Listen…and listen very closely!
START LISTENING TO OTHER’S ADVICE!!!
Now seriously, there have been so many articles, interviews, videos’s, conferences, and all give similar advice on “How to grow your Instagram.” “How to have a cohesive Instagram.” etc. But do you actually put into practice the advice these people give you??? I know I have ignored that for so many years and all along it was all there in front of me all this time but I actually never REALLY LISTENED! It actually came in one ear and came out the other instantly. I just somehow missed the clues they were all trying to tell me. They always seem like good ideas and good advice but who has time for that? Right? I’ve learned the hard way…
I know I never put into practice the advice given and always wondered why doesn’t my Instagram grow? Why don’t I like my own Instagram. Why don’t I feel motivated to post? Ever ask yourself those questions? Well, let me give you some advice…listen…just listen…
As you all know I have re-branded my blog recently and well I decided to change a few other things along with it. One being my Instagram and have been getting a lot of questions recently. So, I decided I was going to make this thing called Instagram work. If you go back and check out my Instagram feed you will get that feeling of when I actually cared for it. Yes, you heard it right, and it might sting a little for some but you actually have to care for what you put on Instagram.
Now, I am not saying you have to make every picture perfect. Nope, on the contrary. You have to create an Instagram that inspires you first to be able to inspire others. See where I am going here. There will be people like you that like what you put out there. There is an audience for everyone but don’t loose sight of your brand and what you represent. For example if your a fashion blogger only, then you don’t want to put up a picture of a random car up. People who follow, follow you because you provide fashion inspiration. Random pictures will not make your page feel cohesive(if you are going to use a border, use on all your pictures etc.). So you do have to care and put some thought into it, staying focus on your brand. Remember, you want people feel comfortable enough to connect with you. They want someone who they can relate, sympathize, and identify with. This will provide that something special that will attract them to interact with you in the long run.
How did I change it? Well first off I decided to have a color theme, which if you notice all my pictures have some white in it. That is my main focal point but also I include a lot of gold and light pastel shades, and try to stay away from black or dark colors. I will also include myself in a lot of pictures to give it that personal touch when trying to display a product. I also cleaned house, and deleted several pictures that were just not up to par with what I represent now, pictures that just didn’t make any sense. This has really pulled my feed together cohesively and brought it all together as one. I didn’t delete all of them because I wanted to scroll back and see my progress.
Two. I decided to invest in my pictures, ultimately my brand. If you analyze my feed you can see I use a lot of props; flowers most of the time. This just really brings the lifestyle side of my blog into my Instagram feed. Find something that translates into your brand. Display yourself, your items in a way that captures that essence you are trying to capture. You can find props for very low cost at Ross, Michael’s, Goodwill, and believe it or not garage sales. This will help you set the mood for what you are trying to put focus on, they are not a distraction as most think of them; if you learn how to arrange them. I understand that props are not everyone’s style, but that is what you need to find for yourself. What will make your pictures stand out from the rest? Also, I recently invested on a new 50mm lens which honestly I am still getting use to, but I know once I get the hang of it, my pictures will be at the next level. Most of my pictures are taken with my Canon t5i, and use the lens it came with. Once in a while I still use my IPhone but that is rarely the case now. Good set of lighting is very important as well. It will make a world of difference in the clarity of your pictures. I use this set of photography soft box light when there is not sufficient lighting.
Also, I must take like 20-30 shots of a single item to find the perfect one I want to upload. Don’t think you shoot once and you are done…nope. You must take several to find one that will suit what you want to portray. “Time has a wonderful way of showing us what matters.” Things take time, and like anything, you need to take the time to make it work for you. It will show in the end if you took the time to make it work, make it you, make it represent what you are trying to show. Practice makes perfect too. I have progressed in my photography skills throughout my blogging career over the years.
The question I get A LOT is: What filters do you use? Well none to be exact. I do edit my pictures in the settings such as brightness, shadows and so forth, until I find the perfect combination that I love. I play with it a lot, and I mean a lot. I can’t have too much or too little of anything for it to be post worthy.
So what is my secret? To tell you the truth there is no secret, it is all just listening to what people who know how Instagram works have mentioned before. I am finally in a place of peace with Instagram, growing slowly(against buying followers to the fullest) but I can honestly say I am proud of what I see now, no matter the size I am. I am just trying to enjoy it and make it fun. You know what they say, when you are having fun, it wont feel like work. Wish I knew how to listen years ago. Remember this is what is working for me and might not be exactly what works for you, but it is all trial and error and finding what works for you. Best advice I can give you: Just do you, be unique, find a medium that makes you want to follow yourself and most importantly, listen to others.
I know some might agree and some might not. Tell me your thoughts on this topic. Leave your handle below if you wish so I can check out your Instagram page.
My Instagram: www.instagram.com/missfely
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