2018 Struggles of Being an Instagram Influencer

I treat my blog almost like a personal journal. I know you guys come to seek advice and perhaps, learn something new from me which I love. At the same time, I like to keep things real. A topic that has really been on my mind lately has been the world of Instagram and blogging.

As you’re aware, my business is social media marketing. Companies hire me to help with their marketing, branding, and getting their business out there. In other words, so more eyes can see what they’re doing. Sounds easy right?

A couple years ago, there were fewer “influencers” as we call them. Presently, there are thousands! I joke that everybody and their mom are Instagram bloggers these days. Which is true even in my case. I can’t even thank my mom enough for supporting me and giving me ideas with my blog. She was the one that actually gave me the idea to start StuffwithSvet.

Which is what I want to get into. Being an Instagram influencer may seem glamorous and easy work to the average person. But in all reality, it’s not. Not even close. Being an Instagram influencer is actually very very difficult.

So the big question: why is being an influencer so difficult?

Content

Becoming an “influencer” doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of prep work. Prep work meaning, you need content. Content to post every day. My goal is to post at least once every day. That’s 7 days a week, which is over 200 posts in a month. EXCUSE ME. That’s a lot of photos. And that’s just the minimum. Some influencers post several times a day. Being consistent with your posting is so incredibly important. If you’re posting once in a blue moon, nobody is going to want to follow you as they’ll get bored and move on to the next influencer.

Instagram Stories however, aren’t so perfect. I like my feed to look prettier and my stories to be more raw. If you are a follower, you will notice this is where I poke fun of myself, not wear make up half the time, and show you the behind the scenes. Aka…the fun, juicy stuff. 😉

Followers

Speaking of followers, how does one get a large following?

GOOD QUESTION.

That is one question I always get asked. My answer is…I have no clue lol. I am still trying to figure that one out to this day WHEW. When I first started StuffwithSvet, I remember I was stuck at 60 followers for the longest time! Yes, you heard me…60. It was embarrassing. I was trying so hard to just automatically “become an instagram influencer” overnight and nothing was happening. You know why? Because I was trying way too hard. Gaining a following is all about TRUST. And if your followers don’t trust you, why would they follow you? I learned to find my way by in fact, not trying so hard. So many influencers showcase their life to be picture perfect with perfect clothes, the perfect house, the perfect husband, you name it. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. That’s just not me.

This a photo of one of my first pictures ever on my feed. My engagement was 2 single comments and the editing is terrible! Lol.

For me, I have no clue where I’ll be in 5 years, I don’t own my own house. I’m not even close to having my life together. So I own that. And you know what? People seem to relate to that. And they share with me their own struggles and we connect. I LOVE that.

Being an influencer seems so glamorous?

Again, the answer is no. There is so much going on behind the scenes to get my feed to the way it looks as you guys see it. I don’t edit my photos a lot, but I definitely use a filter on each and every photo. Most the pictures you see are actually taken by my mom, my boyfriend, and my friends (which I am so thankful for). Sometimes I shoot with photographers yes, but most of the time it’s whoever is the least annoyed and will put up with my photo ops hehe. A lot of influencing I compare to “cold sales”. Yes, companies reach out to me, but I also have to reach out to companies. It sometimes takes 10 no’s before I reach 1 yes. By the time I get to that tenth no, I get quite discouraged. But once I do hit that yes, the magic happens.

This is a photo in front of my boyfriend’s garage. Super glamorous am I right?

What bout the Instagram Algorithm?

Oh my goodness don’t even get me started on this! Lol. Life was a lot easier before the Instagram algorithm was implemented. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Instagram changed its rules so that Instagram chooses what posts to show on your newsfeed. This depends on how much engagement the photo receives: if there’s high engagement, then Instagram will show it to more people, but if less engagement, Instagram will cap your reach. Tough crowd right?

Every day I am researching and learning my best to see how I can beat this system. And you know what I’ve realized? This is all a game and I don’t want my life to be consumed by Instagram 24/7. But at the same time, I am so grateful for Instagram for giving me this opportunity to meet so many great people and make this my work. So what do I do? I force myself to network and meet other people to ask questions and learn from them. Which let me tell you, can be SO HARD. I compare the Instagram world to high school. It’s separated into its different cliques. For the longest time I was trying to find the clique I fit into. But then I realized, I don’t need to fit into a clique, I will be my own clique.

Sometimes I think I have a great photo and I post it and it bombs…lol. And Instagram boots my post to the bottom. So I have to succumb to instagram advertising to boost the post. Yes, you heard that right. I literally have to pay Instagram to show my pic to more people. It’s a vicious cycle!

There are so many influencers…

In 2018, there are thousands of influencers. Fashion influencers, lifestyle influencers, you name it. How do you stand out? One of the biggest struggles is finding your niche. You want to be a food blogger? Good luck there are a billion other food bloggers out there. You want to be a beauty blogger that does make up tutorials? Susie next door does the same thing. Because influencing has become so popular, it is even more harder to stand out. I always wish I would’ve jumped on this influencing band wagon a few years ago before it got so popular. But it is what it is.

I find the more specific your niche is, the better. If you are a fashion blogger that is 6’2 and focuses on shopping for giants…HIT ME UP. I am a giant needing to know where the tall girl shops are at!

This is me and Jillian Harris, another blogger/influencer at her event in Kelowna.

The harsh reality of being an influencer is that Instagram is an app and is always changing. If we continue to use this app, we have to abide by it’s rules. And the rules keep getting stricter and stricter. You’re probably reading this and hoping by the end of this post that I have some formula that has worked for me and will work for everyone. Unfortunately I don’t. I don’t think anybody does. Or if they do, it’ll last for 5 minutes and then not be effective tomorrow. My journey with Instagram influencing has been so much trial and error. I’ve made a lot of mistakes but if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today talking to you guys. 🙂

If I could offer any advice it would be:

  • Be YOU + stay true to yourself

Sounds cheesy but this is 100% one of the main reasons I swear has gotten me to where I am today.

  • Trial and error

Fake it until you make it am I right? So much of my journey has been trying everything in the books, literally, I feel like I’ve tried it all. To me, no strategy is a bad strategy. If it doesn’t work out, at least you know you tried and can implement something else.

This caption speaks the truth. That is 100% me, always thinking about food.

Are you an Instagram influencer reading this? What have been your struggles?

-Jenna xoxo

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