Explain who you are and what you do…
I’m Weichen. I am an Economics PhD candidate at New York University (hence the name of my Instagram, peachonomics). I work on estimation of demand for products that belong to the same industry but are differentiated (think for example the market for organic granola), and firms’ decisions on which of these products to offer. I am very passionate about what I do at work and find it very interesting and applicable. Numbers fascinate me, I love working with data. In my spare time, I like to cook, and eat, a lot. I love to travel and explore local cuisines.
Your motivation to start @Peachonomics- where did it come from? Tell us the story!
I moved to New York for my PhD and didn’t know many people there at the beginning. I started my Instagram in the second year of my studies – after passing the qualifying exams, when I had more spare time, and needed to find something to do. I started posting food photos. Had no idea it would grow into a food blog, but I’m very happy that I’ve been given the opportunity to share my food with so many people. Also, I have more friends now – I met my best friends through Instagram.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I like to get in the office early to work, take a break to post on Instagram, go back to work. Check Instagram at lunch time, engage with others on the platform. Back to work. Make dinner and photograph it. Do some more work and catch up on emails. I spend 40%-80% of my weekend working (the joy of being a researcher), and the rest either cooking (making content) or eating out.
Who or what inspires you?
My PhD advisors. They are brilliant economists and are food connoisseurs.
How have things in your life changed (or stayed the same) since creating your platform?
The love of food has always been there, but Instagram has taught me a lot: from how to take food photos to what things are important in life.
Describe the “happiest and healthiest” version of yourself.
Pursuing the career I love, and eating good food.
Best advice you ever received?
“It will all work out in the end”. Somehow, it always does!
One thing on your bucket list?
More of a new year’s resolution than an item on a bucket list but I’d like to read more books this year.
Favorite part about your job?
I like the rewarding feeling when I solve a problem in my research. I also enjoy teaching. When students come up to me at the end of a semester to thank me for doing a good job, it makes me happy.
Where do you see the evolution of influencer marketing going?
As an academic with an interest in data and marketing, I find this area fascinating. I am looking forward to seeing more data being made available for academics so we can better quantify the return on investment in working with social media “influencers”. While I strongly believe that brands need to be smart and have a good understanding of which bloggers’ audience fits best with the brand’s target audience, I do think that the amount of work good content creators put into creating images/videos for brands should not be overlooked/discounted. Brands need to recognize that there is much effort bloggers put into creating their content, and that many of the bloggers have a full-time job outside of social media, so there is an opportunity cost to them taking the time to create these contents.
What’s up next for you? Anything fun/exciting in store you can share with us?
Attending Expo West 2019, and going back to Paris in August 2019!
What does “Follow Your Gut” mean to you?
Consume foods and beverages that make your gut and body feel great.
Also – if I may share a tip: I love drinking Health-Ade Kombucha from champagne glasses – try it with the California Grape or Pinklady Apple flavor – it tastes like a sparkling wine ☺