Have you ever fallen down the rabbit hole of social media? It usually happens to me late at night when I should be sleeping. Instead, I’m clicking on the next instagram account, then the next one and before I know it, I’m scrolling through one beautiful feed after the next beautiful feed. I think to myself, seriously does every single person in this world have a blog? How can that many people own Chanel bags? Like one of those is minimum 3-4 grand. Does everyone have professional photographers take their fashion shots now? How are there that many bright doors and wall murals? The list of questions goes on and on.
Sometimes I think to myself, like why am I even bothering? I started blogging too late. I’m never going to really “break through“. It’s too much work to have a full time job and continue to build a successful blog. Then I stop, clear away the negative vibes and think to myself about why I blog in the first place. I blog to have a creative outlet. To connect to my friends that I talk with on a daily basis who live halfway across the country and I’ve probably haven’t even met yet in “real life“. I love sharing that amazing dupe shoe that looks just like the designer one but I found at a fraction of the price. I blog to share my knowledge and research. To give someone a nice 10 minute coffee break before their day starts. The Type A perfectionist in me needs to sometimes be told that you don’t have time to start doing podcasts or to write an e-course. You don’t have the time for it and let’s be real, how many people would listen to me ramble? Plus, you have to buy fancy equipment for that. So I thought I would share a few tips that I fall back on when I start feeling that comparison game sneak up and how to stand out in a crowd that sometimes feels like a sea.
How to Stand Out in a Crowd
Be True to Yourself
I know, I know, give me a break. It’s been told over and over but let me give you my take on it. I work full time and live in a man cave condo. You aren’t going to see me doing DIY home styling or too many recipes posts because well, Mark does all the cooking. What are you good at? What do you feel like you are the authority on? If you are trying to be good at everything but only really good at one thing, it’s obvious. I like bright, cheery and visually stimulating shots to show off fashion. Doesn’t this black dress look way more interesting against this backdrop?
Are you great at DIY? Then show me that. Do you have a penchant for interior decorating? Then I want to see it. I don’t dare say the word, niche but I do say spend your time on what you are good at. If you can spin a recipe and make it healthy, show me. Make sure you have a great pinnable, so that post will live on after it goes live. Stop trying to recreate what others have done. Blaze your own path and your own ideas. That is what will help make you stand out in the crowd.
Pick Your Platforms
You could spend an entire 24 hours just trying to grow and promote all the social platforms. It’s exhausting and I don’t have time for that. My blog is my first priority and now I’ve really been trying to focus building up my Instagram. I will say at least 75% of my collaborations are coming through instagram now. “Hey Amanda, I saw your beautiful feed and want to work with you“. Brands reaching out to me from that standpoint are my favorite to work with because I can set my own terms. Instagram is seriously the quick and dirty of blogging. I can put up an outfit and get more inquires from one picture then the time it takes to craft up an entire blog post. Jaelan also turned me onto Planoly. It’s an app where you can schedule your Instagram posts and also get an overview of how your photos are going to look. It really helps to develop an overall aesthetic and feel to your feed.
Tag, Direct Message and Email
One of my favorite ways to stand out in a crowd on instagram, is to basically hound a company that I want to work with. I usually wear or show the product on myself and how I’ve styled it. Then I tag the company, send them a direct message and also email them from the site. “I absolutely adore your new Spring line as you can see how I styled it in this picture. Do you work with bloggers for brand exposure?” I absolutely love BB Dakota, as it is quite obvious. I always picked up a few pieces during the Shopbop sales. Well, I started tagging them on Instagram. I went to their page and found their specific hashtag #ITSONLYFASHION. I started hash tagging my looks. Then I made sure when I posted something by them, I went to their instagram page and engaged on their posts. I commented, liked, tagged others and blew up their feed. I then sent them a direct message. Well wouldn’t you know. 10 minutes later I got a response from them saying someone from their PR team would be contacting me. Which they did. Would they have found me without that whole scenario? I really doubt it. Brands want to see how their products are going to look on you. Make it impossible for them not to see you.
If you can only post twice a week, then make sure those are two strong posts and let your readers know what days you will be posting. I can tell you, I’ve fallen off reading a few blog that I used to read due to the fact they have dropped off for a few weeks with no heads up to why. I’ve checked back and no new posts and then I’m onto the next. I was getting overwhelmed with life, so I’ve pretty much cut down to four posts a week. I try to post to Instagram once a day and engage with all the comments. Consistency is one of the most important takeaway points if you want to make yourself seen and remembered.
Don’t Try to be Someone That You Aren’t
Can we talk about the back turned, scenery shot and throwing up a peace sign. Extra points if you have a baby on your hip. It’s been done and let’s move on. Once again if it feels forced, it doesn’t ring genuine. You are the most comfortable when you are in your element. Show us that.
Connect With Your Readers on More “Real” Platforms
Can I even tell you how much I love Snapchat!?! (follow me @meetatthebarre) I love being able to hear the voice behind the blog. Seeing the every day, not posed/styled/preempted. I can show you my latest shopping haul, review a product I’m digging and you can ask questions in real time. It’s kind of like those day in the life posts but with video. If you start building up the trust of people that way, it will reflect across all your platforms. I’ve had so many people say “oh I saw those sandals, you snapped about them and now I’m seeing them styled. I am totally getting them now“. Now you’re not just a random instagram picture in the feed. Instead, oh yeah she snapped about that dress and now I’m seeing it styled. I’ve noticed a huge change in engagement ever since I’ve stepped up my Snapchat game.
Take Good Quality Photos
I have made a pledge to myself that I will not have any iPhone pictures or pictures that I did not capture myself on this space anymore. Yes, it is more time consuming and I have to haul around my DSLR but it has made such a difference. If you are going to use your iPhone, start learning how to edit. I personally like using A Color Story app. Also, here is my public service announcement. Please use the straightening tool on instagram. I am crazy about pictures that aren’t straight. I just takes one more extra step. Also, start learning about simple composition, here is a great tutorial. You want to stand out in a crowd? Step up your photography and I promise you it will happen. I never paid for one single photography class. I learned on my own. You want to learn? Check out my tutorials here.
Finally. Engage Others.
Start tagging other bloggers. Tweet their posts. Start following brands you want to work with and comment and engage on their photos. Don’t wait for things to fall into your lap. Go out there and start making those contacts. If they don’t have any opportunities now, save the email and try them again in a month. Getting the contact email is 90% of the hard part. Try to comment on 20 photos on instagram for every picture you post. The Instagram algorithms are showing the more your photo is engaged in the first 15 minutes, the more likely it is to show up in the feed. So don’t throw a photo up and then sign out of the app. Stay around and engage. Your pictures (which are going to be aesthetically pleasing and hopefully straightened) will then make it to more feeds. You will be tagging those brands, who then in turn will see your high engagement and well rounded feed. Plus, the more you tag them, the more likely they are to “regram” you. That leads for more exposure and you can grow your instagram numbers.
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Here are my takeaway points and this translates to non bloggers as well. Don’t wait for the opportunities to fall into your lap. If you want to work with a brand or want to be noticed at work, then take it into your own hands. Stop by and engage with the higher ups. Send that direct message to a brand. Your email inbox is going to be pretty empty, if you are just waiting for brands to find you. Find what you are good at, take deliberate and beautiful pictures, engage and reach out to who you want to work with. I challenge you right now to list a brand that you want to work with. Tell me who it is and why you want to work with them. Let’s come up with a plan to make that happen for you how to stand out in a crowd! Don’t blend in, let’s get you out there front and center.
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Also! Don’t forget the Nordstrom half yearly sale starts today! Swooning over these studded heels here and these Tory Burch sandals. This insanely affordable reversible tote for work. Or let’s talk about these Jimmy Choos for 40% off. Hurry sizes sell out so quickly for this one!
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