Patrick Janelle has created a well-crafted life on Instagram and brands want to be a part of it.
Janelle, whose Instagram handle is @aguynamedpatrick, has amassed around 400,000 followers on the platform over the course of four years with help from his beautiful photography and recognition from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which granted him the first Fashion Instagrammer of the Year Award.
He’s one of the many new influencers that brands are beginning to pay in exchange for real estate on his popular Instagram feed. But Janelle admitted his strategy isn’t that different from classic marketing techniques.
“When you think about how important traditional advertising is, it’s very similar to the approach that I have in terms of positioning,” said Janelle, who got his start in New York as a freelance graphic designer at Bon Appétit Magazine. “Traditional advertising thinks about positioning on a page in a magazine. Native advertising has become very important and I think about positioning within the context of all of the other content I’m showing in my feed.”
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According to Janelle, in order for brands to remain authentic on his highly orchestrated feed — he mostly uses a tripod and Bluetooth clicker to take pictures with his iPhone — they must fit within his lifestyle, which centers around shots of New York, latte art and rustic spaces. For example, Ralph Lauren suits only make sense when shot on the Brooklyn Bridge, while an event with Suitable, the custom suit start-up he created a collection with, is only believable if held at a café that Janelle actually visits.
“I find that when a brand gets familiar with my work, the partnership becomes less transactional and more impactful,” said Janelle, who added that impact isn’t confined to a user’s follower count. Janelle said his 100 most influential followers are people who are themselves leaders in fashion design, travel and style and represent a following of 140 million people.