Branding and Growing on Instagram / by Didier Young

One of the most common questions that I receive via Direct messaging on my Instagram seems to be about social media growth. The subject of growth on the platform has been brought up multiple times in the recent months due to the increasing difficulty to reach a broader audience. With the algorithm set in place, the weird non-chronological feed and the issue of shadow banning when it comes to hashtags, Instagram has become a hard beast to tame. Don’t worry, this isn’t another blog post by a blogger complaining about a decrease in likes or unethical practices in the industry. The focus of this post is about something far more important: branding.


When it comes to social media, you need to have a personal voice. Gone are the days where a shot of your shoes on pretty tiles was sufficient to interest people. The main issue is the over saturation of Instagram. There is a certain pressure to remain relevant by editing and shooting your photos following the current trends that you may notice on the platform. While the result may be instantly pleasing to a new audience, unfortunately it doesn’t allow you to dissociate yourself from the Instagrammer next door. Photos start becoming interchangeable and one liner captions about cereal killers tend to sink to the bottom of your milk bowl. While it is great to experiment and to evolve, do so at your own pace and not simply because it is what’s cool at the moment. Find a style that truly represents you and that you can stand behind.


The influencer market is quite broad and covers a multitude of different fields. At times, we can get a tad greedy and desire to cover every single one of them. Unfortunately, that causes our personal message and brand to be diluted. The best solution in this case is to focus on your fortes. I’m not telling you to be restricted by only one genre of photos but if you wish to diverge, then try to delve into fields that are related to the one you’re known for. Also, it might be best to slowly transition into something new so that your audience has the time to acclimatize to the change. If you’ve been known for your street style photos, don’t randomly become a food blogger out of the blue.


Now that we have content figured out, let’s talk about engagement. You may produce gorgeous content and have a uniquely stunning feed but at the end of the day it wont mean much if you don't get your name out there. You could still tag companies that are featured in your photos, huge accounts that repost content that is similar to yours or use hashtags but unfortunately those methods aren’t as effective as they once were. You reap what you sow and in this case, quite literally so. You should start by finding people’s accounts whose interests are similar to yours and give them a follow, like their stuff, comment genuinely and build a community over time. What you give to the community, you’ll also receive back.


I hope that this has proven useful and helped to clear any questions that you might have on the subject. At the end of the day, just remember to create content that you are proud to stand behind and remember to have fun while doing it.



OUTFIT DETAILS: Sunglasses by Bonlook/ Concert T-shirt from Florence + The Machine/ Jeans by Paige/ Ring by Gucci/ Jacket by COACH/ Belt by H&M/ Boots by Jean-Paul Fortin