Tatsumi and I are two creative individuals living in the midwest; Michigan to be exact. We love our home and the adventures that we are able to create here, but the world has so much opportunity to offer. That’s why we love to work together. We both see that opportunity.
This isn’t a shortcut to free travel or free money.
Traveling for free is only possible with a combination of variables, and those variables vary per person.
One step you can take to set your feet in your dream destination is by defining your value; what do you offer? Are you a content creator, an influencer, a model, a brand, or do you have a poppin’ blog? We’re all creatives and we focus our time and energy on creating something over making money. So traveling to some of these places can appear very unrealistic. That said, how valuable is your content, skill, or influence? Thousands of brands value these things greatly and need creative, professional people to help them grow their brands in these various ways.
After defining your value it’s all a matter of understanding your niche, your style, and your target audience. Using social networks and the internet, look for brands that lack or could use your talent, and sell them on it! This is where you use your creative ability to market your skill to the company.
Email them, go through direct message on Instagram, call them, and use any resource you have! The best way to start your message is by assessing the two way street of value: what can you give them, and what value do you want them to bring you? Once you establish that, send them that message telling them exactly that!
Show numbers, show your work, show your plan! If you want to travel somewhere and don’t have the financial capability to do so, offer your skill or influence to a brand in return for expenses being covered. This may sound like something that you need to have 500k followers for, but there are thousands of brands and the demand is there. It will always be a no if you don’t ask.
Michigan is cold and gray, for what feels like half the year, and connecting with creators and brands can seem almost impossible. The roads become covered with ice and everyone is hiding under blankets. We had to find another way to continue creating art and connecting with more models and content creators. This is when we heard about The Hub, a platform where creative individuals can interact and find each other, filtered through specific skills and location! The Hub brought us to some of our closest friends to this day and I wanted to be apart of what brought us together.
I had previously worked with various brands, agencies, and organizations, so with my experience, I reached out to H Collective with a proposal. This proposal was asking for value in which myself and Tatsumi’s travel expenses were covered, and in return, we would provide H Collective with X amount of photos, a story to tell, and exposure and awareness through social media. Now you may be thinking, Tat and I don’t have much more than a few thousand followers, but we do have a very firm belief that our content is not an equal representation to our following. Using social platforms like Instagram, and the Hub, we reached out to various models and creators that have a larger following to see if they would be interested in working with us on a project. We were able to connect with two models with much larger followings that would be down to travel with us and take photos.
So with a balance of value and demand, we were able to create a medium where we found what we wanted and H Collective was getting great value as well!
Now not every email, not every brand, and not every idea will be an exact fit! I’ve received hundreds of “no’s”, but with research, true passion, quality work, and authenticity I believe any creator is capable of achieving their goal of traveling while shooting for brands they love.
Scroll down for more photos from Ollie and Tatsumi’s trip.