The first time I will post a diary, since I thought this might be interesting for you. I really wanted to write about this subject for a long time. So here it is; how to get noticed on Instagram.
Instagram started to get bigger and bigger in 2012/2013. As many others, I started my own account (@nathaliehoran I think it was ((yes, I was a major One Direction fan, don’t blame me)). I did not use my Instagram as the way I do now. I used it for weird video’s and for some pictures I thought was nice in the time. Throughout the years, I started to delete shameful pictures and edit in a different way. However, this was definitely NOT the way how I started. At the end of 2016, I was already following bigger bloggers and Instagrammers. They were the ones who inspired me to start my own blog, and update my Instagram. And yes, of course in the beginning it was quite hard to get around, because a lot of girls started with blogging and (professional) Instagramming the same moment as I did. These are the steps I followed:
Obviously, the pictures are important on a platform such as Instagram. You need to start to create a lot of pictures so you can post (preferably) daily. I know this might seem difficult, and it is. You need to put a lot of time and effort into the pictures, and of course, you need to find a photographer (think of friends, family, boyfriend). Also, it is very important to stick to yourself, don’t act like someone else on a picture, people won’t believe that that’s the real you. If posting daily is too time consuming, you can think of specific days of the week that you want to post, or maybe once in the 2 or 3 days. However, I do recommend to start with daily pictures, because you need to get noticed (more about this later).
It might sound cheesy, but it is true. You DO need a theme for your Instagram. There are a lot of Instagrammers focusing on too many themes. Sometimes you can combine them perfectly, as in fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Sometimes it might be difficult, for instance food and beauty. Think of something you like, something you want your followers to relate you to. If it is too hard to think of a theme right away, you can look at other Instagram’s that you like and think of a theme that they might have. Most of the times the Instagram accounts that you follow, are also the kind of themes you like to see and which fit you.
All the cool pictures you have taken, are less beautiful without an edit. There are so many different edit programs you can use. It is hard to find an edit you like, but it is totally worth your time. Most of the time, people try to use the edit of someone else, which is okay, but not totally you. You need to stand out, so take your time and find out an edit you like. Use the same edit (with some slight adjustments) to other pictures you want to post and check whether you like it all together. Also, something I recommend, always change your edit slightly with every picture. Not every picture is taken in the same lighting, with the same colors or with the same background. Always play with your edit until you like it. Then again, check it with other pictures. The most known edit programs are:
- Lightroom (desktop and app)
Some of these apps are for free, others aren’t. Play with the apps, and find out what you like as an edit. To check whether you like your edit as a whole, you can use apps such as UNUM or preview.
This one is very important if you want to get noticed on Instagram. The first step, change your private account to public, otherwise your audience cannot see your content. When this is done, you need to start to connect with your followers, but also your friends and other Instagrammers. Thus, comment on their pictures, react on their comment on your picture. There are always curious people on Instagram who semi-stalk someone. These persons might just become your followers, or even better, friends. If you know some other Instagrammers, ask them for a shout out on their Instagram stories. This works well, since your audience is likely to be their audience as well. Try to get your pictures reposted by a brand you worked with or bigger Instagram accounts, like ootdmagazine, blondesandcookies or whowhatwear. If you use other platforms, such as Facebook, share your Instagram account. At first it might feel shameful, but be proud of yourself, you are trying to make your dream come true.
This might be hard, especially in the beginning. Everything evolves around connection. Just like you have to build this up with your followers, you have to do this with brands. It might take a while before you have built up partnerships with brands, but that is totally okay. you are just starting and still figuring out what you really like about your Instagram. Try to contact brands that you personally really like, but don’t just focus on the bigger companies. Each company tries to promote themselves in a different way. Some companies do this with a few (larger) Instagrammers, others find it more useful to go with more (smaller) Instagrammers. However, you will always hear a no. And no this is not nice to hear, but keep your head up, because there are tons of other companies who are dying to work with you. If you really like the company, try to figure out the reason why they did not want to work with you. This could be of several reasons; you have a small reach, you don’t fit the company, they have enough influencers at that moment or something completely different. Try to figure out why they do prefer another Instagrammer. This might help you in your future. If you find it hard to email companies personally, you can always get in touch with a PR agency. They look for companies which fit to you and vice versa.
There will be times when you have to say to a brand that you do not want to collaborate. This can be of several reasons. Sometimes a brand requires too many pictures of you for one piece of clothes in exchange. Don’t do this if you think it is way too much effort. You need to stand up for yourself.
After a while, your Instagram will slowly grow. Your pictures get more engagement and you might even have worked with some brands. Keep going! People love your work and you need to be proud of yourself!
I hope that these tips work!