A bit of advice for all the perfectionists out there from a fellow designer I work with. His rationale? “Perfection is often impossible and gives you no room to grow. Progress always gives you something to shoot for”.

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Selling-with-instagram

If you’ve been following my Facebook page for the past few weeks, you’ll know that I’ve become really interested in Instagram. I’ve had an account for some time and last month I decided to finally explore it in depth. While there is a lot of information out there about the basics of Instagram, I hadn’t found much that really goes into the strategy involved in using Instagram to promote your business. Which is why I was excited to sit in on a live broadcast of a Creative Live course named, “Sell More with Instagram” yesterday.

“Sell More with Instagram” taught by Instagram expert, Sue B Zimmerman, is an deep dive 3-day course on how to use Instagram to drive sales, build communities, and to build your brand. There were a ton of takeaways not only from Sue herself but from some of her past students who came on as guest speakers to share their tips. Some of my main takeaways from yesterday’s sessions were:

1. I really need to work on my Instagram profile- Profiles help people decide if they want to connect with you or not. This is true of any social media platform, but it’s hard to know how if you’re new and don’t know how to properly set one up. Mine is rather spare for the moment.

Instagram_Profile

Emojis are a great way to dress up an Instagram profile and Sue shared some really interesting ones.

Instagram_Profile_Examples

2. Take advantage of themes- Figuring out what to post on Instagram can be a stumbling block. Having some sort of theme can help you get more creative, like “Motivation Monday” or “Freckle Friday”. You can piggyback on an existing theme like “Throwback Thursday” or create your own that’s unique to your business (Funky Jewelry Friday anyone?)

3. Create your own hashtag- Like Twitter, hashtags are the main way that people find what they want on Instagram. Sue pointed out that if you use a hashtag that’s too broad or too common, then it’s easy for your photo to get buried. Create your own hashtag and share it with your audience so that they can find you easily on Instagram (this would also work on Twitter). Sue’s hashtag is #InstaExpert.

4. Canva is awesome- Of course you can share more than just photos on Instagram. Quotes and graphics work really well too. And fortunately you don’t need to be a Photoshop expert to create a good looking Instagram graphic. Sue’s assistant did a great tutorial on the online graphics tool Canva to show how you can create a great looking graphic for free. While I work in Photoshop pretty much all day every day, I’ll still zip over to Canva when I don’t feel like firing up Photoshop, like for my Happy Halloween post I did last week.

Happy

5. Be social…duh- It’s easy to concentrate on getting people to follow you and like you on Instagram. It’s also easy to forget that you have to give comments and likes to get them. Sue stressed the importance of being social on Instagram by liking photos, following the streams of people that inspire you, tagging other Instagrammers, and by interacting through comments. And the interaction has to been real. Tagging someone on Instagram or leaving thinly veiled promotional comments won’t get you far.

So these are my takeaways for Day 1 of Sell More with Instagram. For Day 2 Sue will be going over merchandising and stage setting your photos and how to set up a storefront on Instagram. Should be interesting!

If you want to catch Day 2 and 3 of the course, you can go to the Sell More with Instagram page on Creative Live and RSVP for free. The live broadcast is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific Time. If you can’t make the live broadcast you can purchase the course for $99 (price goes up to $149 on November 8th) and watch it any time you want, plus get some additional bonuses not available with the free broadcast.

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Motivation Monday- You gotta jump

This Monday’s motivational video is from author, comedian, and television/radio personality, Steve Harvey, who reminds us that success requires you to take risk. Enjoy! For more motivation for the rest of the week, check out my Instant Motivation pinboard.

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Motivation Monday- Don’t wait until you’re ready

For more motivation for the rest of the week, check out my Instant Motivation pinboard.

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Apps I Love: Todoist

A to-do list is is a great way to help you keep track of what you need to get done. Some folks can do a great job with a just pen and paper. I’m not one of those folks. Fortunately for me (and everyone else that can’t cut it with a paper to do list) […]

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Social Media: Pinterest Community Questions

Apparently even the good folks at Pinterest knows that I spend an inordinate amount of time there, because last week I got an email from them asking to test out a new feature. So of course I agreed. A week later I noticed something different on all of the pins. At the bottom of each […]

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Overheard: Expressing Your Voice Through Social Media

A great podcast episode, or rather episodes, landed on my listening rotation this morning. If you’re new to using blogging and social media to promote yourself, or even if you’ve been doing it for while and feel like you’re in a rut, then you’ll want to check out this podcast episode by Grace Bonney called […]

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Art Marketing: Facebook page cover image changes

So…yet again…Facebook has made changes to their pages. *Sigh* Most of the stuff that’s changed is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things…more annoying or neutral than problematic, Scott Ayres of Post Planner outlines them here. The most noticeable and possibly annoying difference is in your Facebook page’s cover image. Now you don’t have […]

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Review: How to Photograph Your Jewelry Video series

One of the projects I have underway is upgrading the quality of jewelry images on my website and Etsy stores. Having great images of your work is absolutely key for selling and promoting yourself online. Even if you don’t have an online store or Etsy site, you’ll still want great images to share on your […]

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Art Marketing: Where to put your art website address

If you have a website, an online store or portfolio, or a blog, the first order of business is to get traffic to it. One way to do that is to make sure that your URL or website address is display in as many places as possible. Here are some ideas to help you get […]

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