We had the good fortune of connecting with Darla Slade and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Darla, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
Here are the habits that have helped me succeed:
When I was still pretty new as a family travel and fitness content creator, a successful travel influencer told me that you have to work really hard at it every day to make it work. Without that advice, I may have given up.
Some people realize that you cannot JUST create content. You have to constantly push your content out there so it is seen. You need to engage with your audience and create a community with like-minded creators. You need to have a messaging and hashtag strategy. You have to keep up with the ever-changing requirements, algorithm and tool changes for every social media platform that you interact with.
Stay true to your core niche. A lot of times, I see influencers jump on a certain lip sync trend. I ask myself…..”Will creating that type of copycat video benefit my audience?” Most of the time, the answer is no. Quick hits are not worth the effort in the long run. Stay true to your focus and brands will notice the quality of your work over time…..even if your audience is way smaller than your competitors.
In the world of content creation and social media, there is no finish line. If I work really hard on a project, I try to take a little time off afterwards. Otherwise, if I work too much, I get exhausted, frustrated, and burned out. Make sure you build in rewards and breaks. As they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.
I track how much money I have made from sponsorships and brand deals, follower counts and engagement metrics over time. It can be discouraging to compare to larger influencers, but when I look at what I’ve accomplished year-over-year, it keeps me motivated to continue.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Our mission is to inspire happy, healthy, active families by sharing local experiences and travel adventures, fitness tips, and wellness resources.
There are a few things that set me apart from others:
I am lucky to have graduated from University of Maryland with an M.S. in Information Management. It was an innovative technology degree program that allowed me to study the best way to organize and present information. I have spent my career working in campaign management at a top marketing agency and as a fitness instructor for corporate, commercial, and resort gyms. I think that the blend of these experiences have helped me get to where I am now with FunFitnessFamily.com.
My family and I LOVE to stay active and busy. When we go on trips, we can cover as much ground in one day as it takes most people to cover in one week. I think part of it is curiosity and part of it is the fact that our son was a long-term NICU baby. So, well before the pandemic, we learned that life is unpredictable and we try to see and do as much as we can!
As I tell prospective brand sponsors, what we lack in numbers, we make up for in personality. We love to learn, explore and share our experiences with others in a creative way. We may not be the biggest family travel influencer out there, but we strive to generate unique and informative content to inspire others to follow our path.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We are lucky to live right in between Baltimore and D.C. so there are always lots of festivals and events going on. It is hard to choose what to do sometimes!
For a friend that was visiting for the first time, we’d have to do some of the touristy attractions in D.C. such as visiting the monuments, National Zoo, and Smithsonian Museums. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a must-do along with the National Aquarium and Maryland Science Center. Fells Point is a great place to go for food, drinks and nightlife.
Our city of Columbia offers lots of options too. We have Merriweather concert pavillion, three breweries, a distillery, movie theater, two bowling alleys, axe throwing, trampoline center, arcade center, two parks, and an outdoor pool within 5 miles of our house.
We also love taking first-time visitors to historic Ellicott City. They have a fabulous main street with eclectic shops and lots of food options. La Palapa is one of our favorites for Mexican fare.
Other fun scenic waterfront day trip options are Annapolis, National Harbor, and Old Town Alexandria. Plus, Great Falls is a beautiful place to go for our friends that like to hike.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate my shoutout to my family who loves to adventure and explore as much as I do! I couldn’t do any of this without their support.