Well, first of all, if you're asking yourself that question and that's just a choice you can make, to just start traveling heavily, more power to you. I would just do that because that sounds really fun, if you can do that, fuck it, do it, go live the dream, send us photos.
Something to think about with travel, I think there are different types of travel influencers. You can have a travel influencer who is going to places that maybe you will never go to, very exotic, very hard to reach, unknown places that maybe it's a once in a lifetime type trip for you but isn't something that is like, "Here is my guide to Paris", it's like, "Here's my guide to this obscure Uzbekistani city that you've never heard of." Then there is travel influencers who are like, "Here's cute cafes in Paris, here's cute cafes in Copenhagen, here is my favorite vintage shopping in London, here is my favorite cocktail bar in New York City".
I think first it's understanding, when you talk about travel, what kind of travel influencer are you going to be. Most people don't have the time, money or stomach to do the adventure-based difficult travel, most people want to stay in the four seasons, myself included, be pampered, go to chic places and drink Manhattan's and always be able to order a turkey club at midnight with room service should you need to, that's just me.
Also, that is my travel meal, I don't know why, I never eat turkey clubs, ever, in my life, I would never just order a club, every time when room service, my order is a turkey club, what is your room service order? Let me know. That's a side note, now, moving on. The other kind of influencer, if you're going to be like a guy named Patrick. I look at where a guy named Patrick goes, I look at where Olivier Lopez from lust for life goes when they're in cities because I think that they have great taste and I know that they're well traveled and they go to cute cafes, bars and restaurants and they shop at interesting places.
If you're going to be an influencer like that, I think a great way to start is by looking at your own city and saying, "What can I--" Start documenting, seeing if your audience is reacting well to it, start with the place that you live. Now, if you want to be the other kind of influencer, I think there's a way to test that as well. You live in Portland, you're surrounded by immense amounts of natural beauty, wilderness, weird towns and all sorts of things, you can go further afield on the weekends. You can travel locally and just start to tell those stories, maybe do both, see what your audience is reacting to.
I joked earlier but I wouldn't dump $50,000 into traveling around the world creating content to try and up your engagement and become a travel influencer because I don't think it's going to pay. Part two, travel doesn't pay. Travel companies have almost no budget across the board, it's changing a little bit. Hotel groups are very difficult to work with, they generally want to just comp the rooms.
Most hotel groups are a central company and then the hotel properties are almost like franchises, the corporate doesn't have a lot of power over what happens in each place. You could have a great relationship with the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta, that doesn't mean that you're going to be able to stay at the Ritz in Paris, totally different teams that don't really communicate at all, they really operate as completely separate businesses.
Travel has it's complexities with making a living off of it, amazing things do for a lot of influencers, it's one of the biggest perks. I don't know a lot of influencers making a living off of travel exclusively, that is something to consider. The other thing with being a travel influencer [sigh], either way is you're going to have to be a great photographer. You're going to have to be able to go to a city and capture it without you in it necessarily, in a really unique and interesting way.
Again, another reason to start at home, try and cover Portland in a way that makes it seem really exciting and amazing. I love Portland, I think it's fun, maybe start there.
- Building Audience Trust, Increasing Conversions, Travel Content