You’re sitting in front of your phone after posting on Instagram what you think is the best photo you’ve ever taken. Then after about two hours of waiting for the likes to go up on social media, your spirits have gone down.
Don’t worry it’s not your fault, you just don’t know how to properly work the platform – yet.
All digital creators experience the frustration of having to market themselves online. But what a sweet relief getting those likes to pour in or recieve features on pages with over 100k.
Having an online presence is essential these days for any artist trying to take themselves seriously. Unfortunately no one is sharing the secrets – until now. Here’s are the top reasons you aren’t growing on social media:
You don’t have a niche
Determining your niche is crucial when it comes to growing your audience. You have a passion and you want to share it, so decide on what it is that you want to convey through your page, and stay with it. No worries it will evolve over time.
If your page contains your personal photography, pictures of your puppy, food photos, and memes all in one, it is not likely to retain a consistent audience. If you want people to correlate you art online to your style you need to be putting out something consistent in terms of style.
The theme that you create and stick with will attract attention. Each photo should be consistent with the theme. Posting pictures that are visually similar in color tones and style will keep that reoccurring audience.
Theme isn’t the end all be all though. Some people retain a theme through the subjects in their photos. If you follow Selena Gomez for her spirited smile and sultry selfies and she posts a teaser of “13 Reason Why” Season 2 you’re going to be a little confused (at least we were.) Staying on brand is a must. Keep your content on the same topic so your followers know what to expect from you.
You haven’t built a community
Be sure to connect with others on social media that are similar to you so that you build a community – we call this creating an engagement strategy. Sit down and write down your top ten similar accounts and top ten crush accounts. Then engage with not only them but their followers and more often their commentators. Spend about 30 mins – 1 hour everyday doing this. Having connections online will assist you in thriving your online presence.
Utilize all platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube to cross promote your page to all communities on social media. Make an authentic community. Keep your intentions genuine.
You haven’t catered towards your audience
Your community of followers are like-minded people with similar passions to you, so make sure you know their patterns. Us humans are creatures of habits, going to our favorite coffee shops and fighting for the spot in the corner booth. You have to find those same pockets of people online. Trust me, they exist.
Don’t attempt to attract followers who are not in your niche. Those followers are likely to not be engaged in your content long term. Feed off the support of your audience. Your followers will love when you acknowledge them, and give them feedback. Be personable and convey your real self on social media platforms.
You’re posting at the wrong time
While this doesn’t have a ton of weight inside of the Instagram platform anymore it definitely still can affect who you’re seen by and when (if ever).
You just woke up and your scrolling through the twitter feed for fresh news. You run to your bathroom and after you finish your morning duty you decide to brush your teeth and grab a glass of OJ. Too bad you forget how awful the taste of citric acid is combined with the flavor of Crest minty fresh is. Immediately the need to tweet is born. And wala the most fire tweet ever written about the birth of a vial tasting mouth baby because of OJ and toothpaste. You chuckle a little bit to yourself and realize, “should I post this now or later?” The time is 9:08 AM.
Well according to AdEspresso by Hootsuite “the type of engagement is not the same for morning and evening: The majority of clicks on in-post links (such as to your latest blog post) happen in the morning. In the evening, Twitter users are more likely to engage by liking or retweeting your post.” (Read more here: https://adespresso.com/blog/best-time-to-tweet/)
So maybe if you add in a link to the science behind why OJ and mint taste bad together you’d have a poppin tweet!
That my friends is called knowing the right time to post online.
Aside from posting at the right time, be sure to post frequently, use hashtags, share location, network with other users. Know that the most common way that your posts will be seen is based off of engagement and being featured on popular pages. There are other ways to boost your profile but we like to talk about the free forms first. Then when you are ready we will introduce you to ”Growing on Social Media 2.0”
You are sacrificing your authenticity for Numbers
Don’t be creating just for the followers or for the praise, but do it for you. You want to show your genuine self, because that’s what your followers want to see after all right? Being in the right headspace and doing what you love comes first above all.
Want to learn more about how to turn yourself from artist to creative entrepreneur? Come to our next event “Creatives Create Business” on March 7th. (Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/238354737094870/)
Once a month I will be featuring other humans stories. I think this is important to show that you are not alone in this world and there are others going through the same struggles as you. Please feel free to comment or reach out to them.
College was never something that fueled my fire. That’s why nine months ago I dropped out – after three years.
I was attending a major university that wanted me to continue for another 3 years to get a Bachelors in Advertising. I realized I was wasting my time – the “knowledge” I was gaining from books were lessons that I had learned much faster from experience.
I had been creating content for big name brands; The Houston Texans, The Early Hours, Red Bull, Ben E. Keith Foods, Urban Outfitters, Reason Clothing, Bangs Shoes and Favorite Little Corner.
Then I was shooting major events; Free Press Summer Fest, Houston Whatever Fest, Day For Night, Foam Wonderland, JMBLYA, Euphoria.
It took me awhile to realize this is the life I wanted. Not the conventional one you get from sitting in a classroom. My drive came from creating content, it was something I loved to do and was my way of expressing my value and potential. So I decided to pursue the life I wanted.
It wasn’t easy though.
One thing that was incredibly hard was making connections. I am an introvert so I forced myself every single day to take that extra step toward success. Dealing with depression and anxiety on a daily basis is not something you get better from. There are no “Get Well” cards for those moments.
Unfortunately, a month after being out of school my depression really took me. My confidence was non-existent and I stopped posting on my Instagram for a long time. I had suicidal thoughts cross my mind more and more. I thought “am I even good enough?” and “why can’t I be @taylorcutfilms or @badboi or @chrisyoder or @rorykramer?”
After 6 months, I finally edited “Day For Night” event footage I had. I mixed it with a Nolan Mac’ track I found on SoundCloud. That edit is what flipped my switch. I began to start thinking more positively. (Weirdly enough, he and I are good friends now.)
In Houston, I started driving for Lyft and Uber which allowed me to reconnect with old clients. But despite my positive attitude I still wasn’t making enough money.
Then the waves of depression hit again.
It was mostly because I really wanted to leave Houston and be in Austin. Once again I decided to pursue what I really wanted and moved to Austin, TX. I knew I could make really good money doing Uber and Lyft and be in a city that I love.
Currently, I am living in Austin but it hasn’t been a fairytale ending. To be quite honest, it’s been the hardest part of my life to date. There are so many opportunities around me but it just takes consistency and meeting the right people. I’ve gotten jobs from people I’ve driven around, I even work for a company that lets me take photos for local business’. I am handed multiple business cards daily, but you don’t just attain all you ever wanted overnight.
What I am learning right now is to accept that process – learning to love the grind.
I want my creative work to pay the bills, I decided that the day I dropped out of college. I continue to train my mind by listening to creatives who have come before me, the ones who were once where I am now.
The grocery list of Instagram accounts I listed are people who have busted their ass in this industry. Life favors no one – especially in my line of work. It takes hard work and sleepless nights to reach a higher power.
I will continue to walk my path and strive for the greatness I know lies within me.
Learn to be a loser, a good one. Be the loser that can bounce back faster than anyone else; let me tell you why.
When we fail when instantly become emotional. Anger, sadness, + stress are the first emotions to come to mind. Well, I think we can all agree that those emotions are harmful to our mind. They not only cause us to feel bad about ourselves but they cloud our judgment.
“The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.”
– Barbara Corcoran
That mindset of self-criticism and judgment has got to lighten up a little. Take a thoughtful and intentional approach to failure.
Yes, there is still going to be that first moment. The one where your eyes get wide, your stomach drops and you make that weird breathing-in noise that starts at the back of your throat.
The next moment though determines how successful you will be. You have to think “where is the opportunity?” How do you take that failure and turn it into a win?
It could be that the failure is just that – a failure. Even then you have the chance to learn a lesson from it. Think intentionally and push yourself to find something beautiful in the bad.
This website – now talk about failures! had to learn what hosting, domains, DNS, migrating domains and so much more in order to get this up and running. All I wanted to do was have a pretty website, little did I know pretty comes at a cost (hair pulling and frustration.)
Another example for you…
As some of my readers may know, I recently hosted a party – my first party. Sure I had put together sorority mixers before but this WAS NOT a sorority mixer. This was a 150 person event in a huge venue with a DJ, swag bags, entertainment, and a long list of other details I won’t groan on about.
To say the least, a lot of stuff did not go the way I thought. The bar got shut down, the invite list got twisted, and my laptop died mid-party (which was being used for lights.) But you know what?
I learned so much.
If there is one thing I love – it’s learning. So, therefore, I love to fail. In every failure, there is a lesson. The thing is my goal was not to throw a rager my objective was that Tim, Jeanine, and Brittany had a great time. I did that.
The woman I quoted before is a businesswoman, investor, speaker, consultant, syndicated columnist, author, and television personality. You might know her as one the “Shark” investors on ABC’s Shark Tank.
I highly suggest you go listen to her Ted talk over failure if you want to be any kind of success in life.
The people who learn to look at losing as lucky are the lucky ones. Because once you do that the work doesn’t become work and hardest part is figuring out how to lose next. But that my friends is a blog post for another time.
Remember you are all Jewels.