Business Life

6 Reasons I’m Not Following You on Instagram and 6 Reasons I Am


So, I recently revived my graphic tee shop Bon Bon Vie after a hiatus due to motherhood and other consequences of this thing called life. One of my first orders of business was to put some much needed energy into my Instagram account. For years, my follower count hovered at almost 1,000. I was very proud of my few followers, as they were a very engaged group. As I decided to get serious about my business again, I realized that many of my business peers had tens of thousands of followers. I needed to get to work and fast.

If you’re posting quality content regularly, a tried and true way to increase your Instagram follower count is to like, comment and follow other accounts. My strategy worked pretty well and after almost 3 months of work, I stand at 8,274 followers. I’ve always been generous with my follows. I’ve created great relationships with some of my customers as a result. I decided to keep that strategy this time around.


So what’s the problem, you ask? Well..I’m following over 6,000 people. My feed is overwhelming, sometimes enjoyable, but mostly ridiculous. When your numbers begin to grow, you can’t be everybody’s friend.

It’s not you, it’s me. I may have to unfollow you.

Because sometimes I’m petty, here are 6 very specific reasons I’m not following you on the ‘Gram.

1. You selfie excessively.

I get it. You’re beautiful and the sight of your face brings joy to many. I just really don’t need to see 500 photos of you from the very same angle. I’m not knocking them completely, because who doesn’t love a good selfie? But I’ve seen accounts where literally every photo is a selfie of some sort.  If you’re not a celebrity, Instagram model or a Kardashian, just say no.

Kylie Jenner Instagram

Don’t let Kylie steer you wrong. Photo source: Kylie Jenner’s Instagram


2. Your business involves multi-level marketing. Or waist trainers. Or detox tea. 

I’m so happy you just turned Ruby with It Works!, but I’m not interested in trying that Crazy Wrap Thing. I also have enough friends in real life who can hook me up if I decide I’m down.

It Works! Instagram

I’m good. Photo source: Instagram


3. Your images are poor quality.

A part of the graphic designer in me dies every time I see a pixelated, poorly lit or generally aesthetically unpleasing image. Instagram is THE place to showcase your images, so make sure they’re on point!

Holy pixelation and copyright infringement, Batman!

Holy pixelation and copyright infringement, Batman!


4. You slid into my DM’s and you wanted something from me, but offered no value in return.

Or you tried to holla. I state very clearly in my profile that it doesn’t go down in my DM. There’s exceptions to this, of course. If you’re offering me something of value, like press or a wholesale opportunity or someone I respect or admire then hey, come on in. Otherwise, I’m good. And this right here will get you unfollowed and probably blocked.

This is an actual DM Ive received. Nope, Nah, Never.

This is an actual DM I’ve received. Nope, Nah, Never. Source: My Direct Message inbox.


5. Your page only contains memes.

I love memes. They’re hilarious. I still love a good Crying Jordan or Uncle Denzel, but they do get old. Except Prince memes. But back to the point, I don’t come to Instagram for memes.

Prince is always the exception. Photo source: A meme generator somewhere on the Interwebs.

Prince is always the exception. Photo source: A meme generator somewhere on the Interwebs.


6. You are a hotep.

If you’re not already familiar with the term, a hotep is very likely a person who counts as a reliable news source. If you grew up watching A Different World  you know Shazza Zulu is the hotep prototype. If you need more of a reference, read Damon Young’s post on The Root. But anyway, I don’t scroll through Instagram for conspiracy theories and preachy memes. That’s what Twitter is for.

Exhibit A: Gary Dourdan as Shazza Zulu

Exhibit A: Gary Dourdan as Shazza Zulu


Because sometimes I’m not petty, here are 6 reasons I will follow you.


1. Your images are crisp, clean and interesting.

If you want to see someone put on a clinic about what an Instagram feed should look like, check out @kelleywithlove. It’s just not even cool how good her flatlays look. She has a clear aesthetic and it shows. I look at her feed with envy.

I HAVE A CONFESSION: as a part of the #theimperfectboss campaign @fireandwindco I thought it was time I share: I’m not “there” yet! It took me a while to get to a point of being okay with not being where I want to be just yet and not being concerned with where everyone thought I should be. Kelley With Love is my 3rd blog. I was afraid to launch another blog, but I knew I wanted to help women like myself who wanted to live the life of their dreams. I wanted to not only provide brand styling tips, but also life & style inspiration. I didn’t know if it would work, but I wanted to give it a try, so I took a chance and did it. I’m so thankful I did, because I’ve grown so much in the last year. My biggest lesson? Enjoy the journey and do what you love, because when you do you can’t help but inspire & connect with others along the way! Join the campaign by using #theimperfectboss & tagging @fireandwindco!

A photo posted by Kelley ❣ Aesthetic Architect (@kelleywithlove) on


2. Your photography is beautiful.

The colors, the models, everything @thewraplife does is just right. Great photography is an extremely effective tool to get your message across. I really want to buy every head wrap on their site.

One thing that changed my life was deciding to no longer believe that life was about suffering and being constantly tested by a temperamental God. I was taught that by fearful people who were constantly in some kind of pain, generation after generation. I’ve learned you’ll constantly attract an existence that supports your beliefs. I moved into the belief that life is good, full of joy and unconditional love. And that the creative energy of existence is benevolent. I’m so grateful for all the abundance and love available to me. At times, it can be overwhelming. To be honest, sometimes it’s scary because I’ve not yet become accustomed to so much good. But I want to live here and allow it to expand. Much love to all the women shifting paradigms. Changing your thoughts changes your world. ❤️ @nnennastella

A photo posted by The Wrap Life (@thewraplife) on


3. You post frequency is not too much, not too little, but just right.

Less is more (but not too little, if you’re a business you should post on Instagram 1-3x a day if you’re able.), but you also don’t need to post 50x a day. @frank_bod has a great posting rhythm.

@aprilmorrismua giving me that loving stare. Let’s get dirty. #thefrankeffect

A photo posted by frank body (@frank_bod) on


4. Your posts add value.

I love when I come away with a useful piece of information or hear about when one of my favorite brands has some new, exciting news or a flash sale. PR wizard @jenerationpr does a great job of this.


5. Your account is truly unique.

Can we talk about @eatyrheartsout who makes desserts out of breakup conversations? Genius!


A photo posted by eat your heart out (@eatyrheartsout) on


6. You just live an awesome life that’s worth watching.

Look no further than @luvvie and all of the Black Girl Magic that happens in her feed.


What makes someone follow-worthy in your book? Who do you love to follow on Instagram? Please share!



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  • Reply
    May 23, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    LOL! I’m loving all the truth in this post. I never realized how real that Hotep situation is on the internet. That is a definite BLOCK!

    • Reply
      Shari Neal
      May 23, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Thank you, MJ! Hoteps are all around us. You may not notice at first, but they always reveal themselves, lmao!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said here. I have been trying to grow my IG following but I haven’t been liking a whole lot of accounts cause I feel like I can’t keep up. Or i haven’t found accounts that I fall head over heels for. Everything you said was on POINT!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    This is such a funny post. I kept nodding my head as l find it so true. The selfies especially. How the heck can someone be vain enough to think that millions of people just want to see them..all the time..Meh! I post 2 times a week, but l would still like to whittle down from 3,500 followers. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kalilah Wright
    May 23, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Lol you is petttyyyyy! But you spoke the truths! Good read and good reasons to not/ to follow on ig! Approved! Check me out if you aren’t already

  • Reply
    Ty Knighten
    May 23, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    I have to say that I agree with your reasons for following and not following folks but I need to get better at liking and commenting. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2016 at 3:29 am

    I love this list for why and why you arent following someone on IG. I followed that eatyrheartout page super innovative I love the creative concept so thanks!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2016 at 5:31 am

    Great read. I have taken stock in making sure my IG account looks pleasing to the eye as well. I agree with all your tips. People amaze me when they notice I don’t follow back and it’s because of the first 6 reasons you mentioned lol but I will follow back for the last 6 reasons you mentioned. Keep up the good work.

  • Reply
    Tia @ financiallyfitandfab
    May 24, 2016 at 10:58 am

    I will agree. Slightly petty. I only follow people I know on Instagram or that add value through their posts.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    I so agree with you about the selfie accounts…so annoying, vain, and useless. I also follow @luvvie and @myleik because they’re always doing incredible things and they inspire me to do the same. Great tips!

  • Reply
    Kirstin N. Fuller (@thetravelindiva)
    May 24, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    I like to give the courtesy of a follow if you’ve followed me, but like you, I don’t like people to come straight out the gate asking for something and won’t even like/share a post in return…ever! It has to be mutually beneficial.

  • Reply
    NailACollegeDropOut (@DropOutNails)
    May 24, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    this post is so funny and so true. i’m sharing this on twitter right now.

  • Reply
    Moms 'N Charge (@MomsNCharge)
    May 25, 2016 at 11:03 am

    LMBO so much truth to this. I definitely agree with all of the reasons not to follow. I only post to IG a few times a week (yes) but I do get a steady flow of followers throughout the week.

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