What are the first 3 things you do when you wake up?
I wish to say something else, but I do first check my phone, respond to emails and of course, check my social media channels.
Lots of content creators are creating their own businesses off of their influence as you have with @BELLFARGO How have you utilized your following as an entrepreneur?
I started kind of early with Instagram back in 2012 when it wasn’t well known in Germany. Nevertheless, I’ve seen early on the potential and influence of this platform and continued to use it over the years. In 2015, my twin brother Paul and I decided to unfold our passion for entrepreneurship by launching our own startup, Bellfargo. The brand, we decided, would be dedicated to luxurious accessories. Our combined reach on Instagram helped us to kick-start Bellfargo and to grow the brand.
What accounts do you follow for personal inspiration and what about them inspires you?
@Samkolder is still one of my favorite content creators. He coins a whole movement of aspiring videographers around the world and stuns them all again and again with his content. Same goes to @Johnolson1, on one hand, a great entrepreneur and on the other an amazing content creator.
What message do you want to convey to your followers?
Life is short, our time is limited and we should get the best out of every moment. People think that seeing the world, other places, different cultures belongs only to the well-heeled – but this isn’t true.
I try to deliver people feelings of hope, motivation, and enthusiasm. I use my captions to brainstorm and reappraise my inner thoughts and structure it in a way that other people find added value behind it.
We are here to create and everyone has the potential to unfold their passion in any niche, may it be in photography, sports, or in writing poems. The key is to start your own path and not getting distracted too much from others and unnecessary stuff.
IGTV is something most content creators are still exploring with. How have you integrated that into your personal brand?
I focus more and more on creating short teaser videos. You can deliver a much deeper message by creating videos than just with a single photo. It shows a completely different face of you as a creative and adds significant value to your work.
I think Youtube is still an underestimated platform for content creators, especially for those who only grew big on Instagram. Instagram saw the need to expand to a video format and integrated it into people’s explore feeds. It was just a matter of time until they launched a Youtube competitor. The platform is still relatively new for creators but every content creator should gain experience with it as early as possible.
So far, what is the best experience you’ve had while working with a brand?
I am pretty cherry picky when it comes to working with brands. Nevertheless, building up long-term relationships with brands like Douchebags (brand by JohnOlsen) makes it super easy to brainstorm and launch my own crazy campaigns by having their trust.
How do you think social media can elevate humanity?
A new movement of creators has the ability to reach hundreds of thousands of people through their social media channels. It was never that easy and could be the best leverage to influence our views, paradigms and also in regards to humanity.
As social media continues to grow, what do you consider the biggest challenge content creators will face? Differentiation is the key. Instagram grew to over 800 million users. Find a way to stand out of the crowd, bring value to peoples’ daily feed, make them feel good and inspire them with fresh unseen personalized content. Tell a story no-one has heard before, travel to places that are still unknown, show something only a few have seen so far.
On and off of social media, how do you manage your life? Do you have any apps that you find especially helpful?
Always have a notebook with you to plan your day, take down ideas or do sketches. It will become your dairy which will eventually tell its own story some years from now.
Tell us something about you that your followers might find surprising.
I have a twin brother Paul (@paulgerlach) who is doing surprisingly the same thing as me. Besides our own brand @Bellfargo (www.bellfargo.com), I am running also a startup in Silicon Valley called Passbase (www.passbase.com)