I hired someone to improve my Instagram feed — here’s what happened

When I first made an Instagram account in 2013 I remember my mom warning me, “This is your personal brand, this is what people are going to see when they look you up.” I was like, no mom, this is for posting memes and random overly filtered selfies.

But, it turns out moms know best because now Instagram is so much more than a place to post pics of your life. Whether it’s at school, or at work, or when I’m traveling, that is how I connect with people. You even use it to get a first impression of people you don’t know.

So when I found out about SelfMade, a company you can hire to improve your personal brand on Instagram, I was intrigued.

Here’s a fun comparison of me in my internet dark ages vs. me after SelfMade, well, made me.

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The concept of having a social media strategist and implementing personal branding used to seem super distant. And how do people even become influencers? Are they just born in front of a colorful mural, already sipping a matcha latte…why is their sky always pink and mine is a gradient of blue-grey??

Apparently these concepts are not unattainable however, as Brian Schechter the Co-Founder & CEO of the app SelfMade explains, “SelfMade is about authentic self-expression. We envision a more beautiful internet. It used to be that only celebrities, brands and very rich people could afford a social media team. SelfMade brings that experience into your pocket, makes it affordable and helps people be the creative directors of their lives.”

I decided to step my Instagram game up and sign up with SelfMade. I filled out aesthetic quizzes (love those) to give them a better idea of how I like my photos to be edited. I was then given a brand brief for my personal brand (yes I have a personal brand now) to let me know what are the best times I should be posting (after 5 duh), what kind of content I should be looking for, and hashtags that would help me get it #out #there and achieve my goals of *consistency*.

Here SelfMade added some champagne in my hand per my request. Fun!

I also got to talk to one of their social media strategists who recommended I do some social media spring cleaning. This means archiving all of those embarrassing overly saturated pics from 2013 which I’d forgotten about. This also meant reevaluating my bio, my profile pic, and my name. Unfortunately, every ig name under the sun is taken and unless I want to be @madeline1234567890!?_16278 I’m gonna have to stick with @maddiecakezz (DM me if you have any better ideas).

While I was over here cleaning out the virtual closet of my life, other people were really racking up the followers. I talked to Andy Cassanova who was one of SelfMade’s first users. “The turn around time is great, once I submit a photo I have it back in a few hours ready to post. They really know how I like my photo’s edited and I can use other photos for them reference as well,” she explained to me. Getting up to almost 30K followers, clearly she’s really working that formula.

fun fact: love you & miss you everyday, soul sister @hannadorman #bffs #love #happiness #nyc #fashion #photooftheday

A post shared by Andrea Casanova (@andycasanovaa) on

I however, went into full mental crisis. What do I post? What do I take pictures of?

Have you ever tried to make a plain bagel look appealing to the whole world? I have. It’s not easy. I decided that, no I am not cut out for the influencer life, but what I can do is just make my own life more colorful and consistent. Once I got with this program, I was able to make a lot more sense of everything. I replaced my bio pic with this cute little cartoon they made of me (one of the many SelfMade treatment options):

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And I started using the planner. The planner!!! So good. Seeing what your page will look like before you actually post all of them is such an advantage. No more posting and deleting. My Instagram stopped being this random pit of poor lighting and started to make a little more sense.

Here’s another cute edit!

If you’re ready to do the damn thing (whether it’s cleaning up your gram or going viral) check out Self Made here. The app launches today!

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