Updated: May 5, 2022
The goal here is to get money or free items that you would normally purchase for you travel in exchange for quality content.
*Spoiler alert* : There is no guarantee this will actually work but it’s worth giving it a shot and it worked for me. You also have better chances of nailing this if you have an eye for quality content, photography, social media and have a decent following.
With all of that being said upfront, I am also a firm believer that you won’t know things unless you actually try. The worst thing that can happen is that you get ghosted or get politely told no…which **second spoiler alert ** WILL happen!!
When I did this for Nomad Generation I got told NO about 122 times for 1 yes on average so take some comfort in knowing that rejection is part of game here.
The fist thing that you need is a solid plan of what you will offer.
Let’s be clear, the competition is fierce. I hope it’s no surprise for you to know that you are not the only person wanting to get money or free stuff from cool companies. You have to be able to provide content that they cannot actually get themselves or that would be really expensive for them to create or that is super creative!
Ex : Drinking XYZ kombucha at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro
You or someone wearing XYZ sunglasses on a deserted island in the Bahamas
XYZ yoga gear for a sunset yoga photoshoot in the desert
Get it? You have to offer something unique, whether it is the concept or the location. You have way better chances at getting a deal if you offer something special! Obviously, it must be relevant too! You would not approach a nail polish company for a diving trip in Belize.
So basically, it must be a win-win for them and for you. For you, you are getting paid or getting free gear for a trip you are doing anyways and for them they are getting awesome content!
If you are a photographer or videographer, you already probably know the game and how to get around.
If you are not that good of a photographer yourself but still want to give this a go, tell the company that you will partner up with a photographer and that there will be no additional cost for professional pictures. Then you can use website like Model Mayhem and coordinate a photoshoot with a photographer for free as TFP ( time for print ) across the world.
Again, I am no professional in sponsorship and content marketing but from experience, the bigger your following, the better the quality of your content, the better chances you have of landing deals with bigger companies.
If you have 534 followers on IG, your chances of getting a big deal with The North Face are rather low ( sorry )
If you are not a professional photographer, videographer or social media specialist and you don’t have a huge following, I would suggest aiming for smaller companies that don’t have celebrity endorsement deals and what not.
Smaller companies will usually be more open to collaborating with micro-influencers and hearing you out than big corporations 😉
Who to contact?
This depends again on the size of the company, but the marketing department is usually your best chances of getting it right. If there is an influencer marketing manager then that should definitely be who you target.
The best way I have to finding out this information is
A ) LinkedIn
B ) Calling and asking who is the best person for this matter
C ) General email asking to be in contact with marketing
Hope this helps you guys get some mula$$ or cool gear for your next trip !