Branding and bonding go hand in hand and today’s Social Media is the matchmaker. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are just a few of the free tools a small business owner should use to reach out to clients, old and new, build relationships and start real conversations. This couldn’t be any more true in the world of travel. Being able to share our experiences is what helps us help our clients.
Coming up with a strong business name is key to the successful branding for any small business. My agency’s name had to be memorable but also had to be fun and just a bit quirky. I had already earned a reputation for thinking outside the box with my last venture, (The HodgePodgery, affectionately known as The HoPo) so I believe something on the unusual side is to be expected. Dawn’s Escapades popped into my head almost immediately! The word “Escapades” screams adventure and something a little out of the ordinary, maybe a little of kilter. Because I truly believe the best experiences are meant to be shared, and my love for the amazing world of social media, “Group Travel for a Social World” became my tag line.
Once I chose my name, I made sure no other agency had it, it was available on twitter and as a domain. I registered it with the Federal Government and the State of PA, built a facebook page, bought a few domains, set up a website, and quietly started to establish my presence. Unfortunately, quietly is not the way I really wanted to go…and neither should you!
At the beginning of my travel career, I was juggling a well-loved, but financially failing retail hand-made goods shop. I booked some travel here and there for my friends and worked on my supplier courses, but I couldn’t devote the energy I needed to market my new business until I was out from under the old. Upon closing my store, and out of financial necessity, I accepted a completely miscommunicated job offer, and became an inside agent. Due to these circumstances, marketing my own business was no longer an option. I still tried to create the kind of group trips I got into the ravel biz to do, but it soon became painfully clear that you can’t teach an old company new tricks. I settled on learning all I could from my fellow agents, and then finally moved on.
As I get back into the social media marketing groove, I am starting to find my way again. I had built a nice base following in my previous business, and it’s time to get my name back out there. I still struggle with whether it’s more important for people to know me by name or know me by my brand, but regardless, I want them to know ME. I want them to know Dawn’s Escapades are fun adventures to be shared. I hope they’ll want to share them with me!