Becoming a local tour guide means showing around your state or city to the tourists or foreigners who come there. Many people who are passionate about tourism, vlogging, or photography are interested in pursuing this as their career.
Are you also interested in becoming a tour guide? Do you have much knowledge about the city you live in and are even proud of it? Would you like to show others around your city who are on a vacation and are there to visit new places? Do you think you perhaps want to pursue this as a business?
If your answer to most of the questions above is ‘Yes’, then you have come to the right place. In this post, we will be discussing the steps you need to take to become a local tour guide.
Being a local tour guide is not easy. Even though you might feel that you have sufficient know-how about the place you live in, when it comes to describing it to others, people often fall short of what they know. To become a local tour guide, you not only need to know about the beauty of certain places but also a little bit about their history and background. You need to be aware of the origins of different cultural practices so that you can tell those stories to your customers.
However, the good news is that you can always learn more about your city before getting into this business. There are never enough local tour guides in any particular city. Even if they are, they are usually not approachable to tourists who are looking for them.
If you pursue a career or business as a local tour guide, the most important thing you would need to do is make sure you are discoverable and approachable by those who are searching for local tour guides while they plan their vacation.
7 Things to Do to Become a Local Tour Guide
Here are 7 basic steps you would need to take if you want to walk on the lines of becoming a tour guide for your city or state.
1. Learn More About Your City
As mentioned above, you can never know enough about the city or state you belong to. We usually assume that we know everything about a certain place, especially if we have spent years and years of our lives there. But when it comes to tourism, we need to learn about the place from outsiders’ perspectives. We need to be able to explain the structure, history, beauty, geography, and culture of the place from the perspective of those who are visiting there for the very first time. And the challenge is that we have to do that in an entertaining way, not in a boring way.
No tourists would like to hear monotonous stories about the place they are visiting on a vacation. They want to hear fun stories that keep them engaged on their trip. They want to be reassured that they chose the right destination for their vacation. They want to feel like they are increasing their knowledge. In today’s day and age, people often even want solid points about their tourism spots so that they can post pictures and videos on social media. People who are into vlogging care even more about these things.
Therefore, you as a local tour guide must do your homework properly so that you can entertain your customers in the way they deserve.
2. Get the Required Certification
The next step to become a local tour guide is to find out what kind of certification you will need to pursue this as a full-fledged business. You do not want to get in trouble at a later stage by getting into something that’s not legal to do without a verified certificate. It is best to do your research at this stage, and find out the certification requirements for the local tour guides in your city. Different countries and cities have different testing requirements in this regard. The initial fees are also different for different cities or states.
3. Register Your Company
It goes without saying that to run a local tour guide business, you would need to register a company. Once you have the required certification, it will not be difficult for you to register your own company for this purpose. If you have never registered a company before, you might need to do some research on the requirements and process to do so. You can also take guidance from your friends or colleagues who are already running a side business of their own. Taking help from those who are experienced in these matters helps in speeding things up so that you can start your business as soon as possible.
Once you have a registered company, you can choose to either run it as a sole proprietor and be the only individual local tour guide working in it, or hire some staff to make a team of local tour guides working in your company. This decision would depend on your personal choice as well as the financial resources that you have available with you.
4. Arrange for Suitable Transport and Other Required Equipment
Now you need to prepare any tools, equipment, or transport vehicles that you think you will need to show people around like a local tour guide. You will have to decide what kind of transport, if any, will you be providing to your customers. Will they have options for choosing their preferred kind of transport? Will you be offering different packages for them to select their means of transport and places to visit?
All these things need to be decided from your end. For building a good impression on your first few customers, you need to exuberate confidence, which you can only have if you have done your homework well.
Along with the transport, you also need to arrange for any other equipment you might need. Some local tour guides carry their binoculars and cameras with them. They offer photography services too along with being a local tour guide. Your customers might not have a good-quality DSLR camera to take amazing photos during their trip. You can charge them a bit extra and do the photography for them instead. For this, you will have to be prepared with your camera and other associated equipment.
Every business these days must have a solid online presence. There is no better way to have a presence of your brand on the internet than to have a website that showcases your products or services. The same goes for a local tour guide business. Having a website can also make you an online tour guide.
Building a website is not such a complicated task these days. If you choose to use a user-friendly, cost-effective, and feature-rich website building platform, such as Strikingly, you can have your website up and running in just a few hours.
Image taken fromStrikingly
We have a lot of appealing and ready-to-use website templates for you to select from. All you need to do is take the following steps to build a website on Strikingly.
Sign up for a free Strikingly account.
Image taken fromStrikingly
Select a suitable website template from the choices you will be given.
Key in your website content, by keying in all the information you want to provide to your site visitors as a local tour guide, including your background and experience, your contact details, your social media pages integration, testimonials from your past customers, your price packages, some tourism spots photographs, anything else that you would like your target customers to know.
6. Promote Your Business and Your Website
Once your website is ready, you have to continue to market and promote your site and your business. Marketing needs to be aggressive in the beginning when you are trying to get hold of your first few customers.
Make sure your website is optimized for search engines so that it is easy for people to discover you as a local tour guide. Work on your on-site SEO by using tags in your headings, relevant keywords in your web content, and images and videos on your web pages. Do everything it takes to get your website among the top search results for your relevant keywords.
You can also use other forms of digital marketing, such as promoting your local tour guide business on social media by uploading catchy pictures and videos about your services and making use of influencers to get to your target customers.
7. Keep Your Customers Satisfied
The key to building a solid customer base is to keep your customers happy and satisfied with your service. Good customer service can go a long way in building a large customer base and brand loyalty for your business.
Make sure you do not disappoint anyone who approaches you to take on your services, even before they choose to buy a package from you. Keep engaging with your customers even after their trip. If you have their email address, stay in touch with them by sending them newsletters to keep them reminded of your services.
If you want to become a local tour guide but are finding yourself stuck on point number 5 mentioned above, we strongly suggest you try out our tools for creating a website on Strikingly. We provide 24/7 live chat support to all our users and site visitors. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us, should you need any assistance in making a beautiful tour guide website for your local tour guide business.