“I usually don’t reach out to smaller hotels — they need the revenue. Chains can be a better way to go.” — Eric Stoen (332,000 Instagram followers), @travelbabbo
Eric Stoen, 50, of @travelbabbo has accrued over 332,000 Instagram followers in the eight years he’s been traveling and logging his trips online full-time. As his one-page media kit states, he’s been to 62 countries across seven continents in that time.
Stoen told Insider that 90% of the time hotels will pitch him a free stay first. However, he still exercises the muscle to pitch hotels every now and then where he might be staying for an extended period of time so he can get a better rate.
“I’d estimate one-third of the time I’m rejected, one-third I receive a free stay, and one-third I’m offered a discounted media rate,” he said.
For those who are still breaking into the industry, and could save a lot more money upfront with comped hotels, he suggests pitching to chains that can afford to give up a room for promotion. And, most importantly, commit to promoting the hotel authentically.
“Reach out to hotels where you know that there’s a fit with your followers and where you’re confident your posts can deliver revenue,” said Stoen. “And don’t look at anything as a free stay; it’s a marketing partnership where you’re expected to provide real value in exchange for a stay.”
“Make sure it’s going to be a fair partnership,” he added. “I usually don’t reach out to smaller hotels – they need the revenue. Chains can be a better way to go, especially as you’re starting out.”