Top Tour Guide In London Turns to TikTok

Reading time:
2 minutes, 45 seconds
   

Success in our field can look like many different things; full tours, great profits, or even a great marketing campaign. But perhaps it is the joy of sharing knowledge with guests who would otherwise not have known the secrets of a place. David of The London Spy has done just that, and taken it a step further by finding success on TikTok.

David’s path into tourism was a winding one, like many of us he had a long career behind a desk, specifically for a large bank. He worked his way up the ranks, but found his extracurricular passions creeping in during his lunch breaks and time off. Wandering around London his curiosity would take over, a desire to discover the hidden secrets that lay right under his nose. In 2017 he qualified in the prestigious and very competitive Corporation of London City Guides course and a curiosity turned into something else entirely.

2020 brought a new path forward, leaving his career behind, he embarked on The London Spy. Combining his love of comedy, the history of London, accompanying a dash of his magic skills, he created The London Spy walking tour company. He has steadily built the business over the past two years and has found himself as the 12th most popular tour in London on Tripadvisor out of a total of 1700, no small feat to be sure. But that’s not really why we are here…

In March of 2022, David made the leap onto TikTok. Despite his mediocre success on other social platforms in the past David was keen to dive head first into this one, his sense of humor and magician training were both useful as he began creating content on the app.

Just over a week after posting his first video, he got his first taste of success. Users found a humorous video and were quick with the likes. Shortly thereafter, he received his second potentially viral video, this time containing a potentially controversial topic. He followed this with a second and third video, each containing vaguely controversial topics, which both had over five hundred thousand views.

Wanting to test his theory that the topic needed to be controversial to have a successful video, he quickly produced one relating to some roman ruins lying under London’s city streets, which also took off in no time.

David’s style is wildly authentic. His videos are short and usually the camerawork is a bit shaky, this adds a sense of genuine curiosity and excitement to the content. He is clearly happy to share his knowledge, which happens to be his primary goal. While the likes and comments are invigorating, his hopes for the app are not to become famous or even market his tours. The joy of sharing with the world is enough.

So what advice does David have for us new tiktok content creators?

  • Be authentic, create content that you find interesting and your audience will follow suit.
  • Don't take it too seriously, and do it because it's fun and you like sharing, not because you are trying to become something you're not.
  • Keep it short
  • You’ve got 3 seconds to catch the user.
  • Do not delete videos even if they appear to be unpopular. No one cares and you never know what might take off weeks later.

Thinking about creating a TikTok account in hopes of generating a following? Here’s 16 ways to leverage TikTok for your tour business. Share your tips and tricks with us today at editor@indietravel.co

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