To be completely honest, I’ve actually struggled with my applied project more than I thought I would have. It has been frustrating at times and things haven’t always gone as well as I thought they would, but I definitely have learned through it and through my mistakes.
I started an Instagram page (@wellnessbyshmands), for my applied project, hoping to share with the world about healthy and holistic living. I wanted to share about all aspects of health and wellness with raw honesty. I didn’t wanna pose as an “Instagram fitness model” with a perfect body and perfect life. I wanted to be real with my followers. For example, I recently made a post of myself practicing yoga (headstands in particular) including all the mess ups and falls because it takes practice and we don’t go into things like yoga already being great at them.
I want to promote going out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself; allowing yourself to make mistakes but keep going. I wanted to reach people and let them know that being healthy does not mean being perfect. I still treat myself to donuts sometimes, I don’t have a great workout every day, etc.
I also wanted to share about self-love and the spiritual side of health. I think spirituality is something we all ponder but don’t really understand. I know a lot of people want to be more spiritual but don’t want to just hop into a new religion. I share about my own spirituality and share examples of what integrating spirituality into real life can be like. I share practices, quotes, explain concepts from the Eastern world, etc. For example, I created a post sharing about my spiritual full moon rituals.
With this AP, I wanted to share about health and wellness in a more personable way. For example, when I shared a recipe on my page, I did it from a college student point of view understanding that a lot of my audience doesn’t have all the kitchen tools in the world and such. I also talked about how it is okay to make mistakes when cooking, and that it is more about enjoying healthy food with those you love.
I wanted to connect with others to continue networking, and I didn’t have any set goals for followers and such but I do hope to get to 100 followers (I’m currently at 95 and have started to grow more). I knew I wasn’t going to get “instagram famous” in a matter of months, but I was disappointed with the lack of engagement throughout certain points in my work. My personal instagram has over 1,000 followers and I typically get over 200 likes and plenty of comments per post, so it was frustrating starting from scratch with no followers and not many likes. It was definitely discouraging at times.
Some posts and engagement attempts went well, but others not so much. For example, I did a “chakra week” theme where I posted about each of the 7 major chakras of the human body for a week, and that got almost no engagement. I did, however, learn from my mistakes. I realized I dragged it out way too long and could have made it a single post that would have been more interesting and would have left more time to talk about other aspects of wellness.
I wouldn’t say I failed this aspect because I learned from it. Some posts went well and got a good amount of traffic for such a new account, others didn’t go well at all. I also learned a lot about how to get more engagement out of posts. People like photos of people more than graphics, etc. for this kind of page. It also is important to use hashtags and ask engaging questions so people are more likely to comment and such. Luckily, I did connect with a lot of health and lifestyle accounts. Just now while writing this I realized that tagging some of these accounts in my posts can be a great way to get more engagement and reach a bigger audience. Overall, I have both succeeded and fails at times with this project; which I both expected but was surprised by. I still have more work I want to put into this and have more to do, but I have learned a lot throughout this process, shared all about healthy living, and connected with other like-minded people.
UPDATE 4/24/19: As of today I have reached my goal of 100 followers!