There’s Still A World Out There To Convert

For the first part of my career I worked as a professional chef, and in 2012 I stumbled onto Instagram as a hobby. That’s where my passion for photography grew and I became a superuser of the platform.

My following took off, although it took a few more years for the rest of Australia to catch on. Now every brand is looking for a presence on the platform, especially in my niche, the travel and tourism industry.

By the time the middle of the market jumped onto Instagram I was already an established player and had really improved my photography to a professional level. I was traveling to find great shots and putting in a ton of effort into my channel.

It was a boom time and I had over 200,000 followers at that point. I decided to take my Instagram work full time and I quit my job in order to focus on monetizing my channel. I haven’t looked back since!

There have been tons of challenges working fulltime as a digital influencer because there’s still a whole world out there to convert to our way of thinking. It’s always expanding since I started my new career, I’ve run over 200 travel marketing campaigns. I’m always on the move.

I was able to grow my Instagram account organically, meaning without paid ads, all off the strength of my content.

However, beyond the content is your quality of engagement and community. If you’re building a community you really care about it goes a long way to your authenticity and consistency.

I always recommend to others to take your own pictures, that’s the best way to maintain an artistic voice across your photos.[/inlinetweet] It’s a good idea to invest in a high-quality DSLR camera if you can afford it.

However, not everyone is going to be able to learn the basics of photography so in that case, I recommend partnering with more talented photographers and other influencers to create quality content.

You don’t need to hire professional commercial photographers. They might be out of your price range, but there are quality photographers for hire at every price point if you know where to look.

Even a personal contact or an employee who simply enjoys photography as a hobby can elevate the look of your photos well beyond what you could do on your own.

The other avenue to explore is user-generated content. That’s right, putting your customers to work for you. Especially in the tourism industry, there is an implicit supply of user-generated photography that can also double as marketing collateral.

Restaurants are a good example of this phenomenon. People are constantly taking pictures of their food, not for you, but for themselves. However, while serving their own interests they are also doing an excellent job helping you market your business.

You’re both in it together, all you need to do is make it easy for them to tag your business in their Instagram posts preferably through a hashtag. This hashtag can be your business name or another tagline you want to associate with your business.

Add your hashtag to the bio of your account and ask your followers to use it if they want you to repost their photos.

This allows the rest of your market to experience your business the way your current customers are. Specifically some of your most satisfied customers!


Action Steps

  1. Create a hashtag associated with your business, use either the business name or a phrase that uniquely identifies your business.
  2. Add this hashtag to your bio and let your followers know that if they use it you will repost their images.
  3. Take a screenshot of posts you’d like to reshare and crop them to fit into the platform.


Result You Will Achieve

Instagram followers who create great content about your business that you can use on your own page.

Mentor: Lauren Bath

Freelance Social Media Marketer at Lauren Bath Services with 454,000 followers over 4 1/2 years, 3 1/2 years of full time work in the tourism industry, over 120 travel campaign. Lauren Bath was Australia’s first professional Instagrammer quitting her day job in 2013 to break into the tourism industry.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.