Solo Traveler to Solo Entrepreneur

I became a solo traveler to a solo entrepreneur thanks to my love of travel.

I started traveling about 10 years ago and lived to explore the world. I was constantly trying to find packaged adventures that offered to explore corners of the earth off the beaten track, but I couldn’t find anything. I got tired of the cookie-cutter tourism companies that only highlighted tourist attractions and popular regions. Eventually, I stopped trying and decided to create my own trips. I thought if I was looking for adventures like this, other travelers would too.

Kate, BornWild Travel Adventures

Photo credit: BornWild

After 4 years traveling alone, I combined my passion for travel and wildlife conservation and decided to start my own adventure travel company: BornWild.

I started selling unique day trips during the first two years of business that went relatively well, but the profits were low. To be successful in doing business with day trips alone, you would have to sell most of the working days and devote a lot of labor to earn your living honestly.

Multi-day travel is where the vast majority of profits can be made, so I focused on this industry and it has really paid off.

Entering the world of the adventure travel industry is no easy task. If you’re a solo entrepreneur who has a travel start-up, you don’t have a job.

Kate, BornWild Travel Adventures

What I found most difficult is that consumers part with a lot more money and tend to be very careful before buying. Someone needs a lot more time for reflection and deliberation before buying a trip, than buying a piece of clothing, for example. Selling travel requires a trust between the consumer and the company and it is essential that the company also has a great reputation.

The travel industry is not overcrowded, but there is plenty of choice so it requires work and the right marketing techniques to be seen by the right buyers.

Having a socially aware view of your business also helps. From a business perspective, travelers are becoming more proactive when it comes to traveling consciously and making a positive impact on the planet. Consumers gravitate toward ecological, sustainable, and conservation-based travel and adventure. It is a preference that has been greatly favored in today’s world.

Being socially engaged not only gives praise and credibility to your brand, but it helps people see how dedicated you are to doing good.

We have just devised an African lion safari which is an innovative adventure that combines adventure travel with lion conservation. Expose travelers to resources and experiences you will only find through this adventure. It is the only adventure like this on the market and sets us apart from other companies.

African lion safari

Photo credit: Roya Ann Miller / BornWild

Digital marketing is key to starting your business. I learned how to become a digital marketing expert and it has paid off in many ways. I’ve tried numerous marketing tactics when it comes to selling travel, from magazine articles to ads, to cross-marketing, social media, live facebook, and more. I’ve found that the most effective way is to dominate the SEO world because it can start ranking on Google and be visible when consumers are looking for an adventure. The goal is to capture people while they are ready to buy a trip and this is what is so powerful when you do digital marketing.

My advice to all new travel entrepreneurs is to learn to master SEO and become a digital marketing expert so that you can become a professional from the beginning. This will prepare you for success from the offset and will be extremely beneficial to your business as well as throughout your business journey.

Tips for Starting Your Own Travel Business:

  1. Find a niche that has not yet been made
  2. Become an expert in digital marketing
  3. Publish, publish, publish to rank on Google using SEO
  4. Focus on where your buyers are coming from
  5. Identify what search terms consumers use when they are about to buy, and start ranking them.
  6. Don’t waste time on marketing avenues that don’t work, cover the avenues that do.
  7. Cross-marketing with other companies really helps
  8. Make sure your customer service is 5 star and get good reviews

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