Business Idea of the Day: Travel Influencer - 3 minutes read

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Startup Costs: $2,000 - $10,000 Home Based: Can be operated from home. Franchises Available? No Online Operation? Yes

Quit your job to travel the world -- it’s a reality for some and a pipe dream for others, says Entrepreneur's Hayden Field. And still others flip the cliché on its head to turn travel -- or the business of travel -- into their jobs. Travel influencers visit cities, explore hotels, restaurants and sights, and post images to their Instagram accounts. Building and maintaining status as an Instagram influencer does require a lot of work. After all, your ability to achieve high engagement rates, find new followers and get your posts sponsored by brands depends on your ability to provide engaging content day after day from the most interesting (and photo-worthy) locales.

How much money can you make?

"How much Instagram influencers make all depends on two important factors: The size of the following and the engagement rate. According to a report by Later, 79% of businesses rank engagement as the most important factor when evaluating influencers. Quality of followers and industry or niche are a close second (70%) and third (67%). It's no secret that the larger your following, the higher your rates, but what exactly are top tier influencers charging? According to the Financial Times, if you have an audience of 100,000 followers, you can charge brands $2,700 per post. Influencers with four to 20 million followers typically make a cool $6,000 to $17,500 every time they upload a sponsored post." —Elise Darma, Instagram expert

What kind of experience do you need to have?

Besides the means to travel, a smartphone and basic photography skills, you need to know how to initiate brand outreach. “In the beginning, getting work means doing a ton of pitching," writer Grace Sweeney explains. "You’ll send thousands of e-mails and InMails, and direct messages. But before you start blindly emailing brands, do a little nurturing … Get on their radar by posting about the brands you want to work with, well before you reach out. You’ll also want to engage with those brands directly. So try posting comments or positive micro-reviews of products you’ve tried.”

What’s the most important thing to know about this business?

"Switch to an Instagram Business Account. Strong audience engagement is crucial to becoming a successful influencer, and the ability to prove that you have an engaged audience will often be necessary to land sponsorship opportunities. Switching to a business account gives you access to Instagram insights, which lets you evaluate your engagement so you can fine-tune your posting strategy and present hard data to marketers. A business account also allows you to categorize your profile by industry, schedule posts and even promote your own content to expand your reach, all of which will make it easier to manage your account.” —Eric 'ERock' Christopher, marketing strategist and business consultant


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