Pt.1 - #StartingOut
A year ago, our Head of Account Management, Robbie Skipper and Account Manager, Adam Blaby decided to embark on a little journey.
As with all great schemes, the idea popped into Adam’s head after his third pint of Carling on a Saturday afternoon. Looking to mop up the reasonably priced beer in his stomach, he began scrolling through food pictures on his phone for inspiration….
A month later, over some more cheap beer, Robbie entered the fray and made the shrewd business decision to localise the account to somewhere called ‘London.’
We sat down with the guys to chew the fat on How to become an Instagram star.
1. How and when did it start?
A.B - To be quite frank, the idea came to me after a couple of pints in the pub with a couple of mates. Scrolling through my pictures on my phone, it dawned on me that I had a fair few food pics so decided to create the Instagram page out of a way to share these wonderful pictures with the world!
R.S - Things kicked off back in July 2017 - can't believe this has been going on for a year already! It all started as a bit of fun really. Adam had created his page about a month before mine. We were having a couple of office beers on a Friday afternoon and I decided to join him with a foodie Insta. Naturally I wanted to make it London relevant as that's where we live/work, so did a bit of research on available names, and that is where the @londonfoodz empire began. I used the 'z' to make me seem cool with the kids obviously..
2. Did you have, or still have, a personal Instagram account, or solely use the food channel?
A.B - The only page I use is my current food one. Which at times can land me in trouble... drunk stories and that, oh well!
R.S - Still have my personal account - although it is dying a slow and painful death due to londonfoodz. I don't have enough time to run two pages!
3. When did you notice your channel was getting traction? Did it happen gradually?
A.B - I think I hit about 2k followers after 2 months. However, this was a hard slog. I was posting twice a day, and really trying to grow the page.
R.S - I kind of went the other route to Adam. Quality over quantity for me ;) It took about a month or so to get any interest to the page. I remember the first time me and Adam got something for free - travelled about an hour in the rain all for a free burger in a tiny cafe. The things we'll do for food!
4. Was the aim always to 'game the system'? What other reasons did you have to start the accounts?
A.B - I think going back to the reason as to why I started the page... my sole purpose and aim was to simply showcase and share the food I was eating. Being fortunate to work near Spitalfields / Shoreditch / Whitecross Market I would eat a different lunch daily and thought I could share these.
R.S - No, not really. I think it was all just a bit of an experiment. We see so many influencers nowadays, that I wondered just how difficult it was to reach a certain level and how far I could get. Food seemed the best place to start - I eat a lot of it and everyone loves to see a nice food!
5. What came first - increased interest on your channel or invites from businesses/ restaurants?
A.B - I think most agree, that without the interest and increased interest in your channel, restaurants and other businesses aren’t likely to collab with you. However, this does mean that you are going to be going out A LOT and spending and eating A LOT. Dad Bod is in though, right?
R.S - Yep, more invites came in after I had around 5,000 followers I think. At the start I was trying to actively look for places which may be interested in collobarations. After 5,000 I started getting lots more messages and offers to send me some small things for free!
6. How quickly have you started receiving invites from restaurants/ food places?
A.B - I mean, I tend to get invited out once a week, maybe twice dependent on how busy I am at work etc.
R.S - I would say once every couple of weeks. Adam is much more active in his page than mine, he's always sweet talking the restaurants ;)
7. Who sent you the first invite?
A.B - One of the first, and still one of my favourite places was Gigs Fish and Chips. I have been back since, and have to admit... their fish and chips is cracking!
R.S - I think my first was actually a hog roast stall on Brick Lane market - called Pigling Street. Seriously, best hog roast anywhere! They even put a fried duck egg in there with it...
7. Instagram API changes - did it affect you at all? What advice would you give to every Instagrammer in light of recent changes?
A.B - OF COURSE the main thing, was just ensuring that my profile account was a business account.... which it already was, luckily for me.
R.S - Everything still appears to be going as normal for me. My profile has been a business account from the beginning. If there are any people wanting to be influencers out there - make sure you have a business profile so you can be found!