Meet Yanni Gorgolakis, one of the world’s largest food and travel content creators. After graduating from college with an international business degree from Florida International University, Yanni worked in a few different jobs before joining the medical field as a pharmaceutical representative. Between his love of food, his business background, and the encouragement of friends, Yanni decided he wanted to start an Instagram account for food. He spent a few days jumping back and forth on different names before deciding on FoodyFetish. The next six years were not easy. Every day, Yanni has had to commit to posting, sharing and rising to the best possible brand while keeping up with the changing trends in the market.
National Herald: Tell us about your family.
Yanni Gorgolakis: My father, Kyriakos Gorgolakis, was born in Greece, and my mother, Alicia Gorgolakis, was born in Cuba, and they have lived in Miami since coming to the United States. I was born and raised in Miami and have a younger sister, Kristina Gorgolakis.
TS: You are the creator of Foody Fetish. What is it exactly?
YG: Foody Fetish (foodyfetish) is a brand that I started in 2015 that focuses on creating viral content in the food, beverage and luxury travel spaces of the world.
It started as an Instagram account but has now thrived on multiple platforms (Instagram, Tik Tok, and Facebook) with over 6 million followers.
TNH: Has Foody Fetish partnered with major companies?
YG: I’ve had a great opportunity to work with some really great companies over the years. Some of them are St. Regis, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Cavo Tago Mykonos, Curaçao Tourist Board, Jägermeister, Burger King, Whole Foods Market and many more.
TNH: What made you become a famous influencer?
YG: Consistency was definitely one of the most important reasons. I bring to my audience every day, even from the start. I interact with my followers and still respond to their comments and direct messages, which sets me apart from other influencers. People feel more connected to you when someone they follow interacts with them. My background in photography has also helped me excel in creating and editing quality content, which I still do myself.
TNH: What do you sell on your site?
YG: I’m partnering with brands who want to tell their story or show their products to my 6 million followers on my social media.
TNH: How do you nurture your brand and interact with your followers?
YG: I nurture my brand by always including it in everything I do. If I eat at a new restaurant, I’ll ask them questions about which dish they’d choose to eat, and they can vote on my Instagram stories.
I will also ask them questions after trying my food or my travels, and they can ask me what they want.
TS: How hard do you work to achieve success?
YG: You’ve worked harder on this than anything else you’ve ever done. Because it was built out of nothing and I did it all on my own, I’m so proud of how far I’ve come so far and knowing how many hours I’ve had, it makes me excited to keep going. I am a very competitive person, so I always want to be the best in everything I do.
TS: Have you achieved your dreams?
YG: I have fulfilled a lot of my dreams from this journey, but I know there is still a lot I want to achieve.
TS: What do you think about researching publicity?
YG: The main thing is to do what I’m passionate about, and if publicity comes with it, I welcome it.
TS: What variables determine market volatility? Where do you see the market heading?
YG: The use of social media has changed consumer behavior and how companies conduct business. Social and digital marketing offers great opportunities for organizations by lowering costs, improving brand awareness, and increasing sales.
Every year more budget is allocated to a social media campaign and brands are looking to hire influencers and content creators [that will impact] Originality, brand compatibility, demographics, and metrics.
I see the market moving towards short video content. All the leading platforms are competing for market share, so they have prioritized the content creators who produce this type of content by offering them incentives. Content is king these days. The market can change quickly, so always pay attention and be prepared to stay ahead of the curve.
TNH: Looking at your life, do you think our surroundings influence the path we take in our lives later on?
YG: I think they could definitely have an impact. Growing up, my dad was obsessed with photography, and I wasn’t interested in it at first. But over the years of really seeing it, one day, I grabbed one of his cameras and started taking some pictures. Little by little, you got to know the different functions of a professional SLR camera. Then I found myself loving him more and more every day, hence my love of documenting things. After a few years, I started photographing cars, models, and events professionally. Fast forward a few years later, and I started documenting my meals for fun because I loved food. Then one day, I decided to start an Instagram page dedicated to foodyfetish just for my food content, and the rest is history.
TS: What could lead to a better world?
YG: The idea of changing the world can be daunting. It’s understandable to think, “I’m only one person. What can I really do?” If everyone feels this way, nothing will be done. But if everyone did just one thing to make the world a better place today, billions of acts of kindness, social responsibility and generosity would happen — wouldn’t that alone change the face of this planet?
TNH: Have you taken amenities for granted, and if so, what?
YG: Yeah, when I was younger, I thought and expected that chances would collapse in my lap or be given to me. I’ve learned through the years that this isn’t the case, and that the only person responsible for you is you. I failed over and over again, and in the long run, I’m glad I went through these situations because they set me on fire and I never gave up until I succeeded. Building something from scratch without anyone’s help and seeing it thrive over the years is the best feeling in the world.
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