Roslyn Ranse, founder of Travel Agent Achievers in conversation with Megha McSwain

Growing A Travel Agency In The Post-OTA Era, with Roslyn Ranse of Travel Agent Achievers

Episode Overview

Episode Topic: This episode of TravelPreneur is a valuable resource for travel advisors who are looking to grow their businesses. Roslyn Ranse, founder of Travel Agent Achievers shares her insights and expertise on a variety of topics, including travel advisory, niche marketing, and business investment. She also provides practical tips and strategies that travel advisors can use to improve their sales and marketing efforts. This episode is a must-list for travel advisors who are looking to take their business to the next level. Roslyn’s insights and advice can help achieve your goals and dreams.

Lessons You’ll Learn: In the dynamic travel industry, travel advisory aspirants must embrace lifelong learning and strategic thinking. To thrive, they should narrow their focus to a niche or target market, preventing overwhelm. Investing in self-improvement and business growth through expert hires and skill-building courses is essential. Diverse strategies exist to bolster sales and marketing efforts. Networking with fellow advisors and industry experts is the most effective way to acquire these valuable insights.

About Our Guest: Roslyn Ranse is a Business Strategist, Speaker, and Mentor based in Port Macquarie, Australia. With over 14 years of experience in travel management, she excels in corporate sales and marketing. Roslyn curates various travel experiences, from budget-friendly trips to organizing hassle-free group travel. Her dedication to quality service earned her nominations and recognition in the travel industry. Beyond her professional endeavors, she enjoys outdoor adventures like skiing and cycling. Roslyn also mentors fellow travel advisors, focusing on sales, marketing, and business growth.

Topics Covered: In this episode of TravelPreneur, Roslyn Ranse, founder of Travel Agent Achievers, shares invaluable insights for individuals interested in the travel advisory industry looking to elevate their businesses. Her expertise spans lifelong learning, niche marketing, and strategic investments, providing practical tips to enhance sales and marketing efforts. Roslyn’s guidance is a must for advisors seeking to thrive in the dynamic travel industry. Embrace strategic networking and targeted self-improvement, and let Roslyn’s 14+ years of experience propel your travel business to new heights.

Our Guest: Growing A Travel Agency In The Post-OTA Era, with Roslyn Ranse of Travel Agent Achievers

With a remarkable tenure spanning over 13 years at itravel Australia, Roslyn has mastered the art of curating seamless and memorable travel experiences and travel advisory. Rooted in a background of corporate sales and marketing, she handled end-to-end responsibilities, driven by a mission to offer stress-free travel management services for both corporate travelers and families.

Roslyn’s travel advisory extends across various travel types – from budget-friendly adventures to last-minute bookings, leisure trips, and orchestrating hassle-free journeys for large groups attending events and conferences. In addition to her role as a travel manager, she goes the extra mile by nurturing authentic bonds with clients and suppliers, viewing them as more than just connections. These meaningful relationships extend far beyond the initial point of contact, reflecting her commitment to fostering lasting connections. Her passion extends to mentoring fellow travel professionals, and guiding them on sales, marketing, and operational strategies. 

Recognized for unwavering commitment and customer satisfaction, she was nominated for the Travel Agent of the Year for Retail award in the National Travel Industry Awards in 2017. Her achievements continued with finalist positions in the Mobile/Home-Based Advisor of the Year and Best Industry Support categories in 2022.

Roslyn Ranse, founder Travel Agent Achievers
Travel Agent Achievers

Episode Transcript

Roslyn Ranse: I firmly believe that there’s enough business to go around. I believe in collaboration over competition and that every adviser has unique skills and abilities to take care of unique clients. So for me, what I really suggest is look at who you are and who you want to work with.

Megha McSwain: Welcome to TravelPreneur, the weekly business show for the travel industry. I’m your host, Houston-based travel journalist Megha McSwain. Each episode, we’ll be exploring what it takes to thrive as a business owner in the travel industry. From conversations with leading travel business executives and industry-focused venture capitalists to exploring the innovations that are shaping the next generation of travel businesses, if it impacts the travel industry, we cover it here on TravelPreneur.

Welcome to TravelPreneur. I’m your host, Megha McSwain. Today we’re welcomed by Roslyn Ranse, the travel consultant, business strategist of Travel Agent Achievers, who’s dedicated herself to empowering travel advisors to reach new heights. Welcome, Roslyn. Thanks for joining us.

Roslyn Ranse: Hi, Megha. Thank you so much for having me. It’s great to be here.

Megha McSwain: So let’s talk about travel Agent Achievers. What led you to establish this company?

Roslyn Ranse: So Travel Agent Achievers is really a platform, a community, a series of online communities and courses for travel advisors globally. The reason why I started this several years ago was because I’ve been a travel advisor for 15 years. My background is in the corporate world. I was the director of sales and marketing for a number of colleges and universities in Australia and my job was to promote Australia to the world. So I traveled everywhere and so I became a travel advisor and grew my business from the ground up. And I did that with my business background. I’ve treated it like a business right from day one, even though I’ve wanted to take care of our clients and give exceptional experiences. But as my business grew and my community and advisors around me, I could see that there were differences. But I really struggled when I saw advisors who were overwhelmed, overworked, didn’t know how they were going to get through all of their bookings, were unsure how to use social media, didn’t know how to, you know, go and get new clients, take care of them. And for me, treating my business like a business, it was very structured, organized, systemized.

I had the experience and the knowledge to treat it like a business, whereas a lot of advisors when they start out, they’ve either worked in a shopfront so they get the training, but when they go out on their own as an independent contractor or, you know, working for somebody else, they actually have to have business education. And so no longer are they able just to rely on clients walking into them or doing all the fun stuff with the training for suppliers and for meals or traveling themselves, they actually have to understand that there is work to be done as well. And I had friends and colleagues who were, you know, calling me from the bathroom floor crying, saying, I don’t know how I am going to do this. I don’t know what to do next. Can you help me? And so for me, it started with the podcast because I really just wanted to help advisors wherever I possibly could on bite-size chunks. I don’t want to go out there and say, do this for everything because there is so much that can always.

Megha McSwain: Be overwhelming, right?

Roslyn Ranse: Yeah, absolutely. It was you can do little things at a time that will have a big impact over a period of time. And so Travel Agent Achievers was born from that and the help and the will to really support others because I don’t like seeing other people in pain.

Megha McSwain: So it was sort of your friends and people you knew who were sort of having trouble with that that kind of inspired this. And you mentioned the podcast. So did this start as a podcast before it sort of evolved into a full-blown service? Yeah, it did. The podcast is Travel Agent Achievers with Roslyn Rentz, right? Correct?

Roslyn Ranse: Yeah, that’s it. So it started with the podcast and from that it then the website grew. There were free resources that I created just to give to the listeners, and from that it just grew and grew from there with people coming back to me asking questions, you know, how can I do this? Do you know any more about this particular topic? And it just grew from there. I mean, it’s such a wonderful community, and having a podcast, it’s hard to get the interaction. You don’t know, is anybody listening? Like is somebody out there? Is this helping them? Right. Because the feedback is like crickets sometimes. Sometimes when you do get an email when you get feedback on social media. And for me, when I was able to get those messages, it really inspired me to keep going because I.

Megha McSwain: Knew that makes you want to do more, right? Like it makes you want having an impact.

Roslyn Ranse: Absolutely. Yeah. So to go bigger, go better, go broader because there is so much that we all need. And that’s where for me, it’s really an opportunity to encourage advisors, inspire them, and ignite the passion that you can have, travel business that you absolutely deserve because there’s enough business to go around for everyone for sure.

Megha McSwain: And you mentioned like mean just all the things that have happened in the last couple of decades with like the introduction of social media as such a tool in any business really. So how has your expertise evolved over the 15-plus years of experience? You know that your journey has been through the travel industry. You’ve had to probably become an expert on all of these things that 20 years ago we didn’t have to be an expert on.

Roslyn Ranse: That’s true. And I don’t consider myself an expert in everything. For me, I’m a continual learner, just like everybody else. I’m very specific with my travel business, so I don’t become a specialist in everything. Because if you were to be training with every supplier and every destination, you would be overwhelmed. And then it can become confusing with the message that you give to your clients as well. So I do believe that you need to have a niche or a niche. You know, you need to be able to focus on something and talk to one person, but you will capture everybody around that. And then for me, it’s also about learning business. So I’ve had business coaches and mentors my whole career. I’ve had people that I can reach out to and ask for advice if I feel as though I am weak in one particular area in my business, I will study that and I will learn it until I feel comfortable that that is the level that I need specific to my business. Or if I go, look, I don’t want to be the expert in Facebook ads. That for me could be a waste of my time. So I will then hire an expert because that person knows exactly what they’re talking about and exactly how to help me. And I will engage their services to then take my business to the next level. So I do invest in myself. I do invest in my business. And I think that that’s really important as well for advisors to know that if you want to keep learning, if you want to evolve, if you want to be able to make money in your travel business, you need to evolve as well, right?

Megha McSwain: And place the energy where you think it needs to be. It doesn’t all need to fall on you. It might cost you money, but it’s worth the investment.

Roslyn Ranse: Absolutely. And it doesn’t have to be tens of thousands of dollars. It can be a small short course on learning how to do reels. If you’re struggling in social media. Have a look what’s happening. Have a look around you. What’s working for other people? Is this something that fits with you and your business and where your clients are? I know my clients. They don’t care if I’m out dancing and jumping around or pointing at things. That is not my clientele. So for me, I’m okay to let some of that go and not follow a trend. I’m actually really okay with that, but I know that there are other areas that they need me to step up in.

Megha McSwain: So your podcast, can you give us sort of a glimpse into the strategies? I know you mentioned some of them, but some of the strategies and topics that you cover which help advisors enhance their sales and marketing, and overall business.

Roslyn Ranse: Yeah. So I mean, just recently I have a focus on four different areas in the travel business, sales marketing, because they’re two different things operations and also clients. And those four areas I break down in my Achievers Mastermind program so that everyone can focus on one particular thing each month. But on the podcast, it needs to be broader than that. And so if I’m looking at marketing, for instance, and I see advisors attending a whole lot of supplier events or going out to functions, they might need help on networking. And so I’ll bring in an expert who is a specialist in networking and how to get the most out of it. And then I will have that conversation so that the advisor at the end listener is then able to take action on that and really move forward. We’ve recently had conversations around project management and how important it is to not necessarily have a whole series of files on your desk but to use a system that can work for you and with you to help you scale your business as well. So there are lots of different things from sales, marketing operations, right down to customer journeys and how to set one up and what it looks like for you through to email strategies and putting together a lead magnet. Is that right for you? How can you capture leads? And the one that I just did a couple of weeks ago on my thoughts on coaches and mentors, we have coaches for our kids and their soccer matches. We have coaches for swim teams and every other sport and we invest in our kids. But when it comes to us as adults and business owners in particular, we tend not to do these things. So I gave an opinion on my thoughts on that and do that from time to time.

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Roslyn Ranse: I firmly believe that there’s enough business to go around. I believe in collaboration over competition and that every advisor has unique skills and abilities to take care of unique clients. So for me, what I really suggest is look at who you are and who you want to work with. How can you take care of a certain part of the market or a clientele and look at four different things I look at? Do you want to work with a particular type of person? So is it a family? Multigenerational trips? Is it destination weddings and brides? Who is it that you want to work with? Is it a destination? So do you want to be focused on Costa Rica and you become the expert in Costa Rica? Clients come to people because of that expertise. Do you want to be an expert in a specific area of opportunity for expertise? So I have clients who are specialists in travel for things like pickleball tournaments and that do experiences. Now there’s stuff that cornhole competitions like things that I would never have thought of myself. Here in Australia, we’ve got all sorts of different niches and opportunities for clients to really explore and travel together. And so I do work on those things and say you need to differentiate yourself by taking care of a particular type of person or niche.

Megha McSwain: I think it does help when people sort of pick something versus bouncing around and not really putting 200% into one thing because that’s easy for all of us to do, especially with travel. You know, it really makes a difference when you are honed in on something that I didn’t even know. Pickleball and Cornhole Tournament were so sought after. I know me either sense it makes sense.

Roslyn Ranse: Yeah, that’s right. Because there are like-minded people that want to travel together. I was just talking yesterday with the head of sales for Celebrity Cruises in Australia. He did a guest expert session inside our mastermind and it was really interesting to get the insights of what happens on the other side with a supplier and how they see things happening. And amongst our advisors, there were so many groups and opportunities for us as advisors to really take care of people. You know, are they mahjong cruisers? Is it people that love country music that all want to come together? Is it, you know, the local netball team or basketball team and the families that want to travel together? So looking at what you love to do and who you love to work with is a really good start. But I know for a lot of advisors when they start out, they just need to do everything for everyone and that’s okay. I never want to say to somebody, Focus in on this and that’s all you should do, because that can be really daunting when you’re getting started. Especially, I know for me, I started taking care of my family. Do I book my family travels now? No. They’re probably the most annoying clients and I love them dearly. But no, you need to get to those sorts of areas as well.

Megha McSwain: What is your vision for the future of travel agent achievers like? You’ve been doing it for some time. You’ve got this podcast, but things keep changing. There’s so much new that keeps happening. So what do you sort of see?

Roslyn Ranse: Yeah, the industry is really exciting. We’ve come through so many changes over the last few years, but it hasn’t necessarily been about that. Our industry has changed for many years. Right back to I have clients that I work with that started out with was Intellidex. I think they call it or paper ticketing. I’m like, oh my gosh, Like this is intense. That was hard work back then through to where we are now with so much technology. And so what I’d love to see for travel agents achieve is and my goal is absolutely to help raise the level of business acumen amongst advisors. I want them to be professional business owners and treat their business like a business so that they can make money.

Ultimately, I’d love to have, you know, 10,000 advisors selling over $1 million each, but still being able to have a life. Because when you do get to certain levels throughout your travel business, there are parts and there are times that you need to scale, there are parts, and there are times that you need to be looking at different resources and ways that you can work smarter, not harder. And so I’d love to see Million Dollar Advisors Plus who are able to make great money work with the clients that they love, have a team around them that can support them doing the work that they don’t necessarily like doing, and they’re also able to have the lifestyle that they want and why they actually got into becoming a travel advisor in. The first place because a lot of people have done it for many different reasons, and I want them to have that joy. 

Megha McSwain: Right! I think it’s important to note that we know that there are so many resources in this day and age for us, but no matter how advanced we are in certain programs or on social media or online, it can be daunting for anybody to sort of tackle using those resources on a day to day basis with your job, because one, you have to learn them. You have to figure them out. You get impatient with not being able to figure something out, and that is people of all ages.

Roslyn Ranse: And it is hard to pick and choose as well because there are so many options. So being able to have like we do, test out all the different resources. But I also know what works for me, what works for my business, and what works for the advisors that I work with. And so I really encourage anybody to have a look and see and test things out. If you are lacking or you need support in a particular area to actually dive deeper into it, but don’t go down the rabbit hole, which is what I say about a lot of things. Don’t go down the rabbit hole. And so you’re so stuck in it, you don’t know how to get out of it and have the people and the support around you through the communities, through listening to podcasts like yours and like mine, to learn doing it in places that are really safe, but also in areas that don’t take or distract from your time in the business as well and then implement. It’s the biggest thing, and I see it time and time again. We can all learn, we can all absorb information, we can all get a new tool that looks all bright and fancy. But if you don’t actually implement and take action on it, you’re never going to get anywhere. So I do have a bit of tough love as well that comes through because I want to see the industry change. I want to see people succeed. And it brings me so much joy when I do get messages of support or wins and how people have made an impact in their local communities or in their lives and their businesses. I just think that is the goal. I love seeing other people succeed and reach the goals that they set out for themselves.

Megha McSwain: Well, I think that is a wonderful takeaway. Take action because it can be hard. We can get paralyzed easily. So thank you so much for sharing this information. And I know there’s so much more people can learn from you, so share where they can hear your podcast and where they can keep up with you online or on social media.

Roslyn Ranse: The best place you can find me across all of the social media channels as well as on the interwebs with That’s the name of the podcast as well. Happy to support and help anyone if they want to reach out and say hi, let us know that you’ve listened to this podcast episode that helps something that we love.

Megha McSwain: Let us know if you liked it. Let us know what we could be doing better. Exactly. That helps us. Well, thank you so much, Roslyn. This is so helpful and we look forward to speaking with you again in the future. There’s always so much to talk about. Things are always happening. So we welcome you back on TravelPreneur anytime.

Roslyn Ranse: Thank you so much for having me and congratulations on the podcast. Love that. There is a lot out there for our listeners and the audience in the travel community. So congratulations on that and thank you so much for having me.

Megha McSwain: Thank you. Thanks for listening to TravelPreneur.

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