Your Life Travel: How did you get started as a travel influencer?
Jessica: Becoming a travel influencer was slow and gradual. While I have always loved traveling, it wasn't until about 2015 where my wanderlust and eagerness to see the world really picked up. I started traveling more domestically and internationally, always planning my next destination before I even left the current place I was at. I started organically sharing photos and stories on Instagram and Facebook and honestly had no idea what a travel influencer was when first starting out. It wasn't until 2017 when I realized becoming an influencer was a thing, and slowly but surely realize that travel is what I would ultimately be promoting most out of everything anyway. I was already doing what travel influencers do, so I decided to educate myself and truly understand what it means to be a travel influencer and how to be successful. I am still doing this day to day as I grow my career as a travel influencer.
Your Life Travel: What is the first thing someone should start doing if they want to become a travel influencer?
Jessica: The first thing I suggest is making sure you have your own website/bog. Many influencers these days think that having an Instagram is good enough and where their career can be sustainable, but the truth is, having your own website and/or blog is where your longevity lives. If Instagram were to disappear one day, so would all your followers. With a website, you can control and own that platform forever and constantly drive traffic to it in years to come. So if you really want to become a serious travel influencer, a blog is where it's at. For those who aren't into the blog idea yet, I highly encourage getting on social media and staying active and consistent with your content. Research what others are doing, read books and podcasts to learn about what works for others and always stay true to who you are. It's very easy to want to copy what others do, but YOU are what sets yourself from everyone else.
Your Life Travel: What is your favorite thing about being a travel influencer?
Jessica: The fact that it encompasses all of my passions, desires, happiness and work-ethic all in one. I absolutely love this world of travel and being able to share it with others is the greatest gift I've been given. Aside from being able to show my journey, creativity and be able to work with incredible brands and hotels, it introduced me to the most amazing community I've ever known. Being able to connect with other travel influencers and gurus has changed my life. Being an almost 29 year old with friends who are married and on their second baby, it makes me feel like my desires are less crazy. That other people just...get me.
Do you want to learn how to become a travel influencer? We got the chance to sit down with travel influencer Jessica Litras. Jessica talks to us all about her advice, how she got started, and where she is now.
Your Life Travel: What tips do you have to grow your Instagram account?
Jessica: My biggest tip for growing an Instagram is to NICHE DOWN (your what) and define your TARGET AUDIENCE (your who). The more detailed and specific your Instagram account is, the more it will grow because people know EXACTLY what to expect from you. Other tips include being authentic (true to who you are), bringing value, staying consistent and engaging with your audience.
Your Life Travel: How many hours did you put into your business to start as a travel influencer?
Jessica: What a loaded question. I have a full time job as an Events Specialist with a consulting firm so I already work 40+ hours a week (way less now with COVID). I just did some quick math, and since I started working as a travel influencer, I've put in about the same amount weekly, equalling 80 hours a week of work. Am I crazy? Maybe. But anyone who is working to make sure their dreams come true is.
Your Life Travel Club: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a travel influencer but doesn't have any idea where to start?
Jessica: Take a deep breath, close your eyes and tell yourself that you are ABSOLUTELY capable of this. The hardest part of this journey and being exposed to what it's like to be an entrepreneur, is wondering if you can even pull this off and I PROMISE you that you can. It starts with faith in yourself. What really got me started was constantly being exposed to other influencers, whether they were in travel or not. Watch how other successful people are doing it, read blogs you love, listen to podcasts that are interesting and start getting into communities on Instagram and Facebook so you can learn from so many different perspectives at once. Online courses on becoming an influencer are also a huge success factor of mine. I highly suggest investing in online courses based on the niche you're interested in. I hope to make my own course one day! Overall though, there is no one key to success here for getting started. The biggest advice I can give is to decide what it is your best at and how you can solve problems for people.
We had an amazing time interviewing Jessica and hope that this post was insightful. For a more detailed interview listen to our podcast where we spoke to her at length on iTunes and on Spotify.
Your life travel club
Your Life Travel Club hosts international retreats and trips for women. Our mission is to empower women to travel the world and live their best lives. Connect with us on social media and subscribe to our weekly travel card to get all the insight on up-coming trips, blog posts, podcasts, and YouTube videos we create.