Instagram is widely touted as where its at currently for small businesses when it comes to engaging with customers online. I totally agree, and am a massive fan of the platform and more than slightly obsessed with it right now.
However my feed is often filled with both glam, polished images and also daily shares of some pretty personal stuff. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the accounts full of beautiful images that are inspirational to look at, and I hugely admire the raw and honest accounts about motherhood (and fatherhood) that are around too. But it got me thinking – how can the platform work if you’re not the extroverted, hello-look-at-me type? What if you’re more shy and retiring, or just not down with selfies? Or if you have a day job that requires you to maintain a greater degree of privacy online – for example, I know a few teachers who go to great lengths to stay anonymous in an attempt to stop their pupils stalking them online!!
So after scrolling through a few of my favourite feeds, I’ve come up with a new How-To Guide: Instagram for Introverts. If you prefer to keep a low profile online, try one or more of these approaches out for size…
1. Take a Faceless Selfie
Some of the best looking selfies I’ve seen are actually faceless – glam women rocking an #ootd or #wiwt post, but letting their outfit do all the talking and staying pretty anonymous themselves. One of the best has to be @figtny, a woman with a beautiful fashion feed that features a wardrobe of simple black, white and grey, modeled in fabulous style, but all with her face hidden. Keeps the focus more on the fashion than on her and looks sooo arty. Clever!
2. Do a Flat Lay
Flat Lays are a beautiful way of sharing things that are important to you in a simple, curated, statement image. Easy to do once you have a few basics in place – namely good lighting and a background for your lay – a textured or patterned cloth, or a smooth surface like a wooden table, floor or tiling works well. All that’s left is to develop an eye for themed arranging – lay out your baby’s clothes, your outfit of the day, your favourite items of decor or your latest beauty buys, snap from above, and there you go. A well curated flatlay can encapsulate a mood and tell a little story all in one shot, and Kerri-Ann of @lifeasourlittlefamily does lots of beautiful flatlays as a regular feature on her feed.
3. Text It
Canva instantly turns anyone into a graphic designer. It’s free to use, and has a more extensive desktop as well as mobile app version. With a few clicks you can select a background image (from one of thousands that are provided free), overlay text in a variety of fonts and edit with effects to create endless images featuring your random thoughts, quotes you love or announcements you might want to make to your followers.
4. Show Your Stuff
If you’re an artist, maker, craftsperson or photographer, then the answer is even more obvious – showcase your work! Instagram provides the perfect visual shop-window for promoting your wares. I love @sarahkbenning’s feed as an example of this, and the gorgeous drawings by @sketchymuma.
5. Pick a Thing
A gimmick, a theme, a weird obsession… Insta is great for finding an audience for even the tiniest of niches! So if you have a clever, funny or even silly idea then start an account sharing or featuring images linked to that theme, like @airplantlove – SO random, but has over 3k followers! Also you can use a hashtag to allow others to share in the fun and to spread your reach: #dadsyogaoff is an example of this.
So there you have it – plenty of ways to get online even if you don’t want your face on your feed! Get posting and comment below or tell me on Instagram if you use any of these techniques, or indeed have any more to add to the list.
If you suspect you’re naturally more of an introvert in life and want to read more on the subject, I highly recommend Susan Cain’s Quiet – the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.
And if you’re curious about how to identify your children’s natural preferences try Nurture By Nature: Understand your child’s personality type and become a better parent by Paul Tieger. It can help you spot your child’s preferred modes of thinking and understand them better. I loved reading this and will definitely be re-visiting as my daughter’s personality emerges and develops over the next few years!