Hey everyone, I’m Greg Sideris and today I’m talking with Suzanne Bruch. Suzanne Bruch is the creator and owner of some of the largest travel accounts on Instagram (@Wonderful_Places & @Beaches_N_Resorts) with over 15 Million total followers. Suzanne and her husband Isaac are avid travelers who love exploring the world.
In this interview we would like to know more about yourself and get some Tips for people who would like to start & grow as a Digital Influencers especially on the so popular Photo sharing platform Instagram
Question: With all your travels How do you structure your days?
We have dogs, so when we are at home, we start our days early around 05:30 am getting them sorted out. I check for emails and communications, and then calendar for meetings and other time-specific requests and tasks for the day. We try to map out the daily priorities and start early with it. When I’m not traveling, when time allows I like to spend time with my family (my sister and her children), planning more trips, working on emails, spoiling my dogs 🙂 When we travel things are different, sometimes we are making our own schedule, and other times we have commitments with our partners during a collaboration, as well as the time we need to make great content for ourselves or for our partners. It can be tricky to find a way to fit everything in, but we manage and do our best 🙂
Q: Where and how do you work best?
It is much easier to work from home for sure, but since we travel a lot we also need to be efficient and effective working in this format as well. So as long as we have an internet connection, we can make posts and communicate with people. Producing content is the best part about work and for me is the most exciting part about working, though it can be very time consuming and require precision. With a laptop, mobile phones, and a few cameras we are able to do 99% of our work, so when we are sometimes working in hotel rooms, cafes, cars, planes, trains, or even parks.
Q: How do you solve traveling and running successfully such huge Instagram accounts?
It’s true, at times it can be challenging, especially when depending on internet connectivity while traveling to remote, less accessible places where mobile signals are not strong or present. We try to be proactive and plan our posting during times when we are sure that we’ll have connectivity. It’s something we have to make sure to plan out before and be aware during all of our trips.
Q: What are your favorite books or movies on Travel and Photography?
-Favorite movies: James Bond Films (great for locations) for over 40 years
-Favorite books: Peter Lik’s America book. My camera manuals 🙂
Now lets talk about Instagram a bit,…and Top Tips for our readers,..
Q: What would you have done differently on Instagram if you knew then what you know now?
In the beginning I was not sure for the best approach on Instagram. In trying to discover my own voice, I tried creating accounts in different areas; for example; a fashion account, a humor account, etc. but I didn’t have as much success growing those accounts as quickly as my travel accounts. So looking back at it, while I probably would’ve spent less time trying to grow these other types of accounts, at the same time it was valuable experience to better understand my voice and how best to present it on the platform.
Q: What’s the best advice you ever received about Instagram?
Turn off notifications. While it’s easy to enjoy the rush of excitement when people start engaging with your posts, it’s best not to get too caught up in the daily up and down on Instagram. For many reasons engagement can be up or down, not dependent on the post itself. Sometimes engagement is not high across the platform, or the entire platform is down in certain areas or other things outside of your control. If you allow yourself to get too high and too low for the performance of a post, it will distract you from achieving your long-term goals.
Q: What tools do you find indispensable for accomplishing Instagram growth?
Being persistent. Large audiences are not built in a single day, week, month, or even year. You must be willing to spend many hours on many days trying to cultivate your following without getting discouraged.
Q: Who are your biggest Influencers on Instagram? Who do you admire most?
People with creativity. People with their own theme.
Q: What is still your biggest challenge on Instagram?
I would say that the biggest challenge is keeping the accounts growing. Especially now with Instagram using algorithms for determining which posts will be seen and knowing that Instagram has the ability to change it without warning. It takes more of an effort to grow an account now.
Q: What surprising lessons have you learned along the way to become Instagram famous?
Well, my goal when I started was not to become Instagram famous. In fact, there was no such thing when I began. But now having achieved some degree of “Insta-fame”, people are reaching out to you every day for a lot for collaboration and advice. It took a while to learn who to trust and realize that many people can talk a good game about plans or business ideas but may not be able to deliver or do not have your best interests in mind, only their own.
Q: What do you find are biggest stumbling blocks on Instagram and what are the best ways you’ve found to overcome them?
Sorry to keep repeating this, but the biggest thing is discovering your own voice. Finding a way to stand out from everybody else. Then growing your audience. Then being creative to find or make content to keep them engaged with the posts on your account. There are potential stumbling blocks in all these areas, but through thoughtful trial and error, the path becomes clearer as you find what works and what doesn’t. And all these areas take time without easy shortcuts.
Q: What are the best 3 Tips you can give our readers who want to become Digital Influencers especially on Instagram.
Be original. Find your own voice.
Be persistent. It takes a lot of work over a large period of time to grow
Keep your Instagram – Life Balance intact. It’s very easy to become obsessive about the state of your accounts (likes, followers, posts). Remember the people around you will want to talk about other things too. A post with less engagement than expected is not the end of the world, there are many things impacting the performance of the post outside your control.
Q: What’s next for you? What are your future plans?
-We just got back from 2 weeks photographing in the Alps, traveling through Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Italy. We have a 2-week trip to Hawaii next month. In May, we are leading a group of Instagrammers on a photo tour in Northern Italy. We did the same thing last year in Switzerland which was a tremendous success and we are looking to use this as a blueprint for travel to other exciting places with our audience.
Q: Where can our readers follow your activities, what are your Instagram Accounts?
-Please check out any/all my accounts
Thanks, so much Suzanne for your valuable time!