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Q&A with Jessica Dante: Travel Content Creator, Entrepreneur and Founder of Love and London

Photographs by Mollie Manning Creative

Hi Jessica, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started Love and London?
It all started back when I moved over to the UK in 2013, I set up a little blog to document starting my new life as an American who moved to a foreign country for love. A couple of years in, a bit bored with writing, I started creating YouTube videos about travel and giving tips for people visiting London. The London videos started garnering an audience and I knew I had something on my hands, so I decided I would focus on building something that helped London tourists to explore my new home. Fast forward eight years, and it’s my full-time job, with a team of 14 helping me make it all happen, and generating a healthy six figures in revenue.

Becoming an established vlogger is no easy feat, I’m sure it’s quite the journey – can you share your high and low points?
To outsiders, it looks extremely glamorous and sometimes it is! I’ve met some amazing people through work and I love that my job is to work with a fantastic team that helps tourists get a bit off the beaten path. I also LOVE running the show and the pros and cons of that. The low point was ABSOLUTELY COVID-19 times. We had almost two years of very little profit, no matter what I tried to launch and how many “pivots” we attempted. I’m really happy we’re through that period now, it was extremely hard to deal with in many ways.
How did a New Yorker find herself in London? And does London feel more like home now than New York?
I originally moved here for love! While I was living in Florence, Italy in 2012, I met an English guy and we had a whirlwind romance which culminated in a wedding in New York City after I had major difficulties at UK Border Control (long story for another time!). We separated in 2019, but I decided to stay in London because it definitely felt more like home than New York at that point. My friends are in London, my business, and I had spent most of my adult life here, plus, it’s just the BEST city.
What’s your top 5 travel tips for tourists visiting London?
1. HAVE. A. PLAN. Most people get to London not realising how widespread it is, and they think they can just walk to everything they want to see. Plan to explore one area each day so you don’t overdo it.
2. Get out of the main touristy areas. If you stick around Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the Tower of London, and Covent Garden, you’re mostly with other tourists. That’s fine but if you head a bit out of the centre you’ll meet Londoners and experience lesser-known (and less crowded) bits and bobs. Some areas you could start with are Broadway Market, Brixton, and Hampstead Heath.
As a content creator and entrepreneur, maintaining a constant presence is essential. How do you navigate the demands of running your social media schedule while ensuring you avoid burn-out?
Hiring people who get stuff done and are super organised is a huge part of it. From early days, as soon as I could afford it I started hiring freelancers to do various parts of our content production which means we can do a lot more, and a lot better, than if I just did it myself (which just thinking about gives me chills). We all work on the same systems, like Asana, Slack and Notion, to make sure everyone knows what to do and when, as being super organised means we can keep communication to a minimum and just get our stuff done efficiently. It’s a well-oiled machine we’re constantly tweaking and improving.
What platform is working for you right now and what future trends do you predict in the social media space?
Instagram has really boomed for us in the last year and a half but YouTube will always be our biggest focus because it’s better at building brand loyalty, has higher conversion rates for our email sign-ups, and is where brands pay the most for advertising.
As someone who is rocking it as an influencer, you’ve carved out a career path that most tried and couldn’t succeed at. You even turned your passion into a blooming business. What advice do you have for those thinking about diving into the content space but worried their dreams might not pan out? 
Know what you want to get out of it business-wise. It can be fun to make content, but ultimately it needs to pay the bills and keep growing for it to be a sustainable business. So how will your channels do that? Will your Reels bring in leads for your graphic design work? Or will your YouTube videos get you in front of CEOs so you can be hired for consulting work? Or maybe you want to get paid to travel the world and speak at conferences, how will your content help you achieve that? Knowing your own goals first will then help you figure out the steps you’ll need to take to get there.
Aside from work, what do you love to do in your spare time?
My friends and I LOVE trying new restaurants and bars around the city (I know I know, this is sorta work too!). I do love traveling and have been doing more solo trips where I work during the day and explore in the evenings. I also love hitting the gym, I’ve been using the Sweat app for years now which has been helpful for weight training.
Finally, what’s next?
We’re launching Love and Paris next year! This will be a huge business challenge for me but it feels like the right next step. We’ve also started introducing other “faces” into our short-form video content as I start to pull myself out so I can focus on the business growth. Exciting stuff, a big year is on the horizon.
Jessica Dante is a travel vlogger, social media entrepreneur and Founder of Love and London. Visit her website and follow her on Instagram

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