How Aesthetics Build The Brand: Halfhalftravel

June 15, 2020

By: Richard Lau

How Aesthetics Build The Brand: Halfhalftravel

Tell us about yourself and how your journey brought you to where you are now.

Becca and Dan are an NYC-based couple who met in 2015 and dated long-distance across the world from 2016 to 2017. During this time, they started the Instagram project @halfhalftravel as a way of staying together remotely and using their creative passions to make something unique, combining their loves of photography and travel. Becca and Dan are both creatives who run a website called @halfhalftravel, providing their audiences with remote work tips, travel advice and destination guides.

Was there someone or something that inspired you?

We were inspired by travel, and also by way of doing work while you travel. Travel doesn't always have to be a vacation; a lot of travel, or being somewhere else, can be living like a local and having a relaxing day-to-day life.

How did you create your brand name and logo?

The brand name came about from our Instagram photo aesthetic and continues to symbolize that we are two halves making a whole, whether in our creativity, our website content or our thoughts. The logo, which consists of the photo of us making a whole image, continues to show our brand without using any words!

How did you go about establishing your marketing?

We were lucky in that a lot of marketing was initially done for us through interviews that circulated. We amassed our social media audience through our story and through the hook of viewers following along to see where we'd go and where we'd end up. Our marketing now is also done through social media, but more than ever, through Google and strong SEO.

Tell us about your first experience in the industry.

We could both firmly say that our first experience that signalled to us we had made it in the industry was taking photos for hotels in Europe and writing reviews on our website We worked with hotel partners in the Netherlands, Portugal, Estonia and the Czech Republic, making great connections along the way.

What is your work structure like, and what does the average workday look like for you?

We split work mostly evenly, but with Dan working 'behind the scenes' in designing our website, setting up the entire back end of our website, including hosting and coding. I'm front-facing, meaning I work with our clients (virtually) face to face, handle all our social media and write a majority of the written .

What philosophies do you integrate into your workflow most often, and what view inspires you in your work?

Our philosophies are to stay real and genuine to ourselves and our brand. We try to balance, and both have a say in which types of content we publish and how our voice sounds while doing so. The philosophy of remaining transparent and not trying to 'be someone else' usually rings true.

What do you think you do that drives your success?

I think the separation of responsibilities drives our success; we both work on parts of the business that come naturally to us. We also learn a lot from each other and learn a lot along the way by doing relevant research.

How do you engage with your clients and build your following?

We've enjoyed engaging with clients at in-person tourism events here in NYC, but mostly we've made connections online. Sometimes our clients find us, and sometimes we see our clients. To build our following, we look for cross-collaboration opportunities and, lately, going 'live' on Instagram!

How do you use social media, and what recommendations do you have?

We use all our channels in different ways. On Instagram, we publish only our content -- never anyone else's, and we remain true to our original aesthetic as we grow and evolve. On Facebook and Twitter, we share our website content and the content of others that we find inspiring.

What do you wish you knew before you started? What advice would you give to someone entering your field now?

I wish someone had told us that the Internet is full of people who want to steal your content. This doesn't happen all the time, but we have seen our photos used without credit, and it can be hurtful because we put in so much effort into every photo we take. We've seen a lot of dishonesty, and it makes us more motivated to keep doing what we do, honestly. That's the advice I'd also give to anyone looking to start: be honest.

Is there an event or situation that you can point to as life-changing for you that you can share with us?

For both of us, what changed our lives was breaking out of the 9-to-5 and travelling while working remotely. We met heaps of people doing the same thing, and it sparked our creative minds.

What has been the most memorable or inspiring interaction with a client or customer?

I'd say that our interactions with Remote Year were the most memorable because we spent four months creating content for Remote Year, a remote work and travel program that brings professionals worldwide.

What has been the hardest challenge for you in this industry?

The hardest challenge is getting recognized for being unique. The spaces are all getting so crowded, and you always have to either be the first to do something fresh or to keep doing it better than everyone else.

What are the trends in the industry that you are excited about?

I'm excited about more transparency with brands, bringing more personality across in what I write and having viewers and audience members reach out with honest questions that we can answer with our areas of expertise.

What are you looking forward to in the next week/month/quarter or year, and what are your aspirations?

Aspirations include building new verticals for our websites, like how to create a blog and ways to take remote work farther. I think this is the future of many people's lives, so we are right there for the ride.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

People may be surprised to learn that we don't have a bucket list in terms of travel experiences. We're way past that! We want to see off-the-beaten-track places, we want to engage with locals, and we want to be sustainable.

What's your personal "go-to" workout?

Running, followed by yoga. For Dan, it's running, followed by a HIIT workout or a resistance bands workout.

Ready to make your logo?

Ready to make your logo?