It’s a grey and chilly day by South Florida standards. As I sit in a Hollywood Starbucks nursing my skim-one-pump-chestnut praline latte (I’m on a low fat diet now…but that’s for a different post), I wonder why, oh why, I am so creatively blocked.
It feels like I’ve reached something akin to a seven year itch in my once fiery hot relationship with blogging. It’s been this way for a while now. Oh sure, I have bursts of inspiration, usually in those twilight moments when I’m just waking up, when life hasn’t really smacked me fully in the face yet. Or on Shabbos when, for some reason, my creativity just oozes out of me, maybe because there’s no pressure to actually do anything, and I can just let my thoughts flow freely.
But then, despite how many times I’ll put my post ideas into my calendar, create a whiteboard with a blogging schedule, or sit in those coffee shops with my laptop (usually closed while I whittle away my working time scrolling through the black hole
that social media has become), I just don’t do it.
Is it fear? Is it boredom? Is it part of a midlife existential crisis? Maybe it’s just the way I’ve began to feel around social media.
I’ve recently heard myself tell people that I’m getting sick of myself on social media…yet every time I think about leaving my no-longer-passionate relationship with blogging…just calling it quits…I’ll get one of those awesome messages about how I’ve improved someone’s day with my words of inspiration. I’ve been doing this for 7 years! It would be a great loss to just walk away.
On a bad day, Instagram feels to me like an overcrowded, unoriginal, ego-driven, ultra-competitive, fomo fostering, soul sucking, time wasting, black hole of overly edited faux realities. Sometimes it feels like an unhealthy addiction of racing, racing, racing for those numbers, fans, and likes, of which there are never, ever, ever going to be enough. Yet we just cannot rip our eyeballs away from seeing who’s doing what at every moment of the day so we know exactly how we are not having enough fun, skinny enough, fashionable enough, talented enough, good enough at taking pictures, or happy enough in our lives.
But maybe I’m just being overly dramatic.
Because on a good day, Instagram is a place full of superb talent, creativity, friendship, connection, opportunities, love, and inspiration. And it’s the best shopping and idea mall out there.
Like everything else in life, it’s all about perspective.
In this era of the masses being on Instagram and everyone being a “blogger,” I’ve been doing some real soul searching about where I want to go with Fashion-isha in 2018, and how to make it a good day, every day, in the blogging and social media world.
I’m probably not the only one who feels this way, and since so many of you are on Instagram and trying to run your businesses and build your pages, I decided to delve a little bit more into this topic and ask a few friends who are pretty successful on social media, to share their perspectives and tips, on keeping Instagram a happy, productive and inspiring place for all of us.
1. Be Your Only Competition
“I’m my own competition, I don’t feel like I’m competing with anyone else but myself. I want more followers because I want to be the best at what I do. I want more likes because I want my current post to be better than the last one. I’m lucky in the sense that I never felt pressure from the success of other people’s accounts, but rather I was inspired by them.
I think, “If she can reach a million, then I can too!” Those things only make me work harder. It’s important to have a healthy self esteem in this industry or it can be tough!” –Esther Berg @estherandsasha 254K followers
2. Foster a Relationship With Your Followers
“My goal with my platform has always been to inspire others. The larger the following, hopefully the larger the reach of inspiration. That being said, having a loyal, engaged audience is paramount. Engagement, in my opinion, is much more important than that large number at the top of one’s page. Engagement is where the relationship lies between influencer and follower. Without that, what is the point really?
It is hard not to get caught up in the numbers obsession. Sometimes I feel like I’m back in high school, studying for that perfect 100 on a test. What photo will get regrammed? Which caption will motivate people to comment? Which hashtag will land me on the “explore” page? When I find myself asking these questions I feel torn. As a full time blogger with bills to pay, I have to think with my business head. Growing my audience does increase my income because brand partnerships pay proportionate to one’s following. However, on a personal level, I started this venture out of passion. If I don’t feel personally fulfilled and authentic to my audience, I can’t sleep at night.
I think the ultimate goal when producing content is stay true to oneself while still maintaining a shrewd business sense of what one’s audience will connect with. When you do that, there is nobody to compete with. Nobody can replace you in the relationship between you and your followers.” – Elizabeth Savetsky @excessoriesexpert 140K followers
3. Believe in Yourself and Celebrate Every Milestone
“When people ask me, “Don’t you feel great about your success?” my first thought is, “Success??” When outsiders see social media their first thoughts are: glamour, perfection and numbers. However, the reality is every perfect picture is accompanied by many more non-perfect pictures, at least an hour of doing hair and makeup, and spending too much time picking out what I’m going to wear for just one picture. No amount of followers ever feels enough, we always want and need more numbers. But although I don’t always feel “full” on social media, what I do always feel is fulfillment.
Every time I hit another milestone whether it be a higher number of followers, another big brand that I’m collaborating with or another amazing photoshoot, I feel as though I’ve climbed another step on the ladder. I may not have 200k or 1M followers but what I do know is my impressions. Engagement and feedback from companies prove that I am as strong as any of those and it was only me pushing myself and ignoring other peoples numbers and other externals factors that got me to where I am. As long as you believe in yourself and push I believe you will succeed.” – Eliana Sherman @EishesStyle 59.7K followers
4. Stay Genuine and Authentic
“I personally feel that Instagram makes you FEEL that numbers is the name of the game. We all want to see a big number, and there’s no shame in that, because if we have a message to share then the more numbers means the more we are influencing (or selling!). But if you focus on that alone, you’ll lose your actual magic and end up doing things that sell your soul. Which is the opposite of what your followers want.
If you’re a blogger or business with a meaningful message or even just sharing your life, focus on being real and giving your followers good genuine unfiltered content, and not only will the numbers naturally grow because people will appreciate the authenticity, but you’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll have real genuine fans — not just numbers. Focus on engagement: relationships will help your end goal, and will always be more important than a headcount.” – Mimi Hecht @mimumaxi 37.1K followers
As for me, just writing this post has made me realize that the minute I start comparing or competing, obsessing over numbers, or trying to be something I’m not because I’m not feeling great about myself, it becomes a really bad day on social media. I hope that by sharing this, you will see that there is always a real and vulnerable person behind the Instagram lens, and if we stay focused on shining our own unique light, offering something of value to our followers, giving ourselves loads of love and acceptance, and then supporting and engaging others with love, Instagram will feel like a way happier place to be. And that’s what I plan on doing with Fashion-isha in 2018!
Before you go…Please take this poll. Email me with your answer!
To be considered a successful blogger, you need to:
1. Have a lot of followers.
2. Make a lot of money.
3. Post content that you’re passionate about.
4. All of the above.
Click HERE to submit your answer. Thanks!
Will be sharing results on social media soon!
Until next time..
With loads of love,