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Ryan Hintze is a lifestyle influencer, Wilhelmina fitness model, former division 1 college football player and the founder of Hintze Media, a digital marketing agency.
Tell us about Hintze Media. How did you first get into the business?
I started my company, Hintze Media, in high school when very few people had a web presence or knew how to make graphics and websites. People didn’t want to pay a big firm to create a logo or website. I saw that as an opportunity to help people and make money while doing it. We have evolved tremendously since starting out. We now specialize in digital consulting, Influencer marketing and e-commerce services.
How did you promote your company in the early days?
My first few clients were teachers at my high school as well as my friend’s parents who learned that I was a website and graphic designer. After my customers were happy with my work they referred me to others that were also interested in getting graphics and websites designed. From there it was a snowball effect from word of mouth.
I also promoted my company by staying active in my community and joined a few local networking groups. This exposed me to other business owners, who were perfect potential customers for my business.
How have you been able to grow your business? Be specific.
I constantly look out for companies that I can bring value to with my services whether that’s a social media collaboration or a website redesign.
Getting out of my comfort zone has been vital to the success of my business. If I didn’t push myself to meet new people and force myself to be in uncomfortable situations, I don’t know where I would be right now.
What are some secrets to finding the most success on social media platforms today (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc)?
-Connecting with your audience. Responding to every message and DM. Replying to every comment. Take advantage of the communication features platforms are giving you now. Soon I think platforms will start charging users to contact their customers and fans.
-Contacting other pages related to your niche and asking them to repost your image on their page.
-Engage with other people that are in your field. Like and comment on their content. Your engagement could resonate with their customers which may result in them becoming your fan or customer.
Teach us something we don’t know about social media.
Don’t believe every “influencer” you see on social media. There are so many people that buy fake followers, fake likes and fake comments. These frauds try to trick people and brands into thinking they are more popular than they really are. Knowing a few things can help you identify who’s real and who’s fake.
If someone has 10,000 followers and they get 100 likes on a photo, something is up. The ratio of likes to followers should be around 4%. If you navigate to a page’s followers, scroll through them and see lots of accounts with random usernames with no profile picture chances are they bought followers.
Another indicator is If you check to see who actually liked a photo and there’s a bunch of accounts with random usernames and no profile pictures they most likely bought fake likes.
If you go to someone’s picture and they have a bunch of comments from a spammy looking account that are commenting a genetic comment they probably bought fake comments.
Next time you see a page you’ve never heard of with lots of followers look for the above red flags. Influencers reach out to brands asking for a free product or to be paid for a sponsored post. Brands need to double check to make sure their audience is in fact authentic.
If you find that a fake follower follows your account you can remove them. Simply block the user and they will automatically unfollow you. If you have fake followers, Instagram may show your post to “them” instead of a real person. The less fake followers you have the more your engagement will increase.
What do you think you do better than most people? How are you able to do it?
I’m meticulously organized and I don’t stop until I get the job done. I use my time efficiently and hard work is in my DNA.
What are some of the best books you’ve ever read?
I don’t like to read books so I listen to audiobooks. Some of the best audio books I’ve listened to are:
-The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
-The Millionaire Fastlane by M. J. DeMarco
What is your motivation? What keeps you going?
My motivation is money. Having the freedom to make my own hours, be my own boss, be in control of the decisions impacting my business and my ability to make a positive impact.
Where do you see yourself and your brand in a couple of years?
The next few years are going to be very exciting. With technology constantly evolving I’m always striving to be at the forefront of new trends. In a few years, I see myself continuing to build my personal brand as a fitness and lifestyle Influencer, partnering with major brands on campaigns, travelling around the world as well as participating in more speaking engagements. Every day more and more people are turning to the internet for their shopping and I believe I’m going to be apart of the big shift that is taking place in the marketplace.