Cull Your Friends

There came a point in my creative pursuit when I started to curate the work I shared with people publicly on my social media outlets, and actively projected what content I shared online with followers.

For one thing, this approach worked wonders for me in building what small audience of followers I have now at the time of writing this. It built confidence in my work, to share selectively the work I was most proud with, and assured that the decision to carefully curate what I was sharing online was the correct one.

This gives you a way to grow your audience and pays respect to the followers who decided to follow your for your content in the first place. If you want to be known for something and build an audience of loyal followers and supporters, you have to actively project what you want to be known for.

But what if you took this approach, and reversed it.

Carefully curating who you followed on your social media outlets. The way social media is positioned, there is a sense of obligatorily following your friends and family. Being prompted to import your contacts and follow who you already know on external social media platforms, see “Import contacts from ‘Insert media platform here’ “.

What I proclaim to you is, if you want to take back your social media, become inspired and motivated, and discover something new is; spend some time to trawl through your archive of possibly hundreds (if not, thousands) of followers, and really assess if they are worth following at this moment in time. If not, cull them.

This is an especially useful activity to do if you are feeling uninspired or that your lacking quality content from your platform of choice and generally burnt out from social media with an endless feed of noise.

Do you follow the same friends on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram? Do you see the exact same content, posts and images across all three platforms, shared at the same time?

“Cull your friends. Start over.”

I took this approach earlier this year with my Instagram account. From following 500+ friends, family, artists, brands, designers, musicians, shops, abandoned or inconsistent accounts. I focussed on what content mattered to me right then and there, what inspired and influenced my work and provided the utmost quality, and had me generating ideas.

So I curated who I followed and broke it into categories. For me, these were;

-Hand Lettering
-Vintage Insignias

These were the main categories that I broke my following down to, because this was my work area, this is what inspired and motivated my work at this very moment in time. I followed the leading designers, photographers, and independent brands in this area. Then, from there, cut down even further, to create a super-curated feed of quality and value.

No one can tell you what you are interested in, this is something you have to discover for yourself, everyone has a different threshold of what they interpret as value.

From curating what I followed, I quickly discovered other sources of inspiration form accounts as the same nature. Designers would link to other accounts that inspired them. It created a network effect, picture a spider diagram. You were learning what inspired your inspiration, and that is immeasurable.┬áLike I mentioned in article “#07: How To Find Your Price“, get to know names, and the work associated with that name, it will help you become more knowledgeable in your field.

Fill your feed with content you love to see. Connect with things you care about right now at this moment in time. Who knows, you may not be inspired or influenced by them in a years time, and have moved on from that pursuit.

This approach assured me that I was getting the best experience from the app as possible. The potential for endless inspiration and motivation is greater that you can imagine.

So ask yourself, would you follow you?