TRAVEL MARKETING & MEDIA

QUICK READS

Free business growth advice

Sandra McLemore

Sandra McLemore

Sandra McLemore is a digital marketing & business growth expert who got her start in the travel business over 20 years ago as a retail travel agent for STA Travel in a busy campus store front. She then worked her way into VP level in marketing, media and PR roles for the world's biggest cruise lines and travel brands.

What if you just said “NO”

[post-views]

Why and How to say no to some bookings

What if you felt confident enough to take a leap of faith, and decided to reject anything and everything that stood in the way of you achieving your business goals? What if you just said “no”…

In every other aspect of your life, you’re probably quite good at setting boundaries. If you’re a parent, you say ‘no’ several times a day! And while parenting may not have financial gains, the principle is the same; if you give in and don’t say no, you are taking ten steps backward.

The same can be said for your travel business. There are only so many hours in a day, and there are no refunds for time wasted.

Now is the time to insulate yourself, build a gate, and throw up a sign that wards off tire-kickers and quote-shoppers, and attract those who will recognize that you and the service you provide is one of the best investments they will ever make.

So how do you build this gate?

 

1. Say it Loud and Proud with a Planning Fee

Whether you call it a professional service fee or a planning fee, gone are the days you give your knowledge and time away for free. You are an expert in your field, and you need to have your planning fees listed on your website, in bold, and with pride. This is your first line of defense against price shoppers and budget DIY’ers.

2. Show Off Your Work

You’ve booked some epic trips for your clients, why not show prospective customers the incredible itineraries you could build for them? Fire up their imagination, inspire them, and get them excited to work with you by posting a few itinerary samples on your website.

3. Tell Them Exactly How to Work With You

There’s enough competition out there as it is, and if a prospective client comes to your website and feels an ounce of hesitation about how they can work with you, they’ll keep searching. Show clear steps that lay out what they can expect from your work process. This helps to establish your authority and lets any new clients decide if your process works for them.

 

4. Strengthen Up That Core Message

If someone was to come to your website, would they know precisely what it is that you can offer them? The keyword being ‘precisely’?

Your core message needs to be concise, not general. There are enough online travel agencies that offer ‘general’ services. That’s not you.

You are a specialist with a unique skill set.

Your core message should also avoid marketing buzzwords, and above all, it must clarify exactly what your brand is about.

Your audience should be able to arrive on your website knowing how you’re going to help them solve their burning problem, which will ultimately leave them feeling confident enough to hit the ‘sign-up or ‘book’ button.

 

5. Make Sure Your Branding is On Point

No one likes walking into a department store with loud music, neon lights, messy shelves, and no service.

That’s the vibe you might be giving off if your online presence is disconnected, poorly represented, and confusing.

A super polished website with strong branding, and of course, a clear and concise core message will make your prospective clients feel like they’re breezing through the doors of a luxury retailer.

You don’t just have to stand out from the sea of other travel professionals, you have to be unforgettable.

 

if you try to sell EVERYTHING to anyone, you’ll end up selling nothing” – Sandra Mclemore

 

By putting these recommendations into action, you may notice that inquiries slow down at first.

But don’t stress, this means you’ve built a strong gate, and looky-loos are getting the message.

What you will begin to see are higher-quality leads that are in direct alignment with your business.

And because you will have put a solid fee structure in place, you can say goodbye to those time-wasters and quote-shoppers.

Trust in the process, create that core message, be concise in the way they can work with you, inspire them with your fantastic itineraries, and watch those bookings roll in!

 

 

 

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

More to explore

#022 Travel Agency Websites Q&A

Are you a travel agency owner looking to enhance your website’s performance and boost conversions? In this podcast episode, Sandra delves into

Waitlist

NOW OPEN FOR

Travel Marketing Revolution

100% of the reviews from travel business owners are 5 stars. The transformation is real!

This membership is a no brainer for anyone who wants new clients on a continuous basis. Each month the content, training, coaching, tools, and templates are all about getting new clients and keeping them. What we teach you each month can be implemented into any travel business big or small, new or old.

If you can set aside 2-3 hours per month to learn and implement these high converting strategies into your business, you will get and keep more clients.

WHAT SHOULD YOU BE FOCUSED ON IN YOUR TRAVEL BUSINESS RIGHT NOW?

Looking for some answers for your travel business? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stuck in a rut or just not sure what you’re meant to be doing to grow that baby business check out our quiz-page.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sandra McLemore is a digital marketing & business growth expert who got her start in the travel business over 20 years ago as a retail travel agent for STA Travel in a busy campus store front. She then worked her way into VP level in marketing, media and PR roles for the world’s biggest cruise lines and travel brands. Sandra is now the owner of TRAVEL MARKETING & MEDIA (formerly Village Girl Marketing), a marketing agency for travel brands specializing in content creation, design and media. Sandra is also the creator of THE TRAVEL AGENT’S SUITCASE and TRAVEL MARKETING REVOLUTION. Each service and program helps travel agents to get a consistent flow of new clients through smart marketing strategies. Over 60,000 travel agents have taken Sandra’s online training, and signed up for her digital marketing solutions. Sandra lives in Los Angeles and hosts a number of travel programs on cruise line and airline TV and can be seen on network news programs as a leading travel industry expert. Heading off to the best travel trade conferences? You’ll most likely catch her on stage there too!

Office Closures

Our office is closed on the following days in 2023

JUNE 16

Business + Team Development

JUNE 19

Juneteenth

JULY 4

Independence Day

JULY 6 - 7

Business + Team Development

AUGUST 9

Business + Team Development

September 4

Labor Day

September 25

Business + Team Development

NOVEMBER 10

Veterans Day

NOVEMBER 23

Thanksgiving

DECEMBER 25

Christmas Day

DECEMBER 26

Business + Team Development

PLEASE CHOOSE YOUR PAYMENT PREFERENCE

TWELVE INSTALLMENTS – Special offer that requires prior approval. For clarification, please email designsupport@cottammclemore.com  *Additional $500 premium applies to WordPress site

Angela J

Angela brings a lifetime, literally, of writing and travel experience to the team. She has traveled to more than 30 countries—and has lived in four of them.

What I do

Create high-quality content

On my travel bucket list

Antarctica, the Galapagos, Egypt, Slovenia and Patagonia are currently at the top of the list, but I want to go EVERYWHERE.

My fave food

Anything with avocado

My favorite people in my life

Family and friends, of course! Especially the ones who join me on epic travel adventures…some of whom I met on epic travel adventures.

Laura P

In my free time, I’m a musician (pianist/vocalist/guitarist) and photographer while looking for opportunities to go hiking, travel, and read, especially about psychology. I love to visually bring clients dreams to life!

What I do

 As Design Lead and one of Travel Marketing and Media’s designers, I help manage the design team while designing websites, logos, and marketing kits for clients. With an MBA, I have over 20 years of experience in marketing and design, including over 10 years managing a marketing firm.

On my travel bucket list

Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, Africa, Thailand, Alaska, Montana

My fave food

mango, pineapple, jalapeno, spicy Thai or Korean and BBQ (especially Kansas City BBQ brisket burnt ends), I also love to cook and try new foods!

 

 

My favorite people in my life

My fiance, family and my 15-year old rescued pomeranian chihuahua Casper

Es M

Es is a creative digital designer. She enjoys creating and designing websites and graphics. When she’s not designing websites, she’s hiking and enjoying the outdoors.

What I do

Wordpress and Wix Website Designer.

 

 

On my travel bucket list

Thailand, Mauritius, and Mozambique.

My fave food

Malva pudding – A caramelized sweet cake soaked in creamy syrup and typically served with custard, but I like mine with vanilla ice cream.

My favorite people in my life

My family and my friends. 

Jacqueline K

Jacqueline herself is an avid traveler and brings exceptional experience to the team with her digital marketing, branding and operations.  In her own words she is always looking to add new skills to her arsenal!

What I do

I’m one of TMM’s Marketing Coordinators

On my travel bucket list

Everywhere I haven’t been! Top of my list is Finnish Lapland, Egypt, South Africa, and Antarctica

My fave food

The 3 P’s: Pizza, Pasta, and Popcorn, plus Rack of Lamb and anything Wild Boar

My favorite people in my life

I just got married (Yay for being a COVID-Bride) so my husband, my family, my friends who are really family.  I’ve lived around the United States and have been lucky enough to find a really incredible group of people to laugh with, talk to, go on adventures, and just love each other.

Hannah W

Hannah joins our group with a skillset packed with design, social media and communication roles.  She supports our team in any way she can and has an extensive background in all things marketing. 

What I do

NA

On my travel bucket list

NA

My fave food

NA

My favorite people in my life

NA

Jordana M

Jordana brings 17 years of travel industry experience to the team. She’s traveled to 80+ countries, spends every spare minute she can exploring her local mountains, and is the proud Mother of an adventurous, globetrotting little human.

What I do

Copy shop Writer

On my travel bucket list

Antarctica

My fave food

Singaporean Chicken Rice

My favorite people in my life

My son, my Mom, and my community of girlfriends

Orestes D

Orestes is the lead on Wordpress development projects. He possesses 10+ years of experience working with companies to bring their ideal online presence to life, with clientele ranging from small business owners to large travel brands.

What I do

Build all the Wordpress websites.

On my travel bucket list

Scotland, Ireland and India.

My fave food

Mexican and Italian.

My favorite people in my life

My wife, kids and family.

Lou M

Always up for a new adventure and learning more about what the world has to offer. A laid-back and caring individual that loves spending time with her family, playing guitar, reading, and solving puzzles.

What I do

I’m a Graphic Designer and Design Support for Travel Marketing and Media. I help create websites and other graphic elements, as well as helping my other team members. I also work with other clients creating UI and digital content on many platforms.

On my travel bucket list

Italy, Maldives, and Australia.

My fave food

I love smoked salmon and cream cheese on a croissant, sushi, watermelon, any warm homemade food, and a cup of matcha latte any time.

My favorite people in my life

My family is my everything. All I do is for them. My partner holds the most special place in my heart, as I can’t see myself without him.

Kelsea R

Kelsea is one of our 4 amazing concierges providing excellent service to Travel Marketing and Media Clients. She brings 10+ years of experience and also assists in project management. She is always up for a challenge and looking to get things done!

What I do

I am a Client Concierge and I make sure we keep our advisors happy!

On my travel bucket list

Next time I’m able to travel internationally, I’ll be crossing Greece off my list

My fave food

Mexican street tacos with lots of cilantro and lime

My favorite people in my life

My partner, Cait and my hound/beagle mix, Chester.

PLEASE CHOOSE YOUR PAYMENT PREFERENCE

TWELVE INSTALLMENTS – Special offer that requires prior approval. For clarification, please email designsupport@cottammclemore.com  *Additional $500 premium applies to WordPress site
 

WE'D LOVE TO HELP YOU

To get that consistent stream of new clients you need two things; a strategy and tactics. We'd like to send you a weekly email with that help. 

 

We're here to help you build a travel business that is wildly profitable and brings you joy.

Thanks! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates.

Charisse

Charisse has a wealth of administrative knowledge and experience. She’s from North Carolina, and has a really calm demeanor yet is eager when it comes to her work.

What I do

Learning the ends and outs of the web design process, responding to questions and concerns from clients.

On my travel bucket list

Johannesburg, North Holland, Alaska

My fave food

Tex-Mex

My favorite people in my life

My mom, my sisters, my cousins, and my friends from H.S/College.

Jenn G

She specializes in blogs and articles about family and home but has a passion for travel.

When she’s not working, she enjoys time with her husband, three (adult) children, and five pets. She and her family live in a beautiful area in Maine with no shortage of things to do!

What I do

Freelance writer

On my travel bucket list

Hawaii, Italy, and Australia

My fave food

Cheeseburgers and fried chicken (not healthy, but I don’t care – yum!)

My favorite people in my life

My husband and children

Matthew D

While his degree may be in journalism, he spends most of his time focusing on blogs and social
media writing for clients in various industries. When not writing, Matthew also spends a large chunk of his time working in education. He divides his time between working in the classroom and helping to run before and after school childcare programs. In his free time, he can be found reading, crafting, and keeping up with all things pop culture (just not the Kardashians).

What I do

Content Writer

On my travel bucket list

Cyprus, Prague (Again), Argentina, Australia

My fave food

Vegetable Lasagna, Any kind of soup,  Hummus, Chex Mix

My favorite people in my life

My parents, but specifically my favorite travel companion, my mother.

Jonnelle Davis

In the meantime, as a travel content editor, Jonnelle helps to deliver clean and engaging content to our travel agents.

She enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family, and she savors opportunities to have new experiences, big and small.

What I do

Vestibulum eget dolor quis orci bibendum fermentum. Curabitur convallis turpis.

On my travel bucket list

Vestibulum eget dolor quis orci bibendum fermentum. Curabitur convallis turpis.

My fave food

Vestibulum eget dolor quis orci bibendum fermentum. Curabitur convallis turpis.

My favorite people in my life

Vestibulum eget dolor quis orci bibendum fermentum. Curabitur convallis turpis.

Anthony McLemore

Not only does Anthony co-host some of the video related Power Sessions with Sandra, but he also created an incredible course for travel bussinesses showing them how to use video to increase their sales.

If you’re lucky you’ll also catch him at a travel conference on stage or in our booth.

What I do

I direct and produce video content for travel suppliers such as cruise lines, hotel chains, associations, consortia, host agencies, and tour operators. My expertise is in interviewing and storytelling and the content that I produce is an excellent investment for suppliers as they can use it for many years to come. I travel with a film crew to the suppliers and we also travel to destinations to capture photos and videos to build supplier media libraries.

On my travel bucket list

Snowboarding in the Swiss Alps, exploring the South Pacific islands where my wife’s family is from, a safari with my son and wife in South Africa, and a first-class train adventure somewhere exotic.

My fave food

Japanese, Thai, Italian, Greek

My favorite people in my life

Not surprisingly…. Sandra and Houston! I also have amazing parents, family, and friends in every corner of the globe that I am grateful for.

Dana B

When she’s not making beautiful websites, Dana enjoys spending time with her husband and young daughter. She’s always looking to plan their next road trip or outdoor adventure, and can’t help but be expired but the amazing destinations she learns about through her work every day.

What I do

I help bring the client’s business to life by crafting stunning websites and marketing pieces to showcase their unique travel services.

On my travel bucket list

My travel bucket list right now is focused more on domestic destinations. I want to see more of our beautiful country–the Rockies, the Grand Canyon, the New England coast, the Florida Keys, and Hawaii just to name a few!

My fave food

I love all different kinds of foods but right now I’m really digging Mediterranean flavors. Give me all the garlic and all the spices!

My favorite people in my life

My favorite people in my life are of course my husband and daughter, my parents and siblings, and my dog Lucy!

Jenny M

Tasnia is an avid traveler who provides writing content for travel businesses. She acquires extensive experience as a writer and brings her passion of travel and creative writing into Travel Marketing and Media. 

What I do

I’m a Freelance Creative Writer. 

On my travel bucket list

Verona, Italy & Santorini, Greece have my heart.

My fave food

My favorite food consists of cheese, or anything spicy. 

My favorite people in my life

My favorite people in my life include my family, friends, and my cat Macy! 

Emily B

As a North Carolina native, Emily spent most of her summers on the coast so her love for the sea and adventure developed at an early age. Since moving to New York, Emily has built a career around travel and looks forward to exploring more of Southeast Asia and South America in the future.

What I do

Freelance writer for social media, websites, destinations, and blogs. 

On my travel bucket list

Vietnam, Australia, and Costa Rica!

My fave food

Anything Italian and a really good cheeseburger!

My favorite people in my life

Family and my friends/travel buddies!

Svetlana I

Svetlana is known for her detail-oriented nature and her desire to learn. She is multilingual, enjoys yoga, new experiences, and loves travel!

What I do

I make sure our clients get answers to their questions and get to the right courses at the right time

On my travel bucket list

All around Seattle, Vancouver, and Anchorage

My fave food

Anything-raw vegan with a steaming hot mug of pure cacao

My favorite people in my life

My mom

Jeanna Akins

She has spent over a decade in the Administrative world and has a knack for order and direction. She is our go-to for a wide array of services. If she doesn’t have the answer she’ll find it or get you to the team member that does!

Jeanna enjoys time with her family (which includes a 13 year old Yorkie), being out doors and bringing old objects back to life. She also has a passion for volunteering in her community.

What I do

I proudly provide services as Travel Marketing and Media’s business manager. Leading our concierge’s, creative team, and content production for Social Media Solutions as well as work with VIP clients and organize events for Sandra.

On my travel bucket list

Germany,  Iceland and Norway.

My fave food

Mexican, Italian and Thai food.

My favorite people in my life

My Family and friends for sure, life just wouldn’t be as great without them and a special shout out to my husband who puts up with me!

Tawney Clum

Tawney loves all things outdoors and treasures time with her friends and family. In her down time she takes advantage the beautiful  near by mountains and lakes while indulging in great fishing trips!

She loves her family and friends and a great family vacation!

What I do

Assistant Manager

On my travel bucket list

Ireland

My fave food

Artichokes

My favorite people in my life

My Children and my Husband

Sandra McLemore

Sandra created Travel Marketing & Media, a marketing agency for travel business owners who want to create a consistent stream of new clients so that they can have a wildly profitable travel business that brings them joy.

She speaks regularly at travel industry events around the world and in 2021 will launch her new travel magazine & travel accessories collection.

Sandra is also the host of Travel Market Report TV, the travel industry’s leading trade publisher, and the travel expert featured on Daily Mail TV, CNN, BBC World News, ABC, morning TV shows, and talk shows.

What I do

I create and teach our signature online course, our masterclasses, workshops and host the Travel Marketing Townhall meetings. I also provide webinars and keynotes for host agencies, consortia and large travel industry events.

On my travel bucket list

South Korea, South Africa, a river cruise, Sri Lanka, a world cruise!

My fave food

Vietnamese, Thai, Italian, Japanese.

My favorite people in my life

My husband Anthony, our baby Houston, my Goddaughter Nomi, and all of our amazing friends and family. We have an amazing village. And of course I’ll always love Oprah, Amy Porterfield and Donald Miller.