Steve McDonald: Hi, everybody. I’m Steve McDonald. This is your Two-Minute Retirement Solution. Our guest today is Lori Allen of Great Escape Publishing, and she’s here for the second installment in the one thing from our survey that everybody wanted to know from the coaching series, how to get paid to travel. Welcome, Lori.
Lori Allen: Hi. Thanks for having me.
Steve McDonald: It’s my pleasure. Can you tell our viewers what Great Escape Travel is and what you do for them?
Lori Allen: Sure. We publish home-study courses and run live workshops that teach people how to get paid to travel, so that can be anything from travel writing to photography, videography tours. We run it all.
Steve McDonald: Interesting. Well, when we spoke the other day on the phone, you said there are actually quite a few ways to get paid and paid quite well – I was very surprised, I have to be honest with you – paid very well to travel. Which do you like the most right now?
Lori Allen: That is a very tough question, because they are all fun, of course, but if I were to give you a recommendation, I would say – I would talk about the one that’s probably the most urgent, and I would say urgent because it’s really hot right now and easy to break into. You don’t need a lot of experience or a lot of equipment, and the learning curve is rather short. And that is video. These are people selling small video clips to tourist boards, resorts, people who own apartment rentals or vacation rentals, even small companies and nonprofits. So, you can actually do this with a simple iPhone or iPad or any kind of smartphone that records video, and the tricks to doing it right and actually making money from it are really simple, simple things like using a tripod. You can actually buy a little adapter that will hook an iPhone or an iPod up to a standard tripod, and this steadies it.
And while a lot of people don’t know that a tripod is actually one huge thing that separates an amateur video from one that looks more professional, now that I’ve told you that secret, I’m sure that you can remember. You’ve tried to take videos on your phone before and you see that you’re flopping all around, and then you look at professional videos and they look so great, and you don’t actually know that that one big difference is that they simply put their equipment on a tripod.
So, there are little things like that that people can learn, and right now, because the market is still so new and not a lot of people are doing it, people aren’t picky. In the photography market, which I actually think is a lot of fun, would probably be my first choice, there is a steeper learning curve because you have to know what – the technical specifics are of what makes a good photo, but right now, at least at this stage, not a lot of people are too picky about video, and everybody wants it.
Steve McDonald: Right, but how does a person get started? Do you go to an agency, or do you go to somebody and say, “Hey, do you need video?” or do you go on a trip and shoot the video and then sell it?
Lori Allen: A lot of people already know they need video. There’s a lot of information online right now talking about how your marketing can improve if you have video, if you have a vacation rental, how much that you could improve if you had video. A lot of shop owners want video, and a lot of people already know that they need it, so I think the best way to get started is possibly to just get your foot in the door and offer it for free at first. A lot of our members are exchanging stays in resorts in exchange for taking videos of their grounds, the pool and their spa.
Steve McDonald: Okay, so you would call the resort. Who would you call at the resort? Let’s say you wanted to go to the Greenbrier, and you go, “Hey, who do you call down there to set this up and say I’d like to come down and I’ll swap my expenses for videos?”
Lori Allen: Well, first of all, you have to learn how to do it. You have to learn the technical specifics of actually recording the video, editing the video, and it’s not just a matter of setting your camera on a tripod and just taking one long video. No, you need different videos that you’re going to splice together on your computer. But most laptops actually come with free video-editing software; you just don’t know it. You just drop them in and reorganize them and put some music to it. If you were going to approach the Greenbrier, you would probably need some B-roll already, with some little, tiny clips about things that were already in the neighborhood or resorts you’ve done in the past, and you would’ve had those samples. You could send them the sample. If you say, “Would you be interested in this?” most likely. I don’t know – if I would approach huge resorts at first. I would probably approach more like the B&Bs in that area or the smaller, mom-and-pop stuff.
Steve McDonald: Interesting. That’s interesting. Really? Okay.
Lori Allen: Especially if you were just starting out. I mean, if you had some experience, you could shoot higher –
Steve McDonald: So, you’re –
Lori Allen: – but I probably wouldn’t start with the big guys.
Steve McDonald: You’re saying that they can use their tablet or their smartphone to do this, but if they were going to get more involved, what would you recommend they look at in terms of equipment?
Lori Allen: Well, they would probably need a camera and specifically want a DSLR camera, a digital SLR camera, and specifically one that shoots video or records video for longer than 10 seconds at a time. Thirty seconds is pretty standard, but I would even shoot for one that shoots anywhere from 30 seconds to four minutes of video at a time.
Steve McDonald: On one card?
Lori Allen: On one card, yeah, and that brings up another good point. You will need an extreme pro-level memory card. Not all memory cards are created equal, and if you’ve ever shopped for them and wondered why some are priced at $60 and others price at $4 but they look like they’re the same size, it’s because some write faster than others. So you’ll need a faster-writing one. You also absolutely have to have a tripod. That is a must, must, must, and you probably will want a microphone. A little wireless microphone will cost you about $30, but if you’re going to interview anybody or talk to the shop owner or the resort owner or any of the staff or the people who’re staying there, which would be great additions to your little video, you’re going to want a little wireless mic that hooks right up to your camera.
Steve McDonald: Interesting. So you’re a brand-new person. You’ve never done this before. Who’s the first person you’re going sell this to?
Lori Allen: If I was brand-new and I’d never done this before, I would start right in my own hometown and I would start by taking little, small clips of things that mean the most to me having lived here. I’m out in Alexandria, Virginia, so I would definitely go down to Old Town. I would spend some time getting clips of people walking down Old Town, getting clips of the shops, getting clips of the local bakery and all the fun things that there are to do down there, and then I would look into the B&Bs and I would look at the cutest places, the ones that really pay attention and really care about their image and how well they’re maintained. I would probably look at them first, and then I would come back. After I had all that, I would come back to my computer. I would probably put together a little sample, and I would actually walk in with it on my iPad and play it for them.
Steve McDonald: Interesting. That’s interesting. And, finally, you have an honest-to-goodness free offer for our folks, kind of travel-related, too, don’t you?
Lori Allen: A free offer? I do. Actually, it is travel-related. It could be, I guess, video-related, too, and that’s just one of the projects we’re working on now is a way to learn a new language super-fast, which is really helpful when you’re traveling, but it’s also helpful living here in the United States. And we are looking for 50,000 volunteers to test our new language-learning methods. We say that you can learn Spanish in a single afternoon followed by 15 minutes of practice every day for one month, and you can learn everything you would need in any Spanish-speaking country. And right now we’re just looking for volunteers, volunteers who’re willing to test that theory and prove that it actually works so that we can write that in our marketing material, “It was tested on 50,000 people.”
Steve McDonald: And –
Lori Allen: So, if anyone is interested in that – go ahead.
Steve McDonald: I will list your website address, or do you want it –
Lori Allen: It’s actually the 50000peopleproject.com.
Steve McDonald: 50000peopleproject.com. How about questions? Are you willing to take questions from our Members?
Lori Allen: Sure.
Steve McDonald: Then I’ll run your email as well. Is that what you wanted to have them contact you by?
Lori Allen: Yep. I can give you a special email address, where we can hook you up, and if I can’t answer your question, I can point you to a pro or an expert in the field who can answer your question.
Steve McDonald: That is so generous of you. Thank you so much.
Lori Allen: Yeah, no problem.
Steve McDonald: Your email address is on the phone – is on the screen now, folks, and, Lori, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today. I’m really surprised that this is as easy as you described. Can we get back to you about blogging? Because I know we talked about blogging, travel writing and photography.
Lori Allen: You can absolutely, definitely.
Steve McDonald: That would be great.
Lori Allen: But make sure that you tell your readers that they should learn those tips for video before they go out and just try to handhold their camera. They do have to learn those simple tricks like putting them on a tripod and using a microphone first.
Steve McDonald: Okay, great. Thank you again so much.
Lori Allen: All right. Take care.
Steve McDonald: Take care, Lori. And for everybody here at the Two-Minute, I know we went over two minutes. A couple of you guys complained the last time, but I wanted to get this in. It sounded so good when I talked to her yesterday on the phone. That’s it for this week. For everybody here at the Two-Minute, I’m Steve McDonald. Thank you for being a part of us. I’ll see you next week.