THE E-MAGAZINE THAT FOCUSES ON THE REALITY OF SELLING TRAVEL BOOST YOUR SALES BY LEARNING MORE PLUS ABOUT HOW TO The O&M The EDGE APPLY YOUR The Frontline CREATIVE The BDM WRITING SKILLS THIS IS THE WAY OF THE NEXT GENERATION INDEPENDENT LOCATION PROFESSIONAL DIGITAL NOMAD TRAVEL AGENT
AUGUST 2012 In this issue TRAVEL WRITING & PHOTOGRAPHY EDITORIAL – Writing For Sales THE O&M – Business Writing Skills Everyone wants to write a book! It’s a fact. Everyone has something in them they want to FRONTLINE – Add The Art Of Writing To Your Skill Sets get out, tell the world about, share with others. Then comes the time to do that very THE EXTREME BDM – Story Lines for Agents thing. After the first 1,000 words or about two pages… nothing! It’s not that easy to write a LOVE TO TRAVEL, LONG TO WRITE? book. It’s easier to write an article however and it’s faster too and many times will support TRAVEL TOPICS TO WRITE ABOUT the sale of travel. PUBLISHING YOUR WORK Learn how to write and shoot images for your client base and you could very well boost your SOCIAL WRITING sales – or make a name for yourself as a travel writer and be invited on media fams. CALLIGRAPHY, FONTS & COLOURS Don’t forget, if you need help with anything STEVE GILLICK – If You Wish To Be A Writer… you read in Selling Travel I am as close as your email or Skype button. THE EDGE – Media Trips Best regards, CORY ANDRICHUK – Travel Agent Revolution Steve Crowhurst, CTM PHOTOGRAPHY THAT SELLS Publisher www.sellingtravel.net BEEN THERE, TOOK THE SHOT MARKETING firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/sellingtravel FROM THE WRITTEN WORD TO THE SPOKEN WORD Skype: smptraining1 T: 250‐752‐0106 CHECK FOR WEBINARS HERE JOIN ST MAILING LIST Selling Travel is owned and published by Steve Crowhurst, SMP Training Co. All Rights Reserved. Protected by International Copyright Law. Selling Travel can be shared, forwarded, cut and pasted but not sold, resold or in anyway monetized. Using any images or content from Selling Travel must be sourced as follows: “Copyright SMP Training Co. www.smptraining.com” SMP Training Co. 568 Country Club Drive, Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada V9K 1G1 Note: Steve Crowhurst is not responsible for outcomes based on how you interpret or use the ideas in Selling Travel or on the Selling Travel Website.
editorial Writing right is what we’re all supposed to have learned how to do. Trouble for me was I was always staring out the classroom window in my school years, dreaming of travelling. How I write then is pure OTJ and in later life being guided by others comments, such as, “What the…?” “You can’t put one of those there!” “Now that just doesn’t read right.” Embarrassment is a great coaching technique. If you get the chance to study the art of writing, or travel writing, even Steve Crowhurst full blown journalism… then you must do it if you have your heart set Author, Trainer, Columnist, on travelling the world and writing about it as a career or to generate Keynote Speaker, Publisher new sales for your agency, which is always my focus. and world traveller. The photograph, which in the old days was a pen & ink sketch, supports your travel writing, or it should do if you wish to create a following amongst your clients. Imagery and an eye grabbing slogan is what tends to attract people to read your work and brochures. It’s a good idea to study other travel writers, too and read travel magazines. Then there’s the concept of writing like you talk so that the real you comes across versus trying to be too fancy and losing the reader in the process. I’m not too bad at one word sentences and messing up the Queen’s English and the odd quip or two. That’s me. How about you? Plenty of room for you to write like you want to, publish how you want to and get your articles out there working for you. No longer can anyone say no to you being published. All the techno tools are in place to accommodate your new sales activity and career. Here’s my good pal and author Let’s go make something happen! Anthony Dalton. A former travel man and still a travelling man. Tony used to drive the Let me know what you need! London Kathmandu overland route. He led an expedition for the CBC into Timbuktu in Creatively Yours! 1980 and since those days has travelled the world, written for airline and travel magazines, published 14 books in the process. Currently he is a keynote speaker sailing on luxury cruise ships – cor, wot a life eh?
How’s your business writing skills these days? Have you had much practice, what with the quick ‘n’ easy email we now use to shoot off a note or two? Business correspondence and corporate writing skills are disappearing fast. It may be a good thing to resurrect those old talents and put them to good use. One way to rekindle your writing skills is to write about your company in general, your services, your specialty services, your niche market/s and even where you are planning to take your company in terms of growth and One of the keys to business writing and I would new services ‘down the road’. Not too many travel suggest writing in general, is this: you must write agency owners or managers bother to tell their clients to the audience, the reader and you must write about their plans for the future and how the agency’s like you speak. Also, you must write it yourself. clients will benefit. The door is pretty much wide open. You clients will know you and they will quickly assess a fake! If you own and manage a corporate agency then this release of information is a must do. Let your talents out Let’s return to email for a moment. You may and write about new mobile apps that can save time, wish to employ business writing etiquette to the money and even a life. The leisure agency can write opening line, the greeting, your sign off and your about new and exciting tours, a planned group to an signature. That would mean trading off the unfamiliar land, anything new that is related to your “Hi!” for a “Dear…” and a “see ya later…” for a online / website promotions and even a simple ‘Meet “Best regards…” – you know, raise the bar a tad The Staff’ column can rejuvenate interest in your and instruct your frontline sales team to do the company and the skills of the people working for you. same. In fact, you could arrange for a business writing skills trainer to present a 2‐hour Email has become the business page for most of us workshop to you and your team. Something these days, however, there is still room for an old different and a career / life skill for sure. fashioned deckle edged sheet of paper, carefully folded and inserted into a heavy weight envelope – both being scribed by hand in a dark mauve‐blue ink and FYI: Deckled edge paper is the ragged or feathered preferably via the nib of the italic persuasion. Too much edge of the paper as it comes from the papermaking work? Well here’s the pay off – everyone, repeat, machine. The edge gets its name from the frame — everyone opens a hand addressed, deckle‐edged called a deckle. Handmade paper normally has four envelope – AND they read the contents too. 100%! deckle edges while machine made paper has two.
Publishing later this year. Dream Merchants tells the story about what you do. It’s a reference, a business guide, a playbook, a book based on success and succeeding as a travel agent and what it takes to ‘make it’. Dream Merchants also explores the success traits that have been inherent in travel agents for 170 years since the industry as we know it, started in the mid 1800s. The book will also reference YOUR input. Would you like to participate and tell your side of the story? As you may know I prefer the real thing to fluff. That means street smarts and savvy been there, done it know‐how ‐ versus academic, never been there, never done it. So, if you would like to submit your street smart input as to what makes a travel agent successful please click to the link below and complete one of the two submission forms. One is for Travel Agents and one is for Suppliers – (a supplier in this case means: any person working for a company that services the travel trade / travel agent – tour company, hotel chain, printer, college, association, etc.) By submitting one of the two forms, you will be giving me permission to use your input all or in part and reference your quotes to you. The information you provide will not be shared with anyone other then the reader of the book when published. Thank you in advance to those who do participate. Your input will be greatly appreciated both by me and those that read the book. Here’s where you click: http://www.sellingtravel.net/dream‐merchants.html
ADD THE ART OF WRITING TO YOUR SKILL SETSThere was a time when we frontline agents of One thing for sure is this: before you release your writing any record always carried a quality pen. It was a to the world, better check with your agency owner / sign of prestige and how well you were doing manager to get clearance. Remember what you write and and how professional you wished to be send out under the banner of your agency means you are representing that brand therefore whatever you write considered by your peers and clients. I can recall must support the company and it’s suppliers, destinations when a group of us from various agencies would and so on. be in the hotel lounge on a Friday after work and there would be slight gasps around the Assuming that’s done – now you are free to write within table as and when someone drew a very nice the parameters laid down by the agency owner. Prove looking pen from the inside of their jacket, purse yourself to management and your client base and be sure or briefcase to sign the tab. to count the validations and growth in bookings that have come about through customers reading your articles. The gadgets have changed somewhat, or should I Your writing skills will help grow bookings, attract new say a lot? The art of writing has been or seems to clients, sell you as a travel professional, open up new channels for you in terms of your articles being accepted – have been lost as I hear younger travel agents you can earn money for your writing too. say, “Wow, you can do cursive!” – when someone writes in a flowing style versus caps. Overall, putting the skill of writing back into your life has no Amazing how things change and how fast young downsides. Everything is looking pretty good as long as you fingers can tap out a text quicker than it takes write good, clean, exciting stuff that your audience cannot someone to remove the cap to their pen! wait to read. Now… if you would like to stand out from the Again with the approval of the agency owner, you could current agency crowd and appeal to those baby write the agency blog, you could produce an e‐magazine, boomer clients and even the younger traveller – you could write for the local newspaper or community it might be time to become acquainted or magazine and you might also be called upon to deliver a few public speeches. reacquainted with the pen and the art of writing. Your writing skills can boost your profile, boost your sales, You can study online or you could take a local boost your group departures, boost the agency profile, too community writing program, or if you catch the and all from a written word or two whether it is hand‐desire and passion for the written word then you written or typed, deckled edge paper or email… the art of could return to university. Or, you could study writing well is up there with the skill to speak in public. Add the art of blogging. it to your skill set as soon as you can.
As I always say, a home based travel agent has the written travel world by the tale and now, if done right, the I’m looking for real‐time challenges that stop you from travel writing, photo‐journalism world being the best you can be. Be sure to include your email too. WOW! What a situation to be in. So and website links. Thanks! much potential and not a manager to tell you no, or an editor to tell you how. Viral is what you want to have happen. Have your clients act How sweet is that? as your distribution system. Ask them to pass it on to their friends. Look for comments and feedback. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s get at it. Now I know I am preaching to the converted, STEP THREE: Time to step out. Head to the big time. Post your and that’s okay. I like to work with professionals articles online. You can do this via a blog, in your own e‐ magazine, on your website and at other hosted blogs, too. As versus what I call the home based dabblers who and when you do this, you’ll be checking the comments and play at selling travel. With your professional responding to them – both good and bad. If anyone corrects game face on, your well crafted website, your your grammar or information, accept it, say thanks, learn professional .com email address (no Hotmail) from it. Move on. Keep writing. and a terrific looking, eye grabbing logo and linked to a top notch host… well now, what’s STEP FOUR: The focus of your writing MUST contain a sales stopping you writing up a storm, a book, a push. You are in it to win it – which means selling yourself, magazine or a how‐to guide? Nothing. You are selling the places you are writing about, selling yourself again cleared for take off! and then inviting your readers to contact you. Yes it’s ALL about YOU and selling travel. You knew that. STEP ONE: Get into the books. Start reading everything you can about travel writing. The best STEP FOUR: Write about the group departure you are and quickest route is to Google it all. As always more planning. Here’s a great medium for promoting and selling than enough information online. Limit your search to your next cruise group or tour group or adventure group. The writing about travel and that will reduce the results technology today lets you use all the multi media you can by a million web pages or more!! muster to support your article, newsletter and magazine. STEP TWO: Write something, suck it up and send it So there ya go! If you’re feeling WRITE at home, then write at out. Where to you ask? Well try your local home and get that phone ringing and email zinging. community first. Better still target your existing clients and their friends. This can go viral.
Is that you? Do you love to travel and long to Step 3: Collect words and phrases that appeal to you write? Don’t we all. It’s something that goes that might be used to replace the same old time worn travel verbiage such as grand, beautiful and hand in glove when you have a passion sunny. Come up with your own phrasing and add a about travelling the world as a true traveller little novella to your articles, tickle the reader’s fancy versus a tourist bent on scoffing as much here and there. food during the all‐you‐can‐eat event at the resort. Then again, that could prove to be an Step 4: Also collect metaphors and similes you catch interesting assignment! in travel books and magazines. Build a bank of phrases so you can draw on them and be sure to reference the source if you use the metaphor of Chances are you have done this before. Perhaps you another writer: “… as JK once described this view…” have always been a writer ‐ the one in the family who and off you go with JK’s description. Better to create communicates with cousins, uncles and aunts and your own, but then sometimes the view can only be those who have emigrated to another country. described as JK saw it. You come by your communication skills genuinely You should also carry a decent camera in your bag and you are practiced. Can you turn those skills into a and one that shoots 1080 HD video. It’s the world of double life… almost a double agent (ooh!) you can be the blog and vlog – you’ll need to interview fellow both a travel agent and a travel writer. How about travellers along the way. them apples? Love to travel, long to write is very close to becoming your mantra. The current technology is a travel writer’s dream. You can stock up on a laptop or template computer, Step 1: A good place to start is the reading of others a smart phone, various apps, and a word processer, travel books, articles and columns. Everyone has plus a speech to text recognition program… and you their style. Some might be boring to you but thrilling are pretty well good to go. Spend a few more bucks to others and then thrilling to you and a big yawn for and join an online writers group, blog site and learn your friends. Reading the works of others will give as you go. you a frame of reference. You are well aware of fam trips and now, as a travel Step 2: Start to make notes on what actually works writer you can put your name out there to attract for you. What style of writing do you enjoy, and how media trips too. Mind you, you must be able to write do those words make you feel and what’s different something and have it published upon your return. about the phrasing that you like? So… what’s your next move?
If you’ve LIKED Selling Travel’s Facebook page then this webinar is for YOU! Okay then, we’re a GO! This is 90-minutes of the original Travel Writing for Travel Agents webinar, PLUS Travel Writing Chapter 2, PLUS tips on how your travel photography can help sell your writing. Special Facebook Fan price of $20 all-in. That’s the 90 minute webinar, handout and recording. Note: The content is all about how your travel writing and imagery can help boost your travel sales. Chop! Chop! As promised… when we reached 200 clicks on the LIKE DATE: Tuesday August 14th 2012 Starting at: 10am Pacific button… I’m delivering a 90- minute special edition of this If you cannot make the date you webinar with EXTRAS just for can enjoy the recording. ST’s Facebook Fans. Either way, everyone needs to register below…You still have time to LIKE Selling Travel and join in! AUDIO IS VOIP – LISTENING THROUGH YOUR COMPUTER SPEAKERS
Topical Topics found on various websites: So much to write 1. Go for an unusual meal and report on it. so little time! 2. The London Olympics are a given. 3. Focus on a personal passion. Where are you sitting just now? Are you in the agency, on a fam trip, on vacation, at home, atop a 4. Compare one place over another. mountain peak looking out… stuck in a traffic jam? All 5. Do the trek and report on each stop. of these situations are adding to your list of topics you could & might write about. 6. Attend a summer religious festival. On the sofa, “Thinking About Travelling to…” In the 7. Review & Rank Luxury Hotels, Resorts & Spas. agency, “Dreaming Of Where I Sent The MacLeods”… on top of that mountain, “Go to the Edge, That’s 8. Love wine? Visit vineyards & wineries. where the view is!” It’s a fact that pretty much 9. For your foodie readers – choose a dish. everything you do can be turned into a topic to write about. You or someone else of course. Your client’s 10. Beaches? http://www.drbeach.org/ travels and subsequent reports would be ideal content to factor into your writing. 11. Write about off‐the‐beaten tourist path places. The topic you choose could become the slogan for 12. Travel Hassles and Then Some! your article. Topic & slogan are both mashable into a 13. Write about the similarities of traveling with word or phrase that, if it’s to do it’s job, will attract your family and your pets. the reader’s eyes and travel soul to read your work. 14. Road Trip. Women only. Bungie jump in NZ. When the brain is drained you could always ask your readers and your clients what they would like to 15. From culture to green. know about. If you are social and online and 16. Space Tourism. networking ask your fans and followers what topic they would enjoy next. Get them involved in writing 17. Go on a pilgrimage, check into a haunted hotel, the blog for instance. “This is for Mike in …” is your take a religious tour… lead in sentence, “.. who wanted to know about the best museums in London…” 18. Tour guiding and why only the best survive. Right. Here’s a short list of topics. Expand as you wish 19. What a world and why it’s getting smaller. and get writing. 20. Travel safety.
The main message here is that whatever you want to do in terms of your travel writing, it can be done. For instance you are reading this e‐Magazine that I write and produce without anyone else involved other than a colleague or two who will offer advice and guidance and advise when they catch a typo. All‐in‐all my writing style remains: short, snappy, contains too many of these…. and a misuse of punctuation. What can I say? It’s me. How about you? What’s your style? No matter. You can publish it anytime you want. Go with a blog. Start an e‐Magazine using Issuu.com. Seek out a well known travel magazine to take on a column written by you. Self promote until your readership picks up and blossoms. Time is of the essence. Time waits for no man, Read http://www.writersmarket.com/ and visit the woman or travel writer. Time is raw – it never store… look for this book as it really is jammed with the comes back. Time – they’re not making any Information you need. more – got to use what you’ve been given. Time is the enemy. Time out! It’s the wanna get published bible. So much information Today, you can control all the time you want and need here that it’ll take a and no editor, publisher can tell you that your work is few weeks to read it not good enough to be published. YOU can control it all. Well worth it. all. How about that, eh? Great news if you didn’t Many more books at already know. It’s true. There are enough websites, the same link – all tools and technologies that you have access to right geared to your now that set the pattern. You can be printed and out writing success. there by 9am tomorrow morning if that’s your goal. Self publishing is the way to go and sometimes, not all the Having set that path – perhaps it’s time (that word time, but sometimes there are book publishers who scour again) to step back and ponder the path. Not every the internet looking for new writers and e‐Books that they writer is an editor, marketer, salesperson, gifted feel would do well in printed, soft cover format. You never technoid, webmaster and online guru. You’ll no doubt know. It could be your lucky day and for that day to come, need a few other people in your corner before you you must be writing and publishing and putting your push your first article out there. On the other hand efforts on the Internet. there are travel blogging websites that have all the tools you need. Which path are you walking? Chop chop! Let’s get busy!
THERE’S NO USE DENYING IT. THE WORLD OF Your mission then is to contact your client / SOCIAL NETWORKING IS HERE AND NOT audience and find out where they socialize and then plan your social writing campaign. GOING AWAY ANY TIME SOON. THAT’S A HEADS UP FOR YOU TO START WRITING IN THE You’ll need to ask your clients outright which social SOCIAL GENRE. SAY WOT!? sites they belong to and you might go further to query if they would pass along anything you send them if they thought it would be useful to their Here’s the click‐through. If your clients are on the friends. With that information you can start writing Internet, emailing their pals and texting their sons and and posting, giving your clients something to share. daughters then the messaging is loud and clear isn’t it. Tis to me – so it should be to you. Ya gotta get into Your website is still in the mix: by now you have trained writing socially. your clients to click to your website for updates and news. Your email is still in the mix: it’s been with us now for 40 years… every client knows how to use it and your Family travel. Do you sell it? Sure you do. You might, if newsletter can still be sent by email. you had a client base of Mums with kids and hubby who will tag along. Reading the stats and facts one Websites and emails are all part of the social networking would soon learn that Facebook is a haven for Mums. infrastructure ‐ that’s two you know how to use and It’s where Mums chat, share pics and more. must continue to write and post to both. Now comes the task of writing to those potential clients on social The facts suggests that you start writing and posting to sites like Facebook and using communication tools such a Facebook page – a business page, not a personal as mobile phones to text via Twitter, post images on page. Flickr and connect with businesspeople on LinkedIn. Remember that old saying about growing through To do this right, you must get it right. Facebook is NOT where you chase a corporate account. That would be referrals? Many or most travel agencies learn along the LinkedIn. When you understand who uses which social way to actually ask for those referrals. Well Facebook is site and for what, you’ll be able to target write your the best referral network of it’s kind and it’s waiting for articles and socialize them then monetize them. you to go there, open that business page, build a base of friends and fans and once you have that trust built – The outcome of your social writing is not so much ask for referrals. Even 200 Likes can introduce you to a to build your reputation as it is to have your words worthy 1,500 other Facebooking travellers. sent virally from one fan to the next. That’s it pure and simple. In old language – it’s asking for What makes it all special for travel agents who write is referrals. It will happen without you asking, the viral connection. When your article is liked & however you can generate more response if you enjoyed, it’s shared with friends and family. Just like it do ask. has always been done. Write with going viral in mind.
CALLIGRAPHY, FONTS & COLOURSMy dearest Mum had a style all her own. She wrote in the ink colour of mauve. When you received a letter in the mail and it was addressed in mauve, you knew who it was from. During WW2 she wrote to my father almost every day for 5 years during his POW days in Germany and Poland. That colour ink was her sign. It was her brand. It gave him hope. Kept him going. Your colour of ink could build your brand. Put a smile on your customer’s face and not only keep them going but get them going too! http://www.yourfonts.com/ I tell you that “mum” story because there is power in the written word and even more power in the colour of The image above shows the home page for YourFonts the written word, too. Add to that the combination of and when you land there you will see the Getting font style, size of the lettering and the calligraphic hand Started column on the right – 7 steps and you’ll have you write in and you are indeed building a writing style, your personal handwriting font. a recognizable brand that will attract readers to your work. Now, believe it or not, calligraphy is a niche market and people do actually travel the world to view, study, and When my Mum was writing is was of course with pen learn how to write in Japanese, Chinese, Arabic and what and paper. Today you can emulate exactly what she I feel are the most beautiful, Islamic designs and used as there are hundreds of fonts designed in brushwork. What would you use to promote such a high hundreds of styles – and all you have to do to change end tour? You got it… a promotional piece bearing a the colour of the ‘ink’ is click Font Colour on the toolbar wonderful attractive calligraphic design. Search Google and make your choice. Images for such designs – you will be inspired. When, Where, How and WHY Would You Handwrite Here’s one of my own calligraphic designs – Anything? embossed in tin and this symbol represents Dainichi Good question! The answer is, when you need to be Nyorai (JAP) related to the 13 Buddhas. read, want to stand out, want to make a statement and when it suits the product you are marketing. You might use such a symbol if you were going to Today you can convert your own handwriting to a font market a tour to Tibet or India, Japan… style that you can then use as you type your newsletter or e‐Letter. There are many programs and websites that offer free instant generation. You select the So over to you. Font, colour and style to be created and handwritten font you like, you type in your text and recognized as YOU when your clients see it, receive it, click the generation tab. Then you download your read it and click on it. Signatures too, are very powerful creation. marketing mediums.
Guest Article by Steve Gillick, CTM email@example.com Epictetus, the Greek philosopher, determined that “If you wish to be a writer, write”.This was a reflection of his firm belief that people are responsible for their own actions, and therefore ‘wanting’ or ‘dreaming’ to do something can only happen if you actually do it! This does not imply that you have to be born into the role of ‘writer’. There are many avenues that lead writers to success and in every circumstance, that old adage that ‘practice makes perfect’, comes into play. When I was 14 years old, I took a five week student trip to the ambiance of a destination; the exuberance of an event, Europe. We travelled by ship to various coastal cities and part the titillation of one’s taste buds when partaking of unique of our assignment was to keep a daily diary. I still have that foods, the exhilaration of seeing a global landmark that has diary today and can see snippets of a budding travel writer as I always been on your ‘must‐see’ list, and the euphoria of attempted to describe the incredibly luxurious Hermitage discovering something that you never knew existed. Museum in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), or the amazing souk, or marketplace, that we visited in Gibraltar. And my Travel writing topics are sometimes directly in our sight lines: writing got a bit of a boost when Mr. Sperling, our teacher, If you visit Prague, then you may choose to write about asked if I would like to contribute an article to the ship’s Prague. Or you can look at specific aspects of the city which newsletter on any topic I chose. I wrote about what was may be more meaningful to readers with different interests. before me: A huge ship that grew smaller every day as we became more familiar with where everything was located, and Culinary. Our favourite lunch included grilled sausage, as we discovered short cuts to get to the classroom or the served with horseradish and mustard, fresh rye bread theatre or the dining hall. And then I used this as an analogy and dark beer (usually at U Glaubicu in Lesser Town); to talk about the cities and countries that we were visiting on while our favourite dinner was at U Medvidku (In Old the trip. I wrote about Copenhagen and how on the first day it Town near the Narodni Bridge) which consisted of grilled seemed so confusing and difficult to get around on the bus duck, potato dumplings, sweet red cabbage and tour, but when we had some free time on the second day, we different varieties of dark beer. found that it was easy to walk from one place to another and in fact, the city had shrunk in size. Marionettes. There is a puppet culture in the Czech Republic dating back to the Middle Ages. You can find My article was published and I read it 40‐50 times, thinking Marionette shops in many towns and cities with varying that me—Steve Gillick—was a published writer! And perhaps degrees of quality but they are all fascinating to see. As this was the feeling of travel‐writing‐euphoria that lay the a mask collector visiting a country with no masks per se, groundwork for my love of writing. So when I worked at I was entranced by the faces of the Marionettes and summer camps, I wrote for the newsletter; when I worked for spent lots of time just appreciating the quality. a tour company, I started a newsletter, and later when I worked for a travel association, I revamped their newsletters Scenery. There are some amazing vistas in Prague. You and became the writer, editor and publisher. No matter how can climb a number of towers, depending on the busy I was, I would always find time to write—usually on strength in your legs and your ability to negotiate weekends, and many times on my home computer after a long winding staircases (eg. in the Astronomical Clock Tower day at the office and into the wee hours of the night. It or one of the Charles Bridge Towers, or the view from became my way of relaxing and it still is a pleasant means of Prague Castle or the cable car that takes one to the escape from reality and routine. viewing tower, overlooking the city) But for me, writing is also an intellectual challenge, based on my personal credo that every word in the English language has Steve’s company, Talking Travel, specializes in the art of a very specific connotation and it is the travel writer’s task to Destination Mastery, which includes customized writing for use the most meaningful words in each sentence to express tourist boards, airlines, agency associations, conferences thoughts, emotions, vistas and people, and try to capture and talks. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his site at www.talkingtravel.ca
My second Eureka moment came when I was stuck in And there are many other angles for writing about the traffic on Highway 401. We were in a construction area city: history, architecture, music, art, tourists, shopping, and it was unbelievably noisy and then drivers started to the subway system, the bridges, museums, gardens, wine, honk the car horns and it became really annoying. But street life, the Jewish Quarter, hidden attractions (eg. the through all this, with my iPod set to randomly shuffle grotto and the albino peacocks), and just about any other songs, came the mesmerizing tune “Sounds of Silence” area or ‘niche’ that interests you. by Simon and Garfunkle. It was like a breathe of fresh And that is one of the keys to writing: write about your own air and, after a bit of research, I wrote an article on interests. Once I decide on a topic, I will spend time filling “Silence’ as a niche market that many travellers want, in my knowledge gaps with research, mostly online, but also appreciate and in some cases, yearn while they are stuck from guide books or contacting someone who knows more on a crowded beach on a package tour during the than I about the topic. (which is a good reason to exchange holidays. emails with the tour guides and locals you may meet along the way). Accuracy is very important. If you are into historical And other forms of inspiration may include the dates, then ensure the dates are correct. If you are not a big ‘serendipitous” (something that occurs by happenstance history buff, then give a general time frame (eg in the early 20th century, as opposed to “1911”) and is rewarding, or fortuitous). When our group arrived in the town of Pisac in Peru, the festival of the Virgin of And then there are other forms of writing inspiration (from Carmen was taking place. We had no knowledge of this the Latin ‘in spirare’ meaning ‘to breathe’, as in ‘to breathe life until we arrived and found the town in a festive mood into something’). Many writers have what they call “eureka with costumes, masks, decorations and dancing. What moments”. The word “Eureka’ has an ancient Greek origin an opportunity for writing and photographs! Likewise, and means “I have found it”, and goes along with the legend when we arrived in Douz, Tunisia, we were not aware that the scholar Archimedes yelled out “Eureka” when he that the annual International Sahara Festival was immersed himself into his bath water and realized that the opening on the same day. Groups from all across water level rose at the same time. A Eureka moment may be northern Africa were present for the camel races and listening to a song on your iTunes and something about that song relates to an incident or a thought that profoundly the cultural competitions with costumes, singing, inspires you. dancing, music and food. I was in seventh heaven—and I wrote about it! I have two favourite Eureka moments. One involves the song Wooden Ships, by Crosby Stills, Nash and Young, wherein one When our friend Epictetus wrote that “If you want to be of the lines is “You smile at me and I will understand/cuz that a writer, write”, he was speaking a truism that some may is something everybody everywhere does in the same say is not necessarily profound, but when you think language”. Well when I first heard that, I realized that as an about it, it makes perfect sense and is in itself, inveterate traveller who only speaks English, there is a inspirational. Write, re‐write, show your friends what masterful way of communicating with the whole planet—and you have written and have them provide suggestions. that is in the simple act of smiling. I have written about travel Proof‐read your writing and then post it on your blog (or to non‐English speaking countries and communication on many occasions. start your own blog) or add it to a site such as www.brouwaha.com, or send it as an addendum or comment to a newsletter article or as the article itself. Travel writing breathes fire into your experiences and allows readers to share in the spirit of your adventures. It’s an extremely satisfying activity to pursue. If you want to be a writer….start now and write! Steve Gillick’s first article appeared in the Dunera Ship Newsletter in 1967. Since then he has written extensively about travel. He authored the Scam Watch column in Canadian Traveller Magazine for many years, wrote and edited CITC’s industry and consumer newsletters from 1995 to 2012, authors a column in www.TravelIndustryToday.com , since 2010; composes travel blogs at www.talkingtravelblog.ca, contributes articles to www.sellingtravel.net, and pens press releases, special event observations and letters to the editor on a regular basis.
Travel Agents are tired of hearing they are ”unprofessional, hobbyists, order takers and that the average Joe can book his own vacation online without the aid of a travel agent”. Yes there are tools available for consumers to book their own travel, however the fact remains that the excitement of a great price is instantly forgotten when the consumer experiences the bitterness of a badly planned vacation. Three Travel Agents have started a revolution. Mary Clegg and Cory and Cheri Andrichuk are founders of the "Travel Agent Revolution", a company dedicated to "shouting from the roof tops" the value of using a professional travel agent. The Travel Agent Revolution is a grassroots movement. It’s about putting travel agents FIRST. It is about helping all travel agents from all walks of life understand that they matter in their business; that personal and professional development are just as important as product knowledge when it comes to selling travel. The Revolution offers innovative business resources that will teach agents how to brand and market themselves and then align with the correct products to sell. Agents will discover who they are, what they want to achieve and how to define their success, not someone else’s definition of it. Travel Agents who join the "Revolution" will be trained on how to market themselves and grow their business based on personal branding and their professional passion for travel. "Our mission at the Travel Agent Revolution is to provide a roadmap for travel agents to build their own brand and business, focusing on personal and professional development and training and not just product training. Finding out why the agent is in travel, what their passions are and then fitting the right products that relate to their passions, is what we are all about." said Cory Andrichuk, Principal Founder of the Travel Agent Revolution. The Travel Agent Revolution launched their new website on June 25th. According to Mary Clegg Principal Founder of the Travel Agent Revolution, Travel Agents are able to join for as low as $12 per month which includes opportunities for certification training, mentorship, group business coaching, industry resources, and regularly scheduled live and virtual training events. The Revolution will also spear head a revolutionary consumer campaign that is aimed at promoting the value of using a professional travel agent when planning a vacation of a life time. “Making this type of training value packed and affordable for all agents is extremely important in today’s economy. Another focus that has been travel agent driven, is our goal to fund a social media consumer campaign that will educate the public to plan their next vacation with a trusted travel agent and not even consider any other booking options.” Clegg added.
We believe the professional travel agent needs to take a stand to position themselves as the personal bridge between supplier and consumer. “Agents are still the best option when planning a dream vacation of a life time” according to Cheri Andrichuk , Travel Agent Revolution’s Principal founder. “Consumers need to protect themselves from being "stung" when planning their own travel and by using a professional travel agent they can avoid the pitfalls of a low price vs. the actual vacation they really expect. The Revolution helps agents communicate their value and much needed expertise to the traveling public through special training and resources available on www.travelagentrevolution.com .” Andrichuk added. Professional Travel Agents who join by August 1st will receive a discount off the normal rate of $12 per month to just $9 per month as a founding member of the Travel Agent Revolution! Anyone who is serious about building their travel business will benefit by being a part of this incredible training event. To learn more about the Travel Agent Revolution sign up for our FREE webinar at www.travelagentrevolution.com . The Travel Agent Revolution is a grass roots movement / organization started in June 2012 by three travel professionals Mary Clegg, Cory and Cheri Andrichuk who have over 75 combined years of experience in the travel industry. The Travel Agent Revolution is focused on providing one of a kind travel agent training, events and mentorship for travel professionals. Visit the Travel Agent Revolution at www.travelagentrevolution.com and LIKE us on www.facebook.com/travelagentrevolution.com
On this page we enhance the sales relationship between supplier BDMs and the travel agent. Outcome: faster, quicker, larger, higher revenue sales!Wouldn’t it be great if all your agency accounts Some story ideas for you to think on, wrote articles about you, blogged about you and start, create, suggest plus ideas to promoted your brand through their written help your agency accounts learn how word? Sure it would. Well here’s how an Extreme to give you the good word: BDM would make this happen. 1. Historical facts First things first, you need to have a resource where such story lines are banked. Secondly, you should be well read 2. Video content for a vlog and by now would have consumed your own brand’s propaganda – also known as your story to tell. 3. Specific Images And of course you have to believe the story. You cannot peddle something you don’t support. If you are out of 4. Galleries synch with what the company is writing about itself then it’s your job to make recommendations and fire it to the 5. Press Releases marketing department. As you well know – the marketing team are sometimes removed from what’s actually happening on the front lines. 6. Ready to Send emails Check your sales guide. Are there any stories to be found 7. Pre – written newsletters there? Any special events that could be written about? Is there a new logo, new tour, now colour scheme, new 8. Apps to go hotel, new departure date, new service for clients who book your product through one of your agency accounts? 9. Writing software Somewhere in there is a story. Many times it can be the story of how the company, your company, started. How it 10.Blogging webinars has built it’s business by being creative in the level of customer service it delivers. What else? Got something? Tell your HQ about your ideas and more so, do whatever Have you gone social? What’s new here? How can your you can to have your accounts tell your agency accounts point clients towards your Facebook page story. for instance without losing them to book direct. Social everything and anything is gaining press time and eye time. If you have anything happening socially, tell your agency Remember the BDM Mantra: accounts about it. Discuss it. Plan a press release. “If I can’t sell it to them… they won’t sell it for me!”
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PHOTOGRAPHY AND TRAVEL ARE JOINED AT THE ALL IN ONE TECHNIQUE THE CLICK AND THAT MEANS TO GET YOUR If you are planning to go online with your articles and use an array of software and ready to click programs IMAGES RECOGNIZED YOU MIGHT HAVE TO then you might use your smart phone to do it all as in KICK SOME SERIOUS ASA. IT’S BEEN DONE capture the image, capture the video, narrate it as BEFORE AND THERE’S NO REASON WHY YOU you go then save, edit and upload. CAN’T DO IT, TOO. This is you writing, talking, shooting as you go. A true travelling journalist of the next generation. Imagine This could be a case of have camera will write or vice that scene with you in it. Powerful isn’t it. versa, have mouse will shoot shots. Your call how you come at it, the thing is, today and going forward Keep that scene in mind as the intent of this issue of your writing will probably need to be supported by ST is to generate new business from your travel your photography. This means looking for the photo‐ writing and travel photography. After you’ve walked, story in the scenes right there before you. Take all talked, snapped and uploaded you now email your that and mash it up and think online and all things clients to point them towards your blog and your digital. new post. This is happening between sips of that Czech beer. Yes it is. When you come to think about it, you actually have two or three choices. You can write, you can shoot INVITE YOUR CLIENTS and you can combine the two for the third choice. What just happened was this. Your clients received a notice from you to click to a webpage where they I’ve just read about a woman called Lise Gagne, she’s read an instant report and looked at the just in a photographer. Decided to focus on that line of photographs. The combination of the two kick starts work at the age of 40 – up until then it had been a their travel genes into high gear. They want to go. hobby. Cutting to the chase, her work is featured on Now, you can book their trip from that café table iStockphoto and she’s the #1 seller with over one because you know how and you have the tools. Any million downloads. Now what goes with that word other travel writer is not in the game. They don’t do download is another word pronounced moo – la. You what you do. If you are staying in Prague for got it one! Moola… money and she is making six instance for a week or two, advise your clients that figures. you can book their trip and you’ll meet them for a coffee on date, time and place. In that same Back to you and your camera. You can shoot to sentence you add, bring your friends, bring a group. support your writing and write to support your You must go for it. You never know what the photography and once again, you could just write or response will be. What if this couple turned up with just shoot. Hey, that’s four paths you could take. twenty friends? Nice commission. SHOOTIN’ SOUP You could wait until you arrive home to post your Join me on a trip through Prague… we’re in the main article and your photography. No big rush really. square, walking past a few street side café tables… Same situation unfolds. Your clients love your article we sit and order soup. Now, you could step back they want to go there too, they know you are back, shoot the café, you could be taken eating your soup, they make the call, visit your agency and you handle or you could search out a character and shoot them their booking. All coming from your writing and slurping their soup. Somewhere in there is the soup photography. shot. Somewhere in there is the theme of your article, Soup Slurpers of Europe and it’s supported by Your article can be turned into a newsletter, posted an interesting angle shot of that soup being slurped. to your Facebook page, your website… and you do Yes you may have to lay on the ground or dangle this to build that group to escort back ‘there’. from a post to get the slurp shot.
Buying and wearing the t‐shirt is one thing. Bringing home excellence imagery is another. When you bring home both the t‐shirt and the photographs you have a winning combination that will most certainly help you boost your travel sales. The question is, HOW? One way is to strut your stuff. Showcase your photography and you can do this by hosting an event wherever there is wall space. There’s an investment here of course. Room cost, matting and framing your photographs, time to set up etc. You’ll need to factor in the costs and the effort and judge whether or not the expected ROI will pay off. Below you see me at my desk in my travel agency and this dates to 1979! So the ideas have been around a l‐o‐n‐g time. I used my own photography to decorate my agency walls. Most people love a sunset – when they visited my agency they always asked where the sunset was taken and that was my cue: “Oh, I took that in Acapulco and I can still see…” – leading right into a conversation about being there, what it was like and perhaps into a sale. Current technology allows you to host your photography and video online, on your website or on any of the social sites that are image focused (pun intended!) Whichever outlet you use, make sure you promote your images, to promote your writing, to promote your been‐there‐self and to close more business. (Note: this is an actual photograph shot in the moment as a new seat sale was announced! Oh yeah!)
Now here’s a way you can use your writing prowess, your photography AND those wonderful vocal chords that rarely get to be showcased. See below: this is my set up for when I present online. You can do this very same thing using any of the platforms that allow you to beam your computer desktop out to your client’s computer desktop/s – or, smart phone, tablet computer or handheld screen device. You’ll need some quality kit, otherwise you’ll sound like you are talking into a can. Check out the professional microphone on the right – it’s called the Yeti! Cost around $149 and on sale often for less. Think about turning your article into presentations. Check out the iTunes podcast potential. If you have PowerPoint 2010, check out saving it as a video file – add your voice over the images, add your voice by reading your article. Many consumers now want the full multi media experience versus reading 2‐pages of text. Now you can produce this experience for them. You have all you need from your travel experience. You are on the AIR! Try it.
SOON! Yes The Travel Agent’s Store will be opening in the fall and thanks for your patience. I appreciate all your emails and comments about buying my self study workbooks online and finally I’m getting closer to finishing the project. When the store does open you will be able to purchase and download a series of manuals and ebooks, plus ready made graphics and Facebook timeline covers, webinar recordings and if you run a training division or travel school you will enjoy the PowerPoint training kits. You will also be able to purchase a variety of forms, contracts and agreements, business plan examples and more. My new book, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING for Travel Agents will be released as an e‐Book in the fall and you will be able to buy it right from The Travel Agent’s Store too. Like my 273 Ideas book, the Social Media Marketing book will deliver the no‐fluff / no theory how‐to‐do‐it information you need to boost your social marketing activities. Keep an eye on the trade press and be sure to read Selling Travel for an update on the Store and my new book.
SELLING TRAVEL is on a sales mission. That’s it pure and simple. Any and all SELLING TRAVEL services are focused SELF‐STUDY GUIDESon generating new business for you and your agency. The AVAILABLE FROM CITCmissing link between marketing, sales and closing that sale is generally a lack of experience, know‐how and creativity. SELLING TRAVEL CAN SHOW YOU HOW Be sure to subscribe to the eMagazine and join the list. CONFERENCE KEYNOTESFast paced, humourous, excellent imagery and delivered with a street‐savvy, no‐fluff and little theory format. Click 4 More. WEBINARS & WORKSHOPS Webinar’s are a SELLING TRAVEL specialty. Running 75 to 90 minutes, they include a workbook plus 30 minutes of post webinar time with me AND a 5‐day review of the webinar recording for additional note taking. Click here for details. PUBLICATIONSThe ultimate desk reference for TAs. With 412 pages, covering 273 marketing ideas + 700 links to additional information. Order today from Big Bark Graphics – Enter the Big Bark Store here. Now available in e‐Book format from The Travel Institute, CITC and Travel Agent Revolution. Read sample copy here
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