The lessons you learn from travel never really leave you, but when you are a social media guru, you can’t help but pick up on a few marketing tips as you gallivant around.
I recently spent four weeks travelling through Italy, London and Berlin with my fiancé, and whilst it was great to switch off, I also learnt a few lessons that are applicable to the businesses that I work with.
As a traveller, it was so interesting to see the world through a particular lens, with particular limitations.
As a business owner, it is important to take these key things into account when you are running your business.
Here are the five key lessons I learnt in Europe (without wifi)
1) Make yourself Google-friendly
Despite the fact that I packed half of Australia in my suitcase, I still found myself with plastic bags full of dirty clothes when I arrived in London.
It was a disaster.
So, connected to wifi, I searched Google maps “near me” and put laundromat into the search function.
Low and behold, three laundromats popped up and I navigated myself to the closest one.
If you are not optimised on Google and Google maps, you are missing out on money, plain and simple.
You need to be there.
Another great idea is asking customers to review you on Google so that when people click on your business, it comes up with reviews.
2) Be multilingual
Not so much of an issue in London, but in Berlin, it was a priority to us that someone at the restaurant spoke English, otherwise it was too hard.
Advertise any other languages spoken at your business, particularly at restaurants and hotels.
It makes it that much easier for people travelling from other countries to communicate.
This is also an important hiring strategy. Does a potential employee know another language? They could set your business apart.
Figure out who your biggest market is, and tailor your business to suit their needs.
3) Advertise your wifi
As a traveller, I chose nail salons, restaurants, hairdressers and even shopping centres based on whether they have wifi.
Generation Y has an unquenchable desire to stay connected, so any business that could satisfy that need was a winner in my books.
In Berlin, I literally bought a coffee I didn’t even want from Starbucks just to get access to wifi.
Put yourself on the wifi map and don’t be shy to tell people about it.
4) Your website is everything
Having a website in 2016 is a requirement for any business.
However, to win the hearts of the travellers in the community, you need to have an easy-to-navigate, mobile-friendly website that doesn’t take too long to load.
They want you to be quick, but they want you to be thorough.
Make sure everything your end consumer needs to know about your business is easily available on your website.
And restaurants – make sure you have a pdf menu…
5) Ensure your business is insta-worthy
Travellers love to share a good pic to make their friends back home jealous.
Make your business insta-worthy and create a “mood” so that people can’t help but take their phones out and snap a picture.
Interesting wallpaper, signature dishes, quirky tables or statement table settings can all set your business apart and make it a true “location” on social media.
Make sure when looking at your décor, you think about how others are looking at your business.