In our How To Win At Instagram series, we chat to interiors ‘grammers to discover their secrets to social media success. Next up it’s renovator Robyn Donaldson, better known as @almost_everything_off_ebay…
The Renovator: Robyn Donaldson
Robyn lives up to her alias @almost_everything_off_ebay by lighting up Instagram with her thrifty tips, beautiful styling, and refusal to take any of it too seriously (that’s our kinda girl). Here, Robyn chats to us about pun-slinging captions, DIY fails and her arsehole dog…
Hey Robyn! You’ve got a very specific interiors USP on Instagram – ‘refurbing our ugly 60s semi one eBay purchase at a time’ – that’s both refreshing and relatable. How important is it to find your niche as an interiors Instagrammer?
I think people are attracted to authenticity above all things, cos that’s the core of the human experience isn’t it (deep or what?): we just want to be seen and understood. So, showing the world around you in all your glory is always a great strategy. Yes, you can focus on certain areas if you’re mega at DIY, or you’re a pattern fiend, or a Scandi Mandy but the ‘you-ness’ of your account will always be what people are attracted to.
What do you take your photos with?
A Samsung S9.
When did you know your Instagram had moved into influencer territory and it wasn’t just friends and family following you? And how long did it take you to get there? (Happy belated instaversary by the way!)
Thank you! When I was on like 4k after six months or so it started to feel like it wasn’t a fluke anymore. Then Apartment Therapy shared my bathroom. I was like, ‘oh shit, this is a thing now. People actually dig me showing off about my house!’.
Have you had any Insta-slumps or made any social media mistakes that you’ve learned from?
I get slumps all the time; it’s really cyclical. Sometimes it’s rubbish and Instagram hates you and sometimes it doesn’t – just don’t let it get you down. Also, people like dogs a LOT. If you joke about your dog being an arsehole, people will unfollow you…
What are your top tips for building followers and engagement when someone’s first starting out?
Oh god, I didn’t really have a strategy; I just share the brands and people I love, use hashtags that I usually copy off other (more successful) people, and never, ever publish a photo I don’t think is good, cos it’s better to not bother than to post something that looks crap on your feed. Oh, and captions are important. I love a pun so they are joke-heavy for me, but whatever your vibe is – go with that.
As someone going through a refurbishment on Instagram, a platform that focuses on the beautiful, do you show failings, low points, or dodgy paint jobs to your followers along with the highs?
I tend to in stories – my husband drilled through an electrical cable the other day and I shared the shit out of that!
Talk us through your favourite or most successful post of all time, the image, caption, hashtags and why you love it.
Oh god, now you’re asking. It’s the ones that really mean something that get me going, so maybe one of my Christmas ones which pointed out that not everyone finds these kinds of holidays easy. I had my colour-explosion tree and I just said, look, sometimes people are bereaved, or have high-pressure family set ups, or just low-level don’t like Christmas so let’s make space for that conversation too. People’s reactions and the stories they shared were so personal and moving that it’ll always stick out. Any post where you make a real connection with someone is special really though!
Thanks Robyn! See you in the squares…
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