Rachel Holtin redefines the traditional influencer and uses Vessel to create engagement.
Q&A with Rachel
Rachel's incorporation of food, travel, and fashion content has quickly allowed her to become one of the premier foodies in Austin, Texas. Find out what inspires Rachel and how she shares her creativity with the world.
When did you create Austin Foodstagram?
4 years ago when I was trying to save memories of all the food I was eating at each unique restaurant. It was a way that I can go back and look at all of the new places I tried. It morphed into me wanting to show everyone that they should try those cool places too.
Why did you relaunch your blog?
A blog gave me more creative control over the content I want to publish and how I want to present it. I re-branded and switched it up a bit by moving from behind the camera to becoming center stage. I wanted to use my own platform since it will create more stability for myself and the Austin Foodstagram brand.
How Rachel Uses Vessel
People always ask me where to go around town. With Vessel, I can post short, yet visually in-depth guides. I can upload my travel, fashion, and food experiences so that my followers can really learn more about who I am and where I've been. It has elevated my understanding of exactly how influential my content is. Likes are nice, but as a business it's about engagement.
Lets dive in on that...
Engagement is a big topic with reference to content creators. Can you tell us a bit more?
How Does Engagement Affect You? Why Is It Important?
Engagement is really important. On Instagram, you are evaluated by your likes and comments because that's the first thing a brand considers before reaching out to you. One metric I review daily is - how many people are saving your posts? It’s a cool metric to track because if someone saves your post, they are more likely to revisit that post. Those metrics are important when you start interacting with brands because you are now able to educate brands on why they should choose you to represent them.
Over the years, I have found that it was necessary to make a change and rebrand. I adjusted my style from just posting food to incorporating myself in the photos. I watched engagement really closely during that time to see how are people were responding to these posts. It’s was interesting because initially, my engagement dropped because my followers didn’t know who I was. I knew that if I was going to go through with a rebrand, I would have to commit to it for four to six months and then I would really know if it worked or not.
What Type Of Impact Are You Looking For?
A lot of brands want to know if you have a website because it gives them more options when it comes to marketing. Some brands may want to just do IG posts, which is great because it is the quickest and fastest way to reach people. For others, there could be a long-term approach like marketing strategies focused on increasing brand loyalty. By having a blog, I am able to do what I love to do and improve the value for the brands I partner with.
“For me, it is important to only showcase companies or brands that I really love and care for and I hope that my followers do too.”