Today we’re talking all about branding and how to brand yourself in the luxury travel market online. I am joined by the fantastic Kristin Richards, who is the owner of Girlboss Designer, a wonderful design agency that specializes in doing web design and branding work for travel businesses specifically.
As some of you may know, I started my own design business for female entrepreneurs in the tourism industry in 2020 when I was furloughed from my day job in the travel industry. I was really excited to chat with Kristin because she is a seasoned veteran when it comes to branding and design. In this episode, she’s got some great tips on how to set yourself up for success online.
One of the most desirable niches within the travel industry is the luxury travel market, for a variety of reasons. But it’s not an easy niche to get into, and one of the keys to succeeding in the luxury travel market is branding yourself well. In this episode, we’re focused on very practical approaches you can take to improving your website, your content, and your social media presence. So, there’s a lot that we cover in this episode, and I really hope you enjoy it.
Getting into the luxury travel market niche
Kristin’s background is in graphic design, and she used to work for a women’s travel accessories company. At the time, she hadn’t done much traveling, and she had all sorts of excuses why it hadn’t happened yet. So she decided to leave her 9 to 5 to start working remotely as a freelance graphic designer while traveling through Europe.
While traveling, she met an Australian guy who is now her husband, and she eventually moved to Australia with him. That’s where she started her business, Girlboss Designer. She started off doing branding only but then got into web design as well. Initially, she used to work with women entrepreneurs in general, and the travel focus started with just one travel client. This was a luxury travel advisor who started giving her referrals, and that way, she started getting more work in the luxury travel market niche.
The basics of personal branding
Kristin shares that the people she works with are often concerned about standing out in a crowded market. They wonder how you can create a unique brand when there are other people doing the same thing. Kristin says, “the reality is there’s always going to be people doing what you do, my approach is, the client themselves, they’re the unique piece of the puzzle.”
Two people might serve the same type of client, but they are still each a unique person, so Kristin loves to infuse the client’s personality into their brand as much as possible. She explains that this comes from both the visual brand, as in their style and taste, but also their messaging and the way they show up on social media.
The visual side especially might be difficult to describe, so you could use Pinterest boards and pin things where your eye goes. That way you can see what kind of visuals you are attracted to. Beyond the visual side, Kristin says it’s about “getting more comfortable with allowing your personality to shine. Maybe you’re really quirky or you have a really good sense of humor, or whatever it is. Your personality is unique.”
Allowing your taste and personality to come through in your brand will make your brand different from others, even if you have the same ideal client and niche. People connect with you being authentic and showing up as yourself.
How to brand yourself in the luxury travel market
Kristin shares that “on the visual side, there are design choices that we can make to position you more in the luxury market. Typically, if you look at any luxury brands out there, they tend to be more clean and simple, kind of like a less is more approach where things aren’t cluttered.”
Logos tend to be more typographic, simple, and clean, like a Serif font, for example. Colors might be more neutral, so it could be just the photography that adds color to your website. Of course, you would also use really crisp and high-quality photography, not some pictures you’ve taken on your phone.
Outside of the visuals, you really want to try to understand your client’s position. Kristin explains that you need to know their struggles and what they are looking for in your service. “Someone who is a high-end client probably is not really concerned with saving money, right? They really are time-poor. They have a lot going on. They really value their time and energy over money at all. So that’s what you would want your messaging to focus on, is how you’re able to make things easy for them. Save them time.”
When you work on your website, marketing, and social media, you need to keep all of this in mind, so you really speak to your ideal client. “We just want to put ourselves kind of in the mind of that person. Who is that luxury market client who has that nice big budget and really feel out where are they at and what are they wanting.”
More from this episode
- What is the best way to go about getting high-quality travel photography to use on your website?
- Kristin shares some more real-life examples of how branding has worked for her clients.
- How can you approach branding if you don’t have the budget to hire a branding expert?
- Kristin gives some more great advice for you if you’re interested in improving your brand identity online as a luxury travel advisor, especially around choosing a niche.
Learn more about Kristin
Kristin Richards is the owner of Girlboss Designer, a branding and website design agency and template shop serving women entrepreneurs – with a specialized focus in the travel industry.
Kristin and her design team work with luxury travel advisors from around the globe to launch brands and websites that attract their ideal clients and reflect their own unique vision and style. Many of their travel clients are affiliated with companies like Virtuoso and Gifted Travel Network – and some have been selected as Top Travel Specialists by Conde Nast Traveler.