This Woman's Massive Instagram Following Helped Her Launch a Business
A New Jersey mom's journey from social media star to entrepreneur.
This story originally appeared on Business Insider
When Laura Kasperzak began an Instagram account to document her yoga practice, she had hoped to get 100 followers.
Now, more than 600,000 people look for her daily updates, either photos or videos of her in insanely difficult yoga poses, while donning funky patterned leggings.
The New Jersey resident and mother of two has been doing yoga for 16 years, usually really early in the morning, before anyone in her house is awake.
#insert RSS here#
She started her Instagram account about two years ago, when her niece asked her to "follow her" on the platform.
So how does she get those perfect shots every single time?
There's a lot more to it than you think.
After she finishes practicing yoga, Kasperzak sets the timer on her Nikon camera to photograph herself working on what she practiced on that morning.
Then the camera takes one photo every 2 seconds, and she chooses the best frame to upload to Instagram.
The photos that earned Laura Kasperzak 600,000 followers
Here's just a sampling (some of the photos feature her adorable toddler, whom Kasperzak refers to as her "mini."):
Here she is doing a handstand split. Oh sure, easy.
From Instagram to full-blown business owner
Thanks to a massive following, she was able to join up with her high school friend Masumi Goldman to create TwoFitMoms, a business that focuses on health, nutrition, and, of course, yoga.
The two 36-year-olds currently offer weekly, affordable classes (just $5!) and occasional workshops in New Jersey, and the friends have started leveraging their following to help build the brand.
Masumi also has a wildly popular Instagram account:
Masumi told Business Insider that the dream of TwoFitMoms began when Kasperzak and Goldman began hosting monthly Instagram yoga challenges together a year and provided step-by-step instructions, photos and tips for each yoga pose they presented.
"These monthly challenges were a huge hit with the growing Instagram community, and our followers seemed to appreciate the detailed instructions and commitment to teaching," Goldman said. "Laura suggested we attend a yoga teacher training program to become certified yoga instructors. That was the first step in making our Instagram hobby a more serious endeavor and, ultimately, a business."
Haters to the left
With 600,000 followers and images that focus mainly on Kasperzak's body in yoga poses, we wondered if she ever avoids the comments, as one typically does on the Internet. But to the contrary, she reads every one.
"I usually just delete and ignore the rude and insensitive comments. Sometimes I will respond if I feel as if they just don't know about yoga or what I am doing," Kasperzak said, adding, "but there are so many positive comments that outweigh the negative."
The women are looking forward to traveling over the next year and growing their business.
"We can't wait to meet more of our followers [on Instagram]," Kasperzak said. "We're excited."