Last June I wrote a post about how I use Instagram to promote my online business (blog, shop and podcast). Since then, A LOT has changed except for the fact that IG is still my very favorite social media platform (and the only one I use with any real consistency).
So, I figured an update post was in order! But before we start, please know that YES! I do realize this is JUST social media. It's not life or death and how serious you want to take it is totally your call. I'd say I take it about 80% serious because it's a big part of how I keep sales coming in and my business alive.
Here's what's new :
I currently operate THREE Instagram accounts. There's my personal one @elisejoy. Then there is a private one that is 100% just for close friends and family where I overgram Ellerie photos. Then there is an account dedicated to @gettoworkbook. I handle all three of these accounts very differently.
@elisejoy is about sharing bits of my work and home life. BITS being the key word. I am selective and critical about what "makes" this feed and have tightened that window over the past year. I work to share photos that are creative, informative, colorful & (for the most part) upbeat. This does not mean that my life is always all four of those categories. This does mean that those are the sort of photos I want to share. I still use this account to promote my blog, podcast and business BUT I also use it to document my family and our adventures. It's much more fun than work for me to share on Instagram and I really enjoy it.
the Ellerie feed is about sharing funny photos of Ellerie with our family. It's way easier to just post 8-10 photos a week there instead of texting them out. I don't edit, crop or care about what these photos look like, I just am sharing the nutty antics. I made this account private because I don't need to share this stuff with the Internet (even if the Internet was interested). I'm very happy with the level of sharing that I currently do on public accounts, but this private account gives me an opportunity to stay in better contact with those that actually know and love us. When the new baby comes, I will most likely just change the account name and share both kiddos there.
@gettoworkbook is about 100% promotion. Yep. This account is my number one tool for selling the GET TO WORK BOOK™ and all future products (!!!!) that will fall under this brand. I LOVE IT. I love that I split it off from @elisejoy. I use this account to share product photos, shipping updates, (hopefully) inspiring goal-setting tidbits and customer photos. Because this account is not personal, I think it makes sense to share photos of others using the book. I search the #gettoworkbook hashtag often to find photos and then share them on the feed, usually calling out something about the photo that I like and of course, crediting the original poster. It's a win, win, win. I get fresh content, the photo-taker gets some eyeballs and followers can see (and will be able to see more as July starts) how others are using the book.
TIP IF YOU USE IG FOR BUSINESS PROMOTION : most likely if you're trying to sell something online and you're using IG, you're expecting mobile purchases. I wish I had the data, but I think at least half of my GTWB orders come in through a phone or tablet while people are browsing IG or my blog. I set my website to be mobile friendly(ish) and I use paypal to collect payment. THIS IS KEY. As a consumer, I am much more likely to make a purchase on my phone when I can just pay with paypal in two clicks. It's VERY UNLIKELY that I am going to type my credit card number and address into my tiny phone screen. Yes, I might go sit at my computer and do it, but if you don't except paypal (or other mobile friendly transaction app) you might be missing out on sales.
I process all my photos using the VSCO app. I used to be 100% #nofilter. And then I got tired of seeing "everyone's" photos really "popping" in my feed and mine sort of sitting there, dully. So for the past year, I have been using the VSCO color boost filters (C1, C2, C3) most often. For black and white I use B1. All of these are probably very over-used filters on IG and they might be ones that you hate (or you might hate ALL filters!), but for my vibe and my photos, I tend to be pleased with the results. In the photo above, you see the original on the top left, then the exposure lightened a bit and then C1 for the finished image.
Occasionally I'll retouch a photo with the Snapseed app. I am so overwhelmed by this app, but I have found that the spot repair button to be a lifesaver. There's a wall in my office that gets good light and I'll tape stuff to it occasionally, but it has a leftover nailhole. I like to just "spot repair" that hole away and boom! Clean, non-distracting background.
I think about the feed as a whole. I used to just throw up a photo, without thinking about how it would look on my profile feed. BUT NOW, like a crazy person, I think about the last few photos (like actually go and look at them) and see how the colors of the next photo will fit in. I don't want two blue sky photos right next to each other or two black and white photos one on top of each other. This is completely ridiculous and over the top, but I started caring and now I can't seem to stop. I also never, ever (I don't care if it's the greatest photo in the world) share anything that isn't cropped in a square. Having a feed that's not perfectly gridded out makes me anxious. Can't do it.
Here's what's not new:
I still take the same 8 photos. If you've been here awhile, you know I have some photo composition "go-tos" and I never vary from them. Boring? Yes. Easy? Yes. Cliche? Probably. Branded? Absolutely. I've outlined most of the photos before but in sum: product held in hand, object on a wooden table, looking down at my feet, cropped up so you can see lots of sky, shot straight from above, camera resting on the ground or table, stuff coming out of the frame as if it was "causally" strewn about.
I still use Instagram as my #1 way to promote my podcast. But I changed how I do it and I love the new format. I used to just write the guest and show title on a paper and hold it in some arty way. Now I pull a quote from the episode and write that out in sharpie and take a photo of it. It's a MUCH more shareable and exciting method because it gets people to say "great point!" or "I needed this today!" and sometimes they tag their friends who might benefit from this tidbit and that helps me get the podcast more listeners.
What do you think? Totally insane?! YES! Still super fun though. ;)
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