And in early 2019 the penny dropped.
One wintry evening on a dinner date out in Canary Wharf, my husband spelt it out to me: Lily you can make a living from Instagram. And for the first time, I heard it clear as a bell.
That year, my account grew by 60k, I worked with over 100 brand collaborations and to date got paid on over 40 partnerships with brands that I love.
My first brand promo paycheck was £53 for which I had spent an entire day conceptualising and styling and then sent my images to the brand.
I was excited to get paid but sad that my whole day and photos combined were worth a princely sum of £53! I was demoralised!
I’ve since learned how to turn that double figure into 3 and 4 figures in brand promotions and earned 5 figures in three months on Instagram alone.
So what changed that made me from a purposeless hobbyist to being a creative brand storyteller which is now my main source of income?
One of the key things was realising what my uniqueness was in a nutshell. I learnt this through trial and error until I got to a point of so much clarity that there was no more room for compromise.
I became laser-focused on my niche and created clear boundaries on everything that I’m doing on this platform.
As a result, I was able to build a growing business on Instagram, and turn a £53 brand promo paycheck into 4 figures whilst doing things that I really love and enjoy!