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Instagram Marketing For Independent Travel Agents

As an independent travel agent navigating the choppy waters of Instagram, it can be tricky to know where to start. Instagram acts as a digital portal between you and your target audience, so I’m going to help you dive into using the power of social media to sell yourself authentically with a sustainable strategy. Removing the overwhelm and noise will help you post content that resonates and sparks wanderlust, attract your ideal audience, and make Instagram marketing for independent travel agents feel like a warm summer breeze.

How To Sell Yourself As An


Use Social Media Authentically: How To Go With Your Own Flow

There are a lot of thoughts, opinions and differing pieces of advice out there, so remember this - don’t be afraid to stay in your own lane and post what you think is best. Trends are all well and good, but Instagram marketing for independent travel agents relies on your audience being able to connect with the person behind your profile - that’s you! You are your own selling point, so it’s essential to continuously remind people of who you are and why you’re an expert. 

Through your content pillars, you can connect with people, including a theme relating to your business values and goals and letting people see more about who you are. I highly recommend using a photo of yourself for these kinds of posts - and to all the selfie-phobes out there, I know how you feel but people need to see people. It’s a real game changer when it comes to picking up the momentum as a business on social media.

Fun fact: photos are the most common type of post on Instagram in the travel brand space, but reels generate the highest engagement rates - around 4x higher! This leads me nicely onto the next aspect of selling your independent travel agency on Instagram…

Mix Up Your Content: There Are Plenty of Post Types in the Sea!

52% of travellers said they decided to visit a destination because they had seen images and videos on Instagram, so including lots of visual content in different forms is key to Instagram marketing for independent travel agents. My advice for your content types is as follows…

Reels do have high engagement rates, but many tend to be from travel creators rather than agents or experts. This means that people may not realise who you are and what you do unless you’re explicit about it, so I would recommend that accounts with less than 4k followers do the work to get themselves known before going reelin’ and dealin’. 

Think of it like building a community and nurturing your people, helping them get to know you on a personal level and vice versa. Consider the kind of reels you’re putting out there - destination inspiration is important (and beautiful, duh), but the chances of your audience seeing it and converting to a customer are much lower than with a post that’s about you. Why? Because people buy from people they trust.

Of course, there’s always an exception to the rule…if you’re an active travel agent (meaning you’re travelling the world while doing your job), you could adopt a reel strategy as your main content form. This can work wonders if you produce authentic, original reels content consistently, showing your audience you actually practise what you preach!

In a coconut shell: if you have a smaller following or are just getting started, consider photo and carousel content that informs, inspires and sells you, before diving into the world of reels.

Have a Follow Strategy

When thinking about your Instagram marketing as an independent travel agent it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of ‘following too many people’, or not wanting to follow more people than we have followers…but implementing a follow strategy can be a game changer in terms of reaching the right audience.

Avoid following your competitors (getting caught up in what they are posting doesn’t help anyone) and instead, follow accounts of mutual interest for you and your audience. For example, hotels you work with, key attractions you sell tickets for, tour operators and those you collaborate with.

Following these kind of accounts helps Instagram suggest your profile when people follow that account. You never know when your account could be suggested to your ideal client!

Don’t get caught up on the numbers, worrying about how many people to follow each month. Do what feels natural and organic, following those accounts your clients would love too.

Bonus Tip for Instagram Marketing for Independent Travel Agents: Have a Niche!

Having worked with a huge variety of travel professionals including independent travel agents, I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a niche. If you haven’t niched down or claimed your expertise yet, you’re doing yourself and your clients a disservice!

Travel professionals who can narrow down their specialities can hone their skills, stand out, and have a much easier time marketing. You’ll find that the more clear you are about this, the more your ideal clients will flock to you for exactly what you want to offer.

Besides, it’s much easier to cater for and covert a smaller community on Instagram rather than its entire 1.4 billion user crowd. Examples of niches could be budget travel, honeymoons, luxury holidays or staycations. You can even get really specific and specialise in a particular type of trip such as safaris, or certain countries or regions.

A common concern when niching down is alienating people interested in other areas of travel, but please be assured that this is not the case. You’re simply standing out within your area of expertise, making the work you do that much more aligned. Plus, the Instagram algorithm with LOVE you.


Hopefully, this has saved you tonnes of time Googling and endlessly scrolling on Instagram. Instagram is a powerful platform, and if you can look beyond the sea of businesses in the algorithm to compete with you’ll be able to flourish authentically in your lane. I have seen this strategy work well for my clients, so if you’d like a slice of the coconut pie come along and follow me on Instagram for more tips!

You can also check out my travel marketing services if you’re ready to outsource this to different shores.


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