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Teri Johnson said that she and her friend, Andrea Adams created Travelista TV out of their passion for travel and to bring a different "flavor" they didn't see on television travel shows a few years ago.
Travelista TV showcases Teri and Andrea as they jet set around the world in search of adventure, culture, cuisine, music, parties, and star-studded events!
While working full-time jobs, they used vacation time to travel while learning to edit their own travel videos at night. Their passion paid off as they went from shooting their own videos, to working with countries' tourism boards, Black Entertainment Television, Sundance Film Festival and other brands.
This is their story packed with lots of lessons for entrepreneurs. It also contains an opportunity for a lucky lady at the end (super cool spoiler).
Note: For the first part of this interview, Skype was "tripping" due to the internet connection! But please keep it rolling as it clears up. You'll be able to follow the conversation though, I'm sure.
Tell Teri You Saw Her on Grind & Thrive
Teri Johnson is the co-creator of Travelista TV.
Hope you enjoy!
Torrey McGraw: What's up, party people? Torrey McGraw here, creator of Grind & Thrive. And you know what we do. You know we talk to entrepreneurs, we talk to trendsetters, we talk to tastemakers about their grind to help you and your business thrive.
Now, this beautiful lady we're chatting with is part of a dynamic duo. I'm chatting with Teri Johnson. Now, Teri is the co-creator, executive producer, and host of Travelista TV. She, along with her partner, Andrea, which I was practicing getting that right. So Andrea, when you watch this, give me some love. Her and Andrea created Travelista TV out of their passion for global travel, storytelling, love with experiencing different cultures.
I want to bring Teri on to just learn — you know, how do you take this passion of traveling and make it a business and get loved by being on BET, working with Ford, working with TV One, and a host of other companies. So Teri, welcome to Grind & Thrive.
Teri Johnson: Thank you.
Torrey McGraw: What's up and how are you?
Teri Johnson: I'm wonderful. Thank you so much for having us or me.
Torrey McGraw: Thank you for hopping on and we were actually just chatting about some of the things that we wanted to talk to and discover about you and this journey from passion of traveling to making it a brand that's pretty well-known now. So our audience is going to be really interested because a lot of these folks they want to take a break, they want to travel, but they also want to build a passionate brand in a community. So I'm very excited to have you on.
Teri Johnson: Thank you.
Torrey McGraw: So let's go back to — I think it will take us all the way back to college. You and your partner met at FAMU, Florida A&M University. So how did you all meet and then did you get on this road to creating this brand Travelista?
Teri Johnson: Okay. So Andrea Adams and I, we met in college. We were [0:02:03] [Audio Gap]. And we both love speaking other languages. So we decided to take French, Spanish, Italian because we just loved other languages. And whenever we would take like spring break trips, instead of going to like Miami or Panama City, we would go to Puerto Rico, we'd go to Paris, we'd go to cool kind of exotic places because we wanted to just go and experience like real culture and fun and the music and food and all these things that these places have to offer.
So we've always loved to travel. When we did our internships, we had to do internships which is a part of our curriculum, we decided to do ours internationally. So she did one of hers in Paris. She did one of hers in Florence, Italy. I did one of my in Paris and we just loved it, and we realized we're like, "Hey, this is like kind of what we're supposed to be doing."
Torrey McGraw: Right.
Teri Johnson: "We're supposed to be living in other places. We're supposed to be traveling. We're supposed to be speaking other languages. This is it." But then once we graduated, there's this like, okay, well, now it's like time to get a job. So I got a job doing management consulting where I was traveling and I was traveling to cool places like Bermuda and Paris and Canada, but it wasn’t like in the right industry. I was doing a management consulting with finance clients.
Torrey McGraw: So it's kind of boring.
Teri Johnson: It was boring.
Torrey McGraw: Right. Okay.
Teri Johnson: It amazingly sparked people but it wasn’t an industry that I really, really fit. So she had the same sort of thing. When she graduated, she was doing marketing and sales, and she just wasn’t crazy about it. So we put our heads together and we were just like, "We got to do something we like. This can't be our life. We can't continue on this path." And there's real value in having a kindred spirit like where there's someone who you just think the same, you have the same ideas and the same drive.
So a few years ago we were just like, "Let's just do it. Let's just create our own travel show because there's no one out there that looks like us who's traveling." So we bought a camera, talked with some friends who were in entertainment and they explained to us like the best way to record audio, to record video, what we need to capture, brought it back, went into the editing booth, and just started working with this editor who would create like these little clips of us and we put it online. We were like, "Hey, people want to see what we can do and what we're all about."
So we actually had one of our very first web series back in 2006 where we just put all of our content from our journeys that we paid for ourselves, and that's how we brought attention to ourselves. And there were all kinds of places interested in us. The Food Network and — they were interested in us doing some stuff more as personalities. We're like, "Oh, yeah, well, that's fine." But we want to have our own travel show, like we have this big vision of us just traveling the globe and just experiencing and showing people through our eyes and our experiences exactly like what this whole other life out there and all these other people and excitement like all about it because we have been experiencing it for so long.
Torrey McGraw: Okay. Let's back up here for a second because we talked about the boring job. Smart people get to travel a little bit. Kind of boring. You know, your partner, your friend is feeling the same way. Are you quitting that job and then just saying, "Hey, we got some money in the bank. We're going to spend this and we're going to travel," and then while you're traveling like, "Oh, we got this idea"? Or are you taking vacations and traveling? How are you working that in relation to your job?
Teri Johnson: Torrey, that's an excellent question. So we were taking vacations and I think I had maybe three weeks [0:05:48] [Audio Gap] my job and I negotiated more. I was like, "Look, you don’t even have to pay me. I just — I have to [0:05:57] [Audio Gap]." And it was great because I was working with some — my boss at the time was French so she got it completely. And I think Andrea had the same sort of thing where we just — we had to be extremely creative about how we plan our vacations and it was usually around some other holidays that we would just take on this a few more days to have maybe six-day trip versus a three-day trip.
So yeah, we used maximum vacation, took all the other days that you can possibly take off, took those too, and every now and then we'd be like, "Oh, I got to go home. We're so far away from our families." And since I'm from Texas I can come back with a tan and it would still be okay.
Torrey McGraw: Right, right, right, yeah. It's interesting though because you have this lifelong passion for travel and we talked prior to us hopping onto the interview about the type of people who watch these interviews, these people who a lot of times have a passion but they don’t think they can capitalize on it. And I find it interesting that you said in the beginning when you had this idea there weren’t any travel shows online that look like you. So I'm guessing you mean African-American. So what sites were out there that you were kind of looking at and was like, "You know what? If we had something that, you know, with us and our personality and the way we look, that would be pretty dope"?
Teri Johnson: Well, Torrey, I'm talking about on television.
Torrey McGraw: Oh, okay, okay.
Teri Johnson: This was before online. This was kind of before people really understood that they can create a real presence online. These were all published.
Torrey McGraw: Got you. Got you.
Teri Johnson: So we were looking at the Travel Channel. I'm looking at some of these others and we were just like, "Well, we do travel." We're not represented on television per se but we actually do travel, and we have amazing experiences. And in a lot of these places people are really interested because they may not see so many people like us but they're curious about not only Americans but African-Americans and African-American women and all these things. So they want to connect with us just as much as we want to connect with them –
Torrey McGraw: Right.
Teri Johnson: — which made our case like our personal [0:07:53] [Audio Gap] stronger that we need to be doing this. But to go back to one thing, so we were — when we still had our full-time jobs, we actually enrolled in continuing education courses at night to learn more about the filmmaking process. We both studied digital editing. We studied filmmaking. So we cannot just say, "Oh, we think we're cool and we speak other languages and we want to travel." It wasn't like that. It was more like, all right. we're putting in the work. We're putting in the time. We're investing in furthering our education so we cannot only take our business backgrounds and our passion for travel but taking the whole production side of it and putting those things together.
Torrey McGraw: That's really cool because I guess a lot of people would just say, "I have this idea. I'm just going go to Best Buy and grab this camera and I'm just going to film myself. I'm not going to take these night classes. There's no need to do that." So it sounds like you were really intent on making this a really professional brand just from the outset by putting in that extra time.
Teri Johnson: Well, yeah. Well, one thing about me and Andrea, we don’t like — we don’t really want to do anything that's not good, like that's not as good as we possibly can do. So if we know that, oh, maybe our skills in front of the camera aren’t so strong or maybe we don’t really know — or what is B-roll? What does that mean? Oh, well B-roll is extra — all this like statues and monuments and street shots and all these things that you have to capture when you're on a travel show to show the place. And at first we didn’t understand.
We went out there with just — we're going to do this, this, this, and this and we came back and the editor was like, "Well, I need something to cut to. I need transition tracks. I need this." And we didn’t know what that meant. So we went back out there and we're like, "Okay, we came back with so much B-roll." He was laughing. He was like, "You guys are B-roll crazy." "Well, you need B-roll we're going to give you B-roll."
Torrey McGraw: Right.
Teri Johnson: But just like understanding the storytelling elements and all those things that you kind of need to have in order to tell a story and to give something that was going to be entertaining enough for people who want to watch and interesting enough. So…
Torrey McGraw: The idea of taking this and making it into a business, so we've gone with the production information. As far as just revenue ideas, I mean did you have that mapped out? Because you're traveling. I mean how are you going to make money? Are you thinking, "We're going to put this online, we're going to put this on TV, and we're going to get enough people watching, the advertisers are going to get to us"? Or did you have another plan in place I guess mapped out in your mind?
Teri Johnson: Well, at first were we thinking "Oh, how are we going to make all the money?" No, because it was still really just passion and we still had our full-time jobs. So we were just able to save money but we were doing it like in a really smart way. We weren’t spending our money on clothes and shoes and purses and a lot of the stuff that a lot of women spend their discretionary income on. We weren’t doing that. All the money that we had was going into our brand, was going into travel, was going into set up an LLC, was going into getting our trademark. All of our extra money we just put it aside.
But if you know that you love something so much and you much rather travel than have a closet full of shoes, then that's what you do. It's all about balancing. It's all about passion and what you care about and how you really see your future. And if you're willing to forget what all the magazines are saying about [0:11:28] [Inaudible] and all these things and, you know, do we all really need that? I mean it's nice.
Torrey McGraw: Right.
Teri Johnson: One thing that we knew that we needed was for our souls to be fulfilled be being able to go out and to travel and to connect and to do what we feel like is our purpose in life. So we invested in ourselves a lot.
Torrey McGraw: So you take the classes, you're schooling yourself on the production side.
Teri Johnson: Yeah.
Torrey McGraw: At what point do we start to — what point does it really start to ramp up where I guess you put it online? Did you create a website and put this video up? Where do we go?
Teri Johnson: Yeah. When we started we were called Travel Girls TV, and we first started with AOL Black Voices and they gave us an opportunity. We were doing stuff around the city, just like doing red carpet interviews. And we went down to New Orleans with them right after Katrina and –
Torrey McGraw: What year are we talking here?
Teri Johnson: Pardon?
Torrey McGraw: What year are we talking?
Teri Johnson: Did Katrina happen in 2006?
Torrey McGraw: So that was about 2005, 2006.
Teri Johnson: Yeah. So we went to New Orleans in I think 2007.
Torrey McGraw: Okay.
Teri Johnson: Maybe it was one or two years after Katrina.
Torrey McGraw: Okay.
Teri Johnson: And then after that we worked — we did a little — a small project with Turner in rebuilding some network that I don’t even know really what happened to that but… And then [0:13:05] [Audio Gap] for your viewers to understand is it's about relationships because the person that [0:13:11] [Audio Gap] gave us a shot is the same person who ended up bringing our [0:13:18] [Audio Gap].
So you know, fast forward years — a few years. And if people like you and they believe in what you do and they believe in your product and they like working with you, then you never know where you're going to end up. So it's all very important to maintain good relationships with people, stay in touch with people. Even if there's nothing they can do for you today or next year, you just never know where those people are going to next which fast forward to that, we actually just signed a contract with a new distribution company where this same person is now the CEO.
Torrey McGraw: Oh, okay.
Teri Johnson: Right. So it's just like, you know, things happen for a reason. Seasons change. People move on from this to this to this. and if you're one of those clients or if you have one of those products or brands that people love and they want you to ride — be along to ride with them, that's more than you could ever really ask for.
Torrey McGraw: Okay. So let's back up for a second because I don’t want to — I'm going to take this part kind of slow because we have people at home that are going to hear you say, "Hey, we got started out. We did some stuff with AOL Black Voices," I believe is what you said. Many will say, "Okay, I don’t even know how to even take that first step to even go down the path to success." So you have this idea. You create these videos. You start to edit them. How do you get in contact with AOL Black Voices or how do they contact you? What is that process?
Teri Johnson: So at the time we were both — Andrea and I were both living in New York. So New York City is one of these places where it's just so few degrees of separation. So even maybe at a networking event, "Oh, you should talk to so and so." One of my friends works over at AOL Black Voices or one of my friends works in the same building where AOL Black Voices is. So it's really just word of mouth. People talking about what you're doing. It's very important to have business cards so when you go to place you can actually give them something and they can, "Oh, Travelista TV. Cool. This sounds interesting. Let me pass this on to someone in the travel and lifestyle department over this magazine." You know, whatever it is.
But you have to get yourself out there. You have to network. You have to go to these events. The Essence Music Festival would be a perfect place depending on what the person is interested in doing if they're interested in writing or blogging or this. Go to where those people are going to be, the people who actually can make decisions or who can open doors for you or whatever it is.
Torrey McGraw: And the thing that keeps coming up and I asked some of our folks on the Facebook page, "Hey, I want to bring some experts on to talk about specific parts of business to help you," because as of right now we've been talking to entrepreneurs like yourself that kind of tell their story. I say, "Hey, I want to find out specific. Give me some specific examples of some topics that you want to talk about whether it's social media, whether it's marketing, whether it's business planning." And I got a lot of remarks about networking. You know, people want to learn how to network.
So when you went to that, whatever it was, the gathering, the meet-up, whatever it is, how forceful are you when you go to meet people saying, "Hey, I'm Teri. This is what I do"? I mean how do you go about that to begin with, to not be pushy but be engaging enough so that you can say, "Hey, I'm Teri. This is what I do"?
Teri Johnson: There's a lot of different approaches that I think work depending on your personality type. For me it's important to be charming. You're a young woman. You have to be charming. So to me something that is a huge turnoff which I really think people should reevaluate the way in which they do this. So as soon as someone meets you they say, "Oh, what do you do?" And it's almost like, "Oh, well, I do a lot in my life. I ride my bike. I like to travel." So I used to like really give crazy answers because I just don’t like that question.
Torrey McGraw: Give us an example of that crazy — give us a crazy answer that Teri would give. I'm putting you on the spot, but I can't gloss over that.
Teri Johnson: Just whatever comes to my head. Let's see. The last time someone asked me that, what did I say?
Torrey McGraw: Because when I go buy cars and the salesman asks me what I do, I always tell them I shine shoes. That was not to be disparaging on someone who shines shoes. It's just I don’t feel like talking about what I do so I just make up stuff like, "Hey, I shine shoes."
Teri Johnson: Probably the one that caught the most people off guard that I said, I said I worked for the sanitation department and they're like, "Oh, so what exactly do you do?" because I can't [0:18:12] [Inaudible] work in the business office. And they're like, "Oh, what exactly do you do?" I said, "Well, you know, I pick up garbage. I don’t know if you've ever seen those trucks that pass by." But it's kind of important to just have respect for us too. I just go in.
Torrey McGraw: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Teri Johnson: Just come up with whatever. And then if there's someone around that knows me, they're like, "Teri, seriously." And then it's like [0:18:29] [Inaudible], whatever.
Torrey McGraw: So it ends up being a funny joke that breaks the ice.
Teri Johnson: It does. It may not be so funny for the person who asked it, but I think it's important to be charming. And instead of just being so forceful and focus on your agenda, it's so important to just listen. Listen to what people around you are saying and find — maybe there's some common ground or maybe you — there's two people that are saying they know each other, talking about something, and there's synergies between what you're doing and what that person is doing.
Torrey McGraw: Yeah.
Teri Johnson: So it's not necessarily about what someone can do for you right away. It should be more about, "Well, hey, let's talk. Let's see if there's something maybe we could do together." And then that person would be maybe so willing to say, "Oh, I just met someone over there who works for BET. Maybe you should go and talk to them." And that's how it works, but you just have to be nice, be charming, be friendly, be fun, and don’t make it — just don’t make it so heavy. Don’t make it so stressful, like smile. A smile will get you a long way.
Torrey McGraw: Cool. And so we talked about the power of relationships and it sounds like that kind of snowball when you got the AOL opportunity. You went out to do some stuff in New Orleans. And I'm interested to see how that led you to some of the things that you're doing now like the BET stuff that you did, the TV One opportunity, the Sundance Film Festival. So talk about those and I also understand that you licensed the brand to BET. So I'm really interested in that as well.
Teri Johnson: Yeah. We are constantly pitching. We're constantly writing proposals. We have a few out right now to not just the big names like BET and TV One, but even to tourism boards, even to smaller companies where there's a huge advertising piece that we can now get involved with. So we're constantly pitching. And when I say "pitching," it could just be a matter of, okay, maybe we have a conversation about this, this, this. They've seen our content. They know what we can do. And then we'll put together a budget, we'll put together maybe a one or two-page proposal of basically saying what the offer is.
"So we'll come to your city," let's say Antigua. "We'll come to your island and we'll focus on this, this, this, and this, and we will deliver three webisodes between five to six minutes. And this is the budget. This is what we're giving. This is when we can deliver it. And let us know what you think." And then they'll come back and like, "Hey, let's do it." So we're constantly doing that because BET.com deal is huge, but those deals don’t happen every single day.
And so in order to make — continue to bring in revenue, you have to focus on some of the smaller players because you never know where that smaller player is going to end up a year or two years from now. So you can't just, you know, "Oh, we got this big BET thing. We're putting everything else to the waste sack." No, you have to still focus like your same amount of energy — maybe not the same amount of energy but the same quality of work. And like if you say you're going to deliver something at this date, you deliver it at that date. Give the same respect to the small people and the smaller deals that you do to the bigger ones.
Torrey McGraw: Are the pitch opportunity that you do with the couple of examples that you just gave, are those based upon prior relationships that you've fostered over time or some of those kind of almost, I guess for lack of a better term, cold calling, the places?
Teri Johnson: For the most part now we're not cold calling anymore because we have a lot of people who come to us or it could be maybe someone we meet. I was at a networking event last night. Someone we meet who says, "Oh, I have someone who has this amazing blog who is looking for travel and lifestyle content. I'll put you guys in touch." It could just be a matter of just someone making an introduction whether it's just doing out of the goodness of their heart or one of our posts popped up on Facebook, "Oh, someone needs to see this. I think this would be perfect for this."
And it's really just a matter of like building of friends and a community of people who like what you're doing, who like you, who believe in what you're doing, and where you share information with them, they share information with you. It's all about sharing. Yeah, it's about sharing information and just being professional. [0:22:58] [Audio Gap] you're going to do because the last thing you want to do is have someone make this amazing connection and you drop the ball because then it makes them look bad and they're never going to do it again.
Torrey McGraw: That's really interesting. I mean I'm always interested in the different ways you make money. So it sounds like for you all it's always constantly "I'm pitching here. I'm pitching here. I'm trying to get this company or this country on as a client." So how many — I don’t know if clients is the right word but –
Teri Johnson: I'll define to you our revenue stream.
Torrey McGraw: Yeah, please do.
Teri Johnson: Okay. So we are — we have a couple of different companies that we work with and we license our content to them. So we had the BET deal which was a licensing deal but Ford was our sponsor. So Ford basically wrote a check and paid BET. BET paid us and we're the executive producers of that series.
Torrey McGraw: Okay.
Teri Johnson: And — so that was that one deal. With TV One we went a little bit of a different approach because we worked in conjunction with the Blackhouse organization which is a film — it's a not-for-profit organization that's focused on Black filmmakers and the Black filmmaker experience at film festivals. So they had a presence at Sundance. So TV One was interested in doing a lot more with Black filmmakers so they sponsored some part of the Blackhouse but, of course, they wanted coverage of everything that was going on there. And we had done this with the Blackhouse a few years before so Blackhouse says, "Okay. Travelista, let's go." We're like, "Okay, we'll do it." So that was another one that we did some stuff for them and that was online and interstitials on television.
And we also make money from advertising and we also joined campaigns. So we have banner ads and square ads on our site. So we work with a company where we'll enter into campaigns and we'll let them run our ads — run their ads. And we'll also do some social media and networking stuff around that so we get checks from that. We also are partners with Blinkx, KoldCast, AOL, 5min. We just did another deal with Grab Networks, and we license our content to them and we get checks every quarter from all these other places.
Torrey McGraw: Okay. Wow. So it's definitely diverse pool or diverse avenues of revenue that you all get versus having every egg in a singular basket I guess so to speak.
Teri Johnson: It's got to be. It would be different if we had a show that was actually on television where we wouldn’t maybe have to hustle so much, but until then we have to do things here and there. But the great thing is it's like we have to — we don’t have to find people as like we did before. Now, people find us so we have tourism boards who want to do things with us. We get invited on press trips all the time, so many we can't even go because it may be here, it may be there. So we just come and discover the city.
There are so many different convention bureaus that exist all over and they know if there's more press about what the cool restaurants are, the hotels, or this around their city. It's going to make people more interested. And because we kind of have the eyes and ears of like the younger Black generation who has discretionary income to travel and they're trying to target that demographic, they come to us.
By the way, we've also done some stuff with Royal Caribbean with their new ships, the Allure of the Seas, the Oasis of the Seas where they invite us to come down and then we'll produce a webisode series for them. But there are so many opportunities out there, but you're not going to find any of them just sitting at home on the computer and sending random emails. That may work a little bit, but you kind of have to get out there and meet people.
And if you're one of these people who's living in maybe a smaller town who just don’t have — that network just isn’t around you, you probably would have to build up your online presence, your online game like significantly to where people are like, "Oh, well, who's this? Who is this with this amazing voice that they're tweeting and facebooking and blogging?" Then people get to know you. But it's also worth it to make trips to big conferences.
Last — not last week — two weeks ago was Internet Week in New York which every single day there were tons of events. And I went to maybe at seven different things and it was all about networking and it's great because like there's one guy I met at one of the events like when the event was ending and we're like shaking hands, exchanging cards, and he told me like in 15 seconds what he does. And I was like "Uh." It was like, "Oh, my God! You're exactly what we need." And he was just like, "Yes, and I am looking for content producers."
So it was an amazing connection. We're working with him now. But it may be worth it for — if there's a big conference or a big convention that exists in one of the cities, taking a trip, going in — you know, meeting the people that you need to talk to because they're all going to be there. They're speaking on the panels or maybe their company is hosting some of the events that are taking place during the week, whatever it is. But you have to invest in yourself, invest time and money to do it.
Torrey McGraw: And I usually ask for some outgoing advice, but I mean you beat me to the punch there with that.
Teri Johnson: Sorry.
Torrey McGraw: So I'm going to leave you with that. Any other new cool stuff happening for you all that you want to talk about or do we want to send anybody anywhere to connect with you and Andrea?
Teri Johnson: Well, with the one I guess really cool exciting thing that we're doing, that we've never done before, we've talked about it a lot, but we are expanding. We are going to have more Travelistas.
Torrey McGraw: Oh, wow!
Teri Johnson: Yeah. Well, there's only two of us and there's no way we could travel the whole world all the time. And that's why I was saying like we get invited on these press trips and we can't even go. We still have to run the business. We are post production and we're doing all these little things. So because there's two of us and we run the business, we realized that there is a need for more Travelistas and not just a pretty face and a nice smile. They have to come with, you know, kind of the same elements. You got to be able to speak in other language. You can't just be someone interested in travel. Travel has to be your passion.
We're also looking for people who can think like a producer because a lot of times when we're on the road, we're producing at the same time that we're filming or we're constantly like thinking about story ideas and how we're going to create this, this, and this. So you have to — kind of have that mindset and maybe you've studied — if they've studied journalism or film, that's great. That's a huge plus because so much of what we do is video content. And yeah, people who are charming, who are nice and with good attitudes, who aren't going to complain.
Torrey McGraw: Yeah.
Teri Johnson: So Torrey and Torrey's audience, if you know anyone out there who fits the profile and, you know, it's not just being White, being Black, being whatever, it's whoever fits the profile of just being fun, engaging, multi-lingual, open-minded, not going to complain. Some places are going to be hot. It's going to be stuffy. It's going to be this. You go hungry — no. Sometimes you just got to go.
Torrey McGraw: Right.
Teri Johnson: Yeah, so…
Torrey McGraw: All right. So guys, there's an open invitation to reach out to Teri and Andrea if you want to become a Travelista. And I was going to ask you — I know we're wrapping up here. But I was going to ask you why you all are on the road and filming these videos. Is it like you all setting it up and then running in front of the camera and like "Three, two, one, let's go"? Or do you have somebody else with you?
Teri Johnson: You know what, Torrey? When we first started out, of course, because we didn’t have a cameraman. We didn't have a budget. So when we first started out, let me see if I — I want to show you.
Torrey McGraw: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Guys, I think we're in for a trip here.
Teri Johnson: So yeah, when we first started out we had a camera — not this camera but it was kind for small — small camera, and we get a little contraption. This is just like something that you could put around your neck, but it also extends. So if there was no one else to help, we would attach the camera onto this little contraption. You see — I don’t know if you can see.
Torrey McGraw: Yeah, absolutely.
Teri Johnson: So I would turn the camera like this and I — see, this is the LCD. Flip it over so we could see how we look. "Okay, do we look cute? Okay." And you wouldn’t necessarily know it was us holding the camera because we would frame it just right.
Torrey McGraw: Wow!
Teri Johnson: But not in — we don’t really have to do that anymore unless we're doing like the series that's up on Travelista.tv right now in [0:31:52] [Audio Gap]. I had to do a lot of this because we were trekking out plateaus and it was just — you know, just me and the guide and another friend. So you know, depending on what it is. But we like to — and you see how small this camera is? So we just put it in our purse. We could still like be going out for the night or doing whatever –
Torrey McGraw: You still look good, be sexy, go hang out, and still put in the work.
Teri Johnson: Exactly. And attach a movie light right here, and then here you're able to attach wireless lens. I'll show you that. You're able to attach a wireless microphone which is going to give you the good sound because sound quality is important not just video quality.
Torrey McGraw: Right.
Teri Johnson: That's what a lot of people don’t realize when they're doing a lot of these internet videos. It's like, come on. Get the sound game up.
Torrey McGraw: Right.
Teri Johnson: You invest and these mikes aren’t cheap. You could put this little lavalier mike, plug it in right here, or you get the picture. And then you put the lavalier mike on you and you — okay, yes, you're weighing it. You know, it's kind of weighed down but a lot of the stuff that you see on Travelista TV is shot easily because it's for the internet. Now, if it was something that's for television, it's a different story. We got a much bigger camera and et cetera. But we're a full-fledge production company so sometimes you got to do it like this and, you know, you just do it.
Torrey McGraw: Well, that's a good lesson for any of you guys that are so worried about getting the $5,000 cameras at the outset of doing something. You don’t have to do that. You can start off like these guys did and as you build your brand and start to bring some money then upgrade and you'll be able to hopefully have a staff to help you out. So that's great. I'm glad you showed that example that's something tangible that we can look at to see what helped you guys out. Golly! We have the relationships. We talked about relationships. We talked about networking, the road, the revenue, upcoming projects, the call for new Travelistas, and all that to say how can we reach you guys to say "hey"?
Teri Johnson: Yeah. So we have a Facebook page. It is just Travelista TV. Just type that in. Travelista, T-R-A-V-I-L — no.
Torrey McGraw: Travel.
Teri Johnson: Yeah, travel and then ista.
Torrey McGraw: Yeah.
Teri Johnson: And TV. And then we also have a Twitter and it's Travelista TV on Twitter.
Torrey McGraw: Cool. And we'll link everything up in the show notes and it will be in the transcript and everything. So we definitely know where to send people. Thank you, Teri, for joining me for Grind & Thrive. I really appreciate our conversation. And guys thank you for watching. Not only did you get actionable advice here but maybe you'll be the next Travelista. And if you do, I want a cut of your money. So until next time. Thanks for watching Grind & Thrive.
Teri Johnson: Thank you. Bye.
A Big Thanks
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