‘How I grew my Instagram audience to over 508K followers’

‘How I grew my Instagram audience to over 508K followers’

Welcome to part two of our 9 to Thrive content series

BY Business Chicks, 13 min READ

In part two of our 9 to Thrive content series, we ask Taline Gabriel of the hugely successful Instagram account, cookbook and healthy eating website, Hippie Lane how she got to where she is now. If you missed part one, catch our interview with Instagram funny woman Celeste Barber here

Name: Taline Gabriel / Hippie Lane

Reach: 508K followers

Age: 36

My tribe: It’s me, my husband, Sam an our two babes – Sebi age 7 and Camille age 4.

Where I live:  Sydney

Tech I use: iPhone 7 plus and an Apple Desktop

Apps I can’t live without:

Silent Minds (mindfulness for children) that I try to do daily with Seb and Cam. VSCO® and Lightroom for photo editing. Instagram for advertising / promoting all things Hippie Lane.

Current gig:

I’ve just released my cookbook, Hippie Lane The Cookbook so I’ve been working on promotional activities around that, while managing my recipe app, Hippie Lane. I collaborate with brands as a health food recipe developer, doing freelance food styling / photography and menu development and consulting for whole food cafes. I’m also planning a new Hippie Lane Project that I hope to see in fruition early 2018.

One word that sums up your life:


My first email address was:

[email protected]

What I was doing before this…

I was a student counsellor.

Where I am when I took this selfie:

At our beach house, preparing food platters for a day of food and fun with friends.

taline gabriel

Health and fitness Instagram accounts are perhaps the most #trending at the moment. How do you stay relevant and separate Hippie Lane from other pages?

I’ve always done my own thing and I guess it was no different when I started my business. I entered the Insta scene in 2014 and just followed my own path. For me at the time, it was about staying true to what I was trying to achieve which was simply offering healthy recipes that appealed to the mainstream. I was consistent in my message, passionate about my content and unique in my offering. I think this was the key in having a recognisable brand and style unique to me.

It’s becoming harder and harder to find authenticity in this space, as Instagram continues to change their algorithm in favour of of new and fresh users, coupled with the fact that the platform is now saturated with influencers all doing much of the same thing.

It’s important to be clear about your goals in face of the challenges and changes, and to really believe in yourself. Your energy shows, even in tech, so if you can be clear about YOU, and show up regardless, you can continue on and stay relevant in your field.

Is there a certain pressure to maintain the lifestyle that you present on Instagram? Like, do you ever want to ‘gram vegemite toast?

Hahah, I hear ya! You know, I’m big on keeping it real. It’s important to maintain and promote a lifestyle that is authentic so I’m conscious of keeping my imagery truthful and honest. No major edits, no photoshop, food I actually eat, and clothes / lifestyle that is true to me and not fabricated. I often laugh in my captions or post quotes on how I really feel – and sometimes it’s chocolate for breakfast ‘cause that’s how it is that day. Or contemplating breakfast in bed because I can’t fathom doing the whole school / work thing that day. What you see is what you get with me.

hippie lane

What’s your most liked photo?

Probably one of my trademark smoothie glasses. Usually full to the brim, colourful, thick and creamy and adorned with flowers / fruit.

Do you ever achieve Inbox Zero? Or is it a complete waste of time to try?

I like to see that inbox empty! So I usually spend a day a week clearing it. I also do my best to read and reply to emails as I receive them so they don’t build up in my inbox.

Do you have a fitness routine? What do you do?

I’m pretty simple. I take a long walk after I drop the kids off at school every morning, and I follow my walk with an ocean swim when I’m up the coast at our beach house during the school break. It’s my ultimate routine.

What’s in your fridge right now?

Fruit, veggies, almond milk, coco yoghurt, sauerkraut / pickles, olives, hummus, last night’s dinner, tofu, pre-cooked quinoa / brown rice, etc.

How did you grow your audience to over 508K followers?

It was a whirlwind journey, and it happened organically without much force. I think it really is about knowing your brand and appealing to the masses. I dedicated a lot of time to my work. I was creating recipes for hours on most days of the week for over 3 years. I came up with new and creative spins on classic treats that became really popular. ie Twix bar, Cherry Ripe and Mars bars. I was playing around with breakfast foods and savoury dishes that were new and on trend while carving new food and styling trends that fortunately went worldwide. The algorithm was true in those days, so most of my followers were seeing my posts in real time order, which helped me get noticed and progress.

Dedication, a deep understanding of my craft and a commitment to tuning in to my own unique creative process is really what helped me get to the half a million milestone. I’m very grateful for the whole journey, and am still as passionate about sharing healthy delicious recipes now as I was in the very early days.

Have you ever been fired? If so, how did that go down?

Yes, from my job at Toys R Us when I was a teen. My supervisors said I wasn’t focused on the job and was more interested in socialising – they were probably right. I accepted it and moved on to my next gig.

What does your workspace look like?

I work out of my apartment, from my kitchen which overlooks Sydney harbour. Such a bright and happy space, quite minimal in appearance with the addition of plants and herbs that provide all the right smells and feels.When I’m done in the kitchen, I’m off to write recipes and photo edit from my computer which is hooked up at my desk at the entry of our unit. A little tight in space so I’m considering switching to a MacBook so I can work from my living room. In the meantime, it does the job. I have some aromatherapy oils and candles, a pin-board of my fave images of my kids, their illustrations as well as reminders, to-do lists, and my diary (I still use a traditional diary – lol).

Where’s the weirdest place your work has taken you?

I’ve worked at some humbling places on my recent trip to Bali, which was a real eye opener. I’m totally grateful for experiences that my work has afforded me.

What’s your best timesaving shortcut or life hack?

Organisation. Get organised on Sunday for all your weekly do’s including; food prep / dinner choices / appointments / workouts / friend meets / work must’s – and you’ll be flying through your week. It makes a big difference when everything is diarised and your fridge and pantry is stocked.

Current Netflix binge / Podcasts I’m listening to:

I’ve been watching some cool foreign films on Netflix – love the depth and meaning, especially in European movies. I’ve just recently got into podcasts and am loving it. So enriching and informative. I’ve been listening to The HayHouse Summit – a collection of interviews featuring inspiring self development leaders from around the world.

My friend, Melissa Ambrosini has a podcast show where she interviews some real game-changers in wellness – I’ve been loving some of those episodes also.

How much time do you spend on social media every week?

It used to be enormous (like 30+hours) when I was building my presence, but these days, I’d say 6 hours week.

What do you do to forget about work? Recharge?

Get in nature, the number one free no-fuss tool to turn on the happy vibes. Beach swims regardless of the temperature is my indulgence and hikes in lush green surrounds. Soul food for me.

What’s the last thing you do before going to bed?

Reflect on the good from my day. The connected moments I had with my friends and family, focusing on what I’m most grateful for. Its a life-changer. Some candlelit time in bed with my husband is also high on that list 😉

How many hours sleep per night do you get?

Eight usually, if work / life is in balance. Less when work demands are higher. I’m working on making that balance more permanent.

What’s one thing no one else knows about you? 

I was really shy growing up, happy to disappear in the crowd and be unnoticed for the most part. I’m also more of a homebody, happily surrounded by family and friends, rather than big nights out.

Taline is joining us at 9 to Thrive in August, for more info and to grab your ticket, head to our 9 to Thrive page now.


©2020 Business Chicks

Log in

Forgot your password?