Ultimate Guide on How to Build a Successful Travel Influencer Career in 2023

Travel influencing is one of the most popular niches on social media, with many aspiring influencers trying to build a career in this field. To become a successful travel influencer (or really an influencer or content creator of any niche) in 2023, here are the 8 major steps you need to take:

Share Information That is Valuable

It’s important to decide what you want to share and make sure it’s valuable content — which is essential to engaging your audience! This means sharing information that entertains, educates, and inspires your audience. Be authentic, and focus on what you know and love. Ensure your creativity is centered around these three pillars for long-term success. There are a variety of niches in travel that you can focus on:

  • Adventure travel: This niche focuses on showcasing thrilling outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing, skydiving, and more.

  • Luxury travel: This niche focuses on showcasing high-end experiences and luxury accommodations.

  • Budget travel: This niche focuses on showcasing how to travel on a budget, including tips for finding cheap flights, accommodations, and experiences.

  • Food and drink travel: This niche focuses on showcasing the local food and drink scene in different destinations.

  • Solo travel: This niche focuses on showcasing the experiences of traveling alone, including tips for safety and making friends on the road.

  • Family travel: This niche focuses on showcasing family-friendly destinations and activities.

  • Sustainable travel: This niche focuses on showcasing eco-friendly and sustainable travel practices.

  • Cultural travel: This niche focuses on showcasing the local culture and traditions in different destinations.

These are just a few examples of the different niches that exist in travel on Instagram and TikTok. It’s important to choose a niche that aligns with your interests and expertise and to create content that is valuable and engaging for your audience.

Consistently Share Valuable Information

Develop the discipline to share valuable information consistently. Once you’ve decided on what to share, make sure you’re consistent in doing so. Start with a weekly, bi-weekly, or daily schedule that works for you, and stick to it! You can even schedule your posts ahead of time. Lean into what gets the biggest engagement and brings you the most joy. Choose a pace that works for you and your lifestyle, and pay attention to what resonates with your audience. As you go, you will gradually fall into a more specific niche, which will lead to more engagement.

Consistency is key when it comes to building an audience on social media. Here are some tips to help you create and post content consistently:

  1. Create a content calendar: Plan out your content ahead of time so you always know what you’re going to post. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you have enough content to post regularly.

  2. Set a schedule: Decide how often you want to post and stick to a regular schedule. This will help your followers know when to expect new content from you.

  3. Batch create content: Rather than creating content on the fly, try to create several pieces of content in one sitting. This can help you save time and ensure that you always have content ready to go.

  4. Repurpose content: If you have a successful post, don’t be afraid to repurpose it. You can create a new post using the same content or repurpose it for a different platform.

  5. Use a social media management tool: There are many tools available that can help you schedule your posts in advance. This can help you stay organized and ensure that your content is posted consistently. One app I recommend is Later.

Remember, it’s important to create content that is high quality and engaging. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, try to think about what your audience would find interesting and useful. And don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of content to see what works best for you.

Build an Audience

To become an influencer, you need an audience. I’m not saying you need a million followers to start or to succeed — I’m barely at 1,500 followers on Instagram. Instead, focus on building a small group of dedicated, engaged, and intimate followers who trust you enough to influence their purchase decisions. You can even start locally! Interact with local businesses and create content based on your local following.

Think about where your audience is and choose platforms that work for you. There are so many options to choose from: Youtube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitch, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and so much more!

The content you create needs to come from a place of passion. If you enjoy creating videos over photo content or vice versa, focus on that. If you’re shy speaking to the camera, focus on another way to create content that comes easily to you and you know that you enjoy. By being authentic in what you post about and love, you have a starting point to grow and nurture your audience.

To determine your audience, you can follow these steps:

  1. Define your brand or product: First, define your brand or product and identify what problem you’re trying to solve. You need to understand what your product or service offers and what value it provides to your audience.

  2. Research your target market: Conduct research on your target market. Who are they? What are their interests? What are their needs? What motivates them? Where do they spend their time online? Understanding your target market will help you create content that speaks directly to them.

  3. Use social media analytics: Social media platforms offer analytics that can help you understand your audience. These analytics can tell you about your audience’s demographics, interests, behaviors, and engagement. You can use this information to refine your social media strategy and create content that resonates with your audience.

  4. Conduct surveys and polls: Conducting surveys and polls is a great way to get direct feedback from your audience. You can ask questions about their preferences, interests, and needs. Use this information to create content that addresses their specific pain points.

  5. Engage with your audience: Engage with your audience regularly to gain insights into their preferences and needs. Respond to comments and messages, ask questions, and encourage feedback. This will help you build a relationship with your audience and create content that resonates with them.

By following these steps, you can determine who your audience is and create content that speaks directly to them.

Build Credibility

To build credibility, focus on building popularity and experience. Popularity means building an audience that trusts and engages with you, which can make you seem like an expert in your niche. Humans trust humans that a lot of other humans trust. The more partnerships and experience you have, the more trustworthy you appear. Experience means building a portfolio (such as working with brands and sponsored posts) of past work to demonstrate your expertise — Create a portfolio of your past works to show your value like a media kit. Being popular and having a lot of partnerships doesn’t necessarily translate to credibility — you need the data analytics (your impact and social media engagement) to show what you did and back it up!

Focusing solely on popularity and brand deals/experience may not be the best approach to building credibility as an influencer. While those things can certainly help increase your visibility and reach, building credibility involves more than just accumulating followers and sponsored posts.

Here are some tips to build credibility as an influencer:

  1. Be authentic: Share your genuine thoughts, opinions, and experiences with your audience. People can tell when someone is being disingenuous, and this can damage your credibility.

  2. Focus on quality over quantity: Instead of trying to post as much content as possible, focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience.

  3. Stay true to your niche: Choose a specific niche or area of expertise and stick to it. This can help establish you as an authority in your field and build trust with your audience.

  4. Engage with your followers: Respond to comments, messages, and other forms of engagement from your followers. This can help build a community around your brand and establish a sense of trust.

  5. Collaborate with other credible influencers: Partner with other influencers who share your values and have a strong reputation. This can help boost your credibility and expand your reach.

  6. Be transparent about brand partnerships: If you do partner with brands, be transparent about the nature of the partnership. This can help maintain your credibility and trust with your audience.

Remember, building credibility takes time and effort. Focus on creating authentic, high-quality content and engaging with your audience, and credibility will follow.

Make People’s Lives Easier

The most successful influencers make people’s lives easier. They create content that solves problems and helps people. By doing this, you can build trust, loyalty, and a community of followers who will support you in your career. Use easy-to-read captions, clear calls-to-action, and simple, high-quality photos and videos. Also, make sure to reply to comments and messages, as this helps to build a relationship with your audience! Also a huge ask — Make it easy for your audience to engage with your content (and find your social profiles and links easily)!

Here are a few ways you can make it easier for your viewers and followers on social media:

  1. Keep your content simple and easy to understand: Make sure your content is easy to read, follow, and understand. Avoid using complicated jargon or industry-specific terms that your viewers might not be familiar with.

  2. Use clear calls-to-action: Clearly state what you want your viewers to do after watching your content. Whether it’s to like, comment, share, or follow, make sure you provide a clear call to action in your posts and videos.

  3. Engage with your audience: Respond to comments and messages from your followers, and take the time to build relationships with them. This can help build trust and loyalty and create a sense of community around your brand. Interact with other people’s stories and posts as well.

  4. Make it easy to find your social profiles and links: Include links to your social media profiles in your bio, and make sure your handles are consistent across all platforms. You can also add social media icons to your website or email signature to make it easy for people to find you.

  5. Provide value: Make sure your content provides value to your viewers. Whether it’s through educational, informative, or entertaining content, providing value can help keep your viewers engaged and interested in your brand.

Collaborate with other influencers and brands

Collaborating with other influencers and brands can help you to reach a wider audience and build your credibility. Make sure to collaborate with those who align with your values and audience. Email brands you want to work with! Tag locations, brands, companies, restaurants, and even places you love to show off and gain possible future partnerships — People also find your content through those outlets.

Collaborating with other influencers and brands can be a great way to grow your audience and establish your credibility in your niche. Here are some steps you can take to collaborate with others on social media:

  1. Identify potential collaborators: Look for influencers and brands in your niche with a similar audience to yours. Follow them on social media, engage with their content, and start building a relationship with them.

  2. Reach out to them: Send a direct message or email to introduce yourself and propose a collaboration idea. Be clear about what you’re looking for, and be open to their ideas as well.

  3. Determine the terms of the collaboration: Decide on the details of the collaboration, such as the type of content you’ll create, the timeline, and any compensation or benefits for both parties.

  4. Create and share the content: Once you’ve agreed to the collaboration terms, create and share the content on both of your social media platforms. Make sure to tag and mention each other in the posts and share them with your followers.

  5. Follow up and build a relationship: After the collaboration, follow up with the collaborators and thank them for their involvement. Continue to engage with their content and look for opportunities for future collaborations. Building a strong relationship with other influencers and brands can lead to more opportunities and a wider audience reach.

Network and attend events

Networking and attending events is a great way to meet other influencers, brands, and potential clients. Attend industry events, join online groups, and reach out to other influencers for collaboration opportunities. Chances are you’re already building those relationships today — and if you’re not, take a moment to reach out to others near you or someone you want to learn from.

As an influencer just starting out, networking and attending events can be a great way to get your name out there and make connections in the industry. Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Research events: Look for industry events or conferences that are relevant to your niche. Follow industry organizations and blogs, and search online for upcoming events in your area — EventBrite is a good example of an event platform.

  2. Reach out to event organizers: Once you’ve identified events you’re interested in attending, reach out to the organizers and ask if there are any opportunities for influencers to attend. You can also ask if they are looking for speakers or panelists for the event.

  3. Connect with other influencers: Attend events and connect with other influencers in your niche. Introduce yourself, exchange contact information, and follow each other on social media. You never know when a collaboration opportunity might arise!

  4. Utilize social media: Use social media to network with other influencers and brands. Follow them on all their social media platforms, comment on their posts, and engage with their content. Reach out to them through direct messages and let them know that you are interested in collaborating with them.

  5. Attend meetups and events for influencers: Look for local meetups and events specifically for influencers. These can be great opportunities to meet and network with other influencers in your area.

Remember, networking is all about building relationships. Be friendly, approachable, and genuine, and you’ll be well on your way to making valuable connections in the industry.

Stay up-to-date on industry trends

The influencer industry is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on industry trends. I know it’s hard to stay up to date with so much information that is easily changing. You can start by reading or subscribing to industry publications, following social media trends, listening to podcasts, and attending industry events to stay ahead of the curve.

Staying up to date on social media trends is crucial for any influencer or marketer who wants to remain relevant and effective. Here are some ways you can stay informed:

  1. Follow industry experts and thought leaders on social media platforms and other online resources. This includes social media marketing blogs, podcasts, and online publications.

  2. Attend industry conferences and events, which often feature sessions on social media marketing and trends. Some popular events include Social Media Marketing World, SXSW, and VidCon.

  3. Join social media marketing groups and communities on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reddit. These groups can provide valuable insights, tips, and discussions on the latest social media trends.

  4. Use social media monitoring tools to track keywords, hashtags, and conversations related to your industry or niche. This can help you stay on top of emerging trends and topics that are relevant to your audience.

  5. Follow popular social media accounts and influencers in your niche to see what type of content is resonating with their audience and to get inspiration for your own content.

Becoming a successful influencer requires dedication, consistency, and a willingness to connect with your audience. By focusing on creating valuable content that solves problems and helps people, you can build trust, credibility, and a community of followers who will support you in your career. Utilizing social media management tools, collaborating with other influencers and brands, and attending events can also help to boost your visibility and reach. Staying up to date on social media trends and adjusting your strategy accordingly can ensure that you continue to grow and thrive as an influencer. With these tips and strategies, you can pave the way toward a successful and fulfilling career as a social media travel influencer in 2023.

Happy traveling and influencing!

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