My college life is unique and unlike any other college student in the world. In high school, I was a 6 varsity sport Letterman and in a club called the Technology Student Association. I really don’t like school because everyone does the same thing and there is not much of a way to express yourself, so I prefer to stay highly involved in extra curricular activities. In college, I continue to increase my involvement to get my mind off school which I don’t like and think is boring. I can count the amount of times I’ve been out partying on a few fingers, the typical college lifestyle is not congruent with my lifestyle and it’s essential that I’m physically and mentally in the best shape possible.
Last summer I woke up at 5AM, worked out with my team, went to class, then drove 4 hours to Miami for Miami Swim Week, then drove home every day for a week straight. I really challenge myself to see how much I can possibly pack into one day. While typical students are binge watching Netflix, I’m promoting my personal brand and networking with people around the world. During spring break when people up north are escaping the cold weather and heading down south to the beach, I flew to New York during a blizzard to have 5 photoshoots, 4 modeling agency and casting agent meetings, and managed to get two contract offers. (One which was from Wilhelmina, which I later accepted).
So in the end it’s really all about priorities and pushing yourself to the limit to get the results you want.
How did you get started in social media?
I got started in social media heavily around 2013. I created parody pages on Twitter and racked up some serious follower counts. I owned a network with a combined following of over 2 million followers. Once I got around 30,000 followers on my first parody account, I began to monetize the audience with galleries equipped with Google adsense ads. I was making quite a solid income for an 18 year old college student. I eventually established my company Hintze Media LLC where I provided web design, web hosting, graphic design, social media marketing, social media management, aerial photography and aerial cinematography.
After a few years, I decided to cut down most of my services and zoned in on social media marketing and growing my personal brand as a model for the main focus for my company. Having all of the skills that I once offered as services through my company has been supplemental to my personal brand building since most of those services are essential to maintaining a successful online presence. Instead of paying a marketing company or tech company for those services, I easily take care of them myself. As social media continues to evolve, I think broadcasting yourself to the world will be more and more valuable moving forward.
How did modeling come about?
I started modeling in high school. One of my first job was with Champs Sports. They casted me to be in their fall and spring strategic catalog. My experience during those long days on set made me fall in love with the industry. After that time, there was a gap of a few years when I didn’t do any modeling. I decided to pursue modeling more seriously. I connected with a local photographer on Facebook, John Revisky, and set up a test shoot with him. After having a very successful shoot with John, we continued to shoot many other times. Back in the day John traveled the world shooting tons of campaigns, including Nike in Milan.
Now he resides in Sarasota, Florida where he’s recognized everywhere he goes and stays busy working for fun. He gives back by helping aspiring models launch their careers. After shooting with him multiple times, I had quite a solid portfolio. A year after beginning to seriously pursue modeling, I started reaching out to agencies in Miami (closest major market to where I live, Tampa, FL). I went down to Miami and met with a few agencies and received a few contract offers. I eventually signed with Elite Miami and started working, walking in Miami Swim Week and attending castings for major campaigns.
What’s a day in your life like?
A day in my life usually consists of waking up at 5:30 am, running or working out at 6AM. After that, eating breakfast, attending class then lunch.. After that, team meetings and dinner. Between all of my daily activities I am constantly responding to emails, direct messages, and keeping my followers updated on social media. I usually go to bed around 12AM every day and average about 5 hours of sleep per night. On the weekend, I stay up late working and go to sleep around 3AM and wake up around 10AM the next morning. A good majority of my weekends are spent on the computer catching up on work that has accumulated during the week and finishing homework.
How are you able to balance being a student athlete, model, and entrepreneur?
I’m not going to lie and say it’s easy to balance my life, but what it really comes down to is what I’m doing passing the “will this help me better myself” test. I’m constantly working to better myself as an individual, learning something new every day, and making the absolute most of my time. The internet is really my best friend, without it I would be completely out of business.
Are you currently dating anyone?
Yes, I am currently dating my best friend Emily Gaitan. Emily played softball at Ole Miss then transferred to USF for her last year of college softball. We first saw each other in the hallway of our athletic complex at USF and I slid into her DM’s on Twitter. After getting to know Emily and getting really attracted to one another, we discovered that we share the same values. We have been dating for almost two years now and she graduated a year before me and is now working. We plan to start a company together in the future.
What can we expect from you in the future?
In the future I’m going to be traveling a lot, whether it be for modeling or for leisure, with Emily. I’ve been so constrained with school and college football that once I’m done (January 2018) I’m going to be like a bird released from a cage. After college I’m not really sure if I’m going to move to New York and model full time or if I’m going to stay in Tampa and fly out when I have jobs. What’s good about my business is that I can operate from anywhere in the world. All I need is an internet connection. There aren’t many geographical constants with that. I don’t plan on ever getting a regular 9-5 job, so I will be an entrepreneur my whole life. When I get older, I see myself settling back in Florida where I’ll probably play golf, go out on my boat with my family, and continue traveling.
What’s your advice for aspiring models and entrepreneurs?
My best piece of advice is to stay true to yourself, take everything with a grain of salt, and work until you get what you want. In the end, persistence and being driven determines the outcome of any situation. How important is it really to you? How bad do you want it? Your actions will decide that for you. My advice in regards to aspiring models and entrepreneurs specifically would be learn as much as you possibly can about what you are trying to do. Once you have a full understanding of what you want, write down a to do list and check off tasks as you go. This will help you achieve your overall goal. Networking is also very important and you should spend a lot of time forging relationships with people in the industry. When the time comes, you need to pick the brain of those who are heavily involved in the industry if given the chance. Getting someone’s first hand advice or opinion could expedite your learning process and could save you from making any amateur mistakes.
Do you have a final message you’d like to share with your fans?
I just want to thank all of my fans that have supported me the last few years and can’t wait for what’s in store for the future.
Be sure to keep up with Ryan on social media!
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