Recognized in real life because of Instagram

Almost 300.000 people follow Windesheim student, Joel de Vries’s Instagram pages @kapotdroog and @heelhilarisch.

Comical memes, ‘tag someone who’, embarrassing blunders and other hilarious posts are unavoidable on Joel`s Instagram accounts @kapotdroog and @heelhilarisch. Joel’s @kapotdroog account currently has 147.000 followers, on his other account @heelhilarisch that number is 142.000. Joel also has a personal Instagram page with 19.000 followers. Most pictures and videos on Joel’s accounts are sent to him by his followers. However, Joel also notes: “I also find them on other people’s accounts, there is a group of amusement accounts who share all sorts of humorous posts and they give you permission to repost them. I often pick stuff that is already going viral because I know that sort of material will do well on my pages as well. Sometimes I come up with a meme of my own as well”.

Money and free stuff
Even though Joel has a part time job he makes extra money with his Instagram account. “Sometimes I do a giveaway with a company. They might for instance give away an IPhone; which means I need to promote this deal. They often provide me with a commission over every sign up they get. For every sign up I get 50 cent or a euro. In a month this could provide me with hundreds of euros. Furthermore, I also get sent stuff like videogames which they ask me to review. All I have to do is post something about it. I regularly receive PR packages with clothing, watches or baseball caps for my personal account.

Girls comment that I am cute
Joel can be considered somewhat of an Instagram celebrity, he even has his own fan account. The attention Joel gets from this account is not something he is surprised by. “Sometimes I get recognized on the street, girls sent me DMs because they want to date me or say that I am cute. Most of the times I do not pursue these requests, but I always answer their messages. “Lots of famous people on Instagram ignore direct messages, but I don’t. Your followers spent lots of time on your account and I think that is great.”

Two hours a day
Considering all of the followers and PR stuff Joel gets, he has to do some work as well. He works 2 hours a day on his Instagram. “Every day I receive about 30 to 40 messages on each of my accounts, most of which are videos or pictures people send me”. I select a few of these pictures and videos and put them in a file for that day. I also read the messages companies send me as well. Furthermore, I also have to make images for my personal account, my dad usually takes the pictures. Joel has a few tips for aspiring Instagrammers: “Promote accounts which are similar to yours which are willing to grow, ask your followers to follow a page like that. They will most of the time help your page experience growth as well. Post your material regularly and with a certain schedule: 19:30 is often the best time to post.

‘My goal? To have a million followers in 2019’
“Don’t buy followers, Instagram will find out and punish you accordingly” Also use lots of hashtags which are used often, but not hashtags which are used by big accounts such as #humour. Your hashtag will not be noticed because your account is smaller. Use less often used hashtags such as #besthumour, it is less used but works better.”

Creativity and business
Because Joel’s Instagram pages have become somewhat of a business, he can incorporate that perfectly with his studies. “At my study program I learn how to run a business and that is exactly what I do on Instagram. I also have to have a commercial, but also a creative mind-set. I do not want to become a publicity agent; too much ads is not what my followers want. I want to post about companies in a manner that does not irritate my followers. I also learn a lot at school with regards to new ideas. I do the same on Instagram, I always try to come up with ways to grow my account. My goal is to hit one million followers in 2019.”

Text: Silke Polhuijs
Photo: Gerben Rink

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