Winning on Instagram

Winning on Instagram might feel like something you have to hire an entire PR team to achieve. There are loads of great tools and simple wins that you can start right away to win engagement on Instagram.

Now you might be thinking that as a creative you don’t have a need to use Instagram for business, but I wanted to tell you that it can drive traffic to your website, help you to make sales and get people to attend your events. You can even network on it too!

I used to have a different account for Instagram when I worked in the film industry. I have switched to a Creative Women International account now and am in the process of learning all the ‘tricks’ to help build the site into an amazing space where I can chat to you and help you make connections.

It’s tiny at the moment, so I thought this was a fun time to share my knowledge with you so that we can grow together.

  1. The Instagram algorithm– This has been a hot topic since it changed in 2016 and has gone through another change in 2018. There are certain things that it now looks for, which you should be aware of to make sure that your posts are seen.Interest– How much your post has comments & likes/ will be relevant to your audience.Time of day– New content is shown before old content. So posts from the day before won’t appear before posts sent an hour ago.

    Relationship– Are they people you engage with regularly, or are they part of your family/ friends? Instagram will learn this from your previous actions.

    So how would you make this work for you? 

    I would say you need to create content that you are excited about and know that your followers would love as well. Make sure that you are posting at a time that they are likely to be viewing Instagram- so not in the middle of the night if you are talking to the same time zone for example!

    And for relationships- you need to make sure that people want to engage with your content by asking them questions or calls to action (like clicking twice if they agree, or tagging a friend who would love this too).

    Think about how you yourself use the app and what excites you. Borrowing ideas can help you to get started. 

  2. Stories– You might have seen stories appearing in the header of both Instagram and Facebook. These are a great way to engage with your audience and avoid getting lost in the noise of the feed as they appear at the top of the page.You can also have some fun showing them behind the scenes.
    You can also add up to 10 # in your story. (More on Hashtags in a moment).This podcast that I did about Storytelling to engage your audience might help. You can listen to it here. CLICK 
  3. A business account– You might still have a personal Instagram account, but this means that you are missing out on loads of stats that might help you understand your audience better.You can switch your account to a business one easily, and at the moment it is free to do that. You can read more about it here: Business Account
  4. Hashtags #– Love or hate them, they are a valuable tool for growing your audience. You can add them to stories, your photographs but also your bio at the top of your home page. It is the way that people can find you, and you find others like you.You can add 10 to stories and 30 to your post. Hit return and then a fullstop/period 5 times to make them appear after your description. This cleans it up for your viewers.Top tip– you can save your favourite Hashtags in notes on your phone, then copy and paste them into a post to save you time.

    There is loads to learn about Hashtags I have found- so this might take a whole article another time!

  5. Scheduling– You might not want to be on your phone all the time, or are working with an international audience, so don’t want to get up in the small hours of the morning to post.

    I use a software called Later to help me. They have a fantastic blog as well and one of my favourite posts is about hacks to help you with Instagram. You can read it here: GO TO LATER

Finally here are some tools that I like to use.

VSCO- This is a great app that you can use to edit photos from your phone.

Web.stagram Lets you search for Hashtags on Instagram.

Typorama– Lets you add text onto images perfect for Instagram.

Let me know in the comments below what is the one thing you would like to master on Instagram. 

How to self publish

Chella honey bee books

This week I have been chatting to Chella Adgopul from Honeybee Books, about how to self publish. The world of publishing has changed so much over the years. With the birth of the internet there are more opportunities for people to publish their own work.

In the past self publishing was viewed as more of a vanity project, but in this podcast, Chella talks about how that is no longer the case. Major publishing houses now expect more of their authors, including sharing their own contact lists. Which begs the question “Why not publish yourself?”

Chill gives loads of great advice and shares top tips if you are thinking about self publishing. You can listen to the whole interview here.

Before you think about going it alone, and publishing yourself, there are some things that you should think about.

Check list

  1. Is there a market for your book or are you sharing it with friends and family?
  2. Have you got a professional to proof read it? (Honeybee Books can help with this).
  3. Have you thought about the design and layout of your book?
  4. If you are going to take it to market you will need an ISBN number & barcode.
  5. How many print runs will you need? Will it be a large or small print run? This can affect the price.
  6. Do you already have a large following that can help you promote your book?
  7. Have you written a blurb- small summary for the back of the book? This can help with your publicity as well.

Honeybee books can help answer many of these questions. You can find out more about them by clicking the link here:

What would you like to self publish? Let me know in the comments below. 

If you would like to get more podcasts like this landing in your inbox each week, including free downloadable worksheets and offers that aren’t shared anywhere else, sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of this page. 


Not all testimonials are created equal

Testimonials are one of the most important tools for your creative business. They cost nothing, build trust and you can use them in a number of places to draw in new clients and customers. A word of warning though! Not all testimonials are created equal.

The best way to get your message out is to let others hear from people you have already done business with but you want to make sure that those testimonials are doing the work for you. So how would we do that? The best place to start is by looking at some examples of testimonials. You can find some dotted all over this site from people I have had the pleasure of working with.  You can read some of them under Press & Praise.

Have a look at what those testimonials are saying. They give concrete facts about the knowledge they received, rather than saying they enjoyed the experience and had a good time. When you are looking to attract new clients, they need to know that you can deliver results for them. Whether that is delivering a new piece of art work, and your previous customers talk about the amazing after care service you offered, or whether you are delivering a course, and the students gave you feedback about how it helped them with their work, business etc.

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”― George MacDonald

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How to use story telling to connect with your customers

I wanted to share my story with you as I’m now back in the UK after my Creative Women International adventures in Macedonia. I was away teaching people from 5 Balkan countries for the British Council. I have never laughed so much at work. Seriously, I had tears pouring down my face most classes. It made me realise how laughter and personal stories bond us together and helps us cross boarders and politics.

With that in mind I wanted to create a podcast about storytelling and why it can help your clients, audience or customers connect to your work. You might not think you are a story teller, but I explain in this podcast how you can become one, and how it will help your work.

Continue reading “How to use story telling to connect with your customers”