I try to post on my Instagram page as often as possible, mostly pictures of myself flouncing about in silk skirts. I don’t lose sleep over likes and I certainly don’t aspire to be a ‘blogger’ that provides discount codes for flat-tummy tea. Instead, as a student with plans to work in fashion marketing, I operate an Instagram clean up policy. Using it to share creative content, engage with others and develop an authentic digital persona. One that will boost my traditional CV to potential employers.
Instagram has become the digital home for the fashion industry. As a visual platform that allows you to share dialogue, inspiration and community, it is the perfect place for fashion students to bolster their professional persona. I asked three wonderful ladies in Fashion and Social Media or some tips to do just that. Read on for wise words from Maria Bissendorf – Integrated Marketing Manager and Social Media at CLIQUE UK, Seyda Karimpour – Social Media Manager and Founder of Skiim Studio and Sophie Antonia Scott, Founder of SAS.
Instagram Clean Up Tip 1: ’The CV of 2018’
‘It’s the first thing that your potential future boss will look at way before the job interview. Think about it: it’s an insight into your life, your passions, the surface of what kind of person you are.’
– Maria Bissendorf
A CV details your professional experience but it can be difficult to express your individuality on a couple of sheets of A4. Instagram is a fantastic space to share your creative input, parade your individual style and promote both your personal and professional identity. My CV says that I study in Edinburgh and have work experience at Rixo. My Instagram feed shows that I am a Francophile with a penchant for printed skirts and woven basket bags. See the difference!
Instagram Clean Up Tip 2: Make it relevant
‘Stick to your brand, always think about whether it fits in, and keep it consistent’
– Sophie Scott
Direct viewers of your Insta-CV towards the skills and experiences you most want to show off. If you want to be stylist your Instagram if you should have a link to your Pinterest. Budding fashion journalists should have links to their Twitter and/or blogs. Keep the links updated with new content and remember to steer clear of anything controversial or non-professional. Aestheticism and personal interaction are key for social sales. As Seyda advises; ‘avoid tweeting or posting anything that you wouldn’t want a potential job to see as social media stalking is definitely a thing when shortlisting applicants’.
Instagram Clean Up Tip 3: Interact, Engage, Debate
‘Engage with favourite brands/publications, network and post some of your work’
– Seyda Karimpour
You’re already using your Instagram to keep up to date with fashion trends and news. The question is, where are you discussing these gems? It’s great to follow your career heroes and chat with your friends but by engaging in these conversations online you are creating digital evidence of your passion and knowledge. Comment on the pictures of the people you follow, respond to their stories, introduce yourself! Don’t be afraid to send a DM to express your admiration for their work or to ask for advice. Be polite and professional. You never know what opportunities might arise from a digital conversation.
Instagram Clean Up Tip 4: Story vs. Feed
‘The perfect balance between strategy (i.e. being aware of what you put on social media to create a certain impression of what you stand for) and expressing your passion to keep it authentic (just posting what you want to put on your timeline)’
– Maria Bissendorf
Use Instastory to document the key events of your life and professional endeavours without clogging your feed. Tag brands and accounts, use hashtags at events and share life updates that narrate your career progression. After I organised a BumbleBizz UK event, I screenshotted all social media coverage of the evening and added it to my highlights reel. Creating a collection of digital press clippings for any potential Insta-passerby. I still post images of vegan doughnuts the size of my face but it works because I utilise every Instagram feature to maintain a balance between professional and personal insights.
We are incredibly fortunate to have so much knowledge at the click of a few screen icons. I hope these tips will help you leverage your Instagram profile to further your fashion career. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the next Eva Chen or Sarah Harris. For now, however, focus on absorbing information, adding to the conversation and nurturing relationships. When in doubt turn to Maria’s final statement; ‘don’t overthink it’. Which I’m taking as ‘be yourself and trust your instincts’.
Word by Lucy Ing