Social Media Diary: A Fashion Stylist, Editor and Influencer with 34.2k Followers

Social Media Diary: A Fashion Stylist, Editor and Influencer with 34.2k Followers
Photo: Allison Kahler.

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My name is Audree López, but I’m perhaps better known as Simply Audree Kate on Instagram. I’m a 26-year-old, NYC-based fashion stylist, freelance editor, industry expert and blogger. I spend close to 25 hours per week on social media, and while most of that time is spent on work, I still catch myself mindlessly typing the Facebook URL into my browser or opening my Instagram app as soon as I unlock my phone. Social media plays a very active role in my life—both personally and professionally—and it also accounts for a huge percentage of my annual income. Welcome to my social media diary.

I started my blog, Simply Audree Kate, in 2012 as a resume builder in college. I was at Arizona State University, had zero experience in fashion and knew zero people in the industry, but I dreamt of moving to New York one day. Instagram was barely a concept at the time, but I created a profile and began posting photos of my outfits, promos of my blog posts and some of my clothing designs. Over the next three years, I continued to juggle college, working and interning, and throughout that time, my blog remained a hobby I’d dedicate a little time to. Once I moved to New York in 2015, I began posting on social media consistently, working on brand campaigns and growing my audience—which has now grown to 34.2k followers (on Instagram alone).

img 9622 Social Media Diary: A Fashion Stylist, Editor and Influencer with 34.2k Followers

Courtesy of author.

I left my corporate job in 2017 to focus on my three companies—my blog, Simply Audree Kate; my styling label, Audree Kate Studios; and my newest venture, Fashion Fundamentals—an interactive digital educational program for high school and college-age students looking to break into the fashion industry. In addition to running multiple businesses, I have three Instagram accounts, two Facebook pages, one personal Facebook account, a Youtube channel, a Pinterest page and a Twitter profile. It’s no surprise that I spend an average 24 hours on social media each week. Yes, you heard that right—an entire day.

Each week is vastly different for me and my team. Some days, I’m at a photo shoot. Others, I’ll be running around the city like crazy attending meetings, press events, social engagements and working with my team. And on others, I’ll be posted up in my favorite neighborhood coffee shop for countless hours answering emails, working on content, writing articles and slowly crossing off things on my to-do list. The hustle is real, and I never leave my apartment without my laptop, phone and a couple chargers.

A few months after leaving my full-time job, I found myself in a downward emotional spiral. I felt depressed each time I opened up Instagram and caught myself comparing my feed and engagement to practically every other person I followed. I did a harsh reality check and cut back my time spent on social media significantly. I would log in to post and check messages—then, I’d log out. It wasn’t until about six months ago that I changed my mindset about social media and embraced the role it played in my day-to-day life. My relationship with social media no longer felt like a toxic one, where I almost resented the platform; instead, I realized the power behind it. Since, I’ve used social media to build and grow my companies and connect with my community—and my profiles are no longer comprised of a bunch of pretty brunch snaps or emoji-filled captions.

I was really excited when my latest StyleCaster task was to document my social media usage for a week. I’ve never made a conscious effort to track it—mostly because ignorance is bliss, and I like living in a world where I don’t have to acknowledge the fact that I’m basically attached at the hip to my phone (both literally and figuratively). But this week opened my eyes to just how much I use my phone on a day-to-day basis. Let’s dive in.

Day 1: Monday, February 18

6 a.m.: I’ve forced myself to become more of a morning person this past year, so I unwillingly crawl out of bed to wash my face and brush my teeth. I instantly grab my phone and scroll through my email notifications—then, open up Instagram to look through my messages and comments. I turned off my social media push notifications on my phone a couple years ago, because I hated my phone lighting up every few seconds with a like, comment or message.

8 a.m.: After getting ready, I answer emails, make my to-do list for the day and dive into social media.

9 – 9:30 a.m.: I post my first photo of the week, a sponsored campaign I did with Hanes Hosiery. I worked with them during New York Fashion Week and showcased how I styled their tights throughout the week. Once the photo is live, I post my three sponsored Instagram Stories, add hashtags to my photos and start engaging on the comments.

10 a.m.: I leave my apartment and head to Alice + Olivia, a brand I freelance style with. We have a styling meeting today, so I won’t have much time to be on social media throughout the first part of the day. My commute is about 30 minutes door-to-door, during which I listen to a podcast, answer emails and aimlessly scroll through Instagram and Facebook.

10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.: I’m at the office working with the styling team, so I have my phone in hand taking pictures of outfits we’re putting together. I’m not active on social media during this time but catch myself clicking on Instagram to check my notifications every 30 minutes or so. I’m mostly tracking how my sponsored photo is performing, responding to comments and checking my DMs.

2 p.m.: I leave the office with one of the assistants, and we grab a late lunch at a nearby salad place. During this time, I check my Instagram once and respond to texts.

3 p.m.: My afternoon conference call with a brand was moved to Tuesday, so I leave the office and head to a coffee shop to work until my dinner plans.

4 – 4:30 p.m.: I have call with my publicist, and we discuss some upcoming projects I’m working on for Simply Audree Kate. She’s working on securing brand partnerships, so during our call, I’m scrolling through brand Instagram feeds and taking notes.

4:30 – 6:30 p.m.: I answer emails, send pitch emails to brands for my upcoming trip to Spain in mid-March, and send edits to my graphic designer for a new logo for Fashion Fundamentals.

6:30 p.m.: I leave the coffee shop and head to dinner with a friend. I open Instagram and boost the campaign photo I posted this morning. I respond to comments, DMs and like photos in my feed.

7 – 9 p.m.: During dinner, I’m mostly off my phone. I take my phone out to snap a couple pics of the food and to answer texts when my friend is in the bathroom, but for the most part, keep my phone in my pocket.

9 – 9:30 p.m.: I head back to the Upper East Side from the West Village and spend my commute editing photos from dinner and posting them on my Instagram Stories. I make a conscious effort to put my phone away (or at least face down) during meetings, meals or hanging out with friends. I want to be present and in-the-moment, so any time I take pics during a meal or social setting, I don’t post the photos until after. This also gives me an opportunity to make my stories more curated and edit the photo. I believe that this strengthens my overall brand aesthetic—and it comes with the added bonus of not feeling rushed in the moment.

10 p.m.: I shower and get ready for bed. While I’m doing my beauty night routine, I watch friends’ Instagram Stories and scroll through my Facebook and Instagram feeds.

11 p.m.:  I finish up a couple things for work, make my to-do list and call my parents. They’re in Arizona, so they’re 2-3 hours behind New York.

Midnight – bedtime!: I put my phone away in my bathroom and head to bed. I don’t want to aimlessly scroll through my feed while lying in bed, so I always leave my phone in another room. This also helps me get up in the morning since I’m a religious snooze button hitter.

Day 2: Tuesday, February 19

7 a.m.: The snooze button won this morning, and I slept past my alarm. I get ready and head to the coffee shop on the corner of my street. I spend a majority of my “work from home” days here, since I don’t have a real office to go to while working on my own stuff.

9 a.m.: I answer emails, prepare for two conference calls I have today and review my to-do list. I get so caught up in my work that I don’t post an Instagram photo today, but I still spend about 30 minutes scrolling through my feed, engaging with followers and answering messages.

11 a.m.: I have a call with one of my current interns. I offered her a full-time job when she graduates in May, so we discuss the job description and she accepts! This is my first full-time hire for Audree Kate Studios Inc., and a huge milestone for the company.

11:30 a.m.: After the call, I scroll through Instagram for a few minutes, engage with readers and get back to work until my next conference call.

2 p.m.: I’m prepping for a call with a brand that I have at 2:30, so I spend the 20 minutes beforehand on social media pulling inspiration pictures for our mood boards and looking through their feed.

2:30 – 5:30 p.m.: I’m working on my laptop but occasionally pick up my phone and quickly scan Instagram while waiting for something to load on the internet or between tasks. I’m realizing how apt I am to mindlessly grab my phone as soon as I stop typing on my laptop—oops.

6:30 p.m.: I have a manicure appointment with a publicist, so I spend my 20 minute subway ride looking at nail art designs from the salon. As soon as I arrive at the salon, I snap a couple pics/videos of the location and put my phone away.

9 p.m.: I arrive back home and post my stories, engage on Instagram and get back to work until bedtime.

Day 3: Wednesday, February 20

6 a.m.: It’s a busy day, so I’m up early getting ready. I do my daily social media scan during my morning routine.

8 a.m.: I head to my neighborhood coffee shop and meet my first intern to go over their to-do list.

9 a.m.: My newest campaign with Coco Reef swimwear went live today, so I post my first photo! I modeled in their ‘Flaunt Your Shape’ campaign a few months ago, and the content officially launched today with their spring collection. I honestly never imagined I would be involved in something like this, so it’s a really cool experience that a brand is using real women as their models!

9:30 a.m.: This photo is blowing up on my feed, so I’m taking time to read through comments, respond and post parts of the video on social media. Being active on your content that first few minutes—even that first hour—is crucial. The more engagement a post has, the more likely that post is to pop up in users’ feeds (and reach a wide audience).

10 – 11 a.m.: My second intern arrives for the day, and we go through scheduling posts on our other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Having a social media intern pre-schedule posts on the other platforms allow me to focus on Instagram, which is where our largest following is.

12 p.m.: Coco Reef posts some campaign photos and a video, so I share them on my Stories and engage with any comments I receive.

12:30 p.m.: My social media intern and I quickly grab lunch and head to LIM college where I’ll be speaking in a class later in the day.

1 p.m.: We meet up with my managing editor to discuss the launch of Fashion Fundamentals (which officially went live on Monday, February 25!). We’re less than a week away from the launch, so we write social copy, review promo photos and FaceTime my marketing strategist for a quick meeting.

4 p.m.: I’m a guest speaker in a career class at LIM College. I talk for about 30 minutes, answer questions for about 20 minutes and then tell the class to follow me on Instagram for a chance to win a discount for the Fashion Fundamentals course. I receive about 15 new followers from the class, as well as a handful of DM messages.

5 p.m.: I post some behind-the-scenes photos/video on Instagram Stories that my social media intern captured during the talk.

6 p.m.: I quickly run home, change and answer emails before meeting up with friends.

7 – 10 p.m.: I’m out with friends and put away my phone for the evening. It was so nice being offline for a few hours.

11 p.m.: I begin my nightly routine and do a final sweep through social media before calling it a night!

Day 4: Thursday, February 21

6 a.m.: For the next two days, I’m on set with Alice + Olivia for spring e-commerce photo shoots. I finish my morning routine, scroll through social media, answer emails and head to the office.

8:30 a.m.: During my morning commute, I work on emails instead of my go-to social scroll, because I won’t be able to work much on my own things while I’m on set styling.

10 a.m.: Once our prep work is done, I scroll through Instagram, comment/respond to people and post some behind-the-scenes photos on Insta stories.

1 p.m.: I styled my friend Gabriela for a Food Network series called “Experimental Eats,” and her segment went live today! For this episode, she had to eat like The Rock for a day, so what better than an outfit that replicates the classic Rock ’90s turtleneck look? I share the photos on my Instagram stories and repost the video on my Facebook page.

5 p.m.: The rest of the afternoon was spent working on set, but now I’m headed home—meaning it’s time to catch up on social media notifications and emails.

7 p.m.: I’ve felt a little MIA this week on social (surprising given how many times I’ve scrolled though my feed). The truth is, I’ve been so busy with work, so I just haven’t been posting as much as I normally do. I decide to share some major updates with my followers, so I spend about 30 minutes recording stories—then editing and posting them. I tell them that I hired someone full-time, I hint toward the Fashion Fundamentals launch and mention that I’m moving apartments in a couple weeks! I’m finally moving out on my own, which has been a huge life change. Once I’m done, I catch myself mindlessly scrolling through some home decor Instagrams and hashtags. (Gotta prepare for what lies ahead, right?)

8 p.m. – midnight: I continue to work on my stuff and respond to comments about my Instagram story announcements. Then, I head to bed.

Day 5: Friday, February 22

6 a.m.: I wake up, do my morning social media scroll and get ready for another day on set with Alice + Olivia.

8 a.m.: We have an earlier call time today, so I head to the office around 8 a.m. and spend my morning commute responding to DMs and photo comments.

8:30 a.m.: Once I arrive to the office I post a little behind-the-scenes from the Coco Reef campaign shoot. I rarely ever take selfies, but with a full glam team, killer lighting and a spray tan, why not?!

12 p.m.: There’s a dog in the office so I post a photo of her on my Instagram Story and link to my most recent StyleCaster article before getting back to work.

5 p.m.: I have an early call time for a blog shoot tomorrow so I head home after the photo shoot, make dinner and clean my room.

8 p.m.: I start prepping my outfits for tomorrow’s campaign shoot and scroll through social media to see what the brand has been posting, what kind of posts are in the hashtags, etc.

11 p.m.: I finish packing my clothes, making a shot list and video skit for the shoot, and head to bed.

Midnight: One last scroll through Instagram.

Day 6: Saturday, February 23

6:30 a.m.: I hit snooze a few times before getting out of bed—it was ROUGH waking up so early on a weekend.

7:45 a.m.: I jump in an Uber and head to the hotel we’re shooting at in Long Island City. Luckily, my ride is only about 10 minutes from my apartment, so I scroll through Instagram and post a couple things on Stories.

8 a.m.: I go through the shot list and video skit sequence with my photographer. I show her a couple inspiration shots on Youtube and Instagram, and we start working. We only have about two hours together because she has other clients, so we have to be super efficient.

10 a.m.: My photographer leaves and I start creating Instagram content. I film the Penthouse we shot in (the view of the NYC skyline was insane), take a ton of mirror selfies in a robe I borrowed from a brand for the shoot, and then enjoy my coffee in silence.

10:30 a.m.: I FaceTime my parents in Arizona and pack up the room before heading back to my apartment.

11 a.m.: I post the photos and videos from the penthouse and pack my backpack to work in a coffee shop.

12 p.m.: I post shopping links of the robe I wore earlier that morning on Instagram Stories (per request from some followers) find some more affordable options to list.

12:30 p.m.: I upload an old outfit photo on Instagram.

12:30 – 5 p.m.: My managing editor meets me at the coffee shop and we work through the rest of the tasks leading up to the Fashion Fundamentals launch.

6 p.m.: We grab food, and I scroll through Instagram as we cook our pizza.

7 – 10 p.m.: We continue to work. Then, we turn on Netflix, and I occasionally scroll through Instagram and engage with my followers while watching.

10 p.m.: I post a robe OOTD from the shoot this morning and engage for a little.

12:30 a.m.: I head to bed and scroll through Instagram for a few minutes.

Day 7: Sunday, February 24

11 a.m.: Oops! I really needed to sleep in after a busy week of waking up so early. So I do! Once I’m up, I make breakfast, look through my notifications and engage on Instagram. The robe photo from last night performed really well!

1 p.m.: I head to my go-to coffee shop and bust out a few hours of work.

2 p.m.: I post today’s Instagram photo. I haven’t officially announced the Fashion Fundamentals program yet, so I’m just posting a teaser today to encourage more people to sign up for my newsletter.

2:30 p.m.: I post my summer internship listing on Instagram Stories and post some teasers about Fashion Fundamentals.

3 – 6 p.m.: I work on a few blog campaign drafts, edit photos and finalize things for the Fashion Fundamentals launch.

6:30 p.m.: I make dinner, engage on social media and get back to work.

7 – 11 p.m.: I’m barely on my phone or social media, because I’m trying to crank out final social copy—and, you know, working on this article.

Midnight: I head to bed and prepare for launch day in the morning!

Final Thoughts

This week turned out to be a huge learning moment for me. Tracking my social media usage forced me to acknowledge that every time I have 10 seconds to spare—whether I’m waiting for the subway, waiting for a tab to load in my web browser, waiting for a friend to get back from the bathroom—I whip out my phone. It’s second nature at this point, and while most of my social media time is still geared toward work, it’s still wild to consider that I regularly waste one day of each week on social media. (And that’s not even including the time I spend on social media on my laptop!)

It’s strange that I’m so apt to grab my phone when I have my hands free—instead of just, you know, sitting still. Sure, when I have busy days at work or when I’m spending time with friends, I do put my phone away. But when I’m procrastinating, or sitting by myself in a coffee shop, or experiencing some kind of brain fog, I head straight for social media. I think my worst enemy is myself; I work for myself, so there’s no boss looming over me, silently judging me every time I pull out my phone during the workday. I have to be that for myself. And it’s especially hard when social media is one of the major ways I interact with my friends, family and followers every single day.

Going forward, I’m planning to cut back on the mindless Instagram scrolling and embrace a more concertedly productive social media routine. I’ll log in, share my content, interact with friends and followers, do some project research and log out. The seconds, minutes and (eventually) hours that are put toward those tasks are time well spent, so there’s no need to feel bad about them. But the mindless stuff? That can go.