Instagram for Makers

Don't just get followers and likes, sell your stuff and grow your community!

 

Instagram: THE MOST UNDERUTILIZED TOOL IN YOUR  BUSINESS AND YOU MIGHT NOT EVEN REALIZE IT

There's actually a method to getting MEANINGFUL followers, comments and likes... and it's not found in most "best practice" guides and articles. That's because Instagram has a great assortment of tools that are used best when aligned with your business strategy.

I struggled with Instagram when I first started using it for business. I didn’t fully get it. I couldn’t figure out how to get followers and when people did follow it seemed like magic (how DID they get here?). Then I started really trying to apply myself to it and after a bit I figured out where I needed to put my energies to get the desired results.

Oh yeah, this lady is definitely getting a headache trying to figure out how Instagram works.

Oh yeah, this lady is definitely getting a headache trying to figure out how Instagram works.

It took work, but I figured out how to use Instagram's very robust tools to attract the kind of people I wanted following me (as marketers say, I found my "target market/demographic/audience"). Once I figured that out I started looking at the kinds of photos and posts that create meaningful interactions with my audience. I went from amassing 500 followers in one year to gaining 3,000 in less than six months (I'm terrible at math, but that's something like a 500% increase if I'm doing it right!). I don't wonder anymore about how I will get new followers or why certain photos don't get as many likes. I also don't get jealous when I see other people with huge followings. I know what it will take for me to get what I want out of Instagram and I just stay on that path that is tailored to MY success.

When you figure out how to exploit all of the tools of Instagram, you will gain the right kind of followers (not spammy randoms!) and drive sales. It can become your most valuable sales tool... if you know what to do.

I've been where you are... a "business of one" that has engaged in each new social media as its come along. Maybe you felt like I did:

  • I thought because I understood Facebook and Twitter, I just needed to apply that knowledge to Instagram.
  • I had a personal Instagram account that felt like it was doing much better than my business account and I didn't know why.
  • I would get followers, but it felt like it rarely had anything to do with any sort of strategy. 
  • Everyone told me I need to "let people get to know me" and reveal my life a bit on Instagram. This advice wasn't working. 
  • I posted photos and I didn't know why people liked certain ones.

But Instagram is community of people who want to be connected with other people that are like them. Once you understand this you...

  • Can perform specific tasks and expect certain results.
  • Know where to put your energy for getting what you want out of Instagram.
  • Won't fret when a couple people unfollow you... you will know it is only because they are not "your people."
  • Will use hashtags with confidence and understand how they are not the same as on Twitter and Facebook. 

You don't have to be a whiz at photography either! Though you should understand some basics and know what to do (and what not do!) with a couple photo apps to make your images magnetic to your audience. I will help you do this too!

I want to help you learn from my own mistakes!

Hi! Let's figure out Instagram together!

Hi! Let's figure out Instagram together!

As I mentioned, I had been using Instagram in my personal life and found that it was fun. When I started using it for business it felt much less fun. I would keep track of my monthly stats on all of my platforms and felt like Instagram was arbitrary. I now look forward to tracking my Instagram stats because I know what I am doing, how to tweak things to change my stats to get the desired results and how to look at "slow days" and low-liked pictures as part of my plan or as more data to learn what works and what doesn't. 

Because I work with makers as part of my role as director and co-founder of Academy of Handmade, I am often looking at the photos of crafters, artists and other creatives on Instagram. I saw that this was a group who could be wildly successful on Instagram but most of you aren't using it to the fullest. I wanted to share what I learned in my own Instagram experience with you.

How It Will Work

Essentially there are three areas of work to be done to get you on the right track for Instagram success: 

  1. Learn what aspect of Instagram can help your business the best and then understand what tools to use in order to get those results.
  2. Figure out how to use and read Instagram statistics so you can set goals and know what is working and not working for you.
  3. Create images that are both "on brand" and ones that your customers will literally "like" and figuratively like. 

I break down consulting packages where you can either learn some or all of these techniques. In all of these packages you will receive individualized and tailored strategy from me, complete homework and worksheets that will serve as guides, and receive a copy of my e-book that gives advice for making the most out of Instagram for your business. In the Instagram for Makers program, you will also learn about the one time I will actually break my own rules, why I do it and if you should too!

DON'T WAIT TO START TAKING ADVANTAGE OF ALL THAT INSTAGRAM OFFERS MAKERS!

Instagram is a powerful sales tool and can create a loyal community of fans and friends. Don't waste any more time and effort futilely trying to get likes and followers by guessing and hoping. Once you understand how to make Instagram work for your business it will completely change how you use and look at it.

I used to think I knew what I was doing on Instagram, but I totally didn't!

BEFORE: I wasn't getting why this wasn't working. My brand was all over the place and I didn't know how fix it.

BEFORE: I wasn't getting why this wasn't working. My brand was all over the place and I didn't know how fix it.

AFTER: I figured out what my audience wanted and how to create photos they like.

AFTER: I figured out what my audience wanted and how to create photos they like.

Choose the package that's right for you!

 All three levels I am offering for this program include:

  • Personal attention and custom strategy from me. If you're in the LA area we can meet up if you want or we can do a phone call. 
  • Homework! You know your business best but it can be hard to take a step back and evaluate. I will ask you questions that will help uncover and explore your unique approach to Instagram. It will also help you think through some key marketing foundations of your business. 
  • Next steps and tools. Just because our time together is over doesn't mean you're left adrift. You will walk away with the next steps you should concentrate on to implement your strategy and a list of tools to help make that happen.  

The more extensive packages will take a few weeks (we have breaks so you can complete homework) and the more basic will be less. 

Complete Business Strategy

In this Instagram for Makers package, you’ll get it all:

  • Learn what you REALLY want out of Instagram and how to go about getting it, in order to help grow your business.

  • Plan out your Instagram goals for the day, week and month & learn how to track your stats. You CAN plan for your success and get a better handle on why your Instagram is working for you or if it is not.

  • Discover your desired aesthetic and how to achieve it through your iPhone, so that all your photos look the same and are “on brand.”

What's the commitment from you? You'll be asked to do a bit of homework (2-3 hours worth), we will also go over your tailored Instagram plan that I will create for you (over the phone  or in person if you live in the LA/OC area), and I will also show what your "brand" aesthetic is, let you know if your Instagram reflects this and how to use phone apps to get those two things to align (also over a hangout or in person). You will also get to ask questions in the coaching session and anything you forget to ask you can email me afterwards, at any point-- there's no time limit! 

Just Business

You’ll get a plan for success and learn how to make it happen. This package is especially great if you feel like you are already a pro with your images!

  • Learn what you REALLY want out of Instagram and how to go about getting it, in order to help grow your business.

  • Plan out your Instagram goals for the day, week and month & learn how to track your stats. You CAN plan for your success and get a better handle on why your Instagram is working for you or if it is not.

What's the commitment from you? You'll be asked to do a bit of homework (1-2 hours worth), we will also go over your tailored Instagram plan that I will create for you (over the phone or in person if you live in the LA/OC area). You will also get to ask questions in the coaching session, and two email follow ups are included in case you forget something or get stuck. 

The Basics

If you just want the basics, you'll get a crash course in this Instagram for Makers. This package is for someone who is great at quickly picking up on strategy and is able to intuitively make their own plans for success once they understand the basic concepts. Learn what you REALLY want out of Instagram and how to go about getting it, in order to help grow your business.

What's the commitment from you? You'll be asked to do a bit of homework (1-2 hour's worth), we will also go over your tailored Instagram plan that I will create for you (over the phone or in person if you live in the LA/OC area). You will also get to ask questions in the coaching session, but no email follow ups are included.  

 

Wait, I have some Questions!

I'm sure you do. Here are some that you might have...

So, exactly how does Instagram help a product-oriented business? There are lots of ways and it will depend on how you want to use it but here are a few: create an excited and engaged community who LOVES seeing photos of your product, actually sell things (makers like Ariele Alasko do this with much success) on Instagram, let people know when you are having sales and promotions, get amazing data about what your customers want and are into, drive traffic to your website, and develop an awareness for the trends and conversations that are happening in your industry.

Why is Instagram so great anyways? 
I realize that not every business will have Instagram become its social media darling, but if you make physical goods chances are it will. That's because of the visual nature of Instagram and the fact that you can very easily connect with people without running ads (sorry Facebook, you lose to Instagram here!). Instagram, like Twitter, is also timeline based (again, Facebook, you lose!) and unlike Twitter, people will post fewer images than they will tweets, so it is MUCH more likely that someone who follows you will see your photo than they would see your tweet or Facebook post.  

I don't have time to do a lot on social media. Will this take a lot of time out of my schedule? In practice it should not. And like anything else the more you put in (typically) the more you will get out. If you take a break from work every couple of hours and just spend 5-10 minutes on Instagram, you should see results. 

I want instant, overnight success!
Well, don't we all. :) But this program (and any other program!) will not do that for you. Instagram takes a couple months for you to hit your stride with your strategy. This is for lots of reasons and most people who do consulting and coaching for Instagram will tell you the same. 

I'm not a photographer and don't feel like I am doing visually interesting things to post all the time. Will this work for me?  Yes! The first thing to realize is that more posts does not necessarily mean better results on Instagram. If you're on Twitter, you know that posting more will likely get you more followers. Quality over quantity reigns on Instagram, though. Also, if you make things, then that means you ARE doing something visually interesting. Many very successful Instagram accounts run by makers often only ever show great (usually professional or semi-pro) photos of their product. Even if you aren't in the place to hire a photographer (though if you know photography is not a strong suit you should consider saving up for this... good photos are helpful for your business overall!) to take a bunch of product shots, you can learn how to use good lighting, shot setup and some helpful apps to get photos that will make your product the star that it is! 

I've read a lot of articles and have even taken some online classes on Instagram. I think I've got it. Why do I need you?
You very well might not! The aim of this program is to create tailored strategies for your business because I believe when you really dig in this way that's when you really see results. If you feel like you're equipped to do that on your own, then great! 

I don't know anything about Instagram. Will this help me?
Well, yes and no. I'm not going to teach you much about the functionalities of the app. I'm going to assume some level of awareness and competency on the app and then you've on it a bit to be able to ask "next level" questions that go beyond the basics of posting and setting up a profile. If you aren't familiar with this there are plenty of sites out there that can help.

Have more questions? Email me at sharonifain@gmail.com