He’s got 699,000 followers in Instagram and has turned his passion for superyachts and social media into a full-time business. We meet TheYachtGuy, also known as Alex.
You’d think the person with arguably the biggest social following in the superyacht industry would have had a game plan in place from the very beginning. But, as the man himself tells me, “@theyachtguy was created by accident”. When Instagram came along in 2010, this superyacht fanatic found a place to upload all the photos of superyachts he’d saved off the internet. “Once I realised I was gaining a following, I changed my name from an email address to ‘theyachtguy’. It was a great way to talk to and meet people with like interests.”
It wasn’t until TheYachtGuy met @watchanish (Anish) @thebillionaresclub (Ian and Alehandro) and @luxuryworldtraveler (Gil) and was given advice on how to turn a hobby into a business that TheYachtGuy took the steps to transform into what we see today.
And while TheYachtGuy has other social media channels, Instagram is the clear favourite. “I don’t know if Instagram is the platform, but it’s definitely the most popular social media platform to be on now, and it’s obvious the superyacht industry is starting to catch on. I see brokers and other industry professionals starting yacht feeds to push their products – everything from yachts to anchors.
“Instagram, for me, is where it all started. Sharing posts and seeing the interaction between followers keeps it interesting. The other platforms have tuned their sites to try and keep up bit it’s not the same.”
"Choosing photos is fun and it definitely takes some work."
But there’s still a long way to go. “When I first started using social media, it was a big joke, but now it’s taken a lot more seriously. But the industry still has the tables turned, spending more on print than on social media. If done correctly, social media will attract more than three times the readership.”
We all follow TheYachtGuy (and if you don’t, you should be), but what really makes a good photo? In the words of the man himself: “Clarity, colour and perspective are what I look for when I finally choose. Choosing photos is fun and it definitely takes some work. Making sure there’s a name that goes with the photos is the first thing. I’ll post an occasional generic shot but I prefer to use amateur photos.”
And one final word of advice from TheYachtGuy: “It seems like it’s been a mad dash to the front [of social media] from everyone. Which is good. If you want to survive in any industry, being able to adapt to the times is key.”
Favourite yachts: “Esther III, Cakewalk and the new Kometa, launching February 2016. But if I had to choose just one it would have to be High Power III (ex-Numptia). She’s the perfect size and though she’s a few years old I still love her design both in and out.”
Funniest thing someone’s asked you to promote on Instagram? “A news feed that focused on women’s backsides. I had to decline.”
Favourite photo of the past month: Photo of Eclipse in Croatia by @fjaka