Sometimes, a winning business idea can start with something astonishingly simple.
That's what happened for Ryan Glick, the founder of a media company called Coffee ‘N Clothes.
It all started when he snapped a picture of himself holding a cup of coffee.
He had a moment of inspiration: “coffee and clothes” would make a great hash tag.
He made an Instagram account around the concept, and it was a hit.
A social media marketer by profession, Glick used his skills to grow Coffee ‘N Clothes to over 300,000 followers.
Today, it's evolved into a full-fledged media company that works with top apparel brands like Nike and Coach.
Getting the hang of how to grow an Instagram account can be very profitable in the long term.
When you've got great content, and you know how to promote it, the sky's the limit.
With Coffee ‘N Clothes, a simple themed Instagram account turned into a large and profitable business.
Recently, Entrepreneur interviewed Glick about how he grew his company into what it is today.
How did you get your start with Instagram?
Even before Instagram, I've always been in social media and fashion.
When I first started [Coffee ‘N Clothes], I was at a social media agency creating content and developing strategies for brands, while also running my [own] ecommerce and fashion site. And while I was working full-time, I started Coffee ‘N Clothes on the side.
It was the weekend, and I took a photo of my coffee and my clothes obviously and then the next week I did the same thing and I was like, “Wait a minute, this is a hashtag. This is something.”
And then from there it just spiraled into something greater.
How do you promote your account? What's your number one way to gain followers?
We created this public community over the past three years and in turn, we have hundreds of people every day posting Coffee ‘N Clothes content — using the hashtag, tagging our brand.
The way Coffee ‘N Clothes works is people from all over the world are creating content for us, looking to be featured, spreading our messaging.
So every day 500 people are posting their own Coffee ‘N Clothes photos, we're reaching [those] 500 people and their audiences, so it has a snowball effect.
How do you engage with others on the platform?
It's kind of built into our brand and our ecosystem.
To give you an example, we teamed up with Vans last summer and [the campaign] was Coffee ‘N Vans, and there was a call-to-action to post your best Coffee ‘N Clothes shot but with your new Vans.
So we can engage just through our mechanism and through our community.
We haven't done any paid media — it's all been press and word-of-mouth marketing.
What's your content strategy?
We have an in-house creative team where we can produce content but we also have this [user generated content] momentum where people are helping us market our brand and producing content to help us grow.
Right now, we produce around half of our content and half of it is UGC — and it depends if we're working with brands or if it's a campaign.
We're really restructuring our company and looking [at] the future — a mix of experiential, digital, everything. I always want to be on the forefront.
When we started Coffee ‘N Clothes, there was no fashion and food or fashion and drink, so Coffee ‘N Clothes [was] an innovator, bringing these two worlds together.
Now you see coffee shops in different clothing stores or a juice bar in a yoga studio. So just how do we continue to innovate and set the trends and the culture through our content.
How do you leverage your Instagram and to what extent do you monetize it?
I like to call Coffee ‘N Clothes this unique hybrid of brand meets agency meets event production meets influencer, because we have the distribution. So there's many different ways, whether it's influencers, events or content.
With Coffee ‘N Clothes, we're not a typical influencer. We're bigger than influencers because we can throw a coffee brunch or brunch at a restaurant and invite 50 influencers.
It's all part of our network.
We're a hybrid between everything and the way we work with brands is very customizable but it's all through our very narrow lens of Coffee ‘N Clothes.
You can read the full interview over at Entrepreneur.