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Episode summary

What happens when you sell your house and embark on a 14-month adventure across 21 countries with your spouse? Amanda, a travel blogger and social media influencer, did just that, and she's here to share her incredible journey with us! From using her corporate job skills to create a life she loves, to tracking her detailed budget for traveling the world, Amanda's skills and story are helpful for anyone who dreams of traveling but still works a 9-5.

Join us as we explore the challenges of creating content while traveling and maintaining that delicate balance between what the algorithm wants and what you're truly passionate about. Amanda grew her Instagram following to 220,000 and her content creation course for Reels can help your own content stand out. We discuss the importance of providing value and transparency to your followers, different styles of content, and how to optimize your bio and highlights for maximum impact. So, buckle up and get ready for an insightful conversation with Amanda as we uncover her inspiring journey and valuable tips for content creators and travelers alike!

Follow Amanda Monique Brown

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandamoniquebrown/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@amandamoniquebrown

Website: https://amandamoniquebrown.com/

Follow Chris and Sara

Youtube: ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.youtube.com/chrisandsara

⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.instagram.com/chrisandsara_⁠⁠⁠⁠ | @chrisandsara_

Website: ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.chrisandsara.com⁠⁠⁠⁠

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🎙What No One Tells You

Get inspired by world travelers Chris and Sara with "What No One Tells You," their conversational podcast. Each episode is a fun chat with friends sharing personal experiences, insider tips, and riveting stories. The show is elevated by amazing guests from Youtubers, ultra marathoners, bloggers, and adventurers who bring their unique energy and perspectives to the table. With Chris and Sara, you're sure to feel a part of the group, ready to embark on a new adventure. Explore the world one story at a time and join the conversation today.


👫🏼 Who are Chris and Sara?

Hey y'all! We're Chris + Sara (or as you know us, Let’s Be Us), a husband and wife digital nomad travel duo currently working and traveling full time with our pup, Kramer. We've always dreamed of traveling full time, and in May of 2018 we took the leap and made it happen! Today we're balancing work and fun everywhere between the Pacific and Atlantic. From hiking and cycling to tacos and coffee, we're trying to see and experience as much of this world as we can! While our home is currently on wheels in our DIY Sprinter van, our travels take us all around the world.Be sure to hit subscribe here on Youtube and follow along on Instagram for more daily fun! Oh, and be sure to say hi while you're here. :)


📝 Transcript

NOTE: There were 3 speakers identified in this transcript. Speaker separation errors can arise when multiple speakers speak simultaneously.

0:00:00 - Sara
You sold your house to travel. How long did you guys plan to travel?

0:00:04 - Amanda Monique Brown
The plan was about a year. We knew we could have done it a lot longer if we had had a thinner budget. We know we wanted to do a lot of big things, we wanted to go a lot of places and we were like we're going to take our whole budget and we're going to try and cram as much into a year as we can, and so that's what we did. So we ended up being gone, i think 14 months.

0:00:28 - Chris
Amanda, we're so happy that you're here. I feel like we know you and your family pretty well only because of your dog.

0:00:35 - Sara
Well, we've met. We have met in person. Yeah, we have.

0:00:38 - Chris
For anybody that doesn't know who you are, who doesn't follow you you have a big travel following You're on Instagram, tiktok, all of that. Chats Give me the elevator pitch of who you are, what you do and all that good stuff.

0:00:50 - Amanda Monique Brown
So I started a travel blog back in 2019. And that was kind of my thing. I was like I don't know anything about doing any of this, but I want to start a blog. That sounds fun, i love to travel and I want to write about it, and so everybody talks about when you're going to get a blog, you need to also have social media. So I started an Instagram with that And then I learned writing a blog is a lot of work and it takes a lot of time, like bulk time, so it was easier to do small pieces on Instagram and so that's what I did And then, that's what I focused on, And then, when we were traveling full time because we sold our house in 2020, traveled off the proceeds, traveled for 14 months And then when we came back, I was like you know what?

I probably should try this. I feel like I have so much to offer and so much that I can teach from what we've learned, And so that's when I started taking it seriously And it just it blew up. It did really well.

0:01:43 - Sara
So how many countries did you guys visit in those 14 months? How many places and where did you go?

0:01:47 - Amanda Monique Brown
21. So we went 21 countries, five continents if you count the US and Mexico, and then we went probably over 100 locations like cities and stuff.

0:02:01 - Sara
Oh my gosh, that makes me so tired just thinking about that.

0:02:04 - Chris
So you sold your house and then you started traveling, but you didn't have a following, you weren't online or unlike where you had just started your travel blog. So I mean, why sell the house, why start traveling And then why start posting it?

0:02:16 - Amanda Monique Brown

So this is a great question because this is what I was trying to say And then I just I have a tendency to just derail and just like where I was going with things.

But that's a great question because when I started got on Instagram and started like following people and kind of learning more about, like, this space I don't think without following people, i would have ever thought what we did was possible for me. Because I felt like something non-tangible for me, right, like I don't have a trust fund, i do have a nine to five, i do have a house, i'm an adult with a career Like I can't just leave my job and go travel And from following all these people on Instagram talking about the things that I want to do and being like, look, i'm a normal person and this is how I prioritize it And this is how I made it work, and this is how you can make it work I was like, oh, i could do that. So then afterwards, that's when I was like, okay, if I had such a life impact from other people on social media, like I want to be that for people, i want to show that it is possible, like to do whatever you want to do It doesn't have to be travel.

0:03:20 - Sara
Yeah, i will say that I followed you for a while, but I remember, like when you really started taking off, it was the really helpful reels of, like how much it costs to visit each place, and I thought that was so helpful because I mean, you keep such detailed budgets too, don't you like? down to the penny, is that right?

0:03:38 - Amanda Monique Brown
Yeah, because my background is in statistics, so I have a degree.

0:03:42 - Chris
There it is.

0:03:44 - Amanda Monique Brown
I'm a very number, sorry. Yeah, i'm a very oriented person And I basically like my corporate job. I'm in Excel all day, like I live in Excel. So I tracked everything like awesome would get annoying Cause I was like, how much did you pay for that? five soul A's I need to know, like I need to know. And so when I decided to start that series which is really what blew up right Like I think we met and became like friends online because y'all were in Brazil with Kramer And I was like oh my gosh, these people took their dog to Brazil.

That is the level that I want.

0:04:19 - Sara
Your dog. So, okay, you touched on your job, and I always have a hard time with these interviews with people that we actually already know, cause I know the answers to some of these questions. I wanna make sure I'm not missing anything, to kind of fill in the blanks for everybody else who doesn't know you yet. But you sold the house. You guys worked nine to fives. Did you work those on the road or to either of you guys work, or did you guys just quit your jobs for 14 months to go on the road?

0:04:41 - Amanda Monique Brown
We just left. No work, no income, which gives you a very different perspective of spending money. When there's like every single penny that I'm tracking, every single penny that I'm spending, is actually coming out, like the number is perpetually going down, there's nothing coming into offset it, like we didn't make a single dollar. And even after the fact, when that series started to do well and I started to actually have a following, there was so much assumption of like well, of course you did this because you're an Instagrammer, like you make content. It's like no, i do now, but I didn't make a single dollar off of content. I had no passive income, no anything coming in when we were gone.

0:05:20 - Sara
So you didn't start posting content until you were already finished the 14 months of travel. Is that right?

0:05:25 - Amanda Monique Brown
Kinda I didn't start posting seriously. I was posting and I was keeping up with stories And I didn't really know how to post, right, like there's such a I feel like there's like this weird conceptions, like you just post and you're just gonna like do it, but it's not, it's a business, right. It's like there is a strategy, and I didn't understand any of that. And so I kept up with stories a lot And I think I had like 2000 followers most of the time that we were gone.

0:05:50 - Sara
That's great.

0:05:51 - Amanda Monique Brown
So my highlights that I like tracked all of my stories And that's what I stayed consistent with. All of those highlights are still up and they're super detailed And people still watch those from like two years ago and send me messages about like oh, where do you have a pin for this restaurant? Or what company did you rent this motorbike from? Okay, so it wasn't a total waste. You know, i love it for us because it's fun to go back and be like oh, look at this here's like an entire journal of our trip, but it's also like people are still using those details.

0:06:20 - Sara
I love that. So you kind of said something just then of it's a travel journal for you guys to look back on, and I don't think we said this yet. But when I've heard of y'all, i'm talking about you and your husband Austin, just to make sure everybody out there knows like there's two of you guys out there traveling together I'm not referring to Theo, who is sitting right behind you.

0:06:39 - Chris

0:06:40 - Sara
Amanda and Austin have the most adorable dog. I'm just gonna go ahead and throw this in here because I really wish I could interview Theo, but Theo is essentially Kramer's twin. And if you're watching the video version of this podcast, can you hold Theo up really fast?

0:06:53 - Amanda Monique Brown
Theo, can you say? hi, He's in my chair. He had a bad little wet. Theo, can you Yeah?

0:06:59 - Sara
I love that.

0:07:01 - Chris
He's got the same attitude as Kramer just like shove off, Like yeah.

0:07:06 - Sara
They both have the underbite too, which is what kills me. They're just so much alike.

0:07:10 - Amanda Monique Brown
He's giving so much side eye and attitude because he had a bath this morning, which is why it looks weird. I really know Theo's middle name is Kramer. Oh my gosh, i forgot. You told me that. Was it named after the Seinfeld character too? Because my family growing up, our family dog, was named Newman. That's right, you told us this. I completely forgot. And so my dad loves Seinfeld. I grew up watching Seinfeld. My dad has the Kramer posters in our garage. So when I got Theo I was like, well, the family name, he needs to have Kramer in his middle name.

0:07:42 - Sara
I love that. I completely forgotten. You told me that, Like they really are identical I mean they have met one time- in a million And they put up with each other.

0:07:51 - Chris
I felt like they were like OK, we agree to disagree, but you're here, i'm here, let's do this.

0:07:55 - Sara
We do need to make that dog vacation happen, Like we both. I know we've joked about it for a long time, but let's go on a trip together and bring the dogs. I think that would be so much fun.

0:08:05 - Amanda Monique Brown
I'm constantly telling Austin I'm like, can we please look at Kramer in Korea, Come on.

0:08:13 - Sara
I'll give you all my notes on that. Oh yeah, We have figured out international travel with a dog. It's not easy, but it's possible.

0:08:19 - Chris
No, and he's internationally known in Korea as Dog Baby, so that's what he's known as Theo has been to Costa Rica.

0:08:25 - Sara
Is that right? Was it Costa Rica? Yeah, ok.

0:08:27 - Amanda Monique Brown
We took Kramer in Costa Rica, or we took him for three and a half weeks, which was great. We rented a car to make it much easier to bob around, but we almost got stranded there, because in Costa Rica they have a very specific rule where you have to get a USDA form signed right, but it's only good for 30 days from the date they're inspected, not the date it was approved, and I mis-affiliated that date by one day. We were at the airport trying to leave and they were like. this form expired yesterday.

0:09:00 - Chris
Oh my gosh, and they actually looked at the form. They I mean because sometimes we have seen in Mexico or some other countries where they kind of glance over it Like they're not as detail-oriented. But Costa Rica, they looked at it pretty closely, they looked at it pretty closely, but also it was Delta.

0:09:19 - Amanda Monique Brown
So this is why I'm so glad we flew with Delta, because Delta was looking at the forms And before we ever got checked in they were like you're a day off, and we stood there for 30 minutes. And I know some Spanish, so I can understand some of what was going on, but I was just like standing there And they went and argued or not argued, but advocated for us, on our behalf, with immigration, to let us go through As if we were flying like a cheaper airline.

0:09:43 - Sara
No way, yeah we always recommend Delta. Delta is, hands down, the best one to fly with with a dog. That's who we took to Korea, brazil.

0:09:50 - Chris
Mexico Yeah.

0:09:51 - Sara
Delta all day long. I mean, if we could get sponsored by Delta, that would be the dream right there, you heard that here, that's all with the dogs.

0:09:58 - Amanda Monique Brown
Let's go, let's go.

0:10:01 - Sara
Ok, that was completely derailed. We derailed the conversation for the dogs, but that's very important.

0:10:06 - Chris
So let's go back. You sold your house, you traveled for an entire year, you're not making any money whatsoever And then, all of a sudden, you start posting consistently And you become this accidental influencer. Yeah, like, at what point were you like oh, this is legitimate, i could be this person that influenced, or you know.

0:10:29 - Sara
Like make money from it. Is that what you mean?

0:10:30 - Chris
Yeah, yeah. You were like. at what point were you like oh, this could be a sustainable income or occupation.

0:10:38 - Amanda Monique Brown
So that was part of why I started actually trying. That's why it's like I'm a half accidental. I was accidental in the way that I blew up You can't control that, but I was trying, it was intentional.

To an extent, i had a better idea of what I was doing. I just didn't think it would happen that quickly And I didn't think it would have that impact. And so my goal, like I said, a goal of growth for 2022. And my goal by the end of the year was to have 10,000. I wanted to have 10,000 followers. That was my goal for the year. In February, i had 2,300 and by July, on July 4th, i hit 100,000. That is crazy.

0:11:17 - Sara
I remember when that started happening I was like, oh my gosh, chris, look at Amanda, she's doing it.

0:11:21 - Amanda Monique Brown
It was crazy, and so I actually hit the 10,000 on Memorial Day last year, so almost exactly a year ago.

0:11:27 - Sara
So like in a month, you grew 90,000 people.

0:11:30 - Amanda Monique Brown
And yeah, in about a month and a half, my largest. It's honestly it's insane. My largest follower growth day was 20,000. Holy holy.

0:11:40 - Sara
I cannot imagine that, And we say all the time it's not about numbers. But numbers truly are important though, like when you're trying to make a sustained, like some sort of income, whether it's 400 part-time, numbers are important because that's what brands look at. Like I know they say we look at the individual. There's a lot of different things that they consider, but numbers are so important. So I know when we get hung up on it.

It's like if I don't have the numbers to show, i may not get that partnership. That's really important. So to see that kind of growth is just like yeah, you're on the right path, kind of thing.

0:12:09 - Chris
Yeah, so did you have your notifications on turned on on your phone during this time?

0:12:14 - Sara
No, So you've just opened your phone and you're like, oh, there's 20,000 new people, Yeah.

0:12:18 - Amanda Monique Brown
I was. Yeah, i've always had my notifications off for Instagram because I don't like it, i don't want notifications on. I still check it way too often. I'm not going to pretend that I'm like, oh, i have great boundaries and I check it three times a day because I'm not. But no, i've always had notifications off And I saw, i mean it was going right. I saw it going up, but not, i mean, that was just insane. Anyway, it was, it was crazy.

But I think to your point about, like, it's not about the followers, it's not, it's not about the numbers. I never imagined in my wildest goals ever that I would have the following I have now. So that's just like I don't take it for granted and it feels unreal to me. But the one thing that I tell people, the one thing that is truly easier, the more followers you have, is actually being able to monetize. You can monetize with less followers, but if you're doing a brand deal, as you know, if you have a brand deal for 10,000 followers and a brand deal with 100,000 followers, you can charge 10 times more if you have 100,000 followers. So it's also about being able to have the impact. Like I could impact more people because I can make more money off of doing the things that I like, so that I can spend more time doing that. Does that make sense?

0:13:30 - Sara
It does, Absolutely Yeah, And I think along those lines of having the numbers is also having the quality audience. This is something that Chris and I we struggle with. Growth like consistent growth, but I feel like nine times out of 10, our audience shows up for us Like they do. So we have the steady, good comments, good interaction, that kind of thing, which also is very important. And I know like you have a really large following, but you also have a really good audience, which I know brands are looking for.

So you have done not just grown it, but you've done it well and provided good value to other people who recognize it and then continue to come back for more.

0:14:07 - Chris
And so do you like, do you attribute, like the helpful tips or like the money that you know, the series that you were doing of, like this is what it costs for this trip. Do you attribute that to the growth? Was it one specific post that just kind of went viral, Or was it multiple?

0:14:23 - Amanda Monique Brown
No. So that was kind of one of the things I learned the most from having like viral posts, right? Is that going viral doesn't really mean anything in terms of conversion, because it's like, if you have, i have a post that's the most views I've ever had on a reel very low converting in terms of views to followers. Because it's shareable, right, people share it with their friends, but it's not anything about me. It doesn't talk about why you would want to follow me or what I offer to anybody, and so I think there's a big like push and pull between what's viral and what's actually getting people to come look at my page and see if I have something that's interesting to them in the future. That makes sense.

0:15:04 - Sara
Yeah, no, absolutely No Post ever That makes 100% Yeah.

0:15:11 - Chris
No, i mean, I think personally, like you know, when I'm on YouTube shorts or Instagram rails or something I'm scrolling through, i'll send funny ones or ones that I find really interesting, but I never follow I never follow. I never follow anybody. That's really interesting that you say that.

0:15:27 - Sara
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense And I want to talk in a minute about like your tips and tricks, because I know you have a whole Instagram like course, growth, everything, And so I want to. I want to ask a few things about giving away everything that's in your course, just to kind of like peak people's interest and give some value here.

but before we do that, I do want to touch a little bit more on the travel aspect of it more than just like even the content, but like how do you plan your travels and does sharing content impact your travels And, if so, in what ways do you plan your ships around? you know content or searchability or what's trending, or do your days? do you get up super early in the morning to get the best content And does this look like? how does, how does being a content creator impact your travels?

0:16:14 - Amanda Monique Brown
This is why I say I'm a bad influencer, because all like big creators right, they're like. You have to get up at 5am, you need to be out there before the crowds are there. You need to get sunrise content, you need to stay up until midnight, and that is not me.

0:16:31 - Sara
It's exhausting when we actually make that happen, oh my gosh. And if you do it somewhere like Alaska in the summer, where there's like four hours of darkness, like you just don't sleep, you just don't Yeah.

0:16:41 - Amanda Monique Brown
Right And I get it, and maybe that's something that I'll be better at in the future or will change the way that I approach it. But I'm just, that's just not me. I don't like to wake up at 5am. I will if it's for something specific, right, if it's for something super cool, but I, even if I have goals of like okay you know, we're in a really beautiful place.

I would love to wake up at 530 and I'm we're going to go get these really pretty like sunrise light photos And my alarm goes off and I'm like I don't care that much. Oh, that's so true. And so I just and I don't plan our trips around content at all I go where I want to go, which just tends to be that are less visited, and maybe that's something that I should be better about. Maybe I should do some more like market research on what's growing, but that's not what I like, right, like I like the places that people aren't going. I got like Oman, right, i've never even heard of Oman until social media, basically And I was like, oh, this is incredible, i want to go here. And then I went and was like this is one of the most incredible countries I've ever been to, which just really like for me. Why I'm like yeah, this is why I like doing this, because now I'm able to show so many people this beautiful, incredible country and open their eyes to it the same way that it was for me.

0:17:58 - Sara
I love that.

0:17:59 - Chris
We get that. We struggle with that, 100% about.

0:18:03 - Sara
Especially as you're trying to scale a business.

0:18:05 - Chris
Yeah, You're trying to scale like a travel business And it's you know you post these videos, or you know Instagram posts and everything, and so you can look and try to find countries or places. You're like, oh, this would do really well, this would be searchable, but then, if we end up hating it, i feel like it shows.

0:18:21 - Sara
It does, and we've known people who totally play the keyword game And I'm not going to say we've never done that, like we have tried to be strategic. If we're going to a place, like if we're going, if we know we're going there, we try to be strategic and how we, how we feature it. We may not be strategic in what places we go or show while we're in that place, but for us we're the same as you Like. We want to go and just experience and see whatever and staying flexible and just seeing what happens, because that's half the fun of travel is a spontaneity And that may not be for everybody, but I think being a travel content is. It makes it a little harder when you're creating content, but it also makes it.

I feel like it shows a little bit more soul, Like you can tell it You love it Or you either hate it Or you're like I expected, and I think that that shows in your content for sure. Like I see that there.

0:19:03 - Amanda Monique Brown
That's one of the things that I'm like maybe I'm not a great influencer in that way because I'm like I. To me it feels inauthentic, right, like the whole reason I share this is because I want to share what I love about travel and what encourages me about traveling, what I learned from other people that I love about travel, and do it just for the money part would be like, well, why am I doing this in the first place? But there is a balance because it is a business. But I think it's hard sometimes to find that balance And I feel like maybe I air too much on the side of doing what I want. Yeah, no, that's good.

0:19:39 - Sara
I mean, i think if you're doing what you want at least for us, if we continue doing what we want versus doing what the algorithm wants or doing what we know is going to surface on Google, we're going to not burn out as easily. I feel like, just because I mean, so far we're doing great. We're four and a half years in, four years in And we're not burned out because we're doing what we want versus what other people are telling us they want to see from us. If we were listening to what people want to see from us, we would still be living in a van down by the river. And don't get me wrong, i love the van and I miss the van. But we've made hard decisions And I know you probably have too where it's like no, i'm going to do what I want to do, not based on what you want to do.

My biggest thing I absolutely hate is people are like you have to niche down. You have to niche down, and that puts me in such a box. It scares me. I'm like no, i don't know if I'm going to love this forever, if that makes sense, but I know something that you're really an advocate for is like you can do this now. You don't have to wait until you quit your job to start creating content or to start traveling the world. If you want to travel the world without creating content, or do both along the way, are you working a job now? Like, is that something you can speak to as far as? like, all right, did you guys have to go back to the nine to five? Do you still travel at all? Where are you guys at?

0:20:42 - Amanda Monique Brown
So I was very lucky, because I never thought this would happen. But I was very prepared to just quit my job right, because we had decided. We had a lot of conversations. We decided this is something that we really want to do And I love the job that I have, i love the company I work for, i love the people I work with. But I was like this is something I feel compelled to do And we're going to do it. And so I sat down with my CEO And I told him look, there's this thing that I want to do, and I'm really sorry if it puts you in a hard place, but this is when we're going to leave. And he was like OK, i hear you. How about you take as much time as you need And we'll put you on unpaid leave And you come back when you're ready?

0:21:20 - Sara
That's incredible. Talk about a dream situation.

0:21:22 - Chris
That's an amazing boss, Because the bosses that I've had in the past if I even give an inkling of, hey, I saw another opportunity, you're fired. I had awful bosses in the past.

0:21:34 - Sara
Can I ask what Austin's experience was like? Did his boss have that same? No, ok, so it is.

0:21:40 - Amanda Monique Brown
But he wanted to maybe get into something a little bit different too. So it worked out for him. He did like the people he worked with and everything, but he had been there for a long time. He was kind of looking to diversify his work experience. But yeah, no, he just kind of dipped out And that was it.

0:21:57 - Sara
Good for him, like what a brave move. I think a lot of people take travel as that opportunity to make a big life change. I mean, we have That's been our whenever we've taken a big trip, whether it's by a van or go to Asia or whatever. It's always when we have something we need that change. I think travel works really well for that.

0:22:13 - Chris
Are you still working now, like you took the entire year off And then did you come back to a job, and what's that look like now?

0:22:20 - Amanda Monique Brown
So actually, we were in Oman And the reason I didn't want to, you know. My CEO offered me a couple of things Like, well, maybe we could keep you on health insurance and all of this. And I was like you know what I don't want to do that That would make me uncomfortable, because I don't know how this experience is going to change me. I don't want to promise you something and then not be able to follow through or feel like I have to come back. I just I appreciate the offer. I'll go on a paid leave. I don't want to let you down, so let's just leave it at that, right? And so, after a while, we were getting towards the end of our year of travel And we were like, ok, we're going to need to make some money. It's really fun just doing whatever we want, not making anybody, but we're going to need to make some money. And we decided that the easiest, best way made the most sense.

I was going to go back to work because I liked my job And I knew what to expect And they were willing to have me back. And so we were in Oman And I had a call with my CEO And this was in December of 2021. And I was like I would love to come back. And he was like awesome, can you come back soon? And I said, no, we are taking the Oda. Costa Rica Got you Priorities. Well, we'll be back beginning of March. I need a few weeks to arrange my life And I'll come back to work at the end of March. So I went back to work the very end of March of 2022. And so I've been working full time, 9 to 5, my same job I worked before And doing content on the side, so Wow.

0:23:47 - Sara
That's so much to juggle. So how is travel different now that you're part time travelers versus full time travelers? Do you feel like the experience is still rich and that you're getting a chance to really experience the places, even though maybe your time there is not as long as what you had being full time travelers?

0:24:02 - Amanda Monique Brown
Yeah, i think that we travel differently now. I think that when you've traveled for a longer period of time, you just do things differently. So I feel like we get much more of a long term travel experience, even when we're not there long term, if that makes sense, so early little background of how we got into travel and how.

0:24:22 - Chris
I learned to travel originally.

0:24:24 - Amanda Monique Brown
When you learn to travel, it's like any skill right, you have no idea what you're doing. You look back when you're better at it, you're like wow, i can't believe I did that. That made no sense. That was wild. So in 2015, when Austin and I graduated from North Carolina, we took a month long trip to Europe. This was the second time I'd never been out of the country. I'd never been out of the country until I was 20, and I went to Mexico to an all inclusive, on a trip that I won with my summer internship. Wow, cool. Yeah, i'd never been out of the country until then. When do you have to go? And then we went to Europe for a month and we were there for 28 days and we went to 11 cities. That's a lot.

0:25:02 - Sara
Did you love it, though? I loved what I was exhausted.

0:25:06 - Chris
Yeah, you went from nothing to full throttle.

0:25:10 - Amanda Monique Brown
Let's do this and hit Europe up, i would argue because I was like I need to take a nap. I'm going to bounce out. He was like no, we have to go.

0:25:17 - Sara
Or Pay could mind be here. We have to experience everything.

0:25:20 - Amanda Monique Brown
Watch your wall, and so when you're bouncing around a lot you don't really get as much time to appreciate it, enjoy it, really learn a lot. And so, for contrast, we went to six countries, that trip in 11 cities in 28 days In December, january, we went to Morocco and we spent two weeks just in Morocco. So it's a very different experience You get to learn the culture and the people and the food and things that remind you of Moroccan things when you see them other places, because you just started seeing. Oh, those glasses, I recognize these little cups. Those look Moroccan right.

That kind of yeah, versus when we went to Switzerland, we went to Just Lucerne And now I couldn't tell you a thing about Switzerland. I did time there to learn it. I don't know if I answered the question.

0:26:08 - Sara
No, that does 100%. We're the same way. I mean there are even places, i guess more domestically, where we just breeze through And I feel like I don't know it that well. But if we go somewhere international, we always stayed at least two weeks somewhere, and I think that. That's. I still feel like I've only scratched the surface, like the longer you stay somewhere, the more you realize you don't know it, but you also get that better understanding of. I mean, you pick more on the culture versus just seeing the sides. I think.

And that's that to me is more travel versus vacationing. I don't know if that makes sense. Nothing, you have to go. I'm not saying that if you have to travel faster because of work or something, your experiences can still be just as rich and just as valuable. Just take your time to slow down and enjoy it. That's my opinion.

0:26:48 - Chris
Yeah, I know Well and I think it comes down to what you're wanting the trip to be. But I mean, we as people, we enjoy culture, We enjoy getting to learn and see how people operate differently. But if you're wanting to take a vacation somewhere Mexico at an all inclusive is probably a good trip, because I don't think that you're really caring about the culture there. You just want to relax. We find relaxation in the chaos of a different culture Like. We like being somewhere slow and trying to figure it out.

0:27:21 - Sara
So how do you use your content creating? Because I know you said it was originally like a travel journal, like you documented your experiences with Austin And that was a way for you guys to look back at all of the amazing places you guys got to go. How does that affect the content you're creating now, because I know that you are thinking in terms of a business now, do you still look at it and say this is still for me, like I still want to capture the moments that are important to me and that I'm going to remember?

0:27:44 - Amanda Monique Brown
Yes, for my stories, which is the way that it always has been. So if I go to a place like Savannah, even I'm going to post a lot of stories of Savannah, right.

0:27:55 - Chris
I'm going to show you everything that we did.

0:27:56 - Amanda Monique Brown
It's like a little travel diary on my stories. But I don't do that on my reels because that's not as helpful, And I try really hard to provide helpful content in my reels and tangible things that people can use, And a lot of that me is more entertainment than content. Does that make sense? Versus, Yeah, no it does.

0:28:17 - Chris
I've never heard anybody differentiate the different types of content on Instagram. So you're using your stories as more of a personal Like this is your notebook journal, And then you're using your reels as informational, And then are your posts. Are they like a blend between the two or they're more for promotion?

0:28:37 - Amanda Monique Brown
I would say my static posts, just like my feed posts. they can vary. Sometimes it'll be something that's more like about me. Here's who I am, here's who I got into travel. I'm not special. You can do this. Sometimes it's like here is random tips that you need to know before you go take your dog to Costa Rica. This is tangible value that you can use.

0:29:00 - Chris
Let's go back to your travels, because we really want to touch on this. What is your favorite place that you have traveled to?

0:29:10 - Amanda Monique Brown
Well, you know, as a traveler you can't pick one. It's like downfall of the question. But I would say I have a couple of favorite countries. I have favorite cities, i have favorite regions. So it depends. My favorite cities, i would say, is Istanbul and Cape Town. I would live in either one of them, i would move to both of them. Places like, country-wise, i love Thailand, right, if you have to love Thailand, who doesn't love Thailand? But I, in general, yeah, i love Thailand. But I love to travel to the Middle East or places that are grouped in the Middle East, because I later learned that the Middle East is not really an agreed upon term, right, like places that we consider in the Middle East they don't necessarily consider themselves in the Middle East, right? But anyways, i love those kinds of places. I love desert places, i love dance with landscapes, i love the culture. I think it's so interesting because I like to travel places that feel wildly different to me.

0:30:06 - Sara
I was going to ask that if that was important to you. That's kind of what I was picking up on. That's important to me too, if I can.

0:30:10 - Amanda Monique Brown
I wanted to feel. I want everything to feel different, like that's why I'm not. I mean, there are places, now that I've learned more, that I'm very interested in going in, like Australia and, you know, western Europe, and but before that's never been my main poll And I don't think it'll ever be my top category of poll, because I want everything to feel different. I want the clothes, the food, the landscape, the smells, like I want everything to feel different. If not, i'm like, well, i'll just stay here, like I don't need to go.

0:30:38 - Chris
So when you're traveling to these wildly different places, is it harder as a woman to go to these different places or having Austin there, does it help being a couple Like what's your travel experiences going to somewhere very drastic.

0:30:52 - Amanda Monique Brown
Yeah, it is harder And there is just no way around that. I think it's very doable as a solo female traveler. It's not something I can speak to super experienced on, because I've never done that, because Austin's always been there, but having done it with a partner and still having you just get more eyes on you, right It's just. It's not necessarily inherently dangerous. I think there are obviously situations that you shouldn't put yourself in, but that applies to every country. Right Like you're a woman. Don't walk around at night. That applies here in Atlanta. Right Like that's weird, yeah, yeah.

But it's less that it's dangerous and more that it's uncomfortable. Right, like people are going to stare at you more I handle like, for example, i handle all of our money, like that's, i'm a numbers person, i do all the money, i do all of those things. But when we're in a lot of more conservative places, they tend to just look at Austin and be like here's the bill And he just turns around and hands it to me. People won't address me, like if I'm asking a question, they'll kind of answer back to me at Austin sometimes. Does that make sense? Yeah, yeah, so you can do it, but yeah, i think it is harder. There are places that I wouldn't recommend unless you're super experienced. Going as a solo, it's like woman.

0:32:05 - Sara
Very true. We. I actually have never been anywhere in the Middle East So I can't speak to that. I know that's probably one of those places that it is harder for women. Maybe I'm wrong on that, just culturally. But yeah, it's. We have that issue Even on YouTube. Sometimes people comment and they direct things at Chris and like whoa, that's my area. That's what they like. Direct that question of me for a second.

0:32:24 - Chris
I mean we'll have it here, Like when we were trying to buy a truck or when we were trying to buy a new truck. I have a phone number that's based in North Carolina and Sara has a phone number based in Tennessee and we would call the same dealership and she would call first, and then I would call after, and then 20 minutes would go by and he would call me first and he didn't know that we were together.

0:32:43 - Sara
Like you know days for him to call me Yeah, it was yeah, it was, it was all Yeah.

0:32:46 - Chris
So I feel like it's kind of everywhere. But I was just curious, you know. Yeah.

0:32:50 - Sara
And I had another question. Not that I want to make it, like you know, a feminist thing by any means, but you said something earlier like I like the term travel content creator better than influencer, And I actually heard someone else say that and ever since she said this I was like, oh my gosh, I see it. Now People refer to women who do what we're doing as influencers, And then the man get the term content creator and it's ever since she pointed that out I was like, oh my gosh, you're right, And that influencer has such an, it has such a stigma around. It's like, oh, you're just an influencer, You just want something for free. It's like, no, I'm a content creator, I create content and bring value. So I don't have you seen that at all.

0:33:25 - Amanda Monique Brown
No, i haven't seen that, but I think that I've never heard that. but that makes so much sense And it's such a valid point. and it does make sense because it's like, yeah, it's women. So it's just like a catty ego, like you just want attention and you're just doing this, but people can look at you. you know it's like such a diminished value when it's like, no, i'm actually, i have tangible things that help people And I have to remind myself all the time that it's like no, i am helping people.

When I get messages like you help me plan X, y and Z trip, it's like okay, i'm not crazy, like I am actually helping.

0:33:57 - Sara
Yeah, you do help. You've helped me, In fact, sitting here in this conversation. I'm like dang it, I know I'm doing a lot wrong with our reels and Amanda's very convicting her right now because I just our reels are a disaster. Our manager has been telling us she's like you guys need to get more consistent. You need to be more consistent. Yes, yes, yes, i know, i know I'm working on it but let's dive into that, let's talk about tips.

I don't want to give everything away because anybody who's listening. Amanda does have a course about content creating, specifically with short form content reels, right? Is it geared towards this tick tock to, or is it just reels?

0:34:27 - Amanda Monique Brown
Well, I think a lot of the things apply to read or to tick tock, but it is specifically made for real. So I have that short guide. It was not short, it's like 33 pages. But I have the ebook guide that's on reels and like kind of how to get started with reels. It's not necessarily how to get started in content in general, It's more so like you've been making reels and they're just not taking off and you don't really know what you're doing and you're feeling frustrated with like why is everyone else getting all these views and I'm not? It's kind of speaking to that specifically. And then I'm in the process of building like a full course, like an online video course with lessons on all of it from start to finish, Like here's how to get started, everything from like here's what your handle should be, here's how to optimize your bio, like your bio lines, here's what to do with your highlights and how often to post, kind of all of the details that way.

0:35:16 - Sara
I will probably be a customer of that, because our Instagram is weak. I mean, i really think people can check us still, but yeah, it is. It's all over the place. I see people like you who are just like kicking it. By the way, we didn't even ask us what is your current following number, just to give context.

0:35:33 - Amanda Monique Brown
Yeah on. Instagram It's 220, 225.

0:35:36 - Sara
Wow, wow, that's incredible. Congratulations on that, by the way, that's crazy.

0:35:41 - Amanda Monique Brown
It's beyond everything I've literally said. I remember calling my dad was super into like checking my numbers when it was like growing crazy last summer And he would be like, oh my gosh, you're almost at 30,000. And I remember texting him when I hit 40,000 and being like I would be happy if I never had another follower ever again. Like 40,000 is more than I could ever imagine in my wildest dreams And I still don't take it for granted. And I think people who do start taking it for granted it shows You do a great job.

0:36:12 - Sara
Yeah, i'll admit there was a. There were a few days there I remember when you were posting like I just grew, like you did share, like you had grown. It was like last July or something probably. But I there were a few days I was like regularly checking your accounts, like she's doing it. I was getting so excited. I don't know if I ever told you that, but I was like look at Amanda go. It was so cool.

0:36:30 - Chris
I want to grow on Instagram. I let's use you know what? let's get a free consultation right now. No, we're not doing that. Listen, just give us some questions Yeah. Well, like what would you do differently? Like what I mean? like if I'm going to post a reel or whatever.

0:36:41 - Sara
She's going to rip us a new one on this podcast. It's fine.

0:36:43 - Chris
It's fine, let's go Like, give me your unfiltered thoughts.

0:36:46 - Amanda Monique Brown
All right, unfiltered thoughts. Sara is going to hate it. You have to niche down. I know I hate it so much. I had a hard time with that too Right, everyone talks about niching down, and if people don't know what niching down is, it's like you can't just say I want to be in travel.

It's not enough. Right, there's too many travel creators out there. You have to have more tangible things. Are you luxury travel? Cool, i need it more. Are you lucky to travel with people with kids? Are you luxury travel for people who can only travel one week a year? Right, like, it's got to be more. And that doesn't mean I think people get really stuck on this and I did too. It was like, well, i don't want to always do that. Maybe that's not going to be what I'm going to always do, and it's not. It doesn't have to be Like, but you have to start somewhere. And when people are growing and when people come to your page, they need to know immediately what they have, what you have to offer. Right, because people decide what is it Seven seconds or something? It's like your first six or seven seconds.

It's crazy fast, It's like from first of all, you got to get people coming to your page. But from the time someone clicks on your page, you've got six to seven seconds to communicate to them why they should follow you and what you have to offer them. And if it's not clear or it's just kind of all over the place, you're going to be like why don't really know what to expect from this person. So I don't see the value That's us No.

0:38:02 - Sara
I know it 100%. Yeah, it's scary. I mean, we did used to niche down And I'm not arguing you by any means, because I do know that when we niche down we saw growth. We also experienced when we niche down and then we pivoted And that was one of the hardest seasons of our life. Not as hard as the season of our life That sounds really dramatic, but it was so hard. Going from van life to travel And it is possible to change, but, man, it takes intentionality.

0:38:25 - Chris
Yeah, and we accidentally got into the van bubble. We didn't know what we were doing and we were asked and we didn't set out to be in van life, but then van life found us. We got tired of answering comments of how to use the toilet. Every day. We're like we don't want to do this or where to do laundry, and so I think that I think that's where our hesitation comes from.

0:38:49 - Sara
Yeah, But I know, like you're so right, like we have to do that, like what am I caring enough about to niche down for right now?

0:38:59 - Amanda Monique Brown
I think people get not, i'm not saying you do this, but I think people in general do get really stuck on like why don't want to do that forever? And I feel like I can really speak to that because I had like on my thing. I said I was budget travel. I don't actually consider myself budget travel in the true budget travel sense, because in my mind, budget travel is like you've got $30 a day and you're gonna stay in a dorm room hostel and you're gonna eat ramen noodles right, you can do that.

0:39:27 - Chris
That's not my style of travel.

0:39:29 - Amanda Monique Brown
I want a private room, i filter on air conditioning and I want wifi, right? Yes, I'm still finding places for $50 a night, versus $12 for a dorm bed, right?

0:39:38 - Sara

0:39:39 - Amanda Monique Brown
And I do luxury things too right, like we do five-star safaris and we'll pay a lot of money to go on a category in the Glopagos but it helps people understand what I'm bringing to the table, right. So when I was doing that to me, while I don't consider myself a budget traveler, what I do have a lot of value in, i think, is price transparency, and that's what I actually believe in. but that's less like tangible if I put that in my handle, like price transparency, people be like I don't know what that means.

0:40:11 - Sara
Right Sure.

0:40:12 - Amanda Monique Brown
Yeah, i mean is like you can do whatever you want to do. If you want to spend this much money on a luxury safari, it's probably not as much as you think it is. If you're talking about taking some long trip in the US to Disney, right, like, if you want to spend $15 a day, you can do that. But here's what I'm spending and here is how much it's costing me to do these things, and I'm going to share that and be really open about what these things cost. And so it's the transparency. But, that being said, i think it helped me grow a lot. But I've now taken that out, right, that is. That's really not. I'm really not providing just value on prices or like it.

I'm really providing like just a realistic travel view, but it didn't help me grow, because it was very clear what I was offering.

0:40:56 - Sara
Yeah, No, it absolutely makes sense.

0:40:58 - Chris
Yeah, and.

0:40:58 - Sara
I was going to say. It kind of comes back to that whole idea of like providing value, like you gave people content, like valuable content, not just like look at me traveling the world. Like you actually gave them value and, even if that value shifts, like you're still consistent, consistently providing something to them, that they come to your page and they know they're going to get something of value to help themselves travel, which I think is really important.

0:41:16 - Chris
Yeah. So at what point you know you're, you're adding value to people, you're giving value to people, but at what point do do your people fall in love with you? Because I can view like resources all day long and you know, oh, that's great, she traveled there for 10 bucks or a hundred bucks, whatever, whatever it may be. But when do they fall in love with you? Like, how do you make that content?

0:41:37 - Amanda Monique Brown
So I think there's like I don't remember how the saying goes, but it's like they follow for what you can provide them. They stay because they fall in love with you, or something like that, Like people follow because you're giving them something tangible right, Because you have to offer them.

It's, it's transactional, It's like here's what I have to offer you, And they're like cool, I could use that, right. And they stay because they learn to like you and understand that you are also helpful, but also real and relatable, And I think that's where social media in general is going Like. I think that's why TikTok is super popular, right, Because it's like more raw and authentic, And I think there's basically like two parts of social media right now And it's either like super, super, like beautiful curated content with high quality equipment, And it's this me filming walking in my backyard teaching something about something right Like yeah, it's super raw, like real, like very out of camera.

Right, it's like what's better the other. So yeah, i think people just and messaging people like I respond to DMs all day, every day, and it's like building trust of like I'm not just here because I want some number, like right, I could do what I do and provide the value that I provide and never have to show my face And no one actually knew who I was.

I would totally do that because I won't need the attention Like it's like it's really awkward. Like if I see somebody and they follow me and they say they follow me, i like turn super red, and I really don't know why.

0:43:05 - Sara
I'm like oh, no, I'm so sorry. Why do you follow me Like apologetic? I'm like, why am I apologizing?

0:43:13 - Chris
I'm so sorry for that video we posted. I didn't mean that. I didn't mean what I said.

0:43:17 - Amanda Monique Brown
I don't know why. I don't know why, But it's, i think it's because we're in it for the right reasons. Right, it's like you need to provide value and, to, like, help people out, and by doing that, you have to be someone that is honest and relatable, and that's what we're drawn to.

0:43:32 - Sara
You do a great job of it, amanda, like I really do want to say that, like you've done a really incredible job of growing a business and building trust. And now that you've, like you, hooked us with your travel, and I don't, i know I found you because you were traveling with your dog to. I think are you about to, maybe you I don't remember how you found we found each other. I think maybe you reached out about traveling with your dog to go to you.

I remember, yeah still, and I remember like the Airbnb are in and everything, and I was like, yeah, so we may have found each other for traveling with a dog like talk about niche down, which is a whole niche is traveling with pets But we stuck around and I feel like I've gotten to know you just from your stories or everyday stories, like right now you're doing a series on or not. Maybe it's not serious, but every morning you make the same breakfast every morning and then people submit their questions at night and then you answer those questions while you're making your breakfast every morning And it's just, it's very consistent. I've gotten to write the last few days and like, oh, amanda's questions, like I get to learn more about Amanda today, like whatever it is like you do provide these little nuggets.

It's fun. I love it.

0:44:27 - Chris
Yeah. So how long do you spend on your phone, oh God.

0:44:33 - Sara
I hate that question A lot.

0:44:38 - Amanda Monique Brown
So because I work, I usually get up in the morning. I'm glad Austin's not here to be like. That's a lie. Don't say that. I can get anywhere between seven and eight, right? So sometimes it's seven, sometimes it's like 75. But as soon as I get up, I need to be better about setting a better routine and boundaries with it. But I get up, I go make my breakfast and my coffee and I'm on my phone right away, Right?

I'm responding to DMs, i'm responding to people. I'm like, if I'm finishing my content that I'm going to post later in the day, i'll like make the final tweaks of like making the cover photo and finishing my caption. And then when I'm working, i'm obviously not on my phone, but anytime I go and refill my coffee, right, or I meet in lunch on the back porch for 15 minutes, or I go to get a glass of water, i'm looking at my DMs, right, yeah, and then in the evenings, that's all I do I get off of work whenever I'm done with work and I am either on my phone creating content for the next day, responding to DMs, replying to comments, or, mostly right now it's all finalizing my script for the course.

0:45:42 - Sara
Wow, that's filling. Yeah, do you?

0:45:44 - Chris
find it? do you find it draining being on the phone for a while or even interacting with so many people, like in order to grow? do you feel like you have to be like? yes, i have to respond be on the app as much as possible, because obviously that's what Instagram or TikTok, whoever they want you to be on that app for as long as possible. So do you, do you feel pressure to do that, or do you feel tired at the end of the day? Or you know?

0:46:10 - Sara
Oh sorry, No, go ahead. Or are you good about setting boundaries in place? I know you said like you spend more time on your phone than what you want to admit, but have you found different ways to put those boundaries in place? No, I love how honest you are. No, not at all.

0:46:25 - Amanda Monique Brown
It's hard, isn't it? It's really hard, and it's hard because I want to be helpful and I don't like and it is something I need to be better about about setting boundaries, and I think my advice to other people would be don't set the habits I've set Like right. Like do as I do not wait, do as I say, not as I do, right, yeah?

0:46:43 - Chris
sure Yeah.

0:46:45 - Amanda Monique Brown
Set a time to respond to DMs. Don't respond to DMs all day the way that I do. It's not sustainable long term. I need to be better about it. But it's not because I feel an obligation, It's because I feel more so like I want to help your question so bad that I feel bad that you're waiting on me. But something I have gotten better about is when I get DMs and they've never messaged me before and they go to the request folder right, I leave them there until I'm ready to respond. Yeah, Sometimes people have really really long, really in depth questions and I want to get back to them, but sometimes it's like I don't have the capacity right now to answer and I want to answer you fully. I don't want to put some half hearted answer And so I just want to like respond to people and like be attentive, but not because they're making me feel that way. It's like a very like personal pressure, Like nobody is doing that to me, Like that's me. Yeah.

0:47:36 - Sara
No, I get it, We get questions. I mean, everybody gets questions on Instagram, like especially the DMs, And I, Chris, I always say like you need to be more personal when you answer the questions because I'm like giving them practically like the shield right an entire book multiple messages to people.

And I'm like, here's the link by, like you know, but if they have a detailed question like we see tons of question, like right now it's questions about traveling to Mexico or whatever it is I will give them at least a paragraph answer, like at least a paragraph answer. And then this is this is personal, but like one of my biggest pet peeves is when I do that And at best I'll get a like like a heart back on it and like thumbs up, like a thank you would be cool.

Or they don't respond at all. I don't like seeing and I'm like I see you, i don't see you, and it's like I'm still happy to help, but then again it's. It is that's where I'm kind of. I know I need to put better boundaries in place, because it is exhausting to do that And then I don't know.

0:48:35 - Chris
Well, you mentioned it earlier. You know that it's a transactional relationship and we're on the other end of that transaction. People ask, ask, ask, and then we give, give, give And then we never, we never, receive anything other than That's not true.

0:48:50 - Sara
We have a lot of people who really get back and think of her as Yeah, no, no, no. But I'm saying We'll have to put out No, no, yeah, no. I'm really great.

0:48:55 - Chris
But yeah, let me clarify. I think, like but like you give, give, give, and then people take, and then a lot of people do not reciprocate, like they just don't give back. Well, i think Does that make sense? Yeah, yeah.

0:49:07 - Amanda Monique Brown
So to that, i think it's kind of exactly what Sara was saying earlier about like there are people who are really, really invested in who we are right, like they care who we are, they care about how we're doing. Like there's that set of people who are like they're my people right, like we're in it together. Like there's a lot of people who and this is fine but there's a lot of people who are there because we were providing value right, so because the more of a following you have, the more inflated those amounts get. So you've got more people who are really invested, but you've also got a lot more people who are just there for the value, and I think that that's sometimes hard to explain to people. That's like the more you grow, the more people are demanding of you, and not in a bad way, like I'm happy to help. But to like to kind of speak to what you're saying about like sending paragraphs. I voice note now.

0:49:53 - Sara
That's like my That's not a bad idea, yeah.

0:49:57 - Amanda Monique Brown
It's so much faster And I can provide so much more value And it's also really it's much more personal. Just say so much more, so much quicker than I could if I was sitting there typing it out on my phone. So that's how I like that respond But yeah, that would be my waste to anybody is like don't do what I do, like do them all at once. Like set aside the nearest time, theos, hi, theo.

0:50:21 - Sara
But the people who are watching the video podcast. Theo just popped his head back up. I love him so much. He's so much like Kramer. Um well, this has been good, amanda. Thank you so much. I'm already sitting here thinking about like I need to go change the covers from my highlights and reorganize my highlights and do different highlights and all this kind of thing. Like I know there's so much needs to be done And this has been really encouraging because I have not set boundaries in place. In fact, i took all like all of February, february, off from Instagram. I just like completely deleted the app Like I didn't even touch it.

Chris may have answered a couple of messages here and there but, for the most part, like we just go to it because it just gets. I wasn't burned out, I was just tired of the feeding the machine, I think. But it's that constant age old battle of like I need to put boundaries in place, but where do you put those boundaries? So yeah, like I think, like the voice melds and like setting times for ourselves and that kind of thing, Like we may say it, but like we've got to implement this This is going to kill me.

0:51:13 - Amanda Monique Brown
Well, i was just going to say one more thing. So I think people love to hate on Instagram because it's like the cool thing, right, like the same way that people want to give influencers a hard time, which is why we like the term content creator right, and it's.

I think people love to hate on Instagram as something that's really superficial and it gets this like bad reputation. But I'm always like I love Instagram. Like Instagram changed my life not in a content creation way, absolutely not. Instagram following people doing the things I wanted to do completely changed my life because it opened my mind to the fact that I could do these things. Like these other people are doing these things, i can do these things, and for people who's not y'all. But there are people who like really really hate on Instagram And I'm like no, if you really hate on Instagram and you feel like it's all really negative, like there is a personal accountability there, right? Like don't follow those people, then Whoever's following they're making you feel that way, unfollow them. Like I'm very, very particular about who I follow because I don't want to follow people that make me feel bad about my life.

0:52:13 - Sara
I was going to say there's people that we follow because we want to encourage and support them, but there's also some people on like I don't, your content doesn't resonate with me, but like maybe I'm okay with your posts, but I'm not your stories And so I'll like mute one or the other. And it's not personal. It's like I just, if I'm feeling negative about it in any way, like I want to be able to encourage you And so I'll just I'll hide you And then does that make sense?

0:52:33 - Chris
Yeah, I mean the worst thing is like I mean, we were at an event and we met, met a couple of people and we all started following each other on Instagram And then, you know, three days later, you know one of those people like unfollowed us And it's like oh, what did I do? Why did you hate me? Like you are, you know, you take it sort of personal And I think we we err on the side of like. Okay, i still want to support you, i still like you as a person, but I'm not resonating with your content. So we'll mute it or we'll try to hide it, just so because, like we're, we still like you as a person, but we may not like your content. Does that make sense?

0:53:06 - Sara
Yeah, and I'm with you, amanda. Like Instagram has, it really has opened a lot of opportunities up for us. I'm not hating on it because I mean, that was the first social media platform we got into. Like I was, i still don't watch YouTube. Even though we do YouTube, i think that's our main platform, but, like, instagram is where I go to socialize. I feel like that's the biggest. I feel like it has the best two way communication.

0:53:27 - Amanda Monique Brown

0:53:27 - Sara
YouTube, youtube and podcast. People watch And so they feel like they really know us. But it's harder for me to feel like I know them, whereas people, when they slip into our DMs or they comment, like people may not realize like I recognize the most popular commenters. I may not answer every single comment or every single message Like I try to, but I see you and that means so much Like I recognize your name popping up. So I think Instagram has so much value as far as it's it's personal and it allows for really great relationship building with your audience.

0:53:53 - Chris
Yeah, If somebody wanted to start today to do content creation, they were starting out like what would you tell them?

0:54:00 - Amanda Monique Brown
I would tell them to not two things. Don't rush into it as in. Like you feel like you have to have everything figured out, but also you have to just start right. Like it sounds so dumb, but it's like people, i think, get really overwhelmed by like well, how do I do all of these different things And how do I like what does my handle need to be? Like? I changed my handle. My handle wasn't my handle.

0:54:23 - Chris
Now, when I first started and I made my handle and it was called.

0:54:26 - Amanda Monique Brown
Wander in Plain Site Like a plane.

0:54:30 - Sara
Yeah, i didn't even. I don't even remember you having that handle. You wouldn't because okay.

0:54:36 - Amanda Monique Brown
And I was like this is a bad idea. But I right, like it's fine, Like you can change things, You can change your niche down the road, like you can change all these things.

But I think the biggest thing is like just doing it. Pick something that you're feeling really passionate about, like if somebody sat down on a podcast with you and was like you didn't know what they were going to ask about, what is something you could sit down and talk about right, like passionately and knowledgeably. And so what are you passionate about? Talk about those things. You can figure out the details as you go And you have to be consistent. Like that's the actual, like tangible thing that actually really matters is you have to be consistent And the more you post, the more you grow.

0:55:16 - Chris
That doesn't mean you have to post every day.

0:55:18 - Amanda Monique Brown
But if someone's posting seven reels a week and you're posting three, it's going to take you more than twice as long to grow.

0:55:25 - Sara
That's so good. Honestly, you are encouraging me for and things that I've been very scared to do. Like, truthfully, i've been very scared to niche down and very scared to start posting more regularly and that kind of thing. Like I'm very hesitant because, like it scares me, but you're encouraging me, like just do it, just start somewhere. Like I am encouraged, like it's not going to be in the world.

0:55:42 - Amanda Monique Brown
I can pivot, i can change, i can do whatever I want, but so I think, in terms of consistency because I think consistency is really important And for anybody getting started, anybody who's been doing it, and I was talking awesome about it And I was like maybe this is dumb, but I have like an analogy that I like and I put it in my reels guide And I was like being I'm interested on Instagram is kind of like being in a toxic relationship, in the sense that your, let's say, your partner is coming to you and is like I'm so sorry, i hurt you. I'm going to call you every day, i'm going to show up every day And you're like okay, i believe you, And then they ghost you again. You're not going to trust them, right? Because they keep showing up and telling you they're going to be there And then they ghost you. That's exactly how it is If you were posting content and how the algorithm views you.

If you're posting content, you're like look Instagram, look algorithm. I'm going to show up, i'm going to come and I'm going to post consistently And I'm going to like get people on my page and then you ghost algorithm. The algorithm is like I don't know if I'm going to trust you, why would I promote your content? You're just going to ghost me again, right? And so you have to build that relationship with algorithm where you teach it to trust you And it takes time, just like it would take time If you had a partner who had burned you in the past. It's like, well, you're going to have to prove it to me. It's going to have to be a while before you ghost me again that I'm going to believe you're not going to do it, right?

0:57:04 - Chris
I feel like we've learned a lot in this episode, a lot.

0:57:07 - Sara
I feel like I have a lot to go home and do today, so it's a lot I need to do more.

0:57:14 - Chris
So if people wanted to follow along or they want to learn more about your course or whatever, how can, how can people find find out about you?

0:57:21 - Amanda Monique Brown
So my Instagram is the most easiest way to find all the details right. DM me whatever handles Amanda Monique Brown. There's way too many Amanda Browns out there, So I had to throw in my middle name.

0:57:34 - Sara
Love it.

0:57:35 - Amanda Monique Brown
It's so long. I do also have a website that people can subscribe to like my email list, so if they wanted to know more details about the course, i will send all that out early, and my website is Amanda Monique Browncom, so very easy Yeah easy enough.

0:57:50 - Sara
I don't like everything down below too, but that's good, we'll let people hear it too. Yeah, this was so good, amanda, thank you so much, and I really want to make that trip to Thailand with our dogs happen soon, i think. Now. I think that would do great things for our Instagram.

0:58:03 - Amanda Monique Brown
So, truthfully, i mean who wouldn't want to see our two dogs running around Thailand?

0:58:10 - Sara
The devil under by it. I just love it so much. Amanda, thank you so much. It was so good talking with you.

0:58:15 - Amanda Monique Brown
Yeah, had so much fun, Thanks.

0:58:17 - Sara
Thanks for listening to what no one tells you. With Chris and Sara, you have a comment or question that you want answered on the air? Be sure to send us a message to hello at christensaracom, or you can call or text our phone number at 423-825-9572. Thanks for listening. 

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