Instagram is currently one of the hottest millennial social media platforms. They are not just using it as a fun application to pass the time but are rather turning it into a profitable job. In 2017, there were 10.2 million Instagram users just in Canada and almost 80% aged 18-44. Thousands of these young adults are using their voice, unique passions and large followings to create a brand for themselves. Most can even be labelled as “Instagram influencers”.
An influencer who has found success from London, Ontario is Gabby Scheyen. Scheyen is 22-years old with over 235,000 Instagram followers and 84,000 YouTube subscribers. She has branded herself as a fitness guru by documenting her passion for working out and living a healthy lifestyle to her combined 320,000 followers and fans.
Scheyen created her Instagram page back in 2012, but first started her fitness journey in 2015. “I first started with Instagram just for fun and then I would start posting more gym selfies and stuff like that and other people were interested in it. Then I’d post a transformation [picture] and people would ask ‘how’d you do that?’ So, I started sharing more work outs and what I was doing and it kind of just grew that way. I just really enjoy posting about it now and it helps a lot of people.”
With her follower count growing, Scheyen created the startup business, Gabby Scheyen Fitness Corp., by just 20-years old. Her brand and personality brought something unique to Instagram. She focuses on not just fitness but mental progress as well, “I’m relatable and authentic and just tell the truth all the time and I don’t really hide anything from anyone. I feel like a lot of people can relate to me versus really big influencers on social media who don’t post any of their struggles and their lives look perfect, whereas I talk about issues I have and things I’m going through.”
Scheyen is one of many Instagram influencers who partner with big brands and promote their products. Although, she is one of a few influencers who has the drive to create her own brand. Instead of relying on income from big corporations, Scheyen is relying on her own talents and ambitions.
“Swimwear has been a big part of my Instagram as well, people look to me for fitness and what bikinis to buy, so I work with a lot of bikini brands and eventually I was like, ‘ok, I’m selling so many swimsuits for all these other brands, why don’t I just design my own?’ It’s been a long process, it’s taken me over a year.”
When asked about the future, Scheyen is utilizing her social media influencer status to achieve her goals. “My dream business is my swimwear company and travelling the world to promote it so that’s what I’m going to do, like it’s going to happen.”