Travel Agents Taking to Marketing and Social Media to Land Travelers

1382b3c Travel agents are finding that using social media is helping out with reaching more travelers. Because it’s easy to plan a trip many people are doing it by themselves these days, and bypassing the travel agents.

However, many people still feel a bit uncomfortable taking on planning a trip on, so they rely on travel agents.

As an agent, what social media sites should you be hitting up?

Among those to look at:

Facebook

Just as with any business, a travel agent should definitely have a Facebook page.

Not only can you gather followers, who hopefully will transition into clients here, but you can also post relevant information about yourself and your field. Make sure your page is distinct and professional. Keep your posts about your kids and your nights out to your personal page.

You can offer specials, discounts and seasonal deals on your Facebook page, as well as engage with followers.

LinkedIn

Keep an active, current LinkedIn page.

Usually before people considering working with any sort of professional, be it accountant, private tutor or travel agent, they want to know a bit about them. And where better to look than LinkedIn.

If a potential client goes there looking for you, say from a reference, and you aren’t there, they may seek someone else.

But if you have a current page, filled with smart, relevant travel material, you may have landed yourself a new client.

Blog

As a travel agent, you should have a blog. And this blog should be tied with your other social media, like LinkedIn and Facebook.

As the following article looks at, you can post general articles about your favorite places to travel, dining in other countries and cities, or be more specific and focus on things like great seasonal deals, “Five unconventional ways to save money on travel”, and what to pack on a cruise.

You never know where a blog will take you and who may find it. It could even lead to bigger and better things.

Pinterest

If you are a traveler yourself, create a Pinterest page.

Here is where you can post those gorgeous photos of exotic places and delicious, local foods. You can offer packing tips with visuals, and create boards on pre and post travel ideas to ease you into and back from vacation.

With Pinterest, you can use your creative skills and travel experience to create great visuals that will hopefully reel in some new clients. Your existing clients will appreciate it, too.

With millions and millions of people using social media, and the fact that you can work with people throughout the country remotely, you can benefit from social media more than you may know.

Keep good social media pages, show relevant material in a visually appealing way and engage.

Good luck to you and feel free to share any great tips that have worked for you.

About the Author: Heather Legg is a writer who focuses on social media, working from home and small business.


How to Care for Every Fabric In Your Closet

Courtesy of: Alight

Don’t Close the Books on Continuing Education

Regardless of how set you are in your field, you should always consider continuing education.

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It also doesn’t really matter what field you’re in – continuing education is always important.

Some companies require it. Some recommend it. But all will appreciate it. The more you can stay abreast of your field, the more productive and successful you will be.

Does Your Career Demand More Classwork?

Some careers require more continuing education than others.

For instance, those in the educational/academic fields are constantly attending continuing ed conferences, classes and adding on certifications.

Of course, healthcare is also a huge one for continuing education. Between techniques, new research and safety methods, healthcare workers need to stay up to date on what is new and relevant in their field.

Lawyers and accountants also need to stay on top of laws and requirements so as not to mislead or misrepresent their clients.

Many of the fields that require continuing education do so not only as a training factor, but also as a liability/safety issue. Whereas teachers need training on new technology techniques or new curriculum, they also need training on laws pertaining to students and the field.

The Beauty of Continuing Education

Another field requiring continuing education is estheticians.

Because they are dealing with skin and skincare, they need to be aware of not only general procedures and what’s new and trendy, but also sanitation and sterilization, safety procedures, signs of allergic reactions, and some basic diagnostic and treatment knowledge.

As the following article looks at, here are 4 reasons continuing education for Estheticians is so important:

  • Safety – New and better techniques are consistently coming out, you want to keep your clients as safe as possible.
  • Trends – Things in this field often change quite quickly. You want to stay atop of the hottest cosmetology trends.
  • Licensing – States require licensing for cosmetologists to practice, and if your license expires, you will be out of a job. Keep current through continuing ed.
  • Advanced techniques – Often you can get by with the basics, but you become more marketable and in demand the more you can offer. Broaden your repertoire or find a specialty through continuing education.

If cost becomes a concern while considering continuing education, you probably have a few factors to think about.

For one, many companies will cover your continuing ed fees. If yours doesn’t, think about if you will be able to make more money with your new found knowledge.

Return on investment is an important factor. Can you tie it in with another degree?

Often people will seek continuing education and gain another degree while doing so.

For instance, teachers may earn their credit hours while working on a master’s degree or certification in another subject area.

Continuing education is usually a win-win situation, even when it’s not a requirement.

If you’re thinking about it, you’re already on the right track.

About the Author: Heather Legg is a writer who covers topics related to social media, small business and education.


Is Your Business a Budgeting Success or Nightmare?

As a small business owner, you are in an especially precarious situation with regard to cash flow and budgeting.

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As you know, it never pays to bury your head in the sand when it comes to finances. If you haven’t been paying enough attention to your business budgeting, it’s definitely time to start now.

Here are some issues you might be facing, along with strategic ways to handle them….

 

Running Out of Cash Before the End of the Month

This is a classic symptom of poor cash flow. If you’re consistently running out of cash before the end of the month, it’s likely that at the beginning of each month, you’re playing catch up on the bills you couldn’t pay last month.

This in turn will leave you short for the current month.

It’s a vicious cycle that will repeat endlessly unless you’re able to pay your bills ahead instead of in arrears.

Though the answer is counter-intuitive, the answer is to borrow money.

Borrowing money will enable you to pay your bills forward, protect your credit, and give you some breathing room while you figure out a way to increase your business income permanently.

Your Loan Selection Does Matter

The type of loan you get matters.

Instead of going for a no-credit loan that gets repaid with future business receipts, try going for either a collateral loan, or a personal loan based on your income.

No-credit loans repaid with receipts are fine for some purposes, but in this case, the repayment style would defeat your purpose.

A personal loan or collateral loan is repaid in the traditional way, with payments coming out of your business checking account each month, which is what you want.

For more about personal loan options, check out this article about 9 methods for budgeting success.

You Need Help but Can’t Afford More Payroll

Payroll is an expensive liability when you consider that you have to undertake a long-term commitment, plus manage payroll taxes and possibly health insurance. If you’re already having budgeting problems, you’re better off not hiring anyone right now.

A better strategy is to hire out work on as as-need basis to subcontractors.

Subcontractors are not your employees, so you aren’t responsible for insurance or payroll taxes.

You simply agree on a price for a specific task, and when it’s done to your satisfaction, you issue payment.

You can find subcontractors online at places like ODesk or Elance, or you can call local businesses to see if they have workers available for contract work.

Some ways you can use subcontractors are:

  • Accounting
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Virtual Assistants
  • Drivers

Basically, anything you might need for your business, you can probably find someone to do for you on a contract basis.

Stop waking up in the middle of the night with budgeting nightmares.

Use these strategies to take control of your business finances once and for all.

About the Author: Kate Supino is a successful small business owner and expert on best business practices.


Infographic: How is Technology Shaping the Workplace of the Future?

Future of the workplace

 

Via http://www.intuit.co.uk/small-business-resources/death-of-the-office/index.jsp


Is a CRM System in Your Company’s Future?

shutterstock_129322772According to a recent survey by Gartner, only 15% of organizations have replaced their on-site customer service apps with CRM, even though the ROI is a whopping $5.60 for every $1. If you haven’t already, it’s time to make a CRM system part of your company’s future.

CRM systems are getting more affordable, while simultaneously offering more services than ever before.

Companies taking advantage of CRM systems can now enjoy collaboration, total integration and a vast array of 3rd party extensions, all for one affordable monthly subscription fee.

As the following article looks at, here is how a CRM system can lead to increased profits for your business.

Focused Sales Efforts

For years, companies and salesmen accepted the unavoidable percentage of sales efforts that led nowhere.

Either the salesman was following an old lead, a dead lead, or simply being playfully yanked on a chain by a less than forthright lead.

Whatever the reason, there were hours upon hours of wasted time spent pursuing opportunities that were never actually opportunities at all.

With a CRM in place, your sales team can focus their sales efforts where they are likely to see the most return.

For example, did you know that your odds of selling to a new customer are somewhere between 5% and 20%, whereas, your odds of selling to an existing customer are between 60% and 70%.

With CRM, sales people can home in existing customers and know exactly where each of them is in the sales chain.

Once those sales are confirmed, they can work on new prospects to convert them into existing customers.

More Efficient Communication

Nothing can negatively influence morale, undermine change efforts or ruin sales more than poor communication.

If your sales team is constantly trying to figure out who said what, who’s doing what, or what they’re supposed to be working on next, they’re likely wasting a lot of time and hemorrhaging sales.

CRM systems solve this problem in one. Providing an online hub where your sales team can log on from infinite locations, a CRM system makes it possible for everyone to be in the know.

And, when you have a written record of comments, tasks and assignment and completion dates, your company is covered in more ways than one.

Client Management

Client management can quickly become a nightmare, especially if a company grows quickly.

Trying to keep a group of sales people up to date on every stage of a client’s movement through your sales chain, and then trying to keep a group of clients from slipping through the cracks is virtually impossible without a CRM.

With integrated client management databases and 3rd party add-ons like automatic proposal creation, templates, invoicing and client communication messaging, CRM makes client management a breeze.

When companies choose the best CRM system for them and take advantage of all the additional features that are available with a good CRM, the client experience improves right along with the company’s profits.

The question isn’t whether or not your company should invest in a CRM system.

The question is why haven’t you already?

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.


Big Data Can Mean Big Business Success

When it comes to utilizing information, big data can be a big help for your business.

Big Data on Blue Direction Sign.

The data your business produces and other data found on the web can offer incredible insights into how your business functions and how it can improve.

With big success in mind, here are just a few ways your business can best utilize big data:

Use Website Search Analytics

Your business’s website is the key to unlocking big data’s big potential.

For instance, your website’s very own search tool can provide you with information you need to know about your customers.

By simply looking at the data your search tool produces, you can discover which search terms visitors use the most.

This type of information can tell you which areas of your website are most popular, which areas need improvement, and if visitors are having trouble finding something within your website.

If you’re having difficulty mining the big data from your website’s search tool, Google has a custom search tool that’s free and easy to use.

Keep an Eye on Social Media

Sometimes it’s the big data your website doesn’t produce that ends up being the most helpful. If you really want to know what people are saying about your brand or your business’s products and services, social media is a great place to look.

Social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are big data producing powerhouses.

By keeping an eye social media, you can engage with a massive consumer audience while also following trends in your industry.

You can also download social media monitoring tools that track all the social data that has to do with your business.

Put Your Analytics Dashboard to Work

Your website produces tons useful data every day.

As the following article looks at, the question can be, Is your big data going to waste?

Well, if you’re not putting your analytics dashboard to work, then it probably is going to waste.

Whether you use Google Analytics or any of the other awesome dashboard tools available, there’s more to your dashboard than page hits.

Instead of just checking your dashboard at the end of each week, utilize the big data information your dashboard provides.

Your dashboard can give you valuable insights into your site’s mobile visitors, conversions, traffic sources, and overall audience engagement. By utilizing this tool, you’ll never waste data again.

Quantify Your Website

If your website’s analytics dashboard is king, then quantifying your website is the entire kingdom.

That’s right; one of the best ways to put your website’s big data to good use is quantification. There are a number of big data benefits that come from quantifying your business website.

Quantifying your site allows you to learn a lot about your visitors including their age, gender, income, how often they visit, and how many of your visitors prefer to visit your site from their mobile devices. With this information, you can better target niche visitors as well as larger consumer groups.

When equipped with big data and some helpful tools, you can truly find success for your business and its website.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including social media and website analytics.


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