Instagram. The app we love to hate. We all whine and bitch about it, but at the end of the day is it or is it not in the top 5 apps you check as soon as your eyes open?
BTW hi, hello, yes I’m still here. I would say ‘I’m back and you’ll be seeing my lil potato face xyz times a week’, but y’know, no one likes a liar. So for now, hi honey – I’ve missed ya.
I took to the questions section of IG and asked what you would like to see on the blog for my grand (lol) return. And out of all the replies, this was the one that came up time and time again. If you follow me over on IG you will have probably seen that I my following has taken a bit of a leap forward in the past few weeks.
After my hiatus at the beginning of the year, I posted again for the first time; 29th May with 2,900 followers. Fast forward to today as I write this 26th August I have 5,687, nearly double what it was 3 months prior.
I have been asked if I’ve bought followers, how I’ve managed to grow when ‘the algorithm’ has stunted so many others. So I thought I’d share what I’ve done.
Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert, there is still so much for me to learn and there are 10s of thousands of people with a much larger following than me, this is just my little journey and what I did. Plus my feed is fashion focused so not everything may be applicable to everyone.
Now I’ve hopefully appeased any little bridge dwellers that always come out of the woodwork on these kinds of posts, let’s get into it.
Possibly the bougiest thing I have ever written in my 26 years. And as ridiculous and extravagant as it seems, working with a photographer was my first step towards my spike in growth. I know hiring a photographer is a luxury and not one that everyone can afford, however I saved up for a little while and booked a 2 hour slot.
I worked with the amazing Stacey, she was a little dream boat and found an area in London that worked with the aesthetic I wanted my content to be, I got all my newest clothes in a rickety old suitcase and we shot. Stacey did the edit for me on the images I chose and that was that. Shooting with someone who knows what they’re doing, can hold your hand and has all of the professional equipment is exactly what I needed.
I was so excited to upload my work with Stacey and so proud to share what we had created, and that joy shines through to your audience.
My mentality for my content before this was ‘eh it’ll do’. Take 3 or 4 quick snaps, none of which I was particularly thrilled by, chuck on the ‘auto’ edit option in Lightroom and upload without a second thought.
I wrote a post a couple of months ago entitled ‘are photos too edited’, and to be honest I’ve done a bit of a 180 on this topic. The content is yours to chop and change however you want, it’s about self expression and being creative. And whilst some edits do skew the actual colours of the shot (e.g. your white top now has a pink hue), who the hell cares? If you like it then go for it.
I played around in Lightroom, bought myself some presets and found something that I was happy with that I felt enhanced my images. I’d heard the phrase before ‘it’s all in the edit’ and never really paid it much heed. Yet it couldn’t be more true. The amount of snaps I’ve had a very *shoulder shrug* opinion on are some of my absolute favourites once they’ve had their moment of glory in Lightroom.
We all know about it, we all want others to engage with us, and we all can’t be bothered to engage with others. I’m guilty of it, just scrolling, seeing an image I like and carry on scrolling. Take the time to like and comment on people’s uploads and stories that resonate with you, it’ll come back around ten fold.
Do some research. Make sure they’re applicable to your content. And use all 30 hashtags to reach as many accounts as possible.
The biggest one for me was to stop watching the numbers and actually enjoy the app for what it’s meant for. Sharing photos. I’m making myself vomit with these cliches but they’re always the best pieces of advice. Stop watching the numbers, love what you’re putting out there. Don’t feel pressured to be on it 24/7 and you’ll soon see the change in your outlook on possibly the most controversial app there is.
Another thing that has helped my growth and exposure is being reposted by brands. I’ve had my images reposted by River Island a couple of times, Joanie Clothing and a few more. On average I gain about 100 followers per time I’m reposted depending on how big the brand is. It also boosts my engagement and profile visits massively. It’s not a be all and end, but I won’t lie – it certainly does help.