Are you a travel enthusiast? Then here is a detailed guide on how to become a travel influencer & get paid to travel
If you’re thinking about becoming a travel influencer in 2022, you should know that the journey ahead will be difficult! This is because there are so many great influencers posting regular content, engaging with their audience, and finding new marketing avenues. To become a well-known name in the industry, you will have to work just as hard, or maybe more. In this blog, we take a step-by-step approach to answer the burning question – how to become a travel influencer and get paid for the effort.
Why Become a Travel Influencer?
A lot of people out there don’t take kindly to influencers. The consensus is that influencers only click pictures and get by on freebies. However, that’s quite wrong and only scratches the surface of a decade-old industry. Influencers who have amassed a massive following have done so by staying consistent, finding a niche, building an audience, and connecting with brands to make money.
Some influencers get by via attention-seeking stunts and cheap-marketing tactics. However, it’s often just temporary and doesn’t work in the long run. Becoming an influencer, or even a travel influencer, allows you to do what you love without the 9 to 5 grind. That being out there, you should know that it’s still a tough job.
You have to learn to be a writer, a photographer, a designer, a project manager, and a marketer, all in one go! But once your profile or page takes off – there’s no saying where it will take you. So if you’re thinking of becoming a travel influencer and getting paid to do what you love – start now. Here are a few steps to help you by:
How to Become a Travel Influencer?
Some of the best influencers in the industry started quite late. They weren’t your average teenagers who discovered TikTok first and made their way into Instagram as veterans. No, some people found a spark in something they did and decided to share it with the world.
From 31-year-olds organizing yoga retreats to 62-year-olds spreading awareness about ageism – there’s just so much that can be done as an influencer. So, if you wish to become a travel influencer, don’t think about how old you are or how silly it may sound – just pull up your socks and get started!
Find Who You Are
Before you begin your journey as a travel influencer, you must first identify the type of influencer you wish to become. Travel is a humongous segment – it includes backpacking, adventure sports, luxury vacations, offbeat treks, architecture explorations, and several hundred more options. So if you think you want to be a travel influencer, you need to identify the type of travel you will indulge in and talk about.
Similarly, while doing that, you have to think about whether or not what you’re offering to your audience is even achievable. You can’t go on three luxury vacations and portray yourself as someone who does that all the time. Nor can you become an influencer who talks about backpacking if you haven’t done that several times already. Bottom line is that you have to first figure out who you are as a traveler before you get started.
Use Different Social Media Platforms
When you’re learning how to become a travel influencer, you should decide early on the platform that you wish to target. If you don’t do that, you’ll be stuck on one platform while your audience will be on another. On the same note, you can’t ignore other platforms either. You have to find one where you are active the most and other additional platforms where you also portray your work.
There are many platforms out there that you can consider, including Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Podcast, Pinterest, and Twitch, among others. Ensure that you create an account on all relevant platforms. But also make sure that you know the primary account where you wish to remain active and where you’ll find the majority of your audience.
Identify Your Appeal
One of the most important steps of how to become a travel influencer is figuring out who you wish to appeal to and why they would follow you. As mentioned earlier, this is a decade-old industry with an over-saturation of influencers. To make it big, you need to stand out! You have to identify what you will offer that other influencers don’t!
For instance, you can’t post about ‘The best places to visit in Amsterdam’ and expect to get a lot of followers. This is because it’s a topic that has been talked about over and over by thousands of influencers. Instead, you have to find a new perspective. You have to go above and beyond to find content that is fresh, appealing, and engaging.
In short, you have to find a niche that targets your audience. You have a few seconds to make an impression. Therefore, before you decide to go big, think about a small audience that you might appeal to – someone looking for information that you can and will offer. It’s a model that’ll get you far as a travel influencer. Later on, you can broaden your niche to include more topics related to travel and amass a larger audience.
Don’t Embrace a Faux Personality
Once you start working towards becoming a successful travel influencer, you may be inclined to become part of the fake influencer culture. That’s because it’s easy to do! You can exaggerate travel instances, post heavily-photoshopped pictures, and pretend to have a super amazing but fake lifestyle – you know where this is headed.
However, in the long run, pulling off a con won’t be easy. You will inevitably get stuck trying to fabricate content. The most simple rule of influencer marketing is to remain who you are. There’s no point in creating a fake persona that gets you a hundred followers but leaves you hanging.
Instead, stick with your work, however amateurish it may seem in the beginning. As you go along, you won’t just learn the tricks of the trade, but you’ll also be able to establish yourself as someone trustworthy. Someone who doesn’t just promote brands that pay money, but someone who believes in the product that they’re selling.
At the end of the day, an influencer means someone who can influence. If you think you have what it takes to be a travel influencer, you will have to put in the hard work. Sticking with your personality will allow you to be more authentic, genuine, and relatable. Some of the best influencers out there share their entire life with their community. And they can do it consistently because they haven’t been faking it all along.
Get into the Grind
Now that you’re aware of the basics of how to become a travel influencer and why there are certain essentials that you must follow to succeed in the business. Without them, you’re just another person with a social media account. It’s all about going through the grind and coming out with flying colors. So, first things first:
Create a username
To get started, you will need a username that is available on all the platforms that you wish to target. Keep in mind that your username should be easy to remember and should at least hint at your offerings. If you want to be a travel influencer, find a name that relays this detail to your audience. Additionally, you should also purchase a domain name if you intend to create your website as your follower count grows.
Start creating lots and lots of content
Remember how we mentioned that it’s almost a decade-old industry? Well, imagine the amount of content that has already been created, shared, liked, posted, re-shared, re-hashed – you get the point. To make it big, you don’t just need authentic content, you need lots of it. Therefore, before you get started, create a content plan. Identify what your audience wants and then get started delivering it.
Unleash the power of hashtags
You may already know a lot about hashtags. You may have already used them on your personal social media page. When starting as an influencer, you may be inclined to include all the popular and relevant hashtags you can find on every single one of your posts. However, doing that without a good plan will leave you exhausted and without many leads.
Instead, you should learn the importance of judicially using hashtags. For instance, Instagram lets you add a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. However, as per social media researchers, posts with only 6 or 7 hashtags tend to have a higher reach than posts filled with hashtags. Another aspect to keep in mind is that using less popular hashtags can boost your reach to a smaller yet interested audience.
Make videos, reels, stories, posts…
Gone are the days when you could create a social media profile, post a hundred good pictures, and get a massive following. Nowadays, there are so many avenues that allow you to reach your audience. So, regardless of the platform that you’re on, make use of stories, reels, videos, and other avenues to reach out to your audience.
Ensure that your content is easy to share
You’ve probably heard the term ‘Viral’. It’s when one person finds something interesting and clicks on the share button, thereby starting a chain reaction. Several influencers have risen to success by gaining a massive following almost overnight. That’s because they posted something that went viral almost instantly.
While an influx of audience often comes and goes, it does give you the push to cross a follower count. Therefore, whenever you post something, ensure that at least 20% of it is shareable. Think about creating content that is relatable, something that elicits an emotional response and becomes worthy of being shared.
Connect with your audience
Anyone can answer the question of how to become a travel influencer. What they can’t answer is how to be a good travel influencer. That is because, at the end of the day, it is the person behind the account that people want to follow. If you can’t spare a few minutes connecting with your audience, answering questions, replying to messages, etc; it won’t take much time for your audience to find someone else worth their time.
Unfollow popular influencers
On another note, if you end up getting too many spam messages and bot-like comments, you should unfollow accounts of influencers and celebrities. While doing this might not boost your overall following, it will ensure that you don’t get a fake audience or bot engagement.
Set realistic targets
Before you get into the grind of becoming an influencer, understand that it is a time-consuming process. It may take you several weeks and months to even reach a follower count of 5,000. Once you reach that goal post, you will qualify as a micro-influencer.
While you wouldn’t be able to bag big projects, you will be able to pick up small influencer marketing campaigns. This in turn will help you create more content and reach out to a new audience. After achieving the 5K target, set another goal – this way, you’ll be able to continue without losing the spark!
Provide content consistently
What’s worse than an influencer that doesn’t connect with the audience? An influencer who doesn’t post! If you want to become a travel influencer, you need to be present and in the scene. You can’t go AWOL for a month and expect to not lose your followers. To stay consistent, you need to plan.
Life has a funny way of turning things around, you may or may not be prepared to post content when life throws you a curveball. So, it’s always better to plan content at least a week (if not a month) in advance. This will ensure that you remain consistent and have enough time to create fresh content.
Build your audience
Now that you’re aware of most of the grind needed to become an influencer, you need to learn more about building an audience. Influencer marketing is often a numbers game. The more following you have, the better campaigns you will be able to bag. However, as an influencer, it shouldn’t just be about numbers for you.
Building a loyal and engaged audience is what takes you from 50,000 followers to a million. Therefore, cater to the people that look forward to your posts. Create content that appeals to them and is authentic to you. If you keep doing that, consistently, you will make it far! After all, that’s how the numbers work.
How to Make Money as a Travel Influencer?
Once you become a travel influencer, you may want to cash in on the success. There are many ways to earn money via social media platforms. However, if you approach them like a business, chances are you will be able to get higher dividends. So, here’s taking a look at the monetary side of influencer marketing.
Learn to Monetize Your Work
Before you get anywhere, you need to learn how to make money as a travel influencer. That is because there are several avenues for you to explore and monetize. For instance, once you have a respectable following, you can indulge in affiliate sales by promoting a product on your page.
You can also advertise on your website, create user-generated content for companies, connect with hotels for staycation reviews, go on adventure tours and review them, and get brand partnerships. There are several ways that you can make money as an influencer. It’s all about deciding the monetization model that works best for you.
Set Some Goals
The bridge that takes you from a part-time influencer to someone who makes a full-time income via influencer marketing is difficult to cross. However, it can be done! The moment you open your account and start your career as an influencer, you need to start setting some goals.
This way, if you someday go viral, you won’t miss out on the fame and will be able to make the best of it by getting sponsorship requests, brand partnerships, and speaking engagements. And even if you don’t make it big overnight, you will have some goals to guide you down the path and to keep you from feeling disheartened when things inevitably get tough.
Create a Marketing Strategy
Once you see your follower count increase, you may want to sit back and relax. That’s exactly what you shouldn’t do! Thanks to an overloaded influencer market, companies hardly approach new influencers to market products. Instead, it’s the other way round. If you want to earn a living as a travel influencer, you should get ready to market yourself.
To find the best work out there, you must be ready to hustle. Before you do anything, you should create a marketing strategy. Some of the most important factors that will go into creating a plan are identifying the brands you wish to approach, the type of content ideas to pitch, and the return on investment you can offer.
Next, you should be ready to portray yourself as an experienced influencer that someone can bet on without the fear of losing their money. Therefore, you should have a portfolio ready to send out. It should include all the information about who you are, your audience, and your past projects. The portfolio should also include some reviews from your previous clients. If you don’t have that, you can always add some content pieces that garnered great interest from your following.
Connect and Create with Brands
To gain a foothold in the industry, you must learn to connect and create content alongside different companies and brands. When approaching a new client, remain your authentic self. Talk about what you can offer, the return on investment the client can expect, and the type of audience that makes up the majority of your follower count.
In case you get rejected (and you will) don’t lose heart! Things often have a way of working out themselves if you stay consistent with your effort. Keep in mind that to enter the influencer marketing space, you have to create a well-researched pitch and have a mindset of building business relationships for the long term.
When you do get a marketing gig, whatever it may be, do make sure that you put in your best effort. It’s important to treat the work that you receive with respect and to deliver what you have promised. This way, you will be able to build a good reputation for yourself. It is also likely that the same client will approach you again for another campaign.
Take a chance on creativity, build a loyal audience, and promote campaigns that are close to your passion. When learning how to become a travel influencer, never forget the reason why you began to undertake the choice in the first place. Remember that and stay authentic. Followers, success and the much-awaited dream will become a possibility.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
After all that’s said and done – becoming an influencer is all about wanting more for yourself. If it’s travel that beckons your soul, then it’s exactly what you should do (even if you do it part-time). Begin somewhere, stick around through the grind, and make your way to some of the most amazing locations on the planet, eat the best food, and talk about the strangest of anecdotes. It’s all about hitting the right nerve and you’re there – to travel, to share, and to create!
And if along the way, you decide to promote yourself or your brand, open a cafe or a hotel, or decide to help people travel, don’t forget to increase your reach. A website will become your one-stop shop to promote your services. With Pathfndr, you can launch your site within minutes. You’ll get access to an AI-optimized system packed with some of the best search features. You will be able to create packages, configure taxes and payments, download invoices and excel reports, and help your audience with end-to-end booking support.