Building an audience does not require you to be the Kim Kardashian of the Adventure world. It simply means that there are people - other than your mum - who follow your story and value your opinions. Your audience acts as:
- proof of your credibility
- an asset that you bring to the negotiations with your Adventure business partners
- a fanbase that you can sell to.
Every single one of the Adventure Funding Streams requires social influence. The only exception is the more traditional Adventure Grants but the newer ones are all about using your story to spread their message. Browse through the blog posts below to find out more.
What is the origin and purpose of the European Adventurer of the Year Award? Who gets picked and why? And what does winning it bring to the career of an adventurer? I spoke to 2017 winner Fredrika Ek, to jury head Matthias Aßmann and to 2016 Adventurer of the Year winner Louis-Philippe Loncke.
A guest post by outdoor YouTuber Carley Fairbrother. He started the channel The Last Grownup in the Woods two years ago, to help people learn about the natural world and inspire them to get outside and connect with nature.
How can using Reddit benefit an Adventurer? It offers a treasure trove of content on a range of useful topics - from outdoor skills to self publishing. And if used correctly, it is a powerful tool for brand building, mainly through an AMA.
Abigail Wise, soon-to-be Managing Editor at Outside Magazine, sent out the first edition of her newsletter, Sticks and Stones, on 25 July 2016. The mission was “a weekly email newsletter that highlights women's issues, important news, and cool ladies doing kickass things in the outdoor world.”
The no. 1 statement said by every person ever who started an email list is: why didn’t I do this sooner? Lists build over time, and by starting now, your future adventure you will be grateful. That’s not to say that there aren’t obstacles. This post is not about the detail of how to do it - the web is awash with information. This is about why you need to do it.
It is one of the great mysteries of adventure funding that hopeful adventurers put the least effort into the social network that is home to the most money.
No matter which social network(s) you have prioritised for your public-facing adventure profile, you need to be working LinkedIn at the same time. This is the home of all your future sponsors and brand partners. Both right now and in the future.
When you start to use Instagram seriously, and to pay attention to building your following, you become aware of how frustratingly slowly your numbers grow. And, by contrast, how vast other people’s numbers are. Are they really that popular? Or is something else going on?
The biggest challenge any of us face when building an audience online is what to share that will reach beyond just friends and family. Instagram is all about images. Given that adventure is almost inevitably happening outdoors, photographs should be the one thing you can produce.
Why Instagram matters so much and what could it do for you? Instagram is the most important of all the social networks in the adventure space. My survey showed that in the The Business of Adventure community it is the most commonly used of all the public-facing social media networks.
Setting Up Your Online Brand
Most careers, particularly self-employed ones, build over time and accumulate lots of false starts, half-finished ideas and contradictory branding. We never quite get around to deleting or fixing it but the contradictions can sometimes be startling obvious to people we meet for the first time.
If you are at the start of your adventure journey this post is a chance to think about setting up your branding. If you are mid-career, take a moment to pause and check that you have your branding in order. (If the idea of ‘personal branding’ makes you nauseous, think ‘consistency of name + image online’.)
Guiding principle - people need to find you easily, recognise you when they find you, and then be intrigued enough to follow you. Every element you create feeds into that idea.
What with all the different social media platforms, the dedicated blogging platforms and the free web hosting providers, why take on the cost and hassle of running your own website, under your own domain name?
It’s not just about the cheapest solution to get you going right now. It’s also about where you will be in 10 years time. It’s about keeping your audience, your web presence and your archive under your own control, and growing them steadily and thoughtfully.