This subject has been weighing heavy on my heart for quite a while now. I frequently get asked for advice on how I grew my following in the fly fishing/outdoor industry, and for that I don’t have a simple answer.
So here goes: I never intended on having a “following.” I never dreamed of being an “influencer.” My purpose in fly fishing has never been to entertain.
I started fly fishing long before it was trending on Instagram. My main purpose was to get outside with good company, catch fish, and learn as much as I possibly could. I was on the water every spare second I had and didn’t have a thought in my mind about my social media presence.
I took an occasional picture and didn’t question if it was good enough to post. It simply started as a burning passion that I wanted to share with others, and I used Instagram to learn from other anglers and to dream about all the different things I want to accomplish as a fly fisherwoman.
How did I grow my followers? The only thing I can boil it down to is passion.
If you need affirmation from the amount of followers you have or how many likes you get on a picture, you probably need to find a medium other than fly fishing to do it. Using fly fishing as a way to promote your own agenda is disrespectful and objectifying to everything this community stands for.
In the end, the amount of followers you have in this industry doesn’t make you a better fly fisherman. It doesn’t mean you’re better than anyone else. It doesn’t mean you know more about the sport.
Every day I see more and more accounts trying to grow their following, whether it be for free gear and sponsorships, getting paid for posts, or maybe for their own personal affirmations. If this is all your signed on for, all I’ve got to say is that you sure are missing out.
Put down the phone and enjoy your time on the water.