The Art of Chumming

Take visitors on photo walks and shoots

Take visitors on photo walks and shoots.

With the rise of iPhones and Instagram, budding photographers are everywhere. People love to take photos and post them on their social media accounts. If you enjoy taking photos and know some really nice local places that would be great for people to take photos, then market yourself as someone that specializes in photowalking with your guests. Photowalking is when you take your guest around with a camera for the purpose of taking pictures of things of interest. You can incorporate shoots into your photo walk by giving your guest the opportunity to be featured in the photos you take.

Here’s some things you might show visitors:

Create photo walks that feature historical landmarks and buildings. You can take solo or small groups of amateur photographers around and show them how to take the best photos of historical landmarks and buildings.

Show visitors your cities best vantage points for taking cityscape or skyline photos. Visitors don’t always now where to go for the best vantage points when taking photos of your city. But you do. It’s definitely something you can share.

Offer nightlife walks that show the lit-up skyline. Not everyone is familiar with the magic and art of taking photographs at night – but you are! Share your hobby with visitors as you walk around your city after the sun goes down. Introduce them to night photography and the best places in your city to capture magical photos.

Walk through areas where they can share street-photography opps. Your city might have public art displays, statues, fountains, gardens and even graffiti art. There’s literally endless things you can show people. Organize a chum around to some of the places you enjoy most, and invite people to join along.

Invite visitors on urban exploration photos walks. Urban exploration (Urbex) is the exploration of buildings, parks, and other man made structures that have been abandoned. If you’re aware of some amazing structures near you, then you have some very unique knowledge that you can share with others that have similar interests.

Create photo shoots that include your cities best landscapes. We are in the age of selfies. People love to take photos and post them on their social media accounts. Beyond just inviting guest to see and photograph your cities amazing landscapes, and historical landmarks, you can market your services as someone that also offers shoots that include your guests.

Put yourself in the picture and invite your guests to photo walks and shoots today!

Tags: Hosts Guests Experiences Tips & Tricks Tour Guides Chum Around Things to do City Secrets Tour Activities Photowalks Instagram | ChumAround | Dec 08, 2018 at 08:14PM | 0 Comments

Hosts— How to get more people to view your booking page.

When people search your city looking for someone to chum around with, they will have many people they can choose from, but I bet you’re wondering, “How can i get someone to click my listing and view my booking page?” The two most important “eye-catchers” that you need to pay careful attention to when you create your listing are (1) Making sure you have a clear professional featured image from the shoulders up, and (2) Making sure you add an enticing title/tagline that will capture someone’s attention.

Selecting a Featured Photo

Just like when you go on a job interview, the first impression you give as a Chumaround guest or host matters the most. Your photo is an integral part of your profile. Along with your description and interests, it introduces you to the Chumaround community. It is also your featured photo on Chumaround; the main picture of you that people see when they interact with you on Chumaround.

Here’s some tips to help you choose the perfect photo for your profile:

Pick a head shot. Because profile photos appear as small thumbnails on Chumaround, your photo should only be of your head, neck, and possibly the top of your shoulders. If you include your entire body, your head will appear too small, and viewers may not be able to recognize you.

Keep it simple. Your photo should be of you, and only you. Do not include objects, pets, or children. Avoid busy backgrounds. It’s best to stand against a solid-colored, light background.

Select a current photo. Do not include a dated photo no matter how young and attractive you look. Use a current picture, so people aren’t surprised when they meet you in person. It’s strange to be introduced to someone in person who looks twenty years older than their online photos! It’s important the photo is recent and will make it easy for people to recognize you when you meet.

Show your pearly whites. A smile improves any picture. Studies show that a smiling face appears more likeable than one with a neutral expression. Relax your mouth, show a few teeth, and smile naturally.

Keep things natural. You want people to be able to match your profile picture with how you normally look. A profile picture should focus on showing your features as they naturally are. If you do your makeup, wear bright lipstick and make sure your eyebrows are perfect so they will enhance your expression. Take off sunglasses or anything else that might obscure your features.

Crop your photo. Chumaround requires profile picture to appear square. They will display at 170×170 pixels on computer pages, and 128×128 pixels on smart phones. Before uploading your picture, you can play around with your favorite photo editing software to make sure that the photo can be cropped to this size and still look good.

Creating an Enticing Title/Tagline

Your title may be the first and only thing user read about you, so it’s important to create a short catchy title that captures the attention of people browsing the search page. Coming up with just the right title can make a big difference on whether people navigate to your booking page and decide to book you as a host. Thus, what you write here can shape first impressions and influence how potential guests start thinking about you.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while deciding how to title your host service:

Your title should “set the tone”. Setting the right tone is critical to the success in getting booked. You need to select a compelling title that’s in line with the tone and purpose. Are you going for humorous and eye-catching? Classic and sophisticated? Important? Hitting the mood right on the mark helps keep all your guests excited and engaged.

Your title should be bold, be clever – above all, be memorable. Take plenty of time to settle on just the right word or phrase that will stick with your audience. Consider using words that have strong emotional appeal associated with them. If you can choose words that stand out and stir up positive emotions such as excitement, joy, or curiosity, then your title will leave a deeper impact on the people who see it.

Your title should be short and relevant. Lengthy titles can be difficult to remember, so it’s sometimes more effective to use only a few words that encapsulate your host service. To help you out, we set the title limit is set to 35 characters.

Here are some examples of enticing taglines:

#I’ll help you skip the lines! #Local Shopping Expert #Avoid Tourist Traps with me! #Enjoy a VIP nightlife  #I’ll introduce you to locals #My mom’s cooking dinner! #Health & Beauty Expert #Party like a rockstar #I do airport pick-ups! #Drive Around with me! #Let’s go dancing #Private Poker Parties #Your LGBT Scene expert #I’ll be your wingman! #Photo Walk with me #Let’s hit the Beaches #Welcome to MSU! #Help you settle in  #Find a place to live #Relocation Expert #Translation Assistance #Never get lost with me

Well there you have it. These simple tweaks to your booking page will help your listing stand out and hopefully encourage more visitors to make bookings with you!


Tags: Hosts Tips & Tricks Chum Around Host Tips Chumming Tagline Title | ChumAround | Nov 08, 2018 at 11:49AM | 0 Comments

Help orientate people relocating for work, retirement or education.

Moving to a new place can be a stressful, disorienting experience. Many people become overwhelmed when they relocate, particularly if that city is in a foreign country. It’s always a great help having a local contact or friend to welcome you to a new town or show you the lay of the land, but most people don’t have local connections. That’s how you can help by providing a short orientation to help people become familiar with your city, town, village or university.

Here’s some things you can help newcomers with:

Help people find the best areas to live in. Everyone’s different in taste and the types of neighborhoods they might want enjoy living in. People in their twenties and early thirties might gravitate towards large urban centers so they feel connected to the city’s pulse. Older folks might be looking for a mix of both; desiring access to events and activities while maintaining a sense of community and quiet living. It’s always great to have a local help newcomers understand the different parts of a new city and where they might consider creating their future home.

Help people find the best schools for their children. When people with families need to relocate, they might need to find a good school their children can attend. Sometimes it’s a very challenging task, especially if they move to a place where they’re not familiar with the neighborhoods or schools in an area.

Help people set up the necessities of living. Arriving in a new city is always a daunting experience, and figuring out the practicalities of living in a foreign country is a headache in itself. Newbies can always use the help of a local that can make it easy for them to sort out visa paperwork, open a bank account, get mobile service, or set up utilities and internet in their new home.

Give lessons in the customs, culture, and etiquette of your home country. It’s important to have an understanding of local etiquette and customs, because simple mannerisms or gestures people might normally do, might actually be offensive in certain places. Simple things like how to behave at a business dinner versus a social dinner are fraught with potential misunderstandings. Locals can be local diplomats that make it easy for newcomers to understand local customs, culture and etiquette.

Teach them how to get around. Getting around a new city or region can be a very difficult learning experience for newcomers. They need to learn the best way to get to work, pursue hobbies, and run daily errands. Local hosts can help guide them on their first public transit experience and teach them how to easily navigate a city.

Show them the best places to go shopping. When newcomers move to a new city, learning where to shop for life’s daily necessities is an extremely important task. They might need help finding a local handyman store to buy tools or fixtures for their new home or the best places to go food shopping so they can cook their favorite dishes. Locals that live in a city are in a great position to teach newcomers the best places to shop for anything they need.

Help them find the best places to continue their hobbies. People have hobbies like working out, dancing, playing poker and so on. A big part of the relocation experience is being able to continue doing their favorite hobbies in their new community. Local hosts can help newcomers connect with the places and people that also enjoy doing similar things.

Offer emotional support to people that feel homesick. When people first relocate, whether it’s to a new country or new school, it’s never an easy task. It can be very difficult both physically and emotionally. It’s important to point out that a local host can also be available to simply be a good companion to somebody that’s new in town.

Become a welcome wagon of one and help offer relocation and orientation assistance to people moving to your city.

Tags: Orientation Expats Relocation Moving | ChumAround | Oct 19, 2018 at 08:35AM | 0 Comments

5 Reasons to Get Off the Beaten Path

When you're on vacation, there often comes a time when the streets become too noisy and the crowds too thick. With the help of a local chumaround host, getting off the beaten path is a lot easier than it once was, and the resulting adventures you have help to create some of life’s sweetest moments. So why should we try to get off the beaten path?

1. To Have the Ultimate Adventure - Everyone loves a good adventure! Regardless of how you define adventure, we all crave that adrenaline rush we often get when we encounter something new or do something fun. Sometimes wandering away from the touristy crowds and doing something different, in and of itself creates that sense of adventure.

2. To Expand Your Perspective - Getting off the beaten path can open your eyes to ways of life that you wouldn’t have ever known otherwise. With countless new experiences, it won’t be long before you realise that the world is a lot bigger than you once thought; that there’s a lot of different and fun ways to go about things and to live. If you’re open and willing to learn as you wander, you’ll return home with a broader understanding of the world and perhaps valuable lessons that will help you succeed in other aspects of your life.

3. To Get Some Privacy -  There are people that enjoy the hustle and bustle of popular spots, but there are also many who travel to get away from all the noise. When you get off the beaten path, you create a unique opportunity to find those private beaches, secret markets, and local hangouts. 

4. To Create Meaningful Relationships - When you’re standing in long boring lines listening to boring memorized scripts, you really don’t have much opportunity to build lasting relationships. But when you go off the beaten path, you’ll find yourself in a greater position to make new friends, whether fellow travelers or locals alike, and it is often these people who become our closest friends.

5. To Gain Knowledge - There’s a lot you can learn when you get off your bump and get out there and do new things. Getting off the beaten path  can teach us many things that a formal education might never teach us. For example, when you’re doing things off the beaten path, you’re not only learning about where those places are on a map, but you’re also learning about economics, politics, history and sociology. This gives us endless opportunities to learn other skills such as navigation, money managing, and more.  

When you decide to wander off the beaten path, you shouldn't simply jump on a random bus in Bangkok and let it take you out to the middle of nowhere unless you have some idea of what lies ahead. Particularly in some of the sketchier places around the world you always need to consider your own personal safety first. So with that said, we remind you that while it’s great to get off the beaten path, you’ll be much safer, have more meaningful experiences, and build lasting relationships when you book a local host who can guide your journey.


Tags: Adventures Guests Experiences Meet Locals Chum Around Things to do Local Friend Like a Local Feel Local Off the Beaten Path | ChumAround | Sep 18, 2018 at 04:28PM | 0 Comments

How to set your hourly rate for hosting

Chumaround allows all hosts to determine the hourly rate they’d like to earn whilst chumming around with visitors. This leads many people to ponder the question: What rate do I charge?

Good news! It’s not that hard to figure out. Here are the steps in determining how much to charge people for for each hour that you Chum Around with them.

  1. Determine the average hourly rate in your city

  2. Multiply the average hourly rate by 2.5

For example: If the average hourly rate for jobs in your city is $10 per hour. You should be charging at least $25 per hour for your services ($10x2.5). In this scenario, $25 should be the lowest amount you charge for your services in your city. From this base rate you can increase how much you charge per hour based on what you can offer your hosts as compared to other host offerings in your city.

If you’re wondering why you should 2.5x the average hourly rate in my city - here’s the explanation. There are certain costs of doing business that become instrumental in determining your rate. You might need to pay for a taxi or bus fare to get to your meeting point. Perhaps you’ll be buying a cup of coffee when you meet. Unless your guests agree, they are not required to pick up additional cost associated with your meeting, so you should be at a minimum be earning the average hourly rate in your city multiplied by 2.5 to make sure any additional cost associated with your meeting will be covered.

Don’t sell yourself short

When you set your hourly rate, the last thing you should be doing is setting a low price because you believe more people will book your because you offer the lowest price. In fact, if you set a lower price to entice hosts, you’re likely to get less bookings. Travellers that use ChumAround are not booking a host because of their hourly rate. They are booking hosts because they want a new way to experience a city. They want to hang out with someone that shares common interest; someone that enjoys doing the same types of activities. It’s important to understand that people are paying you for the value of your service, not the perceived value of your time.

Is what you will show and do with people unique? Perhaps you know how to bypass long lines at local landmarks or theme parks. Maybe you know the best places to take amazing photos in your city. Maybe you speak multiple languages or a language that few other people around you know. When you write your description, make sure you include any and all unique things you can offer your guests. The more unique your offering, then the higher hourly rate you will be able to charge.

Is what you provide in high demand? Maybe you can get free entrance to some local nightlife venues or theme parks. Maybe you’re a model, celebrity, sports star, or professional athlete. Maybe you simply offer the best host service and highest ratings in your city. If you’re a host that can give people access to things that are unique or in high demand then you are providing a premium service and you should be charging a much higher rate than the average local host.

In summary, make sure the hourly rate you choose reflects exactly what you’d like to earn for every hour your chumming around with your guests. If you believe you can offer people an opportunity to activities or see things that are very unique as compared to other hosts in your city, then make sure you add the details to your description and charge an hourly rate that reflects the value of your service.


Tags: Hosts Tips & Tricks Chum Around Chummy Hang out | ChumAround | Aug 25, 2018 at 08:04AM | 0 Comments