Meet the fresher with over 200,000 Instagram followers
He’s just bought a BMW
Currently in his first year, Steven Vasilev is a Constantine student with over 200,000 people following his “online fashion & style hub” on Instagram.
Over the last three years, Steven has developed his own clothing brand and promotion company, FRE, and now balances running his eight different accounts with his Business and Management degree here at the University of York.
Not only has it completely transformed his career, but it’s definitely improved his life. He gets free tickets to London Fashion Week, and VIP entry into sell-out concerts.
Steven told The Tab, “Instagram is the key component to most online marketing strategies with over 300 million users. If you are not getting money from Instagram, you are doing Instagram wrong.”
Steven’s had Instagram for over three years, and whilst we use it for editing pictures of nights out and sunsets, he’s promoting designer labels. He told us, “I downloaded Instagram when it first started. It gradually became my life when I established FRE a year and a half ago, which is a promotional platform for independent and high-end designers. I was influenced to do this after previously starting up a brand, and was exploring social media marketing strategies.”
“Time management is key to blogging. We run several accounts, which all require a post every hour. On top of this I have to fit in University work and other projects. It just wouldn’t be possible without our team of guys who all contribute.”
Instagram is more frequently used to expand business networks, and Steven started gaining followers from cross promotion with other blogs who have the same niche. “We now mainly gain followers from getting on the popular page.”
“Having one of your photos featured on the popular page can set off a viral effect and get you lots more likes, comments and followers in the shortest amount of time. For example on one of the accounts we gain 200-400 followers a day, however if we post some unique content it can grow to around 1000-2000 in a day.”
When we asked Steven how other accounts could increase their following in the same way, he told us, “Instagram is all about engagement. Posting regularly, commenting on photos and dropping likes on photos will all get you noticed and bring in more followers. Finding your niche is key and knowing what to post to encourage followers to interact.”
Instagram has now become a full-time job for Steven, receiving anywhere between 100-1000 emails a day from promotion enquires to job applications. However, his income is entirely dependent on how much and how frequently he’s posting pictures and selling clothing.
Nights out can range from VIP areas of concerts to “sitting on a table with the boys and a huge cheeky bottle of wkd. And peppermints.” When it comes to being a business icon on the pull, Steven said, “I’m not iconic. Just legendary”.
“I want to help others to create and achieve their personal goals; I’m doing this with a great team of specialised guys and helping others by collaborating. I have several accounts with over 500k followers which I use to promote my brand and projects.”
Being ‘Instagram-famous’ can be useful to him in a number of ways.“Having a large following on Instagram is very beneficial – not only financially. I have been able to work with many celebrities and big names due to the fact that our brand has a sizeable following. Brands also send over complementary packages of products to sample, and that’s always nice.”
“I like to spend money on little popsicles. But I also bought a BMW 1 Series.”