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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
6. You are a hotep.
If you’re not already familiar with the term, a hotep is very likely a person who counts worldtruth.tv 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.
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!
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.
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.
One of the most important things to keep in mind in PR—things can move FAST. When an editor is working on a story, they often need assets, like, yesterday. Keeping them on deadline means keeping your brand on the forefront of their minds for future stories. The easier you make their job, the more press love you will get. Having your high res images (both lifestyle & product shots on white background) product pricing, info on where to buy, your brand story, etc. ready to go is IMPERATIVE. Have all of your assets in Dropbox or Google Drive so you can share them quickly. The more prepared you are, the better you can meet editor deadlines and secure press wins in a hurry.
A photo posted by Jen Berson💠PR Expert (@jenerationpr) on
5. Your account is truly unique.
Can we talk about @eatyrheartsout who makes desserts out of breakup conversations? Genius!
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!