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100 Things I’ve Learned While Growing to 100k on Instagram

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I am still *kind of* in shock over hitting 100,000 followers on Instagram this week.. like c’mon pinch me!! So while I process that, I wanted to capture what I’ve learned in my 3.5 year journey to get here.

  1. Done is better than perfect.
  2. But done constitues complete.
  3. Natural light is your best friend for all photos.
  4. You will learn quickly who supports you, for real, when you begin to pursue your dreams.
  5. Whenever a social media app comes out with a new feature, use it.
  6. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  7. Don’t trust everyone. People’s intentions aren’t always pure.
  8. Be the biggest cheerleader of others, regardless of how they cheer for you.
  9. Learn.
  10. Be a student always.
  11. Muting and unfollowing can be huge benefits for your mental health.
  12. Consistency is key. It’s cliche, but it’s cliche because it’s true.
  13. Hashtags don’t matter.
  14. Knowing your audience matters more than anything.
  15. Never make selfish content.
  16. You can submit your own questions into a question box to answer – use it when your account is small to encourage others to participate.
  17. It gets easier the more you do it… goes for anything, but absolutely for showing up online.
  18. Everyone starts at zero.
  19. There is nothing wrong with being “cringey”
  20. What other people say about you is none of your business.
  21. Not all negative comments deserve a response.
  22. However, negative comments are still engagement in the social media world.
  23. People don’t dislike you, they dislike your online persona and brand. The sooner you can mentally separate yourself from your online presence, the easier criticism will be to take.
  24. For every 1 good photos, there’s 50 terrible ones.
  25. No one posts their failures.
  26. Know your why.
  27. The internet never shuts off, but that doesn’t mean you need to participate 24/7.
  28. You’ll never make everyone happy.
  29. Strangers on the internet can be kinder and more supportive than those in your real life.
  30. Comparison is the thief of joy.
  31. Gratitude is the cultivator of joy.
  32. If your content is good, people will copy it.
  33. Support those who credit you for your original ideas.
  34. Don’t engage with those who don’t give credit.
  35. Anyone who copies you will always be one step behind you.
  36. As grandma always said, they can steal the recipe, but the sauce won’t taste the same.
  37. Don’t ever copy someone else, people follow you for YOU, not because you’re like someone else.
  38. Virality is a combination of consistency and luck.
  39. If you’re showing outfits or fashion, take the time to steam or iron. Wrinkles are distracting.
  40. A great preset will be your best friend in editing photos.
  41. Follow people you admire.
  42. Unfollow people who make you feel like you’re not good enough.
  43. Don’t continue to follow people just because they follow you.
  44. The block button is there for a reason, use it when someone is disrespectful.
  45. Reply to your DMs, as often and as much as you can.
  46. Ignore the mean DMs. Block and delete.
  47. Continually ask your audience for feedback.
  48. However, don’t depend solely on their feedback on what to create. As Henry Ford said, before cars if you asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
  49. Stop worrying about what time to post… just post.
  50. Stop worrying about what hashtags to use.. just post.
  51. Stop worrying about what your caption should be.. just post.
  52. Review your analytics frequently.
  53. Make adjustments based on the results.
  54. Treat social media as an experiment. Scientists don’t attach emotions to the success or failure of an experiment, they just analyze and adjust.
  55. Be authentic.
  56. Include the behind the scenes, the mess or the realness behind the screen every so often.
  57. Don’t film yourself while you’re driving.
  58. Let me repeat. Don’t film yourself while you’re driving. It’s unsafe, dangerous, and careless.
  59. Speak on social issues that are important to you.
  60. But know that not everyone will agree with you when you do.
  61. Be willing to stand up for yourself and what you believe in.
  62. Be willing to lose followers for values and beliefs you hold.
  63. Follower count is not a measure of success, wealth or happiness.
  64. Confidence is the key to everything.
  65. Gain confidence through consistency.
  66. Never delete a post.
  67. However, archiving posts can be useful.
  68. Don’t ever participate in engagement groups, purchase followers or do any other “hack”. They’re not only a waste of time, but they can cause you to lose your entire account.
  69. Don’t comment on your own posts to try to boost it in the algorithm after you post – it looks desperate, and instagram knows your own comments so it doesn’t work.
  70. Edit content within the app you are posting it to whenever possible.
  71. Have an email list and a website.
  72. Find someone you can trust in a similar journey as you to bounce questions and ideas off of and brainstorm together.
  73. Post a balance of content that is valuable for your current audience, and some content that attracts a new audience.
  74. Your partner (if you have one) should be your biggest supporter and cheerleader.
  75. Yes, it’s just social media.. but there are tears. Both happy, and sad.
  76. Don’t “boost” your posts, it hardly ever results in what you’d like it to and then Instagram just expects you to spend more to get eyes on your content.
  77. Always use captions on videos. It’s accessible and helps so many who can’t watch with the volume on.
  78. Aesthetic content is worth the extra effort.
  79. However, aesthetic content doesn’t have to take years to create.
  80. Create routines and habits.
  81. Celebrate your wins, big and small.
  82. Set goals.
  83. Set intentions.
  84. Work on your mindset first, strategy second.
  85. It’s not cringey to post more than once a day.
  86. The only way to get comfortable talking to a camera, is by talking to a camera.
  87. Don’t give up.
  88. Create a community.
  89. Answer your comments in a thoughtful way.
  90. Engage with other creators.
  91. But dear lord, please watch their content completely if you’re going to comment. There is nothing cringier than a comment that has nothing to do with the post.
  92. Don’t spam another creator with likes or comments in hopes they’ll follow you back.
  93. The way to have other creators (or anyone) engage and like your content… is to create good content.
  94. Don’t ask a creator “how they grew” unless they are an account dedicated to teaching Instagramers how to grow.
  95. Clean your mirror before taking mirror photos.
  96. Clean your camera lens.
  97. Don’t try to organize your photos in your phone, it’s a time suck always. Just use the search feature to find something.
  98. Don’t worry about planning out content weeks in advance, your ideas will flow to you as they come.
  99. There is someone out there that is so beyond grateful that you share content.
  100. Chase your dreams. They are worth it.

So, let me know what your thoughts are. Any of these stand out? Let me know.

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