Rapid instagram growth through bullet journaling & content

Rapid instagram growth through bullet journaling & content

This week we talk to instagram influencer & bullet journal artist as well as local creative Alec Fischer!  

So excited to talk about what the heck bullet journaling is, how to find your niche, how to build your audience and more!

Check him out at www.instagram.com/fischrmedia

Full Transcript: https://www.twincitiescollective.com/conversations-with-creatives-podcast/2017/5/7/episode-11-an-interview-with-alec-fischer-bullet-journal-instagrammer-at-fischerjournals

Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives. She is a well known speaker, educator & social media strategist. You can work with her one on one with coaching and content creation (photo/video) services

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Full Transcription

I'm very excited to be here with Alex Fisher this week. He is a award winning director and a local Instagram content creator, and I'm so excited to have him on the podcast. So welcome Alec.

Alec Fischer 1:38

I Thanks for having me.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 1:39

Yeah, I'm really excited. We recently connected maybe a month ago, and we had probably been like following each other for a while. But we actually met, and you are actually one of our mastermind leaders. So that's really awesome that you're doing that. But can you tell us a little bit about yourself and who you are?

Alec Fischer 1:55

Yeah, I am. Like you said, I'm an award winning director, content creator. I've been making documentary films for the last six, seven years. since I was in high school. And more recently, I started doing bullet journaling on Instagram. That's been something I've been doing for a couple of years now. But I just started posting it last summer, and it sort of taken off. From there.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 2:19

Yeah, you're very good at it. I'm jealous. I tried bullet journaling for about two months. And it failed epically. So how do you how did you even get into that and find out about that?

Alec Fischer 2:31

That's a good question. So I've always been someone who struggles with anxiety and depression. And it wasn't until about the middle of college that one of the instructors I had, who I was working with in the leadership minor at the University of Minnesota. Her name is Jessica. And she actually is Jessica pretty prints and paper. She also bullet journals. And she's amazing. Check her out. Yeah, she we work together. And she was telling me about the style that she used that helped, you know, helped her organize her life. And I'd always been interested in watching her, you know, journal and that kind of stuff. So she really convinced me to start doing it to try it out. And from there, you know, I tried it for the next couple years got used to it. And then it wasn't until last summer that a couple people were like you should try posting it and just see what happens. And I was like, oh, okay, so I posted a couple of them. And they took off really quickly. And people were really receptive to it. And they were like, you have to do more of that, like, post more of your work. So I was like, Okay, I could try to do that. How quickly

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 3:36

did it grow? Was it right away?

Alec Fischer 3:39

Yeah, it was, I mean, I went, I went from having like, 30 likes on each picture I posted to having like, 700 likes, the first couple I posted. And it was at a time where people were just starting to realize what bullet journaling was. So I was featured in a BuzzFeed article that month. And from there, yeah, I switched my account, from my personal account to Fisher journals, and sort of snowballed from there.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 4:07

Yeah, how many followers? So you started on your personal and then just kind of changed it to a business? How many followers Did you have when you started?

Alec Fischer 4:15

So when I started, I had about 750 people following me, those were just friends, acquaintances, people I had met through, you know, life, I guess. And then, after it started picking up, I ended up waiting a couple months to change it. I think by the time I changed it, in like two or three months, I had grown to like six to 7000 followers. So it was a very rapid change. It was a lot of quick decisions that I had to make. And I know I struggled with that, because I was like, you know, are people going to be more willing to follow something that's less about me personally? Are they gonna be more willing to follow something that's strictly bullet journalism? You know, what are the pros and cons of that? Do I lose the ability then to be sort of a full fledged blogger? Like a lifestyle blog? Like, what does that look like? And I ended up deciding to change it just to Fisher journals to see what happened from there.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 5:09

Yeah, because I recently last year decided to move my personal and my business together. So do you ever share like pictures of yourself? Or is it just strictly blood journals?

Alec Fischer 5:18

I used to. I think now that Instagram has introduced Instagram stories, I think that's been a really good way to balance it. So my more polished photos, I'd say are strictly bullet journaling, or tips and advice, that kind of stuff. And then on the stories, I'll post, you know, if I'm at a concert, or if I'm traveling, or something like that, I'll make sure to post some updates there. So I've been able to balance that way, which is nice.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 5:43

Yeah, for sure. And how do people originally find you when you first started? Did you use hashtags? or How was the growth? How did the growth happen so quickly?

Alec Fischer 5:52

Yeah, I think it had to do a lot with hashtag optimization, and really looking at what were people looking for within the bullet journaling community. And now it's expanded to, you know, what are people looking for in the planning community and the art community? And if some of the pieces I do are more art related, or how, you know, rainbows or something like that, like how can you cross pollinate those hashtags? And since the community has grown so fast, you know, there's hundreds of thousands of posts on these different hashtags, which is really cool to see. Mm

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 6:25

hmm. Okay, so for if someone doesn't know what bullet journaling is, how do you explain it to someone? So someone comes up to you and you say, your blood journal or people like, what's that? What How do you explain that?

Alec Fischer 6:35

I'm still trying to find the best explanation for that. It's, it's kind of been a process, I would say, short form, answer, what journaling is a really short form, journal style that relies on a lot of organization and bullet points, or like, bullet points style. So quick answers, quick sentences. It helps you plan your week that helps you plan your months out. And it it's hard because it looks so different for every person. And so it really is short form content that helps you plan your day or your week to, as long as it's that short style. And it's that very succinct, very organized way of doing things. I would classify that as bullet journaling.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 7:19

Yeah. Because I know there's so many different ways to do it. What How did you kind of find your style? And how long did that take? define what you actually do now?

Alec Fischer 7:29

Yeah, I think there's a couple things that are very stylized in the way I like to do them. I think those took months of finding what I liked what I didn't like, something that I really believe in. I think within the bullet journaling community, there's a lot of very similar stuff being developed right now. And so a lot of accounts look, generally the same, which isn't a bad thing, because it's people have found a way that works, and it looks awesome, and they love them. I think that's really cool. Something that I pride myself in is always try something new. So I would say, at times, I have a set style. But I also if I see something that inspires me, I'm going to be like, Whoa, I want to look more into that style. So every week, hopefully, it looks a little different, just because I like to try out different things. And that's always what I encourage you all to do is really use your creativity and keep finding something because you might find something that works later, you don't think that works,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 8:25

for sure. And never give up that search for making improving and making it better. So who do you like? Who do you look to to when you're need inspiration? Do you look at just really journal accounts? Or do you look at other things?

Alec Fischer 8:38

Yeah, it's a good question. I do a mix, I think, you know, someone who's always inspired me, it has been Jessica, Her work has just been very honest, and very real. And I appreciate that, whether you agree with what she's saying or not, she's always been very from the heart. It has been very authentic. And that's something that I strive to emulate my posts as well. But you know, it can be anything from looking at the waves in the ocean and being like, ooh, I should create like a blue spread around waves or, you know, seeing someone for marketing campaign style something a certain way and say hello, and incorporate that into how I organize my lettering. So yeah, I think it comes from all things.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 9:22

So were you always artistic and doing all this stuff your whole life? Or is it been recently since you started bullet journaling?

Alec Fischer 9:31

There's a picture of me from what I'm like three, four years old, and I have a, I have Legos that have been like, built up to like four feet. And I'm on a step ladder. And I just have like the biggest smile on my face. And I'm like, look at what I did. So I think if you ask my parents, they would say I've always been sort of someone who's been drawn to art, and to create a My dad is an architect. So I grew up watching him and do drawings and designs of buildings. And that was always something that I wanted to do. It sort of morphed into painting and drawing and so

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 10:09

So did you still in college? What did what was your major? And what did you focus on?

Alec Fischer 10:15

Not necessarily art related? I did an individualized major. So I put together political science, leadership development and film production. Okay.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 10:25

There's a lot of different types of

Alec Fischer 10:29


Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 10:30

And so what so you told me that you work in film during the day, what do you do for your day job?

Alec Fischer 10:35

Right now I work for Twin Cities, PBS, which is an affiliate station of PBS. So we produce some national shows for them, and also a lot of local content. So I do a lot of social media management and sort of marketing infrastructure development for the two programs I work with. That's awesome.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 10:56

So how do you balance your Instagram? And all do? Is it something that you eventually want to make money doing? Is it is it just more of a passion project? Or what's kind of your goal with your Instagram account

Alec Fischer 11:06

going forward? Good question. You have so many good questions.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 11:12

I'm just kind of thinking of them up top my head. I'm just like, I'm curious. You know,

Alec Fischer 11:17

I think when I first started, I did it, because I loved it. And because it helps me, I think I've gotten to a point where I've seen it helped so many other people that it's been motivating in that I don't want to continue doing it if I don't have a passion for it. And if I can make money eventually with it, I think that would be amazing. I think a lot of millennials, I'm 23 right now. So I identify as a millennial. From what I've heard, a lot of millennials are doing sort of the side hustle gig where we have our main job. And we have a bunch of side hustlers. And we're hoping that one of them, or two of them are three of them become financially viable or sustainable. So I'd say that's the position I'm in where I love my job. And I love what I do during the day at PBS. And if I can make some money, if I can grow my side hustle to be a little extra income, that'd be awesome. But I think the focus is making content that I'm passionate about. And that speaks to me and my audience. And whether or not that makes money, that's sort of a secondary thing.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 12:20

Yeah, I follow some of the bloggers in our group where it's just more of a passion project. And if money comes great, if not, you know, it's still something you love to do. And it's not about the money. And that's kind of when I first started blogging, that was 100%. When I was doing I just really wanted to get my voice out there. I wanted to share content. I actually wrote a BuzzFeed article a couple years ago that actually made the front page and it like, I was in college at the time, I freaked out. And I was like, Oh, my God, like somebody actually wants to like, read what I wrote. So it was just a crazy time. And I'm like, it's just crazy with what you said about the side hustle. So that's just that's interesting to me that it's such a I don't know if it's a generational thing, or what are your thoughts on that? I think it is, I think.

Alec Fischer 13:05

I think a lot of it has to do with sort of the, I guess, our generation sort of saying we're sick of the way things have been done economically and business wise, and as much fun as it sounds to work for someone for the rest of your life. That's not always I think what people want, they want to follow something they're passionate about. And I read that statistic somewhere. I don't have the source on me, unfortunately. But it was like, in the next 10 years, 60 to 70% of millennials will be working for themselves. And so I think we're seeing a lot of businesses starting up, I think we're seeing a lot of people using this digital space to become digital nomads in some capacity. And I don't think that's ever been done before, because the digital technology hasn't been accessible. So I think if other generations had that, they would probably grasp on to it. I think we're seeing a new surge in that just because it's so available. And we have those options now. And we're really just yeah, creating a new world of what does this look like?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 14:05

That's exactly what I think too, because 10 years ago, when the market crashed and everything a lot of people couldn't find jobs. And I think that was the first time people realized that jobs aren't always the most secure way to make money. And I think that was right around the time, when Facebook and all that was really big. And it's like all of a sudden, there were these new platforms where you couldn't make money online, you could sell things on Etsy, you could sell things on eBay. They're all these and YouTube has now become a huge way that people make money with advertising. And there's just so many options for online jobs that a lot of my parents friends just don't get it. They're just like, Well, why don't you have this steady job? And I'm like, Well, I can make money online, and not have to worry about getting fired, and having to worry about the job stability when I it's just up to me to make clients. So I just I totally agree with that. And I think it is a generational thing where it's like we have that ability to do that now.

Alec Fischer 14:58

Yeah. And I think that it carries over, I've met quite a few folks who are above the age of millennials, who are also exploring the realm and trying to figure it out. I think it's harder if you've worked somewhere for 20 years, or you've put in the energy for that much time, to all of a sudden say, I'm going to throw that away, in a sense. And I think it's a little difficult. But I do see a lot of people doing blogging. And when I guess when marketing agencies and all of those people also realize that it's a much more effective way of getting your message out by partnering with those institutions or partnering with those influencers, for sure.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 15:34

And I think it's already started, I do think it hasn't hit its peak yet. But one thing that's interesting is that I don't think a lot of older generations, and this is just a generalization, don't use Instagram and don't use certain types of social media. And I think they're afraid. So what are some of your tips about starting on Instagram, we're starting if you're maybe in your 40s or 50s, and you maybe want to start your own business? Like what are some of the tips that you have for starting on Instagram?

Alec Fischer 16:00

Yeah, I think the biggest thing is that advertising looks a lot different on Instagram than it does on Facebook. Facebook, people are more receptive to sponsored ads, people are more receptive to those messages. Instagram, I think the strategy there is much more built around influencers and collaborations and coexist. So if you could feature me, I'll feature you if you can exchange this, I'll I'll do this for you. And building in product placement in a way that still seems authentic, I think is much different than it is on Facebook or Twitter. I would say advice wise, go into it, doing what you love. And if you find a niche audience with that also loves that the following can come there. The biggest thing I tell people regardless of age, but especially if you're looking to start a business on Instagram is put out a great product put out a great message and you're not getting the traction that you need, or that you want. That's okay. I think the biggest detriment that we're seeing is people comparing instead of sharing, and it's much easier to look at someone you know, there are accounts that have just started doing bullet journal, we have followers, and it would be really easy to get stuck in a space of I'm not good enough. Like why is my content not getting the same reach like what's going on. But instead, it's a celebration. It's like, wow, people latched onto your content. That's awesome. That's amazing. And just remembering to bring it back to that grounded space of, we're still figuring out what the rules of these platforms are. And sometimes success is random. As much as you can optimize your content, sometimes it just takes off in certain ways that you're not expecting. So I would say, follow your passion. And people will be attracted to what you're doing, if they can tell that you're authentically passionate about it.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 17:53

For sure. I think that Instagram recently I know, they just shut down some of the bots and stuff and they're trying to make it more authentic. What are your thoughts on that? Like, I know, there's a lot of fake followers and fake likes, and I just feel like it's kind of wrecking the platform, because it's, it's making it about a popularity contest. What are your thoughts on that?

Alec Fischer 18:13

I think, for me, if I look at an account, and they have, you know, 100,000 followers, but they get 100 likes on their photo, I'm not gonna it's like I can tell that you're using fake stuff. Like there's just an engagement level there that should be at that level. So I think people are pretty good at like weeding out who is authentic, who's using bots. I also think companies, I mean bots, right now we're at a stage where they're not at a level where they can really help in huge ways. I think they're getting there. So it'll be interesting to see in the next five years as the tech increases, how that works.

Right now, if you have an account, I'd say don't buy bots.

It just isn't worth it. And especially marketing companies who buy bots to comment on photos, that's been going wrong A lot of times, so it never really works the way you want it to work. So I'd say be careful with that kind of

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 19:11

I think it definitely could backfire on you and make a PR nightmare if it like it's something insensitive or on a post where it's the opposite of what you want it to say. So I always am really, because I always get comments where I'm like, that doesn't have anything to do with the post. I know you haven't actually looked at the description, because obviously you would you wouldn't say that. And so I totally agree with that. I'm so looking forward, what do you predict is going to happen on Instagram and the next year? So do you think it all things will change? Will the algorithms get worse? What are your thoughts on the future of Instagram?

Alec Fischer 19:46

It's a good question. I think right now a lot of people are struggling between, like how you can set your account to a business account. And what the pros and cons of that are, I think a lot of people are nervous is that Instagram's going to follow suit of Facebook because it is the parent company of if you have a business as a brand page, your your reach will be cut off drastically unless you pay for your ads. I could see that may be happening with business accounts. And I've heard some rumors that that could be happening already algorithm algorithm. Oh my gosh.

There we go.

I think that's the biggest thing that will see is how you balance brands with personal accounts, what that looks like, because a lot of people use the contact button on those business accounts to get business. And that's really important. And the argument is, you know, should I have to pay a ton of money to get that reach? Or should it just be organic based on my content? I think another thing that has been interesting to see not so much in the bullet journaling community. And also Luckily, not so much in the Twin Cities community, but sort of overarching. It'll be interesting to see if a class system develops based on following Yeah. You know, you have influencers who get certain perks and certain opportunities and that kind of thing, like, how do we balance that? You know, depending on your following, how do we balance that? That's the system? And can we really be collaborative across different followings, and not sort of set up a system? Where if you have 100,000 followers, your seniors better than someone was 2000? And how can we make sure that doesn't happen?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 21:31

I think it's already happened, though, honestly, I feel like it's the same with like any platform like say you're on YouTube, and you have a million subscribers, like you're going to be treated differently than someone who has 10 subscribers. And so I don't know if and I don't know if that's based on just our sense of who they are, is the fact that they have so many followers, and they have a lot of power. But at the same time, it's like, it depends on the engagement. Also their followers if people actually know who they are, even if they're following them, but they might not actually know who they're following. Sometimes I follow an accountant, I'm like, I don't know what this person looks like, you know, like, I'm not like a intensely, like, invested follower of this person. But I feel like it depends on the platform. I don't know if that makes sense.

Alec Fischer 22:12

And I also think it's something that as content creators, we also need to have these conversations more often and try to make it more collaborative. That's been something that the Twin Cities community I love so much about it is we are so collaborative, and I've had conversations with folks that have flown in or now moved here, because they love how collaborative this space is, compared to East West Coast. You know, that collaboration is there, but it's built upon bettering yourself and not bettering the community. Yeah, and I was seeing that here in new ways that I'm hoping will be replicated elsewhere.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 22:52

Yeah, I've always heard things about how the Midwest is more the family and community. And that's kind of what we're trying to do, obviously, at the Twin Cities club, is just kind of get to know each other and make that more of a collaborative space. Because if you're supporting others, they'll support you. And it'll just help everyone and it's not so competitive. And I know it might not work to do it, like a like a New York City collective, just because it's so like such a cutthroat environment, just because you know, like it's just a different city. And what I like about Minneapolis is it's small, but it's not too small. It's it's not Chicago or LA, but at the same time, it's still a pretty big city, but yet has that small town feel, I guess is and that's one thing I you know, I've grown up here and lived here most of my life. And so it's definitely something I've just gotten used to. Have you always lived here.

Alec Fischer 23:41

Yeah, I went to college for a little bit in Milwaukee. And my goal was actually to go to the west coast for film school. And then financial wise, it was too expensive. So I ended up going back to the Midwest. But I did live in Boston for a couple of years when I was younger. And yeah, I mean, it's, it's, it's interesting, it's a very interesting place. It's a very unique place. I think it has pros and cons that come with the size and everything. And it'll be interesting with the Super Bowl coming. And with the X Games being hosted here, the NBA Finals to there's so many events that I think will really put a spotlight on us. And people already know about the Guthrie they know about the Walker. So it'll be fascinating to see as we continue getting more exposure, how we can keep this momentum growing. And I hope it'll, you know, sort of be a model for other creative communities around the country, maybe the world of be really cool to see.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 24:39

Yeah, because people don't expect it from the Midwest. I feel like, Oh, it's like farmland, who thinks that's going to be you know, super creative, but I ever had recently on a few different blog posts that were one of the most creative cities in America. And so that was really cool to me, because I am a creative person. And so that makes sense that it's I love being in this creative community. So tell me a little bit more about what you kind of want to do with you. Are you going to try to incorporate more video into your business? Or what's kind of going on with that?

Alec Fischer 25:12

Yeah, that's a good question as well.

Something that I haven't felt capacity for yet is starting a YouTube expansion of visual journals and having that be a platform. It's something that I'm hoping to break into within the month. The next phase, I think of my Instagram channel, would be opening it up to YouTube, to Pinterest, maybe to Facebook as well. And really investing a little more time into it to make sure those are quality products as well. Because I think a lot of people have resonated with the content and want to see tutorials or ways to that they can build it themselves. And I think YouTube would be a great platform for that. I just haven't had capacity yet to do so. So I'm hoping in the next you know, the next phase 2017 will help people they need to more video content as well.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 26:03

And it's good because you have a background in that. So it makes sense. Because I you know, I do follow Jessica on YouTube, too. And she does some really awesome videos, I think would be really cool. Maybe you guys could collab

Alec Fischer 26:13

or something. Yeah, exactly. There's so much opportunity there.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 26:16

Yeah, for sure. So, where do you currently live in? What do you like to do around town?

Alec Fischer 26:22

Yeah, I live in northeast. And I just graduated from the U of M last year. So I'm still exploring the realm of young professional and what that means. So I really like spending time at different coffee shops or different donut shops and getting worked on there. I'm a very introverted extrovert. So I love being around people. But I don't necessarily like interacting with those people all the time. So if I could sit in like a busy place and do my work, I'm really happy. So I think near me, the new glam doll donuts just opened the Northeast. And that's been a favorite. Have a lot of meeting a lot of meetings at spits in.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 27:04

What is that? Is that coffee shop?

Alec Fischer 27:06

It's a flicky? Oh gosh, I don't know. It's like a fusion place with good beer and good sangria. And then they've got kind of an assortment of apps as well. I also spend a lot of time at Fritos in the north loop. I used to work there. So I'm a little biased, but I never had a dish there that I didn't like. And it's just a fun place to go and get a drink and just, you know, get some work done and study,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 27:33

for sure. So when you graduated, what was your plan? When you graduated? Did you find your job right away? Or do they take a little bit? Or how does that work?

Alec Fischer 27:44

Yeah, I ended up doing a couple pivots, I thought I was interested in doing something and then changed my mind. I initially wanted to get out to one of the coasts and my mind was made up that I'm going to move to the west coast. And I'm going to do this, this and this. And sort of hitting some pitfalls or hitting some little pivot moments. It's been more of a journey of, okay, like things will come and I need to build up experience here or I need to, you know, make more connections here. And what does that look like? And for the most part, it's been really supportive in the Twin Cities. So I'm like, you know what, this is a home base. It's a nice home base to build those networks into us. And so

yeah, I've been very happy here. And

I think getting involved with the Twin Cities collective community has helped a lot with that, because it's a whole group of people I didn't know existed, that I wish I knew existed during the college experience,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 28:43

for sure. And I wish I had existed during my college years, too, because I didn't start my blog until a month after I graduated from college. So it was like, I could have spent my time in college doing stuff I like that's like one of my big regrets is like, I could have started maybe two or three years earlier and got too much better place by the time I graduated. So what is your advice to people that are listening and are in college now? What's your advice to them?

Alec Fischer 29:08

I think the biggest thing is I was just at a conference for PBS and the head of their national digital department was saying, you can make a plan for yourself. But realistically, you shouldn't make it for longer than six months. Because every six months or so, you'll have an opportunity or you'll meet someone new or something will present itself to you that will drastically change the direction you think your life is going. And he's like, in his experience, he has found that six months is the period of you know, something will shift or you realize something new or you go on a trip somewhere and discover something great that you didn't know existed before. So I guess I would say, Don't stress too much about the future. Because your life, even a year from now will look drastically different than you think we'll look in this moment today.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 30:02

That is so true. One thing people always asked me in college was what are you going to do for your job. And I always said, I don't think it currently exists, I think that what I'm going to do in the future has yet to be even created. And I know that I'll be on the forefront of whatever. So like bullet journaling five years ago probably wasn't a thing. You know, what I do, which is stop stock photography wasn't a thing five years ago. So it's just like things that you you are really good at. They don't even exist as a category of types of jobs. But maybe five years from now they will. So I think I was just like, you know, look for those opportunities and jump on them. And you're really lucky that you jumped on the bullet journal train, right when it was kind of really hot to do you think that really helped with the channel? Or do you think if you had started today would it would have grown as fast?

Alec Fischer 30:50

I think it may have, just because there's more eyes that are paying attention. Now.

I do think I was

lucky with timing just because there's a couple of accounts like show me or planner or Bhutto inspire, or bullet journal collection that sort of showcase a lot of the different styles. And they were also trying to grow their accounts at the same time that I started. And so it was easy to cross pollinate and promote each other. And I think that that helped a lot because it gave me new audiences that weren't aware of my work before. So I think today, it'd be a little harder to get featured on those sites, because they you know that those accounts have grown to hundreds of thousands of followers now, where when I started, they were at 15,000 or 20,000. So they're more willing to pick up that kind of thing. Yeah, so I mean, I guess it's kind of relative, but I wouldn't, I wouldn't let your starting point or moment of opportunity, so to speak, sway you from starting something you're passionate about. So I wouldn't worry as much about timing as I would worry about your content and the messages you're putting out into the world. And the reasons behind it. If you're doing something to gain followers, people will probably pick up on that and you won't get successful if you're doing it because you love what you're doing. Then even if you have five followers, okay, yeah, do what you love, you know?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 32:12

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Alec Fischer 34:04

I think the biggest thing

I've discovered is that there are so many people doing so many amazing things that I just didn't know, where businesses or I didn't know where trades and becoming involved in the community has given me access into their stories and into seeing the work they're doing. There's so many amazing people doing so many creative things. That before joining, I just had no idea. And so I think the biggest change for me was getting involved and really tapping into all these new things and saying, oh, like, I don't have time right now. But maybe I try that. Or maybe I paint something like that. Or, you know, maybe I'll buy a piece of their work that I didn't know existed five months ago. Or maybe I'll collaborate with them if they want to collaborate. So I think it's constant inspiration from the most random things that are beautiful. And I just didn't know they existed before getting involved

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 35:02

for sure. What if you were to have one struggle right now? What are you struggling with? And what maybe could we help you with in terms of the Twin Cities collective, whether it's networking or anything? Like is there something that you wish you were better at or what's kind of something is going to try to work on this year?

Alec Fischer 35:21

I think the biggest thing for me as a, you know, personal way is the whole mantra of sharing, comparing and you know, having the days when I'm a little bit more down and feeling my depression and anxiety pick up and, you know, not getting stuck in the world of oh my gosh, like I'm not doing enough or I'm not strategizing the right way or what have you, wherever it falls in that spectrum. I think just keeping myself in check and making sure like I'm on the right path, whatever that path may look like,

and it's mine.

And it's unique. And it's okay. However it goes. I think that's awesome for people to remember as well think some way that folks could assist? It's a good question, I guess, is selfless promotion, if I do launch a YouTube channel, or any of those sort of outward links, it'd be awesome to get some feedback. And if people check it out and say this worked really well, or your lighting was a little off, that kind of stuff is really helpful to me, I love getting that feedback. So if I do end up spreading that in the next month to those platforms, it'd be really nice to get some feedback for

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 36:28

sure. Do you like feedback? Or like I know, some people are scared of feedback. And in college, it was very hard for me to get feedback on work. So is that something that you do on your current Instagram? Or do people like ever leave? Like mean comments been like, oh, that sucks? Or? Or what? I don't know, like, Do you ever get be like, Oh, I don't know what they meant by that, or whatever?

Alec Fischer 36:49

Yeah, I think there's sometimes where I mean, people are generally very positive. Um, there's some work that people are like, what is this? And I'm like, you know, I really don't know, either. It just, this is what I do this week, and I'm putting it out there. I think the biggest thing I learned is that feedback, there is an art behind the feedback. And to really give constructive feedback is much different than just sending your thoughts on something. Yeah. And so I, I love feedback, if it's constructive, I think that it's some of the most helpful things you can get is someone objectively saying, that didn't work very well, or I'm confused about that, or I'm not reading what you're trying to say. But then promoting it in a way of like, but here's something you could try? Or could you explain that more to me and leaving it open for


growth? That's something that a lot of people don't do. And I know a lot of professors in college didn't like doing that. Which made me very, you know, wary of feedback. But I think now growing into it and learning more about what is really positive feedback. I would say make sure you're giving destructive feedback with things, and it will make it less scary.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 38:03

Yeah, cuz I'm trying to think of ways that I could help the Twin Cities collective get feedback on their work, in a way, and I'm just like, trying to think right now, like maybe having a Facebook group prompts, do you think that's a good idea? Or should I I'm just trying to think of how we can help each other grow? And not just be like, here's my blog post, but maybe someone be like, oh, have you thought about, you know, adding the photo or something? You know, I don't know if there's, there's certain ways that we can like, I'm just curious, from my end, what do you think we can maybe do within the group to help each other grow through constructive criticism?

Alec Fischer 38:39

It could be interesting. If and I don't know, capacity wise, if this would be doable, but to have maybe a daily or bi daily, sort of, if someone has feedback they want on something and have them submit it to you via messenger or try to post it in the group. And then once a day, you open it up to feedback and say, you know, if you're commenting have a one positive comment and one constructive comment.

And that way, it's building them up,

and it's not tearing anyone down. But that way, the community can say this is working really well. But I'm confused, or I don't understand this. Or you could do this better. Or here's the thing I tried and it worked. Maybe you could implement it.

That way, it leaves it open to people.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 39:18

Yeah. Because I think then also people can learn by reading those comments about what they can apply it to their own. Because I know I've done like website audits for people where we trade where I look at their website and give them feedback, and then they look at mine, just as a trade, I think that might be actually a really fun thing to do. Because I know my biggest weakness a lot of times is my website. And just being like, does this make sense? Do my about page makes sense, you know, all those things, or maybe running through someone's Instagram and being like, you know, maybe you shouldn't have this photo, because it doesn't really fit with the whole scheme of your, you know, Instagram. And that's something I want to do at this month masterminds is kind of going over our, um, you know, Instagram accounts and being like, how can you improve this? How can you make it? Because I think that it's a huge learning curve, to make it look good on Instagram, and not just have content, but also make it look professional. And I think that's how you get followers is because of the way it looks. People I've read that people decide within like point five seconds, whether or not they'll follow you, based on your, you know, top 1012 posts. I don't know. I mean, that could be something as maybe doing like an Instagram, like, run through and criticism and critique. I don't know if that makes sense. But I was just curious, because I'm just like, I'm trying to help everyone help themselves, I guess, if that makes sense. So by by connecting them with other people that can give them feedback.

Alec Fischer 40:43

Exactly. And I think it's important to that, something like that, you know, you could do that in a large group setting. You could also do it one on one or one on to something like that, too. And kind of depending on the person's preference and what they would like, that could look different for every person, for sure. Awesome.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 40:59

Well, I'm we're going to be wrapping it up very soon. I want to say thanks into how do we find you online? How can we check out your handles and I know you are huge on Instagram. So if you want to just tell us how you can reach out to you.

Alec Fischer 41:15

Yeah, you can follow me. It's Fisher journals. So FISCHRJORJOURNALS I can spell right.

I was like, Oh, no.

So yeah, you can follow me on Instagram and on Facebook, you can either add me as a friend or send me a message. I haven't expanded Fisher journals to Instagram yet. You can also look at my film work Alec Fisher films on Facebook or YouTube should pop up.

Yeah, those are I think the two main ways you can get a hold of me.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 41:49

Are you planning on making a website sometime in the future? So

Alec Fischer 41:53

yeah, right now I have Alex Fisher films. com so it's a lot of my it's it's everything except for my history. Graham work essentially saw my advocacy work all my documentary work. The work I've done with nonprofits, anything like that is all on that website. So you can check out what I've done. Awesome. Instagram wise on there,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 42:11

for sure. That's so cool. Because I I know that um, it's I think having a website is really good. So hopefully, when you expand, you'll have a website too. And then we go, I think it's another way that people can find you. And then it's way to add to Pinterest and all that stuff. So I just I personally love having a website. And it's it's fun. It's kind of weird, though, because it's like it you got to make sure it looks good, or people will be like what is this? I don't?

Alec Fischer 42:37

I don't understand.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 42:38

So awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining us today and I'll talk to all you next week. I thank you so much for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast conversations with creatives. If you liked this podcast, make sure to give us a review on iTunes and let us know how we're doing. If you're interested in becoming a sponsor, or a guest on the podcast, please go to Twin Cities collective.com to learn more. Thanks again to LM redesign for creating our cover art and for the glide less for the use of the song in the intro intro. Thanks again for listening to conversations with creatives.