The Instaview | Fran Bacon of The Fashion Lift on keeping it real
Image: Fran Bacon of The Fashion Lift
Becoming a successful fashion blogger is no mean feat. It’s a crowded, competitive space that can be tricky to navigate. But done right, blogging can be the perfect way to share your creativity and inspire others with your style.
One such success story is Fran Bacon. After beginning her blog The Fashion Lift in 2013 (known then as SchoolRunStyle), the mother of two has become a social media queen, not to mention one of the most stylish mums on the Insta block.
Her wearable, affordable outfits bring a splash of colour to the daily scroll and her straight talking is so refreshing, making her the perfect choice for my FashionInsta page.
So naturally, when presented with the chance, I asked Fran to let me in on how she climbed the blogger ladder…
A friend ordered me to start blogging!
I have always worked in fashion so have always been slightly obsessed with trends and clothes. My friend was following quite a few fashion blogs and set one up for me and told me to write! It was as simple as that. I spent most of my working life in fashion buying and have a English degree so it was so lovely to write about something I loved.
Suddenly, the blog took off…
Lots of people started reading my blog from the very beginning. It hit a part of the market that had not really been covered at the time: Mums who wanted practical, cool clothes on a high-street budget. Now there are lots of these blogs, but three years ago it was all quite new.
I wish I’d picked a good name, and stuck to it
School Run Style was the original name of my blog and I later changed it to The Fashion Lift. The name change hit my stats for a little while so my advice to anyone starting up would be to choose a name for your blog and stick to it. And make sure the name is not too niche.
When it comes to Instagram, be consistent
Consistency is key for building a following, as well as a genuine love for fashion and trends. I use social media pretty organically (strategy is not my strong point!). I try to share an outfit photo every day on Instagram and my aim is to keep my feed fashion-based so people know that they can come to me for outfit ideas at high-street prices.
Being ‘normal’ is key
I’m not a model, I am a normal sized Mum of two so people can relate to me and imagine themselves in the outfits I share. I like to try things on so I can give readers a general idea of what to buy and what will suit them, whether the item is true to size or whether they may need to size up or down.
There is room for everyone on Instagram
I love being inspired by people in every way, from motivational quotes to a beautiful velvet armchair to a stunning sunset, there are so many creative, talented people on Instagram so competition is not a problem.
I am really disorganised so I don’t have lots of time to pour through my feed for hours at a time. I follow people that inspire me, but am not into nor do I have the time for the ‘like for like’ approach. My favourite follows are The Frugality (unfalteringly good style), Lucy Williams (always looks stunning), Laura Fantacci (so Italian, so chic), Pandora Sykes and Leandra Medine. For interiors, I love Martyn Bullard (slightly glitzy and over the top but so fabulous) and my sister’s interior instagram feed, Morren Interior Design is a daily source of inspiration.
Insta Inspo (clockwise L-R): Lucy Williams, Morren Interior Design, The Frugality, Martyn Bullard, Laura Fantacci, Pandora Sykes, Leandra Medine
My favourite outfit is one that’s comfortable
There’s nothing better than a great fitting, flattering pair of ankle length jeans, a cool pair of trainers and a beautiful brightly coloured, cashmere sweater. If you can nail this outfit, you can look great most months of the year in the UK!
My readers love colour combinations, a great, affordable dress or a beautiful ‘going out’ look. They like to see the entire outfit from the top to the jeans to the bag and shoes. I think in general, people love outfit solutions (I know I do) so if you can provide an idea for an entire outfit and show how it looks all together, people can imagine it on themselves.
Keep it real
I try to shoot the outfit I am wearing that day. I take lots of photos and out of twenty, there will be one that will look ok! I would love to be organised enough to shoot in bulk weeks, but sadly I will never be like that. Hopefully this makes my Instagram more real and relevant to my readers though.
I don’t share pictures of my family
Believe it or not, I’m not a natural over-sharer and as my blog and Instagram is fashion, not family based, I can quite easily keep everything I want to be private, private. My kids do not like having their photo taken, they’re too busy living life! The day to day challenges and difficulties I tend to share with my family and friends are kept off social media. I like it that way and am really happy with the balance.
Instagram Stories has added a new dimension
Having said that, Stories has allowed me to be more personal. I don’t mind if my children are on it and I show a little more of my day-to-day life. It’s also great for showing key fashion trends that are coming up next season from press days and it keeps readers in the loop too.
Negative comments are best ignored
I wish I had more time to keep up with all the comments. I read every one, but sometimes do not have time to respond to them all, even though I would really like to. I am lucky that I don’t have too many haters, but when the comments are negative, I try (mostly unsuccessfully) to ignore them. I guess I am putting myself out there so need to be prepared to see lots of different opinions!
Switching off can be hard
Honestly, it is hard to switch off as I am always looking for new outfit ideas, new brands, key looks from the high-street. But when we are on a day out with the kids, I do try to switch off… if I don’t get told off by them!
Thanks for the chats, Fran – we’ll see you on Instagram! Follow Fran at @TheFashion_Lift
SHOP FRAN’S INSTA-STYLE
Made my day to be mentioned by @jessica_vince @dressr in this weeks @stella_telegraph ❤ My super bright wedding guest outfit made it into the Wedding Special alongside one of my faves @erica_davies I think my red @hm earrings and yellow @oliverbonas bag have been my two best buys so far this season, worn them both loads, dressed up and dressed down ❤ when in doubt I just add a huge splash of colour and it distracts from everything else
SHOP FROM THE SOURCE
Love shopping, but hate scrolling? You’re in luck. I’ve done the hard work for you and delved into Instagram’s most stylish corners so you can shop the style of Instagram’s chicest stars. Thanks to my hand-picked edit, it’s never been easier to dress like a Fashion-Insta (ha geddit?).