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Serge Cheretovich of ‘PHOTOGRAPHER IN’: “Invest in yourself”

Invest in yourself — Find public accounts in your niche and reach out for shout outs. This requires an investment, but it also gets you a great group of people who are interested in your content. This process might take a while, but it does produce authentic results. I don’t suggest hosting giveaways. Giveaways can help you […]

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Invest in yourself — Find public accounts in your niche and reach out for shout outs. This requires an investment, but it also gets you a great group of people who are interested in your content. This process might take a while, but it does produce authentic results. I don’t suggest hosting giveaways. Giveaways can help you gain a lot of followers at first, but they won’t be engaged in your work. The new followers might even unfollow you soon after the giveaway is over. This can then hurt your engagement rate.


As a part of our series about How To Leverage Instagram To Grow Your Business, I had the pleasure of interviewing Serge Cheretovich.

Serge Cheretovich AKA Serge Creator is a professional content creator with over 10 years of experience. His content has helped celebrities and successful businesses from all around the world take their business to the next level and reach millions of people. In addition, Serge is the owner of PHOTOGRAPHER IN Agency and has developed a unique coaching program, Content Creator PRO, for creators with step by step guidance to help them grow their business.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Around 10 years ago, when I lived in Belarus, I started a channel called “I Love Public” on the Russian social network Vk.com. It was similar to current social media platforms, but it was the Russian version of it. Through this channel, I gained a significant number of followers and had high engagement rates with audiences. On the channel, I would post appealing content, like quotes and inspirational videos. This was the beginning of my content creation career.

I grew up in a small city in the country of Belarus. This city was full of traditional Russian culture (by the way Gary Vaynerchuk was born 100 miles from this city). My first job was to pave concrete slabs, but I quickly learned that I was more of a creative thinker, so I decided to move to Europe. At the beginning of my career, I worked my first 9–5 job as an interior designer. Later, I was invited to work in Turkey as a club photographer and videographer. I worked with famous celebrities, local businesses, and entrepreneurs and achieved great success as a graphic designer, photographer, and videographer. However, I longed for something more and looked into the United States.

As soon as I arrived in Miami, I registered my first company, PHOTOGRAPHER IN Agency. This business enabled me to gain rapport with amazing clients, celebrities, and local businesses. I built an amazing portfolio with my team after half a year of work with these amazing clients. I then decided to move to California, first in San Diego and later to Los Angeles. Once I arrived in LA, I knew it was the place where I wanted to build my career. During the first year I spent in LA, I grew my business to 6 figures. I now work with multi-million dollar businesses, celebrities, and famous entrepreneurs in the heart of Hollywood.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

When I first arrived in Los Angeles, I worked with people in the Trade Academy. I helped with creating a podcast for the group as well as content creation. Soon after, host of The Trade Academy Nikk Legend had a guest famous entrepreneur Zain Jan, he had seen my production process and we became friends on Instagram. After a short while, he reached out to me for production help for entrepreneur, Grant Cardone. I helped with a video production project for Grant, which I now use in my own portfolio. After a few months, this contact offered me to help out with some work for his multi-million dollar company. This was an amazing career opportunity all thanks to networking through social media, especially Instagram.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I was invited to photograph a new restaurant opening. There were so many people there, and it was a really big deal. I took a collection of pictures throughout the event. When I showed the client pictures of the event through my camera’s screen, they were impressed! After the event ended, I went home and tried downloading all of the pictures onto my old and outdated computer. While I was doing this, a notification popped up on the screen, warning me of something, but I ignored the message and continued downloading the event’s photos. Then, all of a sudden, all of my pictures were deleted! From this experience, I learned that it’s important to always read and analyze any notification that appears on my computer. Since this unfortunate event, and using my new approach to my computer’s notifications, it has never happened to me again!

Ok. Let’s now move to the main focus of our discussion. For the benefit of our readers, can you explain why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

I have been in the industry for 10 years. I’ve worked with all types of personalities, like celebrities and content creators. I’ve had both successes and failures — a mixture of both experiences. Now, I’m diving deeper into the field. On top of content creation, I also help with coaching others. To help with my craft, I interview successful creators about their style and business techniques. I analyze their results and successes, as well as how they grew their business. I’ve talked with YouTubers, and other big influencers, to gain information from the top creators. Then, I spread the knowledge to other people. I have experience with market research, content creation, and a combination of other experiences. In the end, this process allows me to be an authority.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

I mostly work with Instagram to grow my business and brand. I think it’s the friendliest social media platform. Through Instagram, I connect with people and try to become their friend. I don’t try to sell anything to them at first. Later on, when they have a business opportunity, they will feel more inclined and willing to reach out to me, or even refer me to others. Instagram is the best for content creations, as well as Facebook pages and groups that allow for organic outreach. LinkedIn is also good for business clients, because you can gain high ticket clients and still have organic outreach as well. In terms of establishing solid business relationships, LinkedIn is a great place for this. Ultimately, it’s very important to have a presence on all types of social media platforms.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

Authenticity — The first way to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business is to be authentic. You should be real and show audiences that you are not fake. People want to stay in touch and help you grow. You need to push your message and get known, authentically. As a business owner, you should push quality content through visual and audio means. Your captions and hashtags should also be on point. Create content tailored to your audience, because Instagram is all about engagement. The Instagram algorithm will not work in your favor if your content is off-brand.

Share with Your Network — Next, take advantage of the shares. It is so important to reach out to people interested in your work. By staying in touch with people, it will be more organic and natural for you to ask for support or for them to remember you when they need someone with your qualifications. Also, engage with your follower’s content! Message them and be friends. Don’t be like a robot. Dive deep with your own audience to form beneficial and real relationships. It is also smart to DM posts to your friends. Type a personalized message to friends to ask them to comment and like your post to hear feedback. You can’t send your posts through DMing to everyone, but still send them to those who know you well and want to support you. This will help boost your engagement rates.

Define Your Audience — Create content for a defined audience. Make sure your message is aligned with your audience.

Tailor Your Content — Instagram’s Feed, Stories, Reels, and IGTV all required different content. Your Feed requires a picture or a video. Some content can’t be boosted. You can also use Ad manager to reach your target audience, and even get new audiences for your page. For IG stories it is best to post three to five stories daily. The stories can be about your daily routine. People constantly watch these, and it will help with your user engagement rate.

Invest in yourself — Find public accounts in your niche and reach out for shout outs. This requires an investment, but it also gets you a great group of people who are interested in your content. This process might take a while, but it does produce authentic results. I don’t suggest hosting giveaways. Giveaways can help you gain a lot of followers at first, but they won’t be engaged in your work. The new followers might even unfollow you soon after the giveaway is over. This can then hurt your engagement rate.

Collaborations — Finally, collaborations with other creators and influencers in your niche are so important to improving your business. You will both mutually share your work with each other and will gain an audience authentically.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

At this moment, there is a lot of fakeness on social media. Some people on social media platforms are lying to themselves, and even losing their personality. They only do things to impress others instead of helping them. This is a contemporary problem, and for so many people, it has become their reality. This is so wrong. It’s madness. I would love to inspire a movement where people can feel comfortable being their real and authentic selves. People should share their true passions. I would support educating people with why it is important to be real. I would explain how being fake is hurting them. Being real and honest will benefit them in the long run. I want to inspire people to pursue their passions and interests. I would set up a baseline to support their brand and careers.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would love to have a chat with Gary Vaynerchuk! He’s such a powerful content creator. He was also born close to where I was raised! Gary discusses authenticity, like me, and I would love to have a chat with him about this topic.

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