DIYouTube: Meet The Travel Guides Building A Brand On The Go
A few years ago, I featured Damon Dominique and Jo Franco, two friends from college who had gained 440,000 subscribers on their YouTube travel channel known as “Shut Up and Go.” They grew because they offered a unique idea: To now not genuinely painting travel life, but to stay tour. By crossing borders and mastering languages, they had been encouraging the teens of the sector to transport around and meet. And as energetic as they have been, enjoyment appeared secondary to the challenge of coaching a way to satisfy millennial wanderlust.
I recently caught up with Jo Franco thru email because the task has hit some foremost milestones. Their YouTube channel exceeded the 1 million subscriber mark and, perhaps greater importantly, closing month they formally released a virtual guide, also known as Shut Up and Go. The mission is the identical too: “We encourage people to live the lives they’ve constantly wanted because in the end, the only person retaining you lower back is your self.” There’s a walking expect the website online that partly marks its boom, but additionally makes the factor that those who really need to see the sector, do. So far the numbers are outstanding: 10 members have posted 475 articles from greater than 25 destinations.
In this e mail interview, Franco discusses how the website became a truth, how lifestyles is exclusive now that people solution to them and why YouTube works as a platform to train.
How did the idea for shutupandgo.Journey start and the way did it evolve?
Damon and I started the YouTube channel lower back in 2013 whilst we had been the best human beings in our college buddy group who were inclined to Shut Up and Go. We did not care we were broke and in college. For instance, when we found out we could not have enough money going to a sexy seaside in Mexico, we decided to go to the cheaper, however frigid tundra of Montreal for Spring Break. We’d rough it because we knew we might advantage within the tales and relationships we made along the manner. It’s nearly been 10 years, but that ride sparked the Shut Up and Go motto.
We started displaying our adventures on YouTube first to pitch it as a TV display. When conventional TV professionals advised us young tour would not sell, we started dedicating all of our time into the channel. What we saw stored us motivated: we weren’t the most effective ones who wanted greater out of life than the traditional, college, 9-five, married, retirement, then maybe journey put up-retirement life-style. After two years continually uploading at the channel (with all of our journeys absolutely self-funded way to crappy ordinary jobs on top of paying crappy and overpriced NYC lease), we had created a network of people who linked to each other due to our movies. By 2015, we started out receiving notable emails about human beings having discovered the loves of their lives or quality pals within the remarks of our motion pictures and Instagram account. We decided we needed to make a bigger emblem that encompasses all testimonies of human beings residing global life. Shut Up and Go changed into born, and the destination have become shutupandgo.Travel.
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We formally released the platform a month in the past after running with a web layout organisation to create the glossy platform we might’ve loved to have observed while we have been simply getting started out in our travels. To populate the site with the maximum on-emblem articles, we reached out to our audience asking contributors to put up their testimonies. We now work closely with our content supervisor for the platform, a group of 10 global writers, and 4 community moderators who paintings every day on attractive the Shut Up and Go network. It’s become a huge operation because we’re growing an area it’s in no way existed earlier than: a platform for folks that see travel as a life-style, now not a luxurious.
We’re not your wellknown employer even though, very fittingly, we are a way of life business. We allow our personnel work anyplace they feel most stimulated. This means we’re a hundred% far off, however the furthest thing from removed. Weekly calls, Google doctors, tons of messages, emails, and some work trips a yr keep us engaged with the group in spite of time quarter differences. We workout of worldwide co-working spaces to present our target market each day unique articles, social media content, but additionally assets like discounts, occasions, and merchandise to help them along the manner.
What did you have to exchange approximately your approach to your paintings when you started out to feature employees?
It’s a totally extraordinary ballgame now. Damon and I have constructed this brand from scratch for the last seven years. You do not comprehend how tons you’ve got discovered till you have to down load that facts to staff that you’re onboarding who will now ultimately constitute your logo and vision. The true information for us is that our logo turned into built on ardour – and every person who works for us befell to have been partial to Shut Up and Go, which makes them some of the maximum stimulated and passionate human beings to paintings with. My approach is unique now due to the fact I want to take into account multiple time zones, communication styles, and strengths of our team to delegate responsibilities to the right human beings. It’s been and will continue to be a large growing procedure – mainly considering the fact that there’s no playbook on being a remote CEO – as a minimum now not until I write it.
For folks that need that way of life of travel, but don’t know how to get started out (or think it’s nevertheless a privileged way of dwelling) how can this new website help them?
Our website simplest homes articles from writers who go away their consolation zones and close up and go. The key issue to realize though is that whilst there has continually been a “steeply-priced” appeal with journey, similarly to the best ol’ amusing parts of adventuring the globe, our writers additionally speak about the relatable and now not so horny elements of tour: a way to shut up and go along with limited budgets, and social anxiety. In reality, ninety five% of our personnel is underneath 23 years old, and are studying abroad or living abroad in the meanwhile. If they are not completely dwelling abroad, they’re nevertheless making time to journey inside their very own international locations as it’s a spirit that doesn’t require a plane ticket. It’s their tales and guides that highlight their struggles, the visa process, and the budgeting method so that it will ultimately help readers beyond just the aspirational aspect. In addition to the written and social media content (we additionally submit tales on our Instagram every day that offer help, statistics, or enjoyment), we’ve relationships with language faculties, accommodation websites, and flight reserving search engine, Skyscanner, to offer cheap flight offers. We’re showing them sources they did not recognize existed within the midst of globally-minded content they have by no means visible before.
Why do you think YouTube works as a “coaching” platform?
YouTube works as a coaching platform because it’s a search engine. The maximum commonplace manner humans use the platform is in question form: “how do I braid my hair,” or “what does a $a thousand condominium appear to be.” People search for matters they need to locate solutions for because it’s extra interactive than reading a bland clarification on a glitchy website online. With that being said, it makes all the experience within the global that there has been an explosion of gaming, DIY, and splendor channels. People desired to find out how to unencumber video game levels, and a way to do the precise smokey eye with out smudging. Once the viewer unearths the answer to what they were looking for, they get invested in the channel if there may be persona. An added bonus is they get to remark and hook up with a community of humans in the video’s comment phase.
For us in particular, our audience commenced developing a whole lot quicker when we commenced speakme in more than one languages. We made motion pictures like “the way to sound cooler in French,” and “the way to flirt with a Brazilian in Portuguese,” and the target market discovered it fresh that we weren’t dull language instructors, alternatively, we would make jokes that genuinely made someone want to study a language. Now we’ve over a million folks who love enticing with us on all platforms, such as our new @shutupandgo account across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
What do you think that asserts approximately the way humans study nowadays?
People hook up with people. It’s no longer the only-sided guidebook it’s going to make you fall in love with Paris, it is the love testimonies that you listen about. It’s no longer the instructions at the returned of an eyeliner package deal it is going to make you feel like the maximum assured lady within the international, it’s the assured woman who’s going to inspire you to experience as glam. The human element of gaining knowledge of and storytelling it’s capable on YouTube is what makes it fantastic. The community constructing that incorporates it’s far what keeps human beings coming again for more.