#rsthecon Outfit Round Up + Recap

#rsthecon outfit round up

#rsthecon outfit round up

#rsthecon outfit round up

#rsthecon outfit round up

#rsthecon outfit round up

#rsthecon outfit round up

#rsthecon outfit round up

#rsthecon outfit round up

#rsthecon outfit round up

#rsthecon outfit round up

#rsthecon outfit round up


It stands for rewardStyle The Conference. This was actually the 7th Annual rewardStyle conference held in Dallas, Tx.


Yes, the conference is invitation only and is based on performance. This was my first year to be invited which was a huge accomplishment for my business. The platform has 30,000 influencers on it and only the top 200 are invited to go to conference.


Absolutely not! I met girls with 10k followers and some that had close to 1 million. A lot of people think that how much money you make is strictly based on the number of followers you have and that is not true. While it definitely effects how much you can charge brand partners, it is not the only factor to account for. Someone with 10k followers could be making more money than someone with 100k. Some factors to consider is the girl with 10k followers could have 10k engaged followers that trust her opinion and therefor buy more for her than the girl with 100k followers who never interacts with her followers and therefor doesn’t have the same level of trust cultivated.


Yes. Between just paying off my 2018 taxes and going to #rsthecon your girl is broke! While I’ve heard rumors that rewardStyle pays for the top tier influencers to attend, that definitely isn’t the case for the majority. The conference was $350 which covered classes, brand meetings, lunches and parties. Outside of that you also have to pay for your hotel, travel expenses, food, and clothes. While it was a large investment to go, it is very much a necessary business expense and important networking opportunity in my opinion.


Our schedule is already planned out before we get there which is nice. We are able to select 3 classroom sessions that we would like to attend and then rewardStyle plans the rest. I was most excited for the brand meetings. There were 25 brands in attendance at the conference this year. I did not include some meals, outfit changes and pictures in the schedule below but squeezed those in when I could!


2–4 PM Check-in, Brand + Influencer Happy Hour
5–7 PM Rooftop Pool Party w/ Sole Society


8:30 AM Grab & Go Breakfast
9:30 AM–12 PM Conference
12–2 PM Courtyard Lunch w/ Mary Kay
2–2:45 PM How To Build a Team Classroom Session
3–3:45 PM Working Smarter: The Art of Selling 24/7 Classroom Session
4–4:15 PM QVC Brand Meeting
4:30–4:45 PM Banana Republic Brand Meeting
6–8 PM Cocktail Party w/ Ebay


8–10 AM Grab & Go Breakfast
9:30–10 AM Meeting with rewardStyle Rep
10:15–10:30 AM Garmin Brand Meeting
11–11:45 AM All Classroom Session
12–2 PM Garden Lunch w/ JCPenney
3–3:15 PM Express Brand Meeting
8–11 PM Finale Party


To be completely honest a lot of what was taught in the classroom sessions wasn’t ground breaking for those of us that have been in the industry for awhile but I did learn a few new things! The first classroom session that I attended, “How to Build a Team”, was the one I was looking most forward to seeing as I just brought on an assistant two weeks ago. The speaker, Lauren Kay Sims, is one of my all time favorite bloggers and was able to speak from her own personal experience with her assistant. I learned “normal” assistant tasks, how to decide which tasks to delegate, what rate/salary is fair, as well as career progression opportunities within your team.

The second class that I attended, “Working Smarter: The Art of Selling 24/7”, was fascinating to hear from two of my blogger friends that are killing it on the rewardStyle platform! The two speakers were The Sister Studio and Interior DesignerellaThis class was all about strategy. Everything from when and what to post on Instagram and the app to how to position yourself to make more sales. I think my biggest take away was to treat Instagram and the app as two completely different platforms with two completely different strategies. Going forward I will be sharing a lot more content exclusively to the app since thats where all of the shoppers are at whereas Instagram is more so for connecting and interacting with the community and not necessarily as sale focused.


So this was the most exciting and beneficial part of the conference! During the three days, the 25 brands that I mentioned earlier all had booths in a designated room called the “Brand Hall”. If you’ve been to a career fair, that’s exactly what this was like. We all carried around our media kits (like a resume for bloggers) and business cards to pass out to the brands. It was a great way to make personal connections with brands that I’ve worked with in the past and also hope to work with in the future. Most of our interactions with brands is behind a computer screen so it was really cool getting to meet the brand reps in person and form those relationships!

Some of the brands in attendance were Ebay, Sole Society, Urban Outfitters, Express, Banana Republic, Bloomingdales, JC Penny, Kendra Scott, QVC, and Garmin just to name a few! My biggest takeaway from the conference is forming relationships with these brands which hopefully will translate to new business deals.


Let me first off by saying that what I am about to say does not apply to every blogger that I met by any means. There are some really good eggs and of course some bad eggs out there just as I’m sure there are in any industry.

I wouldn’t necessarily call it catty, I would say the conference was more cliquey than anything. I thought it felt a lot like high school. Everyone had their “clique” which I think is always somewhat normal considering you gravitate towards certain friend groups so I’m not saying there is anything wrong with some girls being better friends than others. It happens, it’s natural, that’s life! For the most part, all of the girls were friendly but with that having been said, there were a lot of girls that stayed very exclusive to their groups and made no effort to talk to others outside of their group. That means every event, every down time, every group picture, the same groups hung out together, the same groups took pictures together and so on.

While that was the case for some of the girls, it’s certainly does not hold true for every blogger. I met some really amazing and genuine ladies who made the week so much fun!


Let me be the first to say that blogging is a weird industry to be in and make friends. You are getting to know people solely from what they choose to share publicly with the rest of the world. I’m forming online friendships with girls that I rarely get to see in person. I can honestly say that some of my best friends are bloggers! So yes, it is 100% possible to find genuine friends in the blogging community but I’ve had my fair share of fake friends too.

You will hear the term “community over competition” thrown around like confetti but I feel like lately this only applies to girls within your own circle. And like I said a lot of bloggers are very exclusive about their circles. I’ve had so many “friends” that have come and gone over the three years that I have been doing this job. There are the “friends” that you form online relationships with and then in person they don’t give you the time of day. There are the “friends” that use you to get ahead. And then you have the”friends” that jumped up in followers and now suddenly don’t want to associate with you anymore. You know the saying “don’t forget me when you’re famous”? Yea, some of these girls forget.


Yes! And thank heavens for them. I had only met one in person before the conference. Remember what I just said about all of those bad eggs? Well these girls right here they are some good ones. They are kind, encouraging and supportive. I love that all of us came from different places, different friend groups and different stages of life for the week. We laughed until we cried, stuffed our faces with Shack Shake, danced the night away and had endless girl talk.

Once invitations go out, you are able to pick your room mates. Since there are different rounds of invitations and the invite list changes each year, finding roomies is a bit of a struggle but I highly suggest going and rooming with girls that will make your experience a memorable one!


Honestly the most beneficial part of rewardStyle conference in my opinion are the connections you make and the relationships that you form with brands, bloggers and industry professionals. But I will say that if you are bummed that you didn’t get an invite this year to not be discouraged. I was not invited last year and it honestly made me bitter and resentful for a long time instead of lighting a fire under my butt. If you make it a goal, you can achieve it. Use it as something to work even harder for. Use it as fuel.

But also keep in mind that the majority of bloggers make more money from sponsored posts than they do from affiliate/commission based programs like rewardStyle. So just because you didn’t get invited to rewardStyle conference doesn’t mean that you aren’t killing it in another area. Don’t let this conference define your success. You are doing great. Keep pushing, keep hustling!

The best advice I received at the conference is to continually analyze your performance. If not daily, then weekly! See what type of products, which retailers, what type of pictures, what type of poses, etc perform the best and recreate those things. Maybe that’s styling a top selling pair of jeans multiple ways, taking a different outfit picture with the same pose that went viral, or doing an entire try on session at a retailer that had one product sell really well. Hone in on what you are doing well and do more of it!



Top Ten From 2018

Top Ten Purchased Items

Each month during 2018 I shared the monthly top ten selling items purchased by all of you! This information is super helpful to me so I can plan out future content based on what you all are liking and buying and on the other hand what you don’t care for. Looking back at the top selling items from 2018, I think it’s safe to say you girls LOVE your designer dupes. Part of me thinks I should devote 100% of my time in 2019 to finding designer dupes because they are always the most requested from you ladies! See below for our favorite dupes and the top ten from 2018!


Cyber Monday Sales

Tee linked HERE. Very similar option with more sizing availability linked HERE.


September Top Ten Purchases

Comes in 4 colors and linked HERE. Great basic, work appropriate top.


Cyber Monday Sales

All of my working ladies LOVED these. They are currently BOGO 50% off.


Cyber Monday Sales

One of the top purchases all year plus these Target pajamas make the perfect gift. Size up! They also come in a short set HERE. I found the short set ran true to size.


Cyber Monday Sales

Tan // Grey // Black
I am normally a size 7.5 and went with a size 38 in all 3 colors! Use the sizing chart online. They are currently 30% off if you buy 2 pairs.



This Sunday Riley oil that I swear by for hormonal acne has been a favorite of mine since 2017! I couldn’t believe y’all sold out Anthropologie’s stock a few weeks ago, placing it in the top 10 for the entire year! If you are just wanting to try the oil out, they have their smallest size bottle for just $40 here. It also comes in a trial kit here with 2 of my other favorite products (cleanser & lactic acid) if you are looking for an entire skincare system.



October Top Ten


September Top Ten Purchases

Cyber Monday Sales

The number one seller every single month are these Gucci dupe belts. They are getting harder and harder to come by as Amazon is cracking down on dupes. I’ve linked all above that are currently working. For size reference, the real belts come in two sizes, 0.8″ and 1.5″, so I suggest getting a dupe similar to those dimensions.

Top Ten Blog Posts

I spend a lot of time creating content for the blog and it’s always one of my favorite things to do at the end of the year to see which posts you ladies liked the most especially since it’s always eye opening to see how the analytics compare to how much time I spent on the posts. Sometimes they correlate and others they don’t. Sometimes I spend hours and hours on a post thinking you ladies will love it and then it’s a total flop. My goal for 2019 is to create more content that you ladies actually want to see by devoting my time creating the content that you request. You can bet to see a lot more dupes, try on sessions, and budget friendly finds! If there is anything else you want to see, let me know in the comments!


Wedding Style Guide: Dress Codes, Etiquette and FAQ

Everything that you need to know about wedding dress codes and options to wear. Read post HERE.


In 2017 I had two PAO hip surgeries. Read the post HERE.


Avon Lash Serum and Mascara

I tried a new lash serum to grow my natural lashes! Read the post HERE.


This post is from 2016 but still one of my most visited! Read the post HERE.


Friendsgiving Ideas

Read the post HERE.


Blogging FAQ

I plan to do a lot more of these “chic chats” in 2019! Think of them as chit chats or girl talk will you ladies! Read the post HERE.


Gifts for the Homebody, Cozy gifts

Find over 20 gift guides HERE.


Fall Instagram Captions

Find the post HERE.


Find the post HERE.


Find the post HERE.

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5 Hobbies That Can Pay Off

Disclosure: This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #BecauseICan #IGottaHaveIt #CollectiveBias

5 Hobbies That Can Pay Off

One question that I get asked a lot from all of you is “How do I turn something I’m passionate about into a career”? Let me just tell you that it involves a lot of soul searching and even more caffeine! But believe me, I had the same question and still do. I am constantly analyzing what I’m good at and if there is the potential for a pay off. We are constantly told to chase our dreams but that’s hard to do without an income source. Whether you are looking at making a complete career change or want to start a side hustle, today I am teaming up with Diet Coke® to share five hobbies that have made me money or brought about valuable career opportunities.

My hope with sharing this is not to have you set out in search of a hobby that will make you money. A hobby should be something that you are genuinely interested in whether or not you ever make a dollar from it. If making a quick buck is your only intent when starting out, then there is a good possibility that when things get tough (and they will get tough), that you will quickly lose interest and move onto something else. So think about what you like to do for fun, what you are good at, or what brings you or others around you happiness and go from there. Then use those passions and interests as fuel for learning how to turn your hobby into a revenue source.


5 Hobbies That Can Pay Off

5 Hobbies That Can Pay Off

Top | Shorts | Sandals | SunglassesBag

If you don’t consider shopping a hobby, think again! There is definitely money to be made here, especially if you have a knack for finding a good deal. Everyone wants the next best thing but doesn’t want to fork over an arm and a leg for it. The more you shop around, get a feel for what is available and at what different price points, the more educated you are on scoring a great deal. From that point, there are multiple outlets to making money.

If you have a knack for hitting up garage sales, estate sales or bargain spots then you might be able to make money reselling these items for more than what you bought them for. Outlets like Ebay, Craigslist, or local consignment stores are usually best for this. You could also become a personal shopper for somebody else who does not have the time or care to do so. These types of jobs are normally paid by the hour but can also be commission based. Lastly, if you want to earn money by sharing some of those great deals you find on the internet, you can sign up for an affiliate network. This means that every time someone uses your product link, you will earn a small commission. Bloggers use this as part of their income source!


5 Hobbies That Can Pay Off

5 Hobbies That Can Pay Off

Top | Shorts | Felt Letter Board

I currently make my entire salary from blogging (a form of writing) if that tells you anything! This once upon hobby has now turned into a daily paycheck that pays my bills and so much more! If you have a knack for writing, connecting with like minded people, and documenting bits of your life then you might try dabbling in blogging. Whether you have a passion for fashion, fitness, cooking, traveling, parenting advice, or whatever it might be, try sharing your ideas on the internet and see what traction you get. Once you start to build an audience, money can be made through advertisements , sponsored posts, and commission based affiliate networks.

If you do not have an interest in the maintenance to start your own blog but feel like you have valuable information, stories, or advice that you could share, there are many opportunities for freelance writers. This is where you would sell your article to a site for either a flat rate or an agreed upon price per word count.

TRAVELING5 Hobbies That Can Pay Off

5 Hobbies That Can Pay Off

Swimsuit Top | Swimsuit Bottoms | Shorts | Hat | Bag

If you have a passion for traveling then you know that it is an expensive hobby. I’m not sitting here telling you that it is easy to travel for free but I am saying that thanks to the internet and growing economy, it is easier than ever to merge your love for travel with making money. Because of this, there are in fact ways to make travel cheaper and even profitable if you are willing to think outside of the box!

A few ways to earn money and travel are to become a travel writer or blogger, house or pet sit, work on a cruise ship, teach english, become a tour guide, or work remotely for any type of virtual job. An online business or job can be run from anywhere you can get a Wi-Fi connection.


5 Hobbies That Can Pay Off

5 Hobbies That Can Pay Off

Top | Skort | Shoes | Sunglasses

Maybe you grew up playing sports or maybe you’ve picked them up later in life, either way there is value in the love of the game. Not only are you working on interpersonal skills and expanding your network, but you are getting fit in the process! For those that are stuck in the hobby zone, you never know when your next job lead can come up in a conversation over a round of golf or maybe the drinks that follow afterword. So even if you never make a dollar from a tennis match, intramural softball game, or round of golf, connections are the most valuable form of job leads!

Now if you are the next Tom Brady or truly have a gift for sports, you might consider coaching or personal training. These types of jobs are normally paid by the hour, are flexible, and are usually a long term type of gig as most people need multiple sessions.


5 Hobbies That Can Pay Off
5 Hobbies That Can Pay Off

Jumpsuit | Sandals | Sunglasses | Hat | Bag | Sunglasses

Photos by: BanAvenue

Almost everyone these days has a camera, whether it’s on your phone or a DSLR. Technology has made it so easy for us to take great photos! While the market is saturated, pictures are truly something that everyone wants and needs which is a good thing for you if you have an eye for art and taking a great photo!

If you think you have a handle on capturing beautiful moments and have learned your way around a camera, try starting a social media page and growing a business. You might offer to take some pictures for family or friends to build up your portfolio and if you do a good job, before you know it people will want to pay you for your work!

New Diet Coke Flavors

New Diet Coke Flavors

New Diet Coke Flavors

Sweatshirt | Leggings | Shoes | Bag

Now how do I do it all? Like I said, a lot of caffeine because sleep is hard to come by when you are turning your passions into careers! I was so excited to team up with Diet Coke to try out their new flavors that come in these sleek 12 ounce cans. They have the same, great flavor as the one and only Diet Coke has always had just with a facelift! New flavors include Feisty Cherry, Ginger Lime, Zesty Blood Orange and Twisted Mango. My personal favorite is the Feisty Cherry and they weren’t kidding when they said feisty. This one packs a punch that you won’t know what I’m really talking about until you try.

You can find these on-the-go singles or 8-packs at most grocery stores and convenience stores! I picked mine up at my local HEB. And because I wouldn’t be a good friend if I didn’t give you some sort of great deal, you can earn $1.25 when you purchase an 8-pack of Diet Cokes along with any brand of avocados. Both products must be purchased on the same receipt to receive credit for this rebate.

 *Thank you Diet Coke® for sponsoring this post. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.*


Instagram Live Recap + 2018 Expectations + Survey

2017 was the year of growth for this blog but I want 2018 to be the year of community and connection. I’ve started to realize that I don’t care one bit what the follower count says anymore, I care about connecting with the ones I already have because it is SO fulfilling and I already have everything I need right here.

I am so happy that you are a part of the IACTM community and I am excited to make IACTM an even better outlet this year! It wasn’t until the very end of 2017, my “you only live once” phase that I just didn’t care what I put out there- the good,bad, the ugly. And you know what? Y’all seemed to really love it. I thought I had hit rock bottom but y’all loved it. Not the rock bottom part per say but the “screw everything, this is the real me, take it or leave it” part of rock bottom. And it made my rock bottom seem just the opposite. I realized I thrived at rock bottom. I realized what it meant to have and be a part of a community. So that’s exactly what 2018 is all about.

Things Happening in 2018


Weekly Giveaways

You all loved my 12 Days of Christmas giveaways so much that Santa Shelbi is coming out of retirement to bring you giveaways until you say “NO MORE!”. Since I want to get you more engaged and build this community, the giveaways will involve getting to know you better. That being said, as long as you follow along on Instagram and Instagram stories these are going to be EASY. You won’t have to follow any other bloggers or tag a million friends. The winner for the week will be chosen every Sunday evening.

The way it works: the first 100 comments on every Instagram post will be entered to win. This means you might want to have post notifications turned on or check Instagram each day. I usually post around 12 pm and 8 pm CST but that’s not always the case. The key is you will have to watch my Instagram stories each day to know how to enter. I will ask a question on my stories and you will then have to answer the question in a comment on the most recent Instagram post. I will also occasionally give fun ways for extra entries that might involve a secret emoji or something else simple and ultimately FUN!

How the winner is chosen: at the end of the week I will add up how many Instagram posts I did and generate two random numbers. The first random number will select which Instagram post, the second will select a number 1-100. That will be the number of the comment on that specific Instagram post aka the winner! I will do the drawing during the Instagram Live each week so that y’all can get the hang of how it works and be able to see who wins at the same time that I do!


Weekly Instagram Lives (“Chic Chats”)

So many of you want to see more real life shenanigans so from now on, I’m going to host a quick (30 minutes TOPS) Instagram Live every week. The majority of you picked Sunday nights at 8 CST/9 EST so that is what we are going to start off with for now but if I get enough people that want them on a different day I might trade off each week. For each live session there will be a topic of YOUR choosing. For ex: how to start a blog, best jeans under $100, spring trends, etc. I’ll have you guys send me your suggestions each week and then I will announce the topic the day of the live. This way you can decide if you want to tune in or not. I plan on giving away a $5 gift card to the most engaged person EVERY single week so it will help to tune into the live even though it will be saved for 24 hours.


Tuesday Ten

After many requests to shop my closet, I finally figured out a way to make it happen! Every Tuesday (or that’s what I’m aiming for) I will be selling 10 brand new or like new items from my closet at a MAJOR discount. This does not necessarily mean all clothes. It could be skin care, make up, fitness items, purses, shoes, vacuums (yes I get random stuff!), etc. While the clothes will primarily be my size (Top: XS/S // Bottoms: 25 or 0), this is not always going to be the case. I do get sent stuff sometimes that is not my size! I will host the sale every Tuesday evening on my Instagram stories at 8 pm CST. This will be first come, first serve. If you are interested in an item, you will email to claim it. I will give each person an hour to pay before someone else will get a shot. I will put prices on each item and there will be a standard $10 shipping.


Blog Tips

So many of you are either bloggers yourself or just want to know more about how all of this blogging stuff works. You asked, so I am answering. I am going to start doing blog tips twice a month! Everything from how to start a blog, beginner photography, how to grow on social media, how to make gift guides/collages, etc. If you have topics you want me to talk about, please send them my way!


Styling/Business Coaching Services

I’ve been trying to figure out for the past year how I could connect more with you guys and bring my passion for fashion and building your own business to life. I love blogging but I’m also behind a computer all day. I am so much of a people person and find so much joy from sharing what I love best with others, I just haven’t known how. *Insert blog here* The blog has connected me to all of you and in 2018 I will be offering personal styling sessions as well as business coaching for beginner bloggers/entrepreneurs both locally in person and virtually. Stay tuned for more information on this 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions


How old are you?

I am 26 years young! I have 2 younger sisters and we are all within 4 years of each other.


What was your full time job?

I was a supply analyst for a retail power (electricity) company. My job in a nutshell consisted of forecasting power usage, buying/selling power, hedging our exposure, data analytics and lots of excel spreadsheets.


Why did you quit?

Ultimately I quit because of timing and I knew it was not what I wanted to be doing long term. Between my two hip surgeries, moving home, travel opportunities, and a burning passion to give the blog my all, I decided it was the right time for me to quit. Granted this would have never been possible if I was not living at home and the fact that I built my savings up over the last 3 years.


How did you manage your full time job with the blog?

Long story short – not very well. I would keep my blog email open at work so that I could star important emails and answer any time sensitive ones. I would write posts and answer emails after work. I would take pictures every other weekend, usually Saturday mornings where I would shoot 4-8 looks at one time with my photographer which would give me enough content for about 2 weeks. I didn’t have much of a social life between working 2 jobs but I didn’t mind at the time.


Do you plan on going back to work?

Yes! I am starting to look for work now and am hoping to go back to work in March or so. I still don’t really know what I want to be doing but I’m thinking something along the lines of marketing, public relations, social media, or event management. If you have a job that you love, I’d absolutely love to hear!


What surgeries did you have?

I had two PAO surgeries to correct hip dysplasia. I had the left side done in March and the right side done in October. Each were about a 2 month recovery. You can read all about it here.


How did you rehab after?

Yes, but not like I should have. After the first one I only went to physical therapy for a month because I was in so much pain. I don’t think the place I was going was very attentive to what my body needed and instead of finding a new place, I just quit. This go around has been harder because now I have 2 bad hips instead of just 1 so we are working both sides in physical therapy. I also have had 2 falls since my last surgery which have not been good for my hips. On top of that, I had to get my own health insurance and it’s been a constant battle so I am currently not doing physical therapy but desperately need to be!


Where did you go to college/what was your major?

I went to Texas A&M University and graduated with a Finance major and International Business minor. I actually studied abroad my sophmore year all over Europe – London, Paris, Nice, Monaco, Austria, Venice, and more!

Instagram Live Winners

Please contact me to claim your prize! And if you didn’t win this time, I will be doing it every week!








2017 Feedback Survey

Thank you so much for making 2017 such a great year. I am so happy that you are a part of the IACTM community and thank you for answering these quick questions that aim to make IACTM an even better outlet! Remember these are anonymous and your HONEST feedback helps me the most! Thanks in advance for your response and taking the time to make IACTM a community – I am so glad that you are here!

*You can answer the questions below + submit the survey directly below!* 

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How to Grow Your Instagram

Street style: black vest + leather leggings + OTK boots, black on black , all black everything

Street style: black vest + leather leggings + OTK boots, black on black , all black everything

Street style: black vest + leather leggings + OTK boots, black on black , all black everything

Street style: black vest + leather leggings + OTK boots, black on black , all black everything

Street style: black vest + leather leggings + OTK boots, black on black , all black everything

Street style: black vest + leather leggings + OTK boots, black on black , all black everything

Street style: black vest + leather leggings + OTK boots, black on black , all black everything

Street style: black vest + leather leggings + OTK boots, black on black , all black everything

Vest: Similar | Leggings: Nordstrom | Boots: Nordstrom Rack (size down a full size) | Purse: Similar (less than $40) | Sunglasses: Karen Walker

Photography by: Banavenue

The question that I get asked the most since I started blogging is “How did you grow your Instagram so fast?”. When I started out, I think I probably googled the same thing and tried to look to other bloggers for some magic formula that would shoot me to the top. Unfortunately there is no magic formula and while there are certainly tips that I am going to share with you today, remember that what works for one person may not work for another. I am by no means an expert on the subject, but since so many of you have asked over the past year, I thought it was finally time to share how I gained 18,000 followers in one year.

In the beginning…

  1. The “follow to unfollow” method: If you don’t know what I am talking about, I am referring to where someone will follow hundreds of Instagram accounts and then after a few days they will go unfollow every single account. Why would someone do this? Because it get’s their name in front of Instagram accounts that might not have seen them otherwise. It is pretty frowned upon by people who have been in the business for awhile because it is “spammy”. It might be “spammy” but it certainly works and in the beginning, you do what you have to do. So I would go follow about 100 accounts a night, and then go unfollow them 3 days later if they didn’t follow me back. This got me a couple thousand followers. You can download the app InsTrack to easily track who is and is not following you back. At the point that I am at, I do not do this anymore but I felt like it is one that I should still disclose.
  2. Loop Giveaways: If you have been around Instagram for awhile you most likely have participated in one. These are where in order for an Instagram user to enter into the giveaway, they must follow every single account that is hosting the giveaway. It is called a “loop” because it will take you to each host’s Instagram and will bring you back to whoever you started with. If you are looking to get involved in one of these giveaways, they are usually around $20-$30 to be a part of and you can find out how to get in on one by simply asking someone else that has already done one. They should be able to point you in the right direction. Again, these are a little “spammy” because contestants hate having to follow so many accounts. While giveaways are great to help gain followers fast, you will usually see that right after the giveaway is over, you will lose a substantial amount of the following that you just created due to the fact that they only followed you so that they could win a contest, not because they actually wanted to. I still participate in these from time to time but I try to keep it to a minimum. This has probably boosted my following by at least 5,000 followers.
  3. Call on your friends: Sometimes all it takes is asking! Have your friends give you a quick shout out on their social media pages telling their followers to give you a follow. This could be something along the lines of, “Everyone go follow my best friend’s new blog, you can find her on social media with the handle @itsallchictome”.
  4. “Follow Fridays”: I’d say that these are more for bloggers and small business owners. Essentially what you do is get together a group of 4 people that would want to promote each other to their own followers. As you probably guessed, this happens on Fridays. I typically will try to pair up with 3 other fashion bloggers that I genuinely like to follow so I know that they would be people that my followers would like to follow as well. I would suggest trying to stick to promoting other accounts that are in your same realm of business. Whenever you promote a “follow Friday”, you are essentially getting all of the other participants’ followers. The higher the amount of followers that each of the other 3 participants have, the more followers you will get. These do not gain a ton of followers, but they certainly help. Most people will delete the Instagram post after 24 hours.

The must do’s…

  1. Engagement is everything: You must engage with your current followers but you must also engage with potential followers. Both parts to this equation are crucial. Your followers want to hear from you and know that you are a person that is interested in them and what they have to say. On the other hand, it is important to constantly be getting your name out there. So while you might not think that commenting on some random girl’s photo is doing you any good, you are wrong. Each time you comment on someone’s photo, there are new people that are going to see your name. Exposure is everything and it all starts with engaging. When I say engage, I specifically mean liking and commenting on other people’s photos. You should be doing this daily. I would say that I like and comment on about 100 people’s Instagram accounts per day. Make sure that you are constantly following new people and commenting on different people’s accounts so that you are getting a broader reach.
  2. Use ALL 30 hashtags: This is imperative. Instagram only allows you to use 30 hashtags and you should be using all of them. It doesn’t matter if you think that they make your caption look dumb, I promise that everyone else is doing it and you just have to realize that it’s part of the business game. It is important to think of Instagram like a search engine and hashtags are the only way to search for something. Hashtags get users to your page that might not have found you any other way. There are popular hashtags that you can and should use (and I will most likely do another post on that). I would suggest doing half and half when it comes to popular hashtags versus explanatory hashtags. Explanatory hashtags are anything to explain what is going on in the picture. Whether it is an article of clothing, a brand, or an action that is taking place. Think about what someone might search for in hopes to land on your picture. The best way to input hashtags into your photo is by hiding them into a comment right after you post. This way once people start commenting on your post, the hashtags will get hidden unless someone takes the time to go back through your comments.
  3. Getting featured: Tag every brand or company possible in every single photo that you post. Regrams (when a company or account reposts your photo) help grow your following so much and also put your name out there to brands that you might really want to work with. If you know that a company is going to be posting about you on their Instagram account, make sure you ask them to not only tag you in the photo, but to also give you credit in the caption. The bigger the following of the account that reposts you, the more followers that they are sending your way. Getting featured on’s Instagram is just about the best thing that can happen. They have over 2 million followers and if you get reposted on here, not only will it send hundreds if not thousands of new followers your way, it also will give you a nice paycheck to boot.

If you have any other specific questions on this topic, please visit my contact page and shoot me an email. I am always happy to help where I can! If you enjoy my blog tip posts like this one, please let me know so that I can keep them coming for you guys!