Using social media in unique ways is helping this trendsetter finish 2017 with $5.5 million in revenue. Caroline Wallace, who hails from Beaufort, SC and now lives in Richmond, VA, has been a travel advisor for 15 years and with Brownell Travel since 2006. As an independent contractor specializing in a variety of niches, Wallace is seeing a healthy increase in referral business from her existing base of family and friends.
“I sell a lot of family travel and I love helping with honeymoons, multigenerational trips, active trips and planning unique experiences in the more out-of-the-ordinary parts of the world,” she says.
She gets the word out about her services using not only great photographs, but infographics on her social media channels, which capture the attention of her clients, she notes. A monthly “Caroline Says…” column, which shares practical tips culled from decades of traveling, is also well read.
“Most advisors who are selling in excess of $3 million a year don’t dedicate much time to social media, but it’s an important way for me to keep in touch with my current clients and reach their friends and family as well,” says Wallace.
Another secret to her success is that she doesn’t try to be all things to all people. “I don’t specialize in a specific destination, but I do specialize in active, immersive travel where I can add value from my own experiences and connections. If clients are looking for packages, I refer them to a colleague,” says Wallace.
Matching the client with the correct vendor is vital and something that Wallace works at constantly. “Never underestimate the power of strong, personal relationships with suppliers. It’s an advantage that has far-reaching benefits for you and your clients,” she reveals.
Traveling the world is another strategy to keep pace with new product. Wallace recently took two getaways to Italy, one to the Amalfi Coast with her Caroline Travels the World travel team and the other to Florence and Lake Como to celebrate her daughter’s college graduation.
With such a strong year in terms of revenue, Wallace feels her business is in the perfect place right now, and she is enjoying every minute of it.
“I love Brownell as it feels like one big happy family while still being a wonderful network of professionals and a great support system,” says Wallace. “Some of my closest friends in the world are affiliated with Brownell.”
When not working or traveling, you can find Wallace, who is married and has two grown daughters (and a beloved dachshund), swimming or power walking with her good friends in Richmond. “I also enjoy entertaining and cooking when time allows,” she says.
There’s no doubt this trendsetter will continue to succeed, since she is following her passion and has found the right balance in life.
“I truly believe that the key to my business, or really any business, is to love what you do,” she says. “I’ve somehow managed to cultivate a network of fun and interesting clients who share my travel tastes, so basically I plan for them the kind of trip I would take for myself. That makes all of their travel experiences authentic because they come from the heart.”