how to build a following

stockphoto1.jpg

how awesome is this photo?  i have a strange obsession with stock photos.  who thought this would be a good idea?  who is going to see a cheesy ass picture like this one and trust someone with their business?  shit cracks me up.  thumbs up everyone.  thumbs up.

last week you may remember that i set out to increase my instagram presence.  it was a good experiment.  i gained 50+ new followers.  that’s great, right?  i think so.  i’ll call it a success.  i’m nowhere near where i would like to be follower-wise, but that’s ok.  it’s a start.  overnight success is not in cards for me at the moment.  not saying it couldn’t happen, but it’s a slow build this internet stuff.

so how do you increase your social media presence?  what’s the secret?  after a little research i’ve come up with a few tips to increasing your social media footprint.   Continue reading

new(ish) instagram and (re)branding

totakeinsta

yesterday i read an article on getting more followers on instagram.  i wish i would have liked it on twitter or remembered who wrote it, but i can’t seem to find it anywhere.  the gist of the article was to be a leader rather than a follower.  what i took it to mean is being proactive with finding people to connect with.  one idea the writer mentioned was letting people in your social network know you have an account and asking them to follow.  i tried that on twitter last night and 3 more people added me on instagram.  i’m going to call that a success.  i may do the same on facebook tonight.  i will keep you posted on the results.

p.s. if you want to follow, you can find me here: www.instagram.com/totakethetrain

you may be wondering why this is important?  well, let me explain.  i’m in the middle of a branding process, so to speak.  i’ve had this blog for 6 years now and it really hasn’t progressed.  it’s mostly my fault.  actually, it’s all my fault.  i’m the only writer on here.  internet 101 says you have to create content on a regular basis to be successful.  i haven’t done a good job with that lately and that’s ok.  i’m not mad about it.     Continue reading

48 hours in nashville

nashville1

full disclosure: i’ve lived in nashville my whole life, so this 48 hours is not necessarily how i would do a weekend in nashville, but i’m happy with it.  maybe there will be a part 2 in the future.  i like that idea.

we had a guest in town this past weekend and we did our best to cover as much ground as humanly possible in 2 days.  many drinks were consumed and many ubers were taken.  i’m still tired…and full.

somewhere over the last 4 years nashville became the “it”city which means every single person in the entire world wants to be here on the weekends.  it’s insane.  the airport on friday afternoons looks like a la guardia or lax except it’s full of bachelorette parties and bros in flat brimmed hats looking to get absolutely obliterated on broadway.  honestly, if i didn’t live here and visited for a weekend, i wouldn’t want to leave.  it’s an amazing city.   Continue reading

new balance 247 sneakers in olive

greennb

last week j. crew released a new collaboration with new balance featuring some stylish workout gear.  being that i’m quite partial to lulu and now outdoor voices, i’m not going to jump on any of the clothes portion of this collaboration, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.  you can check out the full collection here.  there are some really good pieces.  what i am going to do is grab a pair of these olive green kicks you see before you because the color is too good to pass up and they look ridiculously comfortable.  i’ll report back as soon as i have them in my possession.

greennb2

callaway great big bertha epic driver

gbbepic

yesterday afternoon i went to get fitted for a new callaway great big bertha epic driver.  the reviews on this driver are better than any other driver i can remember reading about.  it’s supposed to increase ball speed, smash factor, distance, etc.  for lack of a better term, it’s supposed to be epic.  (nice job callaway on the name.)

anyway, i hit it for about an hour.  i tried 6 different shafts – including the same one i’m hitting with in my m2 – and the numbers were about the same across the board.  sadly, my spin rate increased with the gbb epic.  i don’t get it.  the reviews said my life would be forever changed.  i wanted to leave with a new driver on order.

i’m going to give it another test run in a couple of months once my spring / summer swing comes back and the weather warms up.  the club pro also recommended i try it with their callaway rep because they carry a lot more shaft options than the club.

i’m not giving up yet, but my first go with the callaway gbb epic was a bit of a disappointment.  i love the look of it and the muted sound it makes when you hit the center of the club.  the numbers just weren’t there.  i’ll post a follow up when i try it again in a couple of months.  until then, i’ll keep chugging along with my 2016 taylormade m2 which is pretty damn epic as well.

48 hours in las vegas

vivaslasvegas

i think this 48 hours in fill-in-the-blank city could become a thing.  i’m really really enjoying it.  it gives me an excuse to travel more and to try a bunch of new places.  i used to go to cities with no plan.  now i’ve got all kinds of plans.

one of my biggest travel complaints is that it’s hard to find the best stuff to do in cities.  you can google, but most of the stuff you find is written for the masses and we are not the masses.

this weekend i took on vegas for the super bowl.  i’ve been to las vegas a lot.  in fact, i’ve been so much that i don’t feel like throwing out a number.  i have a love / hate relationship with that city.  i used to joke that i’ll just send them a check once a year for $1000 and skip the hangovers and long plane flight.  with that said, each year i go i feel like i get better at it and with this last trip now in the books, i can safely say i’ve finally got it down.

since there were three of us this past weekend, we stayed at the venetian.  hat tip to the venetian for being awesome – not super expensive for 3; easy check in; huge room with 2 queen size beds and a pullout sofa; convenient to most of the other casinos; and easy checkout.  boom!  what more could you want. Continue reading

shout out to outdoor voices

ovhoodie

if you’re reasonably hip (meaning you pay attention to cool shit) and exercise on occasion, then you’ve probably heard of outdoor voices.  they are a newer sportswear brand out of austin, tx and they’re awesome.  (i’ll get to that in a second.)

here’s how the story begins…last month i set out to get a new hoodie.  i wanted a lululemon hoodie, but the only hoodies they currently sell make you look like you’re from the future.  you would think they would have a go-to hoodie that they sell year round, but they don’t.  (if anyone working at lulu corporate reads this, please make a note.  thank you.)  anyway, i had heard good things about outdoor voices, so i decided to purchase the champ track hoodie.  it shipped the next day and was here in no time.

when i got it, i fell in love.  it’s everything i wanted in a hoodie.  i could wear it to the gym or out on the weekend.  in fact, i wore it for an entire weekend and then washed it that sunday night because i had worn it so much.  i washed it on cold and hung it to dry.  a couple of days later, i put it on and it felt like it had shrunk.  long story short i emailed the company and they sent me a brand new larger size hoodie without any questions.

their responsiveness blew me away.  they were on top of it immediately i.e. answered my email quickly and shipped the new one right away.  not many companies operate that way anymore.  thank you outdoor voices for your badass customer service.  i’m a fan and will be for life.  you can check out the rest of their stuff here.  it’s tight (i don’t think people still say that but whatever).