Do you love making TikToks? And is traveling one of your biggest passions? If so, now might be the perfect time to combine your two hobbies, and take content creation seriously as a travel TikToker.
As borders reopen and the world reemerges from the pandemic, people are eager to travel now more than ever. Many hotels and vacation destinations are looking to effectively market to an evolving consumer base — with, of course, a focus on Gen Z as their buying power increases. By partnering with TikTok creators to boost visibility, travel brands may be able to connect with young consumers, generate significantly more profits, or at least create buzz online. Here’s where you, someone who makes travel-related content on TikTok, come in.
When looking for a hotel or travel company to partner with, be mindful of how you construct your outreach email. To prompt the brand’s PR team to desire a partnership, it’s important to use the right verbiage in your email. You’ll want to explain clearly what type of content you can provide, and share how the brand can benefit from the partnership. Instead of asking for a free stay at a resort, communicate how you can bring value to the brand through this collaboration. And while TikTok may be your main platform, you may also offer to post on Instagram, write a blog post, or even publish a YouTube vlog documenting your travel experience.
To learn more about the dos and don’ts of being a travel TikToker, we spoke to content creator Alexa (@lilmsawkward) for her advice.
1. Establish yourself as a unique voice
I think what makes TikTok such an interesting platform is that TikTok users often value authenticity over aesthetics, so be you. Bring something unique and different to the table, and you’ll build an engaged audience in no time.
2. Share your knowledge
I like to say while Instagram loves aesthetics, TikTok loves answers. People want to know the who, what, where, and how you are able to do the things that you do, so don’t hold back and share those. It establishes trust and rapport.
3. Get out of your comfort zone
Try out trends. Do a little dance (only if you want to). Be silly. Content creation doesn’t have to be so serious.
4. Be original
Don’t try to imitate or mimic other creators. Really take time with yourself to establish what kind of travel influencer you would like to be. You can always be inspired by other creators, but remain true to yourself, always.
5. Don’t get discouraged by the algorithm
I would honestly pay a million dollars to try to figure out the infamous TikTok (or Instagram) algorithm. It can be a bit wonky, but don’t let it discourage you from posting your content. Posting consistently is the best thing you can do for your platform.
6. Nurture relationships with travel brands
I’m a firm believer that to establish a relationship with any brand, you need to begin by capturing the content they’d like to see.
Start by making the content [travel brands] would like to see, like high-quality room tours. You can then take that content and put it into a portfolio or media kit to share with hotels when you’re pitching for collaborations. I would approach hotel collaborations like I do any brand collaborations — be communicative, be honest, and be professional.
7. Follow up with brands
It’s actually okay to be (slightly) annoying. I honestly knew I was in the right line of work when I realized how chill I am following up on emails. People never admit this, but brands will ghost you.
We have to remember that there are a ton of creators, and sometimes brands or agencies are sifting through hundreds of emails. A simple follow-up can help propel the partnership forward. Don’t be ashamed to follow up more than once, or even ask if they want to hop on a call.
8. Put your contact in your bio
Make sure you put a link to your contact page or contact information in your TikTok bio. I can’t begin to tell you how many brand partnerships I’ve gotten just by having my information in my bio.
9. Don’t enter paid partnerships without a contract
I will never do a partnership if there’s no contract involved. Gifted agreements with no required deliverables don’t really require contracts in my opinion. But the minute we’re talking about the exchange of funds, contracts need to be outlined and signed. I’ve heard way too many horror stories [from other creators] about missed or no payments due to them never having a legal agreement set.
10. Know your worth
Determining rates can be a headache, but I do think many people are being underpaid. Creating content takes effort — from directing to editing to filming. That work should be compensated fairly. Many brands also want exclusivity, ad usage, and organic usage, all of which should be compensated. Don’t be afraid to ask for your rate and negotiate.
11. Send your insights before brands ask for them
Go the extra mile. I find that brands really love it when you send them insights or results of a campaign, before they ask. I like to also screenshot DMs and comments related to the content that the brands may like to see. I usually upload and share these in a Google Drive folder.
12. Don’t burn yourself out
Don’t forget to take care of your mental health. Social media can be a tough and lawless place full of other people’s opinions and negativities. Set boundaries for yourself and your audience, and make sure to take breaks as necessary.