OK...I did it. I allowed someone to handle my instagram account...I gave them control.
They said I would have a lot more followers.
I checked out other accounts and, to be honest,
I could tell they had done it as well by their followers!
They told me it would be a case of their contacting "art lovers" who are a part of
my niche...and at a great cost...let me repeat...art lovers and they inferred they were local.
It is all I can do to confess this so please don't pile on...no excuses...I screwed up
and I knew better...I think.
WHY did I do this?
*I am NOT an idiot...I was seduced by the fear of being ignored.
Is that #FOBI ?
*I was in a HURRY as an emerging artist...a poor decision based on being in a hurry...doing your own marketing
but allowing someone totally unvetted to help you out...ugh! (Okay...did you notice the word "hurry"?!
*But it made sense that you would "grow from growing"...didn't it?
*And since it looked like a lot of others were doing it as well I thought...okay...I will do it as well...
Have YOU thought of doing this as well?
At first I did not pay attention to my new followers...I just felt loved and it was very exciting! All these new followers from across the United States had found me! I never checked my account...I just thought this person who had helped me
was so thoughtful and did an awesome job...I mean her name was "Anna"...well, most of the
time and then it might be "Kathy"...and her emails actually sounded like the "girl next door"!
I mean, I thought she lived in Alabama...
But later... I DID check out these new followers... this is what I found:
*There were many accounts with men with foreign names from countries I am not sure I have heard of that you can rest assured were not interested in flowers or flower ladies...
*Coarse account names (coarse is used kindly) with equally coarse material
*Men who appeared to be interested in ME (yuk) but couldn't possibly be because I am a lot older than their "sincere" photo suggested...and most of those photos were like the Fabio of the 1980s and 90s. You know...romance novel cover men at the check out with long flowing manes and ripped shirts...I digress...
*There were also many accounts that can only be described as pornographic
*OK I understand that many people like cats... but the number of accounts with cat
photos was ridiculous.
*Food accounts, car accounts, photographers (I don't even want to imagine what they
are doing with their cameras)
I could go on and on...but I digress...again...
And in closing..yes, you are probably laughing at me by now or worse, thinking I am not very smart...
I spent 3 days manually DELETING OVER 6,000 accounts...and even so, I am still being followed
by "ghost accounts" as well as those I don't want.
Instagram Pros knew better than me but I learned my lesson...I didn't know any instagram pros to ask apparently or this would not have happened.
I would rather have fewer followers who I can say; (Sally Fields said it well when she accepted her academy award!)
"YOU LIKE ME! YOU REALLY LIKE ME!" than many thousands who don't truly care.
I have noticed that many of the best artists I greatly admire have fewer followers than I even have... but sell their art quite well...they really don't need that many followers to be successful.
And possibly last but not least:
There is something not right about getting caught up, possibly consumed, with the numbers just like getting caught up with social media in general. Did people like my post? Do they want to follow me or "fish" me? Are they going to purchase from me or are they ghosting me or are they going to drop me once they see that I do not follow them back?
To end this let me share a story that only remotely connects these dots.
When my kids were in middle and high school there were songs they would sing that would drive me crazy after awhile. They didn't really know what they were singing along to actually and I knew it.
I decided to read the songs with no singing, no music as if I was doing a "dramatic reading"...do you know how stupid that will make a song sound IF IT IS INDEED STUPID?
My kids are grown now but will laugh when they remember this...because they don't like the songs that had the veil lifted.
Listen, I like instagram...but use it wisely, take it for what it is truly worth and don't live by what it is NOT...so don't make decisions based on feeling the #FOMO