Growing A Successful Blog & Instagram Within A Niche , Working With Dream Brands & Balancing Sidehustling + Upcoming Baby
Growing A Successful Blog & Instagram Within A Niche , Working With Dream Brands & Balancing Sidehustling + Upcoming Baby
Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.
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Hey, everyone, welcome to Twin Cities collective podcast. I'm your host Jenna Redfield, and today we have a special guest, Jenny Anderson. And she is better known as a girl at 10,000 lakes. Welcome, Jenny.
Hello, Jenna. Thanks for having me. Yes.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 1:25
I'm so excited to have you on. We haven't had a blogger on and hot second. So I thought we should have you on. You actually just won our best of awards. I
know. That was totally honored. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 1:35
that was so fun. I was so excited that one because I was like she's like the best. So can you kind of explain like what you do and kind of how you got started?
Sure. Yeah. So in short, I am an outdoor blogger, a content creator. And my goal is to just inspire folks to get outdoors and just embrace, you know, something they might not be familiar with. Because not everyone grows up with the outdoors certainly didn't. So making it seem more accessible and fun. And just, you know, it's healthy lifestyle and just encouraging folks to get out there. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 2:09
So you basically mostly are on Instagram. And then you also have a blog as well, right?
Yes, Instagram. I do have a Facebook. That's definitely a different different population. But I have it and then I Pinterest a little bit in Twitter. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 2:22
All the things. Yes. I mean, that's kind of what every blogger kind of has to have is like all the things but you know, it's funny, I was actually on Twitter yesterday, and I realized so many people have stopped using Twitter.
I know it's different. The platform is kind of shifted to be more of like a
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 2:35
news, or news rather than like content like people i don't i the only thing I post on Twitter is like I blinked my Instagram. Yeah, that's all I think I do. Yeah.
And LinkedIn I've been using lately. It's
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 2:46
great. I love LinkedIn. Yeah,
that one's just picking up a lot of viewers.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 2:51
I think it's because they really focus on content now kind of like how Facebook used to be. That's kind of what I consider LinkedIn. But so you, we actually have a special guest as well your dog. Wait, you didn't leave out the car. So this is key me. She's very
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 3:05
rough. She's so cute. First dog podcast interview. So how did you get started with your blog? Like, why did you decide to? When did you start it? Why did you decide to start the blog.
So just a quick background on myself, I was a TV news reporter for about five years, I went to school for broadcast journalism. So I worked at the NBC affiliate in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, did a lot of stories related to outdoor things, because Western Wisconsin is very heavy on the hunting, fishing, the camping and all of that. So that was kind of my first taste and all that. And then I came to the back to Minnesota with my husband, we were just like engaged at that time. And I couldn't find a TV job was really hard, because this market is so competitive. So I was like, I need like a creative outlet of some kind to keep this going. So, you know, we already spent every weekend fishing or camping or hiking or whatever, exploring Minnesota and Wisconsin. And I was already taking so many photos from my personal, you know, my personal Facebook and that sort of thing. And it really got a lot of engagement, and people responded well to it. So it was kind of a natural fit to just get into that blogging world might as well, you know, share it to the public rather than just my immediate friends. That make sense. So how did you come up with the name? Okay, so that was like a lot of thought was actually because I wanted it to be related to Minnesota in some way but also be general enough to be like connected to Kevin life and woodsy life and you know, the lakes and all that. And then also just being a female in the outdoors. I know, the outdoor industry is very heavy on the male focus. But I know women are coming out more being empowered to get outdoors. So I think just having the the word girl in it just makes it stand out a little bit more. So the Minnesota connection and then also making sure people know that I am a female who is trying to do all of these things.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 5:03
That's really cool. I love that you put so much thought into the name. So basically, you post about the things that you're doing. It's a lot I see like a lot of fishing a lot of just like, especially on the lakes like you really are always on the line. Oh, yeah. Just I mean, there's so many Is there a favorite leg of yours? Or?
Yes, so depending on the season in the winter, I love no x. It's only about an hour and a half north of the Twin Cities, so it's really accessible and close. The ice fishing is awesome. And then in the summer, I love the Boundary Waters just anywhere up there. All the lakes are just so pristine and beautiful. I highly recommend it. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 5:38
you seem to like canoeing a lot
as well. Yes, it's an awesome workout. peaceful and especially in the Boundary Waters, you are far from any human being. So it's just like you and the lake and the paddle and just watching you know, the water around you spread it is it is very therapeutic. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 5:55
So how does your blog work and your Instagram? Like, how often do you post? What do you post? What like, how do you cope with the content for your all of your stuff?
So it is. So when I first started, it wasn't as strategic, it was more just posting as I did stuff, and just saving up content and sharing it. But now about near a year, year and a half later. So I've only been doing this for a year now. I can see kind of what does really well, and what the audience response to so I've been able to be more strategic about it. So I will literally go back into my analytics and see what types of posted well, literally, it's like people love fish pics for something that is one like we're in. And then like canoe pics anything with our hot dish, which is our our vintage camper. Oh yes,
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 6:47
I've seen that. It's so cool. Yeah,
we call it the little hot dish, and we did a makeover on it. And it's also a fish house. So anything with that, and it seems to do well. So that's kind of how we plan content for the year is just going back and seeing well. And then I also try to figure out what brands I want to work with earlier in the year. Yeah. So just planning around that. But I post probably about three to four times a week. And every post I do, it's not just like, on a whim. Like I actually like think a lot about it. And probably more time than I should. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 7:19
I mean, you're you're you're doing really well. So like it's working,
you know? Yeah, I mean, hopefully, half my day is like so I'm thinking about?
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 7:31
Because you have a day job to write?
I do. Yes. So I do video production for the state as a day job. Yeah, so that's a lot of fun. And it's related to my field, obviously, videography is a big part of what I do. So it's great that I can do something that I love in a professional way. But you know, after 6:30pm, when I'm off work, I go pretty much straight to my computer, when I get home and I am working on into the late hours of the night and home pays off. That is currently My plan is to just try to put those hours in so that someday this can be a sustainable enough job that I can just create out outdoor content full time. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 8:11
I mean, that's a lot of people's. So when do you think that that could happen? Like, do you have kind of a goal or when you like, maybe maybe not a timeline, but just like when you think you're ready to do that? Yeah.
So I guess income is a big thing, I would love to be able to make the amount that I make currently for my job. I'm not quite there yet. And probably if I had to break it, I probably like a quarter of the way there something like that. So it's still a process. So I'm just trying to take as many freelance and like blog related jobs while I can so I can make those connections and it'll pay off in the future. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 8:49
that's really good. Because I think a lot of people start a blog and it do you see like people starting blogs and then just like dying, like like the blog, just like giving up? Yes.
Has the initial inspiration. Yeah, I know what that's like, like, yeah, like, I'm gonna start this blog, let me buy that URL. And yeah, grab that Instagram handle. And yeah, it's a lot of work, you have to consistent about it. So I can share my people shop out
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 9:14
of that, because I think everyone has a dream of like, working for themselves full time. And you know, a blog, like, that's just seems such a like, crazy thing, but I think that you are so niched, which I think is you're so unique that I think there's so many outdoorsy companies in Minnesota that totally like need someone like you. So how do you find those partnerships with some of those brands?
Right. So in the beginning, like when I was just starting out, I made it a point to like start monetizing right away. Okay. So, obviously, I didn't have the following to make it worthy. But I did a lot of trade for products, which is like a great way to basically build your online resume. Sure. And that is kind of what initially started it, I wanted to work with companies that totally align with my manifesto of like promoting the outdoors and making it more accessible and friendly to like, all members of the family, not just women or men kids do. So I've been you know, careful about who I work with. And, I mean, Lately, I've been lucky enough to have sponsors contact me and want to work with me and propose, you know, a budget and, you know, all these ideas to me. So it's been definitely easier these days. But I know in the beginning, you gotta you gotta put yourself out there and make sure you're contacting all those businesses that you you'd like to work with. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 10:35
So is there any in particular you want to talk about or like any good experiences, or maybe some advice on like dealing with brands?
Sure. Yeah. So one of my favorite brands I've worked with is
their brand, I would say explorative. So Oh, yeah. Yeah, they are awesome. Their content is a huge account. Yeah, yes. And they do a lot of, you know, they take photos from other people are doing the thing. Yeah, Minnesota. So that's a big way for them to market. So they contacted me to do some of these campaigns on their state park system. So that's totally up my alley. And I love the you know, what they do and what they support. And so that was awesome. They were the ones to, you know, come to me with an idea already in place. They wanted me to do an Instagram takeover. And they knew like, they wanted a blog post and maybe a video and like all these things, and they had their budget already set. And it was an easy, yes. Because they're totally in line with me. And that was probably one of the most successful campaigns I've done. Personally, it was, I mean for them as well. But for me, I think in a matter of like a weekend, I grew by about 1000 files. That's awesome. Yeah. So it's important to also work with companies that you know, has a larger reach, and then creating content that someone like that might support
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 12:00
for sure. So, so let's talk a little bit more about that. So like collaborating her or, because I think a lot of people start out? Yeah, they don't have the followers. It's like, how did they get into like collaborating? When you said that you were first starting with the trades? How, how many followers? Did you have when you started that, like 100? or something? Like, was it really small? Or was it like, a little bit more than that? It was probably, we think back
100 does sound right, because initially, I obviously didn't, yeah, like right away Away have like something to show. So after probably, like, three months in to doing it, I had probably more than 100 followers, but that's when I started just writing emails out MIMO I didn't have a media kit and have anything fancy. I just had my links to my Instagram, my Facebook and all that. But I also backed it up with like my impact my background saying like, not only do I have this platform, but I also had the skills of photography, videography, and writing, and I have a voice and I am sort of, I guess people would consider me like an expert in my field, for sure. Even though I'm far from they think that so. So I go off of that, and, you know, trade for products, you're not making money, but you are promoting a product that would align with your brand. So for me that was, like considered monetization. Because in the end, in the long run, I know that it will help me and benefit me in working with other companies.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 13:32
So how did you because you said, right, when we started that you are like looking to reach out to certain brands, how do you decide on what brands you think are good fit?
Well, I mean, everyone has their favorite brands related to their niche, I think and like, you know, like my dream brand would be like Columbia, North Bay or something like that. But like, I I first started out locally, because at the local level, they are more willing to work with micro influencers so so we're talking about like, yeah,
it's like totally brand new type of marketing is
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 14:08
that everyone listening wants to be a micro influencer, trust me or eventually bigger influence, you know, yeah, yeah,
I am no expert, but I can talk on my experience that reaching out to the local folks, they are totally open to it. And you know, trading for like, a T shirt is not a big marketing budget for them. That's like pennies. Yeah, for sure. It's, yeah, just literally reaching out to Minnesota companies. I knew what organizations I loved already. Like I love seeing the hungry waters. And I you know, there's like different holding companies all over Minnesota now promoting that Minnesota lyst style show. There's a plethora of that. And then once I was able to work with the local brands, then I was able to conduct more larger brands and actually, you had the where you paired us up with Oh, yeah. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 15:00
I remember the accountability partner. Yes. I remember that was the first time I've ever like, like met you, or like emailed with you was back then. Yeah,
I was like,
that was a year and a
half. And I hopped on an opportunity to
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 15:13
get paired up. I can remember it was somebody else. Was it like the outdoors? Yeah,
right. Her name is Michelle.
Unknown Speaker 15:17
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 15:18
Oh, yeah. From bullet bulletproof. Yes. Yes. She was at the circle. Yeah.
And she is she happens to be now our PR person, which is like, an awesome connection for me. Awesome. So she hooked me up with like, we like met for dinner one night. So she hooked me up with Duluth Trading Company, which was like a big at that time. And so I reached out to them. And I was like, I can do all this like, just do like a trade for product. Yeah. And so they like had me come out to an event and cover it. It was like a lumberjack. Like Yeah, x throwing. It was really fun. And then eventually, they ended up like hooking me up with that marketing company with different company. So then I got hooked up with this like camping like Stove Company called Cardenas. And that was huge. So it was like it was as if like, everything was aligning.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 16:10
That's so exciting. I was wondering if you guys had ever, like connected and was done with that. That's awesome. I met Michelle and she's awesome. So sorry. I'm like freaking out. Like it does for people sometimes it works. So So you've kind of you've really been connected with the twins collective community since probably you started How did you find you remember how you found us?
Or I think I literally Google like Twin Cities, blogger, yes, communities, something like that.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 16:37
That's what a lot of people do, which is kind of funny, because we are the only blogging group really. I mean, there's a there's a few other smaller ones. But that one's nice to like fashion. And like one is like, not like it's just like, I feel like it's funny. Like we kind of all just come together. But but it's cool, because there's so many different types of people. And I think it's cool that you really focus on photo and video because I think that is something a lot of blogger struggle with. So how did you like learn that? How do you use it? Because you have used your husband as well, I'm assuming with a lot of stuff. So how does that work with blogging and photography and everything?
So I'm a lucky person because I studied it. And yeah, I know not everyone's lucky enough to do that. But you know, photography can be pretty simple. As long as you know how to work the camera. Even your phone is amazing. Yes, exactly. So, Mike, so let me just go with like our setup. Initially, when we go for a blog shoot, or when we go out at all, this is what we bring my DSL or our iPhones my gimbal, which is like a device that balances Yep, the the your phone so that it looks really smooth when you shoot video. And then my tripod, my drone, batteries, tons of SD cards. So it is it's not just like an easy little Yeah, let's go out and take photos. Like we bring the whole shebang. And that doesn't have to be the case for everyone. Only because like I love photography, so I'm totally invested in it. But yeah, usually if Nick can take the photos he'll set up the shots for me I'll you know all set die. So and like yeah, the shot.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 18:11
You'll just be the clicker. Yeah, like the one that's actually exactly
okay. But he's learning he's getting better at knowing what ISO does. And then videography wise, he knows how to use the gimbal. But then other times I have a remote clickers so that I can shoot it because sometimes we'll get a little annoyed with, like, retake that shot. And so I'll do like the clicker with the timer and do like a two second gesture and pose myself. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 18:37
So I think that's a good thing to note, because I don't have an Instagram husband, unfortunately. So like, there's times where I'm like, okay, the tripod, I need to take a picture of myself. And it's, it's, it does take a lot of takes if you don't have a photographer to do it for yourself. So how is there any tips you have for like using a tripod or like a clicker? Like, how do you do that? Or how do you set up your shot?
Yes. So obviously, like you have to do a test shot to make sure your head is fully in the frame unless you have one of those cameras where the screen flips and you can see yourself Yeah. And then the other trick is like focusing can be really hard because your room Yes, so auto focus mind, select your head, or it might select the tree behind you. So making sure that you are in focus. Sometimes on cameras, there's like a setting where it's like the face shape. So it'll detect a face and that one usually works really well. Otherwise, I will like all like set a chair up or something, whatever, is there a broom or my auger for ice fishing, and I'll focus on the auger and then I'll run back to that spot and like set it down. So that it's not in the shot. So then I'll still in focus, okay,
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 19:47
because that's really interesting, cuz I do a lot of YouTube videos of myself, but I do I do have that screen thing where I could film and yeah, so what kind of camera Do you use or so
I use a Nikon D 750. Okay, it doesn't have the fluffy screen, which I know so. But it shoots awesome video and photography. So I don't know, it's I figured it's fine. And then you can connect it to your phone usually too. So you can see it on your phone screen. It's just kind of a hassle. So I cannot
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 20:10
Yes, I agree. I have I have a Wi Fi enabled phone. And it's it's hard. I but I but I think that, uh, it's interesting that you also do video because I think that's a skill that a lot of people don't have I do because I went to school for video as well. And so talk about that, like you use a lot of drones, which I think is very interesting and very unique. And a lot of people aren't especially women. Yeah, talk about like how that has worked
with the drones. Um, well, I was just, you know, Instagram is full of like, amazing photographers. And I was like, this is like something I need to do. Because this the shots are just crazy. There's no way I never catch a bird's eye view without a drone. So I started with just like a used DJI Phantom three, which is the much larger drone than I have now, which is a spark. I highly recommend spark if you're starting out because it is easy to use. It's not as intimidating. It's super lightweight yet, it's like pretty heavy in the center that it won't like fly around like Korea. Whereas the Phantom It was like so large, the surface area that the wind would pick up and it was like, take it with it. And there were so many times that I was like, Oh my gosh, we're crashing up we were we crashed and she's like three times and rebuilt it. But we've sold that one and got the spark. And it's easy to use literally your phone turns into like the controller, the controller. Yeah, and it's just and you can set it so that there's like a limit on how high it goes. So I highly recommend just yeah, start with a spark if you want to do drone photography, for sure. So
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 21:44
how do you decide when to use that? Or how often do you use drone versus just regular photo video?
Um, I mean, I usually know what the, like the layout of the land is going to be like. So like usually if it's a lake I like to bring up because just like or if there's a lot of woods, I like to bring it or if it's like a corn maze, for example, like that's an awesome shot from above, because you can see the shape. So I only bring it if it's going to be like, I know it's going to be an awesome sunset or, or the you know, the area around me is going to be unique.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 22:17
Okay, that's really good. Because I think do you think how many people do you see other people using drones? Is that like a common thing or kind of a newer thing that people are doing on Instagram?
I feel like most people are intimidated by it. So I always felt like a younger leg. Yeah. But I have noticed more people are trying it out more women are out as well. So I think it's because DJI which is sort of this the main like drone company, they're just reliable. They've just made it so much more consumer friendly now that you don't have to be intimidated by it.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 22:52
I have a question because I when I used to film weddings I'd like considered buying a drone for like weddings and stuff but I was like what are like the legal laws of drones? Because sometimes you have to like it because we're in the wilderness. I don't think it's as big of a deal but like if you're downtown like there's like drone laws you know anything about that? Yeah,
to research everywhere you go like before you bring your drone like for instance you can't just bring it into State Park you need to get proper Oh, really? And then like, like the Boundary Waters, they don't allow motorized. motorized things. Oh, like bowling balls. Oh, interest, anything was like really loud noises, things that might distract people from that piece of nature that they want. It's not allowed unless you get the proper approvals.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 23:34
So So you go to basically lakes that are able to Yeah, okay. Relax. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, yeah,
most most places allow it. You just have to make sure that there's no airport nearby. And just, you know, FAA has all these strict rules. And then if you're doing any, like commercial photography, or stuff like that, you need to make sure you have like a license to back it up and that sort of thing, but usually I do it like on a bond basis.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 24:01
All right, we'll take a really quick break with Jenny and we'll be right back.
This episode is brought to you by anish Bowsher. She is the founder of roadmap to life coaching. Her practice is focused specifically on helping women thrive after divorce. Using proven life coaching methods intended to help clients get unstuck and back on the path to happiness. Her program includes discovering where you are today and why identifying and aligning with your values, understanding your obstacles, a guide to better decision making, increasing self awareness and thought slash emotion management, are you ready to take that first step to a happier more fulfilling life. If so visit Anna's website roadmap to you calm, where she offers a free 30 minute mini session to learn more about her program and see if it's a fit for you. For those that sign up. She also asked offers a full refund if you don't find value after that first month, that roadmap the number two y o u.com. roadmap to you life coaching, find your happy patrons as collective members, I am so excited because I am launching a brand new service. And it is Instagram at management and photography. So if you're struggling with keeping up with managing your Instagram account, maybe you don't really know how to take photos for your business, I am so excited because I will be offering this new service where I will actually come in and manage your entire Instagram account from photography to posting to using the right hashtags and following the right accounts. This is something I feel like a lot of people in our community are looking for. And I'm really excited to be able to offer that now as a service within Twin Cities collective. In addition to that, I also am offering consulting. So if you're just needing a little bit of help, and you want that one on one, sit down with me to talk over Instagram and come up with a plan, I do that as well. So if you want to head over to Twin Cities collective, you can see all the different services that I offer. In addition, I also do individual stock photography that is for your brand. So if you need an Etsy banner, or any type of photography, that includes products, I also do that as well. So just wanted to share a little bit more about some of the things that we are now offering at Twin Cities collective. So I hope you guys check it out on our website.
Awesome. So we are back with Jenny. And we are actually going to be talking a little bit more about blogging because I think that we haven't really talked about blogging in a while. And I'd love to know from someone who started only a year ago, year and a half ago on the blog, what what platform did you choose? And how did you get started on a blogging?
So I chose wordpress.com. Okay, because it I mean, it's just had awesome reviews. And I just knew a lot of the bigger bloggers out there. They use WordPress. So I did not actually branch out to get like, you know, you're off of WordPress. com and you got your own domain like hosting you started
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 27:01
with the.com, which is different than.org. And I've talked about this on the podcast, he started with the free version, I'm assuming or
Yeah, I started with the free and now I have like the yearly plan where it's like a little bit more. I haven't switched to the.org. Because I think it's just a beast of its own. And I'm not an expert at web design, I just need to talk to someone and I don't want to lose like what I have right now. So I'm just hesitant about switching. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 27:26
I think that I've had a few other people I've talked to who are in that same predicament where they're like, I want to switch but I can't yet you know, but I do think in the long run, it allows you have plugins and stuff, which is really helpful. So I recommend probably talking to like a web design person. Yeah, I don't think I don't think the SEO should change, especially if you keep the same domain. That should that's the only thing that I would recommend is keep the same domain and you won't really lose any like traffic.
What about my articles?
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 27:55
You can know you can convert them. You can see I'm pretty sure you can export them. I'm pretty sure. I don't know. I haven't done that. Yeah, so actually you don't I might have I'm trying to remember. I don't remember. Okay, well, I see. YouTube is the best place to look. Also you're looking to switch. Okay, you know, I think I did switch. Now I remember I did switch and I didn't lose anything. It's just you have to export all the files and then re upload. Okay, that's like a dot something account.
I know I can do it. Like dedicate time. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 28:26
Because I recommend it's interesting because I think when you start off at as a blogger, most people don't want to pay money right away because they don't know what if it's gonna work. You know, you don't want to invest until you know it's an actual thing. Right? Did you start your Instagram first? Or did you start your blog first? Did you start them at the same time? Same time?
Okay. Yeah. As soon as I knew the name, I took every thing that I had that had girl 10,000 links. Yeah, in fact, I turned it into nose. Oh, right. Yeah. And then I'm right now working on making sure to talk to the trademark, please. That's all right. Yeah, no one like tries to mania.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 29:00
I think, you know, it's interesting. I've we haven't really talked too much about trademarking on here. But I actually looked into that with this collective as well, but I was like, I've been using it so long. That I feel like if someone came in and tried to use it, I'd be like, what, like, I would have like a, I would have like a case. Yeah, for definitely know, or whatever. Because I think as long as you've been using it for at least like a year or two, I feel like you have a better case. But I didn't get as good with trademarking. I think if it's, if it's going to be your full time, like big brand, I think you should definitely trademark it. Yeah, sure. So how did you decide on even just going with a blog versus like a business? Like, was it a business idea? Did you ever think about the fact that was going to potentially make money? Or was that was that something that you originally started or you just kind of want to do it for fun?
So Originally, it was for the fun of it. It's like something I was already doing, like the outdoor type stuff was stuff I was already doing. So it was just like a natural fit to put it into a blog form so that I can continue my story to that I had been missing out on after leaving my reporting and anchoring job. But then I did monetize it pretty quickly, because I had just heard like if you wanted to keep keeping thriving and growing and yeah, just monetizing. It is like the next step. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 30:15
So So you came appreciate you came to our media kit workshop right? There was that the one you can do the which one
media kit workshop was that one? No, I didn't. I was at the Instagram girl.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 30:23
Okay. Yep. So how did you then create your media kit? You haven't made kit right now? I do. So how did you create that?
So I looked at a lot of sample media kits, because there's a ton out there. And the one I love most is from Jenna Kutcher. Oh, she's the best. Yes. Awesome. Yeah, Minnesota girl. Yeah, I loved her media kit. So that's kind of what I'm old model that off of just changed it up a little bit. And it's been really successful. And whenever I present it to brands, they are impressed. They they're like most people don't have a media kit. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 30:52
Amazing. That's awesome. I think media kits are the best. And speaking of Jenna Kutcher, she just had a baby, and you're having fun.
Thank you. Thank you. Yes, we're super excited. It's gonna be a boy. Whoo. Yes. Coming. This may
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 31:07
very exciting. I like completely forgot.
It all. Really? Yeah. It's like, I'm a small person in general. And I think the first kid you like, Don't show right away. But I definitely had the symptoms and all that. So that will be interesting, just like navigating how to be a parent with this blog that's very outdoor focused, which is also a family thing. Getting Outdoors is a family thing. So I mean, when I announced it with my husband about early January, I was very nervous about it. Because a lot of my audience, they want the hardcore outdoor stuff. And I knew that once I bring this like baby up, and like my husband more into the picture, they might shy away from that and unfollow me, which is fine, because, you know, I don't want to be here. I don't want them here either. So I didn't lose some followers. Hmm, just just a few. But I gained a lot more because there's a population out there and wanna know how to navigate the outdoors as a parent? Yeah, I think that your I thought about this, too, is like your Nisha just kind of follows you and you, you kind of grow with them. And it's like, you might gain new people that are in the similar stage of life, as you you know, also maybe have kids or maybe they don't, but they like want to know that you have them. So it's like, I follow accounts of kids. And I don't have kids, but I'm like, Okay, yeah, that doesn't turn me off. I think it's, you know, you have to be authentic to your brand. And to yourself, you know, this is Instagram and all the social media, that's like a big part of your showing yourself to this world. And how can they trust you if you're not being authentic? And I think people are drawn to honesty? I mean, I am certainly so I think keeping a baby under wraps. Not the right decision, it would be hard to do. First of all, a lot of Photoshop, yeah. But I want to show that because it's a big part of my life, I'm both my husband, I'm going to love those kids. Yeah. And I'm going to make sure that our son someday, you know, has access to the outdoors and the opportunity to experience it and grow with it, you know, something that I didn't grow up with, but he certainly will have the chance to experience it. So.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 33:18
So my questions. So I'd love to know, I've been I've been talking about this a lot. And I've seen it online is posting your kids online? What are your thoughts on that in terms of their privacy? versus like, how much do you show of their kid? Like, because I read this article that's like this, like 11 year old, was like, I don't want my mom to post any more pictures of me. It's like, at what point do they get a voice? But I'm sure like, you want to share your kid with your audience, right? I'm sure they don't really care when they're a baby. But it's like, I just curious what your thoughts are on kids on the internet? Yeah,
it's, um, it's actually something I've thought about a lot. Um, you know, I think I think it is important that, you know, I remain authentic, and I think do show that this has happened, this big thing, but also protecting the child because, you know, they don't have consent, age, whatever, you know, when they're this young, yeah. At the same time, like, you know, as a parent, you shouldn't post like too many, but takes up, you're gonna look back at your social media and realize like, they're naked, but is all over the internet. So I would say, I will, you know, show sparingly. You know, this kid is going to be a big part of our lives. And I definitely want to work with brands about how to navigate the outdoors and work with products that help us do that. Yeah. And so I will show, we will show our child when we can, but it'll still be focused on myself. And like, how I do the outdoors? I think so it's not like will block him out. But we'll definitely including including him in it sparingly. Yeah. without showing. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 34:55
I think that makes sense. Because I think that having a kid brings more content to Yeah, like it's like new, it's like you can bring on different sponsors like that deal with kids, which is like totally new, and probably things you haven't ever worked with, whether it's a backpack that holds your kit, you know, things like that. And I think those are going to be awesome shots as well. Yeah. of your family. It'll be really cool. Yeah,
I mean, one thing I want to do is I want to take our kids to the Boundary Waters, like early on, like, expose them to just this beautiful world around us and experience it with us. And the Boundary Waters, if you've ever done it is like hardcore camping. Yeah. So I know, I could receive some criticism on it. But again, there are tools out there and products that can help you do it better and safely. And I definitely want to reach out to those brands that would do that.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 35:42
So let's talk about kind of once you have your baby, what is your life going to look like with your time because you so you have a full time job, then you have your blog, and now you have a baby, something's gotta shift, what's gonna happen?
Yes. So I'm trying to plan the best that I can. But I know know, it's going to be a whirlwind. And I'm not going to know what to expect. I've never been a parent before. This is our first kid, I have a dog. She tells me when she has to go. I know. So I will have about five months of maternity leave some of it unpaid until the pain. And so I'll use that time to kind of figure out like, how is this baby impacting our lives, I will continue to do blog posts and Instagram posts because I am doing batch work so that I can prepare ahead of time, I'm collecting as much content as possible as I can and have saved stuff in the summer and followed like just in case. So I have content that I can still push out there. As far as getting new content that might be like tougher when you have like a one month old or whatever. But we'll see I don't really quite know. But I am going to start reaching out to brands that are baby related and outdoor related to see if there's a connection that we can, so that I can at least have somewhat of a plan on paid content. And then the organic stuff, you know, I think will just come naturally with you know, I don't plan to quit what I'm doing. I love you know, I love the outdoors. And I love camping and all that hiking in Minnesota is just such an awesome place full of natural resources. I'm not going to quit that stuff. I'm going to do it. And we're going to figure out how to do it now. And I wouldn't you know, I wouldn't put all this time into it if I didn't love what I do.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 37:30
For sure. And I think yeah, I think it's interesting because I had been listening to Jenna Carter's podcast, and she talked about how she prepared she's doing I think three months maternity leave, but she's self employed. So it's a little different. But I think that it's all interesting, because you don't know what's going to happen. You don't know how your life is going to change, especially like that first month, like yeah, that so you're going to be posting on stories probably like of like things happening currently. Or how do you use stories in with your Instagram? Yeah,
so I do both stories i can i do you for like, in the moment things but I also use it to promote things that have happened in the past promote posts that I'm posting that had happened in the past. And then, you know, with brands, they they want more stories these days. So I will definitely continue with stories. And hopefully we'll be able to show more of the behind the scenes of like, when we're at home with the baby. And that's the thing without being like to reveal, whatever. Sure. And yeah, I mean, right now the plan is just keep on doing it as I am but also being flexible with myself and not, you know, punching myself or not showing up or whatever. Yeah, cuz I mean, I like the best lawyers. I don't want to let them down. And so I don't know, we'll see.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 38:43
So I guess we can't really know what's going to happen. But currently with your balancing your time, how do you like have a personal life? If you have like your day job, Andrew blog, how do you balance the time now? Like, you know, you said you work until late at? Like, how do we like see your family and see your plan and everything?
Unknown Speaker 39:03
It's a great question.
It's told me, no, I'm so like, weekdays. weekdays are hard, I can't really fit a lot of stuff in because that's like, when I'm doing all of my work. It's all work related. I mean, sometimes I'll have like a little break to just go out to dinner with my husband or meet up with my parents and that sort of thing. But on the weekends, you know, generally we're already doing the things we love. So like in the winter, right now we're ice fishing a ton. And we'll invite our friends out. And we'll invite you know, our family out and that sort of thing, so that we can still hang out with them. Let them experience it too. And I mean, that's awesome being able to share it. And then, you know, like the summer I did this foragers National Park trip that was also a sponsored trip, where we stayed on a houseboat and did some marketing work. While we were living on this houseboat for a few days on, it was awesome. Like, everyone should definitely do it. Because voyagers is like the normally like National Park. I think I'm Minnesota, okay, like an official now. So then we invited like four other couples to come with us. And so like we had like, really genuine time with our friends. So being able to include them in like sponsored trips allows me to not only like, get time with them, but also push out, you know, marketing material. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 40:21
that's super interesting. So how, how do you Okay, this is like, I'm not going to ask like numbers, but like, how do you like, decide what is fair when people are coming in with sponsorships with brand opportunities, like you've built a bigger audience. Now, as I'm sure you can probably demand a little bit more money and more more for it. How do you like know that you're ready to pump it? Yeah.
So I definitely consider the brand that I'm working with, I look at their audience and sort of their following and are the startup all those things I consider because I'm not going to charge a startup what I would charge for like a huge company. That's just unfair. And they're trying to get there, you ball rolling, too. So I took that into consideration. I did start initially, like on the lower end, obviously, like, there's a lot of tools out there where you can put in your Instagram handle all that and it tells you what you're worth basically proposed. Yeah, so that was kind of a great baseline. But then I, as I grew, I slowly added more. And like now I'm at a point where I feel like, like I'm like, the work I'm doing is like worth it. Like I put a lot of work into making videos and blog content and photos. And it's not like anyone can do it. So when brands work with me, they know that there's a monetary value behind those skills, you know, they don't have to hire a photographer, that's true. They don't have to hire a separate videographer for this content, I can do it all for them. So in the end, it's like a win win for both of us. So like, I would say, as your followers grow, I don't know if there's like a set number, but like, definitely increase in you know, just because you charged one brand this month doesn't mean the next brand, you have to charge the same amount, you can adjust it accordingly. And it's not like, you know, you're ripping someone out, they don't know. They talk with each other. They don't know,
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 42:10
what kind of software do you use you just email? Or how do you use that? Like with the brands? Or how do you come up with the numbers? I'm just so curious.
So it's part of my media kit, okay, like a template packages and you can kind of personalize your package to be branded to your niche or whatever you are. So mine is like, the the Lake Superior package is like the ultimate lake. Okay, Tonka package is like the medium. Yeah. Okay. Like relax is like the smaller package. So that's kind of how I break it up. And Michelle? Yeah, bulletproof, she kind of helped me like way off, because she has done this type of thing, and worked out in negotiations with companies for people. So she kind of said, she told me like, that price is like way too low, or that prices, like just right are too high. So I was able to kind of adjust my numbers with her, which was really helpful. But, uh, yeah, it's part of the media kit. So they see it up front. And it shows you like the number like the price and that everything you can expect everything from the number of Instagram stories to post to Pinterest, and how I'm going to promote it and like that they have the rights to the photos and the video.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 43:22
Do you post the media kit on your website? Or you just send it to the specific company? I just send it back? Yeah, because
you didn't change it. Right. And every brand is different. So I don't want to like have them assume that this is going to be there.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 43:35
That's just super interesting. Because we had a media kit. One point I took it off. So I'm just like trying to figure out with us like what we're going to do because it is so dependent on every single brand. Yeah, different. Yeah.
And I feel you're kind of reviewing your entire deck of cards, you know, that's true. So better to just like, hold on to that. And that if we are interested, you can send it to them. Do you
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 43:56
like put it on your website that you have a media kit? And that to request it? Or how about does your contact work on your website? Yes,
I think it does say I should probably update it. Because I haven't touched it. Yeah. But like yet, it does say like, if you want to work together, please like email me. And I'll send you more details
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 44:12
like that. Because now I'm like, considering everything I'm like, should I just take all of my sponsorship stuff off? Because it's like, everything is so unique
now, right? I think it's good to include like, these are the brands whatever choice, okay? Because that just gives you more like leverage, and it shows that you're legit, and you're a good person to work with. Do
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 44:33
you talk about the brands on your website that you've worked with? Like how do you display the fact that you're taking on sponsors? So usually it's in the in the blog posts
in the blog post? Or in the Instagram post? Or Patrick sponsor? Yeah, add. Do you do that in your stories? Because I've had this question because I was like, Okay, I have had sponsors Instagram stories, but I'm like, I put it in the first one. I'm like to have to have it done every single one. Is that what you do? Or how do you only have to do it every just like the first one? Yeah, just the last one probably. And definitely, like, do action. If it's a paid sponsorship? Definitely do it. Even for product for trade? I think like the FCC rules are that you still need to do that. Yeah, I know a lot of people are there's like a misconception about that. You don't have to do it if it's like a trade product, but you still should or at least say like this product was given to me or like something to make it obvious. Yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense. So all right. Well, is there anything else that we want to talk about today? We got little Kiwi here sitting, listening the whole time? Is there anything else? I mean, you obviously are having a baby. So that's going to be a really big change for you. Is there any other like advice you want to give to this collective about starting a blog or starting an Instagram? I'd say you know, find that thing you're passionate about already. Don't just seek out something that you think will vibe with an audience. Definitely, like already have a lot for everything you're doing. and have it be natural fit and then like, then start, you know, get excited about it. Get those get your URL get your Instagram handle because man, those things get taken up like hotcakes. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 46:12
you're lucky that you got the one you did, right?
I know. Yeah. Well, my name and I'm glad I got a question. Like when I as I get older, can I still be a girl? Should I be a grandma?
Unknown Speaker 46:24
think it's fine. But um, yeah, definitely just like, do it. If you have, if you want a creative outlet, and you want to share your above,
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 46:35
it's hot, and it's free to start. I mean, that's the thing is that the barrier to entry isn't there anymore. You can just do it.
It is totally.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 46:44
If you have a smartphone, you can do everything.
smartphone. I mean, if you see my videos, most of it is shot on my iPhone with the gimbals. So do it.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 46:54
You can do it, guys. All right, awesome. Thank you so much, Jenny for coming. How do we find you on social media? Obviously, we've talked about it.
Yes, I'm girl of 10,000 weeks calm in girl 10,000 weeks handle for Instagram and Facebook. And then on Twitter. It's girl of 10 k lakes because the limit Yeah.
Jenna Redfield Twin Cities Collective 47:11
Awesome. Well, thanks, guys. I'll talk to you next week. Bye. Thanks for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast with Jenna Redfield. Make sure to click subscribe if you haven't already. And make sure to leave us a review on iTunes. Thanks again for Ian at Studio Americana for producing this episode, as well as Melanie Lee for designing the podcast art and thanks to Nikolai had less for the use of the song in the intros outros. Thanks so much again, and I'll see you next time.