Here is some REAL TALK: Making Instagram your full-time job is so possible! I bet you are sitting at home, listening to inspirational podcasts, and day-dreaming of transforming your life. And I bet you feel so far away from that moment… wondering whether you could ever live a life like this or if that’s only a pipe dream?
I feel you! Because I used to be in your shoes. And that’s why today I want to tell you my story on how I started on Instagram and managed to grow my audience to 140k followers, quit my 9-5 job, and create a life of travels. I hope that by knowing my past and my odds, you will see that you too CAN follow my footsteps!
I am NOT special, I don’t have rich parents who would sponsor my trips around the World (in fact they were really against me quitting my job) or I didn’t win a lottery. I built Wherelifeisgreat to what it is today (a 5 figure business that brings money passively while I travel the world) brick by brick, with tears and sweat.
How I started Wherelifeisgreat
Back in 2016, my life looked great on paper but I felt so lost. At the time, I had been working as a Marketing Manager for about 4 years. I followed the path that I created for myself – I studied hard, went to the best University, graduated at the top of the class, landed a job in marketing, and I even moved to a new, exciting city – Barcelona, Spain!
As far as my romance with Barcelona is still on fire, I soon realized that a big part of my purpose was sitting dormant. And I didn’t feel like I was doing any good for the World.
In fact, I was feeling completely miserable!
I was working 9 hours per day, then going back home, going to the gym, taking a shower, and repeating every day like that, just waiting for Friday to come. I felt like a hamster running on a wheel – at the end of each day, I felt completely uninspired and undervalued. I started to wonder is this really all that there is in life? Is this it? The thought of repeating the cycle over and over again until I’m able to retire was totally daunting.
I was at the point in my life where I just wanted to be happy, stress-free, and be able to travel more. I hated the idea of trading time for money. I hated getting up in the morning and going to the office. It was that feeling right where you just don’t want to have to do it anymore. I wanted to succeed, I wanted to have a sense of freedom, I wanted to earn what I want to earn, I wanted to make money for myself and I wanted to have more time to travel with my husband.
I wanted to start my own company but I just had too many ideas and none of them seemed good enough. Then one day I was scrolling through Instagram commuting to work in a busy Barcelona metro when I found an income report from a travel blogger & influencer that I followed.
And I was hooked!
All I ever wanted was to travel more and see other content creators discovering beautiful destinations, jet setting around the world while being paid to do so seemed like a dream come true. I started digging deeper and found income reports from other bloggers and Instagrammers and was shocked reading that some of the content creators make 5 and 6 figures online!
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So I decided to start putting all my free time into building my blog and Instagram. I was desperate to make it profitable and make enough to quit my job. Travel has always been a passion of mine, and I wanted to do it professionally. My goal was to leave my job and travel the world – but the problem was I was not making any money at that time from my Instagram or blog.
But then things changed… (and I am gonna show you what I did exactly below…)
I started working on big, well-paid projects, getting invited to store openings, paid press trips, and awards shows.
The work that I created on my Instagram @wherelifeisgreat got featured in important international publications, such as Time Magazine and Forbes, and I was finally able to fully devote myself to photography and writing. In 2019 my husband was able to quit his job too, and now we work 100% on our terms.
So what did I do differently?
One of the most important things I have learned is that networking is crucial to success.
Nothing compares to meeting people in real life. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone by attending networking events or by reaching out to other influencers in your location. By connecting with people face-to-face, you will set yourself apart and make a lasting impression.
One of the most efficient ways to grow your Instagram following or blog traffic is by partnering with other content creators and getting in front of their audiences. It’s the Instagram equivalent of when music artists collaborate with other artists and produce songs together. They are leveraging each other’s audience to mutually grow. And you can do the same by partnering with other Influencers or bloggers in your niche or a similar niche.
Networking has been a top method through which I grew my following. In the beginning, I would focus on finding people who live in the same location as me and organize coffee meetups or photoshoots. I would also go to every networking event and blogging conference to meet as many people as possible. The next step was going on press trips as well as privately organized trips with other content creators (of course only with people I managed to create a real and mutual relationship).
Being a content creator is quite a lonely journey and this is a great way to meet people who like you are interested in the social media world. That can lead to exchanging new ideas or long-lasting friendships. In fact, I met my best friend Greta this way when we were both very small accounts.
- I started to think of my Instagram and my blog as a business
When I first started, I was blogging and taking pictures just for fun, whenever I felt the moment. I was adding some affiliate link here and there and basically just hoping I could make money out of it. I was passive in brand collaborations, thinking that if I create really great content brands will magically find me. Some did but… that was not enough to quit my 9-to-5.
One day I realized that if it was any other type of business, I would never behave like that. I would never just say “let’s see how it goes”. I would have a plan from the beginning, and not only plan A but plan B and plan C. The main reason my Instagram and blog were not where I wanted them to be was because I was not treating it as a business.
So I started putting in continuous work even though I had no guarantee that I would succeed. Every day I was asking myself, did I give it my 100%?
I would set goals each month and work hard to achieve them.
Believe me, I was ready to give up many many many times. But guess what… I didn’t. I searched through the Internet to find useful webinars and resources that will give me hope and ideas on what I can do differently. After that, I was testing, testing, testing until I got the answer. Giving up was never an option.
- I started using my SUPERPOWERS
Ok, now you might be thinking what on Earth is she talking about. I already told you that I am NOT special but I do believe everyone has distinct attributes and experiences that can be used to your own advantage.
I was working as a Marketing Manager for many years before I started my Instagram and blog. Why didn’t I use my knowledge? Was I thinking that it is not relevant? When I first started my blog and Instagram I felt like a complete newbie. It took me a while to understand that I am not. I know a lot about digital marketing and I should use it in my business.
The truth is, it is all in self-confidence. We all have some specific skills that we tend to forget because we think: “That’s not relevant” or “I’m not an expert”… Guess what, you can play anything to your strengths if you know how to do it.
And since I know how hard it is at the beginning to stop being camera shy and to feel natural and confident, I have came up with an idea for a free challenge “Become Confident on Instagram Stories in 3 days”. During these 3 days you will learn how to boost your confidence in front of the camera and stop worrying about what others think of you. Join now (we start on 19.06):
Sounds cool but isn’t it too late for me to start now?
I bet you have heard it 1000s of times: all you ever wanted to do is already done, there are established Instagram accounts on the market and you have no way to compete with them.
Despite what you might be thinking, making Instagram your full-time career is still possible!
There basically is no better time to be a social media influencer. 67% of companies say they are planning to increase their budget for influencer marketing. The influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022 according to Business Insider report. Instagram is the gold standard for the group. Nearly 80% brands predominantly tap Instagram for influencer campaigns. I will highlight it again in case you missed it:
15 billion dollars for Instagram Influencer marketing by 2022
I mean I used to be worried about how saturated Instagram and the blogging market is but wow 15 billion dollars just for influencer campaigns? There is enough to share between all the content creators out there. Need more convincing? Here are more reasons why I think it’s not too late.
I hope this blog post, gave you a little bit of hope of what’s possible if you don’t give up and start treating your Instagram and blog as a business. If I can create my dreams so can you!