As a pioneer in Dallas’s influencing game, Brandon Baker has been to nearly every restaurant and bar imaginable in DFW. Known as brandondoesdallas on Instagram, Brandon always has the inside scoop on the best things to do throughout the metroplex. Since launching his blog in 2015, Brandon has provided insights into local businesses, made connections, and eaten all the best food. He remains one of the most prominent figures in Dallas’s influencing scene.
“Four and a half years ago, there really wasn’t anyone covering affordable food and fun things to do,” he says. “Now there are influencers popping up every day.”
Over the course of five years, Brandon has grown his following to over 34,000. He takes pride in building his following organically, rather than buying likes and followers to boost his numbers.
“It’s easy to tell when someone has purchased followers,” Brandon says. “These days, I see more people buying likes than people buying followers. It’s misleading to brand partners, who think they’re putting their brand in front of 50,000 people, but they’re really putting it in front of, say, 3,000 people and 47,000 fake purchased followers.”
When your means of income heavily relies on an active social media presence, it can be a challenge to separate one’s online life from their personal life. Brandon, however, hopes to make some aspects of his personal life part of his brand. His posts incorporate his family, specifically his black labrador named Petunia, and his husband, Jesse, who helps with photography. They’re part of the @brandondoesdallas brand.
“The line between privacy and online sharing is a lot thinner for me now,” Brandon says. “I’m trying to incorporate my personal life into my brand, just because there aren’t a whole lot of male influencers.”
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Although Baker enjoys sharing his and his family’s adventures, and inviting people into his world, he admits that social media can be a bit of an addiction, and sometimes it’s hard to put the phone down.
“There are times when I have to put my phone in another room and shut the door,” Baker says. “If my phone is sitting next to me, I find myself picking it up every five minutes.”
Brandon says that he combats his social media addiction by spending time with Jesse, taking his dog on walks, and walking around Target, even if for no reason at all. While he is still working to maintain a healthy balance between social media and real life, he still intends to invite people into his world. As the pool of local influencers has grown, Brandon has had to find ways to remain unique, and not fall under the radar.
“I try to be real,” Baker says, “Whether that’s me posting that one of my pets has passed away, or posting about something that I’m struggling with personally. I also try to encourage my followers to be aware of their social media health and remind them that just because everything on social media looks glamorous doesn’t mean that it is.”
Originally publisher as part of the May 2019 “Influencers” feature