5 Secrets to Picking Your Million-Dollar Niche

How to choose the perfect travel niche.

The process of choosing a travel niche can seem daunting
at first.

As you gain more experience as a travel agent, sometimes you don’t always pick your niche. Sometimes it
picks you!

To prove why first hand experience is so crucial, an agent who specializes in luxury
and river cruises, explained how he chose his travel niche:
“I started selling river cruises about 10 years ago after
going on one and fell in love with the concept. I just did
some events focused on river and started selling more.”

Your niche evolves as you
get started in travel and work your business. Everybody’s
evolution is different. When I started, I worked every client
who came to us. Now, I specialize.

Another agent’s niche is ocean cruises
– mostly Carnival Cruise Line. “It picked me, like it was
meant to be. I sail on Carnival a lot, so it just came
naturally to sell what I sail.”

The lesson: Stick to selling what you know and love.

Step #1: What Are You Passionate About?

When conducting research for this report, we found
that travel advisors who have mastered a travel niche
unanimously agreed that the most important step for
success is to choose a travel segment that reflects
something you are passionate about.

Travel advisors can find themselves in a battle between what they love and what they think will be profitable. It
is key to honestly enjoy your niche to be truly successful
in it. Your passion will come through naturally in your
conversations with clients.

You have to find something that you really feel
passionate about, because that’s going
to come very easy to you in the selling process. You’ll
be able to paint that picture for the guest and the
experience they’re going to have. That has to go hand-in-hand with experiencing that particular product or niche
for yourself.

You have to find something that you
really feel passionate about…

Find something you are
passionate about and marry that with your love for travel.
Just always remember to make decisions from a business
perspective. Sometimes when you are passionate about
something, your heart can influence your decision-making
and not always for the good. So, find something you love
but treat it as a business, not a fun hobby.

The discovery phase is the most important part of the
process of choosing a travel niche. Start brainstorming about
potential niches by making lists of your passions, namely
hobbies/interests, and favorite destinations, and types of
travel that you most enjoy.

What are you especially good at? What do you do in your free time? What do you have
in-depth knowledge about?

Start mulling over ideas about
how you can combine these passions with selling travel.
If you are not sure what type of travel you like,
start taking advantage of FAMs to try out
different experiences, and then choose what you most
enjoy and will sell well. You have to spend money to
make money. Experience that cabin with a
balcony so you can sell it from your personal experience.

Step #2: Who Will Your Clients Be?

Think about who your niche will appeal to.

they be families, singles, women, sports enthusiasts,
honeymooners, church groups? What ages are they?
What is their economic status? What is most important
to them during their travels? Write out a profile(s) of
the target audience(s) who would most likely want to
engage in your chosen travel niche.

Step #3: Research the Opportunity

Search online to see if anyone else is already selling this
travel niche. Make thorough notes about the products and
services being offered, how much they charge, how they
market, and the like. Is the market big enough to sustain
another travel advisor specializing in this niche? Use the
intelligence you gather to further refine your potential niche.

Step #4: Run the Numbers

It is critical to take the time to carefully consider the
potential for profits from your travel niche. Analyze costs,
commissions, fees, mark-ups, variable pricing. Run scenarios
to determine how many clients you would have to serve;
how many trips you would have to book monthly, quarterly,
and yearly; and what your price points would have to be to
hit your financial goals.

While love and passion are great
motivators, it is important to think through the business
reasons of the niche. Size of market, ease of finding the
target market, supplier support, and so on.

Step #5: Test It Out

Send out some feelers to see if there is enough interest
in the niche you are considering. Social media works
well for this phase. You may even want to set up a PPC
campaign for a month or two, linked to a landing page
to collect information, to get a better sense of how the
market might respond to your new offering. Also consider
getting advice about the viability of the niche from a
business consultant.