At Craftcation 2015 this past March I was lucky enough to sit on a panel with Abby Glassenberg, Blair Stocker, Rachel Mae Smith, and Tiffany Han. The topic was “How do you run your business?” and the moderator Kari Chapin did an awesome job at keeping the panelists on-topic and asking questions that elicited personal yet practical responses.
At one point the conversation turned to the ways we use social media in our businesses. Several people in the audience seemed shocked when one panelist revealed that not only does she schedule many of her Instagram posts but also uses the same editing techniques and filters for nearly all of her photos. This panelist has one of the loveliest, well-curated and on-brand Instagram feeds I know. After she explained that for her, Instagram isn’t a place for her to share cute pet photos or what she ate for dinner last night but rather a key marketing tool for her brand and business the shock disappeared and people started to ask questions like…
How do you keep your authenticity when you’re scheduling things ahead if time? And…
How do you decide what to share? And…
What do you do if you want to share something but it isn’t on-brand?
The makers in the audience started to see Instagram in a different light. If Instagram is a marketing tool for your business then you have to treat it as such and your content, quality and frequency needs to be consistent.
For many creative business owners Instagram has become their number one social media marketing tool even though it’s a baby (it’s only been around for five years) compared to other marketing tools like newsletters (Mailchimp has been around since 2001), Facebook (which is over 10 years old) and word-of-mouth.
How can creative business owners use Instagram efficiently and effectively while keeping on-brand? I’m certainly not a social media expert like our Dear Handmade Life contributor Caitlin of Little Farm Media. In fact, on that panel at Craftcation I revealed that I have a love/hate relationship with social media. Like many of us I love seeing what other people are up to and having a platform to share in a more personal way with our audience but I also struggle with balancing the amount of time I dedicate to it with all the other things I do in business and life. The bottom line is that only you can decide what works best for you and your business.
I’ve rounded up my top 10 favorite articles featuring Instagram tips for creatives to get you started including several from Craftcation presenters and one from our Craftcation sponsor Shopify who powered our point of sale in our Craftcation pop-up shop. (One of my favorite things about Shopify’s ecommerce platform is that it merges your online and in-person inventory so that if you sell something in-person at a craft show the available stock in your online shop adjusts to reflect the sale.) I love the chart in Shopify’s post illustrating followers engagement with Instagram photos in correlation with what filters are used on the photo.
Hope you enjoy these links as much as I did. Have fun sifting through all the advice to create your own formula for Instagram awesomeness.
1. How To Build A Massive Following On Instagram from Shopify
2. How to Grow Your Brand on Instagram from Craftcation presenter Rachel at The Crafted Life
3. Ten Tips to Double Your Instagram Followers in 30 Days from Blacksburg Belle
4. Instagram Tips for Creative Businesses (Three-part series) from Caitlin of Little Farm Media on Dear Handmade Life
5. How to Make Your Instagram Feed More Lovable from Fall for DIY
6. Six Styling Tips to Improve Your Instagram Photos from Craftcation 2014 Brittany at The House that Lars Built
7. 12 Tips to Win Big on Instagram from Heartmade
8. 4 Ways Everyone Can Get More Instagram Followers on CreativeLive
9. How I Use Instagram to Promote My Business from Craftcation presenter Elise on EnJoy It.
10. How to Use Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest in Your Creative Business from Craftcation presenter Tara Swiger