Trying to determine how successful someone is on Instagram often starts with taking a glance at the number of followers they have. It isn’t the only metric — likes, comments, story views and other ways users engage are measured, too — but follows are the most public number that everyone can see. However, putting too much weight behind increasing your followers can lead you down the wrong path. Instead, the focus should be on the intangibles. At least that’s how one Instagrammer views success for herself.
Elly Brown has a good thing going for her. With her Instagram account, which has over 100,000 followers, and her blog, she dishes out tips on fashion and beauty and has even had partnerships with brands like Nike, Baby Jogger, and Sigma Beauty. And she’s been featured in well-known magazines as large as Cosmopolitan. However, when asked about how she defines success, Elly made a point to tell us what it isn’t. “I used to think it was how many followers I had or measuring my worth by other standards.”
The Brazilian-born Houston-based wife and mother of four has a PSA to all aspiring influencers: “Don't look at the numbers. It'll drive you crazy.” She also made it very clear that quick enticing wins like giveaway campaigns to try to increase your followers isn’t going to work. “I get you want the numbers but getting those followers to convert into loyal readers can be challenging,” she told us. “Most of them remain inactive, and they are only following and engaging because they want to win something. Not because they like you and what you're doing.”
Instead of chasing the metrics, Elly is focused on the life she wants to have in the end. “Success to me means I'm 80 years old, swinging on the front porch with my husband, watching the grandkids play outside. A house full of kids and grandkids over for the holidays. A family that is loved, healthy, and together.” She added. “success to me means I raised kids who are strong, bold, and fearless. Who are smart, wise, loving, and compassionate.”
This should come as no surprise to any of her followers. Elly’s often promoting self-care on her Instagram page and blog with quotes like “Helping women to look, feel & live their best” and “How you love yourself, is how you teach others to love you." She isn’t the only one on the self-care kick. It’s one of the most drastic trends we’ve seen in recent years. Between 2019 and 2020, there was an increase in self-care related searches by 250%, and the estimated value of the self-care industry has exponentially grown from $10 billion to $450 billion in less than 10 years.
Elly admits she has some work to do on herself, as well. One mistake she said she’s made was not taking enough time off, especially in a wild year like 2020. “I work hard and am a workaholic. That backfires and only hurts you in the long run. 2021 goal for me is to take more time off.”
“Self-care to me means filling my cup back up so I can be the best for my family,” she said. “That's usually drawing myself a bubble bath, having quiet time, or working out.” What does self-care mean to you?