For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you will know that I have announced some impending changes to how I create and share content moving forward. Now I do not like change, and quite frankly, I am petrified! However, what you all will not know, is why I am making these changes, and the driving force behind them which is what this blog post is all about.
So find a comfy spot, get comfortable, and let’s get cracking ……..
What’s been going on?
As many of you know, in February 2020, I left my corporate career to pursue my passion. Sounds so fanciful, doesn’t it!?
I had wanted to create a blog for the longest time and was given the opportunity to make that dream a reality, in the form of a redundancy package. So even though it was the most frightening decision I have ever made, I did it. I took the leap and left the security to pursue my passion.
Now I never thought it would be easy, but I had absolutely no idea what I was actually getting into!
I created my Instagram account around 18 months ago, as a way to showcase my writing and advertise my blog.
I worked hard on building a following, a community, and whilst it was hard (a very saturated market), it was incredibly rewarding and along the way, I forged some incredible relationships with some wonderful people.
However, what I became increasingly frustrated with, is that I had absolutely no control over these relationships, this community. Instagram did. Instagram chooses how much of my community will actually see my work. Instagram chooses how I should present my work. In essence, Instagram owns my work, and my relationships. Work and relationships I have personally built.
In addition, if Instagram were to break (which has been a regular occurrence lately), I have absolutely no way of engaging with my community.
As content creators on Instagram, we are pushed to create content regularly. Instagram is, after all, an engagement platform. It wants us online. It wants our followers online. Therefore, we are pushed to create vast amounts of content. I do not have the time to create this, my followers do not have the time to read all this. Yet I became stuck on this never-ending content treadmill wondering how the hell I could possibly get off.
Instagram wasn’t working for me, I was working for Instagram.
Alongside my Instagram frustrations, I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable about the content I was creating.
With a real focus on aging and how you can work to prevent those fine lines and wrinkles. Now, this content was always well received and I got some incredible feedback from my community, however, I just didn’t believe this was a healthy mindset to adopt. Not for me, not for my community.
Considering my main passion is around keeping our skin healthy, nurturing it through the ages, this anti-aging content I began to produce was a direct conflict with what I valued.
In addition, the vast amount of products I receive as PR, and then, therefore, showcase on my account has become extreme. The beauty industry is huge. Every man and his dog are releasing a new skincare line and the choice has become endless.
The constant influx of skincare and beauty products arriving on my doorstep, with the pressure that I need to showcase these products had started to seriously affect my anxiety. Whilst many content creators would just give them a bit of airtime, I cannot showcase or recommend anything unless I have used it. Unless I am confident that it is worth the price tag. Therefore, I need to implement it into my own routine.
Firstly, this has resulted in A LOT of irritation, I am not blessed with sturdy skin. It is sensitive. This constant swapping and changing in my skincare routine was a recipe for skin disaster!
And then secondly, We do not need all this stuff! I do not want to constantly be showcasing new products and becoming part of the consumerism problem. I like a simple targeted routine, a minimal approach, and yet that became impossible.
Ultimately, one day not so long ago, I was doing my usual housework and for the first time noticed just how bad things had become. There was skincare EVERYWHERE. There was just so much of it and I felt suffocated. I knew right there and then, something needed to change.
**Caveat – I am incredibly grateful to be in a position to receive such fabulous PR packages. This is not me complaining or looking for pity. This is solely to explain how, for me personally, it is not something I feel comfortable doing, due to my own values and principles**
My passion for skincare, building healthy skincare routines, and my love of writing haven’t changed. This is still something I hope I will always be sharing with you all.
However, the way in which I share it needs to change.
I realised that the reason I have been feeling so anxious, so conflicted, is because the content I was sharing, and the way in which I was sharing it, did not align with my values. To what I feel is important.
I wanted to reduce the vast amount of skincare options I was sharing, it had become overwhelming to my audience, it had become overwhelming to my skin.
I wanted to reduce the amount of content I created, regardless of whether it would affect my stats. My community are a bunch of busy people that have lives to live, and are not constantly on social media.
I wanted to find a way to provide a more curated approach to what I showcase, and a more healthy approach to how I create content, and how my audience views it.
One thing I knew for sure was, social media was not the answer.
The Beauty Recluse – Curated
After a lot of thinking, stressing, and frustration I finally figured out the best approach.
Firstly, the brands which I showcase will be reduced drastically. In fact, there will only be a few select brands that I will be showcasing on my Instagram account from now on. There will be a few ‘miscellaneous’ products thrown in here and there but they will be few and far between.
I have been incredibly lucky to trial so many different skincare brands over the years, and yet, the grass ain’t greener on the other side. There are certain brands that tick all of my boxes. Brands that I do not fear will irritate my sensitive skin. Most importantly, brands that, if I were not in the unique position of receiving gifted skincare, I would purchase from with my own money.
These are the brands that I value, and will be featured on my Instagram account.
Secondly, the volume of content I create on Instagram will be reduced drastically. With only one to two posts a week, a manageable amount of content for me to produce, and my audience to consume.
However, this is quite possibly the biggest change I am making (and the one I find most frightening), Instagram will now become a snapshot. A little overview of content. The bulk of my content will now be moving offline. To a place that I have control. A place my audience has control. Away from social media.
The Beauty Recluse Curated will be our new home for content moving forward.
A Bi-weekly curated content piece delivered straight to your inbox, from my inbox.
All the latest in beauty reviews, recommendations, and useful information on keeping your skin healthy, curated into one piece without any sales pitches or ads.
An honest and personal advice column, with a direct reply function to my own inbox. None of this automated mumbo jumbo.
This will finally give me the opportunity to give back to you all with regular giveaways and exclusive discounts.
A home and a safe space for all the beauty recluses of the world, our very own community, without restrictions.
What happens next.
I will be sharing the brands that will feature in my curated edit moving forward on Instagram, over the next few days.
The Beauty Recluse Curated I will share more information on later. Detailing what you can expect, and how you can sign up.
Until then, thank you to each and every one of you for your support. I hope you are happy with all the changes and don’t think I am a raving lunatic!
Any feedback? Let me know.
Have a fabulous Friday.