This blog is from Leila Hobart- she talks us through what it’s really like being an Instagram Influencer, self-love and a day in her life! This is a hugely positive story and you should definitely give it a read if you’re struggling with self-love and confidence!
It all started back in 2016 when I innocently started an Instagram account for my own benefit. At this time in my life, I had put on a bit of weight was feeling miserable in my own skin and had decided to start a diet plan. To get ideas on what to cook and be included in the community I signed up to the platform. Little did I know back then how much it would change my life.
I was very innocent when I started on Instagram, I knew very little about how it worked and back then I posted my food and diet plan alongside my progress. I finished the diet plan, had lost weight, felt more confident-but still not as happy as I wanted to be.
My transformation photo was re-posted by the owner of the diet plan who had a huge following, overnight my following grew instantly.
I suddenly felt the urge that I need to carry on losing weight to inspire others and so that I could have another transformation photo and show people that anyone could do it. Little did I know about diet culture and the fact I had such a big issue with food. I became obsessed. I would say no to going out to dinner, I would weigh all my food, I would train and feel immensely guilty if I missed the gym. I honestly thought that dieting and shrinking my body was normal and that wanting abs and a thigh gap would make me happy.
Then one day I stumbled across different social media accounts, talking about topics like self-love, self-care, body love…. I loved the sound of it but surely that could never be me. I watched endless YouTube videos of women talking about these topics that one day I just gave up the diet. I simply had enough. I changed my Instagram (that was scary) re-branded and started talking about these topics after researching and reading books. A few years later I was holding events for women across Essex to feel inspired, empowered and educated. One event I had over 50 women turn up and huge support of local and UK brands. I felt like I’d finally met my purpose and was doing something so positive bringing women together in their local community. That’s when I set up Fierce and Fearless, a community movement set to inspire women in Essex and London mainly. I now have an incredible ambassador who works alongside me putting on events in London.
I’ve always strived on keeping busy, bringing people together but most importantly for me I want to inspire and empower women to be exactly who they want to be.
Alongside Fierce and Fearless, I still run my Instagram platform and over time my message has shifted to focus on my beliefs and passions. And not forgetting I still work full time!
I also love learning and improving on my current skills so at the start of 2020 I embarked on becoming a qualified counsellor and CBT therapist, I believe that all of the information I produce online needs to be credible so learning and training are essential for me.
I try not to let social media impact me too much and ultimately, it’s my hobby before my job working full time. My aim is to provide quality content over quantity. I want my community to be inspired. There are times where I feel low or need some motivational support and I’m always honest and upfront with my community.
No two days are the same for me as I juggle my full-time job with my social media. I often wait until the evenings or weekends to share content with my community online.
Trying to run an online business and be empowering all of the time can be difficult but I love what I do which makes it a whole lot easier. I love the community I have built, and even better I’ve made some amazing friends through Instagram.
I have always been a hardworking and determined young woman with huge goals, at times I have often doubted myself and thought ‘I can’t do this’ but I find ways around that and realise that I can. I’m a great believer that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
Your inner power and strength are stronger than you ever know.
The biggest lesson I’ve learnt all the way through is that no matter how big your dreams are, you can do it. I’ve also learnt a very valuable lesson that the world doesn’t revolve around Instagram and getting likes, believe it or not, I do try and disconnect as sometimes the pressure can get a bit much.
For anyone wanting to start a career in anything, just remember this, 4 years ago I was working for an airline, four years later I increased my income by £6k per year, and became an event project manager with a social media following and loads of different business opportunities. If a girl like me from rural Suffolk can do it – you can do it too. Your dreams are never too big. Invest in yourself.
I would also remind you that you’re never too young or ‘too old’ to start anything. Us women are more powerful than we ever believe. Little did I know how much I would influence and help other people when I started my journey!
Thanks so much for this Leila, we loved hearing this positive advice! You can find Leila here. Check out some more amazing stories here!
Instagram - @leilahobart_
Twitter - @HobartLeila