The social network - Instagram pointers

Real influence is finding your own voice through social media channels and staying true to your own passion and style. You may love the intellectual commentary from an author you admire on Twitter, or the daily designer uploads of an influencer on Instagram, but if these posts are not where your own passions lie, then trying to emulate an established name is never going to get you the following you desire – content must be fluent, not forced, or you will soon fall flat.

When launching your social channel, your image should be as close to your dream aesthetic as possible – even if you can’t afford your dream wardrobe now, soon enough you’ll be dripping in designer and you’ll want your feed to feel as close to this look as possible from the start. Decide which images feel most like you and stick to that style, at least until you have built up a healthy following, then you can switch it up a little.

At the beginning, it’s unlikely you’ll have the flawless content you need to create a page people want to follow – this is where Inspirational Images come in. Mix Capri scenes, Californian palms and colourful Cuban streets in with your personal images to curate continuity and an aspirational account.

If you’re wondering how to create images in beautiful clothes without a budget for designer duds and a photographer, listen up. Buy clothing from charity stores that you know will look sharp in an image – the quality of the fabric or condition of the piece doesn’t have to be 100% here. Nobody can see a fraying hem or missing button in an image if you’re far enough away. Fix the clothing if you are able, or if not, secure the image of you in the clothing and then donate it back to the charity store for them to resell. You’re getting an image for a few pounds and the charity shop will sell the piece twice – a win-win. As for the photographer, this is where patient friends come in.

Chances are you’ll have a friend who also wants to create content for their own account who can help you. If not, they’ll hopefully need your help with a different kind of project and can shoot you in a number of looks in return. If you do team up with a friend who wants a fashion future, take turns in front of and behind the camera, share clothing, share ideas - just create that content and be consistent.

Post at least four times a week, no more than once a day and find which times work for your followers. Even if you have just a handful of followers at the beginning, they will still guide your optimal posting hours as you note your engagement level.

Find your voice. Whether you’re humourous, serious or sassy, always be yourself. It can be daunting putting yourself out there, wondering whether the whip smart comments in your captions are going to get you the engagement you want. Remember, it can be exhausting trying to be someone that you’re not. From the outset, find a tone that feels comfortable to you and stay right there. Not everyone will connect to your words and visuals, and that’s ok. Find the people who understand your ideas and you’ll thrive.

What’s your theme? Are you bubblegum pink, or beatnik and bohemian? By this I mean are you going to flood your feed with images of rose-tinted balloons and blush-coloured blooms, or are you pitching yourself as an ethereal Gucci girl, all wondrous willowy limbs and embroidered gowns? Take the time to get a feel of which colour schemes fit with your true aesthetic on the feed and don’t stray too far from this mood. Followers follow because they connect with the voice and images they relate to, or are inspired by.

Engagement matters. When launching your social channels, or reinventing current ones, getting those comments and likes on your posts is the main aim of the game. Brands and new followers will be paying attention to who follows you, who comments and who likes the content you’re creating. You don’t think likes matter? Think again! As much as we hate to admit it, popularity in this playground will get you those payouts – followers want to follow popular accounts, which leads to audience numbers, which leads to likes, which leads to brands paying out the big bucks for you to endorse their products. Simple! Take note of these past pages and you’ll soon notice your engagement level (and bank balance) on the rise.