Zach Benson is the founder and CEO of Assistagram, an Instagram marketing agency focused on forging relationships with real people to grow an authentic and engaged Instagram audience. Assistagram does this by getting real follows in the client’s niche, creating viral content that excites those followers, and having influencers follow their profile to lend social credibility.
What made you decide to start Assistagram?
I was teaching dance around the world when I severely injured my back during a performance in India. The doctor told me my career was over. My range of motion was severely limited for a few months, and I had no idea how to fill my time.
A friend of mine started talking to me about Instagram and when I started looking into it, I realized there was so much to learn. Whenever I find something new, I go all-in on it, so I spent hours every day discovering everything I could about Instagram. I started the company when I realized that a lot of people could benefit from what I’d figured out.
What advice do you have for others who want to do what you’ve done?
Playing hardball isn’t the best way to land big clients. Early on in my career, I thought I needed to make every sale the biggest sale possible. So I pushed my clients into contracts they weren’t ready for. I got impatient. And a lot of them went elsewhere because I didn’t try to build trust first — I just went for the sale. So now I focus on building a long-term relationship over closing a short-term sale. If a client wants to start small, I start small, knowing that if I do well they might sign on for more work later. Not everyone’s ready to go all-in from day 1, and that’s okay.
Any advice for other entrepreneurs?
Offer your best in everything you do. Whether it’s volunteer work or a paid client, provide the same quality of work. Your attitude is everything.
Be sure to follow Zach on Instagram!