Tips for Starting Your Instagram

I started thinking of all the things I’ve learned since I created my IG account two years ago. Granted, I haven’t always considered what I’m about to share since I didn’t start my IG account with the intention of blogging or working as an influencer. But! As time has passed, there are definitely some things I’ve learned through trial and error. While most of these tips can be applied to anyone starting an IG, I think they are especially helpful to those who want to use their Instagram as a business platform as well.

I know we’ve all heard this tip before, but, BE YOURSELF. Ah, this is so important–for a lot of reasons! One of the things I love about Instagram is the ability to connect with others. With that said, when people choose to follow along with me, I want to be able to truly connect with them. If I’m sharing content that I’m not truly passionate about, or altering my personality to fit what I think people want to see…that is not beneficial for me or anyone else. Post what you want. Because if you start posting based off what you think is the “right” thing (ie. you start DIY acai bowls but you actually don’t give a sh*t about them lol) that is going to get real old real quick haha. Trust me, you’re not going to want to maintain that. So, yeah, the more you are yourself, the stronger your content and branding will be, and the more you will be able to engage with others. There were definitely times in the past where I felt like I had to change up my content or captions to mirror other successful fitness Instagram accounts. Not the right approach!! People are following you because they like you, and want to hear what you have to share. You want to be yourself–what do you bring to the table that’s unique?

Along those lines, let’s talk about FILLER PHOTOS. Okay, this is something I wish I just would have gotten over sooner and stopped trying to be like everyone else (remember when I said to post what YOU want??). I’ll first say that this is nothing against people who have filler photos (and yes, even people who have them use that term, I’m not being mean lol!). Anyway. Trust me, I love some photos of pretty palm trees against a pink wall haha, but it works with the aesthetic of some accounts, and for others it doesn’t. For the longest time, I felt like I had to post something other than just “me.” And while I understand that mentality, I noticed that people seemed to engage much more with photos of me and my life, as opposed to ones I would post of food, sunsets, whatever lol. But not only that, I don’t even LIKE making pretty food, I don’t care about photos of palm trees. Sure, I like looking at that stuff on some other accounts, but it’s not me personally and I don’t enjoy posting it. It wasn’t natural, and it left me feeling like, “Sh*t, what can I post today that isn’t me?” And then I would just post something for the sake of posting it. Bottom line. Post what you genuinely care about. Don’t post something just because you feel like you “have” to.

That brings me to my next tip. Short and sweet. You want to be consistent with your posts, but don’t post just to post. Make sure you are posting content that is purposeful and not just because you don’t want to “miss a day.”

Stop worry about perfection. I mean this in a couple ways. One. Stop worrying about your grid. You know, when you look at all your photos at once side by side to see how they stack up against one another? Well, I will tell you, that when most people are going to your page and deciding whether they want to follow you, they are looking at your individual photos and “judging” you based on that. Point being, be more concerned if the individual photo you are posting is of good quality, and not if it goes well with the overall aesthetic of your grid. Also, YOU do not have to be perfect either. I’ve heard several bloggers say that once they stopped worrying about their grid, once they stopped worry about whether they looked perfect, that it did wonders for their account. People like people who are real! Perfection is overrated.

Use the algorithm to your advantage. The algorithm is still a mystery to me in A LOT of ways. But, I will say this. If you want to grow your account, and use it with the intention of building a business, then you need to consider the algorithm when choosing what kind of content you share. Now, I know I said to post what you want to post. And I do mean this. But, within the content that you share, you need to identify what kind of photos people engage with most. I’m not trying to say that more followers and more engagement is all you need to focus on. But, I am saying that if you want to use your account as a source of income then you need to be somewhat strategic (aka, no filler photos for me! Plus, I don’t even like them on my page πŸ˜‰ ).

My last piece of advice is about collaborations. Now, this isn’t really a mistake that I’ve made per say, but I’ve heard that it can happen to a lot of bloggers if they aren’t careful. With collaborations, don’t accept just anything guys! Yes, a brand may be offering you a nice amount of compensation, but if it doesn’t align with your values or brand, I wouldn’t recommend doing it. People are perceptive, and it is evident when you are accepting any collaboration that comes your way just for the sake of making money. Sorry, not trying to be harsh here, but it’s true! Be open minded, yes. But also consider if the collaboration fits with your brand and what you represent. Bottom line, authenticity is very important! You want to build trust with those who are following you.

Okay, so I think that sums up my main points (for now at least)! Was this helpful? Do you guys have any other questions you can think of? Let me know!

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4 thoughts on “Tips for Starting Your Instagram

  1. Thanks for this post and your honesty! I started my health & wellness page/blog about 2 months ago (I’m a personal trainer and health coach) to start up my side hustle, and also just to have fun and express my passion for sharing knowledge, and your account was and is one of my biggest inspirations. Now that I’m really trying to focus on growth and get to the “next step” (whatever that may be for me lol), I keep getting caught up on what all the other accounts seem to be doing and why theirs are better and more successful than mine. So thank you for sharing your experience with such honesty, I’m reassured to continue trying to be true to myself, and reflect what I believe in and represent!

    1. Thanks so much!! That is such a compliment πŸ™‚ And I’m glad that the post was helpful. I think that a lot of people have the same concerns or thoughts when they first start an IG or blog, and even after having it for a while! It can be difficult to not get caught up in what others are doing, because you want to take advice from people, but also stay true to yourself. So yes, you will get there! Just keep sharing what you feel is important πŸ™‚

  2. I’m really glad that you mentioned not worrying so much about the aesthetic of the page. So many people keep saying that there needs to be a nice flow. But I actually don’t follow people who plan out posts like that, because it makes me feel like they’re trying too hard. Yet, I was doing the exact same thing!! There are a million social media “experts” but when it comes down to it, we need to just be us. Though great comment about the quality of the pic – I agree that the quality is probably one of the most important things to pay attention to. I appreciate the post! I really enjoy following along on IG!

    1. Yes, I think you are right..there are a lot of people who think their is a “right” way but I honestly think the right way is what works best for you and what you’re able to do! I have friends who have husbands or boyfriends who are graphic designers or professional photographers so obviously they use that to their advantage–as they should! But for me, that’s not realistic so I do what works for me and my lifestyle and focusing on the quality of each photo. Thanks so much for your feedback and support!! ❀️

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