You’ve taken the plunge: you’ve decided to build your own business, to put yourself out there, to try something new. (Learn more about how to become a travel agent.) You’ve gotten trained up, received your certification and are ready to get started. But one question remains: how do travel agents get clients?
It’s one of the most commonly asked questions in the industry, and for good reason. Attracting and maintaining clients is what allows travel agents to pursue their passion, after all. Without the right support, obtaining leads can be tricky. But that’s where Fora comes in.
We understand that getting clients as a travel agent can be daunting, but we’re determined to see our Fora Advisors succeed. We give you the tools, tech, expertise and marketing intel to help you rake in those leads, and we’re with you every step of the way.
Read on for our tips on how to get clients as a travel advisor, and how Fora makes this aspect of the business seamless for you.
Sound intriguing? Sign up to become a Fora Advisor today.
Tip #1: Your first clients can totally be friends & family
When you’re just getting started, your existing network is everything. It's a lot easier to make your first few bookings for your bestie, say, than for a stranger. Announce your new business endeavor from the rooftops. (Fora provides custom email and social media templates to help you do so in style.) Tell your immediate family, friends, old professors, colleagues, local barista, dentist — anyone who’ll listen. Most everyone starts out by booking travel for people they know.
Tip #2: Maximize the power of word of mouth
Word of mouth is your best friend. Once you’ve booked a trip for your first client, the world opens up. Every client is another node in your network, further expanding your web of contacts. Such is the magic of the travel ripple effect.
After a client returns from a trip, ask them to spread the word. Your clients are your biggest cheerleaders, and word-of-mouth marketing is incredibly powerful.
For many of our advisors, all it took was one client — one initial booking — before their business really started to take off. That first client referred them to someone else, who then referred them to someone else, and so on. Never estimate the power of word of mouth.
Tip #3: Leverage Fora’s content creation tools to make yourself more visible
Fora gives you everything you need to market your travel business like a pro. When you join, we’ll set up a dedicated profile page for you. Think of your Fora profile as your personal website, a place where future clients can easily get in touch (each profile page contains a contact form that directs inquiries to your inbox).
But your profile is just the tip of the iceberg. As a Fora Advisor, you’ll have the ability to submit travel guides, itineraries and trip reports, which our team then transforms into a beautified post, and adds to Fora’s website, as well as to your profile.
Additionally, our in-house marketing & editorial team creates customizable email templates, social media templates and articles so that you can peacock your travel knowledge, attract clients and rake in that commission. (Learn more about how travel agents get paid.)
Even better, our team helps advisors up their marketing game with advanced marketing techniques like search engine optimization, or SEO. Essentially, we've designed all profiles, guides and trip reports to be very Google-friendly, increasing the likelihood that people will find your content when conducting a search on anything travel-related. (See our tips on how to make your Fora profile stand out.)
Guides and trip reports are great ways to showcase your travel expertise. They also make your Fora profile more robust SEO-wise, and more discoverable on the internet. Plus, we provide lots of coaching throughout our training curriculum to help you feel confident about writing content — and leveraging SEO to do so.
Tip #4: Soak up Fora's best-in-class training
Speaking of training, Fora teaches you everything you need to know about how to become a travel agent (and a very successful one, of course). Our self-paced, online training program covers it all, from the intricacies of booking to business best practices to incorporating AI into your workflow and more (so much more).
Whether you're entirely new to the world of travel advising or are an industry expert, there's something for you here. We're all about helping our advisors succeed and create a fun, thriving and fulfilling travel business they love. And we equip them with all the necessary tools (and then some) to do so. Plus, when you join Fora, you're not alone. Everyone — fellow advisors and HQ members included — has your back.
Tip #5: Take advantage of Fora’s Client Lead Program
The three above tips are all proven ways to build a thriving book of business. But as a bonus — the icing on the cake, if you will — Fora also offers a unique Client Lead Program. Fora HQ puts a lot of work into delivering the best leads to eligible advisors. Once a Fora Advisor has reached “pro” status — meaning they’ve surpassed a certain booking threshold — they’re automatically entered into our lead program.
What is a lead program, exactly? Fora receives numerous inquiries from potential clients interested in planning a trip. We filter through the inquiries and select the ones that are most likely to materialize. Then, we share the top selections with you.
Many travel agencies implement lead programs, of course, but there’s often a catch: other companies usually take a bigger chunk of your commission after you’ve booked a trip for a client they’ve sourced for you. Not at Fora. Here, nothing changes — you won’t have to give up any extra commission for the trips you close based on leads.
Ready to start a fun and flexible new career or side hustle? Sign up to become a Fora Advisor today.