Learn, Invest, Wait for the Re-Start
The crisis brought bad times to the tourism and travel industry. But at a certain point, tourists will flock in again and now is the time to prepare for that moment. A German study from 31rst of March assumes that latest in September everything will be back more or less to normal. And then, there will be lots of tourists booking at the same time, wanting to get out of their isolation.
That is the chance you must grab: you should be the leader of your trade or at least remarkable, so those people consider booking you, staying with you or using your services. Its like a horse race: now its time for training. Once the boxes open, everyone wants to be first and then it pays off: the better you trained, the better you race.
To bring you some ideas what you could do now in times of crisis, I compiled a list of possibilities. There are far more things you could do and you know what’s best for you anyway; I just want that you get an idea and to grab that chance: be the first over the finish line when the racing begins again!
What to do in the field of advertising and online marketing
- Discuss in LinkedIn-, Facebook or Xing-Groups: be part of the discussion. There are groups of people for nearly everything. As Cuba is my topic, I know at least of 4 English and 3 German Facebook Groups that are worth a look, to join your thematic group and discuss with the people there. If you are an expert – and that you are – be part. If there is a photo competition to get over these dark times? Contribute. If there are questions on where to travel, obviously help them and so on. By being part of the discussion, you bring your face in front of potential clients, every time you make a good comment, you build up your reputation.
- Start a Google Ads Campaign: Google has a huge reach that you can use by making an ad campaign. People will start searching for travel related things in Google at a certain time, even now some still search for holidays. Make sure they find your offer by starting your own campaign. Google has actually two levels of difficulty for their services, the one I recommend for starters – formerly known as Google Ads Express – is now called “smart campaigns” and is easy to configure, definitely not rocket science! And now is actually a good time to start, as prices for ads on the internet dropped by about 30%, so you’ll have to pay less. You don’t have a budget for now? Just call the Google people. They are very nice and will gift you a voucher. Google Ads is too complicated for you? Just ask us, we’ll help you get started!
- Make a Facebook page and an Instagram account. Or one in Tik Tok! Now is the time to get people interested in what you have to offer. At the moment, reactions, likes, comments to everything other than Corona are still lower, but that will change again. At a certain point people want to get away from crisis thoughts by looking at nice things again – and who is best for selling dreams? Yes, you as a travel specialist! Give them beach pictures, tours, insights, recipes, give your potential customers a 5-minute holiday every day!
- Activate your customers by mail: over the last years you worked in travel and if you made a good job, then talk to your former clients. Send them a personal mail or even a real letter, something to show you are alive. If you made a bad job, though, don’t write to them 😉 As it’s a tricky thing to write to former customers with all the GDPR and data protection laws, if they don’t like you, they might sue you! On the other hand, if you don’t spam them and write honest mails with good ideas, content and intention, they will be happy to hear from you. If you want to be careful, just write them one email with asking them to join your newsletter. If you are more daring, start your newsletter and just send it! How to do that? It’s easy if you use a service like MailChimp, which is free up to 2.000 recipients.
What to do for your business
- Renovate your office, hotel or wherever you want to meet your clients. If you have no customers, you can close now and be the best place in town when the tourists come back. Ask your wife for decoration help. Or your gay friend, if you don’t have a sense taste ? And make photos and videos of the process that you send to your former customers, to make them curious what happens with you. Will they be interested? Yes! Or why do DVDs have a full “making-off” of a movie? People love that glance behind the curtain!
- You don’t want or need to renovate? Then clean your location. Even if you won’t have customers there: if work starts again and your office is tidy and clean, you will perform better.
- Do your accounting. For many, worse than cleaning or renovating, but a necessity. If you come out of the crisis and those bureaucratic things are still on your table, you missed a opportunity – because then you need to do them while hoards of customers flock in.
- Offer help to partners: you work with other people in the industry that also have problems? Help them with whatever they need. If they renovate, join them. When the clients come later that year, they will think well of you and you’ll be their preferred partner.
- Find your customer segment, get a focus: with your firm or service you serve everybody? You don’t have any specialization? Long ago I heard that saying to the question: “Which kind of music you like?” “I listen to all kinds of music” – that means, you have no music taste!!! The same applies in travel. If you cater everybody, in reality you serve nobody. So, think about: what is your focus, what is the customer segment you really like, where you are good at, where do you already have many customers? Develop that, communicate that and put it on your website!
- You don’t have a website? Get one as soon as possible! There are great services out there where you can build your website with some clicks and swishes of your mouse. I just finished a hobby website for a game with Jimdo in under 4 hours, without any programming. At all! You can also use services as JimDo, Wix or others, there are many construction kits for websites that cost you about 10 Euros a month. And you even can try them for free!
- Install an online shop: you already have a website, but you can’t sell there? Install an online shop. Or a simple form where people can book your services! There is a saying from the IT world: “customer threatens to buy”. So, what if they want to buy but simply can’t on your website? They go to the competition! You think you don’t have a real product to sell online? There are clubs in Ibiza that sell the drinks in advance for a rebate. Ask yourself: can you do something similar?
- Look at your website with your smartphone: can you read anything, or does it look like a stamp with tiny letters? Then you must change to a mobile design, 70% of all internet users use smartphones by now. And even if your website is mobile: can you find everything with the phone as quickly as people need to find what they are searching, e.g. the booking form? If not, improve your website!
- Your government offers money to support your firm? Get it now, don’t wait for later. Later, there is other work, now is time for bureaucracy.
Improve your skills, your personal abilities
- Get a certification or skill that helps you sell your product. If you are a stewardess, get that language certification you always wanted to make. If you have many old patients, learn something to care for them. If you have many children among your customers, learn plate spinning or juggling or how to make balloon animals. If you serve drinks, learn those fancy moves with a cocktail shaker. Ask yourself: what makes it easier for the other side – your customers or employers – to decide they want to go to your place, book you or work with you.
- Learn online marketing: as most of you realized, business now happens online. You can ask yourself: who is the winner of the crisis? Its Amazon, because they offer the best online service. You don’t have to be the next Amazon, but if you are online, you can sell more. Unfortunately, people don’t wait for you, you have to market yourself. How? With all forms of online marketing. Look at what you can do, there are good classes, for free on YouTube, or better ones for money at Udemy.
- Read important books. Or just read! You could grab some knowledge about marketing, sales, history or physics that make you better at the job or get you educated. Or read a good novel, that gets your mind of. It doesn’t need to be Dostojewski, but how about reading a classic?
- Make your resume: if you are one of the unlucky persons who lost their job or is probably going to loose the job: update what you have! This way you have the best chance of getting back into the game once everything starts again.
- Make your profile in LinkedIn nice: same as the resume, put everything on LinkedIn, that is where people search for employees. How is your photo there, does the profile has your skills? Is everything up to date?
- Make a website for yourself: you may even create a website with your profile, it’s easy via Wix or Jimdo (see above) and much better than just a LinkedIn profile or a resume. People see that you are really willing to work and are able to adapt and learn new skills.
- Make a video promoting yourself: a resume or a website is plain. Make a video advertising yourself, telling your story and convince potential employers that you help them reach their goals.
- Start learning a language that your customers speak: languages help you in general, but in the tourism industry, languages can be especially helpful. Start learning a language like German or improve your English. Languages are always a great skill that an employer looks for. And there are so many free resources on the internet to just get going. You don’t have to be perfect, but if you can help a customer out enough that they are happy, you win the day.
All that doesn’t work for you?
- Then help your neighbours: in the crisis, they need help, as they are in more danger of the virus. Also they don’t have technical skills, maybe even no smartphones. Ask them what they need or just talk to them. Gives you lots of Karma points.
- Sew masks: more and more people need masks; some states introduce the duty to wear them. If that comes, there will be a run on them. If you have nice, decent, even beautiful cotton masks, you’ll be able to sell them for some bucks.
- teach something online: you have a skill where you are good at? Teach it online, via a website, via YouTube or a teaching platform like Udemy. With the later, you can make money by selling the classes, with the former, you might get job offers. I have a class on Udemy that brings me about 200 – 300 $ each month!
- Do sports: not only makes you healthy – which is good against the virus – but also reduces your stress levels, which for many people are high now. Its easy to do sports at home: look for Yoga or Tai Chi videos on YouTube, do some push-ups, something for the belly, you know what. Or buy simple tools: rubber bands, weights with water as filling etc. You don’t need to do a heavy workout, just every day 15 to 20 minutes and you’ll feel more in control of your life. Believe me, it helps, my belly already is shrinking, lost 3 kilograms in the last 3 weeks. Not much, but I already feel better ?
- Enjoy time with your family via Skype: as you can’t visit them, Skype with them. It is impressive how quickly you have the feeling the people on the tablet screen are in the same room. Makes a good feeling, I can tell you!
- Play games with your friends or families via Skype: Could be directly, like with a camera on the boardgame, could be chess, could be an online game where you can play together. There are not so many games out, but some are just simple and funny. à Skip-Po (iPhone, it’s called Skip-Bo on Android) or card games (go to playingcards.io). The best setup: play the game on your phone while being connected via Skype so you can see the other players.
Those are just a few ideas I came up with, you probably have a lot more. I hope they help you come through those hard times!
Cheer up, every crisis is over after a certain time!
PS: Do you have questions, do you need help with your marketing? Ask us, we are home 😉