Dan Moore, travel personality and content creator extraordinaire, travels the world with a GoPro in tow and documents every tropical destination he comes across. From working with brands like GoPro, Four Seasons, Twitter and Snapchat, Dan is no stranger to success on social media.
This week, we sat down with travel influencer and content creator extraordinaire Dan Moore
. With a GoPro in tow, Dan travels the world and documents each and every adventure on his social channels. For the past 3 years, Dan has been building his social presence and has amassed a following of over 73k followers.
Dan shares with us his social media wisdom that he has picked up over the years. We also get an inside look at the hard work that goes on behind the camera, the equipment he uses, and his secrets to success. Check it out!
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name's Dan Moore, Australian born and bred. I travel and create content for a living.
I never planned to do what I do. Social media barely existed when I was at school, but now its enabled me to earn a living from it.
I was actually working as an electrical technician in pubs and casinos throughout Australia and overseas, then moved into graphic design after that. After a while, I decided that I’d had enough, and as most Australians do, I sold my car, quit my job and went solo backpacking.
I posted pictures of my travels through Asia, Europe, and the Middle East so family and friends could follow my trip. I was seriously loving it. I wanted to keep travelling but had no idea how to make a living from it. I had always taken photos and made short videos of my mates and I surfing or skateboarding, so I knew the basics of creating content.
Long story short, I won a photo competition and after meeting me, that company offered me a contract. I became their ‘Content Marketing Manager’ travelling the world for the next 3 years making YouTube videos and Instagram photography for their social team.
From that, I began building my own social channels and brands began to reach out to me. After 3 years of working for a company I decided to go solo and work for myself, which I’ve been doing for the past 3 and a bit years. So I guess when I look back, I’ve been in the social media space creating travel content for over 6 years now.
What made you get into Content Creation/blogging?
From a young age, I liked to have fun with the camera filming videos of myself and my mates. Both my grandparents were professional artists, so I guess it runs in the family.
I was a graphic designer so I created content, but in different forms to what I do today. It wasn’t until I was offered a job in the industry to create social media content that I took it seriously and really ramped things up. I could barely use a DSLR camera originally, but I taught myself everything I needed to know online and continue to do so.
What are your secrets to success and how did you turn your passion into a paying job?
I don’t think there is a real secret. I think you need to work hard and be yourself. Be real, raw, and learn from what others are doing and bring that into your own space and make it unique and genuine.
I’m always learning and reading up on what’s changing and what new camera gear is out to make my content fresh and new. I don’t think it’s any different from any other job really. You start at the bottom and work your way up with knowledge and on the job experience.
To earn money as a social influencer is a steep learning curve. It definitely didn’t happen overnight for me. I had a good base to work from after working 3 years as a Content Marketing Manager, but its an entirely new world trying to make money for yourself.
I did a lot of free jobs to boost my exposure, said yes to almost anything that landed in my lap as long as it aligned with what I was doing. I picked up some big branded jobs and it kind of snowballed from there. I was on YouTube every night learning more about photography, editing, cameras … anything I could to increase my knowledge.
It’s a continual learning game and social media platforms are always changing. So it’s about being on top of that as well as being relevant to brands with what you create.
What is the biggest misconception about you and your job?
The biggest misconception is that I’m always on ‘holidays’. I do a ton of travel and 95% of my work is international, but I can't even remember the last time I went on a ‘holiday’. There isn’t a lot of downtime when I’m travelling.
Don’t get me wrong though, it is a ton of fun and I get to see some amazing places including ones I never knew existed. Behind the scenes, there’s a lot of planning and waiting to get the right shots/content. Then at night, I’m up editing everything for hours before doing it all again the next day.
What social media channels are you active across? What is your favourite and why?
In the beginning, I jumped on everything I could find and tried to do it all. I soon found it was way too stressful and that it was taking away from having a real life. I’m all about moderation and living my life while working.
I have a blog and am on Twitter
, and Instagram
. I’d have to say my main channel is now Instagram, well it’s pretty much my favourite and where I post the majority of my content.
How important has social media been to your current success?
It’s been huge for me. Without social media, I wouldn’t have a job right now. Social media exploded and I was there when it happened so some call it luck but I like to see it as seizing an opportunity.
It wasn’t like it happened overnight, but I was creating and posting content as it rapidly grew. I owe everything to the community who continue to follow my journey as well as the brands who gave me the opportunity to represent for them.
Career highlight since being an influencer?
A huge highlight would have to be working with and becoming an ambassador for GoPro. They have been a brand I always wanted to work with and loved what they were creating. The day they sent me a tweet saying... “Have you been to the Aspen X-Games…Do you want to come?” I was like…"Are you serious? Is this happening?…Yes…Yes…Yes!"
From then it’s been amazing working alongside them in different countries like Fiji in the video below. I guess it’s just one of the highlight stories in my journey but one that definitely stands out for me.
How has your content creation changed since you got started?
Well, I still struggle to call myself a professional photographer, as I never did a course nor know the infinite details of photography… honestly, who does? Photography is something I continue to learn and grow in.
I guess looking back, the content I create now is of a higher quality and with more structure. As cameras get better, so does my knowledge in the camera space as well as trying new techniques to getting fun creative shots.
What are two learnings since starting out?
I have a few..
- Do something you love. Create content about something you're passionate about, something that drives you, inspires and comes naturally to you.
- Don’t make it all about the numbers. Yes, you need to know what content resonates with people, but be creative and post what you love.
- Always know that you will never stop learning. The moment you think you know everything you’ve brainwashed yourself. Everything is always changing and there are a ton of people doing creative things no one thought was even possible.
- Don’t burn yourself out trying to be the best of the best. You have a life to live and family and friends to hang with, so make it a healthy balance.
What is your favourite image/video that you have posted and why?
It is hard to choose as I have been blessed to venture to so many amazing places now, it still blows my mind. But my favourite image would probably have to be my latest Instagram post of me riding a jet ski in the Bahamas. I know some people will say ‘anyone can take that shot’, but to take it yourself while riding a jet ski is what makes it amazing for me. The water was this insane blue and I was using the GoPro Fusion camera, which is a 360 camera that lets you get shots you once needed multiple people to achieve.
What equipment do you use (Camera/software/editing apps)?
I like to travel light so my main cameras I use are the GoPro Hero7 and the GoPro Fusion. I’ve recently been using the Sony A7iii with 16-35 + 70-200 lens and I use the DJI Mavic Pro drone. That’s pretty much it.
The software I use is Lightroom to edit my photos with my custom pre-made filters and then use Final Cut Pro X to edit my videos.
What technical tips do you have for aspiring social media influencers?
Do what you love. If you’re into food, do food. If you’re into fashion, do fashion. It’s so much easier when it’s a passion. Pick a niche and stick to it. Learn the basics of photography and photo editing, whether it’s a phone app or a more advanced program like Lightroom. Be consistent with posting and reach out to brands to see if they want to work with you.
Everyone wants to earn the big bucks when they start out and it’s unrealistic. It’s like any job, you can’t come out of a trade and expect to earn what someone spent 30 years doing. Be realistic in what you charge and work for free gifting products to start out. You have to start somewhere. Look at what your favourite content creators are posting and learn from them.
How do you go about choosing the brands that you work with?
Firstly, it needs to feel like a genuine fit for me. If I can’t organically fit it into my Travel/Adventure/Lifestyle niche then it’s not for me.
Secondly, I need to believe or have some connection with the brand. Either I already use it in my life or I can see myself using, wearing or visiting there.
Thirdly it needs to be something I believe in. If I get sent a product and it breaks before I can even use it then I can’t expect someone else to buy it. I’d actually be annoyed if someone recommended such a rubbish product that broke instantly. I believe you have to be honest and true to what you believe in if you’re going to endorse it.
What are some of the memorable brands you have worked with?
I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great brands around the world. These are some of my favs so far: GoPro, Royal Caribbean, Lenovo, Philippines Tourism, Dubai Tourism, Australia Tourism, Indonesia Tourism, Four Seasons, Samsung, BMW, Toyota, Oakley, Snapchat, and Twitter.
What’s next for you?
I’m actually back in Sydney editing up my recent trip to Cuba with Royal Caribbean. I’m heading back to the USA in November to launch one of Royal Caribbean’s latest ships in the Caribbean then fly to New Caledonia for a travel campaign. In between, there is always a lot of laptop time, editing, planning trips, and meetings.
It’s a crazy kind of lifestyle but I love not having an office with 4 walls so it’s become my ‘new normal’. I feel super blessed to do something I have so much passion for and get a kick out of.
Big thanks to everyone who follows my trips, gets involved and encourages me, I couldn’t do it without your ongoing support. T-H-A-N-K-S Dan!