How to be a travel influencer

Hey there, fellow travel enthusiasts! Are you dreaming of becoming a travel influencer, but don’t know where to start? Well, fear not! With these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful influencer in the travel industry in no time. Welcome to Johanna’s masterclass on How To Become A Travel Influencer.

How to become a travel influencer
how to become a travel influencer

How do I start travel influencing?

First things first, let’s talk about what it actually means to be a travel influencer. 

Essentially, a travel influencer is someone who shares their experiences, tips, and recommendations about traveling with their audience on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Using gorgeous photo, video, audio, and written content, they inspire and motivate their followers to explore the world and make the most out of their travel experiences.

Basically, travel influencing means taking awesome pictures and videos of the places you visit, and then sharing them on social media along with helpful tips and insights about the destination. You might write a caption about the best food to try, the best places to stay, or the hidden gems that only the locals know about.

And get this — travel influencers can actually make money doing this! Whether you work with travel brands, tourism boards, or other travel-related companies to promote their products and services, there’s a wide world of earning potential in the travel niche. 

So, if you’re looking to become a digital nomad and love the idea of creating and sharing stellar content about your travels, this might just be the perfect job for you. 

how to collab with travel brands
How to collab with travel brands

But, how do you actually START being a travel influencer?

Well, it’s much the same as becoming an Instagram influencer or social media influencer in any other niche. Start by reading this piece I did on how to work with brands as an influencer. In it, you’ll find plenty of useful tidbits on finding your niche, building your online presence, and engaging with your audience. Because, let’s be honest — you can’t be an influencer without an audience to influence.

Once you’ve established your brand and your following, it’s time to dig into how to collaborate with brands as a travel influencer. This includes doing research on potential partnerships, flirting with the brands, pitching, and negotiating the terms of your contract.

Let’s assume you’ve landed a brand deal and signed on the dotted line. Now what?

Now that you’ve landed a travel influencer brand deal and locked into a contract, it’s time to get down to business! But don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. Here are some things you should do to make sure your brand deal is a success:

Firstly, make sure you understand exactly what’s expected of you. What are the deliverables and deadlines? Are there any specific guidelines or requirements from the brand? If you’re unsure about anything, don’t be afraid to ask questions and clarify any doubts.

Next, create a content plan that aligns with the brand’s goals and objectives. This is basically an outline for the type of content you’ll create, the platforms you’ll use, and the messaging you’ll include. Once you’ve created it, get the brand’s approval before you start creating any content.

You also want to make sure you’re doing a bang-up job with all your deliverables. That means making stunning photo and video content, writing enticing captions, and ensuring that your content is on-brand, both for you and the brand you’ve partnered with. If you’re not sure what type of content the brand is looking for, refer back to your content plan and the brand’s guidelines.

Next, make sure you’re communicating! Respond to comments and messages from your followers on a regular basis. This will help you build a loyal following and increase your engagement rates, both of which are important for your brand deal’s success (not to mention your chances of landing more brand deals in the future).

Don’t forget about staying in communication with your brand partners, either. You’re gonna want to track your results in order to measure the success of your partnership. Keep an eye on your engagement rates, website traffic, and any other metrics that the brand is interested in. Use this information to make adjustments along the way and optimize your content for better results.

Remember, your goal is to create high-quality content that resonates with your audience and promotes the brand’s products or services in an authentic and engaging way. So, have fun with it and let your creativity shine!

How to be a travel influencer on Instagram
How to be a travel influencer on Instagram

What are the advantages of being a travel influencer?

Being a travel blogger or influencer definitely has its perks! Here are some benefits you might see:

  • You get to travel and explore new places. As a travel blogger, your job is to travel and share your experiences with your audience. This means you get to visit new places, try new foods, and experience different cultures – all while getting paid for it!
  • You can work from anywhere. Since your job is online, you can work from literally anywhere that has a reliable internet connection. This means you can work from a beach in Bali, a coffee shop in Paris, or a mountain lodge in Canada – the possibilities are endless!
  • You can make money doing what you love. While not every travel blogger makes a full-time income, many are able to earn a decent living from their blog or social media channels. 
  • You can build a community and make a difference. Travel bloggers have the ability to inspire and influence their audience. By sharing your travel experiences and tips, you can help others plan their own bucket list trips so they can live their best lives! What a privilege, right?
  • Upskilling FTW. Being a travel blogger requires you to be a Jill of all trades. You’ll need to know how to take great photos and videos, write engaging content, market yourself on social media, and more. You’ll become a more well-rounded and versatile professional by learning these skills, which can extend even beyond the world of influencing.

Being a travel blogger can be a super fun and rewarding career path. Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows — there are also plenty of challenges and setbacks along the way. (For one, you’re gonna need to get comfortable with getting rejected, which is never fun. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.) 

But, if traveling the world and getting paid for it sounds like your dream job, and you’re willing to put in the work, travel influencing just might be the most fulfilling job you’ll ever have!

Wondering how to become a paid travel influencer? Lucky you. I wrote an article about it for you. 

How to be a travel influencer
How to be a travel influencer

Pro tip : If you’ve loved this article, sign up for my weekly newsletter HERE. It’s full of industry insights, brand negotiation tips and scripts, events I’m attending, perspective on how to grow your Influencer business and more. I keep it pretty scrappy and real – would love you to join us over there! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP.

How to be a travel influencer FAQs

Do instagram influencers actually inspire you to travel?

As someone who loves being on Instagram and seeing what people are up to, I can say hell yes! Instagram travel influencers personally inspire me to travel. They’ve showed so many places, hotels, restaurants and experiences I woudn’t have know about had they not shared about it  on their social media platform

What is it like to be a traveling instagram influencer?

By now hopefully you know I’m not a travel influencer but a talent manager. That said, I do happen to rep a most amazing travel influencer, Jessica Serna. So, while I can’t speak from first hand experience, I can tell you from having spent a few days with her and her husband Ismail on multiple occasions, I’ve gotten a peak into her world. Since I’m also the one coordinating her trips and working closely with the host destination to plan out her itinerary, I’ve got a good idea of what’s happening for her as a paid travel influencer. 

I can attest that being a successful travel influencer is both exhilarating and exhausting. It’s pretty amazing to have the experiences that travel blogging brings an influencer. Oftentimes doors will open to opportunities and adventures they wouldn’t normally have. 

It’s also pretty beautiful to meet people from all around the world and tell their stories. But, like a lot of full time jobs (especially when travel is involved!), it’s exhausting. Being on the road and living out of a suitcase may drain your creative juices and test your limits of patience. It’s certainly not for everyone. But for those people that it IS for, they live for it!

How many followers do you need to be an influencer?

It’s truly hard to say how many followers you need to be an influencer. Remember that it’s not your following number that determines if you’re an influencer. For example, you can have 100k on Tiktok but still not be an influencer. 

Become a travel influencer on instagram
Become a travel influencer on instagram

To be an influencer means that you’re an expert in a space with a certain type of content. People turn to you for your expertise on something, whether that be luxury travel destinations or parenting tips or how to travel on $30/day. First, determine what sort of information and insight you’ll provide on your social media. Figure out what niche works for you and then build up your audience. 

There’s no overarching minimum requirement to be a content creator for a brand. Every brand and agency has their own requirements, oftentimes based on each influencer marketing campaign and the audience the brand wants to reach. 

What is the main reason for accepting a partnership?

The main reason for accepting a brand partnership is that it’s something you want to do. It’s a partnership that makes sense for your brand and your content. Remember, for your Instagram account, your Tiktok, and your travel blog, you get to decide what happens there. What’s the content? Who are the travel brands you work with? Consider this a real-life “Choose Your Own Adventure.”

How can you become a travel influencer on a budget?

You become a travel influencer on a budget by… being a travel influencer on a budget. It’s really that simple (but not easy!). Go out and do it. Write about it, create great quality content that inspires others to travel on a budget. 

Remember: when you’re first starting out, you won’t be a paid travel influencer right away. It may take awhile to build up your community of Instagram followers or to be recognized as a social media influencer. There’s no way around the fact that it takes time, effort, and at least some money to become a successful travel influencer. 

How many followers do you need to make money as an influencer?

Contrary to popular belief, making money on Instagram isn’t solely based on the number of followers you have. Just because you have a certain number of followers, doesn’t make you an influencer, nor does it mean you automatically make money. 

You make money based on many things: your content, your expertise in your niche be it a travel niche or something else, how much value you provide to your audience, and the level of high-quality professional content you create.

Can you actually make money from being an instagram influencer?

Yes, you sure can! So long as you have an engaged audience and create valuable content that helps people solve problems or gives them answers and insight, then you’re more than halfway there. 

With all the influencers out there, how do you make yourself stand out in the crowd?

I love this question and I think it’s an important one to address. There are A LOT of people with a social media profile & a smartphone in hand with a great camera. Just because someone has a large following, it doesn’t mean they are an influencer.

An influencer is someone who knows what’s up on a topic. Their peers, or people who follow them on social, make a point to follow to get information about the newest hotel opening in Denver or how to spend 3 days in Dallas for a bachelorette party

You stand out by delivering great quality content. You have sharp, professional photos. Your content is thought-provoking & well-written. You bring brand awareness to something. You stay on top of your skills in this often changing industry. You’re constantly learning and evolving, and are open to feedback, finding creative solutions, and being innovative.

How do you become a brand influencer on instagram?

I think the moment you become a real brand influencer on Instagram is when the brands ask you to partner with them and create sponsored content (or, at least, accept your pitch to work with them).  When your expertise and knowledge on a certain topic is recognized by brands and they want to partner with you, that’s when you become a bona fide brand influencer. 

How do you travel for free being an instagram influencer?

You travel for free when a tourism board or hotel for instance, invites you to do so. This often happens when they can see you have the target audience they want to get in front of. While I can’t say it’s dependent on a certain # of following, you do need to have a decently sized, engaged audience. 

In return, you will have to share your travel experience through your content, be it on your travel blog, Instagram stories, Tiktok or any other social media platform you’re on. What I’m trying to say here, is nothing is ever really free. If you’re doing a trade partnership and not receiving any money, you’re trading your time, which does have a value. 

Should you be investing time in Youtube shorts?

This is a personal question that will change from influencer to influencer. In short, you should be investing time and money into YouTube shorts if it makes sense for your brand, and not investing time and money into it if it doesn’t. Hate YouTube? Your target audience isn’t on YouTube? Then don’t be on that platform. Love YouTube? Can you repurpose your IG reels and Tiktoks for YouTube shorts? Then go for it!

Could you reuse old videos and photos and repurpose them?

Yes, you can absolutely reuse old videos and photos. Be efficient & strategic with your time! As they say, work smarter, not harder. No need to reinvent the wheel right? Of course, the content has gotta make sense on whatever you’re repurposing it for, but if and when the content does, yes! Repurpose to your heart’s content. The benefit of having all that content is to use it, to create new travel content, and expand by making related posts to older ones.