When I started my blog in September of 2019, I only created a Facebook page for the blog. In 2020 during the pandemic and the stay-at-home orders I was able to take a 10-day challenge from inexperienced Blogger about how to blog well. She encouraged us all to set up other social media accounts for the blog. Instagram and Twitter were the two main ones she suggested. I set up both and I had no idea what I was doing. I got the hang of Twitter quickly.
Instagram was less certain for me. I am not a big selfie person, or even a picture person. And now I must navigate this social media platform that is based solely on pictures and video? My introverted self-wanted to hide. At first Instagram grew quickly. Then it tapered off because I was extremely uncomfortable with content with my face visible or me talking to the world at all. In late 2021, I took a free class to learn how to have better Instagram engagement for businesses. The class was helpful. For the first time I had a schedule for Instagram and tips and tricks on how to engage with brands that I love. Suddenly Instagram did not seem so scary.
I decided to follow the schedule to a tee. My engagement still was not what I wanted it to be, however. I took another class on Instagram for free to see if that would help or offer any new insight. This one was not particularly helpful to be honest. As soon as I realized, I set out to figure out Instagram on my own and what worked for me. I noticed that reels are extremely popular, and I was already doing two of those a week per the schedule from the original class.
Reels were the way people communicated on Instagram mostly. After doing some research on my own in the reels feed of Instagram, I discovered that most bloggers and entrepreneurs were doing daily reels. They were also asking their viewers to follow them and share their content every time they made a reel. I decided to follow their lead as it were. filming one reel a day was part of my work every day. I always made sure then I asked my viewers for exactly what I wanted them to do if they liked my content. Saying please was important to me when I made the ask so that it felt polite and not pushy.
To my astonishment, my Instagram started to gain traction. I do not use any fancy equipment to record my reels. It is quite simply just me on my phone in my apartment talking about whatever I feel led to talk about or am asked to talk about on any given day. By just talking and being myself authentically people are responding. As someone who has struggled most of my life to figure out a way to fit in: now I was just being myself and starting to stand out. The way people started to react to my content on Instagram told me that being myself was what was most important.
Turns out, God had other plans for me then fitting in with the world. I was born to stand out simply by being myself and helping others by telling my story. Except in this content venture, I was telling my story verbally in short videos instead of writing my story down. The lesson that I have learned that does not just apply to my fellow bloggers and entrepreneurs is this learn as much as you can from those who do what you want to do well, take that knowledge, and find out what works for you.