all of this is very, very, very different for each set of traveler. Really getting into the psychology of why, what does that matter as far as status because all of us consider status at some point in our day. It comes down to the questions of what kind of clothes we wear, to what kind of cars we drive, to the computer that we are going to operate with, the laptop that we carry, to the phones that we carry. There is a status behind our decision on what kind of phone we have and what generation we have, and whether we upgrade our phone, believe it or not.
So next is going to be O-your offers. This is where you’re really going to get down to what are they trying? What are they buying? When it comes to how you operate and the value that you bring to the table how aware are they of that value? Completely unaware? Are they aware of the problem? Are they aware that travel agents exist, that they are out there, but they’re not sure that they’re a good fit or they can help you? Are they just completely unaware that travel agents exist? And we all know that there’s a ton of people out there because any of you that made the announcement that you were going to be a travel agent heard from somebody in your life wait, what travel agents exist? You bet they do. Are they aware that travel agents exist, and they can help them, but they’re not really sure how to get in touch with them? Or are they totally aware, they understand the value, they’ve used one before and they will never go back? Where does your ideal client fall in that faultline? Knowing that really helps you create content that explains your value and your expertise without sounding redundant or without sounding patronizing. But then you really want to know what are they trying? What are they buying? Where have they bought travel from before? Have they normally just gone to their local Costco to buy a travel package? Are they Expedia people? Are they I buy a guidebook and then I booked direct kind of people? Where do they fall on that continuum? And really knowing and understanding what their experiences have been before helps you better serve them? What did they experience that they loved? What did they experience that they hated? What do they want to experience in their next destination that you can particularly help them with? For example, get a lot of people who say I want to go to the Maldives for vacation. Well, what can a travel agent bring to that table? There’s so many resorts, there’s so many properties, there’s so many experiences out there, it’s impossible for the average person to know about all of the things that exist. We as travel agents take it for granted, because we sit through a lot of webinars from a lot of suppliers, and we hear of a lot of cool things that are out there. Most people don’t even know that that’s an option or that that exists. Knowing what your client would be interested in, being able to hear an offer and going oh man my people will love that. And even better being able to hear an offer and going hmm not for me because you know that your clients aren’t going to be into it. So you don’t even have to waste time sitting through that webinar or sitting through that informational session to know that yep, this is worth my time, or no, it’s not. Being able to share those experiences or share what you’ve learned from other people again, it just allows you to create content on your social media, on your blogs, on your own podcasts to know exactly what would be of interest to them.
So the last letter in person N-nuances. So this is where you kind of get the catch all miscellaneous thing about your person. So their beliefs around the problems that they have. Their beliefs around the solutions. So if the problem is that I want to travel better, and I want to help manage my family, what are my beliefs around the solution is the belief around a solution is that travel agents are going to cost me nothing? Are beliefs around the solution that the travel agents going to cost me something? What do they believe, is the value to any of that? There’s so many agents out there that like to advertise that it doesn’t cost anything to work with them, but then they attract a lot of people who are kicking tires, they’re actually just shopping around. And then you know, likewise, there’s a lot of people who hear that you charge a planning fee but you’re not doing a great job explaining why you charge the fees that you do and the value it brings to the table. You’re providing a solution but what is their belief around that solution? What do they actually think that you do? What’s their belief around the product that they’re buying? In this case the product is travel. What is their belief around all of the things that they’re looking at is their belief that all all inclusives are kind of yucky? Is their belief that all inclusives are just spring breaks in Mexico? I’m saying that guys, because that’s what I thought for a really long time, then I got a little bit more educated and I’m like, Oh, yeah, an all inclusive might actually be for me. What is their belief about themselves? Do they see themselves as Caribbean people? Or do they see themselves as more European travelers? Do they believe that they can’t be big travelers because that’s something only affluent people do? Or do they believe that this is even possible for them? What do they believe about others that travel and others that operate in this world? What’s their belief around all of this stuff? Llike, again, those little nuances, really leaning into the psychology and the psychographics of your client helps you see the big picture for that. It helps you talk to them in multiple ways about multiple things in a language that they understand and connect with. It helps you really see this as a human being. And really gets to humanize your ideal client, your person, your world, because instead of thinking of them as an ICA, as a robot, especially those of us that do digital marketing, so many things happen in this void. You’re really thinking of your people as people makes a huge difference in how you market to them and honestly, how you can even lean into enjoying your marketing. So just to recap, P-problem, E-ecosystem, R-resident, S-status, O-offers N-nuances. KTA members, watch for a full training on this coming out really soon. If you guys have any questions about this, or have any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear them. Join us in our travel agent training and mentorship Facebook group. That’s our free Facebook group for travel agents looking to collaborate with other members of the community. Then a shout out to Julie Stoin of Funnel Gorgeous for inspiring this podcast today with all of her awesome training that I received through her programs. Being able to make that shift of looking at your ICA as a human being makes all the difference in the world in how you market to your client. That’s all for today, guys, we will catch you next week. Have a good one.
Hey guys, thanks for listening. We hope you got something great on today’s episode. If you were wondering where you are out of balance in your travel business take our free quiz at KinshipTravelAcademy.com/quiz to find out and receive free resources to help bring you into alignment in your travel business. And if you enjoyed today’s episode, take a screenshot and share it on social media. Be sure to tag us at Kinship Travel Academy or #TravelBizCEO. Also, if you loved us, don’t forget to leave a review and be sure to hit subscribe. Here’s to you. See you at the next level.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai