the discouraging side of having a "small" instagram following

in today’s social media age, people are seemingly defined by their follower count. as of this week, i have around 25k followers and while that may seem like a lot to some people, my following pales in comparison to my peers…especially those in nyc. to be honest, it gets incredibly frustrating and often discouraging regardless of how hard i try not to play the comparison game. the loop giveaways are running rampant and there doesn’t seem to be any slowing down of people trying to take shortcuts. i was even told once that it was “cute” how i’ve kept my small following simply because i didn’t participate in that rubbish (sorry i’ve been watching mary poppins returns and now i think i’m british). i had a “wait, what?!?” moment haha! but what real impact does this have on me? it really comes down to brands and partnerships.

it’s natural for brands to want to work with people who have large followings and but they will sometimes turn a blind eye to those with large “followings” but low engagement and completely disregard those with a smaller following and high engagement - the latter being something i pride myself on. just recently i reached out to a brand who i have posted about organically many times and most of those posts have been regrammed by the brand. so i figured i would reach out to see if the would be able to send me another piece (an unpaid collaboration in exchange for the product) so i could create new and updated content for them. their response?

”thanks for your interest in [brand name here]! we have taken a look at your social platforms and while we like your style, are unable to collaborate with you at this time.”

that was the entire email. seriously. now they did not explicitly say they only work with bloggers with larger social media followings, but i didn’t feel like they had to for that message to come across. and while some brands may fixate on the number of followers people have, many others are starting to realize that that number is not the sole indicator of the reach of an influencer nor the quality of content they create. thankfully brands are starting to update their mindset and companies like fohr (who connect influencers to brands) are stressing the importance of reach and impressions versus follower count alone.

as much as i would love to see this side of the influencer space change overnight, it won’t. but i have faith that us smaller or “micro”-influencers will change it slowly but surely by continuing to show the value and quality we provide!

i feel like i now need to end this post with a, “let’s go team!” hahaha


coat: ganni (old, similar here and here)
sweater: & other stories
jeans: madewell
boots: tibi
bag: louis vuitton
earrings: vintage chanel
sunglasses: linda farrow

photos by lydia hudgens