Travel Agents: Expand Your Professional Network on LinkedIn
Written by: Amanda Bailey on April 12, 2017
Networking is so essential to our personal and professional lives that many of the most popular and most used apps and websites were developed specifically for connecting with others. They are our social networks!
Among them, LinkedIn continues to be the number one social network for professionals. It may not seem as visually dazzling as Instagram or as universal as Facebook, but as a travel agent, there is a lot you can offer and gain from this online business community.
Consider LinkedIn’s demographics. Overall, its users are older (82% are 30+), more educated (62% are college graduates), and earn more (75% have incomes over $50K/year) than the other top social media platforms. If this is an audience you’d like to reach, LinkedIn is one place you want to be!
Maximize your networking power on LinkedIn with these simple strategies.
Create a Company Page
Like Facebook, you can create a separate page on LinkedIn just for your business. To create a Company Page, click the Interests tab at the top of the LinkedIn home screen, then click the Create button on the right-hand side. Fill in basic details like your company name, email (you’ll be asked to verify this) and a short description of what your agency does and what value it offers.
Make the most of your page by uploading your logo and a banner image. The standard dimensions for logo images are 300 x 300 pixels minimum, and 646 x 200 pixels for banner images.
Once your Company Page is created, you can link it to your personal LinkedIn profile by listing your agency as the place you are currently employed. If you want, you can promote your Company’s LinkedIn page by adding it to your email signature, or by linking to it in your newsletter or blog posts.
Post Company Updates
There’s no better place to showcase your professional experience and knowledge than on LinkedIn. On Facebook or Twitter, you might post something simple like, “Enjoying today’s ship inspection of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship” with a photo of you on board. However, LinkedIn is more of a forum for a discussion, in which you can offer advice and provide resources in your area of expertise…travel!
Give your audience something to think about. If you’ve written a blog post about the innovative amenities on the Royal Caribbean’s new ship, share that. Compare it with other new ships you’ve seen or read about. Of course, you can always share articles, videos and webinars from other industry experts, and add your own take on them in your update. Don’t forget to ask for comments or feedback!
One point to keep in mind: updates with links are twice as likely to drive engagement than updates without links.
Follow and Engage with Clients, Peers and Thought Leaders
There are multiple ways to find and connect with clients, prospective clients, suppliers and peers on LinkedIn. Use your personal LinkedIn profile to connect with people you meet in any business setting, whether that be at a local networking event, a trade show, client meetings, or even a KHM Travel Group-sponsored event.
Another effective way to connect and build your reputation is to join LinkedIn Groups. Groups allow individuals in the same industry, or with the same interests, to make contacts, share ideas and advice, get answers and view job postings.
You can easily discover groups by searching in the search bar at the top of the LinkedIn page, or browse groups that may interest you by going to the Interests tab > Groups > Discover. There are many travel-and travel agent-related groups out there, so choose several to commit to, and be active in the conversations. If you want, you can even start your own group!
If you have any tried-and-true advice for building a network on LinkedIn as a travel agent, we encourage you to share them in the comments below!
If you’d like to kickstart your home-based travel agency, KHM Travel Group can provide you with all the tools, resources and support to help you be successful.
Fill out the form on the right side of the screen or call 888-611-1220 to gain access to our free Travel Agent Information Guide. You’ll be taking the first step towards success as an independent travel agent!