Straight Shot Social Media Advice for a Newbie

He ended his email with, “Help me I'm lost.”  I then asked if I could share his email (and my advice) publicly because I'm certain he's not alone.  If this post helps just ONE other person, our efforts have scaled.  As a unit.  And together we'll grow.

This is his email: “My main social media portfolio is Instagram. I am trying to get those followers to email me and engage work so I can actually make this a business for me. So far no luck 🙁 I think I have potential, but possibly a few things need to change…I just don't know what I am doing wrong or maybe I need to do more.  I'm regretting [engaging on hashtags, starting conversation, doing an intro post] now because it feels as if I don't really have that attention to my page I thought I did. I'm literally lost in all this. I get so photo hungry and all I ever want to do is take portraits. I know there is a little fire inside me waiting to come out, but first I need clients.  Help me I'm lost.”

I know this feeling.  I know, exactly, where he stands looking out into the world waiting for his chance.

So here's my advice for JS in three easy steps

  1. Do the Work
    1. You said “there is a little fire inside me waiting to come out, but first I need clients” but I strongly disagree.  If your fire is dependent on clients, you're in trouble.  I believe your fire is in YOU, in your work.  You'll only get clients if your build your fire alone…and attract them to it.  The fire must grow before you'll get clients.  So what does this mean?  DO THE WORK.  Show up.  Hustle.  Practice.  Experiment.  Create.  Just shoot so darn much you thinkdreameatbreathe it.  That's how you build your fire/portfolio.
  2. There are No Regrets
    1. You said “I'm regretting…”.  Oh, sweet homie.  You need to stop right there.  The minute you regret your efforts as you build your business, is the minute you start moving backwards.  Regret slows your growth.  Don't waste time overthinking or agonizing over mistakes.  Learn and move on.
  3. It Always Takes More Time Than You Think
    1. Living in the height of social media can cause distorted vision, kind of like looking your grandma's glasses as a kid.  What we see online is progress/action/growth, but what we don't have access to is the months (or years) it took to get there.  Yes, I know there are overnight success stories of some YouTube kid, or those girls who became Insta-famous because of the cute clothes they wore…but you know what?  They worked for it.  They showed up when no one else did.  They posted the same way when they had 200 followers just the same way they posted for 200,000.  They just kept at it.


So that's my advice for you, JS:  Show up…do the work…find joy in the patience of growth.