I've been asked a few times by friends and followers if I had any advice for people just starting out on Instagram or with blogging. I am by no means an expert but I wanted to share some of the things that I've learned that have been most helpful to me!
Simply Magical Life started out as something totally different. I was a "Disney Instagrammer" from August of 2017 until early 2019. I started my account on a whim to share photos from Disney trips and things that I loved about the theme parks. I was able to connect with people with similar interests and support small shops in the Disney community, and because of that I met some amazing friends from all over the country that I am so thankful for!
Over time it became harder to create Disney content because I was from out of state and thats when I knew I needed a change. I would be lying if I said I didn't think of stopping my Instagram completely, but I loved being able to share the magic of Disney with my friends and followers. With the help and brainstorming of some of my friends and family, Simply Magical Life was born in April of 2019. The past year and a half of this journey has been such a fun experience that has grown into something that I am so proud of.
If you would have asked me in 2019 where I thought this account would be in a year, I would have never imagined that it would be what it is. For those of you starting out on Instagram or on the blogging journey, here are five things that I have learned that have helped me stay the course and spread my magic:
1. Make genuine connections with people.
The point of social media is to be social! Interact with people who follow you, if you love what they're doing, send them a DM. Don't be afraid to message someone that you admire and tell them that they inspire you. If someone posts something that you love? Use their link! Let them know! The more that you do that, the more connections you will make. Go through the list of people you follow and try and support them as much as you can! I absolutely loved this one small shop when I started out on Instagram. I would comment on all of her posts, DM her about her stories, and then basically forced her to be my friend. (Shoutout to you, @mainstmorgan)
2. Have fun with what you post!
This is YOUR page, let your personality shine through! Don't post something just because you think people will like it, post what you enjoy and people will like it because of the passion you have for it. The best thing about Instagram besides the fact that you can make connections with people is the fact that it is a creative outlet. Right now things are so uncertain that it is important to have an outlet to express yourself. Do you love to draw? Show it off! Do you love makeup? Go on your stories and show us how! Don't be afraid to go outside your comfort zone and showcase something that makes you unique.
3. Don't compare yourself to anyone else.
Instagram ultimately is a business. Their main goal is to make money and they do what benefits them in order to do that. This will sometimes result in your content not performing the way that you think it should. DO NOT let that discourage or define you. Your mental health is the most important and you should never compare yourself to another blogger or account. I would be lying if I said that this never gets me down. It is normal to feel discouraged and upset but remember that no one else in the world is like you and thats what makes you special.
4. Don't promote things you wouldn't buy yourself.
As I've grown on Instagram, I've gotten a lot of collaboration requests from companies and brands asking me to promote their products. I don't accept any of these collaborations unless I truly love or want to try the product. I consider every single thing that I post as a direct representation of me. People message me all the time saying they bought something because I talked about it or that they loved something that I recommended and it makes me feel so happy to be able to do that! If you start advertising things that you're not truly passionate about, it could feel forced! I have had instances where I've collaborated with a brand and I truly didn't love the product. In that case, I sent a message to the brand and asked them how they wanted to continue the collaboration. Every time this happened, they have been really thankful that I reached out to them because they wouldn't want me to promote something I didn't love.
5. Be 100% authentically you.
I can't tell you how many times I get on my stories to talk about something and laugh at myself the entire time. I never want to come across as someone who's got it all together, because I most certainly don't. Celebrate your quirks, embrace what makes you who you are! You don't need to have designer clothes and bags and shoes to have an influence. Share your $20 Target shoes and the top you got on sale! People want people that they can relate to and people that make them feel good about being themselves. Be that person! Social media is often referred to as a highlight reel of a person's life, but if you share the real and authentic side of you, it makes you more authentic.
Like I said in the beginning, I am NO expert on Instagram. I get annoyed and stressed and bummed out like everyone else! I just wanted to share some of the things that I have found helpful on my blogging journey, and I hope they can help at least one person change their perspective on what's important. Don't forget to have fun and be yourself!