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Photograph your journey (from the very beginning)

March 18, 2018

Aruku backpacks: cat lying on bed thumbnail

Aruku backpack: Cat lying on bed

Google. The go to place for any piece of information. When did the Roman Empire collapse? Can I fly when 30 weeks pregnant? Are unicorns real? And of course how do I make my cat love me?

Whether you love or hate it, as an entrepreneur it delivers you a wealth of information within seconds (except when you’ve had 2 inches of snow and your internet keeps going down, but that’s a different story). And it unlocks the words and voices of the thousands who have gone before you, all of whom have multiple recommendations to help you make your business a success.

It’s a data minefield and sorting through this myriad of information is a daunting task. Advice can be conflicting, eye-opening, nonsensical and inspiring. My belief is all of it is worth considering, but that doesn’t mean it’s all worth following. The best piece of advice I received, was that this is your business and your story and what works for you might not be what worked for many a successful entrepreneur that has gone before you. That doesn’t make it wrong. Everyone needs to take their own path.

Which leads me to this week’s subject. Instagram. One of the most written about channels for ‘entrepreneurial advice’.

‘Double your followers overnight’

‘Get real, active Instagram followers’

‘Build a massive following on Instagram’

As a direct to consumer business (because we want our customers to pay a fair price, not the marked-up price for our backpacks), Instagram is a key channel for us in terms of building a community. And to build a community you need to write a pictorial story. Identify who you are and what you believe in as a business and then visualise this. Everyday. For the rest of time.

I exaggerate, but you can probably tell I find this exhausting. I’m not a natural ‘Instagrammer’. And as a marketeer it’s important to me that what I share is interesting, has the right message, fits the brand and obviously engages the audience. Some days are easy with the right content presenting itself to you as you go about your life. Other days you spend hours thinking, searching, photographing and then often, under-delivering.

And if you’re reading this blog you probably know we haven’t cracked it yet. We’re slowly growing a relevant following (beyond the frustrating bots), but it is slow going. So my advice is not ‘how to grow your Instagram following in 17 seconds’, it is only this. From day one of deciding you want to start your own business, start taking photos and collating an Instagram library. Always keep in the back of your mind that you will need relevant content to post every day. And hopefully further down the line, when you have a day to finish your investment pitch, you won’t need to spend any of that time worrying about that days post.

Now I’m off to brainstorm how I can use the snow to get a photo that represents female empowerment…


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