How to Develop a Meaningful Social Media Following

Design influencers share their best bets for turning your Instagram feed into an authoritative and authentic portfolio

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If you’re running a business in this day and age, figuring out how to get more followers on Instagram and building a strong social media presence are must-haves, not niceties, for brand awareness and connecting with your future clients. But for content creators whose Instagram profiles haven’t already developed a multi-digit following, the prospect of how to get more followers can be daunting.

“If you’re Beyoncé, social is optional. If you’re not, you need to be on it,” asserts Justina Blakeney, designer and founder of the home-goods site Jungalow. “It’s the most powerful marketing tool we currently have at our disposal…and it’s free.”

Blakeney should know. Jungalow—a self-described “one-stop-shop for bohemian-modern home decor + all things all things colorful, patternful + jungalicious”—boasts metrics most bloggers and content creators would envy, with an Instagram follower count of 1.6 million. The designer herself has an audience of 528,000 on her own Instagram.

Patrick Janelle (follower count: 410,000), a creative director and entrepreneur behind the popular lifestyle site A Guy Named Patrick concurs. “It’s been hugely valuable,” he says. “I went from having a little freelance business to marketing myself as an authority in the lifestyle space.”

Of course, any emerging designer would relish the chance to get their name and work in front of thousands of potential new clients, but developing a solid content strategy and growing a robust social media following—that is, actually getting casual viewers to hit the follow button and remain engaged—take commitment. If you’re going to put in the work, do it right. We asked three social-savvy experts for their very best advice to help you harness the power of social media and see real-world results for your business’ bottom line—no bots or “like” farms required.

Just get started

Hashtags, photos, content calendars, bios, captions… The prospect of building a business profile and growing your Instagram follower count may seem overwhelming. But the most important thing, experts agree, is to just take that first step. “Not overthinking it is really important,” Blakeney explains. “You don’t get better from thinking about things, you get better by practicing. It’s exercise.” No excuses, Janelle says. You already have everything you need. “The barrier to entry is really low—anybody can do it,” he notes. Though Janelle himself often posts high-quality photos, he says it’s not a necessity, especially when you’re just starting out. “The images on social media don’t have to be glossy, professionally taken photos.”

Sure, putting Instagram posts out into the world can feel a little intimidating, but don’t let that fear keep you from reaping the benefits of social media marketing. Experiment and see what feels right. “If you post something and you’re cringing, delete it,” Blakeney says. “You have room to play.”

Think of your Instagram account as a new portfolio

For designers, Instagram is king. While most experts stay visible with accounts on other social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and increasingly, TikTok, they consider Instagram most essential, with Pinterest in a solid second place. Several designers mentioned using Pinterest as a mood board for their creative work, but Janelle says it’s also an often-overlooked way to drive traffic. “Create more visibility through having a following on Pinterest or…making sure things that appear on your website are being pinned to draw traffic back to your site.”

Write compelling Instagram captions and use hashtags

Don’t discount the power of captions to grab potential followers’ attention, Blakeney says. “There are so many ways to engage an audience and the picture is only half of it. The copy is extremely important in how you’re telling the story.” It’s about more than simply discussing each photo, Janelle says—captions are a great way to set yourself apart, draw in a new audience, and establish brand voice. “You may have beautiful images, but communicating and letting your personality show through is so important.”

For many visual people like designers, words just aren’t a default way to communicate ideas—they may think best in color and shapes—but it’s essential to consider how a post is going to be received by the audience, not only what’s easiest to create. 

There’s more to this article by Jennifer Hunter. Click the link below to continue reading.

Source: How to Get More Followers on Instagram: 5 Ways to Grow Your Client Base | Architectural Digest

A Toolkit for Managing the Anxiety of the Publishing Process

While writing may bring us joy, it may also bring us doubt, fear, and burnout. Here, Mazey Eddings has created a toolkit for managing the anxiety of the publishing process.

From going on submission with my first book, A Brush with Love, at the start of the pandemic to debuting during supply chain disruptions and a brand-new viral variant, I’ve had quite a few sleepless nights of panic in the process. But if therapy has taught me anything, coping works best when you have a strategy, and I’ve compiled five tips that have helped me over this chaotic year. I hope they can help you too!

Get the group chat going

I’m part of a group chat that’s aptly named: Anxious Debuters 2022. And we talk every. Single. Day. It can be particularly helpful to develop that type of connection with people in a similar writing spot on the publishing timeline as you, because it’s amazing how similar experiences—and the anxiety they induce—can be. But, whether it’s fellow debut authors, seasoned book veterans, or your mom and her neighbor Susan, finding a group you feel safe to reach out to in the anxious moments is so comforting and valuable.

Celebrate the highs with ferocity

Putting a book into the world is a hectic process, and your attention is regularly pulled in a hundred different directions. With so many moving pieces, it can be easy to barrel through the victories and forget to slow down long enough to celebrate. Take a pause! Revel in every moment of joy!

Whether it’s a DM from a reader saying your story resonated with them, or a soft moment of rediscovering a line you wrote and loved, to something huge and exciting like making bestseller lists or selling rights to a film producer, revel in each one with unabashed excitement. You’ve worked hard for this! Don’t let the wins pass you by.

Consume media that brings you joy

Whether it’s reading, TV, movies, or any other form of art, engage with things that make you happy. Burnout is very real in creative fields, but taking the time to ingest things that make you happy can replenish the creative well and keep you excited as you create your next work.

Take a (small) break from reading in your genre

Comparison is the thief of joy, and it can be very tempting to lose the love of reading and writing by comparing your work to others in your genre. Avoid this at all costs! Consider taking a step back from your genre, just for a bit, and allow yourself to read in a varying subgenre or completely new one. Shifting the lens can help you get out of your head or offer fresh inspiration, and reading of any type strengthens you as a writer, which also helps to restore confidence when you’re feeling a little shaky.

Find a hobby (and embrace being mediocre at it!)

The path to publishing can create an odd head space. It’s the monetization and commercialization of art, and combining those two often-at-odds pursuits can cause a lot of your self-worth to be tied up in both sales and perception. I think it’s so important to find a hobby that you love—whether it’s something creative like collaging or playing music, or something totally opposite like running or kickboxing—to combat publishing anxiety. Bonus points if you aren’t amazing at your hobby!

There’s so much pressure for people to reach levels of success or skill when participating in something, but I suggest doing things for the simple joy of doing them. I’m objectively awful at dancing, (my boyfriend has ample video evidence to prove it), but it’s something I love to do and something I turn to when writing stress gets high. We don’t have to perfect everything we do, we just need to enjoy the process of doing it.

By Mazey Eddings for Writer’s Digest©

Source: A Toolkit for Managing the Anxiety of the Publishing Process – Writer’s Digest (writersdigest.com)