How to Instagram in 4 Simple Steps: Share Your Voice, Change Your Life
Using Instagram to share my voice turned my life upside down. Since the first post on 24th of July 2014 a lot of crazy things happened: I landed on Instagram's suggested user list, was nominated for Instagrammer of the Year by Shorty Awards, connected and shared my work with thousands of people from all over the world, started my own YouTube channel, overcame my fear of being in the spotlight (although it's still quite terrifying), talked to the camera for the first time and worked extra hard to get better and better.
If you have a talent, are passionate about something or simply want to share your viewpoint with the world Instagram is an amazing place to do this. I wanted to share with you my story and some rules that I have applied along the way to encourage you to start sharing your talent with the world!
How it all started for me
Over 2 years ago I started a project on Instagram called Looking for Heroes that was devoted to sharing inspiring stories of everyday people. I always wanted to write about people and after applying to various broadcasters and then being rejected, I decided to take fate in my own hands and use social media to share my voice. At the time I really needed more positivity in my life and decided to combine my passion for people and the ability to see the positive side of life into one. This is how Looking for Heroes came to be.
This project is one of the greatest adventures of my life that taught me a lot. My biggest learnings would be best expressed in this quote from Leonardo da Vinci:
"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things."
If there is anything you would like to share with the word, leave your doubts behind and just start!
Here are my top tips on using Instagram as a platform to share your voice.
How to Instagram in 4 Simple Steps
Tip No.1: Share your gift.
I know that a lot of people see success on social media as having thousands of followers. That's pretty much the first thing people look at when they go to my profile: "Wow, you have so many followers!". But there are also people who say: "Wow, your feed is amazing, I love your stories, what you do inspires me" and this is when I feel proud. To me what really matters is the quality of the work I do, my ability to impact others in a positive way and on being proud of what I do. So focus on the work not the number of followers.
When you are choosing the theme of your Instagram feed focus on your gift - everybody has one. Whether it is drawing or writing, photographing landscapes or a passion for fashion, you will find your place here. There is only one you so share things that are unique to you and be yourself.
Tip No.2: Quality, quality, quality.
I pay a lot of attention to the quality of everything I post. Being a perfectionist really pays off on Instagram (also in life) as your feed can look like a work of art, not just a random set of images, and this is what will make you stand out. So think about how your feed presents itself as a whole: is there consistency? Is your style recognisable? Is this picture you're posting today going to match the pictures you posted previously?
Sharing images of great quality is very important. You don't have to have a professional camera. I know people who capture incredible images on their phones, so work with what you have.
I started photographing with a Fujifilm x10 in which I invested £200. I took some great pictures with this camera. My second camera, a Canon 5D Mark III is the one I am currently using and it really took my photography to a different place (but learning all the settings...ufff...photography is not easy).
The bottom line is: yes, creating a great Instagram feed is a lot of work and planning, but it is a creative process and it can also be very rewarding and fun.
Top rule here is: set the bar high, push yourself to do better all the time and never go for the mediocre version of what you can do. (This is also my top rule in life.)
Tip No.3: Be a part of a community.
The community aspect is so important when it comes to Instagram. You will be surprised how many likeminded, talented people you will find here. For me it was incredible to connect with people from all over the globe, and hear that they valued what I do. So be proactive, reach out to people who inspire you and always be kind and respectful.
I met a lot of incredible people through Instagram in real life too so don't forget to check for your local Instameets!
Tip No.4: Post regularly
Posting regularly is an important part of running your Instagram account. Some people go for once a day, I go for at least once a week. For me the quality is more important then high frequency. I would rather post a great picture/movie with a story once a week than post pictures every day that I am not really proud of. If you have enough great content to post every day that's the way to go, but set yourself some rules around it and stick to them.
To sum up: share your gift, be yourself, share great unique, content, do it regularly and be a part of a community. You never know what crazy journey sharing your talent might take you on.
Don't hesitate to share your talent!
I hope this will help you create your amazing and unique account and to see your creations soon. Share your work and thoughts in the comment section below!
Follow Looking for Heroes on Instagram: @looking_4heroes
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