Pursuing Your Passion: An Interview with Travel Influencer Manuel Dietrich

From its myths to its many success stories, we hear a lot about brands and influencer marketing. But rarely are influencers themselves given the chance to talk about their professional lives outside of their social channels. So, we caught up with one of our favorite influencers—Manuel Dietrich (@manueldietrichphotography)—to learn more about the highlights and challenges of being immersed in the influencer world.

Content Creator. Entrepreneur. Travel Addict. Manuel has been quite busy over the past several years. Since 2014, his life has been filled with global adventures in his role as a travel influencer and professional photographer, nabbing partnerships with huge brands like Canon, Globtrotter and Sixt.

We’ve worked with Manuel on a number of #MyInstaWeekend campaigns for our client SalzburgerLand—his perspective translates into beautiful landscape photography that inspires travelers time and time again to get out and explore the world.

Photo by Manuel Dietrich

Photo by Manuel Dietrich

Here’s what we found out:

Boom: In just 4 years you’ve established partnerships with brands like Canon, Globetrotter and Sixt, travelled all over the world, and built a substantial social media following. What’s your secret?

Manuel: It’s all about finding and pursuing your passion no matter what. In my case it’s photography and filmmaking and with every day I try to become a little better at it. In social media in general it all comes down to consistently uploading the best content possible and to engage with your followers. Just like in the “real“ world you got to provide value to the people who support you or buy your products. That can be beautiful photos from all around the world, travel tips or advice on how to edit photos or grow a social media account. If you manage to get that connection with your fans on an emotional and personal level your following will grow automatically. In regards to building up partnerships with brands, companies or tourism boards it’s exactly the same. You just have show them what content you’re able to create and that you can provide value to them as well. If you have a large following and reach that definitely helps you to get into contact with them but in the end it all depends on what quality you deliver. 

By taking on new projects, facing new challenges or starting new partnerships I’m always forced to think of new ways to create the content I have in mind.

What do you love most about photography?

Photography basically combines all my hobbies into one. That’s traveling the world and exploring the beauty our world has to offer, meeting new awesome people along the way, being creative, helping others to achieve the same, working closely together with well-known brands and to be self-employed. The only things that I was missing in the first few years when I got into photography was music and a more emotional kind of storytelling. That’s when I fell in love with filmmaking.

What usually makes you want to take on a new project or partnership?

What drives me most is still the creativity. By taking on new projects, facing new challenges or starting new partnerships I’m always forced to think of new ways to create the content I have in mind. It's like comparing it with little kids who are fascinated by nearly everything. That’s because the world around them is totally new to them and they want to discover every detail of it. When we get older we slowly get used to the work we do and the challenges of daily life. It’s the monotony that let’s time fly. With traveling the world, seeing new places and facing new projects I feel like that little kid again. 

Photo by Manuel Dietrich

Photo by Manuel Dietrich

What is something you wish more destinations knew about working with influencers?

Nowadays influencer marketing is probably the best way to promote either your products or if you’re a tourism board your destination. The big advantage compared to offline advertising is that you have full control of your target group. You can pick the influencers that fit best for your individual needs. As most influencers specialize in certain areas such as traveling, sports, electronics or beauty you have the security that your campaigns will also be seen by people who are really interested in these topics. The big plus is also that you don’t only get the perfect promotion but in a lot of cases you can also benefit from content created by the influencers that you can use for your online [channels] such as your own social media account, website or even offline media. That makes it also a lot cheaper for you.

Out of all of the places you’ve been to in the world, which 3 destinations have been your favourite to work with and why?

My all-time favorite destinations to work with are the Lofoten Islands in Norway, New Zealand and it always feels [good] to be back in SalzburgerLand for another epic MyInstaWeekend. What all these destinations have in common: it’s the landscape that makes it so easy to create some awesome content and, from what I’ve experienced, the people who are living in these regions and who make these travels possible all have such a positive and welcoming mindset which makes it a dream to work with them.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your work?

As I’m self-employed I never really have time off. I always have to organize my upcoming travels and work off projects in post production. Sometimes that can get really stressful. However I’m lucky to say that this is still positive stress for me. I see it as a challenge that I can only benefit from in regards to experience and workflow. 

Photo by Manuel Dietrich

Photo by Manuel Dietrich

What are you most looking forward to in 2019? Any travel goals?

Fortunately my bucket list is always getting longer and longer instead of shorter. For 2019 I’m having some really exciting journeys and projects coming up such as trips to Thailand, Dubai and Western USA. I [have] also planned to explore more around my home country Germany, Austria and Switzerland in Summer in order to discover some less well-known hidden gems. 

Want to bring your influencer marketing to the next level? More interviews, along with key insights and trends are in our first edition of Boom Insights!