We sat down with Sara Day, the face behind @local_enthusiast_SLC on Instagram. Meet Sara in person at our Recipe for Success Kick Off.

HOW DID YOU TURN YOUR LOVE FOR FOOD, TRAVELING AND CAMPING INTO A BRAND?

I started Local Enthusiast when I was a poor college student. I knew eventually that I wanted to start a business and I knew if I was out there supporting others it would eventually come back to me when it was time for my business to blossom. I didn’t have any money and so I was like…‘well there are other ways to support people.’ I focused on showing cool things to do in Utah, architecture, local businesses and seasons…things I could afford at the time. Like Ruby Snap Cookies; my and my friends still talk about how we would splurge on three cookies and that was our thing for the week haha.

HOW DID YOUR BRAND GROW FROM THERE?

It grew slowly as I just started following people, places and brands I liked and they started following me back. Eventually people started to invite me to things to spotlight. That is my absolute favorite. When I teach classes to business-owners, I let them know if you don’t have a lot of money that is totally fine. Offer a free meal instead of an expensive campaign, just invite “influencers”, and that will multiply.

DO YOU HAVE A STRATEGY WITH WHAT YOU COVER ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA?

I think it falls into a couple of categories… The new and really cool business–my goal is to be one of the first people to spotlight them and get the word out about the new new in Utah. People who may need the marketing help but don’t realize it–it could be a small mom & pop place or something alike that more people should know about. Definitely events, because I have put on many events and I know how much effort it takes. If I can do a quick post and it helps get five or 10 attendees, it’s worth it to me. Causes such as voting, a fundraiser or a rally, I want to support it. Lastly just spotlighting the adventures in Utah. I think on Instagram we see all these photos and wanderlust of amazing vacations. I want to show you  can have an amazing vacation here in Utah and have a great “staycation”. You don’t have to have all the money in the world and all the time off in the world to do something for yourself. Weekend trips around Utah are the best!

I also only spotlight things I actually believe in. If I don’t think it is a fit for my brand or what I believe in… then I won’t do it. If I go somewhere and the food isn’t good, I won’t go and say the food isn’t good, but I’ll compliment the decor, I won’t say a bad word but I am not going to be fake. The thing with my brand is that I want to be an authentic and honest person.

DO YOU HAVE ANY UTAH BLOGGERS THAT YOU LOOK UP TO?

@saltplatecity
@cityhomecollective
@gastronomicslc
@iamsaltlakepodcast
I like working with people who are also about the community.

I’M UNDER THE IMPRESSION THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO FEEL THE NEED TO TAKE PHOTOGRAPHY AND WRITING LESSONS WHEN GOING INTO THIS FIELD…

I definitely always wanted to take photography lessons, but I haven’t yet. I always thought that was a barrier holding me back, like I didn’t take classes or have a nice camera.  But I’ve made it work so far.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS?

I’m trying to build a reputation in the community on being someone who is connected and helpful.  So I think my Instagram helps further me and my efforts. I always want to be going out, speaking at things and being involved in events.

So, no plans to grow my brand further unless social media changes and Instagram becomes irrelevant. I’ve built a reputation of people asking me where should I go eat or “I am going to go do this, where should I go?” I love giving my input.  

FOR A PERSON WHO WANTS TO FOLLOW IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THEM?

I’m trying to build a reputation in the community on being someone who is connected and helpful.  So I think my Instagram helps further me and my efforts. I always want to be going out, speaking at things and being involved in events.

So, no plans to grow my brand further unless social media changes and Instagram becomes irrelevant. I’ve built a reputation of people asking me where should I go eat or “I am going to go do this, where should I go?” I love giving my input.  

IF YOU WERE SCHEDULED FOR THE ELECTRIC CHAIR, WHAT IS THE LAST THING YOU COULD EAT. (IT CAN BE A THREE-COURSE MEAL).

Even though I am lactose intolerant, I would do a gigantic cheese and charcuterie board. And then bacon wrapped dates and… actually put three orders of bacon wrapped dates and that is my meal!

Photos from @Local_Enthusiast_SLC on Instagram. Learn from Sara in person at our Recipe for Success Kick Off event.