I recently reached 10k on Instagram (WOOHOO!) and I thought I would share my (limited) knowledge with you guys on how I got there! I know 10k is still nowhere close to being a successful social media figure but it is a huge accomplish for me! I’ve also been asked a couple of times for tips to starting a blog or IG account. So here it is!
Pick a niche/area of interest
This is definitely one of the first things you should consider when starting a blog or an IG. I know everyone has endless interests that they would like to share with the world. But I think it’s important to consider what your niche is so that it makes it easier to define who your audience is. Having a good understanding of your audience helps a lot when it actually comes down to content creation. I’m definitely not saying your niche and your interests can’t expand and grow as you go along, but I think having a niche helps a lot when you’re getting started to get your followers ball rolling.
I’m realizing more and more, as a blogger and as someone who is constantly flipping through IG, that content consistency is extremely important. I’m not just talking about the quality of the content (which really is #1 when it comes to level of importance) but also the timing and frequency of your posts. A huge difficulty I face is the lack of time I have to shoot and create content. As a full-time student who also works part-time in retail, fitting blogging in my weekly schedule is a struggle. However I continue to dedicate my rare days off to working on my IG and blog because it is something I love to do. This means that I have to maximize every waking moment of my days off to try to create as much content as I can. Creating quality content is not an easy thing to do and it is crucial when it comes to building a successful social media account. So here are my my biggest tips regarding this issue:
Shoot as many outfits as you can during your shoot days
That way, throughout the week when you’re busy, you still have worthy content to upload and you’re not stuck with uploading filler photos (like I do sometimes!)
Try to designate one day a week, at least, to creating content
Creating a schedule for yourself gives you no excuse to avoid shooting for that week. And trust me, you’ll thank yourself for following through with shooting when Thursday rolls around and you realize you still have photos to post!
Set a posting schedule.
My posting schedule for my blog is WAY less organized than IG. For IG I post at least once a day and sometimes more if I have worthy content (anywhere between 1-3 photos). I find that because I know I’d like to post everyday it has really helped with creating a sense of urgency and discipline when it comes to shooting and writing. But keep in mind you should create a schedule that works with your life! Don’t over-burden yourself and end up posting just to post!
Improving your content
Everyone starts out taking photos with their phones and that is totally okay! It is absolutely unecessary to have a camera when you’re just starting off because most smartphones these days have great quality cameras. However, I do think improvement is very important if you’re serious about IG or blogging. For me that means creating more content with my camera, finding better and more interesting backgrounds, and planning my outfits better. It’s easy to get lazy and post just for the sake of posting. Heck I still find myself doing that more than I should. But I try to put more effort in my content whenever I can. Especially since I’ve been trying to build on my blog more consistently, I find that I need those high-quality DSLR photos to use in my posts.
I am not saying that you need to go out and drop bills on a nice camera just to start a blog or IG. But I think it is important to always think about how you can improve on your work!
Not everyone uses hashtags and a lot of people get by just fine without it. But I still use a group of hashtags every time I post a picture because I think it does make a difference! Hash-tagging allows people to more easily discover your content, and really I’ll take any type of optimization I can when it comes to bringing more awareness to my profile. I’ve copied and pasted the little paragraph of hashtags that I include with all my outfit posts down below so that you guys can use it too! I usually keep this in my notes on my phone and just paste it into my comments every time I create a new post. You can go ahead and remove or add any hashtags you’d like and that you think relates to your post!
I’m seeing more and more benefit in cross-platform sharing your content. One huge thing for me is ensuring that all of my social media handles and platforms are brand-aligned and follow a certain theme. Whether this means using the same profile photo or using the same banner, I like to create a sense of unity between my accounts so that all platforms are uniquely ME! Once I have all of my accounts (Twitter, IG, Blog, Facebook, Youtube) aligned, I make sure that every time I create a new video or blog post or G post, I share that throughout all the accounts. This way you spread your reach and create a larger opportunity for people to discover you! Not to mention it looks super professional when all your accounts are in sync with the others. Shows that you can manage more than one platform at a time!
So this is always something I get asked about. Do I reach out to companies and brands that I want to collaborate with? How do I get brands to notice me? What do I have to do to get brands to want to work with me?
Well, here’s the breakdown:
I’ve only reached out to two companies in my entire lifetime of being on IG to collaborate. All of the other collaborations that I have been so lucky to do so far has been brands and companies reaching out to me. There really isn’t a surefire way to get companies to start partnering with you except for creating continuous quality content. I know I’ve said this already probably more than once in this post but it truly is the KEY to growing your profile. Once brands and companies see your work and your growth and it’s aligned with their content, they will naturally want to work with you. One thing you could do if there is a specific company that you want to work for (and you don’t want to directly email them an request) is to create content with their products and tag them and use their hashtags. This creates an opportunity for the social media manager of that company to notice your content and decide whether you are a good fit for their affiliate program or current collaboration opportunities.
As for actually reaching out to the brands and companies, you would send an email to the brand with a collaboration request. In this request email it is important to keep in mind who your audience is and how this collaboration with benefit them. I would include your current stats (impressions per post, follower count, engagement level, the accounts and platforms that you would be able to post on) as well as a specific offer for the collaboration. Usually this entails number of posts, frequency/timing of posts, content ideas etc. Remember to keep this email audience-centric! Focus on how this will benefit for them and creating a long-term relationship with the company. There’s nothing these brands hate more than people who just want to collaborate to get freebies.
This was such a content heavy post! Ah! Hope I didn’t over-bombard you guys with text. I hope this post was insightful for those of you thinking of becoming a blogger or influencer! I’ve been asked over and over again about how I got to where I am today, and honestly this is all stuff I learned on the way. And of course, most importantly do it for the right reasons. Do it because you enjoy creating content and interacting with your followers NOT because you want freebies!
If anyone has any questions feel free to comment down below or email/DM me directly!
Until next time,