Can Valentine’s Day really be a day when rideshare drivers clean up in terms of earnings? Well, it certainly falls on one of our most popular rideshare driving holidays list, so the answer may be yes! Should you drive for Uber on Valentine’s Day? And if so, how can you really class it up? We have a guest poster, Joe Strandell, share his suggestions below.
Valentine’s Day recently was great for ridesharing. In Santa Barbara, where I live, it was surging for most of the Valentine’s weekend and lots of people were in town, in love and in need of rides.
I started at 2 pm myself and went strong until 11 pm. I made about $350 after Lyft and Uber took their cut which averaged to about $38 an hour (including higher than average tips).
Here are a few lessons I learned from that experience and the weekend in general:
1. Always dress nice
Guys, you will go so much further if you wear a suit. Go to Men’s Wearhouse: they have a buy 1, get 1 free suit deal as we speak. It’s worth investing in yourself.
I don’t leave the house now without wearing a suit. It really changes you from the inside out. People’s respect for you grows about 3X.
Don’t have a suit, or don’t want to wear one? That’s fair – dressing up in your nicest ‘non-suit’ clothes will work just as well! Grab a polo shirt, some nice slacks, or a nice sundress (and maybe a cardigan if it’s cold out there!) for female Uber and Lyft drivers.
There’s a reason why ‘dress to impress’ is one of our top recommendations to make more money with Uber and Lyft – it’s because we’ve found it works, regardless of your gender!
2. Invest in some good car freshener
When people enter your reality, it should enlighten all senses, especially smell. I keep my car smelling immaculate and there’s a reason for it.
Should you wear cologne or perfume? That’s up to you! We’ve found passengers either love it or hate it – and we’re not sure ‘hate it’ is a potential feeling you want to encourage while driving on Valentine’s Day or weekend.
However, if you want to wear cologne or perfume while driving on Valentine’s Day, just make sure not to go overboard!
3. Speak your customer’s language
Whenever a Swede enters the car, for example, I play popular Swedish music. Spotify makes finding these playlists easy – no excuse!
You can also give your passenger your phone to play a song of their choice. It will always be something you’d least expect.
This is key. You should also at least pretend to enjoy their musical choices, even if it sounds like the worst thing you’ve ever heard.
Not sure what to play when passengers get in your car? Take Jay’s advice and use Led Zeppelin to get ‘a whole lotta love’ (and tips!):
Whenever I meet someone from China, I say “Wǒ xǐhuān qù hǎibiān” (I love to go to the beach).
I’ve learned how to say that in 12 languages, including Korean, Norwegian, French, Portuguese, Chinese, German, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, and Spanish. I make sure to practice these languages for at least 5 minutes every day – and yes, Spotify also has free programs to help you study!
This rule isn’t limited to language translation either. People from the southern states have different values than the people from the northeastern states. Figure out who your customers are and what they value.
For example, I can infer something about the Swedes based on how many conversations I’ve had with them. Most of the Swedes here in Santa Barbara are here for school. They are young. Advertisements have been put in their face to come and study here in the states. They love the idea of sunshine, beaches, the southern Californian lifestyle.
So whenever a Swede comes in the car, I have some context for their purposes.
Do your homework. When you can speak in a language that someone else can understand, it opens them up in ways that were not possible before.
4. Know how to navigate your city
This seems pretty obvious, right? You need to know how to navigate to get the most efficient route.
There’s nothing more awkward than taking a Lyft to get the Santa Monica City Hall, and the driver doesn’t know where that is. That’s a true story. I’m lucky that Santa Barbara is small and the navigation is easy.
In Santa Barbara, there’s a street called Santa Barbara St. that as long as you go 30 miles an hour, you will hit every green light. The same is almost true for Anacapa St. and De La Vina St. You want to take these to go south.
Learn your city. Take the routes that are most efficient and easiest on your vehicle and transmission.
Readers, what do you think about my Valentine’s Day driving and these four things?
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-Joe @ RSG