If you’re scrolling through Instagram with the hopes of finding sustainability and permaculture-related content where creators share tips and tricks that you can easily implement – whether you have a small balcony or a large plot of land – then you’re in luck.
Social media is home to a lot of great accounts that share educational and inspirational content about the world of permaculture and sustainable living. But one account, in particular, stands out from the rest.
In this exclusive interview, Oli and Macarena from Project Permacultura discuss how they first became interested in permaculture, how social media has allowed them to spread awareness about a topic they’re both passionate about and the pros and cons of being a niche creator.
Meet Project Permacultura: The Influencer Duo Inspiring Change Through Social Media
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we get started, our readers would love to know a little bit more about your background.
I grew up in rural Italy, we had a little family farm and ate most of our own produce. After that, I moved to England for university and pursued a degree in international business management. I quickly realized that it wasn’t my true calling and decided to work on a super yacht for a while, where I met my partner Macarena.
My passion for gardening and sustainable food production started when a friend gave me a book called The Little Food Book, which opened my eyes to the issues surrounding conventional agriculture and mass production.
This newfound inspiration led me to pursue gardening more seriously. My partner and I decided to move to Spain and embrace a new chapter focused on farming and sustainable living.
How did you first become interested in permaculture?
My interest in permaculture began, I’d say about five years ago, as a natural progression from my involvement with gardening. I delved into Christopher Shane’s work and was captivated by the diagrams and the author’s lifestyle, which mirrored the kind of life I envisioned for myself. He had created an intricate system in his garden, with different zones and a workshop. This book opened the door to a world where everything followed a harmonious cycle, minimizing waste and maximizing functionality, aligning perfectly with my own values. From that moment on, my passion for permaculture blossomed rapidly.
What are some key principles or practices of permaculture that you believe are important for people to incorporate into their daily lives?
Starting on a smaller scale is important, as permaculture can be implemented in any situation, even in urban environments. Supporting local farmers, making homemade cleaning products, and reusing items are simple ways to begin.
The principle of stacking functions ensures that everything has multiple benefits within a system, making routines more efficient and less stressful. Implementing systems like greywater recycling and solar energy reduces utility bills and lessens strain on the grid. Ultimately, permaculture emphasizes the shift from individual units to interconnectedness within a community and ecosystem.
Could you tell us a bit about how you got to the point in your career where you launched your successful social media page?
Launching my social media page was driven by a desire to educate people about regenerative practices, and provide ourselves with nutritious food. It started as a personal journey, and as we learned and implemented permaculture principles, we realized the importance of sharing this knowledge with others.
The page became a platform to document our progress, inspire others, and create a community centered around sustainable living.
How has social media played a role in spreading awareness about permaculture and sustainable living? Can you share any specific instances where your social media presence has made a significant impact?
As an influencer in the permaculture niche, my goals for spreading awareness and promoting sustainable living practices are multifaceted. My partner and I aspire to create a fully self-sustainable small holding that can serve as a home and an educational hub for hosting classes.
By combining education, practical examples, and collaborative initiatives, we hope to contribute to a more resilient future
How do you engage and educate your audience about permaculture concepts and encourage them to implement sustainable practices in their own lives?
We use dynamic and accessible content on social media. We focus on providing practical tips and tricks that can be implemented by individuals from various backgrounds and in different situations, whether they have a small balcony or a large plot of land.
We avoid overwhelming our audience with heavy permaculture content and instead aim to inspire them to adopt more sustainable practices gradually. Our approach aims to make permaculture appealing and interesting to a wider audience, while still allowing those who are specifically interested in the niche topic to delve deeper into the topic through specialized content.
The goal is to plant the seed of interest and provide opportunities for individuals to explore and expand their knowledge at their own pace.
In your opinion, what are some common misconceptions or challenges that people face when adopting permaculture principles, and how do you address those through your content?
Some common misconceptions and challenges people face when adopting permaculture principles include expecting immediate results, relying on quick fixes like chemical sprays, and believing that going off-grid or living without money is necessary. Another challenge is the perception that reusing waste material is inconvenient compared to simply throwing it in the bin. Personally, I have experienced a shift in my own beliefs, from initially thinking it was impossible to now actively practicing and promoting permaculture.
What strategies or techniques have you found most effective in engaging your social media followers and encouraging them to adopt permaculture practices?
One of the most effective strategies has been creating content that helps people save money and repurpose materials around them, such as reusing pallets and other resources. By posting a range of topics including homemade fertilizer recipes, DIY builds, plant and insect information, and water preservation techniques, we keep our content diverse and engaging. We also share real-life experiences and challenges, providing practical solutions and inspiring followers to implement permaculture practices in their own lives.
How do you use different social media platforms to reach a wider audience and tailor your content to fit each platform’s unique characteristics?
We use Instagram and TikTok. On Instagram, we focus on storytelling, sharing the journey and progress, and creating a sense of connection and community. TikTok, on the other hand, allows us to provide quick tips and easy-to-follow guides, catering to a fast-paced and visually engaging format.
What role do collaborations with other influencers or organizations play in your social media strategy for promoting permaculture? Can you share any successful partnerships you’ve had in the past?
While we’re relatively new to social media and haven’t collaborated extensively, we are excited about future collaborations with amazing individuals and organizations. Currently, we’re working on creating a course in collaboration with other organic gardening and permaculture influencers.
In the past, we enjoyed working with Cocopot, a family-run nursery and online shop.
How do you measure the success of your social media efforts in terms of promoting permaculture and inspiring sustainable actions? Are there any specific metrics or feedback you pay attention to?
While we do pay attention to metrics such as reach, engagement, and follower growth, the true measure of success for us lies in personal and virtual feedback. Conversations with people who have been positively impacted by our content, as well as the absence of disinterest or disengagement are indications of progress. When people actively listen, ask questions, and show enthusiasm, it reassures us that our content is working.
What has been the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a niche influencer account?
The most rewarding experience as a niche influencer account has been the ability to create a large following in a short time while passionately sharing what we believe in. Witnessing the positive impact, inspiring conversations, and seeing people take steps towards sustainable living has been incredibly fulfilling.
How do you ensure you stay ahead of the curve when it comes to trends?
Rather than focusing on following trends, our approach is centered on creating authentic content and tutorials. We aim to remain unique by being ourselves and showing our genuine experiences. We do keep an eye on current videos and topics of interest to stay relevant. If a trend aligns with our values and we’ve tested it previously, we may incorporate it into our content.
What do you think are the most important skills to have for success on social media? Especially for more niche accounts such as gardening, homesteading, and permaculture.
Proactivity, creativity, and authenticity are key skills for success on social media, especially for niche accounts like gardening, homesteading, and permaculture. Being proactive involves consistent posting and engagement with followers, while creativity allows for unique and engaging content creation. Authenticity is essential to build trust and credibility with the audience, as it shows genuine passion and interest in the subject matter.
You touched on the importance of authenticity in social media content. How do you think being authentic contributes to your impact and success on social media?
We firmly believe that standing out in a niche area requires a combination of being relatable to a broader audience while maintaining a unique and genuine voice. People appreciate content that resonates with them and shows the real, unfiltered aspects of life, rather than a polished highlight reel. It helps build trust and a deeper connection with our followers, making them feel like they’re part of a community.
What kind of advice would you give to other micro-influencers who are looking to grow their platform?
One crucial piece of advice we would give to aspiring micro-influencers is to maintain consistency in posting content. It’s important to strike a balance between posting frequently enough to engage your audience without overwhelming them with excessive content.
Consistency is key because algorithms tend to favor accounts that are active and consistent in their posting. Taking breaks from posting can negatively impact reach and visibility, as we experienced firsthand when we took a month off and saw a significant decrease in reach.
What new projects are you working on and what can we expect to see from you in the near future?
We have a couple of exciting projects in the works. Firstly, we’re working on a website where we plan to sell artisanal and handmade products that are relevant to the farming history and traditions of our town.
And another project we’re really excited about is a collaborative permaculture course that we’ll be a part of. It involves joining forces with several other Instagram influencers who are passionate about organic and permaculture gardening. The course will offer pre-recorded videos and resources on various topics, and we’ll also have live classes where each of us will teach our specialty.
Where can our readers find you?
You can easily locate me and stay updated on our latest activities through our social media handle: @projectpermacultura. For more information and exciting updates, our official website will be launched soon at projectpermacultura.es