Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Gibson.
Hi Brittany, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I always knew I had to figure out a way to make traveling my life. In May of 2014, I graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Editing, Writing & Media (journalism) and a minor in Modern Languages. I headed back home to spend the next eight months saving every penny, nickel, and dime for my great adventure. A typical work week would be Monday-Friday 8 am-12 pm as a social media assistant for my dad, a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley.
Then head straight to The Boutique on Plant for a mid-afternoon shift, then a closing shift at The Attic Door Tuesday-Saturday and let’s not forget Sunday bunch. My friends grew accustomed to hearing me say, “Sorry, I have to work” for every invitation they extended. If I wasn’t serving, selling clothes, or organizing spreadsheets, you could find my at any one of my neighbor’s houses dog sitting or house sitting to fill any spare time I could scrounge up. It worked. I saved up $19,227 for my epic world journey. My mom had one rule: communication every day. So I started a blog to post about my trip. It was a blog, a picture, or a text every day. And thus, Gibson Girl Guides and BrittanyinWandrland were born! The first bit, I was traveling with my grandpa to Vietnam, where we retraced his two tours in the war. After two weeks, I said goodbye to my dad and grandpa and met my college roommate, Patrick, at our Ho Chi Minh City hotel. We planned to be gone until mid-July, early August. Hitting as many countries as we could in the process. We always liked to take the free walking tours and get tips from our guides on local places to eat.
We were in Copenhagen, Denmark on a free walking tour where I met this kid named Fred. He told me he was making money through Instagram and an app called VSCO. I was shocked, I used this app to edit pictures, I had no idea it could turn a profit. I pretty much forced the kid to go to lunch with me and tell me everything he knew. Although I could tell he didn’t want to share is secrets he did help me a little. I posted a city guide to almost every city we went to, videos of our adventures, and pictures every day. This was before stories of course. And I watch my follower count tick from 1,245 to 2,000 in a matter of weeks. Then we got some news. Have you heard of the Schengen? Well, its a group of 27-ish countries with open boarders, so instead of 90 days in each country, it’s 90 days in the Schengen as a whole. We didn’t know that.
So on a train leaving Slovenia, heading into Croatia, at border control, we were quite shocked when we were pulled out of our cabin and questioned about our trip. The guy must have felt horrible for us since I cried like a baby, he gave us 30 days to get the hell out of Europe. I like to say we were deported. But really were just strongly advised to leave, but the actions basically the same. I wrote an article called “How not to get deported” and from there, almost overnight, I went from hovering over 2,000 followers to well above 5k. When we touched down in the US, I went right to work. Contacting hotels, restaurants, tour companies, clothing brands, anyone who I wanted to work with or promote. I took only gifted collaborations, entered giveaways, and continued to build my following until 2018 I got up the guts to quit all my side jobs and go full-time influencing. And until this pesky pandemic, I’ve been thriving every since, with a following of over 18.5k and a vast portfolio of brands. In 2019 I started my own marketing company where I help other businesses get their name out there, build a following and a profit.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
NOOOOOO WAY. I had a fake collaboration request that led to my IG getting hacked. Agents that ghosted me, giveaways that didn’t pan out. One time, I took a campaign with an organic shampoo that did so much damage to my hair I had to give back their money because I refused to post. I’ve dealt with internet bullies, “friends” taking advantage of the “blogger perks,” and so much. And a worldwide pandemic that essentially halted my entire business. But it’s definitely all be worth it, getting to inspire one girl to take the leap and buy the plane ticket, I’ve done my job.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Digital Wanderland Marketing?
Digital Wanderland came out of what I have been doing to create my brand for myself and turning it into helping others do the same. I work with businesses to set and reach their financial goals through paid advertisements, affiliate campaigns, and organic engagement.
How do you define success?
Feeling like I don’t really have a job, if that makes sense, some days I don’t feel like I’ve done any work at all but in reality, I have spent the entire day working. Also, hearing how my stories and experiences have helped a follower book a trip they would have otherwise been too afraid to book.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.gibsongirlguides.com
- Instagram: brittanyinwanderland