With major brands like Facebook increasing their focus on recruiting influencers to utilize their platforms, it’s clear that social media is a strong career opportunity for many internet-savvy content creators. More recently, the return to travel in the wake of COVID-19 has made the niche even more popular—and you can benefit from that boost by becoming a successful travel influencer yourself. Like any career path, though, there are some steps you’ll need to take along the way, including building your platform, fine-tuning your image, and following legal requirements.
Choose a niche.
Yes, you know that you want to be a travel influencer. More specifically, though, what do you want to blog or post about? For instance, you might set out to explore as many United States nationals parks as possible. You might start hiking Great Sand Dunes National Park, then move on to camping at Montana’s Glacier.
The National Park Service manages 73 national parks across thirty states and two of the nation’s territories, so you’ll have a long list of trails, swamps, and other destinations for you to experience—and to then share with your followers. You might join forces with the National Park Foundation to raise funds for these destinations or see a spike in followers after the National Park Service shares a particularly beautiful image you posted.
Look the part.
Once you have your niche of choice, you’ll want to make sure your personal style aligns with the brand you want to create. Consider upgrading your look with new clothing that‘s comfortable enough to sit through a flight in, but stylish enough to impress your followers and any brands you may potentially collaborate with down the line.
Whether it’s a stylish blouse or some striking accessories, the right outfit can make or break a social media post—which, as an influencer, is the foundation of your career—especially on visual platforms like Instagram or TikTok.
Build a following.
To be an influencer, you have to have an engaged following on your chosen social media platforms. For content related to traveling, you’ll want to ensure you‘re focusing on both follower counts and engagement rates on platforms such as Instagram.
By creating and promoting content that offers value to your ideal audience, you’ll find that your social media following grows in both size and strength, whether you’re shooting selfies at the Grand Canyon or hiking through Yellowstone. From choosing the right platform to including the most engaging caption and hashtags, every post can contribute to—or take away from—your platform and, by extension, your marketability as an influencer.
Do your research.
To the unfamiliar, being an influencer can seem like an easy, frivolous career. However, it helps brands to grow and consumers to learn about countless opportunities, destinations, and products. You can earn a living, free or discounted amenities, and digital clout as an influencer, but this doesn’t mean there isn’t work involved. Not only will you need to understand the insights and intricacies of social media marketing, editing, photography, content creation, and more, you’ll also have to abide by federal regulations such as those outlined by the FTC.
To become an influencer, always traveling the world while getting compensated for your efforts, you’ll need to put in plenty of work behind the scenes. From the start of your career, you’ll have to have a strong sense of the brand you want to create and the requirements you must abide by to create a job from your social media presence. You’ll need to try some new tricks and tips to create the marketable personal brand you’re aiming for, but you might just find you gain an exciting, impactful career in the process.
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