Introducing The August Creator Instagram Hero, Donovan Goliath

Donovan Goliath has set himself apart as a master story-teller. Whether on stage, television, radio or online, Donovan is able to connect with a variety of audiences. Since 2016 he’s flexed his advertising industry muscle as the Creative Voice and Host of The Loeries. He’s also an expert in delivering master classes on marketing, design and creativity. And now he’s taken on a new title: Instagram Hero! But how does he create and grow his social presence and audience? Read as we chat to him about his Instagram activity, his personal brand and what’s next for the rest of 2021…

October submissions for the Instagram Heroes awards series are now open. Enter here.

When did you start your Instagram account and what inspired you?

Started the account back in 2011 and used it like everyone else did. Took and posted pics of everything and slapped those terrible default Instagram filters on them. It wasn’t until much later when I started going on Insta Walks and hanging out with more photographers and video makers did I start taking it seriously and using it as a tool to grow my personal brand and share ideas. 

In a few words, what does your page stand for? 

Fun, creative, entertaining, relatable wit. 

How has your personal brand grown since launching and what has this journey been like for you? 

It’s grown immensely but it’s had a lot of ups and downs trying to get it to where it is. Inconsistency, perfectionism, imposter syndrome, time and other factors have derailed me now and then and slowed down what I’m trying to build. The moment I stopped trying to curate a perfect feed and started creating and sharing what I found funny or entertaining did I start enjoying the platform and seeing real organic growth.

You’ve successfully created a community on your page, tell us a bit about your audience and how you engage with them (do you ask your followers what they want to see from you or just give them the content that you want to produce?)  

A big chunk of my audience know me from stand up comedy. So naturally they’re expecting to laugh or to be entertained once they’ve hit that follow button. I’m always trying to find interesting/creative ways to keep them engaged and keep them sharing the content. I respond to pretty much every comment and repost everything people tag me on. That for me is the social part of social media. You have to keep engaging with your community as possible.

What does winning the “1000 Grams of Likes” award mean to you? 

To be honest I’m super surprised. One never expects to be recognised for this kind of thing. It definitely motivates me to keep doing what I do. 

Do you have any tips for local creators just starting out – both in terms of their product or offering, and how they go about marketing this?

It takes a while to find your voice and build an audience especially with all the algorithm drama. You have to try everything to see what works for you. By that I mean are you experimenting with video, pics, carousels, typographic styles, is there user generated content, are you showing us the process and letting us into your world etc. There are so many variables but the trick is to remain consistent and not be discouraged. It’s getting harder and harder to build audiences but I think people are craving creative work and good storytelling at the moment There is too much of the same thing out there. 

What is something that 10and5 readers may not know about you as a person?

I write, storyboard, shoot and edit every single thing I make. All of it is shot on iPhone using super basic setups. 

I also draw, paint, do photography, rap and do impressions. Oh I also worked as an advertising art director at Network BBDO for 6 years. 

What can we expect from you in 2021? Any projects or collaborations to keep an eye out for? 

I’ve recently had a baby so I’m not juggling as much as I used to. I am however a lot more focused on what I want to be spending more time on. Definitely going to be moving a lot of content to youtube and have plans to start working on a documentary or short film. For now I’m trying to get as many ideas out as possible that I’ve been sitting on for the longest time.

What is your favourite Instagram feature right now and why?

I’d have to say reels. Firstly because it’s the only feature with the highest potential for engagement and secondly because I’ve been seeing a lot of creators use it to showcase their process and How To tutorial. I think you build a stronger connection with your audience when you make them a plus one in your journey and process. 

Between 10 and 5