It’s honestly embarrassing that I’ve taken so long to write a new post but to be honest guys, I haven’t had the time to really put finger to keypad and I have been dealing with ‘life’ and everything that comes with it.
But, I had to sit down and really hash out this post because I have had MANY people DM, email and call me to find out why I actually decided to draw a line under it and start again.
So… I thought it would make for an interesting read for me to address the elephant in the room and be completely open and honest about the entire thing and while we are on the matter of INSTAGRAM follow me HERE to follow my new one 🙂
- I was tired of all being an ‘Influencer’ with no real INFLUENCE!
You’re probably wondering what the hell I mean by this but honestly, I mean what I say and I say what I mean! I had over 6k followers and was working steadily on getting to 10k because it is at 10k that you can get the ‘swipe up’ feature and it is also the golden figure where you can begin to (to some extent) charge to promote brands products or services. On my own and organically I had grown my account to 3.5k followers but the progress was slow and with the endless battle against Instagram’s dreaded Algorithms and not getting my quality fashion posts seen, I found out about an engagement platform that ‘promised’ to help grow my account, position my account in front of the right eyes and help me to connect with like-minded bloggers. It sounded like a ‘win-win’ situation at first and soon after paying my monthly fee, my account was being ‘blown’ up with an influx of likes and engagement I had never seen before. On top of that, I was actually beginning to engage with other bloggers who were producing content similar to mine.
It was only a matter of time before my account grew to over 4.5k followers and more and more brands were complimenting me and the quality of my page. At this point, I was getting flooded with free items and was struggling to fit in shooting content between working on my other ventures.
But I prodded along and was shooting content for the most part each each and every Sunday, while working on launching my female empowerment brand and working full time. Things were however looking up so I kept on posting and engaging and my account grew and grew.
Then one day, I put up a post and it only received 30 likes the entire day. Now just hear me out here, to many that would be suffice but in my case, I was wearing an outfit sent to me by a brand and this was going to make me look pretty contrived. So I contacted the engagement company to find out why my account had been hit so dramatically. They informed me that there was a glitch with the service and that it would all be up and running soon. And for a time it was. But then, over the next few weeks, to increase my growth, my account began getting flooded with ‘ghost followers’ (followers that are not real people- often with no display picture to boot!) Yes, we’ve all had them but whereas some people may have a maximum of 10-20 ghost followers my account had well over 1K of them and each day my account was growing it was getting ‘taken over’ by fake followers. This was pretty upsetting as I had grown the account organically for a while and now my engagement and followers were just not tallying up. I left the company soon after but the damage was done. Nothing was tallying up or making any sense and while I had been determined to be authentic and as transparent as possible, I was now in my mind, a fraud. Yes, I had influence, but how real was it? I saw I was on a theme park ride and to be honest I wanted to press the pause button and just get off. So I did.
2. I made the mistake of joining ‘engagement groups’
In theory, engagement groups are a bloggers dream as you join a group (again with like-minded creatives) who basically big you up! They like your pics, they comment on everything and they basically make you look like you are killing it in every pic ( even the ones where you background is messy and their is a smudge on the bedroom mirror you are trying to take a selfie in front of!) The truth is though, although there were instances where I connected with some genuine ladies. Receiving that type of love came with a price, a really hefty price and one I am going to break down now.
So, if you had 20 girls in the group liking and commenting on your pics, you had to ensure you returned the favour. Of course, there were some instances where as you were going about your day, you may forget to do so and as the day went on, the more posts you had to respond to grew and grew. To be completely honest with you, it became a job in itself and I began to fall behind. With that came the warnings from some girls, who would threaten to unfollow you if you hadn’t engaged quick enough. Then there was the issue of being in a group and then someone in the group would create their own group and then add you and so you were a member of two groups and then three with over 20 girls and guys in each group. As you can imagine, it was hellish and again I was struggling to see how this was helping me or my reach in the long run. All it left me feeling was deflated and exhausted and overtime, I began to see how much of my time was being eaten in to. So something had to give.
3. I grew tired of answering to brands
It is understandable that when brands send you an item free of charge that you of course and without a shadow of a doubt promote and share their items with your following. But and there is a big but! by sending you a product, they would tell you how soon you would need to get the product up and promoted by. Now this was perfectly okay if it was a phone cover or something. However, when you were sent a detox tea or a supplement, they would then demand that you upload a product picture in a few days after receiving it. Which meant, your review and profile could not in any way be an honest review as you was not given ample time to review it. This is wrong in so many ways and although this was by no means for every brand I collaborated with. I didn’t like the pressure I was put under to post and my feed did not feel like my own. I realised I could easily give up receiving free products as I would ultimately regain control over my content.
4. I needed to shift some dead weight
We’ve all got those people who know us personally and say they want you to do good but just not as good as them! I had a ton of people following me who would endlessly watch my insta stories and pree my page but would never engage with me. On a real, they acted as if clicking the like button would cost them something. They knew that in my case, engagement would help me grow and yet, they never would. I didn’t have the time to sift through my page and weed these people out so I got rid of them in one swift swoop!
5. There’s nothing like a fresh start
It’s a new decade and I can’t say that the last 10 years were all great as they really wasn’t. I had my fair share of good times but I also had a few bad times that really compromised my physical and mental health. As a result, wiping the slate clean was more of a cathartic necessity than anything else and I am happier now than I was before.
So here’s to authenticity and new beginnings.
Dress: Pull & Bear
Heels: Ego Official
Jacket: Stush Clothing