We have indulged in a spot of blog hopping this week with the fabulous Kat from @life_at_63 and she has some real pearls of wisdom to share with you. If you’re feeling a little chewed up and spat back out by the Instagram rat race, read on for her top tips on staying positive and achieving success! You’ll find us over on her blog page talking ‘shelfie styling’ so be sure not to miss that either. Over to you Kat…
I heard someone say that “being famous on Instagram is like being rich in Monopoly” and if we are honest about it – Instagram isn’t real. It’s curated, it’s planned, it’s snippets of our lives we choose to show others, it’s not absolute reality. Therefore, we should approach it with the sentiment that if it suddenly went ‘poof’ and disappeared tomorrow, it wouldn’t matter.
That said – things that happen via Instagram, such as forming new friendships with like-minded people, opportunities for work, the creative journey we all go on, are real. Lets not deny that it can open up a world of opportunity, should we use it in the right way.
I recently had an invitation pop up in my inbox, asking me if I would like to go to the launch of Amanda Holden’s new homewares range called ‘Bundleberry’ for QVC. I was obviously delighted to attend, and it felt surreal, hugging (yes I did walk up to her and hug her, much to her surprise) and chatting to this well-known celebrity over a glass of prosecco, and also spending time with other successful Instagrammers. This opportunity would never have arisen if I didn’t have an Instagram profile, so it can lead somewhere, but I believe we should also try not rely on it too much.
This has two meanings for me. The first is, don’t let the ‘A’ word get you down. For anyone who is a newbie to Instagram and the hoops it makes us jump through on a daily basis, the A stands for ‘Algorithm’. It seems to vary from day to day, week to week and throws up all sorts of challenges.
Recently, I’ve sensed an air of frustration in people (myself included) who work their butts off to create beautiful content for their feeds only to find their reach is poor and their likes and comments dwindling. This is when it’s important to remember, it will change again, and it doesn’t have a personal vendetta towards us or our accounts.
This mantra also stands for being positive in your posts and online persona. I mean, I’m definitely up for keeping it real to a point, and if your having a bad day – maybe you stepped in fox poo on the school run, or the OH managed to shrink your new cashmere jumper so it now only fits your toy chihuahua Bert – hell, tell us. But in the main, keep it light and happy. We all want to feel uplifted, and for some, this beautifully curated Instagram world provides escapism from their every day lives.
I am slowly becoming a dab hand at writing captions underneath my posts, but there will always be people who lead more interesting lives than me, or who can effortlessly write 20 lines that make me laugh out loud, because they are naturally witty and self-deprecating. That’s okay though, we all have something good and positive we can write about, even if it’s just that we enjoyed our bubble bath that evening, or we lost a pound at weight watchers!
We all have something unique to offer, and that’s why your followers choose to follow your account – they like YOU and YOUR home and YOUR story. There’s space for everyone, and we should all approach it in our own, original way.
Try not to compare your Instagram growth to other people’s. All accounts grow at different rates for varying reasons and it doesn’t mean you should quit or feel inadequate. Pursue your own goals and as long as you’re happy, then carry on. You totally rock and your time to shine will come.
Something that I have noticed since opening my account, is that the interiors community is extremely supportive, inclusive, vibrant and friendly and I think that’s why it’s such a fun place to be and is expanding so quickly.
You can spread kindness by sharing other accounts on your stories, double tapping every time you see a square you love, communicating with genuine, thoughtful comments, and just being a friend to people you connect with.
Every day is a new day. I think it’s important to start with a fresh approach each morning, as even if yesterday saw you only achieve 6 likes on a photo you put effort into, today could turn out quite differently. Have confidence in your abilities.
Following on from the last point – I recommend looking at the bigger picture instead of at each individual post and scrutinising how well it did. Look at how your feed is performing over a week or a month long period. This gives you a better feel of how fast your organic growth is, and then you can make adjustments accordingly. Perhaps you need to post at a time when more of your followers are online. Usually for interiors related feeds, it’s advised to post between 6 and 9pm. Perhaps you need to determine which areas of your home are the least popular, and make a few adjustments to the styling, or the angle of your photography. Maybe you should spend more time engaging with others.
Make sure you are doing YOU. By all means take inspiration from others, after all, that’s why we are all sharing our homes on Instagram – to inspire- but try not to imitate other accounts as it won’t seem authentic and may mean losing followers.
If you want this whole Instagram malarkey to take you places (let’s face it – we all dream of being the next Lisa Dawson or Dee Campling,) then put into it what you want to get out of it. I understand that we can’t all live and breathe it – we have children to feed and jobs which we should really show up to on a regular basis (after all I don’t think ‘taking photos of my house for Instagram’ really cuts it as an excuse for a sick day). But consider what you can manage to do and stick to it. If that’s a post once a day or once every two days, that’s fine, but be consistent and put your all into that post. Take a fabulous photo, give some information about your day in your caption so people can get to know the person behind the square, and, again, aim to spread positivity.
Until next time,