Intro and what this all about

Originally, I was going to try turn this particular content into a YouTube series.  For two main reasons – to create more YouTube content and attempt to get better in front of a video camera.  I spent almost an entire day in front of my GoPro and it sucked bad.  And what has not helped to the point of me abandoning this idea is that I don’t have a proper bedroom in the Airbnb that I am stay at.  I am in an extra large closet with currents.  So, I don’t have the privacy to talk in front of a camera all day and I am constantly interrupted by noises of all the other guests that a door would help drown out.

My Airbnb

This is actually quite frustrating as I really need to get 1,000 more times more comfortable in from a camera.  Regardless I will attempt to figure out how to blog everything I am working on.

What am I trying to accomplish during my time in Las Vegas in no particular order?

Media Reach (mainly Canadian radio, tv, newspaper)

  • Pursuing and building my contacts via LinkedIn & Twitter
  • Creating a press release template that can be emailed on mass at certain milestones
  • I am also going to see if I can figure out potential influencers or other freelance journalists

Magazine article published focused on Canadian magazines

  • Pursuing and building my contacts via LinkedIn & Twitter and of course also directly through their websites

Corporate Sponsorship

  • I am thinking that my initial contact focus will be on tree planting sponsorship and potentially build on a relationship from there.
  • And I am thinking once again to stay Canadian focused

Create a source of passive income

  • I believe my 18 year old nephew who is very interested in entrepreneurship is interested in creating a brand around Safari Arie.
  • We would start small. Release to my audience a t-shirt design (I love my bike) with logo
  • With the same image & logo do a coffee mug & water bottle
  • We would also ship the mug or bottle to possible media sources, sponsorship and even bike shops with some sort of call to action or advertisement
  • A portion of sales would go to plating trees

Build my Social Media audience and create quality blog content

  • Particular attention to growth on Instagram

Connect my bike ride to my greater passion of tree planting

  • Via my website Home page and content


My Disclosure

This blog posts will not be about proven methods or formulas. This is simply me learning the hard way and doing it my way.  I have no tricks or special skills in accomplishing whatever I mange to accomplish.

Included in my disclosure is that much of the outcomes over these 60 days may not be necessarily seen or realized for years down the road.  So other than tasks accomplished and knowledge learned and new weekly standard operating procedures implemented all one can do is compare where I was at during the winter of 2021 and where I arrive or land in the future or when you happen to read this.

I am going into this with the attitude that any success or doors opened down the road can be sourced at and during my time here in Las Vegas.

Because of the nature of this content and what I am trying to accomplish I feel that it would be helpful to at least give some history and context to who I am and some background information and numbers in order to create reference points as I work towards increased media reach, sponsorship, audience growth and a passive income.

Who am I and what have I accomplished so far?

I am 47 years old originally from Grimsby, Ontario, Canada.  For 6 ½ years leading up to my bike ride I was a long haul truck driver, driving 1.2 million kilometers back and forth across North America.  Or in other words 1.2 million kilometers is equal to 30 times around the planet in truck.

I was also self employed in my younger years.  Turning a childhood hobby of keeping reptiles in captivity into a wholesale, then retail and educational business.

In 2011 I did my first and only other bike ride through northern and western Canada pedalling 6,500 km’s.

My first bike ride

My Current Ride

Since November 12, 2019 I have pedalled 12,340 km’s across Canada during the 2019-20 winter and first wave of Covid-19.  During that winter I ended up pedalling 4,900 km’s on the first day of spring March 19.  I finished crossing Canada on October 17, 2020

October 17, 2020

On October 25 I flew to Seattle.  Currently I have pedalled 4,350 km’s down through Washington, Oregon, California and I am currently in Las Vegas.  This was all during the craziest US presidential election in history and the second wave of Covid-19.  I suspect that I am one of the only Canadians bike touring through the US at this moment in history.

The flight to Seattle

Anyways 16,750 km’s in total since November 12, 2019.  Including over 200 nights in a tent during this time

What made my ride across Canada so unusual was that I had a record 55 hosts across Canada.  Putting the hosting into context most people that bike across have maybe 10 hosts.

Some hosts along the way

Currently I have had 7 hosts in the US.

My current audience/social media reach. 

Facebook – Personal profile 634 followers, 1,222 Facebook friends, 2,560 Safari Arie on a bike fans.  Keeping in mind there is audience overlap between friends and fans.

(Before I started my bike ride I had about 20 followers, about 220 friends and 125 fans)

YouTube – 250 Subscribers, 55 videos posted

Instagram558 followers

And on Strava – 164 followers

I am going describe my social media growth at a plateauing probably ever since I got to the US.  By percentage probably my biggest growth is YouTube.  So I guess thank goodness for that.  And I believe my Strava numbers are also growing since leaving Canada.  But I am not active on Strava socially other than being able track my own kilometers

Website google analytics

My recent Google analytics show me trending downward to almost 550 active monthly users since starting the ride.

So that’s not great either.  So a little bit of depressing news in this department.  That being said quality over quantity.   I think the one thing that I will say is that I feel I have a fairly passionate following.

How did I acquire my current audience?

Facebook groups and hosts sharing my posts on Facebook and of course traditional sources of media – tv, radio, newspaper and podcasts.

What are my personal challenges in regards to growing my audience and brand?

I am not tech or social media savvy at all.   And I actually get very overwhelmed trying to research something I don’t understand.  I literally freeze up and my brain goes to mush.

I find video very intimidating

I really don’t like Instagram at all.  It is such an inferior platform but it’s the platform growing the most out there in the world.

Just keeping up with the day-to-day documenting is more work than one could ever imagine.  It’s all that I can do to stay caught up.

For example, I have so far written over 175 blog posts averaging 1,000 words plus.  As well writing over 100 shorter stories to my website

Over the next few days I will have finished posting close to 16,000 current bike ride photos to Flickr which does not include the 1000’s and 1,000’ to Facebook along with the 100’s of hours of social media engagement.

What are my current unfair advantages?   Meaning what do I have that maybe someone starting today may not have.

I biked through the 2019-20 winter.  I did something most people would never ever try.  Which tends to get attention.

Biking in the winter tends to get you noticed

Thanks largely to Atlantic Canada I have a very passionate following

I have a great web developer who designed an awesome website and treats me really good.

In March I had a friend of my younger brother come on board to be my YouTube guy.  Because of him we have currently 55 videos posted.

I am Dutch and apparently we are known for our stubbornness, determination and hard work.  I am pretty sure these characteristics play a huge role in any of success I may have come across.

Two more mentions that may work to my advantage but it’s a little too early to speak to there results or long term success is that I do have a media guy and a potential entrepreneurial nephew that might be interested in creating a brand around Safari Arie.  But it really is too early to speak to that in this post.  Hopefully over the next few weeks that changes.

60 Days in Las Vegas – Part 2

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