I took a little extra time with this post because it means so much to me that people message me so often for advice, tips and their questions wanting to know how to get started and what I have done thus far! Like me?! Really? Thank you!
As I have stated numerous times, I started this page about a month ago (my Instagram I started a week earlier, to build anticipation) and I have gotten the most amazing feedback. Of course some days or maybe even everyday, you will get discouraged (or at least I do) but building yourself up and telling yourself that you are closer than you were a week ago, will truly help your confidence. In this post I am going to discuss with you the 5 Main things I did/took into consideration when posting on Instagram and trying to gain a following. In my opinion, I remember to not really focus on the number (although it may be hard and high numbers always will build you up) but focus more on the people, who your engaging, keeping them engaged and building yourself more and more each day.
FYI: I am VERY new to this, so none of my tips are facts, they are simply MY advice and what I DID. NOT FACTS 🙂
Read below for what I did/do:
1- TAKE ADVICE & BE FEARLESS. No one is too good for anyone (if that makes sense) Always be you, but take advice that people who came before you give. Before I started I was so embarrassed to talk to people for advice, or did not want to bother them, or was just shy, or felt dumb asking questions- but I did it anyway because asking is always better than wondering. so BE FEARLESS..I asked friends who had experience with this, and I connected with people through others who were kind enough to have a phone call with me to give me tips on how to start, and what they did. The amount of people I spoke to and the questions I asked in my opinion were extreme- but this is something that I knew was going to be like my baby and I wanted to do it right from the beginning. Once I realized that this blogging world is not judgmental or negative (if people are- cut them out of your life, no one needs that) it is inspiring and empowering, I wanted to become a part of it even more. I remember when I first posted a picture on my fashion Instagram, I was counting down the days until my blog was live- I was anxious, excited, and just wanted to be a part of this world. These girls were here to help me grow and watch me rise, not hope for me to fall- and that was motivating; So take advice, because you will need it and when you get it you can take bits and pieces from all the advice you received and use it in your own way to truly be YOU.
2- GIVEAWAYS. OMG Giveaways are amazing, and if you do not do them or never have I suggest you do ASAP. I was recommended to someone through a blogger friend and mt giveaways have been one of my favorite aspects about this (not kidding). It is SO amazing to see people comment about why they need the money, or why they want a camera so bad and to know that you chipped in to help that become possible, is why I love giveaways. YOU ARE MAKING SOMEONES DAY, and building your following at the same time.
3- Follow everyone. I have SO many people yet to follow and build on, but this is such an important key to your following- if fans follow you, do what you can to follow them all back, at least in the beginning. Also anyone who inspires you, follow them. Just follow anyone who you would even want to follow you back. If you have 3 Million followers obviously you cant, (but then again this post is starting out, so if you have 3M followers when you start out- call me! ha) but following back is part of engagement and so important. If you follow 10 people, maybe 5 will follow you back and then other people will see your name and so on. It is all about getting yourself out there- and just connecting with the world, which is cool because I have so many new friends that I have yet to meet, but I can’t wait to!
4- Like, comment, engage, be a real human & REAL in general. Ok before I started this I hated thinking like these people are not real, which is why I love that certain bloggers now do vlogs- because you see their life, you know they are just like you and that’s inspiration to move you forward. When a blogger NEVER responds to your comments or tries to acknowledge it, it makes you feel like they do not care. That is the WORST thing you can do to someone who is following YOUR journey- this is not their dream, this is yours and they are interested enough to want to be a part of it. NEVER take that for granted. Spend the time, even if it may be a half hour on your lunch break to like comments, comment back and ENGAGE with other bloggers, by commenting and liking their pictures as well. Post often and engage-Good vibes will always come back. A lot of my points are just not thinking you are TOO good for anyone, because you never will be. No one human is better than another regardless if it is your credentials, your followers, your collaborations- whatever it is every person works at their own pace but always engaging with this industry will get you way further than sitting back and not acknowledging anyone. If that was me- I would unfollow someone who I felt like never took the time that I take to comment and motivate them, to motivate me back. Un follow may be harsh- but I would definitely be upset, and you never want to hurt someone who is helping you accomplish your goals. Continue to comment, like, follow, engage, and inspire! BE REAL- Do not feel like you have to hold back being your true self, or saying what you really want to say because of what people may think. Be you, that’s why people followed you to begin with- plus no one likes fake people.
5- Features & Collaborations. So before I started a few people said to me ‘Collab Collab Collab!’ and I was like huh, what, I am confused! But now I totally get it. I did not understand at first, I would continuously say to myself “I just email people and ask if they want to work with me, why would the say yes, no one knows me?” WELL AGAIN BE FEARLESS! And yes they do want to work with you, they will feature you, and you will be known (one day!) See companies look at Instagram now as FREE advertising, it is kinda crazy- when you first start out and have under 10k (at least) you really won’t be getting paid for wearing companies clothes, or promoting their product but doing it helps you get more engagement from their pages and your marketing yourself as well as their brand, so in the beginning especially lots of people will want to work with you. EMAIL EMAIL EMAIL ALL! A bunch of people may not answer, I can show you plenty of people who haven’t, but for everyone who doesn’t there are THOUSANDS of more companies to ask. IF you email 20, 5 might answer- but you have to start out with small companies. If you just started your blog obviously do not try and collaborate with Chanel. Be humble and realistic. Reach out to companies with a little over your following number, collaborate and promote each other! FEATURES ARE ALSO SO HELPFUL- when you first start I am sure companies will reach out asking if they can post your photo- some may charge and some may be free. If people are charging ridiculous amounts then I would not do it, because a week later people will want to feature you for no charge- and who would say no to that 🙂 My first website feature was actually recently on Fashion Ambitions! (Click to read it) It was a Q&A about me, my goals, my passion why I started and so on- it was such a great moment! PEOPLE WILL reach out if you just be YOU, put in the hard work, (I feel like I have 2 full time jobs, but I wouldn’t change anything about either) dedicate yourself and make time to do what makes you happy. This blog seriously makes me feel so full of life, it is the best thing I’ve done. EMAIL EVERYONE WITH CONFIDENCE, if they say no- onto the next, but email email email DM DM DM- COLLAB AND FEATURES!
Oh also quickly- KNOW YOUR TIMES OF ENGAGEMENT! This pic below was on a Saturday at 11pm, and I was fully aware that no one was going to see it or care or acknowledge it because everyone is out or enjoying their weekend and busy- it wound up being my most engaged picture yet (even though the # of likes at the moment are 666 but we wont be afraid of that lol) & I am so appreciative of that, because my BESTIE took this pic- so it made me so happy. But yes the worst times may be the best- PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! 🙂
PS- I have never promoted a picture, has anyone else..does it help? COMMENT BELOW!
Ok well those are my 5 Key points- I could give you 100 more, and if you want more, just DM me or comment below and I will be glad to chat!
Sidenote: One of my friends who is amazing at Marketing told me to keep track of your ratio: divide your likes by followers, whatever that percent is is your ratio. Most bloggers may be 2-4%, she informed me of this because mine was at 10% (proud moment so let me brag for a minute), but then days it could be like 1% and it has been and will be in the future, BUT YOU KEEP GOING!
ALWAYS remember PEOPLE WILL HATE- maybe even friends (sad but true), true colors always show and it is ok, because all you have to do is continue to invite positive people in your life, the ones who lift you up- anyone who brings you down was never a friend to begin with. The people who say “I am so proud of you!” Keep them in your life, because they will be what keeps you going when you are discouraged, and they are the people who make you want to do better and better. ANYONE who is jealous, nasty, mean, or bringing you down- as hard as it may be, cut them out (of this journey at least) because anyone who wants to see you fall, should not be there to see you succeed. IF YOU ARE HAPPY, anyone who loves you WILL be too! POSITIVE PATTY NEVER NEGATIVE NANCY (thanks for that quote mommy! haha)
I LOVE YOU ALL! Seriously – Now lets continue to grow and kick some booty!!
Check out my most recent Insta Post as well- I have a monster bag in it hehe