I get it. You operate a business selling travel and a priority at the top of your list is to attract excellent, ideal clients. Lots of them. And preferably a nice, consistent, never-ending flow of them. To accomplish this, you recognize the need to market your business. So you put yourself out there. You invest in three different bridal shows in the next six months. You commit to a weekly electronic newsletter and send the first one. Two months go by and you’ve exhibited at one bridal show, followed-up several times with every new person on your list and sent your weekly electronic newsletter consistently for eight weeks in a row.

Then you fall into one of the most common traps of marketing. You notice the lack of new clients. Not only do you not have a consistent, never-ending flow of excellent, ideal clients, you don’t have any flow of them. The more you notice, the more frustrated you get. I mean really – you’ve done so much to market your business!

The trap you fell into was assuming there is a direct correlation between marketing efforts and attracting new clients. In other words, you believed marketing is linear. Here’s a truth nugget for you. Marketing isn’t linear. Marketing is dynamic and multi-leveled. The sooner you understand this and operate from this place, the sooner you will open up to the amazing flow of clients waiting to rain down on you.

One of the best ways to understand this is to take what will seem like a totally irrelevant step sideways into the topic of love and relationships. What do love and relationships have to do with understanding that marketing your travel business isn’t linear? A lot. The reason why is because, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” As human beings, we condition ourselves into behaviour from a very young age. You’ve been “doing” love and relationships since the day you were born. You haven’t been marketing your travel business that long.

A dear friend of mine and expert on the topic of love and relationships is Stacey Martino, the Love and Passion Coach, www.loveandpassioncoach.com. Stacey is famous for saying, “A magnificent love affair is created, not found. So stop searching and start building.” The explanation as to why marketing isn’t linear can be found in her explanation of the four levels of love (in Step two of her eight-step system).

According to Stacey, Level one love is very immature, and infantile-like. It’s one way. A baby cries and gets soothed. There is no return of the soothing. Most of the human population naturally grows out of Level one love by the age of two or three.

Level two love is much more co-operative. It operates on a "give and take" philosophy. It goes like this: “I will give you this and then you can give me that.” Level two love is a partnership. “I give and then you will give.” There is a sense of fairness and balance to level two love. It’s what most of us are taught to aspire to.

Sounds like a great way to live, right? Wrong. Level two love sabotages relationships (and your marketing, which I will get to in a second). Why? Because partners inevitably end up keeping score. It’s impossible for the score to ever be equal and each partner always feels like they are on the losing side. A relationship cannot thrive in this environment. It might survive, but it won’t be happy. The antidote to a toxic, keeping-score environment is to shift into a Level three love.

When operating from a Level three love, the scorecard is thrown out the window and partners come from a place of tapping into the love within them to give love without expectation. Instead of coming from a place of, “What can I get from this relationship?” partners operate from a place of, “What can I give?” Stacey challenges her clients to spend three months exercising their Level three love muscle, even if their partner isn’t following her system, and to watch the incredible transformation. What they realize is that Level three love is far more fulfilling once the muscle is strengthened because there is a never-ending source of love within each of us and we are in control of tapping into it. We don’t need to wait around for others to give us what we want or behave in a way that makes us feel better. And when we adjust to operating from a place of Level three love, we naturally elicit the best out of others in our lives…especially our partners.

This is a great lesson and can have a tremendous positive impact on a marriage. But the concept of Level three love can also be applied to marketing your travel business. It’s exactly why marketing isn’t linear.

When you market from a place that’s comparable to Level two love, constantly keeping score, looking for the direct correlation between your marketing efforts and the arrival of new clients, you will always feel like you are on the losing side. Your focus on what’s not showing up and that’s the vibe you put out. Without realizing it, the vibe you put out when you market from a Level two love place, is desperation. It’s the vibe of, “I want to get more clients, or more bookings or more money.” Think about it; when a new car salesman approaches you on the 31st of the month telling you he can get you a great deal, all the while knowing full well he is desperate to make his monthly sales quota, what vibe do you feel? What do you do when you feel that vibe? Pull away!

It’s not your fault if you have been believing in a linear relationship in your marketing because you’ve been taught Level two love in all your relationships (not just your intimate ones). Very few of us are made aware that relationships can only thrive long term when surrounded by a Level three love environment.

For your business, you can shift into a Level three love when your marketing is inspired by your desire to give/share your brilliance. Begin there. Tap into the brilliance that resides within you. Fill yourself up with the knowing that you were born to help others and you were given gifts and talents to do that. Your desire to attract a nice, consistent pipeline of excellent, ideal clients actually comes from a deep knowing inside that you are brilliant, talented, gifted and have something to share. When you apply those gifts to your clients’ travel experiences they are forever changed and everyone wins. Realize that marketing is just how you make others aware of what you have to offer/give. And also realize that you can feel so fulfilled by sharing your gifts and talents with those that need it most.

What if you took Stacey’s three-months-of-Level-three-love-challenge in your business to exercise your Level three love muscle? This would mean reaching out to your clients and prospects just because you want to “share the love.” This would mean doing things for your clients, just because it feels good. This would mean marketing and nurturing relationships with no expectations. Imagine what that would do for your business. Worth a shot, don’t you think?



Meredith Hill is founder of Gifted Travel Network (GTN). Building off of GIFTE’s principles, GTN supports its travel professionals by helping them build their own brands and by providing ongoing entrepreneurial education – or, as Meredith says, “entrepreneurial nutrition.” This piece was originally published at this link: http://www.travelbusinessu.com/marketing-isnt-linear-heres-why.



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