For the longest period I can remember, I have always advocated going after a Travel Niche in the Tourism Industry.. (Actually I am a firm believer that companies who operate in Micro Niche’s seldom have a want of customers) Finding a Niche doesn’t have to be a scary thing, on the contrary all of us are good at that one Segment of the Travel Business. Your Niche could be broad like Luxury Travel or pretty specific like Offering educational tours to Universities. It could include a whole continent or just 2 – 3 countries.
Why Operating in a Travel Niche or a Micro Niche makes sense?
When you start operating in a particular Niche, you do more research on that than your Competition, by doing more research you already have an edge over the others, You have Knowledge. When you have more Knowledge you know the Insider tips.
What Hotel to stay in and Why. What activities are better suited for which segment. This helps you make the right recommendations to your Clients. Remember that the Clients are also doing their research and probably not finding this exact information.
My recommendation on this is then to either write about this on your blog which means you are creating content (Content = Better SEO) or the PRO TIP on this, Share partial information on your blog enough to get the attention of the prospective clients and make it a lead magnet to get people into your Sales funnel (read about Sales funnels here) Once they are in your funnel you would have an unfair advantage to sell, because you have the Knowledge.
When choosing a NICHE, it helps if you are passionate about it, remember this is something you would be building your Travel Business on. PASSION would play a huge role in this.
When you Start operating in this NICHE, it is possible that it takes time to build up your Fan base and before the traffic builds up and you get enough leads into the sales funnel. (We will discuss about getting traction for this NICHE a bit later) It is important that you don’t panic and start diluting your offerings and going wide. That would be a short term strategy. If you wish to be a known figure in your NICHE you need to stay true to your self and your chosen NICHE.
On the other hand if you are not operating in a NICHE and going general, then remember you would have competition from everyone you know and thousands of Travel Companies you don’t know. Its an open world today thanks to the Internet and you as a Travel Agent sitting in a Country could be competing with someone who is in a different country but has the advantage of the rates.
This in turn means lower profit margins and lower retention of leads. Also there would be little or no differentiator in your product v/s competition. I have seen companies where the Sales teams are frustrated because getting conversions is a challenge.
The clients themselves say, what you are selling, the others are selling as well. You cannot take on the Giants on the price game, they have the advantage of VC’s or Investment behind them and can afford to bleed money for a while. You on the other hand maybe can’t, else it would be game over for you.
Another advantage of operating in a NICHE is you get lots of referral Business. People share what they did on Social Media and if their friends or family want something similar they would ask for recommendations, simply because it was not main stream and not everyone can replicate it.
Now that you have defined a Niche and created enough content about it and hopefully it has been indexed by the search engines, you will see the most unexpected sources referring traffic back to you. A Simple way to get some additional Traffic is to do some research and hangout where your customers are likely to Hangout.
This could be forums, Facebook Groups etc. One of the best places to get referral traffic is Quora. A lot of times when researching for some topics I have found the answers on Quora and whoever had posted the answer (Some of the most brilliant tools that I have used were found on Quora, these tools were little known or unknown at that time, the creators of these tools used to hangout on Quora and post links to their product) referred me to a Site.
At some point or other each and every Business has had a link at Quora and generated traffic from that. The other brilliant tool is to use PINTREST to refer traffic back to you. If you have great pictures of your content, create lots of pins and you will get tons of traffic for free from Pintrest.
Always try and solve a problem for your potential customer, If you know your Niche well and have been in the Business for a few years, you already know the questions that are going to come up. Create a Lead Magnet and try and get people into your funnel by solving real problems for real people.