At GuruWalk, the guru has to come with his own experience offer. It could either be a guided tour (better known as "free walking tours"), or a pay-what-you-want experience (online cooking class, yoga,...)
We do not give scripts or routes to follow or learn, although we are always willing to support you in creating your experience.
The main characteristics of your experience should be:
- Pay What you Want. At GuruWalk, we only offer this formula: the walker who booked your experience is free to pay what they want at the end. Some people give € 10, others give US $ 50. At the end of a few hours, you can receive more than € 200 with a large group!
- Based on your passion. Most of the free walking tours are focused on the most emblematic places in the city, but you can choose other themes based on what you are passionate about like history, gastronomy, sports, series, movies, nature...
- Personal. The walker awaits your personal touch, unique knowledge and special recommendations.
- Fun. The walker wants a fun experience, not a class.
What’s different on a free walking tour/experience for the guru?
In this post, we explain the main differences between a traditional paid-in-advance experience and a pay-what-you want one. This must be taken into account when debuting an experience with an open price, especially if you are a professional with years of experience.
1. The walker pays at the end
This is the most obvious difference: on a free walking tour, walkers pay at the end what they consider appropriate. Walkers usually pay the guru in cash before leaving, although we also have gurus that use a portable card reader.
Many gurus explain the payment concept at the beginning and / or the end of the tour. The most important thing is to make it clear that “free” should not be understood as free of charge but rather as free to join without commitment and to pay what you want in the end.
Moreover, it’s important to highlight that it’s not a hobby or a job in exchange for a few tips, but that it is your main job and that it must be rewarded as such.
Talking about money is a delicate subject and that’s why many gurus prefer not to mention it so that they don’t feel uncomfortable. If you do, make sure you do it in a fun and friendly way. Otherwise, it could end up being uncomfortable for walkers.
2. First approach to the city
In most cases, guruwalks show a first overview of what the city can offer for walkers during their stay or about your passion.
About the typical free walking tour, it covers a wide variety of topics based on history, art, architecture, food, etc. It also gives practical information such as opening schedules, museum entrance prices, how to use public transport,…
This approach is also cultural: the walker who participates in a pay-what-you-want experience doesn’t want to be just another tourist and wants to learn more about the lifestyle and customs of the inhabitants of your city or having insights of your passion like you do, like learning a few words or expressions in the local language or specific to your passion area.
3. A fun experience
It’s important to be an expert on the topic of the tour, but it’s essential to be able to share this knowledge in the best way, as this will also impact what you receive at the end of the experience. This is another reason that explains the great success of pay-what-you-want experiences: they are entertaining and fun experiences.
They thrill walkers, like in a movie or a play, and they don’t want to lose a minute of the experience.
The key is to select the most interesting and relevant content and to think about how to bring it to life. It’s essential for walkers to be part of the experience and to make it interactive.
4. A personal touch
Walkers who participate in a guruwalk expect a personal touch from the guru on their experience. Although the itinerary or the topic may be the same, a tour leader who was born in a city will use a different approach to his/her experience than an expat who has lived there for a few years. Same for someone sharing a passion.
Your personal touch must be reflected in the guruwalk to create a more humane experience. Walkers expect this vision and personal interpretation of the city on a guruwalk.
It may be by telling personal anecdotes related to a place of interest, by recommending places worth visiting, restaurants, etc. Or how you discovered the passion you're sharing, when it became a passion, etc.
5. The no-shows
It’s a reality on free walking tours and any pay-what-you-want experience: as walkers don’t have to pay anything in advance to book the guruwalk, it’s possible that they don’t show up at the meeting point. However, there are many ways to decrease these “no-shows”.
The easiest thing is to contact the walker beforehand (through WhatsApp, the platform, …), insisting on punctuality. In case of rain, you should tell walkers that the tour is still standing. You can also explain how to get to the meeting point, mention how to recognize you, … In this post, we give you all the detailed information to avoid walkers’ no-shows.