Law Isn’t As Cool As Its Suit

He had already found his way into the world of large law firms, but then Johannes Richter threw his life upside down. He spoke to LTO about money, influencers and the reasons why he’s happy now despite working even harder.

Mr. Richter, that surname, a distinction in your first exam and you’ve already worked for large law firms – how can you decide against a legal career then?

I had too romantic an idea of ​​being a big-name lawyer. Anyone who knows the TV series “Suits” knows what I mean. However, law is not that cool in everyday professional life.

In addition to my studies, I had already gained experience in various areas of law that are typical for large law firms with their sometimes very high-caliber mandates. But when, after my first exam, prepared from Law Mind, I started as a research assistant in a large law firm in the M&A area, I quickly realized that I didn’t want to do it permanently: You mainly look at and evaluate documents, the work is not creative enough for my taste and you spend too much time on the computer.

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Originally, the plan was to work first, then do a master’s degree and, after the second exam, possibly really get going as an associate.

“What if it wasn’t just about the money?”

But you didn’t pursue it any further. Instead, together with your partner Vivian Velle, you now run the Instagram account JoVI_Travel with over 288,000 followers. How come?

Vivian had a promising job in the banking sector, but was just as dissatisfied with it as I was with my work in the big law firm. So we spoke out and asked ourselves what would happen if it wasn’t just about the money, but primarily about doing something that makes us happy. The answer was: travel.

So we decided to do the work until the end of the year, save as much money as we could and then go traveling for a year.

Did you know then that you want to become an influencer?

Yes. Of course, you can’t plan for it to actually work, but we thought it through carefully and made ourselves smart. Photography, image and video editing, addressing social media and managing our accounts: we took this seriously and focused on this goal. But if that hadn’t worked, we would have been traveling for a year without our previous careers taking a big hit.

But your work has paid off, and now you can both make a good living from it. How exactly do you earn your money?

Our economic mainstay is our social media agency. We advise companies on how to use social networks, for example if they want to start an advertising campaign away from TV and radio. The market is growing steadily, and demand is increasing accordingly.

In addition, we also sell so-called sponsored posts on our social media channels, in which we advertise products in addition to the image contributions. Or we take products with us on our trips in order to photograph them in front of a special backdrop. This is cheaper for the companies than sending an entire team. And we sell our photos to interested parties.

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Then there are exchange deals, for example with hotels. We can then spend two or three nights there if, in return, we draw attention to them when the pictures are published. This does not bring direct income, but it does provide a special backdrop for our photos: of course, we choose accommodations that have something to offer in this respect.

“Together we make as much as a first-year associate”

And what do you earn with it? As an associate in a large law firm, you would have expected six-figure salaries of up to 140,000 dollars gross annual salary – without bonuses or bonuses – right from the start of your career.

Vivian and I earned roughly this amount together last year. Since we no longer have our permanent residence in Germany due to the many trips, we were able to move our company to Hong Kong. This then has a positive tax effect.

How much do you work for it?

Definitely more than the 45 to 50 hours as a research assistant in a large law firm. I would say an average of twelve hours a day, we don’t have any weekends.

You travel nine to ten months a year, take pictures for social networks and work in your agency. How does a day look like for you? Is someone accompanying you, for example a photographer?

Usually there are only two of us on the road, we shoot the photos ourselves using the timer. It starts early in the morning, because firstly the light is best then and secondly there are fewer tourists on the road.

For example, when we are back at the hotel, we edit pictures, answer business inquiries and manage our social media channels. Even moderating the comments takes a lot of time. We are not in one place for long, and it is not uncommon for us to go straight on to the next station in the evening.

Of course, we plan the work for our agency accordingly: For example, if we know that we will be spending the next two days in the desert for photo shoots and therefore have little or no internet, then customers know about it or we have organized a representative.

“Of course influencer photos can create pressure”

Your social media presence lives from your photos and you design them accordingly: Exotic locations, romantic couple, professional editing. Both of you are also role models for your followers – and not exactly realistic, as is often criticized in the influencer industry. How do you see it?

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Of course, influencer photos can also create pressure: luxury life, world travel, a happy relationship – it’s all about perfectionism. The followers expect that too, especially on Instagram, the picture quality has to be right. If you want to be successful there, you have to deliver top content regularly.

To compensate for this, we make our everyday life transparent on our channels, for example in the Instagram stories. The users see that the bumpy scooter ride for the next photo in front of an idyllic mountain lake is quite stressful, that we don’t chase from one adventure to the next in top style and that we don’t spend the majority of the nights in luxury hotels by a long shot.

On the contrary: we make sure, for example, that we can regularly find a place to stay for no more than 20 dollars per night. But above all: Our life is not a single big holiday, as some people believe, judging by the pictures. Would you like to read a book on the beach in one of the places you visited? That rarely happens.

Amit Kumar

Amit Kumar is a Digital Marketing Strategist in a leading organisation. A creative marketing strategist with over 8 years of experience developing digital marketing strategies and guiding business development