4 Tips to Succeed as a Travel Influencer in 2021

Travel is not going anywhere and when borders open up again, travel will come back stronger than ever. In this week’s episode, we go through 4 tips to help you succeed as a travel influencer in this day and age through a pandemic. If you want to learn the ins and outs of the industry and how to build a thriving influencer business, tune in!

In this episode we cover the growing influence of video content (7:00), being authentic (9:47), and making connections (14:30).

Audio Transcript

Hi everyone. Welcome back to The Wanderlover Podcast. I am your host Danielle Hu. I am currently still in Hawaii, and I’m just so excited to be recording this episode because so much has happened.

And I just want to tell you guys all about it. So first and foremost, the travel influencer handbook has launched today. It is edition number four. I cannot believe it’s been four years since I watched the first edition, but obviously I’ve updated this version to include everything pandemic related, all new platforms, growth strategies, and whew, it’s a labor of love, but honestly, guys, I am so excited to be sharing this treasure trove of knowledge with you. What I love the most about this edition is it is no longer travel centric and it has the tactics that can withstand a pandemic.

(1m 31s):
The Wanderlover has grown and flourished through coronavirus, which is insane to say because travel and travel blogging and working with travel brands was the core of what we did, but having multiple streams of income, having the systems in place to still be able to travel and work remotely, it is pandemic proof. And this is just something I’m so passionate about. I’ve taken on so many new clients and all of them have been taught the strategies inside this handbook. So I know that it works and last but not least, it has a really pretty branding revamp.

(2m 11s):
Thank you. Fern CoLab, highly recommend for all your branding web design digital needs. If you guys want to check out the handbook, you can find it on my website at the wander lover.com/travel-influencer-handbook, which brings me to my second update, which is honestly, just as exciting as the first. You guys have heard me rave about passion planner. It’s this journal that I’ve been using for the past four years. I first got it in 2017 and it’s like a life coach in journal form. And what it does is in the beginning, you list out what you want to accomplish in your lifetime in three years in one year and three months, and this format was a reason why I was able to quit my corporate job.

(2m 57s):
I knew that I needed to sustain myself, wanted to move to a different country and just all of these new goals, like I wanted to learn conversational Chinese and I wanted to learn Spanish. All of these goals came to fruition because of the passion planner. And so funnily enough, this year when I was leaving for Hawaii, I really needed two day shipping to, I think, get a planner by the new year. I forget why, but I really needed today. Amazon shipping and I went on Amazon and the passion planner was no longer available. I think they only had like dated ones and I had wanted to undated, but it just wasn’t available.

(3m 38s):
And I think I mentioned in one of my previous episodes, my VA recommended clever Fox. So this year I I’ve been using a clever Fox journal and I looked at reviews. A lot of people prefer clever Fox, a passion planner, but honestly it’s been what five, six months. And I miss my passion planner. And every time I look into buying a passion planner, I just felt so much guilt. I felt like I was almost cheating on my clever Fox journal because I was like, I’m, I’m probably just not used to it. A lot of people rave about it. Maybe it’s not working for me, but I need to let it grow on me.

(4m 18s):
And honestly, it just got to a point where I wasn’t really using it at all. And so this past week I get an email from a PR agency who I had worked with in the past. And they emailed me saying that they’re doing a collaboration with passion planner at a hotel in Oahu. And they want me to be their core influencer. Promoting the giveaway. Literally shook almost cried of happiness because I was like, is this real life? I feel like I’m getting passion planner gear. I’m getting paid to do this. I’m getting a hotel stay like, what is my life?

(4m 59s):
And ages came at the perfect time because you know, it’s halfway through the year. I wanted a new planner and everything just fell into place. So first of all, I was in disbelief, but then I took some moments to kind of step back and really assess what had happened. Honestly, the law of attraction at its finest, there’s really no other way to explain this. Other than you telling the universe, what you are passionate about and what you want in your life. And it’s somehow just trickles. It goes through people. It goes through things you can’t even feel or see. And these opportunities get presented to you as over ward for your hard work for all of the time and energy, you put into one direction.

(5m 48s):
So in this case, my business life design, passion planners, and it comes together. So, so beautifully. So as listening through this episode, and maybe you’re feeling a little stuck on your influencer journey, or you’re feeling stuck in your online business journey and you think, no, one’s noticing you think it’s all going to waste, really trust the process and know that great things are happening because the universe works in ways that you can not comprehend. And my intention with this episode, because you are listening because you are placing your energy in travel in the influencer space. My intention is to attract new collaborations, your way, new opportunities, your way, and give you the tools you need to make all of these beautiful opportunities and collaborations happen for yourself.

(6m 43s):
So four tips to succeed as a travel influencer in 2021. And the huge disclaimer, if you’ve been following my page, if you’ve been following behind the scenes, travel influencing does not mean posting pretty photos like that is literally the tip of an iceberg. So if you are listening to this episode and you want to learn editing tips or posing tips like that is in the handbook, but I’m going to give you concrete business tips so that you can grow your income. The first tip is video is king in 2021. And if you’re not optimizing your videos and learning how to produce videos consistently, you are falling behind the curve.

(7m 28s):
So videos in this day and age, it looks like Tik TOK. It looks like reels, and it looks like YouTube. So get familiar with this new format. It’s not only about photos two weeks ago. I actually had a call with an Instagram reels expert. So they’re spending a lot of time and resources giving creators one-on-one guidance from their own personal consultant team. The lady was literally known as Instagram or reels expert, and I could ask her whatever I wanted. It was a one-on-one session. So you can really see how much they’re really pushing Instagram reels to compete against TechTalk. And so after the call, I’m going to share with you a few tips that she’s holding me, but if you don’t have Instagram reels, as part of your content strategy, Instagram is not going to favor your account.

(8m 19s):
They’re actively pushing creators who have a consistent, real posting schedule. And now is the perfect time for you to get comfortable. And it always comes back down to do. I have to write every time I say this, people are like, but I’m not. I don’t know how to create video. I don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera. I don’t know what videos I would create. Honestly, even if you have 100, 1000, 10,000 followers start incorporating videos into your content strategy and the travel influencer handbook, I actually included screenshots from Instagram’s PDFs and masterclasses that they sent me credited them, but not entirely sure if that is open for distribution, but I think it’s so valuable.

(9m 7s):
So I’m going to have it in there. But guys, Instagram and reels is really the key to growing your account. The second tip to succeeding as a travel influencer in 2021 stems from the fact that travel isn’t going anywhere, people are always going to love to travel and people are going to travel as soon as they are able to I’m on the board of advisors for trove tourism. And we know that countries have really big budgets. They want to promote tourism post pandemic, and they’re just waiting for people to give them their money because they know that people have itchy feet and they’re dying to travel again.

(9m 47s):
So during the pandemic and during lockdown, when travel was not an option, what I noticed the difference between successful travel influencers was, and the ones that weren’t successful was authenticity. And just sharing from a place of lifestyle, right? Sharing how they’re spending quarantines, still continuing the content creation process, even when it’s not about travel. And because a lot of people have kind of like rebranded away from travel personally, I didn’t feel comfortable promoting travel. And so I shared about other aspects of my life. And when you can talk to your audience from a place of genuine concern, genuine care and genuine entertainment, and you’re not posing for pretty photos and no one can see your face.

(10m 36s):
This has been the biggest shift I’ve noticed. And I think it is here to stay when borders open up again and everyone’s traveling, I don’t think heavily edited, curated photos and videos are going to reach as many people as photos and videos of normal people, having a good time and really talking highly about the location. So from a travel influencer perspective, you really have to know your brand and what you stand for. You really have to know how you can create content, even when travel is not a part of it. Because if people are only following you for the travel aspect, then it’s kind of sad to say that if that goes away, your brand goes away, right?

(11m 20s):
So we’re going to distinguish ourselves. We’re going to be the successful travel influencers who have a personal brand, even without the travel part. And the longer you stay consistent with sharing your day-to-day life, still creating content. Despite a pandemic, when travel comes back in full force, stronger than ever, you are going to be ahead of the game. So if you need help branding yourself, finding your brand values, your mission with your online presence. I also go through this step-by-step I call the travel influencer a step-by-step guide because it literally is. Step-by-step what you need to be asking yourself and what you need to be sharing on a consistent way basis with your audience.

(12m 4s):
Okay? Next, the third tip to succeed as a travel influencer in 2021 is to expand to other platforms. It’s no longer, only about Instagram and you are going to fall behind. If you just choose to focus on Instagram, remember we never want to have all our eggs in one basket. And if you’re thinking about what other platform you should expand into, think about what you’re most comfortable with. Like, do you enjoy talking? Because podcasting for me is a lot easier than YouTube because I’m not constantly looking at myself. I’m not looking, it’s nothing visual, right? And so podcasting for me, I feel like I can just sit somewhere and talk to you guys for half an hour.

(12m 48s):
And so that works for me. Similarly, clubhouse would be great for people who also, you know, just want to share without having to get dressed up. But if you really enjoy being in front of them camera, think about YouTube. Think about Tik TOK and find right. Find a balance between getting outside your comfort zone and really being able to create new content consistently and going off of this, this isn’t actually one of the tips, but on top of platforms, you’ve really want to have an email list. Running an influencer business is a business. And if you’re not retaining all of your clients, if you’re not retaining your audience members, you’re going to lose out having an email they’ll S even when Instagram goes down, even when all of your other platforms goes down, all of these audience members are interested in what you have to say.

(13m 39s):
So if you have a blog, if you have a website, if you have anywhere that you can start incorporating and getting people onto your email list, that will also be invaluable. If you want to learn more about email lists or even the content strategy that I use. So I can post consistently on multiple platforms every single week, all of these strategies are in the newest edition of the travel influencer handbook. I also want to mention I’ve recently started getting collaboration requests for tick-tock because when it first came out, I went through a 30 day Tik TOK challenge, where I wanted to post every day for 30 days. And so inevitably my following grew and a year later, I’m now getting contacted to be making videos.

(14m 21s):
So it’s hard to start if you listen to, I forget what episode, but with Daniel, Tony, , he is a huge influencer. And even he said, it was daunting at first to tap into tick talk. So everyone starts from somewhere and you just need a push through that first step. And I promise you, it will get easier. My last tip for you, it actually will make you successful in any industry is to make connections and keep your relationships, but is especially so important because as the influencer market is getting more and more saturated, you really want to stand out and you want the PR people, the marketing people, you want to establish a great relationship with them because they will recommend you.

(15m 8s):
And they will remember you. And because of all the behind the scenes, networking and connections, like, honestly, this has been the reason why I get contacted with new opportunities, because I’m basically friends with the people I work with. And I think my clients can attest to this too, but I feel like everyone’s just a person, right? Like, no, one’s more important than the other. You should treat everyone fairly. And in my case, like, I just want to be friends with everyone. So why not, you know, establish that rapport and taking it one step further because I come from a finance corporate background, you really want to maintain professional friendships.

(15m 48s):
So in the end, it’s still business. You’re there to help their marketing team grow. You’re there to help them increase their return on investment. And so having the professionalism to represent yourself as a travel influencer, that is so important. If you want to see exactly how I’ve reach out and communicate to brands, if you want to see my email templates and my voice in doing so, I have my exact pitching template and contract sample in the travel influencer handbook, feel free to just insert, you know, your credentials and change it up to be your voice. But ultimately being a travel influencer is a full-time job and you are running your own business.

(16m 31s):
So really get into that mindset that you have the power to grow and scale it to infinity and beyond like work with whatever hotel, expand to any digital product or service suite, get collaborations with your dream clients. You guys know how much I love my job, how I love my life that I personally designed and helping other people do the same. I made an entire business out of helping other people. And so this resource, the handbook is just so invaluable in it. I also include everything that got me to where I am today and everything that I think would help you.

(17m 10s):
So the list of apps, I use a whole section on monetizing, best affiliate networks, resources, library, marketing, and optimizing, and step-by-step guides. And so it’s really comprehensive. And if you guys are even thinking about starting as a travel influencer, I would be the first to support you through it. And you know that. So whether you’re just getting started on your journey or whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur and influencer, just looking for tips, I hope that these four tips really help you this year. I’ve been studying trends. I’m really on top of things. And these were the main things that I’ve noticed.

(17m 52s):
And if you have them under your belt, I know that you’re going to be successful. And I know you are capable of anything that you set your mind to. All right, guys, thank you so much for Tuning in. If you want a copy of the travel influencer handbook, you can find it in show notes, $10 discount and on Friday. So get your copy today. And I cannot wait to hear how it has impacted you and what you’ve learned from it. Send me a DM. My DMS are always open and have the most amazing week guys.


✧ Download The Travel Influencer Handbook: https://thewanderlover.com/travel-influencer-handbook/
V4LAUNCH for $10 OFF until Friday 🙂
✧ Grab the FREE Wanderlover case study: thewanderlover.com/create-build-scale

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Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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