For the past, well, 4 years or so I have been a prolific Instagram fiend and have built up a modest 700+ following with my illustration works which I post pretty much on a daily basis. I say daily but maybe a good few times a week as inspiration grabs me. I love the platform and I love the likes and new followers I get. But will more make me happy?
Do I really care?
More likes and followers will only stroke my ego that is true. But that’s good. It’s nice to have some feeling of acceptance and belonging that what you’re doing is liked and admired. Still I don’t have a large following like some more well known illustrators. Maybe my work simply isn’t as good as theirs? Maybe they’re using the platform better? Maybe I just haven’t had my lucky break? Maybe I don’t care? Maybe, maybe, maybe!
The truth is I do care that I don’t get recognised as well as others but at the same time it doesn’t discourage me. I’m still going to do what I do and keep pushing out content because I love being a creative. So yes more likes and followers would make me happy but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t get them.
Ultimately, my pursuit of creativity, pushing my style is what drives me. The other stuff is just a bonus! I feel if I keep pushing on, producing good content that I like then rest will eventually come. Reminds me of Wayne’s World 2 when Jim Morrison says ‘If you book them they will come’. Sorry, geeky film buff moment there!
Content is the most valuable thing you have.
A high following to new followers can give you a bit of extra prestige, maybe people will think… 10k followers! I will follow them. They must be good! But ultimately people still need to like your work and over the past couple of months I have discovered that my content is the most valuable thing I have on Instagram. Simply because I have scored a few great freelance gig’s because of the work I produce on Instagram. Client’s are actually finding me through Instagram and not my website! Without the good content there would be no good opportunities. And that’s the key I feel. I’m actually feeling a bit enlightened as I write this.
Having a presence is enough. Some advice.. for you and for me.
Keep producing good content that you are proud of and things can happen. Having a presence is enough and measure your success on real successes rather then the amount of likes and followers you get. The later is great for you’re ego and confidence but the former is the most important.