Whenever people find out that I?m a content creator and influencer, one of the first questions I?m always asked?sometimes as a joke?is ?Do you get to travel for free??, I consider myself very fortunate to be able to answer a clear and resounding ?YES? to that question, though not always in the way you think.
You see, before the huge travel influencers such as Jay Alvarrez (@jayalvarrez), Jack Morris and Lauren Bullen (@doyoutravel and @gypsea_lust), and the various other pioneers that paved the way for the travel influencer industry, the concept of being paid to travel was virtually inconceivable to most people. But nowadays, the concept of being ?influencer? automatically implies traveling for free.
How can I get started?
Well the first step, of course, is to focus on establishing your online presence as an influencer and content creator. Don?t get too caught up on the numbers and follower count. As you can see in my previous example, the bulk of the value proposition comes from the quality and delivery of content.
Some of you may be thinking ?Ok, great! I have a camera, and I?m good enough to take photos at hotels, but how do I land my first partnership??, and here?s how!
No one needs to know if the hotel you post on your feed is a partnership or if you paid for it yourself. Of course, I?m not telling you to lie to your followers or pretend that you partnered with a hotel when, in fact, you booked a room online! I only mean that you can first build your portfolio by creating content for hotels that you paid for yourself.
Then, if the hotel likes the content, they may just feature it on their Instagram with a tag crediting you as the photographer! Now you can use those photos to submit to brands as examples of what you can offer them.
Can?t afford to pay for travel and hotels in order to take photos?
Here?s a golden nugget of advice: Try contacting some local hotels in your area and offering to come in during the morning or early evening to create content for them, for free! Tell them you?re a budding travel blogger, and you?re only looking to showcase your skills while offering them value. After you get the content, go home and sleep for free!
Of course, it?s always best to actually stay at the hotels for which you?re creating content, but absolutely anyone with a camera can use this strategy to get started!
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