Victoria Yore and Terrence Drysdale are co-founders of Follow Me Away and The Follow Me Away Project. In under a year, they went from being virtually unknown to becoming leading influencers in the travel industry. Victoria and Terrence have partnered with some of the biggest names in the travel, hospitality, and photography industry including popular airlines, cruise lines, luxury hotel chains, lens companies, tourism boards and more.
How did you go from traveling as a hobby to turning travel into a career?
Funny enough, it took off at the same exact time, which has its pros and cons. Mainly now the majority of travel is work but that’s okay because we love it. We took our second trip to Europe and Victoria got ‘let go’ from her job out of college paying a whopping $11 an hour. This happened less than a month into a 3-month long trip to Europe so it really gave us a drive to find different ways to make money. We didn’t know anything about blogging at the time other than the fact that we wanted to share our tips with our friends and family back home. Everyone we knew that had tried blogging had maybe 5 viewers a week and fizzled out after a short time, so we had no idea there was even a business to be had initially. We just did it to share our love of travel and how to travel with people we know. Now, we love sharing the knowledge with tens of thousands of folks around the world AND we get to travel AND ultimately run our website as a business.
How does your income break down between your blog, social media promotions, and other sources?
Up until Feb 2018, Victoria would make a large part of income from managing social media for a few international companies. They sadly have halted services until further notice so now that income stream is out.
Terrence makes money selling video tutorials, photoshop actions, and Lightroom presets as well as selling photos as stock.
As for the blog, our main income source are the ads on our website. This is the best decision we have ever made and we encourage every website owner to apply for Mediavine once they reach 25K monthly sessions. This is a fantastic way for us to make income.
Next, we make money from affiliate links on our website, mainly Amazon affiliate links. We are starting to make more money this way and write more posts focused on suggesting products we love on Amazon. We do have a few tour company affiliates, but Amazon is by far the best.
We also offer social media, blog, and photography coaching as well as Instagram audits and pitch writing help. Victoria manages Instagram as a VA for many bloggers, tour operators, and photographers.
Once in a while we do get a sponsored post or Instagram post but they are few and far between mainly because we don’t go looking for them as often as we used to.
Finally, once in a blue moon, we make money from a brand or tourism board who wants to pay us for our coverage.
You presented at TBEX Europe last year in Ireland about pitching to brands as an “influencer.” What were some of the key points from that talk?
One of our favorite tips is to really put forth a strong and detailed pitch to brands on your very first pitch and to forgo a media kit. Put all your relevant information into your initial email so you cut back on the amount of work the press representative has to do. They get so many emails from people wanting to partner so if yours stands out by including a great deal of information on you, your readers, your interests, what you can do for them, what services you provide, and what you hope for in return, you may stand out from the crowd. A well put together pitch is essential and easier than you think.
Another tip is to say you run a travel website and NOT that you are a blogger as there are often negative connotations with the word.
You’re probably best known for your Instagram shots since they have a distinctive style. How did that come about and what challenges has keeping it going created from a packing standpoint?
We initially met at a photoshoot and worked together as a photographer/model friendship for a year and a half before our first trip to Europe. We went to Europe together for the first time with Victoria’s sister for a ‘fun’ trip and of course we had to bring some dresses to do photoshoots. We really liked the unique way that we were one photographer and one model for every photo, yet every photo could have its own distinct vibe. We took it with us on other trips and on our second trip to Europe and that is how our @followmeaway Instagram was born. Since we had the name, making the website was easy and it’s all history after that.
As for packing, we pretty much travel with two dresses at this point. Our main white dress showcased in a lot of photos and a backup dress in the event that dress gets ripped beyond repair. We have traveled with up to 5 dresses at one point. We carry them in a backpack and they provide cushion for all the other gadgets we have like drones and GoPro. The white dress easily weighs 5-6lbs!
How is working as a couple on the road a plus or a minus? How do you split up the duties of running a travel blogging and social media business?
This is so funny because single bloggers always wish they could have a couple blog because it is easier. We are here to tell you that isn’t always the case! When you are a couple running a business, you MUST compromise! Sometimes that is hard to do when he wants it his way and she wants it her way. Finding a balance between what you each want and what is best for the brand and the look and feel of the content is difficult but can be done. Terrance focuses on the photography aspect while Victoria focuses on the social media and blog aspect.
Where would you like to live outside the USA if you picked somewhere else to be based than you are now?
We would love to live in Paris for a month or two but it is just so darn pricey. We would also LOVE to live in Iceland for a summer as Iceland is just a dreamland for photographers but that is even MORE expensive than Paris could ever hope to be. What can we say? We guess we have expensive taste.
Along with Follow Me Away, Victoria and Terrance also manage influencer partnerships for international brands. To date, they have visited 21 countries and always strive to innovate and improve their brand and company relationships. Connect with Victoria and Terrance on their social media channels: Instagram.com/followmeaway, Instagram.com/followmeawaytravel, Facebook.com/followmeaway, Twitter.com/followmeaway_ and Pinterest.com/followmeaway.