As we shift into our second decade of industry-wide Internet immersion, the sheer quantity of information available is becoming as difficult to navigate as it is to navigate our planet itself. It is in such an information-rich world that the specialist prevails.
In the Wiki-age, general information is universal. Anyone has near-immediate access to basic information on nearly any subject; however, there’s a considerable gap between knowing about subject and truly knowing the subject.
That’s why specializing – be it in weddings, groups, luxury, cruise, or any niche you’re passionate about – can be key to finding success these days. Consider the following:
What are you?
It’s the first question potential clients are going to ask. Not of you, but of themselves as they seek you and your expertise out. Are you the kind of agent who knows, for example, European river cruising to its fullest? Because, odds are, your prospects have already done their entry-level research on the subject. They’ve perused the website and read the brochures; they’ve even done some preliminary digging into reviews and consulted friends. Now they need someone who can help them navigate the convoluted space with the necessary know-how it takes to truly refine their travel experience to meet their needs. They’re looking for someone steeped in the subject, someone who can give them the information they simply don’t have access to as laymen.
Impress with depth
As established, prospects have likely already got their feet wet on the subject, so presenting surface-level information will only convince them they could have skipped getting your service all together. If you’re well versed in your field, however niched you decide that to be, you’ll be able to quickly move clients past the entry point and propel their planning process towards the things they never knew they never knew. When you help them get there, then they’ll be sold on the advantage, and perhaps even the necessity, of seeking out your service.
Passion is purpose
Your potential clients are excited about their vacation. They’re in the “heart-fluttering” stage of anticipation. They’ve prepared and planned, and now they’re passionate about the idea of this upcoming experience. They need to feel that you’re passionate about it as well. The problem is, faking passion is nearly impossible, which is why it is necessary to actually be passionate about your specialty. Fortunately, the beautiful thing about specializing – about going deep in your niche (no matter how big that niche is) – is that it allows you to chase your passion naturally.
Everything is niche, you should be too
There was a time not all that long ago when niche meant limited appeal. That’s simply no longer the case. These days, "niche" means refined, vetted, and special. This isn’t a trend specific to the world of travel either. Nichification has permeated nearly every aspect of our society, and your prospects are expecting it.
As social media has the ability to turn everyone into their own brand, identity touch-points – the interests, passions, and activities we feel best represent us – are becoming as central to how people perceive one another as the clothes we wear or the way we speak. It’s also how we perceive businesses, and ever increasingly so.
So own your niche. Go deep on your passion. Because your potential clients now believe it takes a specialist to deliver something truly special.