1) What’s your backstory?
Well, It’s a noisey place when your trying to start up an online business. When I first got started and dove down the rabbit hole of trying to make money online,I tried almost everything. I seriously mean everything, and it always flopped. There are people calling in all directions saying to start a blog, or an agency, or affiliate marketing, or an MLM, or running ads. Ultimately the reason why I failed for so long, and why so many others do, is because of a lack of focus put into one singular activity. The second I stopped trying to build multiple things, and I started focusing on one thing, I started to see progress being made. What really allowed me to finally stand out was to focus on one thing, master that one thing, and optimize it until it became profitable. For me it just so happened to be Instagram. I was always interested in Instagram, but the reason I chose to really give my 100% towards it was because it was a gap in the market. Everybody was obsessed with facebook, facebook ads, twitter, SEO, but nobody was really dominating on the Instagram platform, so for me it was gold in plain site. I realized if I learned what nobody else was paying attention to, I could capitalize on a huge trend. Which is what we see now with Instagram gaining popularity and major brands trying to accumulate Instagram real estate.
2) Do you think instagram is becoming too crowded or no longer an open space of an opportunity?
Ah, saturation? To me, saturation is an excuse to not start, and It’s a question that is posed to almost everything. When people ask me if Instagram is saturated, I just look at the music industry. Their are so many artists, rappers, singers, yet new people still pop up, even though It’s saturated. If something is saturated, it means it has attention, and a lot of people doing things wrong. One innovative idea, or move, and you now capture that attention. Instagram however, is definitely not a saturated market. Their are brands, people, Influencers, joining Instagram every single day, and they all have no clue how to grow. All this means is more clients to me, and others, who know how the algorithm works. In my opinion, there has never been a better time to start Instagram than right now, the platform is still a baby, and having a strong presence opens up endless doors of oppurtunity. Out of all the major social platforms, Instagram has the highest engagement rates and is very easy to get attention on the platform. I don’t see saturation becoming an issue for a very long time.
3) Who’s the people on Instagram that you’ve looked up to most and have been most influential in your journey?
I’ve looked up to the content creators. I consider myself a growth expert, but without amazing content produced by extremely talented photographers and videographers, there would be nothing to growth hack. I’ve built majority of my network and spent most of my time so far in the travel niche, and I believe that is because of how much inspiration I took out of travel influencers and the digital nomad lifestyle. I’ve now built some great relationships with content creators and working with them to put together backend strategies to make their content go viral. But at the end of the day, the platform revolves around content, and without creators, Instagram would be dull.
4) What’s the best advice you’ve ever received and what’s the piece of advice you would give?
The best advice I’ve ever received was “Find out what people NEED, and provide them what they NEED”. It took me a while to grasp this, but once I did, it literally changed my life. People, businesses, they need certain services, information, or products. If you can find out what a certain niche needs, and provide a great service or product around that, that solves their problems, your income will simply increase. I take that piece of advice into everything I do. My best piece of advice would be to take a similar approach. Examine what your doing, what are you selling? what is your service? what value do you provide? And ask yourself, does this help people, does this solve a NEED. If it doesn’t, then you may need to re-think what your doing. Im a firm believer that the bigger a problem you solve, the more your income will increase
5) What’s been your biggest challenge/setback and how did you bounce back from it?
My biggest setbacks were in the beginning of my journey. I was so determined to do everything my way, my own systems, processes, strategy’s, in the long run it burned me. I made a lot of mistakes, and I lost a lot of money. Instagram is more organized now, but when I first got started, it was very much the wild west. No structure and scams everywhere, I didn’t know what to look out for. My worst was when I was scammed 3 times in a row for thousands of dollars. I’ll never forget, sitting there in my room, head in my hands, seriously considering if this was all worth it. I really wanted to quit, and I was out so much money at the time. Honestly, the only reason I kept going, was because of how much money I had already lost. I said to myself “You have already invested so much time, so much money, if you quit now, all of this was for absolutely nothing.” Quitting is just not in my DNA, so I kept going, and eventually, through much trial and error, I was finally able to make it work. If I quit at those moments of desperation, I’d probably still be stuck in my 9-5 job. If I could go back, I would have hired a mentor rather than be stubborn and try to do it all on my own. Now I find myself in those situations very rarely because I’ve found the value in hiring a mentor, or coach, someone who has been where you are, and can save you years of failure. I feel that every entrepreneur goes through that rut where nothing works, it is in those moments that you find out about yourself and whether or not you have what it takes.
6) Did you ever grow your team or have you just been able to manage everything on your own? How’d you decide whichever route?
For a long while I did everything on my own. I liked it that way, and I felt it was the only way to make sure projects are done right and in a timely manner. But going at it alone is not scaleable, so building out a team is what I’m now currently doing. The hardest part is trusting someone other than yourself to perform a task right, but at some point you have to give up control and integrate trust to scale.
7) Who’s your biggest inspiration in life? Why?
That’s honestly a tough question that I never really thought about. I have a lot of inspirations, I feel as though I take inspiration from many people, and that my passion stems from a combination of all of them. Any type of underdog, or someone who has built something from nothing, is someone I take inspiration from.
8) What tools are a must for your success?
While I rely on a few software’s to run some day to day tasks, the tools/software’s that have been most beneficial are those that are organizational. Trello is one of my favorites for organizing projects, meeting deadlines, and tracking clients.
9) What do you do to succeed as a digital entrepreneur? Morning routines, sleep schedule, work/life balance, etc.?
Routine is definitely something needed to get to new levels. I think being a digital entrepreneur is glorified because of the “work from bed” dream. You can totally do that, and it’s what I did for a while, but without structure you can’t move past that point. I now practice morning routines and night routines, and it works wonders for becoming overall a lot more efficient. I only sleep 6 hours a day, and I try to plan a few hours a day to just social/family life to make sure everything is balanced.
10) What would you like to give back from what you’ve gained?
I’d like to give back accurate knowledge. I’d like to be what I wish I had when I first started. There is an abundance of bad information, and following bad information is what leads to no results. The only differentiating factor between you, and the person you want to become, is a lack of information. Access to accurate information is what allows you to make the right moves and avoid mistakes, and that is ultimately what I would like to give back!