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.
Have you ever done anything unconventional to reach your goals?
I wanted to get into the tourism industry, but I didn’t have any connections. So I cold-emailed the Dubai tourism board and volunteered to help them for free. They wanted to bring in influencers to promote the country, so I told them I’d connect them with the best influencers in the industry.
From there, I reached out to influencers and offered them a free trip to Dubai — and who could turn that down? It really helped me kickstart my career because suddenly I had a huge tourism organization and lots of great influencers in my contact list.
I took a leap of faith to make something out of nothing, and it worked. Yes, I had to do the work for free, but the connections I built because of it have been invaluable.
How has the pandemic impacted your business?
I saw COVID-19 as a great opportunity to give back. The tourism industry is struggling. So I started reaching out to big hotels on one of my Instagram pages and posting about them for free. They’ve been really grateful for the extra help and have invited my team to do consulting and training for them when COVID-19 is over. A lot of influencers reach out with little value for the hotels, just wanting a free stay. But if you genuinely have something to give, the hotels are wonderful to work with.
What’s a motto you live by?
“The biggest risk of all is to not take one.” I heard that from the president of my college and it really stuck with me. I realized I didn’t want to live my life with regrets. That’s when I decided to make dance my career. Worst case, it didn’t work out — but I wanted to at least give it a try. While I eventually had to give up my dance career due to an injury, I’m so glad I got to do it while it lasted.
Be sure to follow Zach on Instagram!