I just wanted to put the record straight..
So today it was brought to my attention that there’s was supposedly an account publicly bashing me for “buying” followers and likes. A message I had openly and honestly sent someone over a year ago could have been longer (I don’t have the date) was being circulated and people were questioning my authenticity.
I have nothing to hide and always pride myself on my honesty. Therefore have no reason to lie nor hide anything from you all.
I started Ralphie’s account in January 2017 over the next few months his account grew and I was shocked at how quickly that happened and remember celebrating our first 1000/ 2000 and so forth.
We reached 6000 organically and at this point I was so excited about the future of his account. I had seen lots of usage on people’s stories advertising products they were using and buying via a feature called swipe up.
How can I do this I tried to figure out. Oh you can’t unless you have 10k or more.
In the early days of our journey I was VERY NAIVE to the world of Instagram. I had no knowledge behind me or understanding of the platform and was merely going off the back of what I was seeing others do.
I looked at online forums and typed “how can I grow my Instagram account” the first thing to appear was a website advertising to help you manage your account and grow your followers I paid £24.99 and was promised account management and authentic followers within my target audience, likeminded mums and steady growth. Who wouldn’t want that? Little did I know at this point these were all robot accounts, unauthentic pages and would be detrimental to my engagement.
My account boomed and I gained around 4000 new followers and given access to the all singing all dancing swipe up feature which at the time Sadly thought was the bee-all and end-all. This was early 2017 a lot has changed since then and people; pr companies, agents and influencers have become very savvy and much more aware. A whole new world of knowledge & understanding has become available and people are learning how Instagram as a platform actually works and how to do it organically and authentically.
Even celebrities were doing it and came under huge scrutiny when it came to light. And quite frankly it doesn’t help and sooner or later if you’re in it to be in it then it’s not going to get you very far. As companies are learning how to correctly audit and vet anyone they work with and the collaboration initiation process is extremely stringent.
Over the next 8 weeks after the boom of approx 4000- I noticed my followers dropping like flies each day YES DROPPING... My likes never increased and no one was commenting on my posts. Hold on a minute where are all these promised followers and new friends? I had clearly been scammed and being naive and uneducated I seriously thought this was going to help me “grow the account”.
Anyone who has ever made the mistake I did will know eventually Instagram deletes all BOT accounts and even though they once accounted for your following they will soon get removed and deleted from your page.
And would NEVER account as part of your engagement.
My following soon dropped below 7000 again this happened over the course of about 6-8 weeks. And I was basically back to square one.
It took me a year from this date to organically increase my following from 7000 to 14000 which it stood at consistently for months and months until we appeared on This Morning. We jumped from 14,000 to 18k during the time we were on the sofa at ITV and then a few more when our daily mail article launched. And today I’m sat at a comfortable 19.7k.
I’m ashamed that I felt the need to do what I did but have no reason to lie. Because I know when I soon realised what was happening I did everything in my power to put things right and do it organically . I brought books, I read up, I tried to understand algorithms and get my head around engagement. I have worked really hard to establish the credibility I have within this realm and pride myself on the content and imagery I provide for brands and the genuine hard work that goes into each post and collaboration.
I now run workshops to encourage people to do this organically (don’t make the mistakes I did which got me no where in the early days) nothing worth having lands in your lap and if you want something you have to work for it. From that period I took good from a bad situation, and made it my mission to learn, and I now have knowledge and understanding behind me and am proud of my page and what I have been able to achieve.
Guys please remember it’s not about followers, it’s about true ENGAGEMENT. It doesn’t matter if you have 200,000 followers or 2000 followers your engagement rate would and can be calculated in the same way.
Instagram will only allow on an algorithm basis a certain amount of people to see your posts I think this is about 7%. This can only be changed by those accounts and your account engaging on a daily basis.
Do what we’re bred to do, talk to other humans; DM them; comment on their photos, like their pictures, shout them out in your story this is true engagement. The proof is in the pudding - followers and likes are just numbers , read between the lines...
You can soon tell if someone’s likes and comments aren’t authentic. Scroll through the 500-700 likes and you will soon become spot the robots and the FRAUDS . These aren’t real people liking your images they are bot accounts who are you trying to kid.
There may be accusations flying around about me but I stand by my mistakes, I’m open about my mistakes in 2017 but I know my pages worth and the real engagement I have now and I’ve worked hard for.
I might only get 150/200/300 likes on some photos but I’d rather that than robots; or scary predator looking accounts you would not want liking images of your baby.
It’s all about the quality not the quantity. I’m not pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes. I am honest, genuine, kind, always deliver and the brands and influencers I have strong relationships with, who know me on a personal basis would know all of the above.
You are always going to have people who have their opinions, you could be the ripest most juiciest peach in the world but there will always be someone who doesn’t like peaches. I’m sorry if I have caused any speculation, I hope this sets the record straight and hand on heart it was a naive mistake I made which I managed to turn around and still achieve my dream of growing the account and continue to do so.
Whilst we’re here sadly you’re always going to get trolls and bitter people who want to tear you down, when you have the slightest bit of success. A bit of passion and success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn’t that way. It would be such a wonderful world to be able to enjoy happiness without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you.
Not that I have to justify myself publicly and it’s actually sad I’ve been made to feel a certain way by people in this network but following our appearance on This Morning, there’s been a few things “come out the wood work” .
Naturally it should be in our instincts to be kind, support and uplift those around us instead I’ve been a victim of social media abuse, hurtful rumours and back stabbing by those thinking they know me or know what’s going on.
There was some furniture Ralphie was gifted LAST YEAR. That we featured on a number of posts covering the brands brief with content requirements.
I created some beautiful imagery for the brand and in my opinion put in hours of prep and work time photographing the products and sharing them in return for the unpaid gifted items. When agreeing to collaborate and accepting the gifts we couldn’t anticipate how Ralphie would get on and In all honesty it didn’t work for us with the cot-bed because rightly or wrongly Ralphie chooses to jump in with us or prefers his bigger cot which is much longer in length. We tried with little luck to transition him and quite frankly was embarrassed to admit on Instagram or want to come across as-if we were slandering the said brand to say he wasn’t enjoying the new product. We have and alway will be very grateful to work with such amazing brands but like all things in life not everything is going to work for you and there’s a very fine taboo line and hush hush about what happens to products after you’ve posted about them. 98% of the products we’ve ever been sent are in my home, I still use them daily and we have a genuine love for otherwise I wouldn’t have agreed to work with them. But the fraction that don’t fit or aren’t what I thought they would be, I do look to re home purely based on the fact I live in a 2 bedroom apartment and I just don’t have the space.
I then went on to advertise the said items on a Facebook #ad on my personal page but obviously this got in the wrong hands and people jumped to assumptions and started to circulate the ad- like I’m obliged to ask permission of the trolls to sell a product I’ve received as gifted payment for work completed under our influencer title.
Just to clarify I never sold the whole bundle in the end the cot alone went to a friend of a friend because we genuinely loved the products and didn’t want to part with it as a bundle if we could help it.
Ralphie uses the duvet and pillow every night, we use the changing unit several times a day and any money I earn from work carried out with paid posts or money rarely earned when selling on products after a collaboration goes into my child’s bank account so everything I do -I do for him.
I would never sell a product unless all briefs are met - FYI you are under no obligation to keep gifted items in the terms with collabs as long as you meet the requirements- the products are yours to do as you please.
The only reason I advertised as a whole was because I would have rather the whole matching set go to a good home at a fraction of the RRP price this could have really helped someone struggling. That’s just me- I don’t think how things would look because I would never do to someone what people have done to me. I didn’t know people had it in them to question me selling an item that essentially belonged to me for the benefit of my son. It doesn’t make sense but people will always find bad in situations.
When I stated on the #ad the products were as good as brand new and had only been used for photographic purposes this was the truth - this also doesn’t take away or discredit how I reviewed them or how beautiful they were and are - despite the fact Ralphie wouldn’t sleep in it that doesn’t change anything.
I can see how it would possibly look to others and a brands perspective but please just be kind It’s so unnecessary and I’m only human and clearly made another mistake it’s just harder for me to make mistakes because I’m being watched... and judged by every move.
I gifted £1000’s before Christmas in a scheme called Ralphie gives back some of which I chose to share some I didn’t - giving happiness to others through the work we do with things Ralphie is no longer able to use or money the money I put aside from every paid post for charity donations. I donated to women’s refuge, children’s hospices, and even individuals in Instagram who have reach out asking for my help. So please rather than jump on the band wagon to try and tear me down - DM me, pick up the phone or get to know me personally before you take it upon yourself to be a dickhead. Believe what you wish to believe but until you’ve heard it from the horses mouth be mindful of what you choose to process. It’s not how we make mistakes but how we correct them that defines us. I’ve been open and honest with you all and I can’t do any more than that.
Word ☝🏻 Happy Friday.