Chris - @authentic_traveling
Chris is on a quest to visit every county in the world. Lucky for us, his content brings us along for the adventure, exploring all things culture and cuisine along the way. Through Authentic Traveling, Chris has introduced his audience to 158 of the world’s 197 countries.
While Chris is known for exploring far-flung places around the globe, what really sets his content apart is an unfiltered and in-depth focus on community. Chris’s goal is to provide a local’s perspective–allowing us to see these unique places through the eyes of someone living there.
As Chris recently shared on South Africa’s The Morning Show, it all started when Chris was teaching English in Thailand. By getting involved in the local community, working and eating with the Thai people, Chris recognized a lack of local perspective in travel content and decided to do something about it.
Whether it’s Maiduguri, Nigeria, Nunavut Territory, Canada, or Majuro, Marshall Islands, through Authentic Traveling, Chris invites us to explore – and appreciate – some of the least-visited and least-understood places in the world.
Chris is a creator in the BENlabs Creator Community.
Q&A WITH Chris @authentic_traveling
Q: What inspired you to become a content creator?
In my quest to visit every country in the world, I often traveled to a lot of lesser known countries with bad reputations. I started just making videos showing people my experience and what these places are really like. I wanted to dispel myths and educate people about the world and this is how I got started as a content creator.
Q: How would you describe your brand as a content creator?
My brand is authentic travel experiences which to me means seeing a country through the eyes of a local. I make videos on trying the street food or even just what it is like to attend church on a Sunday in that country. These give people an unique viewpoint into a country that they might not normally get with most travel content.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you face as a content creator?
My biggest challenge is around prioritization and using my time most effectively. I try and put out a piece of content almost every day so making videos, travel planning, and running a business is a lot of work. On top of that, it is so important to make time for myself to relax and spend time with friends and family. Balancing this all is a big challenge.
Q: What advice would you offer to someone just starting out as a content creator?
Just start. You need to just start making videos. They’re going to be bad at first and that is fine, but by going through the motions you will get better and improve your skills.
TikTok is one of the best platforms to do this because anyone can become a celebrity overnight. It is so much easier to quickly grow an audience on that platform and eventually move them over to other platforms where you can build a better and stronger connection with your audience. The key though is to just start making videos.
When I started out, I had a few fellow creators I met online in a WhatsApp group that encouraged each other to post at least one video a day. This was really helpful in improving my abilities and growing my brand.
Q: What has been your proudest moment as a content creator so far? Why was it so meaningful to you?
I think some of my proudest moments are when my content starts to get media coverage or really start to trend online. My goal is to change people’s perceptions about the world and so when it actually starts doing that and gets noticed more broadly, it is a moment of pride for me.
Q: How do you stay true to yourself and your audience when working with brands?
I will turn down a brand if the fit doesn’t work or it doesn’t make sense for my audience. A lot of my content is really about describing my experience so it is a lot easier to honestly narrate saying exactly what I think.
I also tend to be very positive and not dwell on the negative whether I am working with a brand or not which makes things easier. My brand is all about authenticity and I try my best to give my audience that authentic reaction.
Q: What do you wish brands knew about content creators and the creative process?
I think brands need to be more flexible and trust creators more. Often I’ll get a brief with required pieces that I know will tank video performance. It seems like sometimes the brands are often disconnected with what works on social media.
I think being flexible and giving the creator the opportunity to be creative goes a long way in creating authentic, relatable, and most importantly high performing content.
Chris @authentic_traveling is a content creator and member of the BENlabs Creator Community of over 14 million pre-vetted content creators available for authentic, values-matched brand collaborations.
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