Author: Dan Bova / Source: Entrepreneur Having a clear goal is the first step to success, and for Abigail Ratchford, that goal couldn’t h
Having a clear goal is the first step to success, and for Abigail Ratchford, that goal couldn’t have been clearer: “I wanted to be famous,” she laughed on a recent call with Entrepreneur. If you are one of her 7.1 million Instagram followers, you know that she achieved that goal and then some.
Over the course of our discussion with the social media megastar, Ratchford revealed her roadmap for turning her dream into millions of fans — and then turning that fan base into a global business. Here are her 10 biggest takeaways.
1. Recognize opportunity
“This social media model lifestyle sort of started by accident. I grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I’m a small town girl. I did a photoshoot with a local photographer and he put the pictures up on his Facebook page. Within a few days, the pictures got picked up by Sports Illustrated and other places. So I started to do more and I realized that I really loved doing it. After about a year of doing that, I realized that there wasn’t going to be many opportunities for me in Scranton, so in 2014 I moved to L.A. I developed a whole blueprint plan for myself. And now here I am.”
2. Plan, plan and then plan some more
“I wanted to be ready to go once I got to L.A. So I did research on all the best photographers, makeup people, hair people, PR companies, videographers — anything I could think of. And I had it all saved in one album marked ‘L.A.’ I lined up a bunch of photo shoots before I got there, I didn’t want to waste one minute once I got off the plane.”
3. Learn from others’ success
“I was building a following with my photos, and around the same time, Kate Upton went really went big with a viral video. I realized that I needed to not just think about photo shoots, but also come up with some fun, crazy video ideas that would go viral and get my name out there. And sure enough, once I went in that direction, I wound up on TMZ and some other sites and my following basically tripled in like two weeks.”
4. Be nice!
“When that first video went viral, I reached out to TMZ to thank them for helping put me on the map. And I’ve kept a really good relationship with them ever since. I’ve become really good friends with a lot of the writers and editors and camera people over there. And these are real friendships, we figure out fun…