If you make the rounds on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed a tonal change in content over the last year or so. It’s getting harder to differentiate your BFF’s captions from those published by large companies, because conversational, genuine tone will always win over stuffy messaging that sounds like it was conceived in a corporate cubicle. When we’re scrolling past 100s of posts, the ones that stick out to us most are usually the ones we can relate to – the posts we can hear our own voice in.
And while we all love to see images of the vacations we wish we could go on, the flawless skin we wish we had and the Gucci loafers we covet, we’re more likely to pause on the posts that speak to us on a personal level and offer some kind of value.
It comes down to this. The last thing you can afford to be on Instagram is superficial, especially when you’re growing your brand or image. People see right through that, but sometimes being your authentic self isn’t so intuitive. We get wrapped up in striving for perfection.
“Every single one of us has a purpose and the ability to offer valuable content that people remember. It’s all about finding your voice, staying true to that voice and saying see ya later to the “X is doing this to be successful, so I should do the same thing” mindset. What works for someone else might not be your jam, and that’s fine. The moment you accept that it’s okay to show the real you on Instagram, the easier it is to have organic growth,” says Chris.
Chris shared these tips to help you stay true to yourself on Social Media:
1. You have unique traits. Flaunt them.
And if you’re growing an account for a business, focus on the values and standards that set you apart from the competition. Just like IRL, our quirks, style, mannerisms and features differentiate us from the crowd. For me, I like to take risks with new poses that almost feel like freestyle dance moves. You’re not like everyone else, and not being afraid to show that will help people get to know you beyond surface level. They’ll trust you as a friend, not just an account.
2. Celebrate your small wins.
You don’t need to score a massive promotion, be featured by a haute couture brand or take a lavish holiday to highlight the progress you’re making. Think about the small goals you set for yourself each week. Maybe it’s waking up an hour earlier to increase productivity, updating your resume, donating to a charity or even doing a little home organizing. Being candid about the small goals you’re crushing will inspire your followers to do the same.
3. Get real in your bio.
You can create a genuine bio by thinking about how you’d describe yourself to a good friend. Maybe you’re a CEO, but maybe you’re also a novice yogi, a dog lover, a passionate thrifter, a life-long reality TV fan—you get the point. Think about the things that speak to your personality, not just what you do for a living or your success. Your bio is also a great place to present any causes you’re passionate about.
4. Would you text it to your friends?
This is an effective tip for checking your tone of voice. When you’re writing captions, cut to the chase. If you start with something like “There was once a time in my life” or “I owe everything I’ve accomplished to” people are going to think you’re pitching a novel. You wouldn’t start a text to a friend like that, would you? Instead, try a casual approach. Something more like: “Just dropping in to say” or “Real quick, I want to give a shout out to”.
5. It’s okay to show emotion and be vulnerable.
There’s a lot going on in the world right now and it’s okay to have bad days. It’s also okay to be transparent when you’re going through something. Posting about the things that are making you feel down will let your followers know why your posting less or why you might be late to respond to comments or DMs. Don’t be ashamed of exposing your emotions. No one will think less of you for being real with them.
6. Not everyone will love your vibe.
And that’s fine. You can’t make everyone happy, and you definitely shouldn’t try to make everyone happy. That strips away the authenticity you’re working to achieve with your Instagram feed. Be receptive to feedback, but don’t change yourself just because someone says they don’t like your style. Being true to you is always the best option and automatically creates consistency in the look and tone of your posts.
7. Champion other Instagrammers you respect.
If there’s an Insta that truly made your day or always fills your feed with creativity, share their posts in your stories and call out how much you dig what they do. Think of it as the equivalent of complimenting someone’s haircut or outfit in real life. Genuine engagement and specifically calling out what you love about the post is a surefire way to show accounts you look up to what you’re all about.
8. If you’re not happy with a post, skip it.
Think more about how much you enjoy your posts and less about catering to others. Sure, you want people to like and engage with every post, but it’s pretty easy to spot a forced post from one you are honestly excited about. Define the quality of your posts by how much value and personality it adds to your feed, and try to avoid posting just because you feel obligated to. Building a bank of content you’re proud of is good solve for this.
9. Embrace the no filter look.
Instead, focus on good, natural lighting that will highlight and illuminate anything you’re photographing