How To Give Great Instagram When You Are Short On Time
You know, I’m not keen on the phrase winging it (bit girly), but have to admit it’s the one best suited to my school summer holiday strategy this year. It has come piling down on top of me and forced me to re-think my attitude to creating posts for Instagram and my blog over the next 6 weeks. Actually, the issue is bigger than that. I needed a new plan anyway, but the extra summer squeeze on working hours has brought the matter to a head. I have to admit that I am stretched, and some of my content is suffering as a result.
When I started Instagramming, I was mostly just Instagramming. Now I am blogging, trying to keep up with Pinterest and Twitter, studying, would like to study more (filmmaking), working on an exciting side venture….you get the picture. Instagram and this website feed into all of that, but I need to wise-up how I’m working so that I can build a business at the same time. I need an approach that allows me to keep my sanity and keep improving my images.
Every day Instagrammer?
I believe that if you are trying to grow a social media following, whether it’s on Instagram or another platform, you need to post to your account as close to every day as you can. Two reasons. One, to establish yourself with your followers and let them get to know you. Two, it’s excellent practice while you are trying to develop your writing or photography style. So since I started Not About The Kids, I have tried (sometimes too hard) to post to my Instagram feed every single day.
It’s time to let myself off the hook. Creating a good quality, original photograph 7 days a week 365 days a year is a big ask. What would I tell a friend who was stressed out about their Instagram photos? Take the odd day off, it’s just an app, you don’t have to post to the grid every day and it’s better to wait until you have a good photo anyway.
So I am going to make a big effort to take my own advice, and have a bit of faith that I can still maintain a good relationship with my followers. There is always Instagram Stories, which is so fun and easy to post to. Also, engagement. Spending time engaging with other accounts has always been a big part of my approach to Instagram, so if I can’t post a photo one day, why not spend an extra few minutes appreciating other people’s?
I’m going to try and simplify my approach to my pictures, or what I take photos of to be more precise. I plan to do this by sticking broadly to certain themes or series. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel with each post, in fact, Instagram audiences like repetition.
I’ve identified certain reoccurring themes that I like and am going to have fun reimagining, such as red & white striped wall, Breton top, deskie, selfie, headless selfie, tea & coffee. You don’t need to stick to a series like glue, but it helps to have a failsafe list like this when you are low on ideas.
I have been suffering from imposter syndrome. It is around the fact that I use my iPhone to create 99% of my photographs. No proper photographer would do that, would they?
It’s not that I don’t have a decent camera (proud owner of a beautiful Canon DSLR). It’s just that when it comes to styling my Instagram and blog photos and getting the look I want quickly, I simply have far more luck with my phone camera. When I publish my posh camera shots to Instagram they jar and perform badly with my followers.
So I am going to stop torturing myself about this and embrace it. I am an iPhone photographer.
I’ve written some tips on how to improve camera phone photos, click here to read them.
A potential time saver (that I often forget about when I am up against it) is repurposing old photos.
I often take dozens and dozens of pictures for each one that I post. Many never see the light of day, but if I take the time to scroll through my phone I often find something that’s worth an using. A fresh pair of eyes is always a good thing.
How do you manage your social media output when you are short on time?
Please share your secrets, I love to chat.
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