Our Q&A with the wonderful Lizzy aka Flossy’s Wonderland ( no pun intended!) on how Instagram became one of her jobs and moving abroad.
We have completely fallen in love with Amsterdam and we cannot wait to go back. This is no doubt down to the many amazing reels we have seen by Lizzy aka Flossy’s Wonderland on her ever so popular Instagram.
We were intrigued to talk to Lizzy about how her and her boyfriend started a lovely life in Amsterdam after travelling and why they chose to settle in the dutch capital.
Lizzy shares her one job as a dog walker with some of the cutest pooches and also her work with her Instagram account too. Lizzy was super lovely and we loved putting this feature together with our burning questions.
We asked Lizzy some of our biggest questions for her and this is what she had to say…
How did you eventually decide Amsterdam was the perfect place to call home?
I think I never really thought of Amsterdam as the ‘perfect’ place to call home, but more of somewhere I was drawn to, and I wanted to experience what life would be like here. I came with the intention of being really open minded, not putting a set time frame on it and going with the flow. For me, the word ‘home’ has always been quite fluid, it doesn’t feel like a specific place or a house, it’s more of a feeling. I can’t really describe it, but I was sure I would have that ‘feeling’ here in Amsterdam, and I was definitely right 🙂
A few reasons I was drawn to Amsterdam were that it has a really free spirited culture, the extraordinary is the normal, it is a place where anyone and everyone can be totally free to be whoever they want to be without fear of judgement. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but without feeling like you are in a ‘big city’. It is quite small which I love, because I adore nature and don’t like to feel like I’m in a concrete jungle – Amsterdam definitely doesn’t feel like that. Lastly, it is English speaking, and its possible to work and live here without needing to speak the language fluently (thats not to say I’m not trying though haha!).
How were you able to integrate Instagram into your working life and what are your tips for making Instagram a job?
I started my Instagram account during the first lockdown, I think May 2020, so you could say I had a lot of time on my hands! I put in a lot of hours, I’d spend hours in the evenings brainstorming ideas and pulling together photos from my archives. I reached out to my favourite creators for advice, watched countless Youtube videos and studied accounts which I aspired to be like someday. I also put a huge focus on building a community of people who would consistently show up and interact with my posts (and I would do the same for them). I think in terms of making Instagram a job, you can’t go into it with that mindset, you have to show up because you love creating and interacting with others, otherwise Instagram isn’t going to work for you. I put in thousands of hours of work before seeing any monetary incentive, so you really have to enjoy being active and creative, and dedicated to it.
A few tips I would say for making an Instagram account successful would be:
Spend some time thinking about the true value you will provide to people through your account. What can you help people with? What’s your goal? Why would someone want to follow you? What insights do you have that are unique or uncommon that people would find useful? These days, its not enough to just be an amazing photographer or similar, people want a reason to go to your page and to follow you, and they need a reason to stay and be interested in your content.- Once you understand what value you will provide, really focus on improving your creating skills – whether thats photos, video, copy. I took a photography course, brushed up on my video skills, tried to learn from my favourite creators and built my skills as much as I could.
I still am learning and building my skills everyday!- Make sure you take the time to build and interact with your community, they are the most important aspect of Instagram, with a strong community you will see great results. Answer every comment, every DM, interact with new people, leave thoughtful comments on others work which shows to them you have taken the time to read their work and it resonates with you. I have met some amazing people through Instagram, which I am actually now friends with in real life too, building that community is the best thing you can do because you will have people on there which support you and show up for you every time you post new content or a story you’re not sure whether to post.- Build a relationship with your followers through your stories, be informal, interactive, let them see the real you!- Be consistent – there will be lots and lots of times you feel like giving up, like you’re talking to an empty room, like the ‘algorithm’ hates you, when you get your first negative or hateful comment, if a post does terribly – but keep going. There isn’t a single person on Instagram that gets amazing results every single time they post or every time they show up on stories, engagement is like a rollercoaster, but you just have to ride it and stick with it and always be consistent.
If you put your all into the above things then I can guarantee to you you will succeed, and there will definitely be an opportunity for you to turn Instagram into a job – but it takes hard work and a lot of time.
What would your biggest tips for moving to a new place would be?
Feel the fear and do it anyway. That is my biggest life philosophy! Moving to a new place, or especially moving abroad can be really daunting, but it doesn’t mean it won’t be an amazing ride! The best things I have done in my life are from stepping outside my comfort zone, it’s when amazing things happen. I think a few of the most important things to do when moving are: to go into it with an open mind, try not to build too many assumptions in your head, but take everything as it comes. Don’t be afraid to do things by yourself (this is a big thing I have learnt this year), take yourself for a walk or a coffee, aimlessly wander and explore. Read blogs on cool spots to visit, or check out Instagram pages about that place to get a feel for what its like there and for some good recommendations. Don’t worry if things don’t go to plan or if it doesn’t work out how you expected, you never know what next is around the corner!
What would be your favourite places in Amsterdam and how has moving changed you?
Without a doubt my favourite place is Vondelpark. I feel most at home when in nature, and the park is like a little oasis (whatever the weather) for me. There is always amazing people (or dog) watching to do there, and you see the funniest and weirdest sights every time you go in. It’s really not like your average park! Some of my other favourite spots are the markets in Jordaan (Noordermarkt and Lindengrachtmarkt), I also really love central station early in the morning when its super quiet, I like to catch the sunrise there, but really anywhere around the canals is just gorgeous and has the loveliest feel to it!
I think moving forced me to let go of wanting to plan so much in my life, I used to have to always have the next thing to look forward to in order to feel content, but now I just take each day as it comes with an open mind and I ’trust the process’ a lot more. I try to enjoy the here and now, rather than constantly thinking about the future. After all, the only true reality is the present moment!
All photos by Lizzy. You can follow Lizzy here and on https://www.flossyswonderland.com/