Have you ever wondered what a blogger's life is actually like? How it all started and how they managed to live the life? Our guest today has mastered just that. Here's an inside scoop with a few big social media tips from one super successful blogger, Tracy Komlos.  

BIKINI: Hey, Tracy! Can you give us a background on who you are? 

TRACY KOMLOS: Ya sure! Well, I am Canadian and currently live in Toronto. It was just my 27th birthday on January 23rd. I have traveled to 38 countries and have a passion for photography, empowering women and experiencing new cultures. These passions led me to what I am doing today! I’m the founder of Pangea Dreams, and this is our second year running. We run retreats around the world that empower women through education. By teaching women how to be successful entrepreneurs while using social media as a business tool. Our retreats are heavily focused on our workshop and the women who attend are between 23 to 40 years old. Daily workshops are taught by industry leaders like photographers and influencers that have made full-time careers out of social media — yoga instructors, wellness gurus and videographers. It’s all about empowering women and building a very connected community around the world. Being an entrepreneur can be really lonely, so we offer that support of a community. 

 

BIKINI: So how did you get started on retreats and how did this idea come about?

TK:  The idea of Pangea Dreams started three years ago originally as a production company. The concept was that we would work with five to 15 brands, choose an awesome location, pool together the production costs and split them across all brands to be able to shoot beautiful content  at an affordable cost— we were involved in creating look-books, social media or marketing materials. We became the first affordable production company for small to mid-size brands, and through that concept, we traveled a lot in the first year. (Bahamas, Cuba, Iceland and Bali) 
As I shared some of the photos from the trips, I began getting a lot of attention from women from around the world. They’d ask, "How are you doing this?" "I’m sitting at my desk job and wishing I could be traveling" "Do you work?" "How do you make money?" "How are you constantly on the road?" I was getting hundreds of emails; it was overwhelming. At that moment, I saw that there was a huge untapped market and demand for education in the social media space. I asked myself, how can I help these women follow their passions and create a business via social media? I had a community that was looking to me for advice and direction, and at that point, I knew what I had to do. That’s when the concept of the retreat came to me. I had to listen to what the people wanted and what the universe put in front of me and so I ran with the idea.
No one was offering a blogger retreat (Fun fact; we actually invented that term) for the purpose of teaching women how to succeed on social media as well as creating a global community of supportive women. Pangea Dreams evolved into a much more well rounded program with an underlying mission of empowering women to lead their best lives. 
It's been an incredible first year; over 60 women participated in our retreats. I am super excited for 2018 as that participation will increase to just over 100 women! 
We still work with brands; as they sponsor the retreats allowing for the women to have a first hand experience to work with International brands. A lot of [the] time it is the first opportunity many of the women have to collab with brands. 

 

BIKINI: You started to get attention with travel photos. Was there a sort of formula you implemented to gain traction?

TK:  At first there wasn’t really a formula. I was constantly traveling and photography had always been a passion of mine, so I had accumulated hundreds of beautiful travel photos over the time before Instagram had even existed. When Instagram launched, I didn’t know what it would become today. I used it as an outlet to share my favorite travel photos from my previous trips. Then I realized that Instagram wasn’t just that, and all of a sudden people I didn’t even know started following me and it organically grew from there. It was really exciting and the growth was unexpected as I wasn’t on Instagram to gain followers. I definitely became someone people look to for fun, beachy travel photos as well as travel advice. 

BIKINI: Do you have someone that comes along with you to take photos or do you set up photoshoots?

TK: Im resourceful when it comes to getting the shot. When I am on a retreat, we all work together to shoot each other. When I am traveling with friends or my boyfriend, I usually direct and set them up to get the shot I envision and if traveling alone I always bring my trusty tripod! 

 

BIKINI: Do you have someone edit your photos or do you edit them yourself? 

TK: I do it myself. I use Lightroom to edit all my photos, and I’ve created my own preset. That way I can edit super consistently. They’ll have a similar tone or feel to them.

 

BIKINI: If there's one huge tip you can offer an aspiring blogger, what would that be? 

TK:  I can sum that tip in one word: consistency! Know your brand, know what you stand for and always be authentic.  Are you posting selfies, are you posting food or are you posting pictures of your dog? Are you at the center of each picture or are you in the background?  People are following you for a reason. They come to know what to expect from your gallery and you need to deliver that consistency in your photos. Collaborating with other brands and influencers that align with what you stand for is also very beneficial.  You are growing your community and at the same time, you are helping others grow theirs.  A theme that resonates with retreat leaders is collaboration and not competition. 

 

BIKINI: When collaborating, how do you recommend people reach out?  

TK: There are many ways in which this can be achieved. Creating an Instagram DM group with other similar accounts is a great way to connect and support each-others growth! Don’t be afraid to reach out to others, whether you’re traveling to far away lands or in your own city, its always fun to connect with others who are around you to collaborate.  You can make new friends on Instagram that are doing similar things as you, making it easier to connect and understand each other. You just have to put yourself out there!