Let’s say you’re a creative professional on Instagram. You’re a photographer, a model, a filmmaker, a writer, a fashion designer or stylist, or a makeup artist, and you want people to see what you’re creating. I mean, why else would you be on Instagram?
Whatever your career is in the creative industry, you’ve most likely thought about the numbers game. Yep. Followers and following and engagement and everything else in between.
Why am I losing followers?
How do I get more followers?
If I unfollow them, will they unfollow me back?
It’s hard not to get sucked into that unhealthy mindset. You feel like your art is only as good as the number of people following you and seeing your work. It’s a validation thing.
The question is: does having a following in a creative industry matter in order to be successful?
The answer: not really, no.
You could have thousands and thousands of followers, but if those people aren’t engaging with you, they’re meaningless. Some of them are bots, even, so again, they don’t matter. It’s all about engagement, baby! Quantity over quality.
If you have followers, you have a number of people who are in the mood to play the numbers game. If you have a following, you have people who want to keep up with you and see what you’re creating. It’s a little confusing, but if you think about it, the difference is obvious.
But let’s get one thing straight: it’s the people that matter, not the number. It doesn’t matter how many people follow you, but how many people support you.