This past week when I was in New York I got to meet up with James Nord, from A Drink with James, and have a fun discussion! We talked a lot about Instagram and engagement, so check out the video and a few tips from the video below!
a drink with james
Tidbits from the Video:
- I started Instagram 5 years ago and really saw the market and potential.
- My original motivation was to make content, take photos, and get free clothes, but I knew I wanted it to be a career, and work with brands and create something beautiful as a business.
- It took a whole year to get 3,500 followers and 2 years to 10k
- At the year mark I was wondering if I could ever get to 10k, but when I did a year later that was success to me
- I think it’s okay to experiment and not be stuck in one place based on your feed
- Bloggers are not like a brand, where we have to be some defined person
- I’m experiencing life different everyday so it’s okay for my style and feed to change
- At first, I felt pressure to make my feed all matching and aesthetically pleasing, with my grid needing to be like a look book
- My focus was to become a good photographer, and to capture those in between moments of life, and I had my Instagram like that for a few years, when at that time it was a beautiful place of chronological order
- If I started Instagram today I would just focus on taking photos in a relatable way, since the platform has changed so much
- Since Instagram is a way to connect in a real way in real time, the most important things are to focus on how you can incorporate video into your feed in real time. Looking at the explore page you see the live videos happening, and then stories, followed by video and then photos within feed, so you have to find ways to connect in real time.
all about connection
- Use Instagram to engage with people and respond to followers. Let that mean something to you.
- If you’re not connecting with your followers, you’re going to loose them.
- Try to respond to every comment and “like” them, along with responding to every DM
- About 2 years ago started to use Iconosquare, which was a game changer back then
- because it would show the time of day to post and keep track of how many people were following and unfollowing me.
- I was loosing about 500-800 followers a day, but you can’t take it personally
- I realized that photos I was posting of myself were getting more than double the likes than in between photos that were curating my feed
- I now only use photos with me in them. Some people might think that that makes an ugly feed or that its vain, but I respond to that with I’m just trying to connect with my followers, and thats what Instagram is all about…connection and inspiration
- Having your followers feel like they know you will keep people following you, so that’s why I’m out there in the photo, instead of showing you what coffee I’m drinking
- I had to come to terms with who I am as a person. I’m not the photographer, or the most elite fashionista. I’m just a girl that loves fashion, trying to find the best coffee shops and cute outfits, and having fun, so that’s why I look at the camera to show that I want to be connected with you
just a girl that loves fashion
- I’m not trying to get the coolest angle, but I’m trying to show you a perspective of what it would be like to be with me in that moment
- I use my iPhone 99% of the time because the photos are flatter and in the moment. I’ve noticed a lot of girls have been doing this the past few years and have grown the fastest
- I think that captions are almost secondary. I do try to share as much as I can personally, but it’s so much easier to express whats happening in a photo in the moment, and taking someone along with you
- In the next few months my new challenge is being in front of a video camera, and doing vlogs. I get really shy in front of the camera, but I’m trying to get into video because if it is all about connection then thats the best form to do so
- Switching to iPhone photos in the past year, I started to see a lot of growth
- Before I was posting in front of white walls, but then and I started taking photos on the street or with a cool view and my likes spiked, especially when it was chronological during a peak time
- Sometime I would wake up with 1,500 more followers in that time, and rode that wave for about a year, where I got 100k-300k within a year
- A few of my friends were all experiencing the same thing and we were comparing and learning from each other
- I was in Paris for fashion week almost a year ago, and me and 3 other girls took street style shot and posted at the same time and tagged each other, and noticed a spark
- One week, I got 9k followers from a photo of the Eiffel Tower with about 20k likes. Something about that photo got me a lot of engagement.
- It clicked that it didn’t help me to put up a photo that wasn’t likable, and really showed me quality over quantity.
quality over quantity
- For people that post 7-9 times in 24 hours, you could be showing up 3-4 photos in a row on someone’s feed and that’s just overload and giving more opportunities to unfollow
- I don’t need to post more than once a day because of the way they’re releasing photos over 24 hours
- Really try to be in real time, and have stories relate to your photos
- Maybe the consumer does understand that the photos aren’t in real time, but it takes away from the experience and looks like you’re not really connected
- I won’t not post more than twice a day or within 10 hours of another photo, because the previous photo stops getting likes immediately
I had so much fun with James, and loved being on his show!