How to be an awesome guide
Learn from others.
Do a free tour with another experienced guide in your city, or wherever you travel. You will probably learn a lot from someone who has done a few tours before. Pay special attention to how they talk, how they express themselves and how they get their audience's attention, etc. Also pay attention to the travelers' reaction, and what they like most, or whether they get bored at some point.
Post your tour on your Facebook wall and encourage friends and family to try do a GuruWalk with you. Afterwards, they'll be able to share their opinion and potentially write a review, which in turn will make other people trust you as a guide and book your tour.
How to earn more money
- At the beginning, you should explain the concept of a pay-as-you-go tour where customers pay at the end what they consider appropriate, or the amount they can afford. Most of the people are aware of this, but it's better to reemphasize. If they have any doubts, make it clear that nobody else is paying you for that, but that it is your formal job, and you earn a living thanks to the tips you receive.
- The duration of the tour should be between two and three hours. Anything longer than that is quite a stretch. At the beginning of your tour, let people know how long it's gonna take. People don't want to be left in the dark, so the more you can tell them upfront about the places you are going to visit, the better. However if have some special surprise moment for them, feel free to not reveal that secret until the end.
- Increase your group size. You may want to be there 15-30 minutes before the start and try to attract other travelers. Wearing a flashy t-shirt with the words “free tour” can grab other people's attention to join the group. If you want to include the GuruWalk logo on your t-shirt, get in touch with us, and we will get one for you and ship it to you.
- Connect with your audience. Whenever you share something with your audience, make sure that people can hear and see you. A common mistake that beginners make is to look at object of interest themselves while talking. That of course creates a lot of issues, from people not hearing what you say to loosing the connection with your audience. You can also have friendly conversations with people while heading to your next point of interest.
- Practice a great closing. A well-crafted and rehearsed ending of your tour can be the key for a big final applause and of course, better tips. Recap on the most remarkable points of your tour, make it emotional, and say thanks for sharing their time with you. Say that you're happy to provide additional advice and answers to any questions they may have, but kindly ask them to wait until everyone in the group has left their tip.
How to get more bookings
- Promote your tour. You can publish your GuruWalk on social media and online communities for travelers. For example, what has worked well for some of our users is to create a recurring event of the tour on Couchsurfing. You can briefly explain what the tour is about and include the URL of that GuruWalk, so that people who are interested can make a booking. Other sites where you can publish your GuruWalk are Tripadvisor, Meetup, Yelp or Facebook events.
- Ask for reviews. When someone books your tour through GuruWalk, we send them a couple of emails asking them to leave a review. The more and better reviews you get, the more people will be inclined to choose your tour over others.
- Third party ads. The mission of GuruWalk is allowing people with little or no resources to become free tour guides and earn money with it. If you do have some money available to promote your tour, you can of course create a Google Adwords campaign around it and increase traffic to your tour site, which in turn will result in more bookings. This decision is completely up to you.