Amanda Bisack first discovered her passion for travel while touring around the UK as a dancer. Fast forward 12 years and dozens of countries later, she is now a successful travel blogger and influencer running her own travel agency.
In today’s episode, Amanda shares how she got started in blogging and the ways in which she’s managed to stand out in the competitive influencer market. She also offers great insight into how she launched her agency, Travelista Travels, and how her two businesses benefit one another.
This is a great episode for anyone interested in influencer marketing or travel blogging. We’ve had a few guests speak about their experience running a boutique travel agency, but this is the first episode in which I chat with someone who has created a travel agency in partnership with a much larger travel brand.
If you are interested in starting your own travel planning business but don’t want to do it completely on your own and would prefer to have the backing of a bigger organisation, this is a great option that many young entrepreneurs often overlook. Amanda shares her experience running this type of business, plus tips on how she uses her agency to reach more brands as an influencer. She offers some really interesting insight on the relationship between travel bloggers and agents, so please don’t miss out.
Becoming a Travel Influencer
After falling in love with travel, Amanda decided to launch a blog to documents her adventures. She quickly gained readership over the course of a year and eventually bartered for her first press trip, which took her to Belize.
Job opportunities abroad seemed to snowball from there. Soon, she was being paid to travel all around the world as a blogger and social media influencer. However, though she has no issue with being called an influencer, she recognises that many have made a bad name for themselves for over promising and under delivering with suppliers. For that reason, Amanda makes it clear that she waited a year before reaching out to any destinations about a potential press trip and opted to barter for her first ones rather than be paid.
When asked if she had any tips for someone hoping to become an influencer or gain more followers on social media, she shared these 2 things: “Try to really focus on having a voice and what that voice is…. and don’t be afraid to really put yourself out there. I think people can get embarrassed about what people think, but If you’re passionate about something and want to see if it can succeed, you have to just do it. Put blinders on and go full steam ahead.”
Growing Her Own Agency
Amanda got her start as a travel advisor by working for an established agency near where she lived. After learning a bit more about the industry, she decided to launch her own travel agency. However, she decided to do it in partnership with a large travel corporation that essentially backs small agencies.
Amanda sees the partnership as a huge asset: “It allows me to run a small boutique personal one on one type of agency but we’re also partnered with a much larger corporation which gives us more backing in the travel world and more amenities for our clients.”
And it seems to be working. Today, she manages a team of 10 agents working for Travelista Travels. Before covid hit, she was scheduled to double her revenue in 2020.
However, despite the hardships of the last year, Amanda keeps a positive attitude. “I think the people in the industry who stick through this will be able to literally stick through anything., and if you stick to it through Covid then you must really love travel and the travel industry,” she says.
Amanda also discussed the biggest challenge of running her own travel agency. She admits that though you can do everything possible to deliver a well organised trip, ultimately “you’re banking on so many other people doing there job.”
However, rather than focus on the negative, she sees any mishaps that occur as opportunities to highlight her worth as a travel advisor. “That’s where we can really showcase why we’re so valuable,” Amanda says.
More From This Episode
How she got her first press trip? How travel bloggers make money? How blogging has helped her build her travel agency? How has she grown her team? Tune in to learn more from Amanda Bisack!