John Pollard, a junior majoring in business administration, has started Trojan Save, an Instagram account devoted to helping Trojans save money around campus and in Los Angeles.
“We go speak with local businesses and work together to make exclusive offers for our users,” Pollard said. “In order to redeem a deal, all you have to do is show the store that you follow our account and liked the image that corresponds to the offer you want.”
Pollard started the account as a way to help students reduce their stress. By worrying less about finance, Pollard said, students can spend more time focusing on their studies and on socializing. The account has gained nearly 500 followers since it began posting last month.
“Our motto is that you should save on the things you need, so you can spend on the things you love,” Pollard said.
Pollard has worked to make Trojan Save a partnership between students and local businesses so that they can support one another. Businesses that offer special savings get more customers and exposure while students have the ability to save more. Trojan Save has offered promotions from Smiles Cafe, La Taquiza Mexican Grill and 23rd Street Cafe.
The growth of Trojan Save has been an exciting journey for Pollard. He often frequents the businesses that Trojan Save has partnered with, observing students utilizing the businesses’ promotions. Pollard said it’s the most exciting when he sees a student redeem one of the Trojan Save deals.
“It’s really rewarding to see the interaction between student and store and know we’re a part of that relationship benefitting both sides,” Pollard said.
Beyond seeing Trojan Save in action, Pollard said the team appreciates every new follower, whether or not he knows the follower personally.
“It’s also really funny when I see someone I know start following the account, because I know for some reason Trojan Save crossed their mind and they decided to search us and follow,” Pollard said.
Much of the work for Trojan Save is in creating partnerships with businesses to get deals for students. Pollard said he received a positive response when he first approached business owners with his idea.
“The business owner said, ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this for free,’” he said. “They have enough work to do between running their stores, talking to vendors and so on, so it’s a relief [for them] when we help spread awareness of their message. I thought it would help students from the start but was surprised to find that we were adding a lot of value and support to these businesses as well.”
Pollard said Trojan Save utilizes Instagram to create a unique relationship between businesses and students.
“I’ve found that a lot of businesses are actively seeking out ways to reach students on their phones, and we allow them to post with relevant photos over the Instagram [account],” Pollard said.
The most crucial aspect of the business partnerships that Trojan Save creates is ensuring that they remain personal.
“It allows us to work together to figure out what works best for businesses and students alike,” he said.
Spreading awareness to both students and businesses has been the main objective of Trojan Save.
“In order to spread awareness of our account to students, we’ve made fliers and handed out free coffee at Smiles Cafe,” Pollard said. “It is kind of a chicken and egg problem because we need more users to attract more businesses, and it is important to make sure that we can keep the promotions fresh so students follow us.”
Trojan Save has a couple new plans in store as they continue to grow. Pollard hopes to expand the number of business partners to deliver a better product to students.
“We plan on bringing in a broader range of local restaurants and services so that we bring the best experience possible to our users,” Pollard said. “We’re hoping to get really creative with the promotions we offer as we grow, and hope to have something relevant for most parts of your day, everything from your morning coffee to tickets for a game at the Staples Center.”