This is a quite interesting issue: how can a travel blogger gain new clients?
The matter is complex for all free-lance workers and much (and I say much) more for free-lance travel bloggers, because before answering to this question, there are many others we have to be enlightened about.
– who’s the typical client of a travel blogger?
– what does a travel blogger exactly do?
– what can I really do among the stuff generally made by travel bloggers?
People just know that the core business is writing about travels.
But each travel blogger who has been working for a while, knows that the matter is not that easy and ‘writing about travels’ is not enough. You must write on super-regular basis and the articles must have some exact features in order to be easily found on the World (VERY) Wild Web.
Moreover, each travel blogger earns a living in different ways, depending on the kind of travels he/she writes about, the experience acquired, the daily blog traffic, the advertisements etc.
In this article I try to give some tips, basing on my personal experience, to travel bloggers that are not yet able to earn a living just with the publicity and affiliation programs and must find:
– new clients who need someone able to write about specific topics regularly (both on the client’s blog and on your TB if well trafficked),
– new projects where writing and sharing articles on specific travel subjects is required,
– companies in which a traveller and story teller (even visual story teller and instagrammer) is necessary.
1 – Ask yourself: what can you really do?
Before looking for new clients we must constantly ask ourselves this question and ‘update our self awareness’ about the competences we’ve recently acquired. Travel blogging is very interesting and stimulating because you can learn on daily basis and each 3-4 months you must update your CV not (only) for clients but mainly to be able to re-establish our potential core-business and learn what kind of clients can be interested in our competences.
Personal example: 2 years ago my experience was mainly based on 2 days trips (like week-end escapes). Now, after my cooperation with an association called Movidabilia, I’ve acquired knowledge about travel opportunity for disabled people and accessible trips.
If I keep it in mind (and visible on my blog) also the potential new clients will be aware of it.
2 – Join fairs and workshops
Your TB activity is like a company. Since travelling is your core business and main ‘investment’ is travelling, do it smart! Invest in business travels at least twice a year to go to some trade fair and meeting.
Giving your business card is ok but is not enought. Show your interest for other people’s activity, for some hotel/travel agency/company news and make yourself be remembered. Focus on acivities you’re really interested in; your true enthusiasm is what really makes people remember you.
If you collect some business card, after the experience send an e-mail to all of this new contacts, with a nice graphic, telling them how much you enjoyed meeting them and looking forward to meeting (eventually working) with them again.
Or, better, send a WhatsApp message to all of them (one by one) with an edited pic, and infograph, anything that can easily attract the attention (the world is even wilder than the web).
3 – Business cards
I personally don’t like giving too many BC for a matter of ecology and because I know that wallets are full of them, just waiting to be thrown away at the next ‘wallet refresh’. I’d say it’s much better giving it in the right moment, after we’ve talked and shared some good opinion and ideas with someone. BC are ok if you think you’ve already struck the person you’re talking to.
Try to have a BC that really shows your personality and activity. Be professional, don’t be cold.
4 – Don’t work (always) at home
I know that a lot of you blogger can get the right concentration working at home, recollecting in tranquillity like William Wordsworth. But we MUST NOT enclose ourselves in our tower, we must get outside.
No matter if you’re working in your hometown or in travel, look for a co-wo. Co-wos are the best places for free-lancers to find new clients and collaborators, because in this places you first of all meet new people working and, most of the times, people you meet there have your same need to meet as many people as possibile to be inspired.
5 – Join projects… for fun
My personal experience says that each new client and paid project that I’ve ventured in, was preceded by at least 3 projects for free.
Creative free-lancing is like this. This could look like something very negative but I think it’s not: every creative worker must feed its mind with people, ideas, projects in order to get new life and inspiration. One time out of three, this funny and inspiring activities can take you some money back and that’s something that not all workers can afford.
This is a good way to be know around. You can’t do this just with social networks (you are aware of it, aren’t you?)
6 – Mind the net
Socialnetworking is funny, isn’t it? But you know… all social nets are different from one another and when you use them for work (to increase your traffic and to self promote with possibile clients) you must be mind their specificities and differences.
Personally, I don’t have a fb page but a simple profile. There are several reasons why I made this choice and I’ll tell you about it in the next article. For now I tell you just a couple of tips about Social management:
– Write on your FB profile that you are a ‘Self Employed (or free lance) Travel blogger – SEO Content writer’ so all of your acquaintances and contacts know it and let other people know. Do the same on twitter;
– Share as often as possible on your social pages the contents you write or projects you make for other clients;
– Share working pics on your Instagram profile (photos with colleagues, of your desk, having fun with a project group etc.) and use tools to increase views (such as TagsForLikes)
7 – Be flexible and… self trustful
Maybe you are asked to write about a destination you’ve never seen and kind of travels you’ve never made. I was often asked it when I worked for a paper magazine to write about the destination needed by the company, bound to airport exigences because the magazine was distributed in a couple of international hubs.
If they ask, I suggest you to do it, to say ‘yes’. First of all because the very first way to start a travel is imagining it.
Then, because a blogger, just like a journalist, is not an expert of all things she(or he) writes but is someone able to study, learn quickly and be reliable and clear in the information given.
A TB is someone with good writing and story telling skills able to search for the infos needed by most of travellers, and to explain thing in the most suitable way for all targets.
Remeber that knowing reality is useless if you can’t narrate it in the right way. Narrating in the right way is exactly your first ability and what makes you important for business and companies.
Hope this tips are useful. Give me your tips and share your experience with me 😉