5 Instagram Tips for the Rising Creator, From a Creator Who Rose

So, you made your Instagram a business account and want to be big on the platform — now what? Quarantine has inspired nearly all of Gen Z to tap into their creative side, from tie-dying every article of clothing in sight (I have seven tie-dye pieces and counting, NBD), to learning how to embroider, to getting wrist aches from making whipped coffee, to being so addicted to TikTok that the news of it being banned caused a mass panic.

At the beginning of the year, I knew I wanted to rebrand myself on social media, but I never had the time to do it "right." Who even defines "right?" This quarantine has been a blessing and a curse. The blessing part is that by being home 24/7, I finally had the time to take the leap and become a content creator. As an advertising major, my dream has always been to merge my work with my hobbies, and creating content allows me to do just that. From working in influencer marketing to partnering with several global brands, I’ve gained tons of experience in the field, and I’ve used that knowledge to better my personal branding.

The term influencer scared me at first — it has such a negative connotation to it — but I dove into the world of content creation and was able to grow my account by over 2,000 followers in just a few months. There are so many articles out there that link you out to purchase an app, buy your followers, and mass follow and unfollow people, but this is not the case. I happily brand myself now as a creator, and I want to help YOU do that too. Let’s jump right in!

  1. 1. Be authentic

    Laptop with white mug that says the future is female with a lipstick mark

    Yes, cheesy, I know. But listen — if fitness bloggers are trending, but you hate fitness, then don’t try to be a fitness blogger! Your audience can definitely sniff out fakeness from a mile away; build your foundation authentically and all of your followers will feel like you’re their friend. I like Harry Styles — okay, that's an understatement, I am obsessed with Harry Styles — and often that is seen as a childish characteristic. But I don't let that stop me from talking about him, his music, and crying over the postponed tours. I am fully aware that brands, recruiters and my audience are able to see that. If they don't want to work with or follow me because of that, your loss honey!

  2. 2. Make connections

    Answer every DM you can, reply to every comment (start a conversation, don't just say “thank you” 100 different times), and engage with people when you first follow them. I get several follows every day, but the ones that stick out the most are the ones who leave love on my page or even take a second to send me a DM just to say they enjoy my feed!

  3. 3. Get a feed planning app

    My top recommendations are UNUM and Preview. Think about how many times you've gone on someone’s page and been like, “Ooooo this is such an aesthetic feed!” Well, with a little planning, you can achieve that too! Whether you’re focusing on one predominant color/vibe in all your photos or a certain style of photography, planning your feed ahead of time will make you look like a professional.

  4. 4. Make sure your content is high quality

    Android Phone App Blur Business

    This doesn’t mean get a professional camera by any means — student debt is already enough for you to worry about. But upping your game from a Snapchat selfie to using natural light and portrait mode on your iPhone will make worlds of a difference! Ask your friends, family or roommates to take pictures of you and have fun together while learning the art of creation.

  5. 5. Create a personal brand

    Your display name and bio matter because it’s the very first thing people see, even before your content. For example, my display name is “Mollie | Creator” so people immediately know what my account is about. My bio states the three main topics my account is about: Creativity, Lifestyle and Instagram Tips. Adding three easy descriptions helps your audience get a feel for who you are! After that, I have my community hashtag, my freelance account, and my business email. If you want to partner with other creators and/or brands, having a business email is a great way to do so!

  6. 6. Provide value

    iPhone showing instagram on a table with a plant next to it

    If you can only take away one thing today, let it be this. Giving my audience a true reason to follow me is what I struggled with the most — I couldn't grasp it. Who would solely want to see my everyday life? I'm not entertaining nor famous enough. But then I thought to myself: "Why did I start this in the first place?" I wanted to share my editing tips, Instagram knowledge and photography skills — and I started to do exactly that. Once I started providing my audience with tips that I've learned over time, as well as diagrams and video tutorials, I gained more engagement. I always answer every question I get, because helping my audience learn and grow is exactly my end goal!

These six tips brought a full turnaround to my Instagram during this quarantine. Don’t fret if it feels uncomfortable at first — all kinds of change are. Channel your inner creativity and make all kinds of magic, I believe in you! If you ever have any questions or just want some inspiration, shoot me a DM to my IG @molliedaniela and I'd be happy to chat!