Sometimes when Im driving down the street or in my studio blaring "Sour" from Olivia Rodrigo I imagine myself filming this adorably hateful Instagram Reel to "Good 4U" directed towards the ultimate ghoster itself, Instagram.
In this marketing fantasy of mine I'm perfectly lip-syncing the words, 90's angst style sing-yelling into the camera, cute ass outfit, looking Instagram directly in it's stupid eyes singing:
"Well, good for you, I guess you moved on really easily
You found a new girl, and it only took a couple weeks
Remember when you said that you wanted to give me the world? (Ah-ah-ah-ah)"
...and then I continue to make these reels until the song is over, each one going viral, obviously, and then I become internet famous, show Instagram who the real boss is, and maybe even have some fun doing it.
Each algorithm update seems to make every small business and maker I know a little more frustrated, a lot less seen, and giving less fucks while simultaneously giving all the fucks, and screaming into the void. Also, sorry for the fucks, if you're new around here I pre-apologize for my foul mouth...but, like, expect more will come.
Everything we once knew is no longer true - Instagram has moved onto it's new girl, and well, queue my aforementioned adorable reel of me singing "Well, good for you, I guess you're getting everything you waaaant. You bought a new car and your career's really taking off. It's like we never even happened Baby, what the fuck is up with that?" (ok, <-- that F-bomb is completely on Olivia, though).
With so many of us spinning in circles trying to figure out how to do what we used to do but...differently, how do you pivot your business when not only you but your customers are used to one thing? Not only has the algorithm changed, I'd say the vast majority of makers I know are now trying to pivot their business model to feed the hype shopper, feed the everyday shopper, and feed their soul. Many of us have religiously used the "drop method"- work your butt off for however long it takes to get "X" amount of earrings made, hype the hell out of it during that production period, and "drop" it on your website on a certain day. This method would often lead to day of sell outs, not always, but sometimes. So many good things about this method and so many not so good things. I think for me a lot of the good resided in that I am also working my regular job, so I dont have as much time to produce as someone who works full time on their business. With the drop method I could take a few days a week, produce, and still have a proper amount of earrings to drop, also hoping that the shopper would have more of a variety to shop from than id otherwise be able to produce during a shorter amount of time. The bad parts can be a stressful shopping environment for your customer, they're missing out on the earrings you've been hyping for weeks, or getting to the checkout and half of their cart has already been purchased, let alone the amount of logistics that immediately pile up with shipping, combining orders, etc. With all that being said...it's sexy. It. Is. HAWT. Every time I've tried to do made to order, always available, etc, it doesn't sell super well. Inherently this is fine and completely expected from more core-collections, we dont expect people to buy everything all the time...but where is the middle ground?
With the algorithm change and the desire to be a more hospitable shopping environment for your customers (and yourself), where does it all land? How are we seen, how are you, the customer, heard, and how do we reach each other in the most mutually beneficial way? It's something I know a lot of us having been really grappling with, lots of trial and error, lots of feeling like a failure, lots of highs when things do sell well or you finally do get the traction on instagram that you keep hearing about. Im personally looking forward to events and my studio being open for in-person shopping, but I dont think either of those things solve the whole issue. I've done a lot focusing on email marketing, and other platforms than IG, but it's still the most wide-reaching tool there is (currently).
I'd love to hear your opinions, Ive found so many wonderful sounding boards in both other makers and customers. What do you want? What haunts you at night? What Olivia Rodrigo song do you blare into the mirror when the likes get you down?
As always, thank you for reading, hanging, and for your support. Theres always a bit of ranting with the blogs, but most of it comes from just trying to be a better version of myself as a business (and human, but that's a much longer blog) for you and for me. Im so happy to be able to do this and I always try to do it better than I did before. Drop some words in the comment section or feel free to DM me.