Having worked as a journalist for 10 years and having a passion for travel, the idea of making travel videos for money seemed ideal.
The only problem was, I didn’t have any experience with a camera. I didn’t even know how to use the manual settings and would only use the automatic mode. But it didn’t matter. At least when I was getting started.
I gave myself a challenge. On a trip to Lausanne in Switzerland, my goal was to make a travel video about the city in a day. It allowed me to make mistakes and correct them. As it was just practice, I had no pressure, no deadline, and no expectations, apart from my own. I then used the finished video to showcase my work to clients.
Finding a company that was interested wasn’t hard. I discovered that the tourism industry consistently turned to travel videos to sell destinations, tours, hotels, and attractions. Videos grab attention and convey emotion and trust in a way that no other medium can, making them perfect for advertising. This is especially true on social media, where visual engagement is so important.
One of my gigs was for a hotel in the Canary Islands. I was there for a vacation and decided I could offer short videos for social media. Those are easy to sell as they are affordable, and you can offer them as a package (five social media videos for $250 each, for example).
I filmed an entire hotel in less than a day—the reception, a bedroom, the gym, the swimming pool—and created 30-second videos of each of the amenities. As for editing, that part was easy too: five short sequences integrating the logo, a caption, and an attractive message inviting the tourists to spend their holidays there. In total, I received $1,250 for my effort. Not bad for a short day of shooting.
The best way to convince any prospective client is to have video marketing statistics in hand. The remarkable effectiveness they reveal is enough to convince anyone to pay for your services—you don’t need to be a born salesperson. The other trick is to show them your passion. People love passionate professionals, so communicate that. It’s very easy to get passionate about an income that pays you to travel.
Travel videos can finance your trips, allow you to stay in hotels for free, get you free passes to amazing locations, and allow you access to fun activities, all on someone else’s dime.
Once I was traveling with a German tour operator, creating videos of Amsterdam for his website. The budget included boat tours on the canal, visits to museums, and a free pass to Madurodam miniature model park. Not only that…I was paid for the entire trip.
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