How it works - Travel Genius Websites

HOW IT WORKS

Don't worry! When you decide on a Travel Genius Website, you won't have to spend hours and hours trying to get the layout just right, and hoping your site represents you as the professional that you are, and not like someone who had to build your website yourself.

You will have to gather your content, but we take care of the rest. And even after we hand you the keys to your beautiful new website you'll be free from the tech headaches. We've designed our sites to be as easy to update writing an email.

Secure your spot

Pay your setup fee to secure your spot in line, and guarantee your start date on the calendar. Make sure this is a time when you'll be available if we need to reach you. Sometimes it all fits together nicely, and sometimes there are decisions to be made, so things will work better if you're not on safari somewhere. 

Quick Look

You'll have a chance to review the site before we hand over the keys. If there are any glaring issues, of course we'll fix it, but keep in mind that this isn't a custom-built site, so we won't be doing major design or development changes. 

Gather Your Content

Make sure you have your logo, website content, photos, and brand colors and fonts sorted out so when your start date approaches, you're ready to roll! We'll give you a list of everything you need, and can point you in the right direction if you need help with a few things. 

You Get the Keys

After the site customization has been completed, we will hand you the keys, er, login, to your brand new website.  Don't be scared. We've designed it to be super simple to use, and we're available if you run into something you can't figure out. 

Customize

On your start date we'll start the customization process. This will take from 1 -2 weeks, depending on how things fit together the first time. We'll reach out if any changes need to be made, but don't worry, you won't have to make decisions alone. We'll be available to help. 

Spread the news!

It's time to promote YOU now! So start sharing your brand new website and let everyone know the value YOU bring to every vacation you plan. 

Not sure if a Travel Genius Website is right for you and your business?

Please reach out! We'd love to discuss your needs to see if we're a good fit. 

Have Qs? We've got As.

Because the job of your website should be to promote YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS, not your supplier, your consortia, organizations you're a member of, or anything or anybody else. 

This is your website. You have to pay for it, keep it updated, and drive traffic to it. Your customers and prospects are the ones looking at it. 

Why would you then spend an inch of real estate on your site, or a word of copy, promoting a cruise line or a resort? 

Even if it's a company you love to sell, that your ideal customer loves, there are two things that could happen - 

  1. Your prospect or client sees a promotional price on your site and calls you to book it. Nice! You got a booking! But it's based on price, not on you and the value you provide. This is a race to the bottom, and not one you can win, so often these clients are not loyal and will book with someone else next time if they find a better deal.
  2. Because you've promoted a supplier, and not you and your expertise, it makes you look like just a middle man, or a booking agent. Why would they use you, and pay your fee, when they can get the same experience by booking direct? Or with a big box store that's offering kickbacks?

Anyone can sell that supplier. And anyone can probably match that deal on your site. What they can't match is you and the value your experience and expertise add to the vacation. Everything on your site should be communicating THAT. 

 

I'm not an expert on all of the other companies out there creating websites for people, so I'm just going to talk a little bit about my journey to this place, and what I've done to deliver a website that actually works for you, at a price you can afford. 

I have been a travel agent, and work with a lot of travel agents, and I know that even when you've been doing this for a long time, you sometimes still need to bootstrap things a little bit. 

I have also spent time in the web development and online marketing space, and I know that just throwing any old website up there isn't going to cut it. It needs to look good, work well, and be designed to convert visitors into customers. 

All of that takes time, and sometimes money, to pull off. However, I also live by the 80/20 rule, and I know that usually, 80% of the stuff can be cut, and will still result in 80% of the results. 

So I came up with a system to get that for you. 

Because we use pre-designed templates for each site, a large part of the work is done for us. The basic design is done, conversion principals are baked in, all the tech is in place so the site works and passes all of Google's checks... This way we don't have to spend weeks starting from scratch.

All that's left is to customize it for you so it matches your brand, and you've got a professionally designed site for a fraction of the cost. 

Are from-scratch custom sites great? Sure! But they cost thousands of dollars (rightly so) and after a few years start to look dated, and you have to start all over again. 

We think this gives you 80% of that result, at a fraction of the cost. 

I'm not an expert on all of the other companies out there creating websites for people, so I'm just going to talk a little bit about my journey to this place, and what I've done to give you a great website, at an affordable price. 

First, because we're not showcasing supplier ads and content on your site, we're not getting paid on the backend to promote someone else on YOUR website. You're our only customer, and we put you first. If it's not good for YOU and your business, we don't want it there. That comes at a cost, though, because it means that the only person who pays us is YOU.

Second, all of our sites are almost completely customized. We're not just giving you an option of 6 different colors and adding your logo. We're using your brand colors and fonts, changing the photos and text to match your brand message...  and more. 

And finally, each of our sites is designed by a professional who has worked hard to make sure that each site is optimized for conversion. What that means is that it's built with the sole purpose of turning visitors into customers.

Some of this has to do with the design, and some of it has to do with the technology behind it (how fast the site loads, how secure the hosting is, etc.) We use professional-grade tools and hosting, which costs more than some of the more mass-market and DIY options out there.

We've worked hard to make sure our sites are affordable, but also didn't skimp on the things that matter, because in the end, no site is worth even a small fee, if it's not helping you grow your business. 

There are a lot of factors that go into this but the main differences are the costs of the software used to provide the additional tools and functionality of the sites, and the anticipated traffic. 

A website for a brand new agent, just getting started, is going to have a lot fewer visitors (and a lot less strain on our servers) than the site for a small agency, or an agent with several subagents sharing the same website. 

Nope! You can cancel at any time.

We do not offer refunds so your cancellation will take effect at the end of your current billing period.

Unfortunately these sites are locked into our platform, so you won't be able to take it with you. 🙁 

Your site will be ready to go within 2 weeks of your scheduled design date, assuming your content is submitted by that date. 

If you're just getting started, and don't have your branding in place or copy written for your site, we can help.

You'll need at least your company name and contact details to get started. 

If you don't have a logo, we can create a simple text logo (our favorite kind!) using your accent font. 

We can also make some font and color suggestions, and choose some photos for you to get started with, based on your niche and specialties. 

We do have some standard content on the sites that you are free to use until you come up with some of your own. 

For copywriting help, our friend Emily Matras is a copywriter who works JUST with travel agents. She can do it for you, but also has a course that walks you through writing your own content.  

This isn't a completely custom-designed site, but we're happy to source some photos to get you started. 

We can't promise we'll be able to find photos for super-specific niches (pets in hotel rooms etc.) but we can usually find photos for destinations, and types of travel.

You can change these as you grow your business and have your own photos.  

Not at all! 

First, all of our sites are highly customized, so even sites created from the same theme will look quite different. 

We change the photos, the text, the fonts used and the colors - all to match your brand. 

Second, there are thousands of travel agents, and the chances of someone looking for an agent on line landing on your site AND another site created by us are pretty slim. 

Third, we retire old templates and add new sites every year (excluding the first 2 years, as we grow the portfolio of templates), so each template is only available for a limited time. 

Photos take up a lot of space and use a lot of bandwidth. If you need to upgrade your plan, please reach out and we'll increase your allotment for a small additional monthly fee. Currently $10 per month per 300.

Just let us know! 

You can switch at any time. We do not refund partial months if downgrading, however, and you will lose the features from the higher plan. 

This isn't available right yet, but will be soon. We don't recommend changing your design more than once every 4 or 5 years, though because it can confuse customers, and does take time and resources that are best used promoting your site!  

Unfortunately, this isn't an automated process. We can't just flip a switch and apply a new template to your site, we have to completely rebuild your site using the existing site. Because of this we do charge a redesign fee.  Customers who are with us for 5 years or more will receive half off that fee, though. 🙂 

Maybe.

One benefit of our sites is that they are SUPER simple to use, and we don't want to ruin that. 🙂

And honestly, a lot of times the newest fancy website feature, while cool to look at, doesn't do a lot to make the site work better, or convert visitors to clients. 

That said, we do want these sites to be really effective for you AND make your job easier, so if there's a feature you'd love to see included, let us know! If it makes sense, we're happy to add it. 

Unfortunately, no. (unless you're on the Expand plan) 

The reason we're able to offer our sites at such an affordable price is because we've already pre-designed the templates to be effective, and look good. 

Once we start moving things around and making changes to the basic layout things get really complicated and take a ton more time. 

Most things on your site can be customized, however - the text, photos used, colors and fonts... Just not the placement of primary design elements. 

If you're unsure if the change you want to make is part of the basic layout, please ask! We'll let you know if it's something you can change. 

Our plans do not include email, but you can get an email address to match your domain name through Gmail for roughly $6 a month. 

YES!

If you don't already have one, you can usually purchase your domain name from NameCheap or Google domains for less than $15 a year. 

We'll work with you to get it linked properly. 

No way! We have all the technical stuff covered. 

Currently

  • a photo and video library that you can pull from to add visual interest to your blog posts. 
  • a branding workbook for those of you who don't have your brand dialed in yet with suggestions for fonts, colors, etc. 
  • Blog post outlines to make blogging essentially plug and play
  • a mini-course on content creation so you'll always know what to write about on your blog. 

Are You Ready To Start Promoting Your Business?