There isn’t one. I know that was totally false advertising on my part and I apologize, please don’t hate me. : ) After my post on not fitting in I had an overwhelming response and had to follow it up with what I’m hearing from so many of you.
“Instagram is all about fitting in or you don’t grow.” “How did you do it?” “What are you doing?” “I feel like I have to sell out to get anywhere.” “I don’t fit in either and it’s HARD, how do you keep going?” Ya’ll it’s legit true, I’ve felt it too….all of it.
So even though there is no secret to breaking the Instagram DaVinci Code (a whole lot of conspiracy theories though) I’m sharing with you what I do and how I approach it.
**Tip 1: Instagram is hard and it’s getting harder. The algo is brutal and it’s affecting everyone from small to big (over 100k+). IG seems to think that you need to pay to be seen, my advice….don’t pay for “ads” or sponsored posts. I have known people who do it and it doesn’t help anyway.
**Tip 2: It’s no secret that the all white is the big hot ticket on IG. If you do that you’re going to have a better chance at fitting in and growing more quickly. Cool and if it’s you do it! For those of us that aren’t….I’m lookin at you all my fab peeps I’ve been hearing from….keep going. It’s harder to break the mold but there IS a community of us in IG land, and more and more people are looking for something different.
**Tip 3: Stay consistent. Post regularly and at the same time every day. I post Sunday at around 10am (cause that’s when I feel like it, haha) and Monday – Thursdays around 7-7:15am MST. I’m up headed to get my teen to school at that time so I post then for ease and so I don’t obsess about getting it done during the day when it’s busy.
**Tip 4: I use roughly the same hashtags, the ones I remember anyway, that apply to my style. So lots of colorful and boho tags. And I always post around 23-27. Again it’s a memory thing so no secret number.
**Tip 5: Rotate your shots. I always space my shots at least 2 weeks apart if not more. And if it’s the same room I will usually try to do a different angle or have it changed up a bit, even with just a pillow swap or something. It keeps things interesting and fresh.
**Tip 6: Stick to your style and keep it consistent. Continuity in your feed is important, it’s your portfolio and tells people what to expect from you. I recently posted a shot of my teen son’s room that I am actually very proud of, (I’ll be doing a post on the whole thing soon!) because it shows my versatility in my design ability. Given that it was all neutrals with very little color (not my usual look) it completely bombed. And I mean BOMBED. I barely had 240 likes in 7 hours. I archived it. I never do that but this was so bad it was going to drag me way down in the algo. (there’s that damn formula again.)
**Tip 7: How do you address the negative comments? These are just annoying. People on the internet & IG seem to think that because they are behind a screen it gives them an excuse to be rude and forget (or not care) that they are talking to real people. Anyway, the answer to the question….. 1. I ignore it (if it’s a convo between people on my post and it’s not super offensive). 2. Address and rebutt it. Example “That makes absolutely no sense there, I think it looks dumb.” I would say “I think it looks quite nice actually. Have a great day” Kill em with kindness and they never come back for more. 3. If it’s really bad I just delete and ignore it. I once had a lady leave a comment that said “I bet this bitch doesn’t even use this space, how ridiculous and such a waste of a lot of money.” So there are a LOT of presumptions in this but the minute I read “bitch” I was like DELETE. Mama ain’t got time for negativity in my life.
**Tip 8: Never give up. I’m not gonna lie I had a total breakdown last week, (like the whole damn week) and I wanted to quit. Over lack of opportunities, a lack of motivation, lack of collabs, etc. Like “what’s wrong with me.” It’s what happens with this IG blessed and cursed world, you get sucked into the whole business side of it. What are your number of likes/comments, how you measure up to what other people are getting and doing, how fast are they growing, and and…..
My hubs had a tough love moment with me, he said “don’t look at it from that perspective, think about all the people you hear from every day that love you are doing something different, that tell you how much you inspire them to try it too.” “That love your corny jokes and your push to share yourself and your style.”
And folks, honestly as much as I was mad at him, because I was an irrational hot mess, he was SO right. Somewhere along this crazy train I lost sight of why I started doing all of this in the first place. It wasn’t about the numbers, stats, collabs or business opportunities it was about YOU.
And that simple sentence pulled me right out of that sad “I’m not good enough, what’s wrong with me” hole I had been wallowing in. Your DM’s, emails, comments on both the blog and IG are what really keep me going. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you all are why I’m here and keep sharing so please don’t hesitate to send me those messages!
At the end of the day it’s this. For my mental health, and legit survival I am staying focused on the basics and that’s to share me, my style, my goofy fam and way of approaching life. And to hopefully inspire or help some of you along the way. I can’t look at it as a business that will make me the next boho Joanna Gaines. (although that would be awesome, holla HGTV haha) It’s a space and a thing that I’m growing for ME. It’s given me a creative outlet, a social circle I never would have had and the opportunity for some very cool things to happen. So while I won’t scoff at working with a fab company or cool opportunity, I definitely won’t make it all about that and you shouldn’t either. It will eat you alive. Try to find another reason for sharing on IG or your blog and make sure you are passionate about it, because you will be tested……regularly.
What are your tips for building on Instagram? Do you do anything differently than I do and see success? I always love to hear from you so hit me up in the comments!
And don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any of my fun posts! I never really know what I’m going to talk about so it’s always an adventure.
Much love to ya friends, it’s a rough road but there’s hope and we’re in it together.