Influencers are one of the go-to marketing channels that brands, both big and small, flock to. As a travel influencer, you have the audience, and you have them captivated. They listen to you, they like you, they go to you for advice, inspiration, and great ideas. Having that kind of power means you have a lot of marketing clout.
What is a Travel Influencer?
Travel influencers explore the world and show their followers the best places to go. Typically you’ll see exhibits, restaurants, and other top destinations wherever they go. Do travel influencers always travel? No, but they do typically live in a city that is a hot tourist destination so that they have plenty of content to go through even when they aren’t traveling internationally.
There are so many different ways that you can direct your brand as a travel influencer, from budget travel and backpacking to luxury travel and city travel to rural hikes. Done right, you can really make an entire, thriving brand based on the way that you like to travel. It is, of course, a full-time job. Influencers aren’t just people who do fun things; they are also marketing and content experts.
How Much do Influencers Make?
How much you make depends entirely on your niche, the size of your audience, and how effective your marketing is. Someone with a full, comprehensive marketing approach that uses all the various social media platforms will have a wider reach that companies may find exciting.
You do need to have a lot of traffic, though it’s not as much as you may think. Micro or nano influencers are increasingly being chosen because of their more niche audience and close-knit community. These influencers have less than 100,000 followers. It is still a lot of people, but knowing that you don’t need a million followers or subscribers is a huge relief.
How many followers you have, of course, will dictate prices. The general formula is to charge brands $100 per 10,000 followers per post. This is not, however, a hard or fast rule. For example, hotels may offer a VIP experience and a lower cash price for the sponsorship. Influencers with a long history of having a very active, engaged audience that actively buys your sponsored items will also have a larger appeal to marketers.
It will also depend on what you can offer. Those with professional marketing backgrounds don’t just offer an audience but their own marketing experience.
You can earn hundreds of thousands each year as an influencer, especially when you leverage multiple monetization programs. You can host sponsored content, can sell merchandise, and earn commissions through affiliate links. There are so many ways that you can take your love for travel and make it into a thriving career, and a few secrets to consider for your personal success include:
How to Make a Living Off Your Personal Brand
To make a living off of your personal travel brand, you will want to:
1. Have a Clear Brand Identity
Be very clear on your brand identity. This means more than just what filter or color grading you use on your posts. It also means what brand persona you use, what niche you focus on, and even what you want your personal message to be. Being unique isn’t really possible, but being clear and doing what you focus on well can really help you stand out.
People crave authenticity online. This is due to the sheer amount of fake images, filters, and untrue content online. Whatever you choose for your brand identity, aim to make it as true to yourself as possible.
2. Become a Marketing Specialist
If you really want to make a killing as an influencer, then you need to be a killer marketing specialist. Not only will this allow you to do more with your own brand, but it will give you an extra opportunity to earn while traveling – which is a huge bonus, especially for those just getting started. Working freelance or as a consultant while you build up your own brand is how you can start living your dream sooner and more effectively.
If you don’t have a huge career in marketing, then consider earning a degree. There are so many incredible online digital marketing masters programs that allow you to focus both on digital marketing and data analytics – two essentials when it comes to building a thriving online brand. As this course is online, it can be completed wherever you go, so you can study, travel, and build that brand and a client list all at once. When it comes to kickstarting a new career, there is no better option.
3. Know Your Worth
Ask influencers at a similar stage that you are at what they are charging, be up-front about your own pricing, and most of all, adapt what you charge as you grow and based on what services you offer. It can be really daunting to assert your worth and value when you first start out, especially as brands try to get you to work for free for exposure. This isn’t how marketers work, and it isn’t how you should work.
Be consistent and do create a formula for yourself so that you can get paid based on the value of work you offer. A sponsored post that takes you an hour to do should be less than the full campaign that includes several photos, a vlog, and a post over multiple days or weeks.
4. Use Multiple Monetization Methods
You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, so consider the multiple ways that you can earn money. Always invest in options that allow you to earn money passively. From selling extra photos and footage through stock companies to creating an online course to even writing or compiling a book, there are many great monetization methods, and exploring all your options will allow you to earn more and more consistently – especially at the start.