Are you tired of constantly checking the number of followers on Instagram? Are you stressed about becoming too concerned about your instagram count and following?
A few weeks ago, I went on Instagram Stories and asked my audience what they wanted to see next on Emma’s Edition. One question that stood out to me was,
“What are some tips to stop watching numbers? I don’t want to obsess over social media numbers only” from @emmynellie.
So thank you Ellie for asking and submitting this question! I feel like every content creator and blogger out there can relate to this question.
The Value of Numbers
It’s so easy to focus on the numbers if you have a blog and Instagram. There’s a lot of value in understanding what type of content does well for your social media channels. I personally look at how my blog performs every day because I want to know what content my audience responds to.
The Dark side of Numbers
However, there is also the dark side of numbers – especially if you become sucked into things like your follower count on Instagram. I personally remember working hard towards reaching 10,000 followers. I remember thinking that my Instagram and blog would do so much better if I had a bigger Instagram following. I remember feeling inadequate, discouraged, and comparing myself to other girls. I also remember the stress I put on myself.
When I finally reached 10,000+ followers, I was ecstatic. But my life didn’t really change the way I thought it would have. I realized that the following number was almost a false finish line. But things didn’t stop or start at a specific number. I decided that I would reframe my perspective and here are the 4 things I decided to focus on instead of the following number:
Instead of the Number of Followers, Focus on: Creating Content
Are you happy with the photos, the blog posts, and the videos you create? Do you love taking or posing photos, writing the blog posts, or shooting and editing the videos? If you’re excited about the content you create and you love the process of creating content, then you’re at a great place. If not, you should ask yourself why you aren’t producing the content you want to produce.
It’s important to focus on the content you create because people choose to follow you because of the photos, tips, and blog posts you share. Most people don’t look at someone’s profile and feel compelled to follow them because they have a 100,000 followers. Most people will follow if they find something on your Instagram and blog that inspired or taught them something new.
Personally, I love the process of writing and taking photos. I love putting my words to paper, explaining my ideas and life lessons, and finding new places around my city to shoot. By finding my love of creating content, I found myself less focused on the numbers, and more focused on the content.
Instead of the Number of Followers, Focus on: Developing Your Skills
If you truly aspire to be a content creator who wants to work with brands, you have to have the skills and the experience. My strongest skills are writing and posing in front of the camera. I have friends who are talented photographers and experts of Photoshop. And I have other friends who are talented videographers. Their skills set them apart from other aspiring content creators out there.
If you’re focused on creating content, you naturally want to develop your skills. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What skills do you need to improve to create photos and write blog posts?
Instead of the Number of Followers, Focus on: Defining what your idea of success is
It’s super easy to take the following number and equate it to success and worth. I still struggle with this as blogger and I’ve been at this game for a few years. Some of us might see a girl at 80,000 followers or 40,000 followers and assume she’s successful.
But the truth is numbers of likes and comments aren’t the only thing that define success. You define your own success. For me personally, I feel like a blog post or Instagram post is successful if one person says, “hey Emma! I read your blog post and it really helped me…..thank you for writing it!” I’ve realized over the years that the relationships you build and the people you help are “real” success. The community I’ve found through blogging and helping other girls along my blogging journey are worth way more than the following number.
Instead of the Number of Followers, Focus on: Reaching out to brands
Around 2,000 followers, I started reaching out to brands. I bought a media kit template off Etsy and just started emailing brands I saw working with other bloggers. At the time, the term “microinfluencer” wasn’t even around.
In 2019, microinfluencers (under 100,000 followers on Instagram) and even nano influencers (influencers under 5,000 on Instagram) are sought out by brands. No matter what your following is, if you feel inspired to work with your favorite brands, you should absolutely reach out to them. Honestly, working with brands has taught me so much about producing full brand campaigns. Even at 24,300+ followers and 23,000 blog monthly views, I’ve been able to work with amazing brands like Alaska Airlines and the Gansevoort Hotel Meatpacking all because I reached out.
There you have it friends! I know it’s easy to just focus on the number of followers, but focusing on creating content, building your skills, redefining your success, and reaching out to brands will serve you so much more in the long run.
For other blog advice and tips, you can also check out:
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Karya Schanilec