A Life in & After Professional Sport
World Champion Beach Sprinter & Flagger
About this episode [listen below]
This week we chat with form World Champion Beach Sprinter & Flagger, Bree Masters! Having brought new attention to the sport through all her social media efforts and work within the field, Bree shares with us what it's like to be a professional athlete and where she sees herself after the sport.
"I'm not sure where life is going to take me after the sport, like I said, I'm not really sure if I'm going to quit that anytime soon. So just really living in the moment and that's generally what I do, just see where it takes me I guess."
"I have a little saying my dad told me when I was little that Bree Bree can do anything. So, when I'm nervous or in a really scary space I tell myself Bree Bree can do anything."
- Bree Masters
- Bree Masters
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GUESTS ON THIS EPISODE
Bree is a professional athlete from the Gold Coast, representing Australia as a competitive Beach Sprinter and Flagger. This former World Champion more recently achieved silver and bronze in the Beach Flags and Beach Sprints at the Australian Titles in 2017 and 2018 respectively. When she's not competing in Surf Life Saving competitions, you'll find Bree studying her Bachelor of Communication (Business) and spending time with her partner Cory.
"I didn't think I was gonna be where I am today, you know getting brand deals with massive brand names and I'm like what, I never thought that like a company like that would message me. I've just been taking it day by day, I guess, I know a lot of people obviously set out goals and it's great to set out goals and achievements and all that stuff but I've just been going with the flow. It's generally my approach to everything."
- Bree Masters
Bree: [00:00:00] I love inspiring young nippers and I get people come up to me, like little on the beach, like 'Hey it's great to meet you' and like it literally melts my heart. I'm like wow, you never really think how much the Internet impacts others or what you post or what you say and what people see until they actually say to your face.
Kareena: [00:00:17] That's Bree Master's sharing her journey through professional beach sprinting and flagging. Tune in to hear the whole interview, where we chat about all this and more on this episode of In the Loop.
Kareena: [00:00:38] Hey there Loopers and welcome to another episode of In the Loop, where we chat about the business end of being an influencer. I'm your host Kareena and today we're chatting with champion beach sprinter and flagger, Bree Masters. Not only does Bree spend her time training and competing, but she's also studying a Bachelor of Communications Marketing and PR this year. As well as this, Bree runs a successful health, fitness and lifestyle Instagram, where she motivates others to live their healthiest and best life, as well as raising awareness for her beach sprinting and flagging as a competitive sport. So, stay tuned as we chat with this enthusiastic, passionate and hard-working woman, as she shares with us her tips and tricks to managing such a busy lifestyle all while maintaining an incredibly positive outlook on life.
Kareena: [00:01:27] Hey they Loopers, welcome to another episode of In the Loop, today we have Bree Masters with us.
Bree: [00:01:33] Hi. Thank you for having me.
Kareena: [00:01:36] Thanks for being on the couch. This is a bit different, we are actually in Queensland today, which is something our Loopers don't recognise because we are usually back in Melbourne on the Loop App couch. Now we've got a Queensland couch.
Bree: [00:01:48] Queensland's the place to be.
Kareena: [00:01:48] Yes, it is, for the nice tan clearly.
Bree: [00:01:52] Exactly. Yep.
Kareena: [00:01:54] Well Bree, I just would love to hear about everything that you do in sport because you are a beach sprinter and flagger.
Bree: [00:02:01] Correct.
Kareena: [00:02:01] That is the term, right?
Bree: [00:02:02] Yes.
Kareena: [00:02:02] So I don't see many people do that, it's not a very popular sport from what I understand.
Bree: [00:02:07] No not many people do know about it. I mean, I work in a casual retail job and people ask me what I do, and I say beach sprinting and beach flags and they're like, what is that? Then I have to explain it and yes so, it's a very underdeveloped sport, I guess much you know what iron men and women are, like back in the days of Uncle Toby's and now Nutri-Grain Iron Men and Women. So the beach side of things is really under seen but yeah I guess it's sort of getting a little bit better as time goes on with TV broadcasts and things like that so some people are starting to see it on Fox Sports and learn more about it and hopefully through social media and things like that, more people will found out. Like you.
Kareena: [00:02:43] Exactly, and I would love to. We will get into your social media and how that plays a role in what you're doing. But firstly, tell us, where did you get your start in fitness and sport? Was it something you did as a kid or is it something that you later developed?
Bree: [00:02:56] Something I did as a kid, so growing up my parents put me into every single sport you can think of. I mean I started in dancing, gymnastics, swimming, touch football, everything you can think of and things just started to clash as I got older and I started to pick what I liked the most and I kind of got to a point where I was doing mainly athletics, nippers and dancing. Dancing was by far my favourite, so this is one thing many people don't know about me is that I was a full-time dancer, I went to Newtown Performing Arts High School in Sydney where I was selected for dance and that was where my heart and soul was growing up.
Kareena: [00:03:32] What type of dance?
Bree: [00:03:32] I was mainly into contemporary, so at Newtown that was their primary kind of dance, I guess you could say. Then, yeah all through my high school career I was just dancing, and running was my side sport. As a kid I was quite a natural talent, you know, I didn't really do much training and I'd just dance and I'd come out and run and people would be like 'do you train' and I'm like 'nah, I just dance'.
Kareena: [00:03:54] That's a training in itself almost.
Bree: [00:03:54] Yeah I was just enjoying my time, you know being at the beach and at the track and yeah as I said things started to clash and I would always pick nippers because I was at the beach, you know being that athletics track is not fun when it's hot there's no water to dive into.
Kareena: [00:04:12] True, very true.
Bree: [00:04:12] Yeah. The community and surf lifesaving are truly amazing I mean the friends that I have built through the sport is amazing. So, I decided to go more professional in surf lifesaving, I guess. Back to the dancing part though, I finished school in 2012, did my HSC in New South Wales, so I'm originally from Cronulla. I went and did a full-time dance course for about a semester, didn't like it at all, didn't enjoy it. There was a couple of teachers that really turned me off dancing for life, which I won't go too much into. But I just found that you know maybe this is not where my heart lies and we were paying a lot of money for this course and I said to my mum, I'm not enjoying it, I don't think I want to do this anymore, which was weird because growing up I was just so set on being in a dance company, becoming a professional dancer and then yeah, the switch flicked and I changed sides.
Kareena: [00:05:00] That' crazy, you put so much effort into that too. A lot of people would struggle with that.
Bree: [00:05:05] Yeah. It was definitely weird. Now six years on and I haven't danced a day since then and it's just so weird to think that every day I was waking up at 6:00, dancing all day long, coming home at nine o'clock and going to bed and that's all I was doing.
Kareena: [00:05:19] You don't miss it?
Bree: [00:05:20] I do but I just kind of forget what it was like now that I've got my sport I focus on now. Yeah so then I met my boyfriend, which today is our anniversary of six years.
Kareena: [00:05:32] Congratulations.
Bree: [00:05:32] Thankyou. I met him whilst I was racing for Australia for the first time. He's a Kiwi, so he was in the New Zealand team and I was in the Youth Australian team. Yeah, we met back in 2012 on that trip and we kept in contact ever since. He moved to the Gold Coast and then that was when Dad asked me what club I wanted to go and if I wanted to make it more professional and I said definitely. The top beach competitors were at Kurrawa Surf Club, so I chose to make the move up here, I think it was about five years ago now. Yeah, so I've been at Kurrawa Surf Club ever since. I'm now trained by the two best athletes that I was looking up to at the time and who I came and joined. So, it's been a bit of a journey and I guess it all started when I started nippers at six years old.
Kareena: [00:06:14] Six years old and now you are doing it professionally. That's crazy.
Bree: [00:06:16] Exactly, yeah. It's something that you start just to learn surf awareness and you know my parents wanted me to get friendly with the water and not be scared to go in and things like that, learn how to swim, which I think is a really important thing in life.
Kareena: [00:06:29] I agree, especially in Australia too where we're surrounded by so much water.
Bree: [00:06:29] Yeah definitely, it's really dangerous out on the beaches so to have that ability to swim and know that I can get myself out of trouble is really good confidence thing.
Kareena: [00:06:39] Absolutely. So, let's take a step back for those that don't understand what beach flagging is and beach sprinting. Can you give us a rundown, what is it?
Bree: [00:06:48] Okay, I'll tell you the funny way that I mainly describe it to people, so beach sprinting is basically just a normal sprint race as you would on athletics track you see in the Olympics, 100-meter sprint except we do 90 meters on sand.
Kareena: [00:07:00] That's tough.
Bree: [00:07:01] Yeah especially when it's really soft and boggy sand, it is not nice on the quads but yep, it's something you definitely really try hard for and I mean people look at it and go 'oh being a beachy is so easy' and I'm like it's a really not.
Kareena: [00:07:14] It's not. Not at all.
Bree: [00:07:15] There's so much training and gym and strength that goes into it so there's a whole behind the scenes of a lot of people don't know about. Yeah, it is a very quick race but a lot of preparation that goes into it.
Kareena: [00:07:24] Absolutely.
Bree: [00:07:25] And then as for beach flags, I generally say, it's like musical chairs but your turning around and diving for a piece of hose. So, most people in Australia have done nippers before, it's something that a lot of kids have done, and I feel like even the nippers these days, it's the flag that stands out to them because it's fun. So basically, we'll go back to the basics, so it's a row of eight people, you're spaced about a metre apart, facing away from the flag, lying down on your stomach. They say competitors ready and then heads down and the whistle goes, you've got to turn around, run 20 metres and dive for a piece of hose I guess you could call it, a beach flag is what they actually call it. But in nippers, they generally just cut up bits of hose and it's just hose in the sand and there's one less flag in the sand. So, one person misses out, so there's the musical chairs side of it.
Kareena: [00:08:14] Right, and that continues?
Bree: [00:08:16] Until there's two at the end and then one winner. It is very competitive.
Kareena: [00:08:20] It is.
Bree: [00:08:21] If you were to see it the Australian titles, it is a big arena, everyone is silent, everyone gets into it. It's really entertaining because it's so quick and fast. I mean iron men and women so exciting as well but it's a longer endurance race, so you've got to be there watching the whole 15 minutes, 20 minutes, whereas flags are really just fast and quick and thrilling.
Kareena: [00:08:41] Is that what attracted you to it?
Bree: [00:08:43] Yes, I guess so, well in nippers you kind of get forced to do everything. I did the board, the swim, everything and then I just sort of gravitated more to the beach side of things. I wasn't really a big fan of the water. I was always this skinny little girl that was just freezing, and I guess doing athletics as well I just enjoyed the running side of things and then it all really turned for me when I was 13 years old. My dad took me to the Australian titles in Perth, I think it was 2006 from memory and I raced up an age in the under 15s. So, I was only 13 racing in 15s and I ended up winning that sprint race and I became the youngest ever to win an Australian beach title on the beach.
Kareena: [00:09:19] Congratulations. That's quite an achievement at such a young age too.
Bree: [00:09:23] Yeah and it was a really big fright to me, I was like wow like I didn't think that I could do that and that's when things really changed for me. That's when I decided wow I'm doing really well at this, I'd really like to push myself further because I used to look up to the open competitors at the time and be like wow I'll never make finals like that, they're so quick and then this year the Australian titles I found myself in the last two again. So, it's like wow to see where I've come from was really cool.
Kareena: [00:09:48] That is incredible. Tell us more about that journey through I guess you just told us about when you were 13, winning that kind of title. That's incredible. You are now a little bit older and you've been doing it for a while now, six years, so tell me more about the professional level. How's that been, that journey to there?
Bree: [00:10:08] Yeah, tough. So, as I said before, I was quite a natural talent as a kid and I never really did much training and then in 2012, I think I was around 16, I got really bad appendicitis. I was quite skinny and lean as a kid, so when I got appendicitis mine exploded and when it explodes sort of really dangerous. Yes, so it did that as they were taking it out. So, I had a tube in my stomach for a week and my bowels weren't working for a whole week, so I was in hospital a lot longer than usual for appendicitis. So, I wasn't eating or anything like that and I was only allowed to have ice chips just to keep my mouth watery. I wasn't even allowed to have water, it was horrible, and I lost so much weight. I was almost anorexic, and I was terrified when I looked at myself in the mirror, I was like oh my God Mum what's happening to me and she was like it's okay, you know we'll be able to get through it soon, you're getting better. I got out of hospital a week later I was like oh I'm just going to eat everything, and I used to eat so much, my metabolism was so quick and yeah, from that point on my body completely changed. Also, obviously going through puberty and things like that I became a woman and bodily changes you had to get used to and learn how to deal with. From then on, I think I started gym, so I'd never done gym before, so I sort of started building my strength and my body changed a lot, I put on a lot of weight and my natural ability just went and I was like whoa, like things changed really quickly. I think it was about three years there, when I first moved up, like as I said before I got that title of the first person to ever win, when I moved up, I wasn't even making finals. I was just mid pack and it was a struggle to go from the top to mid pack, I was like oh why am I doing this anymore. It's so easy to just give up but I worked really hard through all that alongside those people that I was looking up to.
Kareena: [00:11:55] What kept you going during that time? Because as you said it's easy for people to just give up at that point.
Bree: [00:11:58] Yeah, I think I think because I chose to make the move here, I dedicated myself to it, I was like yep I'm definitely gonna do this, I'm going to focus on it. When I have something in mind that I want to achieve, I really go for it. I also think I really enjoy training, you know, back to the health and fitness side of things, the sport keeps me really healthy and fit and I was so determined to get back to my fit self again. So yeah, I love going to training, I mean even if I didn't do the sport I'd probably still go to training, the friends that I've made in it and the social scene is just amazing. So that's kind of the real reason that I love going to do this sport is because of the people in it as well.
Kareena: [00:12:32] That is true. The community as you mentioned earlier.
Bree: [00:12:36] Yeah exactly.
Kareena: [00:12:36] So tell me more about the training involved because most people would think you're literally just running across sand but as you said, you did gymnastics. The other skills that are involved, what do you do for training for an event like that?
Bree: [00:12:54] So at the moment I'm doing two gym sessions a week, a lot of strength and power-based things as well as speed and agility. Then I'm doing three sprint sessions a week, mainly on the grass and maybe one on the sand. I mean a lot of the basic training just comes from grass or track training. We like to train on the grass just because it's lower impact on the body and still makes you just as fast. Then we've got the sand training obviously to get you ready for those competitions and then I also do two beach flag sessions a week. So just focusing on our turn and technique because having the right technique is definitely the edge on things. I'm a lot taller compared to all the other girls that do beach flags so it's really hard for me to get my legs up and around compared to them, they just whip around and off they go but yeah, I've really worked hard on that lately. I think sometimes it pays off and sometimes I'm just not sure what happened on the day, but you know that's the life of sport and I just keep working on it.
Kareena: [00:13:51] Good girl, so what is a normal training regime like? What time do you start on an average day?
Bree: [00:13:56] So for gym, I generally go at 6:30 in the morning twice a week. I do that in the mornings to get it over and done with and find I train my best in the morning. I'm just a morning person. Then we do afternoon sessions at about 4:30-5, just because we do have people that do full time work, so we all come in the afternoon and it is nice, it's not as hot as during the day. Yeah, a little bit cooler, that'll go for about an hour, hour and a half, both of those sessions.
Kareena: [00:14:19] Okay and then what about the lead up into the actual competition itself or into the event.
Bree: [00:14:25] Yep so we usually mainly taper for world titles and Australian titles, so generally we do a thing called a ten-day taper, so you train every second day ten days out. It starts really hard on the tenth day, so you'll do a massive training load and then it'll get easier and easier leading into the competition and then somehow it works its wonders and you come out amazing.
Kareena: [00:14:47] They do have a system that makes it work for some reason.
Bree: [00:14:49] Yeah. I just trust the coach and I'm like you tell me and I'll just do it.
Kareena: [00:14:53] How did you find your coach?
Bree: [00:14:55] Like I said before, the two-best people in Australia for beach sprint and flags were at Kurrawa and he was the Kurrawa coach. He was actually an athlete back in his time as well and he was a great one as well so yeah, he's just pretty well known in those side of things, having two amazing athletes. So yeah, that's how I got to know him and he's still doing it to this day. He's excellent. His name's Ryan Hoffman.
Kareena: [00:15:15] Okay, excellent. Shout Out to Ryan.
Bree: [00:15:18] Yes Ryan.
Kareena: [00:15:20] So tell me more about the events that you're working up to at the moment. Is there one in mind?
Bree: [00:15:24] We've got the world titles in three weeks. I think it's three weeks. Yeah.
Kareena: [00:15:29] Are you nervous?
Bree: [00:15:30] Yeah definitely. So, I'm the current world beach sprint champion, so very daunting for me to try and back up that and the thing with the beach as well as beach flags it is so hard to always be a winner. There’re always different things changing you know, the conditions change, as much as conditions I say sand, it can be hard, it can be soft, there can be a headwind, multiple things can factor into the race. So yeah, it's really difficult, there's multiple amazing athletes out there, we're all so close and you know yeah punching each other for the win. So yeah, it's really healthy competition but yeah also very hard.
Kareena: [00:16:04] What's the mindset that you have going into these events and competitions against these people because you just mentioned, you're such a strong community and they are your friends so how does that play on you?
Bree: [00:16:13] Yeah. Well there's definitely a lot of rivalry as I like to say.
Kareena: [00:16:17] Healthy rivalry?
Bree: [00:16:17] Yeah definitely. Yeah. So, there's two clubs on the Gold Coast that just go head to head. So, it's the Currumbin Vikings and Kurrawa.
Kareena: [00:16:25] Excellent.
Bree: [00:16:25] So yeah generally we had the two top clubs that just go head to head all the time. We're always the biggest rivals. Between both clubs, we both have very strong communities and you can just tell that by each other's teams and how we all get along and things like that. But yeah, I'm generally pretty relaxed when I go into carnivals.
Kareena: [00:16:41] Excellent.
Bree: [00:16:41] I like to take that that side of things. I do get nervous definitely, but I'm also very relaxed and calm, try and stay calm and not stress out too much. Just have fun. That's the main part of things.
Kareena: [00:16:53] That's a very good point. Yeah just enjoy it.
Bree: [00:16:55] Yeah don't beat myself up too much, I just go in, have fun and whatever happens, happens, you did your best.
Kareena: [00:17:02] Bree’s passion for the sport really shines when it comes to her Instagram. You'll see numerous posts from competitions and training. Along with this, her beautiful health and lifestyle photos have gained her a large following and Bree shares some of her tips to creating and maintaining the high standard of such a beautiful page. So, you were talking earlier about social media and the fact that that's bringing a lot more attention to your sport.
Bree: [00:17:26] Yeah.
Kareena: [00:17:26] Have you approached Instagram with that purpose, to bring more attention to the sport, or simply just because you wanted to share your experience?
Bree: [00:17:34] I think it started with just sharing my experience to be honest. I think I just started by sharing just random photos of me at the beach just chilling and then me at training and I guess things started to pop up with brand deals and things like that. People just wanted to send me some product for a photo and I was like oh this is so cool. They're sending me free things, this is awesome. Then yeah it just sorts of really rapidly grew since then and I guess it's definitely great to promote the sport through social media as well, a lot of other athletes are doing the exact same thing. You know, everyone's trying to get the sport out there, known to more people, our sport is a great sport and it definitely needs more recognition and it deserves it.
Kareena: [00:18:14] Absolutely.
Bree: [00:18:14] So there's a lot of people out there doing the same thing. Yes, but with my social media I generally balance my sport and lifestyle and have a bit of both, you know, people don't really know about the sport, so I don't want to make it all about surf lifesaving, I also when I make it about my lifestyle and the things outside of surf.
Kareena: [00:18:29] Well it's about you. It's your profile. So how long have you been working at it now? I think people be would be interested to see.
Bree: [00:18:36] My Instagram?
Kareena: [00:18:37] Yeah.
Bree: [00:18:37] So I got it when it first ever came out, I don't remember what year that was, but Instagram came out, I got it. Then I think in about 2015, my Instagram was hacked. I had 5000 followers at the time, and it was completely hacked. I just woke up one morning and I couldn't log in and I was like to my boyfriend can you please check it and he went to his tagged photos and it had changed to a random name, all my photos were getting deleted and I was like oh my God, I don't even know how to get that back. So, I started fresh again in 2014 or 2015, something like that and then back up to 13.8k now I think it is.
Kareena: [00:19:15] You do very, very well.
Bree: [00:19:18] Yeah, I am really committed to it, I love creating content, I love sharing things with people, I love helping other people, I love taking photos, I love editing photos.
Kareena: [00:19:26] You have a beautiful Instagram.
Bree: [00:19:27] Thank you.
Kareena: [00:19:27] Yeah, it's a very consistent look and feel which is always really nice to see in a feed. So, you are putting a lot of effort into it.
Bree: [00:19:34] Definitely, definitely and it's really hard, like a lot of people take the piss out of me sometimes that don't understand it. Like there's a lot of people in surf lifesaving or a lot of my friends that don't really understand that side to social media. Sometimes I go to training and they're like were you late because you were too busy editing your photos and they don't understand that I take days off to go and take a heap of photos for brands and sponsors and things like that so that I can manage my time properly. Like I said before, I don't want to take the camera to training, you know, training is a place to work your butt off, do the hard yards and not take photos, so I like to keep it very separate just so I can focus on my sport and then do my social media on the side.
Kareena: [00:20:15] So what role is the social media playing then in creating a profile for you as a sportswoman?
Bree: [00:20:21] I'm not really sure to be honest. At the moment I just enjoy doing it and sharing things with people, I love inspiring young nippers and I get people come up to me like little nippers on the beach being like 'hey it's great to meet you' and it literally melts my heart. I'm like wow, you never really think how much the Internet impacts others or what you post or what you say and what people see, until they actually say it to your face but yeah, I'm not really sure where it's taking me at the moment. I just love showing my lifestyle and my sport and hopefully inspiring others.
Kareena: [00:20:53] I think that you're doing just that, especially people coming up to you and brands approaching you. That's often a really nice sign that you're doing the right thing or going in the right direction. When it came to brands approaching you what was that conversation like, had you been a fan of their products before or was it something new to you?
Bree: [00:21:09] Definitely so I have multiple brands messaging me on a daily basis asking, “Hey do you do photo for product”, things like that? I just look at the company first and I think, am I passionate about this product, do I want to promote this to my followers, do I use it, is it relevant to me? And the thing that I need to always remember is that I'm a brand, even though like I said, I just do it for the fun of things, and you know I'd just like to share my lifestyle, but at the same time it has to be relevant to me. Like I said, there's lots of people who look up to me and I don't want people buying something that I don't believe in so when a company messages me, generally I look at it if I'm interested, I will go ahead and contact them back and yeah, then it all happens from there.
Kareena: [00:21:47] Beautiful. So, it's interesting because we were, we were talking earlier about brand and having a personal brand. What do you think your personal brand is at the moment?
Bree: [00:21:57] At the moment, I guess it's more based around my sport as an athlete, so just being an athlete but then also health fitness and lifestyle on the side. I love my lifestyle here on the Gold Coast in Queensland, at the beach, I'm always at the beach out in the sun if I'm not working or training. Then yeah, just showing how I train and letting people know, that's probably the most common question, you know, how much training do you do, what do you do, so yeah, I try and give people as much as I can.
Kareena: [00:22:20] Beautiful valuable information.
Bree: [00:22:21] Yeah exactly.
Kareena: [00:22:22] So we've been thinking about Instagram. How about YouTube? Have You looked at creating video content around your personal brand?
Bree: [00:22:30] Yeah definitely, it's something that I've told my boyfriend that I'd like to do and there's multiple videos that I've tried to create and then just been like that definitely didn't work.
Kareena: [00:22:39] Have you posted them?
Bree: [00:22:39] I've posted a few. It's hard because I think, are people really interested in this? I'm not sure. I always think that my life's not that interesting. Why would people want to watch this?
Kareena: [00:22:54] They always say you've got a show interest in your own life for other people to be interested in it.
Bree: [00:22:57] Exactly and generally things on my YouTube at the moment are holiday trips that my boyfriend and I have been on. You know, Bali adventures, Whitsundays, Hawaii. I've posted a few videos about me being in Australian teams and what that was like with the team, really funny comedy ones, I like funny things. I love entertaining things, so I guess when I make a video, I'm like oh this is not very entertaining or I don't know how to do it but my boyfriend, he always watches really big YouTubers like Casey Neistat and all that stuff.
Kareena: [00:23:24] Yes.
Bree: [00:23:24] He said I've heard them say it takes so many tries to get used to it.
Kareena: [00:23:28] Yep, it really does.
Bree: [00:23:28] Like Talking to a camera is just so weird. You’re like oh my god is anyone looking at me, does this look weird?
Kareena: [00:23:35] How do you find it with Instagram then, have you used IGTV at all?
Bree: [00:23:39] No, I've tried but I didn't really get into it. I just forgot about it. I just posted on the story.
Kareena: [00:23:46] And stories, how do you feel about talking to stories?
Bree: [00:23:49] Yeah, I'm getting better at it. I started a little while ago and even my friends are like oh, you're getting used to it now, I can see you talk to the camera, looking confident. So yeah, I'm definitely getting used to it now.
Kareena: [00:23:59] It is one of those things when you're working at it and it's a new feature, taking it on and learning it and then becoming comfortable with it.
Bree: [00:24:07] Yeah, yeah.
Kareena: [00:24:08] How do you find that process with Instagram constantly bringing out new stuff for you?
Bree: [00:24:12] It's daunting. I'm over the algorithm, definitely over that. But you know what, you just have to deal with it now. It's hard because you work so hard for your following back in the day and now their changing the algorithm and not even half your followers see your photos and things like that. You know, you're trying to cross a message or show them things and it's like oh okay I tried so hard and now no one's going to see it.
Kareena: [00:24:31] How do you deal with that; do you have any tactics around getting more people to see your content.
Bree: [00:24:37] Not really, your kind of just got to hope for the best to be honest. You know you've just got to post at the prime time, as you can see in your insights if you've got the business profile, just find what works best for you. That's pretty much all you can do. I mean sometimes you can put on a story and be like 'new post' so that's an opportunity for people to see it.
Kareena: [00:24:52] Yes absolutely, I have seen that quite a bit.
Bree: [00:24:55] But yeah other than that, I guess I just let it do its thing now and just let it happen naturally. Instagram is doing it for a reason.
Kareena: [00:25:02] That is true, are you seeing more people engage with your stories or with your posts?
Bree: [00:25:06] A bit of both to be honest, depending on what I'm posting on my story, I mean if it's a poll or a question definitely seeing a lot of engagement but probably more my posts to be honest. You know, being able to see how many people save it or comment. Things like that.
Kareena: [00:25:22] Yep. Do you use hashtags?
Bree: [00:25:23] No I don't.
Kareena: [00:25:24] OK. Interesting.
Bree: [00:25:26] Yeah. A lot of people do. I don't know, I just don't like how they look so spammy all over your post. Do you Know what I mean? I mean I use relevant ones here and there, like one at the end of the caption or something like that. But yeah, I've never really used a heap of them.
Kareena: [00:25:41] What kind of practical advice and tips do you have for people that are wanting to do what you do with the Instagram?
Bree: [00:25:46] Definitely time management first, that comes first. If you can't take it on. People are like it would so cool to just, you know, do Instagram as a job. I mean it's very up and down.
Kareena: [00:25:56] Yeah, most people are looking to do it full time.
Bree: [00:25:57] Yeah, you definitely need to build a big following and get great brand details to make it a full-time job. I mean at the moment it's just like a bonus for me and on the side. It's very up and down as well, sometimes you have heaps and sometimes you don't really have any so I don't feel like I could rely on it, but I guess just get yourself a good camera and editing system and just go for it. Do what makes you happy, that's the one thing I always like to say, you know, don't worry about what other people think or what they say, you do what makes you happy and then yeah, just time management and then be consistent.
Kareena: [00:26:27] Are you completely self-taught in that field of creating content? I mean your boyfriend helps with the photography but with the editing as well, did you teach yourself all those skills?
Bree: [00:26:35] Yep, definitely. So, my mom used to be a graphic designer, she hasn't taught me anything about it but maybe I inherited it somehow, I don't know. It all started just taking photos on my iPhone, as cameras got better and better, I wanted to get the new ones because it's such a better camera and I was just using VSCO Cam to edit my photos, which a lot of people do use.
Kareena: [00:26:53] Yep, good app.
Bree: [00:26:57] Then there was a point where my boyfriend told me that people always use Lightroom because he follows a lot of good photographers as well and I was like how do I make the photos look like that, what the hell. Then we looked into getting Adobe Lightroom so I ended up buying that, which is a monthly subscription of about $15. I follow @doyoutravel and @gypsylust, who are two of the best well-known travel Instagrammers.
Kareena: [00:27:18] Yes. Another one with beautiful photos.
Bree: [00:27:21] Yeah so, I use their presets.
Kareena: [00:27:23] Okay, presets. That's a good tip.
Bree: [00:27:26] So yeah, it's basically filters but they call them presets on Lightroom. So, they made editing so much easier, so they basically create the presets and sell them and that's obviously their job and you just paste. Sometimes obviously you need to tweak the photo because every photo is different, taking a different lighting, different colours, but with Lightroom you just have so much more control over the photo, you can enhance the Blues, make yourself look a bit more tan. I am pretty tanned though. So, it took me a while to get used to that at first, I was like oh this is daunting, like there's so many different buttons and so many things, I properly still fully don't know how to use it. I mean having the presets is just really easy but yeah, I'm fully self-taught there.
Kareena: [00:28:04] Amazing.
Bree: [00:28:05] And now we've got a good Canon camera which definitely does make a big difference. I mean iPhones are great but having that extra megapixels definitely makes the photo edit a lot better.
Kareena: [00:28:14] At what point did you decide that it would be worth investing in that kind of tech?
Bree: [00:28:18] I think it was almost a year ago now. My boyfriend and I wanted to get a great camera because we were going travelling to Bali and we were like we'd love to create a great video, so we got more of like a vlogging camera with a little flip up screen but also great at photos. So, we wanted one that was a bit of both because we weren't using the camera for vlogging all the time, we're not YouTubers or anything but we just wanted to capture the memories of us travelling and hopefully have them to look back on some day.
Kareena: [00:28:40] Of course.
Bree: [00:28:41] Yeah and then we would be using the camera to take photos every now and then and then I just got into a habit and that's just the only thing I would take photos on now.
Kareena: [00:28:48] Okay, so not your phone?
Bree: [00:28:49] No. Maybe there's a few on my phone but yeah all of my camera.
Kareena: [00:28:54] Beautiful.
Bree: [00:28:54] I'm obsessed with it now.
Kareena: [00:28:56] Well now that you've learnt how to use it, at least it's so much nicer.
Bree: [00:28:58] Yeah and it's good, you know, I paid a lot of money for it so I'm so glad that I'm really getting the use out of it. Yeah and a lot of my friends are like oh Adobe Lightroom is so expensive but if you're gonna use it, it's definitely worth it.
Kareena: [00:29:11] As Bree mentioned it's very helpful to have good equipment and programs when creating content for Instagram. However, it's also important to have a strategy to reach out to as many people as possible in order to grow your following and have its content seen. We find out a bit more about Bree's plans for her future and where she wants her Instagram to go. I'm curious, do you research strategies to improve your Instagram.
Bree: [00:29:35] Definitely, so I've just signed up to university at Bond Uni. I've signed up to do Bachelor in Communications in Marketing and PR, so I'm already very interested in the marketing side of things. So, I definitely watch YouTube videos about how the algorithm is changing, what can you do, what it’s about and I think it's really important if you want to be growing a personal brand, you need to be up with all the updates and things like that. So yeah and I'm really excited to start this course because I'm hoping to learn more about the marketing side to things. You know, I can also relate that to my personal brand but also maybe in a future job for myself, maybe running another company’s social media or you know marketing PR events, things like that.
Kareena: [00:30:15] That's a very interesting move, a lot of people would have thought that you'd stay in sport.
Bree: [00:30:19] No, well that's the thing with sport. I mean, in surf lifesaving it's probably a pretty short-lived career. Like I said, it's very small, you don't really know about it, it's still growing and there's always the young guns popping up, you know, taking over the opens. I mean I'm only 23, so I'm not really quitting anytime soon I don't think but there's definitely a life after sport and it doesn't continue for everyone. I mean, one of my idols finished at 30 and now she's had a family and moved on. So, you definitely need to be studying and have that career after sport because our sport isn't like golf where you can win millions and millions of money and set yourself up for life, you really need to work hard, and you may get a bonus here and there but it's definitely not a lifetime job. So, there's a lot a lot of people in surf lifesaving who do study and have that job outside.
Kareena: [00:31:09] I know you have another job as well, you do a lot of things, your sport, your social media, you're training around sports and the boyfriend. How do you balance it all?
Bree: [00:31:19] I don't know. I've definitely got a lot better at time management, trying to get things in my phone but there are moments where I'm like oh my god I double booked myself. This is horrible. And like you know, I only work casual retail job. Last year there was a point where I was working three jobs. So, I was coaching nippers and I was working a receptionist job and a casual retail job all at once and then training, racing, social media. Yep, it was crazy.
Kareena: [00:31:43] Did you sleep?
Bree: [00:31:43] Yep definitely, I did it, but it was like at the point where I'd finished my shift at work, and I'd call my boyfriend, so he takes all my photos and I'm so grateful for that.
Kareena: [00:11:51] Insta boyfriend!
Bree: [00:31:51] Literally. Everyone's like wow who takes your photos? I'm like oh my boyfriend, he's a photographer, he's really not. But yeah, so I'd have to bug him be like 'hey could you quickly meet me at home for like the next half hour to quickly take a photo' and then I need to go to training, and he'll need to go to training as well. So it's getting to a point where we're just quickly like slotting them in wherever we could and I have a lot of friends in the social media community and I've met a lot of people and one of my friends was like do you have a photo day, where you just pump out heaps and then you've got it all ready for your week so that you can go to your job and not stress about it and I was like, “no, I've never actually thought about that.” So now I've tried to adapt that into my life, and it has saved so much time so yeah, I've got everything just on my phone ready to go and then when I'm like we need to update, we'll go and do some more, or when I get new brand deals and things like that.
Kareena: [00:32:39] OK. That's a very good tip, the batching of your photos.
Bree: [00:32:43] Yeah definitely. So, I take a few outfits that don't look all the same, otherwise they'll be like she's just posting the same photo. You got to have fresh, relevant content, otherwise it's just not interesting.
Kareena: [00:32:53] Absolutely, but it has to be in a way that it's almost scalable with everything that you've got going on.
Bree: [00:32:56] Yeah. Exactly.
Kareena: [00:32:58] So what direction are you looking to take your Instagram now? What does the future look like, and it doesn't have to be long term but even short term?
Bree: [00:33:04] Yeah, I'm not sure at the moment.
Kareena: [00:33:07] Are you still working on growing your following?
Bree: [00:33:08] Yeah definitely. I'm not really sure where I'm going at the moment, I mean I'm sort of in that health, fitness and lifestyle. I'm not really sure if I'd want to become like a PT or online coaching and things like that. You know, that's a massive thing that a lot of people do. Yeah there's a lot of people out there that do it. And you do it from home and you're online, it's a great way to build your own business. I've thought about creating my own bikini brand and things like that because I love beach so much.
Kareena: [00:33:32] Very cool.
Bree: [00:33:32] Then again, you need a lot of money to start that up and you know being in the sport it's really hard to sort of think about things now whilst you're putting so much focus into the sport and living out of home and trying to work and get enough money to you know, live. It's really hard to do it all, like you said am I busy? Yes. So yeah at the moment I'm not really sure where it's taking me. I just hope that I can somewhat influence people and inspire young athletes. I'll always probably have that athlete approach to things but yeah just a good positive lifestyle, I guess.
Kareena: [00:34:03] And that's what you want for yourself as well, that's what you see you heading?
Bree: [00:34:05] Exactly. Yes, for sure. I'm not sure where life is going to take me after the sport, like I said, I'm not really sure if I'm going to quit that anytime soon. So just really living in the moment and that's generally what I do, just see where it takes me I guess, you know, I throw myself back to when my Instagram was hacked, I didn't think I was gonna be where I am today, you know getting brand deals with massive brand names and I'm like what, I never thought that like a company like that would message me. Yeah, I've just been taking it day by day, I guess, I know a lot of people obviously set out goals and it's great to set out goals and achievements and all that stuff, but I've just been going with the flow. It's generally my approach to everything.
Kareena: [00:34:45] But working very hard as well.
Bree: [00:34:45] Yeah. Definitely.
Kareena: [00:34:46] So do you have a mantra that you live by or something that guides your decisions for what you do?
Bree: [00:34:52] Not really. I mean, when I'm racing, I have a little saying my dad told me when I was little that Bree Bree can do anything. So, when I'm nervous or in a really scary space I tell myself Bree Bree can do anything and generally you can see myself on the camera on TV screen just mouthing the words.
Kareena: [00:35:08] That's so cute.
Bree: [00:35:08] People are like what are you saying? I'm like oh just something when I was little. I just generally believe if you set your mind to things and you want to achieve it then you just go for it and yes like I said before I am a very determined person.
Kareena: [00:35:21] That's amazing. Well that actually finishes all my questions.
Bree: [00:35:25] Oh easy.
Kareena: [00:35:25] So thank you so much for joining us on the Loop App couch. We will be back again next week with another interview on In the Loop. And that brings us to the end of our interview Loopers and the last show for this season. Thank you so much for joining us and having listened to all our interviews through season 1. If you'd like to continue following Bree's journey and learning more about her life as a beach sprinter and flagger, all the links are included in our show notes so be sure to check them out. As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts so leave us a star rating or review with your feedback so we can get you more of the content that you love learning about. And don't forget to subscribe so you can get notified every time we release a new episode. We'll be back again next week with a bonus episode of In the Loop where we share amazing tips, tricks and highlights from your favourite fitness, health and wellness influences. Season 2 will be kicking off in two weeks’ time with even more interviews. So, we will catch you then.