Today, we caught up with Michael Sousa, who has a staggering 3.2 Million Followers on Instagram. We discussed his career as an influencer and how he started to grow a following. What an amazing story! Make sure to follow him on his social media linked below.
Tell us about you, your background and how you came to start on social media?
I’m Michael Ferreira Sousa also known as @michaelsousa21 on the social media. I’m 21 and
work as a model, actor, social Influencer and entrepreneur.
Originally, I had started my Instagram for other reasons. It was a travel page and I used it to
show people my adventures and travel destinations. It turned out to be a huge success. A lot of
people enjoyed it, and I started to post pictures from places with me in them. My Instagram
changed little by little from a travel page into more of a personal page how it’s nowadays, and
that was also a reason to post more pictures of myself. The year after I turned seventeen, I was
scouted through Instagram and was asked for a test shoot. I ended up getting my first projects.
Meanwhile, there were more agencies and brands contacting me about contracts and
collaborations. From there it went very quickly. I did some photoshoots and my followers
continued to grow.
Tell us about what you do on your social channels?
I have an Instagram page where I upload my fashion posts and collaborations with brands. I
also have Twitter and snapchat where I also post a lot of myself and fashion and of course
collaborations. And as last I have Facebook page where I’m not very active at the moment, but
I’m planning to also post more content over there and grow my audience further.
What social channel are you most passionate about and why?
Definitely Instagram, besides that it started with Instagram it was also the first platform I really
liked. I worked a lot on editing travel pictures to show the world how many beautiful places there
were, and then everything changed to a more of fashion related post. And that was great to see,
you can do a lot things with Instagram. Even people from vine are on Instagram nowadays, it’s
such a flexible platform that it almost fits everybody.
How often do you post and update your audience? What content works best for you?
I don’t have a specific time range to post, so it really depends. I have had months where created
and uploaded more than 6 posts in a time range of two days (spread through Snapchat Twitter,
Instagram), including my own post and some for brands. But usually I post a picture every
month. And I try to interact and update my audience as much as possible through Instagram
stories and Snapchat content.
When did you first start seeing you were building a following? How quickly have you
grown your following?
As mentioned above, I started with a travel page where I already had 30K followers that was
growing little by little. And when my page changed to a fashion page where I started to work
with a lot of big brands, that was when I started to see my audience grow very fast. In April
2016, I had around 234K followers and the next month I had around 972K followers. So, I was
growing very fast around 738K only that month. That was also the reason why JMG Lifestyle
Magazine featured me as the cover model of September as the “The Netherlands Rising Star”.
How do you stand out on social media? What makes you different?
I share my passion for fashion and creating new and unique content. I always try to do
everything as perfect and original as possible. So, when people see my post they are like “that’s
new” and not just an idea that’s around on the social media.
What does your typical day look like?
I wake up very early in the morning, because I like to start my day as soon as possible. So, I
have more time, to work on my own brand, collaborate with other brands, etc. But usually I start
with a cup of coffee in the morning and then start working and when I have time I go to the gym.
I also need to travel a lot what influences my daily schedule sometimes, it really depends on
some factors on how my day is. But I always find a moment to rest and get everything on point.
Which influencers do you admire? Why?
Cristiano Ronaldo, because of his big impact and reach in every post. Such a high and loyal
audience, it’s just great to see. He also does a lot for charity where I also respect him for.
What do you enjoy most about social media?
The flexibility and the impact it has on people. We influencers can post something that reach
thousands even millions of people in just seconds. And nowadays there are so many social
media platforms that it’s just crazy what flexibility we have. Every platform has his own post type
some even more, what can help the creator create what he or she really wants.
How do you think brands are working with influencers at the moment?
If I look at collaborations and projects I do, then I think that brands are usually trying to promote
their new idea or product through influencers or increase their audience reach. This can be by
posting a picture, making a video, being at their event, etc. Or simply posting a tweet on twitter
with a link that takes the people to their website or service. And of course, they search for the
creative influencers that can create scenarios that aren’t that common, so it reaches more
people because it’s seen as “new”.
What brands have you worked with?
I worked with a lot, so I’ll selected some. One of brands I worked with was BALR. a really great
luxury/sport brand. I remember this collaboration very good, I did take some pictures in the
Netherlands where I’m living now. And I also travelled to Portugal my home country to take
more pictures for BALR what was really an amazing experience.
Another company was JMG Lifestyle Magazine, where I was featured as the cover model of the
magazine as “The Netherlands Rising Star”. That was also an amazing experience.
Do you use any tools to help you with your content?
For some pictures, I use Photoshop and some plugins, for example to correct the light, or edit
some people that are walking on the background when the shot was taken. Things like that.
I also use Instagram and twitter analytics to see how my audience is reacting, when they are
usually online or the most so I can post it between that hours. Because this will rank my picture
op to the popular page, what helps me and or the brand I’m promoting reaching new people.
What do you see as the future for Influencer Marketing? How will it evolve?
How it’s now going, I think it will become a very powerful marketing tool. Because of its big
reach and impact. There are a lot of influencers on different platforms that reach different people
what for marketing is essential
Where can people follow you?
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/michaelsousa21/