How To Beat The Instagram Algorithm

Ever since Instagram initiated their so-called "Instagram algorithm" update, influencers from all over the world have never experienced more difficulty in promoting their posts these days. Organic growth has become a struggle, and a lot of influencers started relying on various methods that actually end up harming their influence and exposure even more without their knowledge. Thus, iRose Social is here to save the day by sharing our foolproof tips on how to beat the Instagram algorithm once and for all.

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1. Focus on creating quality content.

Although having a high amount of numbers is an important part of this industry, the quality of your content is byfar one of the most significant factors to consider when building an organic audience. When you create unique and valuable content that draws your audience's attention, your following will build naturally. Also, quality content is not represented by one example, but can range anywhere from shooting aesthetically appealing photographs to picking up an eloquent writing style. As long as you keep hustling, have patience, and trust the process - the results will truly show for those who put in the time and the effort into their work.


2. Actively engage with your followers and the Instagram community.

Networking on Instagram is much like connecting with individuals at a public event. If you choose to only talk to your same circle of friends, you are only limiting the amount of connections that can bring you growth and opportunities. However, if you are open to breaking out of your shy tortoise shell by interacting with new faces, you'd be surprised how much you can benefit from additional connections.

Going back to Instagram, you want to actively engage with the role models who constantly inspire you. In fact, engaging with established influencers of a high following does wonders in increasing your visibility to various other influencers.

Another tip includes hopping on the Explore Page of Instagram and interacting with various accounts that you genuinely like by liking and/or commenting on their photos. Ideally, you want to target accounts that align with your niche so that like-minded creatives can see your posts as well. If you take the time to leave a kindhearted compliment on a few influencers' pages per hour, you'd be surprised just how much genuine engagement you will gain.


3. Be active on Instastories and be yourself!

The reason why Instastories is such a hit these days is because you are able to see an influencer's personable side that isn't as clearly shown through curated photos on Instagram. In other words, the more likely you update your Instastories with interesting content, the more likely you are able to strongly connect with your audience. Ideally, it makes the most sense to keep the overall length of your Instastories short, but it really depends per influencer and what they are trying to promote. As long as your Instastories are of value (whether it be promoting positivity, humor, or knowledge), your audience will truly appreciate every second of your Instastories.


4. Tag your location in every Instagram photo and respectively on Instastories (if you are comfortable with doing so).

Location tags are another effective way to increase your page's visibility to a targeted audience. For example, if you tag "Huntington Beach, California" in your latest Instagram photo, there's a high chance that Huntington beach followers or residents will find your page if they search that location tag.

In contrast to Instagram, the location tag on Instastories can potentially drive hundreds of viewers to your page if the content is intriguing enough. If you have a Business Account on Instagram and look at your Instastory statistics, you will know if your Instastory has been featured on a respective city's Instastories if the city appears as one of your "first" viewers on the top of the page. In other words, the more often you travel and tag your location, the more often you expose your page to other cities (and their residents)!


5. Hashtag Instafamous, hashtag blessed.

Just kidding, please don't use those hashtags mentioned above. However, using certain "popular" hashtags can really work in your favor if you post your Instagram photo at the peak hours that your followers are active. We've done the research for you and discovered that mixing viral hashtags along with less popular hashtags is the most effective way to promote your Instagram account, especially when you change up these hashtags every day. It may be tedious, but the effort will be worth it when you're attracting new people to your page on the daily. Also, the maximum amount of hashtags you can use is 30, so be sure to take advantage of these thirty leads!

To break it down into simpler terms, let's go over the difference between a viral hashtag and less popular hashtag. A viral hashtag such as #ootd has over 155,556,661 mentions, while a less popular hashtag like "outfitofthemonth" has 1,182 mentions. The more viral the hashtag, the more likely your post will be drowned out by various other posts that share the same hashtag. On the other hand, unpopular hashtags may keep your post active for a while longer, but not many people will end up searching this hashtag. Hashtags are utilized so that people can search through various posts under a certain category (aka the hashtag), much like a search engine similar to Google.

Although the usage of hashtags is very popular but not explained clearly to every influencer, it makes the most sense to achieve a balance between viral and unpopular to get the best of both worlds.


6. Respond to your comments in a timely and considerate manner.

Nobody likes that bitch who receives 50 comments on every post and replies to NONE of them every time - this distance makes her look entitled, conceited, and "too busy" for her followers. The golden rule of thumb is to reply to your followers for the first 15 minutes or at least an hour after posting, but it's not a dealbreaker if you can't stick to this kind of routine. Obviously, life gets busy and not everybody has to strictly follow this guideline, but it's definitely appreciated by your followers if you kindly thank or reply back to them within 24 hours. And responding back to your followers doesn't include clicking the "heart" button on every comment you receive without sending any words back - that's just pure laziness. Be sure to take the time and talk to each and every one of your commenters - they will truly appreciate your time and are more likely to engage with you in the near future if you give off approachable and welcolming vibes.


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7. The more reposts, the better!

One of the most effective ways to increase your visibility and exposure is to be reposted by both feature pages and brands that you collaborate with. If you aren't already featured or tagged by established feature pages, you can escalate the process of being reposted by tagging popular feature pages yourself on your own Instagram photo based on your feed's style. A few examples of established feature pages include BeautifulDestinations, DameTraveler, AmericanStyle, etc. Regarding brand collaborations, you always want to strive to create beautiful content without half-assing your work so that you increase the chances of being reposted by businesses with a huge following. In other words, the more brands you work with, the more likely you will be reposted on their page and gain a natural influx of followers!


8. Videography triumphs photography content in today's digital world.

Have you ever noticed how when you scroll through your Explore Page on Instagram or your Facebook newsfeed these days, your entire screen blows up with video after video? Yep, the algorithms of Instagram and Facebook now favor videos because pictures have become too saturated in the social media industry. Thus, if you're looking to grow your page, we recommend diving into videography and posting at least one video per week to expand your viewership while it's still new and trending. Of course, videography is not a dealbreaker when it comes to social media growth, but we do highly recommend looking into it if you have the time or passion. 


9. Network with a group of girls in your niche.

You know the term #squadgoals or #girlsquad? Yeah, that shit is actually proven to be effective on Instagram. When you follow a certain influencer that you look up to on Instagram and he/she poses with his/her squad, aren’t you just a little bit tempted to see who this inspirational influencer hangs out with? That’s right, stalk away. It’s okay - we all do it anyways.

We’re not saying to get brunch with the most popular influencers in town just to get a quick boost of social media exposure. Instead, we want to promote the idea of networking often and finding that ONE group of influencers that make you feel more passionate, cared for, and loved than when you’re without them. When you show off your favorite blogger babes to your followers and they do the same, your combined audiences will see the strength and value of your close-knit friendships and will be most likely to follow all of you. Now that’s how you network!


How To Grow Your Brand And Monetize Quickly As A Creative Freelancer

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Do you feel like your creative freelancer career isn’t propelling as fast as you want it to? Do you want to take the next big step and start monetizing off of your creative skills? If so, this post is for all of our photographers, illustrators, graphic designers, and writers out there! So without further ado, let’s get started!

If the opportunity does not exist, create it.
— iRose Social
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1. Strive to the best in your field.

Before you even apply marketing strategies towards growing your freelance career, you need to be able to truly excel at your skillset and know how to maximize your strengths.

Truth be told, not many people are meant to succeed in the creative freelancer industry because of two key factors - lack of direction and lack of self-motivation. Because you become your own boss, there’s no stable and consistent 9-5 paycheck that will appear in your bank account by the end of the day. In other words, your hustle determines your paycheck.

However, one absolute way to know that you’re meant for the creative field is that you strive to be the absolute best at what you do - that you have the determination and ambition to put your best foot forward every passing day. Additionally, you need to be able to develop a unique strength from your skillset and create value from your work to make a living out of this lifestyle. Essentially, your skillset needs to carry a “marketability” factor. Marketability is derived from a combination of your unique skillset, profound research of competitors, and basic knowledge of current trends. If you want to monetize off of your creative content, your work needs to have buyer value.

For example, if you are the greatest coffee mug photographer of all time but there is no audience or customer base for that, you lack buyer value. Therefore, your chances of monetization are slim.


2. Develop two skillsets that complement each other.

The creative industry is filled with “sharks” who are always trying to outcompete you. By developing two (or more) skillsets that that go hand-in-hand, you automatically rank higher in the hierarchy of creative freelancers. The bottom line is that launching a creative freelancer career is difficult, especially if your specific field has limited job opportunities. However, if you manage to acquire two complementary skillsets, this versatility will only widen up your job opportunities in the creative workplace. By being the jack of all trades, you become invaluable to your employer.

For example, if you are an established blogger who promotes products through sponsored social media posts but you’re also a professional photographer, you widen up the number of job opportunities available to you. Additionally, you can increase your rates because you can offer more services and/or create a content creation/social media promotional package deal with a client.

Other examples include:
- Illustrator who picks up a graphic designer position
- Blogger who picks up a journalism position
- Writer who picks up an English tutor position
- Social Media Influencer who picks up a social media manager position for other companies

By being a versatile and highly adaptable worker, you have a higher chance of being able to monetize from multiple outlets. As a passionate creative freelancer fighting for your dreams, struggle and uncertainty is inevitable. However, the key is to keep your momentum going and not give up when times are tough. Coming from two freelancers who have experienced the ups and downs of forging their own careers, we encourage you to stay focused and not lose sight of your goals. With passion, hard work, and good intentions, you’ll discover for yourself that the creative freelancer lifestyle is highly rewarding. By securing your dream freelancer career, there’s no greater satisfaction than building a career purely from scratch doing what you love for the rest of your life.


3. Connect with like-minded and inspiring freelancers in your field.

Although the idea of developing a strong network with ambitious and like-minded individuals is often overlooked in the creative industry, the most successful freelancers ensure that they effectively connect with inspiring mentors and supportive allies. In fact, befriending individuals in the same creative field serves as one of the most effective ways to drastically push you further towards achieving your goals.

By sharing a similar vision and end goals, you naturally become a more driven and focused individual when you surround yourself with compatible, hard-working individuals. In addition to compatibility, you also need to have a good read of character and form a mutually beneficial partnership where you both can grow and learn from each other. When you both set short-term and long-term goals, you naturally hold each other accountable and ensure that you rise to the top together.

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4. Be at five different places at once.

As a creative freelancer, one of the top methods to increase the visibility of your brand is to take advantage of free online advertising platforms. Not only does this include all social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, but you should also look into creative freelance websites such as Behance, FreeeUp, and Honeybook, etc. By being active on multiple influential platforms and advertising methods, you can further expose your brand to potential clients. Ultimately, the key to increasing sales is a combination of providing relevant services with high buyer value and increasing brand awareness to reach new leads.

In addition to promoting yourself on numerous social media channels, you also need to be constantly reaching out to brands for available work opportunities. Introduce yourself, your services, and inquire if the brand or client is interested in creating a partnership with you. If the brand isn’t interested at the moment (or at all), kindly request that they keep your records on file if they do happen to open up a new opportunity. And if all goes well and the brand accepts your proposal, then congratulations - you’ve scored a new client to add to your professional portfolio!

Also, the brutal truth comes down to the fact that if you hold the talent but lack the opportunity, you are simply not working hard enough. If you truly believe that you have the ability and potential to make it big in the creative freelancer world, then you should be able to without excuses or complaints.


5. Be persistent and proactive.

If you sit around and wait for a work opportunity to come knocking on your door, think again - it’s probably not going to happen. It’s like waiting for fetch to happen. Gretchen, stop trying to make fetch happen!

All humorous Mean Girls references aside, opportunities will only come to those who are persistent and proactive in chasing their short-term and long-term goals.

The route to becoming an established creative freelancer involves the act of continually searching for opportunities and honing your skillsets. As a creative freelancer, utilizing one’s time wisely is a critical step towards growing his or her brand. Limit distractions by focusing on your current goal, and always jump at the opportunity to increase your productivity. If you strive to build an iconic brand that successfully creates high buyer value without compromising your unique creative style, you’ve found the secret formula for success.

Score Your Dream Collaboration With The Perfect Media Kit

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Have you always dreamed of working with your favorite brand, but don’t know how to get there? Well, that’s where your media kit comes into play. Designing a flawless and professional media kit will help you land the gig of your dreams because it showcases your previous work as well as adds credibility to your brand. But first, let’s go over what the definition of a media kit is and what information your media kit should consist of to score the collaboration of your dreams.

 

What is a media kit?

A media kit is a PDF document that includes your brand’s vital information. This includes, but is not limited to, your brand’s analytics, brand’s mission statement, and previous collaborations that you have worked on with various clients. Think of your media kit like your resume - the more polished and presentable it looks, the more qualified and professional you look to companies.

 

Why do you need a media kit?

A media kit paves the way to bigger and better collaborations as well as adds that extra credibility factor to your brand. If you lack a media kit and choose to write a long detailed email explaining what your brand is about, it’s easy to lose your client’s attention and drift away from the main focus of your email. By simply sending over a polished media kit along with a quick backstory about why you are a qualified candidate for a particular collaboration, you strongly present your brand’s information in a clear and concise way.

 

What information should I include in my media kit?

To each their own, but a standard media kit should include the following:

  • About Me section: Your brand’s mission statement
  • Blog website & social media handles
  • Brand’s blog & social media analytics (unique visitors, page views, & monthly views)
  • Brand’s blog & social media demographics (age/location of your target audience)
  • Previous collaborations/partnerships
  • Services offered (ex: sponsored Instagram post(s), sponsored Instastories, sponsored blog post, etc.)
             - Optional: Prices/Rates for each service
 

How do I make a media kit? Is investing in a professional media kit template worth the investment?

If you want to save some moolah and create a media kit on your own, go right ahead! However, we do highly recommend purchasing a media kit template or paying a professional to design your media kit, as you do want to impress your clients right off the bat.

Luckily for you, one of our co-founders, Sharon Litz, designs professional media kits for bloggers tailored to your brand’s every need. If you are interested in a customized media kit that will capture the interest of your clients, Sharon’s the gal to go to for an aesthetically appealing and organized media kit. Be sure to check out a preview of the media kit template that she created for Michelle Sun of @missmisschelle down below. Ever since Michelle ditched her not-so-impressive media kit template and started sending out Sharon’s media kit to various clients, Michelle has noticed a huge improvement when it comes to working with more established brands.

 

Example of @missmisschelle's Media Kit


Contact Sharon Litz at sharinaone@gmail.com if you are interested in stepping up your media kit game and want to secure the collaboration of your dreams.


How detailed or wordy should my media kit be?

The more words and content you include, the more potentially confusing your media kit will appear to clients. Always keep your content up-to-date, and always be open to making changes to your analytics, demographics, and collaborations rates whenever necessary. We highly recommend sticking to a media kit with three to six slides max - ain’t nobody wanna read a 10-page novel length powerpoint slide these days. As long as you highlight your brand’s most important and “brag-worthy” assets, you’re basically set and don’t need to include any additional information. If the client is interested in your work, they will do further research by heading over to your blog and social media platform. Media kits are designed for a quick and fast introduction to your brand (similar to a resume), whereas your major platforms represent a more lengthy and detailed “cover letter”.


Thank you so much for reading our informative blog post and we hope that this article has helped encourage you to create your first media kit ever or at least improve your current draft! If you’d like to read about any other helpful topics that relate to blogging or content creation, please let us know in the comments section below what else you’d like us to talk about on the blog! Until then, we’ll see you next week!

 

Six Tips To Create A More Positive Life & Mindset

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It's easy to fall victim to negativity when things don't seem to go according to plan, but we're here to encourage you to stay POSITIVE through it all! At iRose Social, we are all about creating positive vibes and fostering a supportive community so what better topic to write about than six tips on how to create a more positive life and mindset for yourself? If you want to positively change one (or more) of your life aspects for the better, then be sure to keep on reading!


“Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.” -Niccolo Machiavelli

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1. Maximize your strengths by lowering your weaknesses.

Life isn’t about immediate results and instant gratification; it’s about the long haul. If you want to see effective results, you have to continuously invest time and effort into your work (or yourself) without being discouraged by failure or lack of motivation.

First and foremost, you have to be honest with yourself if you want to improve any of your life aspects. Analyzing and admitting your weaknesses is the first step towards character change and growth. From there, you need to actively eliminate these weaknesses by turning them into strengths or new opportunities. By translating your weaknesses into strengths, you only set the pathway towards becoming a stronger and wiser individual.


2. Create realistic goals and write that shit down.

When you create a visual roadmap of your life and your desired destination, it’s easier to set sight on your goals and visualize the steps it takes to get there. Also, writing down your goals will keep you accountable if you stay on track or divert off of your path of goal-chasing. Break your goals down into precise details and steps and work your way towards achieving your ultimate goals. Take note of what short-term and long-term goals you want to achieve and assign a reasonable deadline to each. From there, it's up to you, your dedication, and your hustle to complete these goals by the "assigned" due date.


3. Instead of exerting useless energy comparing yourself to others, channel this energy towards the right direction by improving your own skillsets.

If you are constantly comparing yourself to others, you are only limiting your growth and setting yourself up for disappointments and self-doubt. By focusing or obsessing over another individual’s life, you miss out on the opportunity of creating your unique success story. After all, developing feelings of jealousy or envy over another person’s success will only deduct from your own success story. Use this time instead to work on yourself and your life goals.


4. Remove toxic people from your life. Sayonara bitch.

Breathe in positivity and exhale negativity. Surround yourself with the right crowd to boost feelings of self-love, self-confidence, and self-esteem. By exposing yourself to a group of like-minded individuals, you are able to learn and grow together by working towards similar passions and goals.


5. Approach life with a problem-solving mindset.

If you always complain about the same problem with no solution in mind or lack the desire to solve your problems, you will always find yourself unsatisfied with your current situation. By harboring a go-getter attitude and actively searching for solutions to your problems, you are only creating a more stress-free and productive lifestyle for yourself.


6. Learn to balance productivity and fun in a healthy and effective manner.

Learning how to have fun all the while staying on task is one of the most efficient ways to get work done. By approaching your to-do list in a light-hearted, yet ambitious manner, it's easier to stay focused and productive with the tasks at hand. If you are always high-strung and stressed about work, you are only exerting more stress and unhappiness on your body both mentally and physically. By letting loose a little, you allow yourself to be more open to new and creative ideas, which will only better the quality of your work in the long run.


If there's one main message that we want to convey to you all, it is to always do your best in maintaining a positive attitude and mindset, especially through tough times. A lot of people tend to lose sight of their goals or give up too quickly when faced with multiple obstacles, but you'll always be a stronger person in the end if you stay persistent and focused on your goals.

Remember that every day is another day to work on yourself, so take advantage of the opportunity to make little and gradual improvements wherever you see fit. By being open to change and growth, you can only move up from here and become a better version of yourself from this day forward.

Thank you so much for reading this inspirational blog post and don't forget to click the heart button at the bottom of this post if you enjoyed this read! Until then, we'll see you next week and don't forget to follow @irose.social on Instagram for your daily dose of inspiration and helpful tips!


Top Tips To Achieve The Perfect Flatlay Shot

Want to accomplish the perfect flatlay, but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered! On today’s blog post, we’ve compiled a few top tips to up your Instagame for your next product flatlay!



“Flatlay is beyond photography. It’s photography that combines design.”
- Sharon Litz (@sharonlitz) from www.sharinaone.com


Tip #1: Establish a theme.

It’s important to be mindful of the color palette and props you incorporate into your flatlay. For example, you might want to rethink that red lipstick or Christian Louboutin’s you just threw into the mix if you’re promoting a natural product. Additionally, one way to enhance this eco-friendly message is to add more "natural" props, such as a banana leaf or water droplets. After all, your chosen color palette and props need to complement the hero product instead of competing with it.

For this Tom Ford image, Sharon uses mascara, perfume bottle, and shiny jewelry to evoke the feeling of glamour and luxury.

For this Tom Ford image, Sharon uses mascara, perfume bottle, and shiny jewelry to evoke the feeling of glamour and luxury.

 

Tip #2: Use natural lighting.

If you’re looking to shoot a basic flatlay with even lighting, setup your flatlay outside and shoot in the morning before the sun is fully out or an hour before sunset. The reason being, you want to avoid harsh lighting and opt for a more neutral and balanced light source. Avoid harsh lighting at all costs. As long as you have enough light, you can always add more brightness to an image during the editing process. On the other hand, you cannot fix a photo if it is too bright.

If you can only shoot indoors, your best bet is to shoot near a wide window that lets in natural light. Also, your image will turn out much better if you set up your flatlay station around a neutral or cooler toned background. It's harder to edit an image that is too warm.

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Tip #3: Use props, textures, & shadows to enhance your flatlay.

Invest in a couple of basic flatlay necessities - white posterboards, marble paper, furry sheepskin rugs, etc. Remember what we said about being mindful of your props? We also suggest using neutral props like candles, vases, marble trays, flowers, and books like depicted in Sharon's images. In fact, flowers are probably Sharon's favorite go-to prop because they can work with any theme and effortlessly elevate your image.

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Tip #4: Flatlays aren’t always flat.

Get creative with it! Experiment with different angles and composition. Plus, adding bokeh further enhances the focus of your star product, as that is the primary subject to draw the eye in. Regardless of what elements you use, we find that trial and error works best when it's time to shoot your products.

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We hope that these four tips helped elevate your flatlay game the next time you want to showcase a few of your favorite products on Instagram. Please let us know in the comments below which tip resonated with you most and don't forget to follow us on Instagram at @irose.social! Until then, we'll see you next week!


TRAVEL: Hotel G San Francisco

Located just across the street from Union Square, we had the honor of taking over Hotel G San Francisco's Instagram account for five days. Whether we were filming a hotel room tour or wishing everybody a good morning by dancing to Snapchat's funky music, we had a fun time showing our followers around on our San Francisco adventures.

With the friendliest of staff, convenient valet parking, and an Instagram-friendly room, our stay at Hotel G San Francisco couldn't have been more memorable. Thank you so much Hotel G for hosting us at your hotel and to everybody who tuned into our Instastories and Instagram updates during our stay! This won't be the last time iRoseSocial will visit San Francisco so be sure to check out our Instagram and blog for future travel updates! For a more detailed hotel recap from Michelle or Sharon's perspective, be sure to check out their individual blog posts down below.

Michelle's Hotel Recap

Sharon's Hotel Recap


MEDIA EVENT: Unicorn Drinks at Pengo Drink Station

What's refreshing, innovative, and adorable enough to post on your Instagram feed in time for summer? Pengo Drink Station's Unicorn Drinks, that's what!

In celebration of summer '17 as well as the opening of the OC Night Market, iRose Social has cordially invited over 35 social media influencers to try out this top secret drink. This unicorn drink features a split cup sitting in an actual unicorn floatie! Our guests could either choose from two types of milk teas or lemonades. After the event ended, our favorite foodies were encouraged to feature their favorite unicorn drink photos for the very first time on Instagram, introducing to the world of social media this innovative drink idea that will not be released to the public until June's OC Night Market. Be sure to search the Instagram hashtag #OCunicorn to see a gallery of photos from this event!

Additionally, we want to thank Shop Bexo, Eyemimo San Francisco, Creme And Sugar, Sleekhair, and Stefano's Laguna Hills for joining us at this media event! If you're headed to the OC Night Market this June, be sure to tag us on Instagram at @irose.social and hashtag #OCunicorn so we can see your awesome photos!

Best,

iRose