TheYachtGuy: changing the industry one Instagram post at a time

Written by Charl van Rooy

The social media sensation known throughout the yachting industry and beyond as TheYachtGuy has operated under a sense of anonymity providing a certain mystery to the captivating content that has filled Instagram feeds around the world... Until now that is.

Alex Jimenez, as he is known by family and friends, has made a living from providing yachting enthusiasts and luxury connoisseurs with daily updates of the industry’s finest yachts and extravagant items that money can buy. We meet with the New York native to get his view on the power that social media holds and how these platforms can add some much needed vibrancy to this sometimes archaic industry.

Is TheYachtGuy your day job?

Running a social media account like TheYachtGuy is a full time job and there really isn’t enough time for me to do anything else. With the changes in policy and algorithms, it takes a lot to keep up.

How did TheYachtGuy journey start for you?

I’ve had a passion for yachts for many years, so when Instagram came along it was the perfect place to share what I love. The best part was being able to connect with like minded people who shared the same passion. The growth of TheYachtGuy was just a result of this communal passion.

What were you doing before running the largest yachting social media page in the industry?

Before TheYachtGuy I worked a regular job putting in long hours with no gratification at the end of the day. If you’re not doing what you love you will struggle to appreciate life, regardless of what you earn.

Have you always been interested in yachts?

As a kid I had a view over the Hudson River from my parents’ 6th floor apartment in the Bronx. It was about two miles away and it was a very small view between the buildings. I remember sitting at the window staring and waiting for sports fishers to cruise by. I could see them for about four seconds, but in those four seconds I was transported to another place and the thoughts that ran through my head of escapism and adventure was incredible. I didn’t rekindle that love for boats until I was well into adulthood. So I guess it was something I’ve loved for many years and just forgot about for a while.

When did you realise that you can make a career of running a big social media page?

I’ve always known you could monetise social media as I had friends who were already doing very well and earning in excess of $50,000 per month. My challenge has always been getting the yachting industry to understand the value of social media. I think they are finally coming around.

What does an ordinary day for TheYachtGuy consist of?

From the moment that I wake up at around 5am to the moment I go to sleep, sometimes at 12 am, I’m answering emails, texts and calls. Not to mention the daily activities that come with parent life. For me that’s helping to raise my daughter and dealing with my daily struggle with Crohn's disease.

Do you feel the industry is utilising the power of social media platforms to its fullest?

If we made a list of the top 10 super luxurious industries and how well they utilise social media, fashion would be at the top and yachting would be dead last. The good news is that the industry is getting more comfortable with the idea. I have had the pleasure of working with some big brands that really embrace social media while others think it is a complete waste of time.

What role do you foresee social media could play in the marketing and the sale of superyachts in the not too distant future?

Social media has become a part of everyday life. Today there are about 2.6 billion smartphone users worldwide and of that number, 2.2 billion users are active on social media. If any industry thinks they are going to grow by ignoring social media and brand influencers like myself, they are in for a rude awakening.

What advice do you have for yachting enthusiasts and companies that are looking to successfully develop their own social media pages?

Get started! I can’t tell you the number of companies that are totally ignoring social media because to them it is just a bunch of kids with no money. They are not going to be kids forever. My experience has been that these kids are seeing things and showing their parents which in turn could result in a sale.

Are you planning on exploring other avenues of marketing and communication within the yachting industry besides social media?

Currently I love what I do. Being able to advocate for a brand and earn a living as an influencer is a dream job, so for now this is where I will continue to focus my efforts on. My website is up and running and learning how to manage a website is something completely different. I do have some projects outside of the industry in the works, but in the end it is all relative as it is still luxury orientated so I am tapping into a demographic which I am already tuned into.

Photos by Madison Fender

This article was featured in the ninth edition of the SuperYacht Times newspaper. Subscribe now and never miss another issue.



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