Written by Caroline Vazzana
Unlike LinkedIn, Instagram can right off the bat feel a bit more informal. Since everyone is posting images of themselves and even going live via Instagram stories, etc., it can make you feel like you already know someone you admire. Because of this, I often get asked the question, “Can you network on Instagram?” And to this, my answer is a resounding “Yes, if it is done properly.”
Instagram is a great connector. It can easily connect you with people you look up to in the fashion industry, people you may not normally be able to access so easily. For those of you in high school or college and not in New York City, Instagram can be a great way to feel connected to the industry. For me, I love staying connected with designers and editors and being able to instantly see what’s going on in the industry.
If there is someone whose career you admire, first things first, before you send them any sort of message, follow these steps:
- Make sure to follow them (not literally).
- From there, engage in their content to help them become familiar with your page or even your icon so that when you message them it doesn’t seem out of the blue.
- From there, send them a direct message or an email if it’s listed on their profile. Today, many people have their email listed on Instagram so you won’t have to actually slide into their DMs (direct messages).
- Either way, I would send them some variation of the message I suggested for LinkedIn (below).
How to Ask for an Informational Interview:
Dear Mr./Ms. (insert last name here),
I hope all is well. My name is (insert name here), and I am currently a (insert your grade here) at (insert your college or high school here).
I am extremely interested in one day pursuing a career in the fashion industry and truly admire your career at (insert company here). I was wondering if you might be willing to meet for coffee so I could ask you a few questions about your career and gain some insight into the fashion industry.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.
Sincerely/All my best,
Since Instagram isn’t strictly for networking, I suggest jazzing up the message a bit by discussing why you admire their career and how it aligns with your past experiences or goals in the industry. The more passionate you come across in your message, the more likely they are to answer.
This is an excerpt from Caroline Vazzana’s new book Making It in Manhattan: The Beginner’s Guide to Surviving & Thriving in the World of Fashion- available for purchase now.