Instagram for designers by Kate O’Sullivan from A Playful Day
Do you use Instagram to promote your design work? Kate O’Sullivan from A Playful Day tells you how to make the most of it…
As a social media platform, Instagram feels like the natural home for makers, creatives and small business owners. There’s no word limit on Instagram which means you can treat each post like a microblog if you wish which is pretty helpful for busy business owners with little time to blog about their news! Instagram is also highly visual and there’s already a great community on there who are keen to find other creatives and makers. It means that as a tool to promote your business, it’s an amazing free resource. So how do you get the best out of it?
Think Slow and Steady
Instagram is not a fast moving platform. Unlike live streaming apps like Periscope or Snapchat, the content doesn’t disappear after 24 hours. It means you have a little bit more time to think about building your story and can show your journey thanks to the ‘grid’ that appears on your profile page.
This grid is pretty important. This is where people can make a very quick judgement of whether the kind of posts you share are the sort of thing they want to see more regularly. It’s also entirely visual – they can’t see the caption in that grid so it’s really important your images are the best you can make them. People get quite worried about how much to style or edit their photos but the main thing here is to be consistent, have fun and think about the first impression you want to make.
A few months ago, I teamed up with Emily Quinton to create some helpful tips for improving your project photography. You can read the post with all the tips, here.
Tell Your Story
Your main focus is promoting your design business, but it doesn’t have to be that black and white. Telling the story around your work is going to encourage far greater engagement than simply announcing a new pattern every few months. So, when you’re planning what pictures to post, think about your design work. What words would you use to describe your designs?
Now apply that to your Instagram imagery: does it tell the same story? Instagram is a great place to show your final projects but also your process and inspiration. For example, if you design a lot for children, it’s entirely relevant to include a few stories about your family or little moments in the home. The idea is to build a collection of posts that capture what you’re all about offline as well as online.
One of the strongest things about Instagram is the sense of community. Users really like to share inspiration but also to be inspired. Keep an eye on the ‘Explore’ page to see what you’re friends are enjoying (it’s the little magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your screen).
Instagram has made a few changes recently which means it collects images and ideas based on what your friends are liking on Instagram. The chances are, you’ll like them too!
Also, while you’re thinking about getting social, don’t forget to dive into the hashtags. Tagging your posts with relevant hashtags will make it easier for people to find you, and of course you can find all sorts of inspiration and people to connect with in the same way.
Ultimately, Instagram works best when you tell a story. Think about how you edit and caption your images and share what you love most about your making. Then get sharing!
What do you share on Instagram? Follow our Instagram page for yarn, patterns and more!
Don’t forget to follow us on Bloglovin! for knitspiration every day…
Last updated: September 22nd, 2016.