Headspace: Volume 1
Instafamous: The Ins and Outs of Being a Suggested User
The first thing people say when they ask for my Instagram handle is usually something to do with my follower count. "How did you get so many followers?" "You're famous!" "Wow, you must get a lot of free stuff!" With over 20 thousand followers on Instagram, these comments make sense but the realities tied with being Instagram-famous aren't always as amazing as one may think. However, I find that what is most important is sticking to your guns and finding balance. More on this below!
Even I don't know for sure how Instagram handpicked me for their Suggested User list! I've often been asked what I did and if there's a formula, but truthfully, there isn't — at least not from my experience.
If you scroll way, way back to the time before I was suggested, I just posted what I wanted to post. Whether it was an outfit post, a shot of my favourite lipsticks or a travel photo, I posted whenever I felt like it and posted whatever I wanted. I didn' t post according to the time when you'd get the most engagement and I've tried my hardest not to fall in line with everyone who posts the same kind of content. Perhaps that's what set me apart but who knows, really.
Once I was notified by DM and by email, the notifications immediately started blowing up my phone. I noticed it was a lot of new users and users without much content, and I welcomed them with a post in which I introduced myself.
However, with the huge amount of new followers I gained over the two weeks in which I was on the list, I soon felt a pressure I had never felt previously. It was a pressure to deliver good content and content that people would like. But what I found not too long after was that I really didn't need to pander to such pressures. Sticking to what I enjoy posting is really all I needed to do.
Sure, I lose followers each day. My photos don't get as many likes as you'd think with over 20 thousand followers. But that really doesn't matter. What I liked and still like about Instagram is the ability to share bits and pieces of my life with everyone — albeit bits and pieces that have been framed and photographed nicely. And don't get me wrong, I am forever grateful to Instagram for the doors that it has opened after I was a Suggested User.
What has also helped is cutting back on promotional content. As cool as it is to be approached by brands and sent free product, there is an inherent pressure to deliver great content when gifted something — at least to me there is. I stressed over photos and have dealt with the pushiest of pushy marketers. This is why I made sure to only accept what I could handle and from brands that I really do love.
From my experience, balance is key. It's about caring just enough about your Instagram account, but not too much that you're wrapped up in specific posting times, hashtags, ratios, likes, and so forth. Post what you enjoy posting, not what's cool or trendy or gets the most likes.
And this is what works for me.