Having an instagram following or having a professional looking instagram feed could open up opportunities you otherwise might not have access to. Whether it's ambassadorship, sponsorship, working and collabing with artists in your field or building your own brand...etc, having a decent following can only help.
So, what can you do to to proper set up your instagram account? Here are a few tips!
*disclaimer, these tips are for legally adult dancers, if you are a minor, listen to your parents or have them read this blog post.
1. Create a dance focused account!
You need a separate account for dance. Instagram makes it easy to have multiple accounts so there is no reason not to have an account for friends and family, and one dedicated to dance.
This is your brand, how do you want people to see you? How does posting mirror selfies with doggy filter everyday going to help your brand? It's not! You want to attract people who are interested in dance. Dancers, dance wear brands, dance studios, dance photographers...etc.
You want to post something that's aesthetically pleasing (professionally shot dance photos, by yours truly, for example), educational, or entertaining. Take Alex Wong for example, he posts hilarious, viral worthy videos as a DANCER, and he gets hundreds of thousands of views on each one of his posts. As the result, he gets opportunities other dancers might not have gotten. Movie roles, sponsorships, brand deals, getting to work with famous photographers...etc.
2. Make your profile public!
Nobody is going to see your talent if all you do is dancing in your bedroom. It's the same with instagram. If you make it private, NOBODY is going to see who you are, and what you are capable of.
Now, I understand as dancers, especially female dancers, having a public account can and probably will attract unwanted attention from creeps. It sucks! I wish it wasn't the case. I've seen it in person on photo shoots where random people harass or throw shades at my dancers.
I don't have a solution for the actions of those people, but for dancers, there are a couple of things you can do.
~For dancers who are still minors, please have you parents/legal guardian monitor your account!
~Don't take it personally. Realize it's not you, it's them. Their crappy behavior reflects who THEY are, not you.
~When in doubt, block them fools! Never hesitate to report and block someone who makes you feel uncomfortable! You don't need to have a reason, block away anyone you don't want see your posts! Block and move on with your life and keep being awesome! :D
3. Engage and be social in...Social Media!
Engage with your followers. Respond to their comments, leave thoughtful comments on posts from people you follow. Comments with just emojis won't cut it. This is how you grow a community around your account. People like to be heard and acknowledged. If they see that you are genuinely interested in them, they will return the favor.
4. Tag and Hashtag!
You have the perfect photo or video ready to post, that's great, but that's not good enough. Take a look at the following photos from the same dancer, and look at the difference in the number of likes.
Is the photo on the right 25 times better than the one on the left? So why does it have about 25 times more likes, while the one on the left only has 214?
It's because I coached Kaci to properly tag her images. When you use the right hashtags and tag the right accounts, your post has the chance to be seen by tens of thousands of people who don't follow your account. The more people see your post, more chance it has getting re-posted by bigger accounts, show up on explore page and be the top posts on hashtags with millions of posts, which means more likes and more followers for you!
5. Keep it positive!
Do you want to hangout with someone who's always complaining about something? Who brings down your mood with their negative energy? Of course not! Don't be that person in real life and don't be that person on instagram!
That's not to say you should fake being positive, because nobody is always upbeat. It's ok to share some trials and tribulations, but it should always followed up with something positive! You had a bad day in class? That's fine, it happens to everyone, but the important thing is, what are you going to do about it? Maybe talk about what you learned in the process, and share with your followers what you are going to do to fix that.
6. Start now!
There is no better time than now! It doesn't matter what your skill level is. That's not a legitimate excuse. The sooner you start, the sooner you see results. It does take a little bit of effort, but I feel like it's well worth it. You will learn what works for you and what doesn't, and learn from the experience. You will become a social media expert in no time. :D
If you made it this far, thank you for spending the time to read through my blog post. I hope you were able to take away something that is helpful to you. And if you'd like to start building your portfolio and your brand, feel free to browse through my ballet dance portfolio and contact me to book session.
Take care :D
Check out my previous blog post. Learn how and why I became a dance photographer.