Ad- this is a paid post in conjunction with Influence Network
The word ‘Influencer’ is not one I would associate with myself. I started Thrifty Clair in 2017 as a way of documenting my savings progress and to share various deals I found but over the last eighteen months I’ve had more and more people telling me how they have been inspired by the things I’ve posted… so it would seem that I might actually be an influencer.
It started with my garden makeover; people would ask which products I had used then a few days later they would send pictures of their fences painted the same. It amazed me how people felt inspired! Now I get tagged in posts from people who have recreated my recipes, I get messages about DIY projects, people share their charity shop finds and even tell me about their yellow sticker bargains. I’ve even had conversations about seeking support with debt! If that makes me an influencer then that is a title I am happy to have.
People sometimes ask me how to grow their Instagram account, the truth is I’m not entirely sure. In my experience it’s about sharing what you enjoy, being consistent and sticking to it. I see so many new accounts pop up, they spend a few weeks trying to up their following or to create engagement but they give up because they haven’t had instant success. I don’t think there are any quick fixes, it’s just about remaining consistent and interacting which are the things that make it even more worthwhile.
I only post about things I care about but that hasn’t always been the case. Last year when I had around 5000 followers on Instagram, I felt like I needed to up my game. I started overthinking my content and thought I had to post beautifully edited inspiring quotes or insightful pearls of wisdom on how to be successful with saving. I tried doing that but it felt false and forced. I didn’t enjoy it; especially when posts I had spent ages creating got low engagement. I got bogged down by the numbers and it began to feel like a stressful chore rather than a fun hobby.
I took some time to reflect on how I wanted to run my account and I realised without any fun it was pointless. I chose to keep it simple by just sharing how I save money day to day along with other little snippets from my life – I instantly enjoyed it so much more! Since then I have also come to realise that I can’t please everyone with my content – there will always be someone who disagrees or someone who is “offended”. There are those who send angry or rude messages and those that unfollow. That doesn’t sway me though, I just continue to post what is true and relevant to me.
Grid posts are still an enigma to me, to this day my most successful post in terms of reach is a photo of a bag of frozen chorizo… Keeping in mind I have shared pictures of my wedding, my kitchen makeover, my fakeaways and loads more, yet it’s the frozen chorizo that was the biggest hit and I have no idea why. What’s funny is that is the post that led Influence Network to find me and offer me my first paid Ad campaign. With grid posts I find what gets interest one week doesn’t the next, so for that reason I just share on my grid as and when I have something I think is worth sharing. I know others find it better to post daily, some have structured posts depending on the day of the week but for me, I just like to go with the flow.
My stories are what seem to be my strongpoint, my story views are consistently between 20-30% engagement. From that, I can only assume that people enjoy my stories over grid posts so that is where I tend to share most of my tips, recipes and thoughts. I find that more enjoyable too so it’s win, win. I try to make my stories interactive and inclusive by using polls, quizzes and I also caption my videos. I think this makes a positive difference and I’ve had people message me to say they appreciate the captioning.
If you’re thinking of starting a blog, a YouTube Channel or an Instagram page, I would say absolutely go for it. Do it for fun, for enjoyment, to share, to educate and if it takes off then great! I started mine as a hobby three years ago and I never imagined I would be doing paid collaborations with large UK companies but here I am. It’s thanks to places like Influence Network reaching out to me and making me see that I have something positive to offer. I find what I do so enjoyable and rewarding – not just the paid work but the social interactions too!
As long as I am still enjoying it, I’ll continue posting and sharing as Thrifty Clair. X