Spent a lot of time and effort getting your guide/tour guide license, but you don't get a flurry of requests from tourists asking for a tour, and the actual requests do not come as often as you would like? Unfortunately, this often happens at the beginning of a professional tour guide. Let's figure out what you can do to increase the number of customers who turn to you. After all, the most important thing is to spread as much information as possible about yourself and your services, covering all possible channels of information, because you never know where the next customers will come from.
How to reach tourists who come to your city ?
Tourists begging you to give them excursions
This question is perhaps the most relevant in the work of the guide. After all, it depends on this whether you will have orders for excursions or not. And the more tourists who come to your city know about you, the more likely they will turn to you for services. We have identified 4 ways to reach customers “offline” (not via the Internet, we will return to the Internet) Cooperation with travel agencies In the age of the Internet, when everything you need can be found online, you can easily order guide services there. But until now, many tourists book excursions through local travel agencies, which, in turn, transfer clients to local guides. You, as a guide, need to find out which Russian travel agencies work with your destination and contact them. Of course, travel agencies already have guides they turn to when ordering excursions, but a new contact (guide) is never superfluous, especially in the high season, and, from time to time, you will receive offers from them. Leaving contacts in hotels Create a pamphlet about your services (the simplest), where your contacts will be. Leave these pamphlets at the reception in hotels where compatriots most often stay. Sometimes there may be refusals from the hotel administration, you need to be prepared for this. But, as a rule, they meet such requests.
The creation of the pamphlet itself will cost some costs: creating a design, printing in a printing house. However, in the long run, this event will pay off “more than”. To create a design, contact freelancers who can be found on the relevant sites, for example: fl.ru, freelancer.ru, etc. Many will take up such work for a couple of tens of dollars. Printing at a local print shop doesn't have to be expensive either. The main thing to understand is that just one tour you conducted for clients who found you through this pamphlet will already “recoup” your expenses. Business cards Creating business cards is identical to creating a pamphlet, only business cards need to be given to your clients after the tours. Everyone knows about the power of word of mouth, and so the clients who have been on your tour and were delighted with it will definitely recommend you to their friends who are going on a trip to your area. And a business card received from you will come in handy! Tip: Be sure to put your photo on the front of the business card and make the design associated with your country. Feedback to other guides Do not consider your colleagues only as competitors, especially if you live in different cities of the same country. Often tourists try to visit several cities when traveling around the country. Some guides, when unable (for various reasons) to personally accompany their clients throughout the itinerary, would be happy to hand them over (under certain conditions) to a local guide in the city where the clients will then go. In any case, it's best to contact all guides in your country and offer your services in case someone needs them.
How to advertise your services on the Internet?
A combination of different marketing methods will definitely bring results!
It's no secret that we live in the era of the Internet, when a huge number of people are looking for various services on the global network. All the ways to attract customers that we have discussed above are referred to as “offline methods”. Now let's see how you can advertise your services using the Internet.
Creating your website
This task may seem difficult, but do not rush to despair! Nowadays, making a simple website yourself is many times easier than 10 years ago. Now on the Internet there are a lot of training materials that will explain to you this process of creating a website step by step. Type in the query “create a site from scratch on wordpress”, and there are sure to be hundreds of videos and articles on this topic. As a last resort, you can ask for help all the same freelancers mentioned above. Having created your personal website, you will need to promote it according to relevant requests. To do this, you will have to resort to the services of seo-specialists, or write articles about your country yourself. It must be admitted that such an event as creating your own website takes a lot of time and energy, but the return will be significant if your site gets on the first pages of the Yandex and Google search engines
Creating a Social Media Page
Every year more and more people are looking for guide services and excursions through the social networks “Vkontakte” and “Facebook”. Yes, perhaps, the number of those who are looking for a guide through social networks cannot be compared with the number of queries on the topic “guide” in Yandex and Google search engines, but this method of attracting customers should not be “discounted” either. Moreover, it will not take much time to make your page, and it is also absolutely free. Just don't forget to name your page, for example, “Private guide to …. Excursions in ….”.
IMPORTANT! Here we are not talking about creating your profile, but about the pages of your services. On Facebook, you will find such a page at this link (choose “local company or place”), and “Vkontakte” at this link (click on the “Create Community” button, then select “Public Page”). In order for these links to open, you yourself need to be registered in these social networks.
Registration on guide search sites
There are sites on the Internet where guides can leave information about themselves, and where applications from tourists will come from. All of them cooperate with guides on different conditions. Some take a percentage, in the form of a commission from the tour you conducted, others ask you to pay for the period of posting your information on their website. All of these proposals have strengths and weaknesses, and it is up to you to decide which terms of cooperation are right for you. Below we will give sites where you can post information about your services for free and receive applications directly from tourists, bypassing intermediaries.
- – [Needguide.ru](https://needguide.ru/) – [ Tripzaza.com](https://www.tripzaza.com/about)
Commenting on articles about your country
Another way to advertise your services is to comment on articles related to tourism in your country. On the Internet you will find many such articles, and in most cases they can be commented on. Leave a thoughtful comment related to the topic of the article. Include a link to your website in the comment or leave your phone number. Think about the comment so that it looks natural and reflects the point of the article. Most importantly, don't spam! If your comment is interesting and useful to readers, then, for sure, the site administration will approve this comment, and it will soon appear on the site, additionally advertising your services.
How to keep track of clients
If you do not have the problem of attracting customers and there are always a lot of applications, then, for sure, another question arises – “how to effectively keep track of customers and applications?”. If such a problem exists, then we recommend trying the service for tracking cases – Trello. This is a FREE service. Many guides and travel agencies use it in their work with applications. Here is a video showing how this service works. In Trello, you can add new clients, indicate which excursions they have booked, which days, schedule your work and, most importantly, you can always check your records, both from a computer and from a tablet or phone. It's really very convenient and, most importantly, free!
As mentioned above, you should not expect that, following one of the tips in this article, you will immediately increase the number of customers many times over. On the other hand, having made an effort and following all these recommendations, you simply cannot but have results. The most important thing to remember is that “the more information you leave about yourself, whether it be the Internet or business cards, the more chances that they will turn to you”!