From November 17th, you may have noticed a new feature on Instagram, Guides.
Guides allow users to ‘find, curate and share the products, places and posts you love’. They can feature your own content or the content of others. Tech Crunch have a good article that explains things in more detail.
Aside from captions this feature is the first that allows users to create longer form content similar to a blog post.
It could be considered as an easier way to create blog posts that are based around shopping, pictures and recommendations. In fact, it’s likely to become what many creators will turn to and what many brands will start paying creators for.
On the other hand, for a blog that is focused on the words, where the images aren’t the main focus, guides won’t work as an alternative.
It will be interesting to see who uses this new feature and how. It will also be interesting to see the blogs this feature may end up replacing.
Coming up with an idea of who your customer or target audience is incredibly helpful. For example, if you are trying to attract a younger age group you would use different methods than those you would choose to attract an older age group.
That could mean promoting your work on a Tik Tok account instead of setting up a Facebook page.
But you can even take things further and really carve out what sort of person would be interested in your work.
Perhaps it is someone that spends a lot of time reading, isn’t on so social media much. Maybe they are introverted or they prefer meeting people in person rather than online. Keep going with that until, you eventually begin to cultivate this conceptual idea of a person and then you’re able to look at different ways of reaching that person.
Ask yourself, ‘Would this person want updates on twitter, insta stories or by email?’
Once you can answer these questions, it can provide a useful base for figuring out the best place to share your work and promote your stuff.
The idea that what you are doing might not be good enough can be difficult to accept. Especially when that might be the reason why people aren’t supporting your work.
It’s much easier to hide behind the excuse that people just aren’t supporting you because you’re not popular but if it was *insert name of celebrity*, they’d be all over it.
That could be true for some situations but it isn’t always the case.
On the flipside, instead of playing the blame game you could accept that maybe your work needs work.
Instead of feeling frustrated that you aren’t getting enough support take some time out hone your craft, learn something new and improve. Then put your work out again.
If it’s better received great but if not then maybe you need to change the people you’re sharing it with.
In you life you might find that there are people who will create a false sense of urgency. They’ll give you something to do and give you a deadline like ‘as soon as possible’.
So, you put your blinders on because it’s urgent and you don’t want to contribute to something being finished late.
But when you let the other person know you’re done and they appear nonchalant, that’s when you realise the urgency was fake.
Perhaps they couldn’t trust you’d do it within a suitable time without the extra pressure.
Whatever the case it’s important to not allow yourself to get swept up in it all.
As soon as possible might really mean by the end of the day, not right now.
Right now might be the right time to start exercising your creative muscles.
Write, paint, draw, photograph, film, style etc
Make time for the thing that you’re interested in whatever it may be. Use the time you have to practice and experiment, try something that will challenge you.
When you’re just starting out creatively you’ll often find yourself drawn to following what has worked in the past or simply mimicking something you’ve seen.
But the best work will always come from within. However, you have to work your creative muscle to find it.
I’m learning that a big part of that is being vulnerable.
So here’s the truth, you’re not going to always feel like doing the thing that needs to be done. And if you wait until you feel like doing it, it may never get done.
You have to find a way to commit to doing the work wholeheartedly so that you’re not reliant on how you feel in order to get it done.
Once you manage that you’ll see things start to change. You’ll also be better at creating new habits.
If you never feel like studying you might fail your exam.
If you rarely feel like doing the dishes, you’ll run out of plates and your place will be a mess.
If you hardly feel like going to work, you might end up getting fired.
Instead of focusing on how you feel about doing it, focus on why you’re doing it.
You’re studying so that you can get good grades in order to get onto a particular course for a particular career.
If your why isn’t enough to get you to do what needs to be done, then maybe you should try ding something else.