Our current muse is Adrienne Biscontin, founder of @stylish.bump. In addition to being the lady brains behind the super successful pregnancy + parenting blog, Stylish Bump, and amassing 285k+ Instagram followers, this powerhouse is also a mama to three(!) girls (oh, and she somehow has time for a part-time role in communications, too).
I was lucky enough to interview Melbourne-based Adrienne about her business journey for the current issue of Mama Disrupt magazine – and she was FULL of wise words and on-point advice for nailing your digital marketing and growing an engaged Instagram following. Here are the outtakes from our chat – enjoy!
You've gained a sizeable following on Instagram - why do you think people are drawn to you?
That really happened by chance, and completely organically. When I started Stylish Bump on Instagram, I never thought it was possible for a page to reach hundreds of thousands of followers. It was 2013 and Instagram was still a relatively new platform, so my goal was to reach 10,000 followers!
I’d like to think that a genuine love of pregnancy and motherhood, sharing common thoughts, hopes and anxieties in both written word and imagery, as well as a few cheeky quotes, makes people feel it’s a community they belong to. That’s how I see it.
Followers come and followers go, but I’ve always stayed true to the ethos of Stylish Bump. Now years on, the page has evolved, and so has the content people share online, so it’s really not about me anymore, it’s about the community of Mamas that Stylish Bump represents, so I see myself as editor of their page.
Did you have a particular breakthrough post, collaboration or piece of coverage that saw your following soar?
I don’t think so! Sometimes it increases for no apparent reason then just as quickly, I’ll lose followers. Even though I’ve worked in digital media for a few years now, the algorithms of social mediums are constantly changing, so all I can do is keep creating and sharing content that I love, that I believe represents what Stylish Bump is about, and hope it resonates. I really don’t think too much about the following anymore – for me, creating and sharing quality content is what’s important.
You use your platform to raise awareness of issues like breastfeeding, miscarriage and body confidence – why are these issues important to you, and what effect have you seen so far?
When I started my page ,these were issues that were important to me because they happened to me. As my page has evolved over the past six years, it has become even more important ,because social media IS now a place people turn to. So, I feel a responsibility to share my stories and others’ stories and keep it real. I know a lot of pages talk about keeping it real, but my page really is about that. Warts and all, not just for laughs, but for the importance of feeling connected and human as a woman and a mother.
Now there’s dozens, and lots of copycats too – but now more than ever, I feel it’s so important to provide a community people can feel connected to, and relate to, because there’s a lot of rubbish online. As my girls have grown and I’ve grown as a parent, I realise what a huge responsibility we have as adults creating content online that is accurate, representative and aspirational in a realistic way; whether that’s photos or words.
Do you monetise your Instagram account?
I do have sponsored content when reviewing a brand or product, but it needs to align with what my followers and I are interested in. I’m a writer, not a model or a photographer, so I don’t see the point of promoting a set of speakers, for example!
You work in PR and digital marketing by day, in addition to running your blog and Insta account AND being a mama - how do you believe your career in marketing has assisted you in building your Instagram following?
First and foremost, I’m a grammar nerd, so correct grammar and spelling is very important and I think people appreciate that. I’m a writer too, so being able to communicate through blog articles, reviews and advice helps me relate to people – no matter where they are in the world.
Social media etiquette is really important to me too, tagging and crediting photos always, while respecting people’s content that they’ve shared with me. Stylish Bump is now a hashtag itself with almost 200,000 daily tags, and my Instagram page is tagged in around 100 photos a day – so having an understanding of how social media and communications works has been no doubt helpful.
What are the main ways your life has changed since starting Stylish Bump?
I’ve evolved as a parent, that’s for sure. When I started Stylish Bump, I had just had a miscarriage and had two- and-three-year-olds, and was still finding my way as a mother. I was working in a corporate job I loathed, but really enjoyed Instagram as a social medium and had always wanted to write a blog, but didn’t know what to write about. People always say, ‘write what you know’, so I did!
Now I’m a freelance writer, I work in a job I LOVE, I have a blog and Instagram community I’m extremely proud of and three beautiful, smart, funny, healthy, happy children I adore.
How do you manage motherhood combined with your own personal ambition?
Can I let you know when I have an answer?! I try to live my life every day as an example to my daughters, with kindness and respect, with understanding and compassion, hard work and determination. And I keep learning… You never stop learning or growing, I believe.
What advice would you give other women and business owners looking to grow an Instagram following?
Write what you know. That’s the advice I’ve always taken on board, and I think it’s wise advice.
Want more? You can read the rest of my interview with Adrienne Biscontin from Stylish Bump in Mama Disrupt magazine (the one with Beyonce on the cover!) www.mamadisrupt.com