Hey Renee! Thank you so much for taking the time to be with me today 🙂 So about three months ago I was having lunch with a few other bloggers and I was expressing frustration about expressing my true self on Instagram and I felt that I had to choose either adventure or luxury, but I liked both. One of the girls said, “hey, have you followed ReneeRoaming? I feel like you would love her content.” And from that it is history, I have loved Renee’s page and brand that she has grown. She is a constant inspiration and I cant wait to get to share her story! – aw thanks lovely!
Before we start can you introduce yourself to everyone and tell us what you do?
I think the intro on my website sums it up: Hi! My name is Renee and I’m the storyteller behind Renee Roaming. The purpose of my brand is to inspire travelers and adventure seekers to live intentionally, place value on experiences instead of possessions, and most of all, to encourage others to find joy exploring this beautiful world. Renee Roaming isn’t a typical travel blog and Instagram… whilst I write about travel and adventure, I also share tips about photography, social media, van life, being a woman in the outdoor community and traveling as a couple.
So, you quit your job to travel the world? That is the DREAM that so many of us aspire for. What was it that truly motivated you to follow your heart and leave your safe, full time job? Were you financially secure before you started or just went for it? Were there any reservations/ fears that you may have had? It didn’t happen in a planned or linear way. My husband and I had planned to quit our jobs and travel for 4-6 months as we had some commitments back in Australia and New Zealand, plus our rental agreement in Boulder (Colorado) was expiring. The plan was to quit our jobs, put our stuff into a storage unit, travel for about 6 months, return to Colorado and then decide whether to relocate or get a new rental, and return to regular 9-5 jobs. I loved being a Speech Therapist and definitely didn’t hate my job, but it wasn’t fulfilling me in all the ways I wanted. So, when the time came to return to Colorado we reevaluated our finances and it was apparent that I could continue my work as a photographer, blogger and influencer. The plan was to do it for as long as the money was steadily coming in, and it just kept coming, so I kept doing what I loved! I can now say with confidence that the decision to go freelance full-time was the right one for me, but of course there was a lot of self-doubt and fear that it would be the wrong choice. I figured it was better to give it a try rather than always regret that I didn’t pursue the career that made me the happiest.
How have you been able to transform your blog/Instagram into a full-on brand with a community of over 300k. Congrats on 300k by the way!!! Thank you! The over-arching theme would be – a ton of hard work, long hours and dedication! It didn’t happen overnight and success wasn’t by any means instant. When it comes down it, I think being committed to constantly improving my art, sharing stories, and authentically connecting with my readers/audience has been the most important aspect of growing my brand.
What is the mission behind your brand and what is the message you hope to spread onto your community?! Funny you ask! I just updated my mission statement: Through storytelling and beautiful imagery, the mission of Renee Roaming is to spark wanderlust, fuel adventure, encourage intentional living, influence others to place value on experiences instead of possessions, and most of all, to inspire all people to find joy exploring this beautiful world.
Where has your favorite travel destination been thus far? What made this location so special? That is such a hard question! I wouldn’t say I have a favorite destination as such, because so many places are close to my heart. One of my favorite travel experiences was staying in an off-the-grid wilderness cabin on Upper Twin Lake, in Lake Clark National Park (Alaska). I loved everything about it… the solitude, beauty, wildlife, having the entire area to ourselves, experiencing the humor of jumping off the boat dock into the freezing cold lake, picking wild blueberries for our pancakes, and exploring local hikes (blog post about the trip). As far as countries go, Iceland is definitely one of my favorites!
What is your recommended camera to travel with? I usually have my Sony a7Riii (+ lenses) and my Sony RX100V on me. I also always travel with a tripod.
Because you have been able to grow your brand, you were part of an Instagram/Blogging Bootcamp held in Bali and are going back again. What do you teach and focus on instructing while hosting this retreat for those who are interested in signing up? The Social Media Bootcamps I run with Institute of Code are focused around building a successful brand, growing your social media following (+ monetizing it), blogging tips, photography lessons, including editing. The workshops are super in depth and our students go home with all the skills they need to be a successful blogger, influencer, and/or social media manager.
How much time do you put into your brand on a daily/weekly/monthly basis? Gosh, I wouldn’t know. I’ll put it this way – I am typically working on my brand at least 50 hours per week, if not closer to 70 (or more!) This could be doing any of the following: being out on a project, traveling to/from a project, photo/video editing, replying to emails, negotiating brand deals and sponsored projects, phone meetings, writing blog posts, posting on Instagram, engaging with my followers, replying to direct messages, creating PINs for Pinterest, posting on my other social channels, creating products/downloads for my readers, participating in interviews, dealing with boring business-related and admin tasks like taxes and speaking with our accountant, and more. Working freelance feels like a never-ending to-do list but I wouldn’t change a thing!
Where do you hope your brand to go in the future? I have some exciting projects and plans on the horizon, most that I can’t share just yet. Regardless though, the goal is for my brand to continue to inspire others through a variety of media forms.
What are some ‘on a budget- Instagram worthy’ destinations? Visiting America’s beautiful national parks! There are so many easy to access and budget friendly parks that are 100% Insta-worthy! I would also say Bali because everything is very cheap there, plus its absolutely beautiful.
A lot of Instagram accounts are trying to grow, and we know the algorithm just keeps changing. What would your 3 main Instagram tips be? Be consistent – post frequently, engage consistently (and authentically) and be sure to put out new content regularly (feed posts and stories). Be adaptable – watch what other people are doing, especially the accounts that appear to be killing it on Instagram. Watch for innovation and changes to the app. Embrace new features when launched and be one of the first people to stand out. Can’t stress this one enough – QUALITY! The most important thing about growing your account is having quality content that stops people in their tracks when scrolling through their feeds and on the explore page. Make sure your content has that “wow factor”.
Thank you so much for taking the time Renee 🙂 I can’t wait to share!!!