InstaStyle by Tessa Barton is going to be a hit with a lot of people. It hands you the keys to creating an aesthetically pleasing, well-branded, focused and influential instagram account, which you can set up for monetization of your online efforts.
If this is what I wanted to do with my instagram, I would have been thrilled myself. It’s a beautifully produced book, containing stunning photography and streamlined how-tos on everything from finding inspiration, developing narratives, fostering engagement, and editing images. Additionally, it provides niche-specific advice, including lifestyle, fashion, travel, food, beauty, family, health & fitness, interior design, and flat lays & products.
This book just isn’t written for a person like me, who already has a full-time job and only wants to use social media as a creative outlet and a way to connect with like-minded people. InstaStyle makes it abundantly clear that if you wish to develop an account like Tezza’s, it’s going to require a lot of work.
Gotta work for it: Truth be told, I’m never not working. I’m constantly planning posts, gathering inspiration, scouting locations, styling outfits , and meeting with brands. It’s a 24/7 job. Granted, it’s a pretty dang good 24/7 job, but it really can be exhausting. It’s important to know that before jumping in. It takes pushing yourself every day to come up with something new and finding ways to stand out and be different.
~ Tezza MB
Clearly, it’s not for dilettantes like me! Recognizing that I’m not the target audience doesn’t mean I’m going to dismiss the book as a bad one. It’s not bad at all. In fact, I think it will be an excellent resource for a lot of people. If you’re like me, however, and want something that encourages playfulness and experimentation, then you might want to save your precious book money for something else.
This book also promotes an aspect of Instagram that I find off-putting: it’s just too sleek and polished. The images show glamorous skinny people doing glamorous things using fancy products and basically living a life I’ll never have. It can be downright depressing to look at too much stuff like this online. I’ll look, from time to time, because it’s hard to turn away from something so perfect that’s begging for my attention, but I prefer to follow accounts that are a little rougher around the edges and show people I can relate to doing regular people stuff…like petting a fat cat on the belly (it’s a trap!), or eating a tub of ice cream while binge-watching the 100 on Netflix.
I do appreciate Tezza’s frequent reminders to keep your expectations realistic, practice positive self-talk, and remain authentic:
Don’t lose sight of the goal. Let your experiences shape your life, and don’t get caught up in doing things for the sake of the ‘gram. They’re not authentic when they become a chore.
~ Tezza MB
Many thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
Release Date: October 23, 2018