Zach Benson is the founder of Assistagram, an Instagram growth agency with a reach of 200M+. Zach is a full-time traveler who has scored hundreds of free nights at the world’s most luxurious hotels ($2,000+/night!) through Instagram. In addition, Zach is a professional dancer who starred on So You Think You Can Dance.
What you’ll learn in this episode:
- How to leverage your Instagram following to stay at 5-star luxury hotels FOR FREE.
- How to cultivate confidence and self-esteem, even if your baseline is low.
- How to build relationships that yield high value.
Key lessons from Zach’s interview:
Staying at hotels for free is all about creating value.
Here’s the play-by-play for how Zach lands free nights at luxury hotels:
- The first step is to increase your Instagram following. For tips on how to do this, check out our blog post about it here. “More followers creates the perception that this person has leadership. It’s a numbers game… the bigger the number, the more opportunity, the easier it is to book jobs, seal deals, and make sales,” Zach says.
- Once you have a sizeable following (5,000 or higher), you’re ready to reach out to hotels. Identify a hotel you like (start with lower-cost hotels in the beginning) and send them an email “saying hey I’m coming your way, I’d love to collaborate, here is my network, here are my followers, I’d love to do a couple posts to my following about your hotel and teach you how to grow your social following (or other value exchange)” Zach advises. “First send an email, then call the sales director and say hey, did you see my email? No, ok I’ll send it again right now, what do you guys think? I’d love to give you guys exposure and content.”
- Remember, it’s all about the value exchange. Be creative; the more value you can provide, the higher the chance they’ll say yes.
Mastering a skill can help build confidence.
Growing up, Zach says he had very low confidence and self-esteem. “I had a speech impediment and couldn’t say the letter R,” he says. “Kids would tease me all the time.” Although Zach struggled with confidence for years, he says what began to turn the tides was his love for dance.
He poured himself into dance, dancing for several hours each day. Over time he became very good and others started to notice. Dance served as a positive feedback loop for Zach—he enjoyed dance, and the more he practiced, the more others praised him, which fueled his love for dance even more. Eventually he auditioned for “So You Think You Can Dance” and became a national sensation, making it to the semi-finals. Today, Zach credits dance to helping him increase his confidence in himself tremendously.
Consider dedicating yourself to a valued skill set in order to cultivate confidence in yourself.