'Guide in the City': How to Become a Tour Guide in New York
Have you moved to a big city and fell in love with it, but still looking for ways to make money to stay here forever? Perhaps the profession of "guide" or "tour guide" is exactly what you need. Is everyone suitable for the role of a tourist guide, is it allowed to work "for oneself" and "for cash", how to stand out from the crowd of professionals in this business and where to get clients.
Guide, guide or companion?
The concepts of "guide" and "guide" are very close, and many, as a rule, do not make differences in their use. We use these words as absolute synonyms. Although, there is a difference. Guides are most often called people who work in museums and carry out a "journey" within their object.
A guide is a broader and general concept, and on some issues ignorance of details and subtleties owned by experts is permissible for him.
But now is not about that, but about who is more profitable to be in New York - how to call yourself better in order to keep the law and enjoy the lesson.
As a rule, any guide and tour guide must obtain a license for their activities. There are many different subtleties. If you are going to do this seriously, make sure. All those who work for the company (not only them) must pass an exam, which includes one hundred and fifty questions on knowledge of history, sights, art, literature, transport routes, and so on.
You need to score ninety-seven points, that is, to give so many correct answers. If you have one hundred twenty or more, a star is placed next to your name on the Consumer Affairs Department website.
Details there. Of course, you can call yourself just a companion, an accompanying buyer, a “merry company” and make money combining all this. The most important thing in the US is paying taxes.
"Pros" and "cons" of work for the company
Important and difficult in any business are customers. If you are working in a travel company or a tour desk, you do not need to look for people yourself. All that is required of you: to arrive at the appointed time. Cons: you are limited to a specific direction and can not vary with prices. There are other obligations that bind hand and foot. But everything is individual and depends on the company and management.
Guide at own will
Working “for yourself” is much more pleasant for creative and creative people. Question: where to get those wishing to use your services?
If you live in a tourist city such as New York, Miami or Los Angeles, you can imagine how many opportunities fly into the airports every day. Even if you focus only on the Russian-speaking audience, you can already boldly move in your direction, since “ours” are not only residents of the post-Soviet space, they are scattered all over the world and visit America with curiosity.
How to promote their activities? Of course, social networks to help you! In the first place - instagram. Create an account with colorful photos, accompany them with interesting stories and shoot short video "story". Here everything depends on creativity and charm. We bring to your attention two interesting stories of our compatriots: how their love for New York was monetized.
In New York with Veronica
Veronica arrived in New York from Kiev, leaving, according to her, “a dream job” in an advertising agency, where she organized events for large companies. She visited San Francisco, planned to live in Boston, but then fell in love, as is usually the case in life. To New York.
“When I moved to America, I thought for a long time what I wanted to do here,” she says. - I considered different areas: beauty, sports ... I was looking for an answer inside and even took courses to find myself and my favorite business. Once I was walking through the city, and there was a "flash". I looked around, there were many passers-by. In fifteen minutes, three people approached me: one had to tell me how to get to the metro, the second was looking for a park, the third asked where to get delicious coffee. Different people, smiles, questions, beautiful New York on the background. And so I understood who I want to be in this city - a guide. "
Instagram almost immediately worked on Veronica, as she passed all the delights of the “city of dreams” to her decision. The case remained for the small - to issue a profile in accordance with the new activity and use the necessary hashtags.
“I work for myself, I consider all routes as copyrighted, as I compose them individually and do not take information from books and the Internet:“ New York from the movies ”,“ Tourist New York ”,“ Tour through the roofs of the city ”. Do not list all. They differ from each other, like people. I do not like the pattern, showing a carbon copy the same thing. "
Next - word of mouth connected, customers began to talk about the guide, give links to social networks. Tourists not only from Russia, but also from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Italy, Spain, and Turkey seek the services of Veronica.
“The minimum route of my walks is from three hours, because in a shorter period of time you will not have time to show anything, a person will not perceive,” she explains. - As for the cost - there are no boundaries, it all depends on the client's desire and ability: how he wants, on what. Everything is possible in this city. Every whim for your money. On average, two hundred dollars. "
Walking with annie
Anya moved to New York less than a year ago. Her task was to decide what to do in a new place. At first, she just walked around the city, "trying on" it for herself.
“I didn't have any acquaintances in the city, I was alone,” she says. - I had to independently explore areas, sights, interesting places. I thought it would be great if someone helped me - showed and told me. And then the idea came to become a guide, but not in the classical version, who, like a robot, goes to work every day and tells the tourist the same places along the same route: Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, and so on.
I wanted to become a friend-fellow traveler for every person, an advisor on all issues. Moreover, people have little time, they come for several days, it is important for them to see as much as possible. And since I am active and sociable, I very easily find a common language - literally from the first minute - and I can easily speak on absolutely any topic, it seemed that I would be able to conduct such a walk. "
In Moscow, Anya was engaged in public relations, so she had no problems with creativity. Instagram she called “Walks with Annie” and began to give interesting moments from the life of stellar New York, adding “Gossipgirl” in her profile. This helped her favorite series "Gossip Girl". The girl began to post interesting stories, go on the air, attend various events and show the city in all its glory. Subscribers grew, interest too. So began to be customers.
“I work exclusively for myself,” says Anna. - Because when you do it for the company, you feel some kind of framework, and the profession is quite creative, you cannot turn it into a monotonous story. She herself has been on excursions more than once. You come to the country, order a tour through the company - and for three hours you are tired of telling what you can read on Wikipedia. I am not saying in what year the first, tenth and fiftieth stone was laid in the Empire State Building. Naturally, I know the main things: when was it built, how many floors, what is there and how.
The rest can be found on the Internet. This is not interesting and memorable. In two hours, you need to tell your client about everything and a little bit so that he has a general impression. Individual approach is the highlight that shoots. We can sometimes change everything in the process of communication. With me, tourists in the first minute get the feeling that they are in a new city, but with a friend who has not been seen for a long time. ”
During the whole time while the person is in the city, the girl is in touch with him, tells the main life hacks about visiting museums, musicals, bargains and so on.
“I have a walk for life, during which clients ask about prices in America, about housing,” says Annie. - There are cool tours of Midtown and Downtown for 3 hours, 5 kilometers. Time flies by. I photograph everyone. Russian speakers always want to go to Chinatown, Little Italy. One time a client asked me to spend the whole day in Brighton Beach, walk around Brooklyn, look at the ocean. It was more communication. "
People before coming to the Big Apple always write what they want to see: secret bars, classic New York, the house from the TV series “Friends” and the like.
If you also want to be a guide in the "Big City"
- Decide who you want to be: a guide or guide, travel companion or a fun company with exclusive information about the city for tourists.
- Make a couple of your "chips".
- Create an account on Instagram according to all the rules, with a customer focus: colorful photos, interesting text, hashtags, videos.
- “Break in” the program - follow a friend who has come on vacation along your route, ask him to refer to you on social networks, make a review.
- Constantly make publications.
- Love your work. Although it was worth putting in first place.
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