Miann Scanlan blends style and wellbeing like a true Alexander Wang wearing yogi and has been flooding 82,400 Instagram feeds (and growing) with her signature dream-like shots of white beaches and blue swells. But it hasn’t always been that way.
After the death of someone very close to her in 2012, Miann made the decision to overhaul her personal life and career (“[I] swapped triple espressos for coconut waters and walking fast for living slow”) relocating back to the Gold Coast, in Queensland. Miann’s time spent chained to an office computer quickly melted into dawn swims, sunset yoga sessions and stolen moments surfing. On a whim, the former fashion PR girl chose to document her sea-change via Instagram and was surprised to find an attentive audience lying in wait. Today, Miann’s blog and various platforms focus on connecting the mind, body and spirit with personal style (even yogi’s need retail therapy) and she has collaborated with everyone from STA Travel and Billabong to the Molten Store. As the newly named Australian Content Creator for US clothing Label, Free People, this social media starlet gave us her top tips and tricks for building a horde of loyal followers and curating an enviable Instagram feed.
1. Pine for premium When I worked for Red Bull I saw a company whose entire ethos revolved around premium quality. From product to placement to promotion they wouldn’t touch an idea, athlete or sport unless it aligned with their strategy. The same goes for your Instagram feed, if you don’t think it’s darn amazing, don’t put it up.
2. Make it yours There are a lot of folks out there who jump on social media for all the wrong reasons, the most cringe worthy (and obvious) reason is to be “Insta-famous”. Don’t do this. It reeks of desperation. Instead, create some positive intentions before starting out, think about why you are using the platform and what you want to get out of it. Do you have a label and are you hoping to increase sales? Perhaps, you’re interested in yoga and are reaching out to find your community. Whatever it is, keep your intention in mind to avoid getting caught up in a narcissistic numbers game.
3. Be authentic Back when I first got Instagram, I used it as way to put cool filters on my photos of me and my friends. It wasn’t until I started writing from the heart and documenting my unique experiences via Instagram that I really gained a following. People crave authenticity, so be real, and be you.
4. Emphasise quality over quantity While it’s important to post high quality images with mass appeal, that doesn’t mean you have to refrain from posting when these aren’t available. I like to post once or twice per day during peak app hours.
5. Discover your personal aesthetic Scroll through your feed and consider what aesthetic qualities really speak to you – what do you love looking at? It might be a particular low-contrast, high-grain combination, or if you’re like me, you’re obsessed with the colour blue. Find what it is you love and create consistent content based on this.
6. Find your tribe What I love most about Instagram is the tribe of strong, loving, kind and supportive women from all over the world it has connected me with. Seek out people with similar interests to you, build relationships that come from a place of authenticity, which will heighten not only your user experience, but also your audience reach.
7. Choose the right platform I’m a very visual person, and while I unleash most of my creativity through the written word, Instagram is a great way for me to kindle the flame for both of my passions: Images and writing. Go back to that original social media intention and let it guide you to the right platform.
8. Don’t sweat the haters There are always going to be haters and keyboard warriors. Once you learn to accept that their problem with you isn’t actually with you (it’s with themselves) then it’s very easy to ignore any negativity they try to spread across your page. Don’t bite back or buy into their games, pick your socks up and move on. Their comment will look sillier than you do.
9. Strike that balance Being a blogger means being a brand who represents other brands and clients, but at the same time I am also revealing the goings on of my personal life. I think it’s always best to avoid drunk nightlife selfies (and selfies in general), keep that for your friends and family on your personal Facebook.
10. Make spellcheck your friend Coming from a writing background, I’m a bit of a spelling and grammar junkie. There’s nothing worse than reading a post riddled with errors, as it portrays carelessness. Take time to edit and re-edit text before anything gets published. I like to write in my Notes app on my iPhone and spend time chopping and changing until it feels right.