Continuing on my post from last week where I wrote about how Instagram is changing the way we communicate, this week I decided to tell you a bit more about reaching out to fellow influencers. Be it to collaborate, travel or just meet for coffee, there is so much we could learn from one another. Being part of a creative community and being able to reach out and talk to anyone is one of my favourite things about social media.
I didn’t think this would be a topic of interest until a few people (mostly friends) reached out to me to ask how would they go about collaborating with another blogger/influencer or even simply getting in touch to ask a question. The prospect of contacting a complete stranger on Instagram can be a bit nerve wracking at first. But with the right attitude and a positive approach, you would be surprised with the result!
If you watched our live with Phoebe last week, you already know that we met on Instagram in November last year and went on spontaneous trip to Italy together in December. It was one of the best travel experiences I ever had and would honestly do it over and over again without a single doubt. The biggest question probably troubling you right now is how do you know if you can trust a stranger enough to go travelling with them. First of all, I wouldn’t do it with anyone! I always make sure I have a connection with that person and also trust my gut feeling as it rarely lies to me. As soon as I started talking to Phoebe, we clicked straight away and had so much in common. I knew meeting her would be a positive experience.
“Too cool” to reach out
I spoke to Phoebe after our live session to ask her for some thoughts on the topics we discussed. She said to me the biggest challenge for a lot of people on Instagram is that they feel “too cool” to reach out or complement on others. The truth is, Instagram is a platform where everyone can be cool in their own way and that doesn’t have to be a negative thing. I actually think that reaching out to people is way cooler than just existing in your own bubble. There’s nothing wrong in saying “Hey, I really like your Instagram feed and think your aesthetic is really cool.” You would be amazed at the amount of positive vibes that will come back your way.
Don’t get discouraged
Of course, just like in real life, people can be the opposite too. Don’t expect every single person to be as open, because people are different. Sometimes you reach out to a stranger in the coffee shop and tell them something funny. Some people will start a conversation, while others are simply not interested and look away. The good thing about Instagram is you’re not looking at the person directly, so the chances of feeling awkward are much lower. Don’t get discouraged if people don’t reciprocate the love. Chances are 8 out of 10 people will and you’ll feel amazing after. Both for being brave and for receiving some feedback on your work.
Ask for feedback
Actually, asking for feedback can be a great conversation starter! If you want to do that, I’d suggest using a DM rather than commenting on the person’s picture. The first one is a lot more personal and doesn’t feel like you’re just asking that person for a favour without even knowing them. I’m more likely to engage in a conversation with someone who messages me directly and I usually try to do my best to reply. Sometimes those turn into long conversations which later turn into a coffee meet up.
Join a Facebook group for bloggers and creatives
If you’re shy to reach out to people directly, here is another great idea. Join a Facebook group or a community where bloggers and creatives share their experience, discuss topics of interest and exchange ideas. An example of this could be Creative Gal Gang. Girls in the group would often say “Is anyone free for coffee and pics this Saturday” and if you are then perfect – you just got yourself an Instagram date! If not you can always ask for the person’s IG and arrange for a meet up in the future because you already know they’re open to that.
Help each other grow
At the end of the day, Instagram is not a competition and nobody loses by helping the other person grow. I love how this platform is cultivating a culture of sharing and discussing ideas with your peers and encouraging others to pursue their interests and passion. To interact and engage is at the core of social media platforms and not utilising this opportunity would be a real shame. Whatever your question or idea is, there is someone out there who would be more than happy to discuss it with you. All you have to do it reach out.