experiments for my exhibition - practicing just being

Here’s some of the colours I’ve been making lately, natural dye colours from my landscape in this Spring weather. Winter was wet, so the garden didn’t quite get going, and then early Spring has been mostly dry-ish. I’ve been dyeing a lot with loquat leaves, because they’re right there available, and also because they’re simply my favourite pink. Loquat pink is slightly more of an ‘earthy’ pink than avocado pink.

I thought I’d share a few experiments with the loquat leaves, and let you know what’s working for me to get the best pinks from the leaves, possible.

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Workshops - my love of teaching, connecting and sharing ideas for you as a teacher

This week someone asked me what I loved most about teaching workshops, and I was still on the delicious floating high from having been teaching at a weekend of gatherings / workshops at beauty-ful Atelier 34. So I was in the exact heart-place to answer that question.

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Instagram : insights & business (and yes, being a crafter is a business too!)

Last weekend I was with some lovely lovely friends who all run their own creative businesses. And they're all really swell at it - seriously! But they all three of them kept asking me about Instagram stuff, and it made me realise that these women are are pretty great at what they do don't have time to keep on top of everything about everything. And seeing as how I'm an Instagram addict - and I teach workshops in it, so I keep on top of current happenings for the 'grams {am I up with the right lingo peeps!} - I know a thing or two. So……. I'm going to start sharing a weekly / fortnightly Insta How To section on my blog. Does that sounds good or helpful? I'd like to know what sort of things you want to learn about and I'll do my best to share them with you.

The big and semi-new thing my friends didn't know about was Business accounts and Insights (analytics) for Instagram. And let me know tell these are cool things that you should tap into if you've got a business-ish account.

Firstly, to access any of this data you need to have a Facebook business page - because FB owns Insta I guess they want to make it all connected. So, go set up a page for yourself. It really is worth it. Once you've done that you just need to connect your Insta account to your FB business page. (This also means you can automatically send all your IG posts right across to FB if you choose).

How to Convert to Instagram Business Account - On your home profile page, click the little cog in the top right hand corner, then scroll down under 'Account' and click 'Switch to Business Profile'. This takes you through the process. It's super easy, so don't worry at all. Just follow all the prompts. Add in your email, phone number and address - I've only got my email added because I don't want people to ring me (eeekkkk - but if you're a bricks & mortar this would be great), and same with my address - I work from home and well…….

Insights & Analytics for Insta Business - After you've connects you'll automatically get access to the insights pages. You'll notice beside the cog there is now a little graph symbol in the top right hand corner. Click on that and there's heaps of info to find. Note - it only starts showing info and analytics on pictures you've posted after you connect, so you'll have nothing straight away. But in about a week you'll have some good stats to look at. (And if you ever unlink your business account, you lose the stats and start fresh again when you relink).

What stats can you find? Well, it'll tell you the average ages of your followers, % of male / female, where they come from (city & country). You'll be able to see how many people actually see each post - which can be highly different to your number of followers, what your engagement rate is (which is the likes + comments combined). Impressions and Reach are different things - impressions means how many times it's viewed altogether, reach is how many different people see it (unique views). Follower activity includes what day and time they're online - mine shows 8-10pm and 6-8am each day as the highest, but I'm noticing that the actual best day changes every single day….. so either the stats are constantly being updated and taking into account each single day's activity or they're not highly accurate and keep fluctuating…? Basically just keep clicking on all the different blue spots to get more info - start tracking it if you want and see the difference.

What's the important stats to look at? In my opinion, the reason I like these stats (in combination with the other analytics I use from Iconoquare and Squarelovin') is that it shows me the actual number of people who have seen the post and the engagement rate. So from that I can work out which of my images appeal best to the people who are actually seeing it. You might find that one image gets more views (reach) but less engagement, that's showing that it's not as 'loved' as an image with more engagement but less views. Work it out as a % if you want to know the really accurate numbers. {engagement / reach = how much your image is loved}. My big advice always, in my workshops and when I chat to friends - is to take notice of this and give the people what they love!

Do you need screen snap shots of how to do this? I can update the post if you let me know… I did find this video that might help - or you can contact me via Insta (send a DM if you want) and I can talk you through it. If you want to get some more of my Insta tips - I've made a little free booklet that you can grab here to help you out.

If you're a local (Gold Coast, Brisbane, Byron Bay regions) - I'm teaching an Advanced Instagram Workshop next Saturday with the totally savvy Dotti Media girls. We've run these workshops together a few times this year, and every single time there's so much information shared that people go home filled and ready to take their Instagram accounts - and their businesses - to the next level. This isn't just talk and networking, this is real solid information that we share.

Please do let me know what other Insta tips you'd be keen to hear about. I'm working on styling & photography for Insta and can't wait to share that with you soon.