Eric Trine
Trine’s favorite part of using Instagram for outreach? “It's a free platform. I don't pay for marketing or advertising, so it's been a great way to reach a lot of people,” he says. “The great thing is, if someone decides to follow me, it means they are already interested in what I'm doing.”

However Trine is unafraid to hold back criticisms of the current model. “The algorithm is killing the platform for folks like me who don't have the budget to pay for advertising,” he says. “I can't even reach the people who have decided to follow me. It's very difficult for me because my business model is selling real, physical products. So if I can't reach my own followers — the people who are actually interested in my products — then it's really hard to make sales. The algorithm killed the whole idea of a 24-hour flash sale.”

“The other major problem is that key bloggers and influencers in interiors and home products primarily post content that is paid for — and it's typically only the big retailers who can afford to pay those influencers to post that content,” Trine continues. “Independent editorial content has pretty much disappeared, almost everything is paid for behind the scenes.” 

“The great thing about Instagram (and the internet in general) is that it was a democratizing platform with a low barrier of entry,” he notes. “The promise was if you post stuff that people like, they will follow you. That's it. So simple. Now, you can't even reach the people who follow you. And if you want to reach more people you have to pay for it.”