We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Indoe and Scott Herder and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan / Scott, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Both of us worked corporate jobs that just lead to very monotonous day-to-day, Scott had just finished a sort of college ‘gap year’ trip and he picked up the travel bug. He knew he wanted to continue to travel and immersive himself in different parts of the world which is why he chose to teach English in South Korea. At the time, I was pursuing my career and while I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing and studied for at University, I found the lack of vacation and healthy work/life balance to really make me re-evaluate the trajectory I was on. I followed Scott to South Korea and the type of teaching job we had provided us with more free time to pursue hobbies and learn skills we didn’t have the time or energy to pursue before. Both of us were inspired seeing others turn their digital skills and hobbies into a legitimate career and we both decided that we wanted more control over our own lives and would love to turn a career out of things we enjoy doing.
Ultimately, we realized there was a demand for creative content that could tell a story combined with our backgrounds in marketing and took the leap into pursuing this as a full-time job. If we could help brands and destinations with our skills tell their story, which we enjoy the creative process behind, we could really make a living from this and at the same time do something we truly enjoy doing and also provide a product or service that others needed.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Scott is a very talented, self-taught photographer and videographer. He barely knew how to use his DSLR when he saw a Hyperlapse film that instantly mesmerized him. He was already dabbling in photography but fell in love with the movement and time captured in timelapse photography, particularly when the camera also moved while taking a timelapse. This was while we were teaching English in Seoul and he used every moment of spare time watching videos to learn how to use his camera better and then trying to reverse engineer this style of hyperlapse photography.
Over the years, this is a style he mastered but the first film took him over 3 months of trial and error, filming and editing hours every day, and never giving up to complete a 3-minute film.
Finding our first clients was also difficult, basically, we lived off of savings while we kept creating content for our channels with no pay or guarantee there’d be any return on the investment of time. We did it for the love of it but also we needed to start earning income or we’d be back where we started.
For our website and social media, which I manage, was born also while we had this extra free time in South Korea. We decided to document our travels and experiences around South Korea not only for our families across the globe to see what we were up to and share this experience with them since they couldn’t physically be there, but also as a resource for all that there is to offer in South Korea, which we fell in love with while living there, for other expats who were like us living as visitors to the country while teaching English.
As we started traveling outside of Korea, we started sharing our experiences, travel tips, and guides on the destinations we visited. Realizing people used these to help them plan their vacations or adventures inspired us to really create content around helping people decide where to travel and what to do when they got there along with the stories behind the destinations that make them so special or made us feel connected to the destination during our visit. After years of doing this we started attending travel marketing and networking events where we showcased the work we created and what our audience looks for when trying to visit a destination. This is how we started getting collaborations with destinations to do marketing of the area the way we travel and through our stories.
This journey has been nearly 8 years and it wasn’t easy, and between our video/photo clients, website, and social media we have had to be creative and use a multi-approach when it comes to monetizing. As algorithms change on social media, Google, and any platform we rely on there are always financial implications or impacts involved. We are constantly adapting and having to learn along the way.
While we might be working harder and longer hours than we were before, there’s something so liberating about being independent and being able to pursue work that ties into our skills and passions.
When the pandemic hit, it really impacted everyone in the world, and being in travel was no different. We both had to pivot and adapt, like many others, and have had to basically replace all of our travel income which we have through freelance work, building a local niche community and brand here in Brooklyn using all the skills and knowledge we gained from operating our travel website, and we have been building our local work base when it comes to creative brand storytelling and content creation for other brands.
This was one of the biggest challenges we faced but between both of our hard work and determination, we were able to pivot when push came to shove.
Between our work with Brave World Media, which Scott is the agency’s videographer and photographer anytime those services are needed and my role is Brand Storyteller where I help create content for the brands we represent, our main travel website Boboandchichi.com stayed local and focused on in-state New York getaways and staycations catering to our local audience since that was where we were, and our hyper-local site YourBrooklynGuide.com which was born to be a traveler’s resource to Brooklyn but quickly shifted as a way to support local businesses during the pandemic and give locals safe ways they can explore and enjoy the borough, plus odd video freelance gigs here and there we kept ourselves afloat and we think we’ve actually propelled our careers further because of it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since we are in Brooklyn and have a Brooklyn-based site this is an easy one for us!
If it’s your first time to Brooklyn we would definitely recommend doing everything the first days around the East River waterfront by visiting DUMBO where you have both the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridges plus the gorgeous waterfront Brooklyn Bridge Park, where we think has the best-unobstructed views of the NYC city skyline. There are plenty of incredible dining options in this area too, but a trip to Brooklyn isn’t complete without trying Ample Hills ice cream right next to Fulton Ferry Landing which was a ferry service spot between Brooklyn and Manhattan since the 1600s after having dinner at Time Out Market New York or one of the legendary pizza spots under the Brooklyn Bridge, Grimaldi’s or Juliana’s.
Another day would be exploring the historic neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights, which also has unbelievable views and is one of the first suburbs in the country just steps away from DUMBO continuing on to the beautiful brownstone-filled neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and Boerum Hill.
Spending a day around Park Slope where there are endless amounts of incredible shopping, dining, and gorgeous brownstones up to Prospect Park where you can visit the activities around the park as well as the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Another day would be spent around the incredibly hip neighborhood of Williamsburg which also has great waterfront views of the city, street art, dining, shopping, and copious amounts of ‘cool things to do’. Williamsburg exploring could be tied in with checking out Greenpoint or ending the day checking out the colorful walls of the Bushwick Collective in Bushwick and enjoying the nightlife scene here.
If I were to provide an itinerary, based on the individual, I might also suggest people taking a scenic stroll through the gorgeous mansions and food scene at Victorian Flatbush, picnic and hangout in Fort Greene, spend a day at the historic Coney Island amusement parks, boardwalk, and beach, or if you’re looking for some under the radar foodie spots – an afternoon eating your way around Bensonhurst.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We wouldn’t be where we are today if we didn’t have the support from our families at uncertain times, as any career in freelance there are slow and uncertain times then moments where you have so much work you’re not sure how you’re going to do it all. Also, our immediate network of family, friends, and colleagues who have believed in our work and skills who have recommended us for jobs when someone needed a video or photos helped us tremendously get more experience under our belts and expand our portfolio.
What really helped propel our career in doing more digital storytelling on a professional level outside of our social media channels though are our professional mentors Carol Cain and Travis Cain who invited us to be a part of their digital marketing agency, Brave World Media 3 years ago. Their advice, support, and belief in us while inviting us working alongside them has been so valuable to us making it to the next level.
Instagram: @boboandchichi / @yourbrooklynguide / @itsscottherder
Twitter: @boboandchichi / @yourbrooklyngde
Facebook: @boboandchichi / @yourbrooklynguide