In this series, Instagram Icon, Entrepreneur speaks with the individuals behind popular Instagram accounts to find out the secrets of their success.
Ever wonder where those funny viral memes come from? Claudia Oshry can stake a claim on some of them.
Oshry is the brains behind one of today’s most popular meme Instagram accounts, @girlwithnojob. This hard-working Instagrammer and social media personality has leveraged her humor and outgoing personality to launch an Instagram account that has a following of more than 2.7 million users.
Years ago, after wanting to make a website and without knowing much about coding, Oshry turned to Tumblr, where she began posting funny celebrity-infused content. Today, Oshry says she creates new content “24/7.” When Instagram launched, so did the “meme revolution.” Oshry didn’t hesitate to hop on board.
“I really rode the wave of entertainment-humor content on Instagram -- using it more as a broadcasting opportunity than a social network,” Oshry shared with Entrepreneur.
When asked how much time she dedicates to social media, especially Instagram, Oshry says: “All of it.” So it turns out this “girl with no job” actually has a job that never stops. And on top of Instagram, she’s launched two podcasts, maintains other social platforms such as Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook and even DJs.
We caught up with Oshry to learn how she uses Instagram to build her brand.
1. How did you get your start with Instagram?
I flocked to Instagram to drive traffic to my blog [on Tumblr], which was really small at the time. But I credit a lot of my Instagram success to timing. I got on Instagram almost four years ago when the meme culture was still very much in development. So I feel like I really rode the wave of entertainment-humor content on Instagram -- using it more as a broadcasting opportunity than a social network.
At first it was just interesting, the things I found on Tumblr. But then I thought, “What could be a way to diversify my page from someone else's?” And that was to make [my] own content. So I figured out ways that people were making memes -- finding what was popular and then doing it on my own.
2. What other platforms do you use and what percentage of the time do you spend on them vs. Instagram?
I spend about 75 percent of my time on Instagram and about 25 percent of my time on other platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Imgur.
[My followings are] much smaller, around 50,000. I don't feel those are platforms where my young millennial followers are hanging out. I'm very in tune with how old my followers are and what platforms they like to hang out on. And I just hang out with them there.
A post shared by Claudia Oshry (@girlwithnojob) on Feb 29, 2016 at 6:50pm PST
3. What makes Instagram a better platform than other social media?
It's the best platform to find meme content -- it’s where it started. But I also think as a company, Instagram does a good job of listening to its users and that’s a problem I have with Snapchat. It takes them forever to make one big change. With Instagram, any time there's an overwhelming consensus that [they] need to do something, they do it. And there's something cool about having a direct line to Instagram.
4. How much of your time do you devote to it?
All of it. Maybe not [just] Instagram but in general -- creating content, managing all the platforms and being a personality.
5. How do you promote your account? What's your number one way to gain followers?
None of it's paid. It's all organic. I'm very in-tune with my analytics -- which days have the best engagement, which days have low engagement. And I find that when something goes viral and you get it first -- even if somebody bigger picks it up -- it ends up on the Explorer page. Any time you're the first person to get something good is when you're going to see the biggest results.
A post shared by Claudia Oshry (@girlwithnojob) on Jan 20, 2016 at 5:15pm PST
6. How do you engage with others on the platform?
Something I really like about Instagram is that I can see all my DMs and then choose which to respond to. I get to see someone responding to my story or someone sending me a nice message, [and] I really like Instagram for that.
7. How often do you post?
I try to post anywhere from three to five [times] on the weekdays, which are really high engagement for me. On the weekends, people are actually living their lives off of their phones so it's lower engagement, [and] I post about two times a day.
It really does change quite often and that's why having analytics is so important. Every day has different times where it's high engagement and low engagement. And there's really no way to predict it other than to just be really aware of your numbers and your followers' patterns.
8. What's your content strategy?
People always ask me, “Do you have a bank of content you just post?” No -- because content goes viral and then it's dead. [If] people have seen it, they won't like it. So I have to be on my phone 24/7 [to be] aware of what's getting hot and what's getting a lot of retweets or a lot of likes. I start posting around 11 a.m. to noon and I post up until 10 p.m.
I never post something that someone else has posted in the last day. And I think content that goes viral has a shelf life of about six hours. So every time I post something I double check that nobody else has.
9. How has your content strategy evolved as Instagram has added features?
Instagram Stories has totally disrupted my content strategy because now I spend just as much time creating content for Instagram Stories as I do for Instagram. I think I take even more time making Instagram Stories because it's much more beneficial in growing my personal brand and it's so fun.
A post shared by Claudia Oshry (@girlwithnojob) on Jul 25, 2017 at 1:55pm PDT
10. What's your best storytelling trick?
My whole aesthetic is being super unfiltered, saying whatever, being funny, so as long as I stay really authentic to that type of storytelling, people will know that it's a @girlwithnojob story.
11. How do you set yourself apart from others on the platform?
I really try to infuse Claudia and @girlwithnojob because we're very much the same person. A lot of the time you don't know who's running these accounts and you don't really care. But my mission is to make people care about Claudia just as much as they care about @girlwithnojob.
12. How do you leverage your Instagram and to what extent do you monetize it?
Enough that it is my full-time job -- being @girlwithnojob. I leverage [my] audience of female millennials who care about the same things I care about.
We have the morning show, The Morning Breath. And it [has] similar demographics to @girlwithnojob -- female millennials who care about the Kardashians, the Jenners, The Bachelor. That's the type of stuff we talk about. It's live on Facebook and Instagram and then its podcasts are on YouTube [and] Soundcloud.
I work with a lot of food, liquor and movie/TV studios because those are things that I would normally talk about on @girlwithnojob. So it doesn't feel out of place to do a Smirnoff ad because I'll probably be drinking vodka anyway. [But] if Nike ever approached me, I would probably say no because it makes no sense. My feed is all about, “We hate working out, we just want to lay in bed and watch Netflix all day.” As long as the brand is in line with my content then I'm happy to work with them.
Girl With the Podcast is my other podcast and they do brand partnerships. I'm also a DJ. so I do a lot of party appearances [and] hosting. It's just showing up, being funny, meeting people all around the country who follow @girlwithnojob and engaging with them.
A post shared by Claudia Oshry (@girlwithnojob) on Oct 7, 2016 at 10:54am PDT
13. What advice do you have for other Instagram influencers or people who want to build brands on the platform?
Do it authentically. I think a lot of people do it for the wrong reasons. [Many] of the true influencers didn't start out with the intention of getting a lot of followers and making money from it. When I started, “influencer” wasn't even a thing.
My intentions have always been to just make people laugh, be funny, talk about the Kardashians in a funny, honest, candid way. And yes -- the popularity that comes along with that is great but your intentions have to be somewhat pure.
14. What's a misconception many people have about Instagram?
I think a common misconception that people have about @girlwithnojob is that I don't have a job, when I very much do. I feel like it [also] applies to the entire misconception about millennials in general, where we're lazy, [and] we don't do anything. A lot of the people that I know in the “industry,” who have big Instagram followings, are some of the most hard-working people I've ever met.
Correction: The original version of this story misspelled Claudia Oshry's last name.