We sat down with travel influencers Chanel and Stevo from @HowFarFromHome to get answers to questions every social media marketer has pondered. Find out how this traveling pair built a loyal Instagram community from the ground up and learn what it takes to collaborate with influencers - straight from the source!
1. How did you go from traveler to travel influencer? When did you first realize that this was something that could result in a career?Chanel: There were a few moments in our first year of travel (back in 2015) that made me say, “What?! Is this even happening?”. After our photo project was featured by Instagram (with one of us holding a chalkboard in each photo, with the total amount of kilometers traveled) we received a lot of interest and PR.
It had come full circle, and with a couple retainer clients already requesting our photography and films, there was no way we were going to stop. We had somehow figured out a way to turn this passion project, into a lifestyle and career – we still can’t believe it.
2. Brands must be reaching out to you for collaborations frequently. How do you determine who you would like to do business with? Have brands changed their approach in the past few years?
That being said, we still put a lot of work into being proactive and approaching brands out of the blue. There are a lot of influencers and content creators out there, so it’s important to reach out, and pitch ideas that we think would not only benefit a brand but also benefit our community.
3. Social media influencers are so successful because they understand the importance of authenticity. How do you strike a balance between sponsored posts and your own? Is there a balance?
4. What makes a successful partnership between a brand and an influencer? Do you have any favorite sponsored campaigns you’ve worked on?
Trust is also a big part – brands that dictate how and when and what you need to do with your community often miss the mark because it’s not their community, so allowing the influencer to interpret the brand’s objectives and brief in their own way is also vitally important.
A clear brief from the beginning is also key. We’ve worked with a couple brands that have changed their mind or wanted to change/add things after the campaign content was shot, making it very difficult for us to produce top quality work. We’ve been lucky to have worked with some incredible international brands, and our most successful and long-standing partnership has been with The Luxury Collection. To date, we’ve visited over 15 TLC hotels around the world, and we’re constantly in contact with them. We have a great relationship. They trust us, and as a result, we’re able to produce beautiful and creative work for them, especially because we’re always willing to go above and beyond for them because they always do the same for us.
5. Both of you came from the creative/advertising world before you embarked on your life-changing adventure. What have you learned from being on the other side of the camera?
That being said, we have taken many of the lessons we learned in advertising and used them to grow our brand. I honestly believe that the years we worked were invaluable to our current success, so just as we have told many schools and college students who ask us, “How do you do it?” – don’t quit that day job! Get schooled, get some experience, and then go off into the wilderness or on a trip around the world – it’ll be a lot more beneficial for you that way.
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