BOSTON (CBS) – Eating at the hottest restaurants in Boston hardly seems like work. When Brittany Di Capua first started the Boston Food Journal on Instagram, it wasn’t.
“At the beginning it was just to showcase my friends and my family, where I’m going and what I’m doing,” she said.
Then hundreds of people started following this Southern Maine native’s Boston food adventures. Dozens of donuts, and hundreds of carefully styled pictures later, her following shot up to over 40,000.
Local restaurants and major brands like McDonalds started to notice and began paying her to promote their businesses.
“It can be very profitable,” she shared.
BECOMING AN INFLUENCER
“There’s a lot of people out there trying to be influencers,” explained David Gerzof Richard who owns Big Fish Public Relations and teaches at Emerson College. According to Gerzof Richard, anyone can try it, but few are successful.
“It’s almost like asking a comedian, ‘what does it take to be a good comedian?’ There’s lots of comedians out there, but there’s only a few Seinfelds,” he said.
SEINFELD OF STYLE
When it comes to fashion, Ashleigh D’Mello is Boston’s Seinfeld of style. The Australian native, who now calls Boston home, has 121,000 followers who watch her put together outfits that won’t break the bank.
“These jeans are my favorite find. They are from Primark and they were $17,” she said in a video shot in her living room.
Brands hope she influences her followers to buy their clothes, but there’s a change coming that could have an impact on an industry that some estimate could hit $20 billion next year.
INSTAGRAM’S BIG CHANGE
Instagram is experimenting with removing the total tally of likes on some user accounts.
“My likes actually disappeared from my Instagram account last night,” Ashleigh told us.
It’s an experiment Instagram has already started in other parts of the world, including Ashleigh’s native Australia. In an interview earlier this year, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri told CBS’s Gayle King, “We don’t want Instagram to be such a competition. We want it to be a place where people spend more of their energy connecting with the people that they love and the things that they care about.”
Ashleigh wonders what the change will mean for her account. “You lose a bit of transparency on the platform. I am interested to see what will happen.”
Whatever happens, Ashleigh and Brittany vow to continue to share their passion for food and fashion. While both women love the work, they say it’s not all donuts and dress up.
“You have to have thick skin. You have to be open to criticism,” Brittany said.
“If you really want to do it, don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there. [You] just have to understand that it involves a lot of hard work,’ Ashleigh added.