IT’S ALL FOR FUN RIGHT?
When I joined Instagram in 2016, I had no idea what I was doing, I was just having fun posting photos of my makes. Little did I know how serious Instagram was, and that there are “guidelines.” But I wasn’t worried about having the perfect Instagram page, I just wanted to share my sewing for fun. Isn’t that the most important thing?
Over time, I have been getting DMs as well as ads on my feed about how to grow Instagram accounts, and a lot of the advice are about taking the right photos, staying on trend, finding your niche and sticking to it, making sure your page is brand friendly, making sure your page tells a story, etc etc. I guess it was not all about having fun, it was also about creating another version of you, so that you will be liked and followed.
I feel that before you take advice on the ins and outs of Instagram, it is important to figure out “Your Why.” For instance, are you on Instagram for fame, hopes of monetizing your account by getting recognized by brands, or just for sharing? Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong reason, but make sure that whatever your reason, you are true to yourself and “Your Why.”
STRESSED AND CONFUSED
At one point after I joined Instagram I felt a lot of pressure to make sure that my photos were just right, to the point where I had my poor husband out for hours going to different locations for perfect lighting to try to get a great shot. It became very stressful, and he was not liking it. There was also someone I met on social media telling me constantly what my page should look like, and I listened because I thought their page was beautiful. They even told me to look at other people’s page to see what mine should look like. I became so overwhelmed, that I forgot why I was on Instagram to begin with, and I was no longer having fun. It felt like Instagram was another job I was not happy doing. Life can already be overwhelming, I didn’t need to add more stress to it.
At one point I thought about shutting down my page. I mean, I just wanted sew and have fun sharing. I had no intentions of trying to brand myself, nor focus more on making what others wanted to see me make, rather than what I wanted to make. I basically became someone I did not recognize, and my page did not look like me. I had to literally separate myself from Instagram and refocus.
One day, while talking to a good friend, she gave me the best life advice. I even give this same advice to my children when it comes to peer pressure at school. She said, “If you find yourself changing to please the world to the point where you don’t recognize who you are anymore, then remove all of the people and things that are making you unrecognizable.” That is just what I did. While on my break I will admit that I missed Instagram. I had met some lovely people in the sewing community, and missed seeing their creations. However, before I came back, I had to figure out my why, and never lose sight of it.
I later came back to Instagram, but with a purpose in mind, to sew and share my love of sewing with all those who wanted to join me on my journey to building a self made wardrobe.
I joined Instagram because I love to sew and share with others, that’s it. I honestly don’t follow trends, I just make what I like. My page is not perfectly curated, because honestly my life and my sewing is not. I truly wear what I make, so sometimes you may see me in a beautiful dress, and sometimes you’ll see me in shorts and a top, but you can guarantee they are all made by me.
There are times I get really cool photos, and there are times when I get a shot in or near my house before I run out. Don’t get me wrong, nice photos show off the details of your make nicely, so I am not saying it is not important to take nice photos for your page. Just make sure that you are not stressing yourself out so much about the perfect location and photo. I have seen some instagrammers with beautiful photos inside their homes in their creation. You don’t have to be in some out of this world location in every photo, unless you are a travel blogger.
I am inspired by some fashion bloggers and other sewists on Instagram, but I don’t want my page to look like theirs. Why? Because I am not them, and what works for them may not work for me. If someone takes notice of my page, and a blessing comes from it, then I will be grateful. However, it will be because they like me, and what I represent, and not who I want them to think I am.
I have learned that Instagram, like any other social media platform is what you make of it. You can have fun with it, you can gain income from it, but most importantly in my book, you can inspire with it. Don’t let it cause you to be someone you are not, because at the end of the day, it’s not the real world, and there is so much life to live off of social media.
My name is Faith, and I LOVE TO SEW!!
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