Social Hustle: A Q&A With Coco Bassey

Social Hustle: A Q&A With Coco Bassey
Questions by Ashley Locke
Photos provided by  Coco Bassey

1.     When did you first start using Instagram? Did you always use it to document your travels?

I've been on Instagram as an influencer since 2013! At first, my content was very fashion-focused, but as I started traveling more for work, it just became natural for me to start sharing other parts of my life with my readers too.

2.     You identify strongly as a millennial. How does that affect what you post and write about?

Ever since I started my blog, I've always wanted my content to reflect me and to be relatable to my readers, who are mostly all women around my age too. Young adults in our 20s and 30s are all going through some of our biggest life transitions right now—whether personally, job-wise, or in relationships—and I think that's why we gravitate to online communities where we can share our experiences. My blog is a reflection of life as a young adult, and if I know my readers come to my website to get inspired, and connect with other women just like them, then I feel like I'm doing my job!

3.     How do you manage your busy schedule?

It's definitely crazy, because unlike a lot of other influencers, I work a full-time corporate job alongside my creative endeavors. I've taught myself to compartmentalize my work life and my personal life. Another helpful thing I've done is work with people who've helped to take a lot of work off my plate with day-to-day tasks, such as bookkeeping, web analytics, social media management, and more.

4.     When you're traveling, how do you separate work and vacation time?

I sincerely enjoy the creative work I do, so it barely ever feels like "work" when I'm traveling! Capturing memories is part of the travel experience, so I always have a camera on hand, because I can never predict the cool places and things I can stumble upon when traveling! That said, I usually take some time on the last day of my trip to relax and turn the camera off, so that I can live in the moment and get home feeling refreshed and relaxed.

5.     What's your favorite place you've visited?

Before I started my blog, almost eight years ago, I visited Hong Kong, and it was definitely one of the coolest places I've ever visited! It's definitely on my list to make another trip back there one day.

6.     Give us a few of your best travel tips!

Skip the make-up on the plane, especially for a long flight, and go for a great moisturizer instead! The dry air on the plane makes everyone look super tired after their trip—but if you combat that with good skincare, you can arrive at your destination looking fresh-faced and ready to go!

7.     What has been most challenging about documenting your life? What is the most rewarding?

The most challenging part is wanting to do (and shoot) everything. But there are only so many hours in a day, going through a strict checklist is too stressful, and of course, my photographers need some time off too! I used to get super stressed about this. But now, I just take my camera with me and let the organic photo moments happen as they do.

The most rewarding part of my job as an influencer is connecting with people who relate to my personal stories and feel comfortable enough to share theirs with me too. I think that goes back to the actual point of social media: making real connections beyond likes and retweets. So, whenever that happens, I feel so appreciative of those moments.

8.     You're originally from Nigeria, but you lived in several countries growing up. Did that inspire your love of travel? What made you choose Atlanta as your home base?

Absolutely! Because of my parents' jobs as diplomats, we moved to a new country every four to five years, and it definitely formed the foundation for my love of exploration. Atlanta being my home base was more of a coincidence than anything because that's where my first professional job was after grad school. But I'm always open to wherever life takes me next!

9.     What are your favorites in Atlanta? A few restaurants, things to do, and places to shop.

The Shops at Buckhead is one of my favorite shopping hotspots for higher-end pieces, and I love Citizen Supply for locally-sourced products too. If I had to pick my (current) favorite dining spot, it would be Umi—the best sushi place in town!