So, a few weeks back I asked you guys what you loved about the Instagram platform as ‘users’. I was quickly inundated with lots of lovely messages. They talked about support and women empowering women. They also spoke about friendships, worldwide connections, lifestyle and parenting tips, and home and fashion inspo. 😊
I also received quite a few honest messages about things that people didn’t like….not about the app per se, but the whole blogging/vlogging (hate this word but ‘influencer’) industry itself. Rather than spam stories I thought I would stick my two-penneth in for what it’s worth, and address from my perspective if anyone’s interested?!
If so, grab yourself a cuppa, and any leftover valentines/galantine’s choccies you’ve got lying around (or buy your own – at least then you get the ones you want 😉) and let’s get started!
Influencers tag brands begging to get ‘freebies’ or brands to work with them. (SIC)
Lot’s of us (bloggers, non- bloggers) will tag brands/venues/other bloggers in posts, it just seems to be the sociable thing to do online right? Sharing is caring! However, by tagging a brand, you’ve ultimately already given the brand exposure/advertising/ potentially driven traffic to their socials/website so I personally feel it’s actually less likely the brand would send out products/work with you as a blogger. Hope that makes sense? From a marketing perspective (I’m no expert of course ) the business may be better actually going elsewhere?! Targeting another audience/demographic? Another point to note is, lots of brands socials are ran by different departments to those who source bloggers, lots are ran by external agencies too!
I hate how fake it is. Tidy Houses and pretty flowers. I prefer the ‘reality of’ accounts (SIC)
The other day someone messaged commenting on how carefully placed something was in my son’s bedroom, how theirs didn’t look like this. I agreed mine looks like what they described at times too! It got me thinking, does it all look too tidy? And the self doubt creeped in and made me feel a bit meh. Then I thought about what my feed is about – it’s always been about the pretty pictures and honest captions – if I didn’t show the item how it’s intended to look how would that inspire anyone/be visually pleasing? I do often share realities of life on stories but doesn’t everyone want people to see them/their home at their best? Don’t you rush around and do a ten min sweep before anyone comes over? That can’t just me be! I also reminded myself that you simply CANNOT please everyone. Not everybody is going to like you or what you post. ‘My’ Instagram is MY creative outlet and I do choose carefully what I wish to share/how I share it. The ‘reality of/reality’/share all’ accounts are just as curated in their own way. People control what they want you to see whatever their angle/niche. Lot’s in my little community use this as our creative outlet/a highlight reel – our escapism from the mundane of every day life. Everybody uses this corner of the internet differently.
Why are influencers always obsessed with seasons and being ahead? Christmas chat in October?
Again, I can’t speak for everyone but for me, it’s honestly about finding beauty in the every day. This is something I really appreciate as I get older. I look forward to special occasions and do appreciate the seasons and the joy they bring. As I child I used to plan my birthday party a good 6 months ahead – anyone else? Long before Instagram I would make friends and work colleagues hand crafted Easter baskets (way in advance – as soon as the bits hit the shops) filled with goodies and leave them on their desks. It brought them a lot of joy. A hot cross bun and a cuppa in the build up to Easter, pretty magnolia trees – I always feel like that’s what drew me in to this app/I had in common with creative lifestyle blogger peers despite our varied backgrounds! I’ve been buying Easter bits this week – it’s two months off! I can’t give recommendations on things that have sold out!
I hate that influencers makes me feel ‘inadequate’ all of the time. (SIC)
Again, please remember it’s someone’s highlight reel/a snippet into their lifestyle. The moment anyone makes me feel this way I consider unfollowing. If you can’t for political reasons then ‘mute’. Comparison is the thief of joy right? If it’s affecting your mental health, it’s time for a break.
I hate ADS and even worse when people don’t declare gifts, Ads etc. (SIC)
Bloggers have been advertising products for a long time. It’s really nothing new. It’s just that things are more transparent now with the new ASA/ CMA guidelines last year. This can only be a good thing in my opinion. I get some ADS are annoying (if they aren’t relevant to the content etc) . If I went back to being employed, as well as managing the cottage rentals there is just no way I would be able to run the hashtag, produce content, write blogs etc. Thank you as always to those who continue to support me in my sponsored posts. I see non- bloggers using their community to sell used baby clothes or furniture all of the time! That’s an advertisement isn’t it? I see people using it for network marketing schemes advertising their own shakes or perfumes. Everyone needs to eat and pay bills! It’s a creative job that honestly anyone can do if they wish to? Get out there and give it a go if you fancy it – there is room for everyone. Unfortunately, it has taken years (6) to get where I am today, through hard work and there is no magic wand. It’s not forever, but it serves me well whilst I have other big stuff going on behind the scenes.
I too get a little frustrated when bloggers don’t disclose things properly. I hope I always come across as transparent!
Brands don’t approach me for collabs & people don’t comment on my posts. (SIC)
Honestly, my first brand collaboration approach was back in 2015 and I was on around 7k followers. A small business reached out and sent me some photo frames and shabby chic homeware accessories. I was so honoured they had asked little old me and really enjoyed taking some cute pictures for them. One was my baby announcement as I framed the scan! 😊 Brands appreciate the value of all sized accounts and collaborate with those with a lot less followers than that now. There is no harm in approaching a small businesses and asking if they would like to team up with you! It just has to be beneficial for both parties. 😊 Secondly, perhaps ask yourself if you comment on other peoples posts and chat to them? You will only get back what you put in! I find there is overall a great sense of community. I have the nicest followers. There is no ‘social’ in social media otherwise!
When bloggers share links and no one has asked. (SIC)
I will always share links of anything I am recommending – despite the fact nobody has asked! I shared the Pjs I bought Alex this evening. Whether it’s a local café I’ve visited, a community panto. It saves me typing everything out and the website I am linking can likely provide the person with more information. Whilst I personally don’t use affiliate links (at the moment and that’s not a dig at anyone that does) it just means the blogger makes a small commission from your purchase. It doesn’t cost you anymore!
I hate it when people jump and dance all over the camera on stories for attention. Calm down it’s not Bongos Bingo Girls. (SIC)
I’ve not drank in a while (NYE to be precise yay) so I am not sure if this person means me – but It’s just a bit of light hearted fun! Swipe on by if it’s not your jam?!
Influencers only follow Big Accounts/Z list celebs and don’t reply to me. They think they are too good. (SIC)
From an admin perspective (I run several accounts – my own, MHTM, Pluen Cottage) messages can unfortunately at times be missed. I try my best! Maybe send the individual a little nudge via DM? Despite what others may think, I am not online all day and have to take breaks from my phone to give my eyes and hands a physical break and maybe even live in the real world a little. Give that person the benefit of the doubt! We’re only human!
Influencers are all mates, buzz off each other and just go for swanky coffees all day and insta meet ups/I will never go to. (SIC).
Wrong! Influencers aren’t ’ALL’ mates. Networking (even online) is important just like any other industry?! I networked a lot in Finance and legal. Yes, I have made some wonderful friends but just like life, and any ‘female‘ heavy industry perhaps you are always going to get a little bit of the old playground mentality (meow). Block out those negative vibes and you do you! I do try and limit ‘blogger’ events as I don’t want people to feel excluded and tend to stick to private Press invites (i.e. restaurant reviews if I really fancy it and know you guys would want to know about it too). I always get asked for Liverpool eatery recommendations/child friendly days out so I will always be interested in those. I like to know what’s going on in this city of ours. 🙂
With a lot of these bugs, let’s ask ourselves why they frustrate us so much?! Why do we even care?
I hope this is helpful to those who are interested in this sort of thing. It’s a pretty new industry (that’s quite a minefield to be honest) and I am learning as I go.
I always like to think I am friendly and approachable – just give me a shout if you have questions?
Feel free to share with those who may take interest too.
Until next time,