Jane Ko is the blogger and influencer behind A Taste of Koko, Austin’s premier food and travel blog. We reached out to learn how she built her personal brand for our Influencers interview series.
You can find her on Instagram here: @atasteofkoko
Elite Mindset: To start things off, can you tell us little bit about yourself? How did you get started?
Jane Ko: I started my blog, A Taste of Koko, in 2010 when I was studying my bachelors of nutrition at the University of Texas Austin. It was my last year in school when I realized I didn’t want to become a dietitian. So I started the blog, and learned web development, social media, copy writing, and photography on my own.
EM: When did you start your Instagram profile? What inspired you to start building a following on social media?
JK: I started my Instagram a couple of years after the platform launched. It was originally just a personal account and then it slowly transitioned to be an extension of my blog. Building a following on social media was never my attention, it just happened naturally over the years. As more and more people asked me for advice on restaurants and things to do in the city, I started putting out more content.
EM: What is a personal favorite post of yours on Instagram? What’s the story behind it?
JK: Ever since I was little, I always wanted a KitchenAid mixer. My parents saved up to buy me my first KitchenAid mixer on Black Friday when I was 7 years old and I still have that very mixer in my house. When I started my blog, it was my dream to work with KitchenAid.
Six years later, KitchenAid reached out to me for a partnership for Austin Food & Wine Festival and since it’s been incredible to work with the brand on different product launches. I never imagined I would be able to work with KitchenAid!
EM: Who are your top influences or sources of inspiration on Instagram?
EM: How do you find brands to work with? Can you give us an example of a sponsored post you have done as an influencer?
JK: Brands reach out to me directly or through an advertising or influencer agency.
I just went to Miami with Miami Tourism!
EM: If you were to give one piece of advice on how to build a following, what would it be?
JK: Become in an expert in a certain topic. If it’s fashion blogging, are you high-end or casual wear? If it’s food blogging, are you doing restaurant coverage in a specific city or recipes? Even if it’s recipes, are you gluten-free? Vegan? Healthy? Know that you’ll evolve and expand your brand later on.
Become in an expert in a certain topic. … Know that you’ll evolve and expand your brand later on.
EM: What is a favorite tool or technique you use to grow your audience?
JK: I don’t use any tools or techniques to grow my audience. Just putting out beautiful content and engaging with my readers is how I grow my audience.
EM: Before we go, what is an interesting fact that your audience may not know about you?
JK: I grew up a small beach town with a population of 10,000.
Many thanks to Jane for this interview. You can follow her on Instagram at @atasteofkoko.
Influencers is an ongoing series exploring the mindset of top influencers.