How a vegan Instagram influencer expanded and monetized her following


  • Carleigh Bodrug grew a social-media following of almost 50,000 followers on Instagram by providing recipe and way of life ideas for a plant-based food regimen.
  • In January, she launched a web site and membership program the place subscribers obtain weekly vegan meal-prep plans straight of their inboxes.
  • Bodrug was in a position to go away her full-time job in June and now has over 200,000 Instagram followers and greater than 1,000 paid subscribers.
  • She spoke with Business Insider to share the keys to her first-year development and ideas she might have used on day one.
  • Visit BI Prime for extra tales.

When the World Health Organization designated crimson meat as a class 2 carcinogen, Carleigh Bodrug and her household had been shocked.

Bodrug’s father had already survived stage 2 colon most cancers. The information motivated her to go vegan “almost overnight,” she mentioned, and embark on a marketing campaign to share the advantages of a plant-based food regimen.

She started sharing way of life ideas and recipes on Instagram and Facebook, and discovered a receptive viewers that reached greater than 50,000 followers.

Working full time as a communications officer at a hospital, Bodrug usually wanted to spend a weekend afternoon making vegan meals for the week forward, and her meal-prep posts had been a hit with her viewers. 

Last yr, she sensed a possibility and used $1,000 of her financial savings to arrange a web site and start providing memberships to paid subscribers to obtain weekly meal-prep plans and recipes by way of e-mail. Every Thursday, subscribers get a PDF with half a dozen plant-based recipes to get by the workweek, plus entry to the recipe archive. It runs $7.99 a month.

Bodrug spoke with Business Insider to share what she has realized about flip a ardour undertaking into a rising enterprise.

Carleigh Bodrug

Bodrug phases and shoots all of the recipes herself however has just lately employed freelancers to assist.
Courtesy Plant You


Starting from zero

In January, Bodrug launched Plant Ahead with about 50 paid subscribers and stepped up her advertising and marketing efforts.

“I saw that there was growth month after month, and it got to the point where what I was making from the business was actually outweighing what I was making at my job,” she mentioned.

She left the hospital job in June, and by September, she had greater than 1,000 lively subscribers and expects to double that earlier than the tip of her first yr.

Having benefited from the mentorship of a native real-estate businesswoman, Bodrug is utilizing Plant Ahead to supply alternatives to ladies by hiring 4 feminine freelancers to assist her with net improvement and content material manufacturing.

Bodrug did not begin with any formal enterprise coaching or net expertise, however she mentioned she was in a position to train herself WordPress and navigate monetary issues like incorporation and taxes on her personal.

At launch, she ran a handful of advertisements on Facebook, however she mentioned she has had totally natural development since then and has by no means paid for any of her 200,000-plus followers on Instagram.

Though her social-media publicity does not value a lot cash, it is rather costly when it comes to her time. Bodrug acknowledges the irony of the truth that she has little or no work-life steadiness whereas operating a wellness and way of life model.

Growing the model has meant a lot of 14-hour days, with Bodrug engaged on her laptop computer on the sofa whereas her boyfriend watches films.

“If I’m on here talking about health and lifestyle, I should probably practice it myself,” she mentioned. “But when you’re this caught up in it, and you love it this much, it’s really hard to have work-life balance.”

Plant You

A typical put up reveals line up a week’s price of straightforward vegan meals.
Courtesy Plant You


Get assist earlier than you want it

For different entrepreneurs contemplating an internet-based enterprise, she recommends looking for skilled recommendation or help from a web site developer sooner slightly than later. Her web site has been the sufferer of malicious assaults and outages that she had to determine on her personal.

“Trying to navigate that myself has been a nightmare,” she mentioned.

She additionally recommends committing absolutely to the enterprise sooner. As a 27-year-old with a regular job with a pension and advantages, she was nervous about leaving the company world to work for herself.

“I felt sick to my stomach,” she mentioned about submitting her resignation, “but the other side of it was like freedom.”

As her enterprise grows, she says hiring the assist to handle the assorted calls for is essential. In addition to net improvement and manufacturing help, a part-time digital assistant helps her take management of her time by doing lots of the routine duties that do not want her private consideration.

Bodrug attributes her success to her ardour for wholesome residing. Her imaginative and prescient for making the plant-based food regimen accessible to extra individuals consists of new choices like apps, cookbooks, and a stronger Plant Ahead model identification.

“Technology is leveling the business playing field for women,” she mentioned. “The women I know are all amazing and connecting communities. And armed with technology, we are unstoppable.”



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