What Travel Advisors Can Learn From Fred Rogers
This week on the Travel Biz CEO Podcast, Krystal expands on a blog post written last year where she made connections to the podcast Finding Fred and what travel advisors can learn from the iconic television show host.
Mostly, advisors need to lean into learning about their ideal client. And they need to go all in.
Every travel advisor should know the answer to the following:
- What is their ideal vacation?
- What budgets are they comfortable working in?
- What do they worry about as it pertains to travel?
- What are their top concerns as it pertains to their personal life?
- What makes working with you worth it?
- What do they love most about travel? What does it do for them personally, professionally, spiritually?
- What makes them tick?
- What makes them decide to travel?
- What makes them happy on vacation?
- What makes them relaxed?
- What is the minimum amount of time they have to be gone to feel good about vacation?
- What are their top concerns while traveling?
- Who do they travel with?
- What do they like to do when they get there?
- Do they worry about perceptions while traveling?
- What are their political leanings?
- Are they concerned about climate change?
- Are they concerned with social justice?
And that’s just a start!
Tune in next week for more about running your business like a CEO!
Transcript of What Travel Advisors Can Learn From Fred Rogers below:
Krystal Eicher 0:00
Naturally, when the podcast Finding Fred came out, I teed it up right away. And this was earlier last year. And I have since relistened to it several times. It’s insightful. It’s nostalgic. And it’s an incredibly captivating podcast that dives into all kinds of issues around race and education and emotions and just all of the things. And I keep coming back to the travel industry every time I listen, because all of these years later, I’m still learning a thing or two about life from Mr. Rogers, and I’m excited to be able to share some of those lessons with you today.
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 in 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 focused on the mind, body and soul for the marketing, business operations and mindset of the 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, travel this CEO listeners My name is Krystal Eicher and I am one of the founders of Kinship Travel Academy, as well as the lead marketing educator of that lovely group of ladies. And today I’m popping in here to talk to you about Fred Rogers. You remember Fred Rogers, right, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, you know, red sweater, soft voice, ? legend Not to be confused with Tom Hanks playing Mr. Rogers later in life. Yeah, that’s the guy I’m here to talk about today.
And all of these up years later, I really still think he’s teaching us a thing or two. And I want to take a quick sidebar and just note about my own personal connection with Fred Rogers and more specifically, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. A lot of you may or may not know I have a daughter with special needs. And before she could talk in three word sentences, she could sing, she could sing the entire song of Yellow Submarine before she could speak in three word sentences. It was amazing. And so the cool thing about Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, and what later was developed into Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, which was a cartoon for kids based off of his series, was all of the lessons that he taught about emotional control. It was like a personal little mini life coach for my kid. And it gave me the language to communicate with her. And so again, before she could communicate really well about how she was feeling, she could sing the songs back to me when you’re feeling mad and you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four, and so on and so forth. So, naturally, when the podcast finding Fred came out, I teed it up right away, and this was earlier last year. And I have since relistened to it several times. It’s insightful. It’s nostalgic. And it’s an incredibly captivating podcast that dives into all kinds of issues around race and education and emotions, and just all of the things. And I keep coming back to the travel industry every time I listened. Because all of these years later, I’m still learning a thing or two about life from Mr. Rogers. And I’m excited to be able to share some of those lessons with you today. So lesson number one, he knew his audience. Fred Rogers knew his audience inside and out his audience, his ideal client, his person, was children, young children and he spoke directly to them, not to their parents, not about them or over them, he spoke to them. Who do you speak to in your marketing? When you write emails and newsletters and your social media posts Do you speak to a large audience? Do you generalize your content? Do you speak to the masses and just hope that someone is listening? Can you picture them when you’re writing? Can you see them? Do you even speak to them at all? Most travel advisors niche to a style of travel, they declare themselves a luxury travel agent or cruise specialist or group specialist. And they know nothing and think nothing about the actual traveler. I want you to flip the switch a little and you’ll start to see large strides in your marketing efforts. If you can nail down your ideal client and create content that speaks only to them you were going to go so much further, okay. Lesson two, he made his audience feel special. When Fred spoke to the camera he made you feel like he was speaking directly to you. His content and message was so on point that children never considered that he was speaking to a mass audience, or that he had any other agenda. When Fred Rogers spoke to his audience, he consistently reminded them of how special they are. In fact, he ended his program every day by telling children, you are special. Daniel Tiger did the same thing. I like you just the way you are. Making your clients feel special doesn’t always mean an elaborate gift or an expensive bottle of champagne. Although sometimes that doesn’t hurt, right? Sometimes it’s as simple as remembering a birthday or an anniversary, sending an email welcoming them home, asking them how their trip was, asking them what was the best part. At the end of the day, people will rarely remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. And we often don’t think of these steps as part of a marketing process. You guys, I promise it is because a lot of our marketing efforts come from referrals from other people. And this is part of that referral process, reaching out after the trip, and reminding them if they know of anybody that’s looking to travel to send them your way. If they know anybody who’s looking for the experiences that they had, don’t forget to mention you. Right? When you systemize your client care process, you can make clients feel special just by being a friendly voice on the other end of the line. It’s personalized care, that sets you head and shoulders above other travel agents. Don’t lose that special sauce. So lesson number three, his intentions were never to influence or sell his intentions were to cause his audience to feel something. All right? Mr. Rogers never tried to sell us a stuffed Daniel Tiger. He didn’t try to promote sponsors or other advertisers, they were a big part of the game, okay. But he spoke directly to the pain points of his ideal client the pain points of children every week, without any mention of a sale. Yet, I don’t know about any other parents in the audience, we have so much Daniel Tiger toys and stuff from when my kids were little, it’s not even funny. The products sold themselves. Now, you might think that it’s easier to do this as a television host, than a travel advisor, but is it really? The most effective content you can create for your audience. It’s content that inspires them and that speaks directly to their pain points and objections. Your audience should be able to see pictures and imagine them in that setting. Your content should reflect people that look like your ideal client. Hello diversity in your content creation. And it should speak to them in such a way that when they read or hear it, they nod along and say Yes, exactly. That is exactly how I feel. And then your product is the solution to those pain points. Okay. When it does, it’s going to invoke a connection between the client and you building know like and trust, unlike any thing else, focus more on again, the traveler more on the client less on the resort or promoting a big name cruise line or other things because those things will sell themselves. But really making the connection to how it solves the problems that your clients are facing and really speaking to the clients like multifaceted people goes so far. So I think we’re on number four, he understood his circle of influence, and he was intentional about the way he used it. Fred Rogers understood that he had a great responsibility regarding the content that he put out and what he promoted to children. He knew that he worked in a very influential medium, and he understood the responsibility of doing things just right to reach his end goal. He wasn’t creating content for the sake of creating it either. He had a strategy and an end goal to his mission. Effective successful travel advisors understand that they wield the same power and responsibility. They realize that they have control and funneling vacation dollars to companies that practice sustainable and responsible Tourism, that give back to the communities that we travel in. You guys, the suppliers that you partner with matter. They realize that there’s a social responsibility to advocate for in the travel business as it pertains to working with partners that advocates human rights, anti racism, and eco friendly practices. And you guys now more so than ever, that is so important. Social responsibility and travel responsibility matter. Climate change matters right now, especially to certain ideal clients and audiences. And I’m not saying that you should promote these things to pander to them. I’m saying that working collectively in the travel industry around all of these really tough issues, is really what is going to make us go further in the end. Okay, everyone wins. Five-
He was a lifelong learner, and understood that he didn’t have all of the answers. Fred Rogers had a process where he would create content ideas by speaking with children and parents and asking them what they worried about, and what did they think about. And then he would create an outline for a show and then he would consult with an early childhood development faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh to make sure he was talking through the right set of feelings, and incorporating appropriate coping mechanisms into his teaching. Then he made it his mission to normalize the conversation around those feelings so that young children felt safe and normalize all the feelings that they felt every day. And he did it in that order. He never asked the professors at the university what they felt kids should feel. He asked his audience first, he put himself in the shoes of his ideal clients who really understand how they thought and he never stopped asking questions. How many of y’all are starting with a supplier and going the other direction? Okay, it’s the same thing. You should never stop asking your audience and your clients questions. You should always work to understand and know their wants and needs. You should know if your ideal client is comfortable traveling during COVID. You should know what kind of activities they would like to do on vacation whether what their preferences are, what they worry about all of it, you should know how they feel about climate change. They should know how they feel about anti racism and how comfortable they’ll feel in certain countries that are accepting to LGBTQ if your client happens to be LBGTQ. And actually, even if your client does not, you want to make sure that they’re aware that how their stance on things matters. A lot of us like to think that, oh, it’s none my business, or no, it shouldn’t matter. But really delving into the psyche of your ideal client means delving into these hard questions. How do they feel about vaccinations? How do they feel about traveling during COVID? What’s their comfort level? How risk averse are they? You guys it matters? It just does. Are they vaccinated? Are they not? It’s asking these tough questions that help us navigate really tough hurdles later on. And the asking question parts, interviewing your clients, reaching out to your audience, running focus groups running surveys, this is all part of the process of being a business owner and making your business better. I always say that your business doesn’t need to really stand out head and shoulders much above everybody else, but just 5% better, just 5% better takes you really really far. Most travel advisors see a really bright, shiny travel opportunity and then they try to find a traveler to go with it. And they don’t ask the question about whether or not this is a good fit, or whether it’s a good fit for their ideal client. Okay, most advisors are even afraid to ask suppliers, my client is XYZ, are they a good fit for your tour, cruise, etc. And then even worse, most suppliers don’t know either. But asking those questions, making sure we are addressing the right concerns in an effective way makes us better advisors. Otherwise, we would still be booking agents which we shouldn’t strive to be anymore. There are so many great examples outside of our industry that can teach us how to be better, more effective marketers. Fred Rogers can teach us travel advisors a thing or two about reaching their ideal client, knowing who they are, speaking directly to them, acknowledging their feelings and pain points and dedicated to become lifelong learners of our audience will make us head and shoulders more successful than the average advisor. And at the end, that’s just the little bit of edge that’s going to help you rise above the noise. That’s all for this week. You guys really short and sweet if you have not checked out the Finding Fred the podcast. We’re gonna link in the show notes because it’s fantastic. And I want to know, let’s continue the conversation and travel agent training and mentorship Facebook group. What do you guys Think about Fred Rogers, what do you think of when you think of Fred Rogers, and when you think about how he spoke to children, how he spoke to his ideal client, how he created decade’s worth of content, and really drove into the same things over and over again. And you know, here’s the other thing. Bonus Tip, Fred Rogers never shied away from repurposing content because he knew his ideal client needed to hear it over and over and over again. And at the end of the day, that’s all we are trying to do. We are trying to answer a problem that someone else’s have and the solution is not just travel, but our certain brand, and style of travel. Whether that be Disney for adults, an amazing family vacation to Universal, an all inclusive girls weekend in Mexico, a luxury vacation in Italy, or a super adventure caving adventure in Thailand. Okay, your style is the solution, your brand is a solution to a very specific and unique set of problems that your client has. And I’d like you to think about approaching your travel business in maybe just a slightly different way.
That’s it for this week. You guys have a great week, and we’ll catch you next time. Bye. Hey, guys, thanks for listening. We hope you got something great out of today’s episode. If you were wondering where you are out of balance in your travel business take our free quiz at Kinship Travel academy.com backslash 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