As we get closer to the end of 2018, you might be reflecting on your personal journey, or you may be thinking about what 2019 may hold for you. This week’s Spotlight Feature, Erin Donnelley, of @tbdestination reminds us that it is OKAY for things to be TBD, as long as you continue your growth in a healthy and positive way! We had to ask where Erin’s clever IG handle came from and she explained, “It’s actually my dad’s initials, TBD, so very meaningful to me. It stands for what I’m about, To Beautiful Destinations in places To Be Determined. I don’t know where I want to be in five years, but I know that I want to work hard, I want to go somewhere, and I know that travel and wellness is always to be determined.”
Erin started out on her influencer journey when she moved to NYC and started documenting all of the restaurants and activities she was doing there. Pretty soon her content was getting reposted by brands and other influencers, and her following only grew from there on! “I think the goal when I first started was to make it my own documentation for remembering different restaurants, different plays, different events that I wanted to highlight and take note of. And now it’s something that has evolved to make sure that the public is aware of these places. I used to do just anything and everything, but now it’s something that I want to attract other people to.” PSA: If you happen to be going on a trip over the break, you HAVE to go check out our girl Erin’s account for some recommendations that will take your vacay to the next level!
We couldn’t have a more perfect feature as we approach the holiday season, because Erin’s content is your one-stop-shop for all of the recommendation we need for holiday plans. Going on an adventure to a new location can be stressful to plan…that’s where your favorite influencers can be the most helpful resource! Erin has had the travel-lust bug her whole life and just one look at her beautifully-curated Instagram reflects her extensive resume in travel. Erin told us about how social media has impacted her life as a traveller saying, “I think that I put a lot more effort into my travel now, I’m a lot more aware of things. I think social media has really made me do my research, whether that be about different points systems or about places to stay. I think other influencers are inspiring the places I go and the places I stay. But as far as my desire to travel, I don’t thinks its done anything but made me want to travel more!” Not only are influencers a great source of information on products, but they tend to go to the dopest spots in the world. For example, one of Erin’s favorite travel spots: Cartagena, Columbia! Catch us snatching those travel deals ASAP.
If you take the time to scroll back a bit in her feed, you’ll find the beginning of her health and wellness journey. While many fitness instagram accounts begin with the end results of their fitness journey, Erin decided she wanted to actively share throughout her entire personal journey. “I lost 80 pounds, so it’s something that I just naturally started to incorporate into my page because it became a part of my lifestyle. I think that really motivated people to see someone authentically who was going to classes and working from start to finish on things versus just seeing success stories. I think people were just really hooked on seeing the process.” Especially during this time of year, it’s important to see some positive wellness and fitness motivation amongst all the delicious holiday goodies the foodie accounts have been tempting us with lately!
Through her fitness journey, Erin naturally found herself exploring the wellness world as well. If you’ve ever taken a gander into the realm of wellness on the internet, you may have been a tad overwhelmed by the immense amount of wellness products and information out there. Looking to sort through all the chatter to get to the good stuff? Erin is your new go-to for finding what products ACTUALLY work (Note: authenticity is one of the defining qualities of Erin’s platform, so she’s got our seal of trustworthy approval!) “On my wellness journey, I think that it just became a part of who I am. I try to be more positive. I try to be more educated. I do my research. Just because someone posts something…I want to know what’s in it? Why do they like that product? So, I think that I’m definitely more aware and more educated, and I think it’s important to be that way with product influencing,” she explains, “I also think we’re living in an age where it’s all about transparency, right? You can put up a review, but I think that people know what’s real and what’s not and that’s the beauty of creating content. I think it’s becoming a lot more authentic now.”
Erin has stood out to us here at The Plug because of the authenticity and rawness of the content that she posts. She has consistently shared the positive life habits that have worked for her, as well as the more trying times in her wellness journey. With so many other fitness and wellness influencers sharing their own stories, the best way to connect with others is to simply be authentic in telling YOUR unique journey. “I think breaking through the clutter is always going to be tough, right? Everyone wants to be an influencer, but I think it’s all about authenticity. It’s more about the quality of the content and I think people nowadays are able to deliberate and wein through all the things that are authentic and things that aren’t. I think it’s definitely important to stay true to who you are. That’s definitely a struggle I’ve seen is just being able to get through the clutter and make sure my voice is heard.” We hear you LOUD and CLEAR, girl!
Erin was also able to share some very helpful tips for those of you who have “expanding my online influencer presence” on those 2019 New Year’s Resolutions! First, let’s talk work ethic. “My tip would be to be busy, rather than be bored. I think that the most successful people are the ones that are so busy that they aren’t able to pay attention to all the other noise.” Take your time to relax now, because we’ve got a feeling that 2019 has A LOT in store for your life. Next, Erin shared her advice on starting out on your influencer journey. “My advice would be to not shut any doors. Be open and willing to talk to anyone. Go to different events and meet different people because you don’t know what one door might lead to. I would suggest that people just be very open minded.” We can’t stress this enough: connections are your keys to success. Go out there and see what doors these connections will open for you!
One more thing to add to that resolutions list: Get involved with your Plug Community. For those of you who haven’t gained your ~exclusive~ access to joining The Plug, it’s not too late to join in on all the fun! Erin shared her experience with The Plug so far and reported back to us, “It has been a wonderful resource for me to meet new influencers and get some wonderful brand contacts. I recently just collaborated with Halo Top, so I am going to be creating some wonderful content about eating ice cream.” Eating ice cream for work? We are SOLD!