The Berlin-based Belgian Bjorn Troch spent three years as a social traveler through the World travelled. He not only made contacts, but also found jobs and sponsors - all purely through recommendations. In the video he talks about his novel Conceptwhich he will also talk about at the technology conference TEDx soon.

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Occupation: Social Traveler

"And what are you doing?" "I'm a social traveler!" - So recently began a conversation about one of the most unusual jobs I had ever heard. Fittingly, Bjorn Communication educated. Then he worked in Belgium at various social organizations networks, among others at NetloG, and made Marketing and Business Development.

Almost four years ago he embarked on a trip around the world. Be Objective: “I wanted to find out in a self-experiment, so to speak, how powerful social networking really is.” Therefore, Bjorn traveled without a guide, only to places recommended to him online and offline.

Where it is long, the followers determine

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And his friends and followers can too Tasks place. The more People found out about his trip, the bigger his social media network grew, the more invitations and recommendations he received and the longer the trip became. “I have stopped to plan,” reports Bjorn of the learning he took from his trip.

Probably this is no longer necessary, because Bjorn now has about 15.000 fans and followers on various social media channels and reaches with its activities about 50.000 unique visitors a month. He will soon be reporting on his concept at the technology conference TEDx, the ITB and the social media week.

Searching for social media: One encounter leads to the next

He also found many sponsors and jobs, including as a social media consultant in Melbourne, Australia - and is now doing it from the other end of the world. Bjorn consciously decided against blogging: “I just wanted to be found through recommendations, not through the search engine. Search engine content is becoming increasingly irrelevant. ”

For him, it doesn't matter which channel he uses to reach people. It is much more important that the community grows organically: "Things happen and one encounter leads to the next," he reports.

Just try

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He just tried a lot - for example the Facebook Page. Or his bike tour: “I had never driven further than 50 km before,” he reports. Bjorn also deliberately rejected targeted self-PR or a marketing plan:

“I never have anyone eMail wrote, everything went through recommendations, ”he says. "I can only talk about it once I've done one thing." Of course, it takes time to set up a corresponding network: "It's a marathon, but I see a lot of people trying to sprint it," says Bjorn.

It's about talking to each other

The most important thing, says the well-traveled Belgian, is to talk to each other: “Everyone has goals that he wants to pursue. That is the case with me, with the community and also with potential sponsors. It's really exciting to talk about, ”he says.

For a total of three years, Bjorn was on his trip to Santiago de Compostela on the Camino, including five months and 5000 kilometers with a tandem, where he always took people.

From the iPhone to the wePhone

And always encountered an astonishing willingness to help, such as in Hong Kong: A local logisticsIndustry well-connected compatriot persuaded the Executive from TNT to send his bike and luggage to Europe. “People should talk to each other a lot more, also with strangers, for example on the train; away from the I-Phone to the We-Phone, ”he jokes.

Even today, Bjorn goes out alone once a week to meet new people and see what happens. And, despite a strong affinity for social media, does not want to spend his life with a smartphone: "My just broke - and I now live so much more quietly," he says.

Firm concept as a recipe for success

His social travelIdea is by no means as chaotic and aimless as it might sound at first glance. Bjorn has a firm concept that he follows, both when traveling and when it comes to his work: “I sometimes get requests to do blog posts or other smaller assignments and I turn them down. You have to know what you stand for and always consider how big the compromise has to be,” he says.

His recipes for success: make it easy. “If you only talk about one thing, nobody takes you seriously. Only when you really do something do people see what is possible and take part. ” Bjorn also gives something back: he donates part of his income to charity projects recommended by his followers.

Online influencers are becoming more and more important

Bjorn admits that he is an idealist, but not naive. In fact, he has a great deal of expertise in social media and Online-Marketing. "Social media isn't just about having a lot of followers or fans, although a lot of people see it that way right now," he says.

It was much more about bringing something that you believe in: “At some point, marketing people and so on Company understand that it is not just about paying, but about who you can really reach with your message, ”Bjorn is convinced and adds:“ Online influencers are becoming increasingly important. It is important to have a target group that really likes what you do. It doesn't matter which channel you broadcast on. What matters much more: honesty ”.

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