When I decided to be a blogger/social influencer/whatever term you prefer, there are definitely some aspects of the self-title I did not know about or understand. Tonight's post will detail my first experience as a travel blogger, but also some other random things I've learned on this journey.
First travel collaboration experience:
My trip to Boston and Nantucket last week was made possible by The Element Hotel in Boston and Lark Hotels (21 Broad) in Nantucket. I've talked about travel quite a bit on my blog, but this was the first partnership. I have to say, I am BEYOND excited to add this sector to my brand.
That being said, travel blogging is probably the most challenging thing I've done with Trendy in Indy up to this point. First of all, if you know me, you know I am not a light packer. So I automatically was down one carry on that I would normally pack because I took our camera backpack that contained three lenses, multiple batteries, extra memory cards, and our GoPro. I think Halee would tell you I was constantly searching for tickets, papers, my phone, etc while we were gone. I felt so unorganized.
I was nervous because I wanted to make sure I had plenty of great content and stellar images for these hotels to appropriately show off the awesomeness of both places we stayed. One night I actually made us turn around on our walk to dinner because I wanted to capture quality images of cocktail hour at 21 Broad. It was too perfect to leave out of our experience.
Also, trying to explain to everyone what we were doing out there was next to impossible. The first time I told someone I was an influencer doing a travel collaboration and have a little over 5K followers on Instagram, he basically didn't believe me. It's not all about the numbers people. I had to pitch unique content ideas to these hotels, send my media kit, and send previous content of travel experiences before they said yes. I finally just started telling people we were out there for vacation.
Our trip was awesome. We had a wonderful experience, captured great images, and came home with the best stories to add to the book we could write about "Halee and Steph Travel Experiences." I just wanted to share a little bit about what went on behind the beautiful pictures you've seen.
Other things I didn't expect as an influencer:
Well to be honest, I could write a lot on this topic. Here are a few highlights for you:
- I thought everyone would be 100% supportive. WRONG. That's not the case. I've just learned to accept it.
- I thought it would be "easy." I know how to write, I am good at fashion. Piece of cake. That's only about 20% of what I do with Trendy in Indy.
- I thought I would have 30K followers in no time. Then I discovered how some bloggers actually gain their following. Sadly, it's not all organic. Although if you don't know what you're looking for, 60K followers probably looks really good to you regardless of the 300 average likes per photo.
- Rejection. Over and over and over again. I've never been rejected so much in my life. Some brands only work with you if you have over 10K followers. Others don't want to pay you because they don't see value in exposure vs sales (which is what you normally get with a microinfluencer).
- I didn't expect to make as many awesome connections as I have. There are some truly awesome people in this world. It's been amazing to learn about new products or brands. Plus, you all know I love my local businesses so meeting their owners and teams has been a blessing.
- I didn't realize how much time I would put into this or want to put into this. I spend my days off, nights, and early mornings trying to get as much done as possible. That way I can balance a full time job and Trendy in Indy. Believe me, it's not always easy, but I am learning.
- I am making a difference. I'm doing my 5K giveaway on Instagram right now and the number of positive comments I've received has been overwhelming in the best way. So many of you recognize my realness and I am so thankful for that.
Well I know this was a long one tonight, but hopefully a good read for you. As always, I would love your comments below.
Have a great rest of your week.