Interview with Beyond the Wanderlust
Tell us a little about yourself! What’s your background and what do you love to do?
I always laugh when people ask me what I do because I do so many different things. First I would say I am a wife to my high school sweetheart, married for nine year. Together we have three kids – Landon, 7, Grady, 5, and Alayna, 4. Adding to the chaos of our house is our Chiweenie, Teko, Rosie the cat and our newest kitty who found us – although the husband isn’t too happy about that. We are truly getting outrun in our house! Outside of my personal life I am a photographer, a blogger, social media obsessed, editor – there really isn’t that I won’t try once.
What first made you want to start Beyond the Wanderlust?
The creation of Beyond the Wanderlust was random and I never thought it would lead me here. I was frustrated with the photography industry and how they put added stress on artists. A lot of the photography blogs were only focusing on artists that had a name or were well known; and they still do. I didn’t want that. I want people to be able to shine regardless of where they are in their photography journey. I started this blog to do just that. Find artists, from all over the world, and share their talents. The blog was founded on being nice and I truly think that is what has made it so successful.
What has been your most exciting or proud moment since starting this journey?
I don’t know if I can name just one. Being self taught in everything I do is extremely hard but also extremely rewarding, when you see yourself succeed. I love getting emails from fans and saying because of the blog they have kept pursing their photography dreams. That is why I do what I do. Personally I would have to say getting emails from brands I never thought I would work with, has been super humbling.
What has been the biggest struggle or challenge you’ve faced?
Man you are really putting it to me with these tough questions! Many times in this business I have thought, ” Wow that was really hard, I am never doing that again,” yet here I am, still doing really hard things. A lot of my business is a struggle because I have to learn how to do it alone and then implement it successfully into my business. I recently brought on a helper, Jamie Scott, who has been amazing and I don’t think I would be able to continue my journey without her.
You have a huge presence on social media! How has that made an impact on how you’ve built your business?
My social media presence is my business, period. With my love of social media I know how much of my time has to be put into building my brand through it. Honestly that is where a lot of businesses fail. Social media is a double edge sword, it can be our biggest downfall or the piece that elevates our business to being more successful.
Do you see a shift in trends in how people interact with your business? Or how has the Beyond the Wanderlust evolved since beginning?
As new media platforms are evolving I try to watch the trends and focus on how it will help or hurt the blog’s community. I am a huge advocate for Google Analytics and that alone helps me decide where to push my focus. When the blog started there was a lot of pieces that didn’t get started with it – Instagram being one. I decided this past summer that I wanted Instagram to be more involved in the BTW community and started really engaging and building the community over there. Since implementing changes this past summer, I have grown from under 3,000 fans to just recently pushing over the 8,000 mark. My personal goal is to hit 10,000 by the end of 2015 and I think I will crush that.
Where do you see Beyond the Wanderlust heading next?
The future of Beyond the Wanderlust is really bright. I have lots of big dreams for where I see the future, while some might be a little over zealous! Coming up in November will be the launch of the new website which has been long over due and will be huge for the BTW community. With the new website will come the new Executive Program which will allow artists to come on and grow the business side of their photography careers. There are tons of Pro Programs in the industry but there is a huge gap in how they help artists grow, I want to change that. I have a top secret new branch that I have in the works, which has me more excited than I have been in a long time! I turn 30 at the end of November and I have told myself, 2016 will be the best year of my career!