Raise your hand if you have ever been obsessed with numbers, or your Instagram followers? I am the first one to do that!
Over the past few years, I had this understanding that to make it in this industry you had to have a big following or you would get lost. After working on the Influencer and the Agency side, I learned that I was wrong. Yes, having a big following can be better than having a smaller following, but that doesn't mean that it is always a positive.
At the end of the day, as an influencer our goal is to be able to reach our audience and "influence". So, if you have a large following, shouldn't you be able to engage and interact with your audience in order to influence them?
So long story short, I learned the hard way. I was so obsessed that I did whatever I could to grow my following, I used a bot to like posts so people would follow and engage, and I did so many international giveaways that gave me thousands of followers at once. Guess what, I jumped in over 65,000 followers in a few months. This was great for awhile, I was working with brands, making relationships, getting paid, but then I started researching, looking at clicks, views, impressions, my audience and realized something was way off.
The first thing I noticed is that after I stopped doing giveaways or took a break, my engagement tanked SO bad. These followers didn't care, they just wanted to win something. I was embarrassed because my account looked fake, I knew I worked hard and my followers were real, but why would I want them as my follower if they didn't engage with me or care? **I still do giveaways but with similar blogger accounts because we want to give back to our community and those who support us.**
My goal is to build my platform to actually connect with people. I want to share what I like, share my lifestyle, and share my career journey, but if they are not interested, why should I care about these numbers if they don't care about me?
I want to genuinely connect with my followers and inspire others and build friendships, isn't that what a social network is for?
So fast forward to today, I am under 35,000 followers and I am still cleaning them up. At the end of the day what matters to me is that what I share and my journey connects with people. You don't need a high number to "influence". The ones who do influence the large numbers have it down and I really look up to them, they didn't take the short cut like I did, they work hard and people trust them.
I am ready for a fresh start, this is me, Christina Elmen, Entrepreneur, content creator, business owner, friend, dog mom and more. I hope to start truly connecting with people, sharing my story and brands that I believe in, and my following number doesn't matter anymore.
Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion and experience and my influencer journey. I am in no way discrediting other accounts, giveaways, etc.