“How did your girls get ALL of those followers....SO fast?” A question I’ve been asked almost on the daily over the past few months. At first I had absolutely NO idea. Instagram was something that I hadn’t used much before starting an account for the girls this past July. If you would have asked me 6 months ago if 300,000 followers was a lot... I wouldn’t have had a clue.
According to some of my friends (that were WAYYY more Instagram savvy then me) I needed to follow a few key steps in order to get my girls account up and running. Here are some of the things I was told...
So by following the steps above, in a little over 2 months time, the girls had their first 1000 followers. Then exactly 3 months after I started their Instagram account, they hit 3000 followers and I remember thinking... well that came a lot quicker then I had anticipated! The same day they hit 3,000 followers I had gotten a few headshots back from our session with one of the most talented world-renowned photographers that I’ve met, Isa Battaglin (LillyKPhotography) who also happens to live in my neighborhood- yes, call me lucky!! She took the most AMAZING headshots of both Ava and Leah, so I chose my favorite of each and posted them to their Instagram account. It was like a wild fire... the girls’ followers doubled in no time and in only 7 days, Ava and Leah’s account had gone from 3,000 to 15,000 followers. I then decided to post a few more pictures from that same session with LillyK, and 3 days later it jumped up another 10,000 for a total of 25,000 followers. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I remember thinking... is this normal? Is this a glitch? Am I going to wake up tomorrow and all of these followers will just be gone? It almost seemed too good to be true.
Eventually I ran out of pictures from that session and knew I needed to come up with a new plan if I wanted to keep their account growing. I noticed the pictures with both of my girls together were getting way more likes then the ones I posted of them individually. I also noticed the pictures getting the most likes were those that showed their similar features (especially those that accentuated their eyes) where they posed side by side. So once a week, usually on a weekend, I would take the girls out for an hour or so around the neighborhood to snap a few pictures that I would end up using to post to their account for the following week. I would borrow a couple of cute outfits from my neighbor who runs the childrens Pop Up Boutique and sometimes I would quickly style their hair differently in between shots (so it looked like a new day)! If I was lucky, I’d get 3 or 4 good shots that I could use to post to their account for the next week and that I could also give to my neighbor to promote her boutique. Win Win!
I then discovered a new tab on Instagram where you can see all of the pictures that other Instagram pages tag you in. I started noticing that some of the pictures I had taken were getting reposted anywhere from 10-50 times on other Instagram pages that had followers ranging from 9 followers to 9 million followers. And every picture that had been reposted was of my girls posing together, rather then alone, so I realized it was the “twinsfactor” that was contributing to their large following.
Now, a little over 5 months later, the girls have over 380,000 followers. Although I’m still no expert at this social media game, I’ve been learning a few tricks along the way. One thing I know for sure is it’s ALL about the pictures... so don’t settle for an average photographer because you want to save a few dollars. Spend a little extra, it will pay off in the end! And if your looking for a recommendation, I couldn’t be happier with the one that started it all for my girls!
Pics above by LillyKPhotography
Having 2 agents is better then having one, right? Well that's what I thought anyway. MORE people working for you to get you MORE opportunities and MORE exposure. How could this be anything but beneficial to my girls!?
Everything seemed to be going along with my theory until I got a call from one of our agents. "Hi, we wanted to let you know we were able to get the girls straight through to a callback for a Barbie Audition tomorrow". Uh oh, I thought. Now what do I say. I had just gone to that exact same audition a few days before through the other agency. How did this get intertwined!? They assured me there wouldn't be a conflict and now here I am the new kid on the block having to figure out how to respond hoping that neither agency is going to drop my girls because of it.
So I went with plan A- be Honest! Really the only plan I live my life by. I was honest from the start with both agencies and told both of them upfront my decision to have the girls represented by 2 agencies. I was assured by one that there would be no conflict and explained that to the second before we signed with them. Both seemed to be ok with it until the day I got the phone call.
Luckilly, everything worked out in the end. A few hours later things were back to normal and I think I cleared my name from being the bad guy in this equation. It was definitely a bit stressful, but after lots of phone calls back and fourth and a few chain emails later, I think both our agents understood that I wasn't purposely trying to screw either of them over. I was a week or 2 into this whole new world and trying to navigate the best that I could. At one point I figured if either agency let us go because of it, they weren't the type of agencies I could see my girls working with. And they didn't. And in the end the girls never ended up booking the commercial anyway.
So... here's what I learned about having 2 agencies so close to each other. Sometimes there can be a mix up... like Barbie. It's not really anyone's fault but most likely the parents will be the ones that get blamed (as if i KNEW this was going to happen). Number 2... say you book a job with one agency that's not a huge job but you take it because well... IT'S A JOB! Then you find out the day before that you have an audition through the other agency with a potentially huge and promising client. You can't cancel the job that you've already committed to with your one agency but you don't want to upset the other agency that is setting you up on an amazing audition. So what do you do!? Don't ask me!!! I'm still trying to figure it out...
The day it all began...
Seven years ago the world, ready or not, welcomed my 2 little bundles of joy - Ava and Leah. They came 4 1/2 weeks early but knowing their personalities now it makes total sense that they would show up early, unnounced, and ready to take on anything! Fast forward to their 7th Birthday this year on 7/7/17. So many sevens...so many signs that this was THEIR year to shine!
For as long as I can remember strangers would approach me when we were out asking first if they were twins (No... they just look exactly alike ;). Their follow up would always be... "Wow they are so beautiful, you should really think about getting them into modeling." And I did think about it, I even gave it a good 3 month effort. When they were 6 months old (pic below) I signed then up with an them an agency in LA. But with a 2 year old son and a new set of twins, it was hard enough to get out of the door most days so my attempt back then was short lived and I decided it just wasn't the time.
This year was different. The girls were different. They finally had a personality of their own. They loved to preform their dance routines in front of an audience, any audience. Neighbors, friends, strangers... it didn't matter to them, they loved to be the center of attention (I'm not sure where they may have gotten that from!?!). Aside from the fact that I'm a huge believer in signs and have been told by almost everyone that 7 is a lucky number, I just had a feeling that this year was going to be a fun and exciting year for them. I presented my idea to the girls that if they were up for it, in addition to their dance classes and swim team practices they had every week, they could give modeling a try. I was not surprised at all when they started jumping up and down and couldn't wait to begin!
So 3 months ago, we decided to give it another shot! My neighbor had just opened up one of the most amazing children's pop up boutiques out of her garage, a few doors down. She had the most adorable clothing, shoes and accessories I had seen in a while. She needed some "models" to help spread the word on her new business and my twins were of course more then up for the job! Plus, I needed some new photos if I was going to get them an agent so I figured this would be a great opportunity for all of us!
I dug out my 10 year old Nikon camera from a bin in the garage, put a few waves in the girls hair, dabbed on a little blush, and out we went to take some pictures. Well I can't say it went exactly how I thought it was going to go. Ava would look at the camera while Leah would stare off into space... Leah would accidentally bump into Ava who of course thought it was on purpose and would shove her back. All and all though it turned out to be a success, surprisingly. We got a few good pictures at least for my neighbor to use for her new business and for us to send out to a few agencies that we were hoping may have some interest (pictures from their first photoshoot below).
Like I said before, it had been over 6 years since I had attempted to find an agent. I still had a handful or contacts, so I decided to start there. To my surprise, I heard back from almost every single one asking to set up a time to meet the girls.
Over the next week or two, we met with a few agencies to discuss the twins. (Side note... I have a tough time referring to them as "the twins" because although they are alike in a lot of ways they are so different in others so it just seems unnatural for me to group them together. But yes, they are twins so I'm making more of an effort to just get over it!). At any rate we decided to sign with two agencies... one in LA and the other in Orange County. We were under the impression there would be absolutely no conflict because they were in different counties and had completely different clients. It didn't take long to figure out that wasn't exactly the case....