I always get a lot of questions asking how my Instagram grew and any advice I can give to anybody wanting to start their own blog or have an audience on Instagram. First off I want to say I'm no expert and that I got lucky because I started Instagram when no one was really using it. There are plenty of Instagrams out there that are far more creative and deserve a bigger audience than mine. Instagram just kinda blew up suddenly and everyone started using it. Now there are just so many Instagram accounts popping up everywhere. Here are some of my tips on growing an audience.
Sounds lame and cliche but be authentic. It gets a bit boring when everyone looks the same and has the same thing. I admit I too have those moments where I want to dress like that person, but then I realize that it wouldn't look that great on me. Find what works for you, not every clothing item you see on a blogger or your style icon will flatter you. Each person is unique and I think when you find your own style and are genuine, people's attention will naturally gravitate to you because there's something special. Also, I think there's a huge difference between being inspired and copying. Find your own niche.
Collaborate with brands you think will be a good fit for you and your audience. Almost 95% of my posts I want to say are not sponsored. I post on a daily basis just because I want to. Instagram started as a hobby and I didn't tell my friends and family at first because I just wanted to have a creative outlet. Which is why I started off anonymous and probably a big reason why you don't know that much about me (yet). Instagram will always be a platform I'm grateful for because it led me to so many opportunities and I don't want to use it solely to promote products. Yes, Instagram can be lucrative but that shouldn't be your motivation for starting it. My advice is to work with brands that you really do love and that you think will be a great fit for you and your audience. The Pink Diary represents me and it's important to stay picky and true to yourself when working with brands. I want to take pride in the work that I put out there and have no regrets when I look back.
Only invest in items you need. It's not smart to buy a Chanel bag if you can't afford it just to prove your worth on Instagram. Yes we've all been there. I think it's important to spend your money wisely and Instagram can get expensive if you're buying new things every week just to have something new to post. People always ask me why I deviated from fashion and started venturing into different areas such as food and home, but honestly I'm not going to buy a new outfit every week just to put it up on Instagram. I already have too many clothes in my closet! Bottom line...buy things you'll actually use and wear. This reminds me of a quote from Will Smith, "too many people are buying things they can't afford, with money they don't have...to impress people they don't like!"
Respond to people who support you. I try to respond back to e-mails and comments on my Instagram when I have a chance. I'm always grateful for the audience that I have and for the encouraging and supportive comments I always get. I think it's important to connect to people who support you even though it may be a simple comment like thank you or telling them where you got your jeans from. Which reminds me it's been awhile since I had a giveaway on my Instagram. I'm still thinking of what to include in the giveaway but stay tuned!
Do what makes you happy. I think it took me many years to figure this out which is probably why I couldn't stay at one job for a long time. The last job I took was working as a a hygiene assistant because I thought maybe I should aim high and go to dental school. Obviously that didn't last long and I left after about a month or two of working. This applies to Instagram because you should post things that you like, not what other people like. For example, you don't have to post pictures of macarons because everyone else is. Post what you like. Post what makes you inspired, what makes you happy.
Blogging is hard only do it if you really are passionate about it. If you're thinking about blogging, think about what you want to write about whether it's about fashion or cooking recipes. I think the key is to write about something you have knowledge about and love talking about. It's still hard for me to blog even though it's been about three and a half years since I started this blog. Creating new content can be difficult. Instagram is easier because you just need to post a photo which is why I'm more active on Instagram. There are moments when I want to rip my hair out because blogging is very time consuming and can take days just for one post. Blogging can also be costly because you have to pay hundreds, if not thousands to maintain your blog.
Don't sweat over the number of followers you have. I'll admit I used to base my worth on the number of followers and likes I had. It's sad but life shouldn't be revolved around superficial things like the number of likes you got on a picture. There will be days when your follower count will decline and some days where it'll grow. People will follow you if you have something to offer that's different from other accounts but don't sweat over it.
Wow. Didn't think I'd have so much to share but hope these tips were useful and thank you if you took the time to read all of this. Instagram should be a fun platform to share photos - don't sweat over the small stuff :)