Instagram – it’s a beautiful world….q&a with some Insta-crushes

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Anyone who knows me, knows I love Instagram. Golly, even my dad knows and he doesn’t own a mobile phone, have a Facebook account and has to ask me every time he wants to order a book from Amazon (but he doesn’t know how to You-Tube and play suduko!). While I started my Instagram account close to 6 years ago, it took me at least a year or two to realise the amazing potential Instagram has for our creative indie business. And every week I learn something new about that little space of squares – being an addict I’m constantly researching the newest updates and insider info… can’t help it. Which is why I love sharing with you guys, who possibly don’t have as much time as me to do all the Insta-practicing {I don’t have a tv – that’s my defence!}.

I’m running an Advanced Instagram for Creative Business workshop this coming Saturday, alongside savvy marketers Dotti Media, so thought I’d get some other IG addicts thoughts too….. You can book a spot at the workshop here – it’s at The Craft Parlour, on the Gold Coast.

I decided to ask a few of my favourite Australian indie businesses, some are creative makers like me, some have online shops, some have in real life studios where people come along to visit and do workshops and all things like that. Some of them I’m sharing today, some I’ll share another day. The cool thing – all these q&a happened on Instagram, via direct messages. I probably don’t have to tell you that most of us check IG more often than we check our emails – I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have had everyone replying within an hour of me sending messages, if it had been via email. What do you think?

The questions are:
1. I love IG because….
2. IG helps my creative business….
3. Other online marketing I use for business…… but my favourite is IG because….
4. How do you best communicate with your customers?
5. What’s your best tip for IG for business?

Made in Lisa Land – Lisa handcrafts beautiful baskets, woven wall hangings, cushions, and teaches workshops. She doesn’t even have an online shop but sells directly through Instagram.
1. It’s daily inspiration, it’s a comfortable way for me to share who I am and what I love in picture form, it opens up the world to me and lets me interact with people and brands worldwide while still having that close, cosy community feeling.
2. …..be seen!! The connections I’ve made through IG are mind blowing. Most of my business is now workshops and nearly every venue I teach at has found me and approached me though IG.
3. I started on IG. Had an Etsy store for a little while, but found I primarily connected and sold through IG. Also Facebook.
4. I love that IG is photo based…. it made it easy when I started as I didn’t have to write much and sharing ‘me’ was not my thing. But I have grown through IG because people want to know about the maker or the brand and they want / like the story. It makes sense because I feel the same looking at others’ feeds! I’ve evolved now to include information, snippets of me, my process, there’s conversations, private messages; I’ve made friends!
5. For me it’s been to post regularly and find that balance between sharing my work and sharing some of me because the personal connection is always important.
Petalplum Blog - Instagram :: it's a pun-my world :: Lisa Land

Dotti Media – Miranda and Angela are super savvy social media marketing gals – who inject fun into the world of marketing. I mean look at those smiles – but wait till you hear them laugh! They run workshops, online courses, share heaps and heaps of marketing info gold through their Facebook group and webinars.
1. It allows us to connect with so many amazing people around the world doing things you never even knew were possible. You don’t have to be friends, you don’t have to follow them, you can just search and you will find. This is also known as the IG rabbit hole….
2. We love the collaborative opportunities of IG to build our following. In turn this has resulted in new clients and customers.
3. Facebook, Facebook Ads and email marketing. I love IG because it’s fun, it doesn’t have to be perfect and you get to really show your personality. Oh and for the puns. I love to make puns on IG and people seem to get them. (Miranda talking here – I do our IG, while Angela works the FB magic).
4. Through puns! See above…. No really, one of our big changes over the past year has been owning our brand and our biz. We’re never gonna be the most perfect online marketing agency but that’s not who we’re trying to be. I use IG as a way to share our knowledge with other biz owners to hopefully inspire them to do more than just ‘whack up an image and hope it gets a few likes’.
5. Post at least once a day. Post at the right time. Find a bunch of hashtags that work use them all the time. Stay away from generic hashtags like #love or #happy because you’ll just attract spam. Post quality content….. Geez just one? I could talk about using IG for biz all day……..

{oh hey – lucky we’re running that workshop together!!!!}

Petalplum :: Instagram : Dotti Media

Little Tienda – Em is the sweetest gal anyone will ever meet! She runs the best online shop ever – selling highly covetable, ethically made clothes with a Mexican vibe. Little Tienda has a loyal Instagram community who support Em’s shop as well as her business. Last year someone tried to steal the Little Tienda Instagram account & community, trying to fake that she was the real Little Tienda someone managed to get Instagram to shut down Em’s account. Due to the overwhelming support of Little Tienda’s connected, loving, supportive community all was put right and the lovin’ continues….
1. It allows me to communicate, curate and control my branding whilst being front of house with the customer. Plus it’s loads of fun.
2. Because what I do is best visually communicated plus requires authenticity and one on one communication with my customers. IG allows my indie business to stand in its own and tell my story without all the noise of others. It’s all on me if content is working or not, I like that.
3. Facebook but I’m not terribly present there. IG feels more engaging and relevant for my business. I think you find so many like minded creatives and the support is simply heart warming.
4. Hopefully through honesty and a real gratefulness that they support what I do. I’m pretty ecstatic that folks dig what I do. I try to create beautiful imagery that lets us all escape for a moment just enjoy what it is. I feel like when you sell hand made pieces, that the connection of appreciation for the art and consideration of the talent and skill it holds needs to be absorbed. I hope that comes across.
5. Be honest, be grateful, be engaging and supportive to people you feel a kinship with. Create content that not only inspires other but inspires you to do better. Don’t ever feel like you are not enough or compare yourself to others. Enjoy it as it can be a real game changer if your intentions are bang on.

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OH MY GOLLY – so many good words there. I’d love to know what your answers would be… leave a comment sharing what you love most about using Instagram for your business. Which of these tips had you head-nodding or gave you a real a-ha moment?

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