This week’s Go Learn Things update is heavily influenced by the WITS conference I attended two weeks ago. WITS, Women In Travel Summit, was an exciting gathering of female travel professionals from all over the world. There were travel bloggers, city tourism boards, eco-travel experts, travel photographers, website designers and many more.
Energized by new friends, new concepts, new goals and new learning curves my head has been buzzing. So not surprisingly 4 out of my 5 learning categories are direct results of the WITS2017.
Social Media Stats
Where to begin with social media is a daunting task for new bloggers. I have been blogging for 10 months now and had settled in with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. One of my primary goals in attending WITS20127 was to expand my knowledge of social media and zero in on the best fit. There was also this nagging voice telling me that I was shouting into a black hole. Well WITS2017 did not disappoint. Here are the points I decided to focus on:
- There is no one perfect platform that fits all. Each blogger had a favorite and a reason why it was best for their niche. Photographers gravitated to Instagram, Millenials love Snapchat, Baby Boomers are comfortable on Facebook….
- Twitter is trending down. There is not enough real interaction and it has a momentary shelf-life.
- Facebook owns Instagram, and Facebook has taught us that there is “no free lunch”. These platforms change their algorithms constantly and it requires devoted and detailed attention to your stats to keep up. (Spreadsheets? Really?)
- Stats….I discovered that you must dig to find the real stats (sometimes even pay). I was pleasantly surprised that my stats were slightly better than a black hole.
- Pinterest is a “search engine” not really social media. Having just recently started to understand SEO this tidbit will change how I format and use Pinterest. This article from Wonderlass has guided many of my modifications.
Transform into a Travel Professional
I asked Suzanne after the presentation, how they were able to get their spouses “on board” with the concept that travel is my legit business.
“Make money at it and they will take you seriously real quick.”
HMMM, why didn’t I think of that! Honestly I was afraid this was the answer. I had thought I didn’t want to enter this fray but, turns out I do. Once I met all these ladies “doing it” I want to be credible. My goals are to pitch to at least one destination and one publication. This is a tough learning curve that scares the beejebus out of me. But you know the answer: Go Learn Things.
I find branding to be an overused word but that is probably my mistake. The specifics I have worked on are:
- Consistency across all platforms. Several of my platforms were still under my personal accounts. If I am a brand, not a mom fooling around online, all my accounts should match my brand: Go Learn Things.
- Create a concise tagline (to communicate my focus) and again use it on all platforms.
- Create a Media Kit….Yikes again! Where to start? Step one, create a logo, already has me stumped. I had purchased business cards before the conference and now I would like to continue that look for my logo. Sadly, Vistaprint, who made the cards and sell logo design services could not make a logo from my cards?????
Google tells me to learn how to do it on Photoshop. Even Google knows I have to; Go Learn Things. Maybe it just knows I pay for PS every month and I should be using it more.
With a little help from my Friends
The most attractive thing about social media is that it allows us to expand our social circles globally. A conference like this adds the precious opportunity for face-to-face connections. The Wanderful community that presented this conference knew this. They gave attendees access to each other weeks before the conference with some very cutting edge technology apps. I went armed with some very specific bloggers and brands that I wanted to connect with. But the joy of these venues is the serendipitous meeting of kindred spirits. In a spirit of paying it forward these women were all eager to share and learn from each other. What they could possibly learn from me is questionable, but by next year I too will be paying it forward!
These vibrant and fascinating women are not only maintaining their own blogs but also developing communities to encourage and support their peers. I have already acquired priceless knowledge from each. They too are encouraging me to Go Learn Things:
Lori Helke @lorilovesparis
Suzanne Stavert @suzannestavert
Lisa Trudell @WalkingTourists
Melody Pittman @melodytravels
Tam Warner Minton @TravelwithTam
Lisa Lubbin @LLworldtour
Olivia Christine @OChristine
Sara Boers @travelwithsara
Anne Paris @annejparis
Pippa Biddle @PhilippaBiddle
Elaine Walters @tripwellness
Midwest Travel Bloggers @mwtravelblogs
Wanderful Community @sheswanderful
Irene Levine and Janice Mucalov @GettingOnTravel
Go Learn Things Update on Photography
After all that blogging talk, photography may seem to be an afterthought. Well never fear, there is always something new and crazy going on around here. To our arsenal of Landscape Photography, Real Estate Photography and Underwater Photography we have added Drone Photography. I have mostly let this be Tom’s learning curve for now and I have been the assistant whining about the cold. But don’t worry, I will get my hands on it soon enough. When you think about our travels this addition is absolutely thrilling.