I am going to hold my hands up and hold myself accountable to the fact I made an Instagram mistake. You might be sat there thinking how can you really make an Instagram mistake? I’m not talking about posting at the wrong time, or getting a block on Instagram. Don’t even get me started on that though. But I am talking about my content. I made a big mistake when it comes to the content I am putting out there. So I thought I would talk about what I actually did, or felt like I did wrong because my Instagram has been such a journey over the last five years that its important to be transparent about it.
It is common knowledge not to take everything you see on Instagram as reality. I could be posting that I am in a nice London restaurant when in reality that was two weeks ago and now I am sat behind my desk working. But throughout the last six months I have really struggled with Instagram. To the point where I considered stopping the whole ‘creator’ thing. I was also going through my final year at university and I found myself struggling to balance making content, completing uni, working, and setting up my business. And the lack of time crushed my creativity.
I also very much fell into the comparison hole on Instagram. I was looking at other creators and what they were posting and wondering whether I should change my content. From back in January I was posting more aesthetic style content, and these creators where posting more fashion related content. I have always classed myself as a fashion creator but also I love my aesthetics. So when I say fashion related content I mean more iPhone street style images, mirror selfies and mirror reels for outfit inspo etc. I was so hungry for more and to get more followers. And I saw the success that these accounts were having and wanted to do similar.
I have always loved fashion, and have been a fashion student for years, and whilst going through the last few months at uni I realised that taking mirror photos and the style of content I was seeing would actually save me a lot more time too. As well, I was struggling to find time for all the creative shoots and this was an easy fix.
But that increase in engagement, increase in followers etc never case. In fact, my engagement and follower rate plummeted. I went from 1000 likes minimum a post to 300 likes. Whilst these metrics are only vanity metrics it was a bit sole destroying. I wondered what I was doing so wrong. The first round of mirror photos I posted from a Zara haul was such a popular post I thought the rest would follow suit.
What I came to realise was that my audience that I had built up well over the last two years weren’t following me for that style of content. They followed me for the aesthetic I had built up over that time. I am such a perfectionist when it comes to my work, content and feed that for it not to be performing the way it was was so frustrating. So I decided that once I had gone back to uni I would start making that transition from fashion heavy content to more creative and aesthetic content.
I started turning off likes on my posts because it allowed me to be able to start posting this content again without worrying about the metrics. But in reality my more creative posts have been my best performing posts of most recent. It made me realise I lost however many months of trying to build a new audience rather than please the one I had. Whilst I am still upset I let my motives change, at the time that style of content did suit my lifestyle better.
What I am trying to say is that just because someone is doing well on Instagram, doesn’t mean you can follow suit and it will work for you too. I have an audience of over 20K and getting them to like my new content won’t necessarily work. I am still going to be posting fashion related images, however I will be reintroducing my old style of content. It was a lesson I had to learn and it has made me appreciate more the work I was doing before. However it it has also taught me to be less hard on myself. The creative content was doing well, so why did I feel like it wasn’t.
Have you ever made an Instagram mistake? If so what was yours?
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