The Importance of Experimental Storytelling with Professional Adventurer Rachel Rudwall
Rachel Rudwall is a one woman wonder. You can find her hosting travel shows on the Travel Channel to writing features and shooting photography for AFAR to producing her own fan-driven travel show. I could list all the big names she's worked with, but long story short she's made a name for herself.
Naturally, this episode starts out with the big question: How have you managed to customize your career and position yourself so well within the industry? Hint: It's not easy. Hint #2: You'll need to figure out a way to stand out, be authentic, and genuinely engage the online community.
“When you start out, you can't always be doing exactly what you love... first, you have to actually learn how to be effective,” says Rudwall.
That involves taking on assignments you can learn from, while pursuing your own passion projects. Sure, it's not your typical 9-5 job; for Rachel, it's more often like 18-hour-long days, years of effort, and jumping through hoops.
“It's worth the exhaustion and being separate from the people I love in the name of storytelling...for me the rewards are worth the risks and sacrifices,” she says. “People that are really good are putting in the work..”
Other topics covered in this episode:
- Advice for branding yourself, pitching your stories, and getting recognized
- Building an audience organically (beware of bots!)
- How to standout in the repetitiveness of social media
- How to avoid Instagram perfectionism syndrome while traveling
- Photo etiquette when taking pictures of and with people
On responsible tourism—
Did you know that only $5 of every $100 spent by travelers remains in countries visited? Here's a few companies we recommend to avoid this travel faux pas:
We also touch on “overtourism” and Rudwall's piece in AFAR: “The Places that Change Us and How We Can Avoid Changing Them.”
- "The Follower Factory: Everyone wants to be popular online. Some even pay for it. Inside social media's black market.” (New York Times: January, 2018)
- Travel+SocialGood conference