If you’re wondering how people make a living from being a digital influencer, you know, people who get paid to post photos on their Instagram, blog full time or even become a freelance journalist without a previous background in writing? The Travel Bootcamp is the conference that gives you an eye opener into that world, which I attended at The InterContinental Hotel in Sydney last weekend.The Travel Bootcamp, Sydney, August 2017
I was recently told about The Travel Bootcamp from my British blogger friend, Jayne from Girl Tweets World, who told me how beneficial it would be to attend. I started my blog in 2014 as a way to get into the fashion industry. Laughable I know, seeing as you won’t find any of my cringe worthy, trying to pose like a model blog posts on Londoner In Sydney anymore. I think I gave about 18 months down that road before I knew I needed to give my audience the content they wanted – information about moving to Australia and an insight into what life was really like for me as an expat, actually living here in Sydney.
As time moves forward, I’ve realised this is more than just a hobby now, it’s a platform I get to inspire thousands of you each week, a place I get so much satisfaction on being able to help others. Unfortunately time is never on my side as I try to juggle a full time job and keep up with the blog content quality.
So I decided to check out The Travel Bootcamp ran by three women who are at the top of their game in the travel industry: Lauren Bath, Liz Carlson and Georgia Rickard. From L-R, Lauren Bath, Liz Carlson and Georgia Rickard
Who are the organisers?
1. Lauren Bath – Australia’s first professional Instagrammer
Snapshot of Lauren Bath’s beautiful Instagram account
2. Liz Carlson of Young Adventuress – One of the top 10 travel bloggers in the world
Liz Carlson’s Young Adventuress blog
Liz Carlson at The Travel Bootcamp
3. Georgia Rickard – Award winning travel journalist
Top travel journalist, Georgia Rickard at The Travel Bootcamp
I’ve been to one blogger conference before, Pro Blogger, last year in the Gold Coast. It was a 3 day intense bootcamp with a few hundred other attendees learning all about blogging. I remember it being inspiring, full of great key note speakers, but the main takeaway for me was the quote: audience is key to great content by the incredible speaker, Brian Fanzo of isocialfanz. I also remember thinking it would be amazing to be around other like minded bloggers, but in fact most of the other attendees were all mummy bloggers – a big tight-knit group that all stuck together. I felt like the outsider and it made me feel crap.
Everyone waiting for The Travel Bootcamp to start
This time around, I spent more money on a one day conference with The Travel Bootcamp ($450 for the early bird ticket) than that three day conference at Pro Blogger (exc flights) so I hoped I’d get more out of it than feeling a bit crap. I changed my perspective this time round, it wasn’t about whether I felt good enough around other bloggers, my goal was to stay focused, get some good information and to connect with the speakers and the sponsors, Intrepid Travel and Olympus.As the day started, the speakers presented their specific platform, in a beginner session and then onto the advanced session. They all had a similar formula, how to start in their field such as what kind of photos work on Instagram, how to become a freelance writer, why to start a blog and the onto the exciting part of how to pitch to brands. The most valuable information was given in the print outs to take home which included their own media kits, example emails of pitches to brands, how much money they make and all the ins and outs to help you start making an income from this industry. All of this information wasn’t talked about at Pro Blogger, and I doubt it’s talked about in the industry full stop.
This is why The Travel Bootcamp worked. It was ran by the people we all want to become.
Learning first hand on how they made it and what they did, is something no brand can BS you into. Their honesty, openness and willingness to help others was infectious and it was clear they didn’t accidentally just make it as a digital influencer, they all worked hard to get there.
Attendees networking during morning tea
Although the name of the conference suggests it’s for travel bloggers, I would definitely recommend anyone who wants to become a Digital Influencer to attend because it’s adaptable for all. The key to this workshop was learning how they came from normal jobs and are now making more money than they ever thought imagined.
Tips for attending a Digital Influencer conference
If you’re thinking of going to a blogger conference, here’s a few tips to being prepared. I took my laptop with me and constantly wrote notes even though most of what they talked about were in the print outs. To me, having my own notes makes it more real. Just make sure you turn the brightness down on your laptop, close all apps except whatever you are writing your notes on (I’m obsessed with One Note) to save on the battery life. I also created my own media kit using canva before the conference, printed it out and put it on USB sticks to give to the sponsors, speakers and bloggers. What’s a Blogger, Instagrammer or Journalist going to do with my media kit? I gave it to them to:
a/ get feedback on how I could make it better
I made sure I spoke to them all throughout the breaks to ask for specific advice which they gave me answers I needed. Having those questions answered by the speakers made the cost of it worth it for me with the added bonus of all of their tips and tricks into the industry. During the last break, I made sure I gave them my media kit before the day was over. Although I cringe about the moment I bombarded Georgia in the bathrooms with my media kit, you sometimes have to get out of your comfort zone and just jump at the opportunity even if they think you’re bonkers for doing so!
Absolutely yes. The girls have given me the tools to feel confident enough to approach brands now, and that yes, I won’t expect to get the answer I need from the first brand I contact, it can take hundreds of emails to get that one brand to say yes.
One of the main things that sticks in my mind is Georgia’s favourite quote “don’t ask, don’t get”. Although it’s an obvious one, I am geared to not be scared of rejection and just get myself out there with this brand I have built. It’s funny because everything they talked about was so obvious when I look back on it all, I just needed someone to spell it out for me! Hopefully you’ll see some more exciting content on Londoner In Sydney in the future!
Have you been to a blogging/social media/ digital influencer conference before? Tell me if there are any others worth going to in the comments below.
If you’re thinking of becoming a blogger, check out my other related posts:
Thanks for reading!