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Growing up, I was incredibly shy. When I was 12, I was moved from private to public school and for the first time, since I was a toddler, had to make new friends. #ad While 8th grade prepared me a bit, high school was even harder since I only knew a handful of people there. I realized that in order to gain the confidence I was seriously lacking, I needed to become a part of something bigger than me. I tried out and made our high school’s dance team, the Titanaires, in 9th grade. Suddenly, that shy girl found herself. I continued to dance throughout high school and discovered the power of teamwork.  We all walked out onto that field the same, no matter how skilled we were, what we looked like or what our home life was like. We came together as a family and put on a show that always had the fans in the bleachers cheering. Being a Titanaire changed me. 20+ years later, I’m still really good friends with a number of my teammates. Now, as the Mother of three girls, I always encourage them to find something they love, practice and become a part of something that will change their lives as it did mine. Whether it’s volleyball, gymnastics, dance or soccer, I watch my girls transform each and every time they practice, perform or play. Did you know that between the ages of 12 and 13, the number of girls who say they’re afraid to fail increases by 150%? By age 14, girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys. That’s why @Athleta is committed to helping keep girls in the game. That’s the #PowerofShe.  #AthletaGirl #girlempowerment #girlsquad #girlsrock #womenathletes #womenempowered #womenempowerment #girlmama #girlmom #gymnastics #gymnasticslife #handstand #handstandpractice #novahighschool #novatitans #novatitanalumni #titanaire #letsgotitans

Growing up, I was incredibly...

Yesterday, I posted my deepest, darkest secret on my blog. It look me 24 hours to get the nerve to share it on here. I’ve been writing that post for a while. It probably didn’t go live the day I intended it to and it might disappear at some point. But enough is enough. Time for me to put my big girl panties on and stop lying to myself and everyone else. I hope you won’t think any different of me or judge me in any way. I’m still the same person, I’m just not pretending anymore. .
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Art: @kobrastreetart 
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Yesterday, I posted my deepest,...

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As someone that has suffered with both anxiety and depression for many years, I can tell you that there are signs that your loved one is suffering. While not everyone who exhibits these characteristics is having mental health issues, it's quite possible that those who are, exhibit many symptoms as a result of their anxiety and/or depression. Today on the blog, I’m discussing those symptoms and what to look for if you suspect you or your loved one is suffering with anxiety and/or depression. .
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In just about a month...

Thinking back to last month and our stay in that cute little airbnb, it makes me so grateful for the opportunity to blog full-time. Not only do I get to work closely with companies that I love, but occasionally I get the opportunity to take our family on a little, but much needed vacation. It really is the best job I’ve ever had. Today on the blog, I’m continuing my series for bloggers and influencers and discussing what might be the scariest part of this job… pitching companies and applying to campaigns. Head over and check out my suggestions to nail those pitches. I look forward to hearing your thoughts! .
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Thinking back to last month...

Making the Most Out of Your Instagram Squares

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Your Instagram feed says a lot about you and the first 6 squares are like a first impression for your audience.  Now go check out your Instagram feed and see what type of first impression you are making.  Go ahead… I’ll wait….

So, what did you see?  Would you want to come back and check out your own feed again, just based on the first 6 squares?  It’s not something that we might think to do, but we should.  If you want people to WANT to visit your page and check out your new images, then you should make an effort to create a space that makes people want to come back.

Imagine you are decorating a room.  This room is part of a row of hundreds of thousands or millions of identical rooms.  You have the opportunity to decorate that room and get people to want to check out what your room is all about.  What do you do with that space?  Do you just put a bunch of random things there to fill space or do you actually think about the room as a whole?! Do you just put a table and a chair, sit down and hope people will want to come in and ask you questions or do you make the effort to make it a beautiful space, with information, great images and ways for people to interact?!  For the sake of this blog post, let’s think of your Instagram feed like a room.  What can you do to make it interesting, inviting and a place that people will want to visit and tell their friends about… what can you do to stand out?!

I recently spoke to some brand reps that have been in the game for years and found out what makes them want or not want to visit someone’s feed.  I got some great feedback and hope that this will help you to create the perfect space for you.

The accounts that post a bunch of pictures in a row that look almost identical.  You wouldn’t place a bunch of identical chairs in your room, each with an identical teddy bear on them and just move each one a quarter of an inch over and expect people to want to come in, would you? One of the biggest turn-offs for a lot of people I spoke with, is going through a feed where there are multiple pictures of the same child, in the same outfit and the only difference in the pictures are a very slight tilt of the head or a slightly different smile.  People tend to get bored with those feeds quickly because it feels as though we are just looking at the same picture over and over and over again.  If you are still posting in sets of 3, 6 or 9 and you post them all in a row, make an effort to make sure that those pictures are different.  Try different angles… try close ups or detail shots, try action shots… try sitting, try standing… just don’t post the same picture over and over again.  Not only will it turn people off, but it won’t provide the exposure that the small shops you work with deserve.  You could even try posting randomly vs. in sets of threes so that when a picture of that same outfit appears again, a week or so later, it will be exciting again for your audience and will give the shops extra exposure that spreads out past that one day.

The accounts that post lots of shop reposts. You wouldn’t hang a ton of advertisements all over your room and expect people to want to come in, would you?  Reposting is great and helps small shops, but you don’t want to overrun your feed with shop shares.  Remember, this is your feed and whether it’s for fun, you are in it for the long run or you are currently or will be blogging in the future, you want to make sure that your feed tells a story about you and what you’re offering as a brand rep.  Try to keep shop shares to a minimum if possible.  I tend to post no more than 3 at a time (and sometimes not even that many), but I space them out so that they don’t take over my feed.  And most importantly, delete them when they are no longer relevant (or within a certain number of hours, depending on what your shops prefer). Your followers are much more likely to check out a sale if it’s posted randomly vs. with tons of other sales where it may get lost in the shuffle.  A great way to be a little less “salesy” and still get the shops some extra sales, is to post your shop share code in the comments of your pictures!  It’s convenient and provides a call to action for your followers to go and shop while the discount code is fresh in their mind.

The accounts that post a bunch of space fillers.  You wouldn’t go around to the other rooms and hang dark curtains in front of their doors, would you? There are a number of accounts that I see posting white spaces, arrows or just space fillers.  I imagine that it’s to keep their three images together at all times… but is it a good use of your space?! If I’m scrolling my newsfeed and I see a bunch of random white spaces, I will probably unfollow that account because let’s face it… with this new algorithm, I only get to see a certain number of images and if you are wasting the space by posting white squares, it’s taking away from someone that is posting something I may really want to see and that’s not fair to your followers or to those other accounts.

The accounts that post tons of close ups.  You wouldn’t put all of your decorations at the doorway so that people couldn’t even get into your room, would you?  While I’m a sucker for detail shots, there are so many accounts that take like mega closeups of their kids.  Back up a little.  Give your little ones some space.  It will also help with cropping out parts of their heads, hands or feet.  We want to see the outfits just as much as we want to see the top of your child’s head!  We want to see how you’ve styled the item(s) you are repping.  You will also find that if you back up a bit, you will catch the most beautiful and natural moments of your little one just being a kid.  Don’t be afraid to back that thing up.

Like I said, this is your “room” and you can decorate it however you see fit, but remember that first impressions are EVERYTHING.  Especially in the brand rep world.  As a shop owner, it takes me less than 30 seconds to look at a feed and decide whether or not I want that person to represent my brand.  I’m constantly working on our feed and trying to better it, trying to make it look more cohesive, trying to make it a place that people will want to come back to.  You should always be looking to improve whether it’s your photography, your feed organization, your promotion ability or your style.  The key to staying relevant is to learn from those around you and let them inspire you.  And while we will never be able to visit all of the “rooms”, I want to make sure that I’m visiting those that are making the most effort to stand out.

What do you think about this topic? Comment below and let me know your thoughts!  Have a topic you want me to talk about? Email us! Make sure to check out the shops featured in this post and follow our daily small shop fashion on Instagram @thesmallfashionista and on our new Facebook page.

XOXO
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1 Comment
  • Tracy Shane
    June 1, 2017

    Omg! I feel like you’re in my head on this one! I’m so ready for a change in my feed and was going to post in a fb group asking how reps deal with the logistics of a single pic gallery style feed vs the posting in 3, 6, etc. I have already noticed a huge difference in posting the 6 that I do throughout the week. But if I’m getting bored with it I’m sure others are too. I think this blog post was the catalyst for pushing me to make a change! Thanks Heather!

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