141: Becoming an Instagram Influencer & Building Community with Phil Martin

February 3, 2021

photo of phil martin against a dc monument

Becoming an Instagram Influencer

Phil Martin is a photographer and train conductor in Washington DC.  Yep, you read that right!  Along with his full time career as a train conductor, Phil is an incredible photographer, creator and advocate.   After getting into photography through Instagram, Phil wanted to learn how to tell stories on the platform.  It’s lead to him becoming an instagram influencer with almost 50,000 followers.

  • Even when Phil carries his camera, he often finds himself shooting on his iPhone.  There’s less questions on the iPhone as to what you’re going to get.
  • Phil took photos for McDonalds and only charged $50 for his work!  Although he considers himself a “retired photographer”, he now knows his worth in brand photography and has learned from where he came from.
  • Shoot high, not low.  They can let you know if it’s out of budget, but they’ll never offer you more money than what you ask for.  Pay attention when working with global brands.
  • Phil was on the suggested followers list, and that’s how he gained most of his followers.  He no longer allows his amount of followers to direct what he posts.  He posts what makes him smile and even has a second account now!
  • The ultimate goal behind becoming an Instagram influencer may not be the same for everyone.
  • The people who truly want to hear from you and who matter will stick around.  You want to inspire.  The people who you inspire will stay there.
  • Before Phil was a conductor, he was a photographer for the railroad.  He traveled the country and photographed all kinds of scenery, landscapes, and people.  He has such a backlog of images, he decided to make an Instagram account to share these photos.



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