Instagram For Business and Self

On the back of the post about my Christmas photo shoot, I wanted to share some of the photos I have been taking for Instagram lately, and the little photo shoots I put together for them. When I began Instagram, I took photos as I saw them. I posted them then and there, with no thought as to whether or not anyone was seeing them, if my gallery was beautiful, or what I was trying to achieve with Instagram. And while that is perfectly fine for a personal page, given that my IG is a part of my business, I decided to be more mindful with my time and energy in order to create an account that I could be proud of and that shares the story of my business.  In return I have found that a large majority of my sales now come from Instagram. (So if you have a small business, and you are not yet on Instagram, I urge you to start now. It is not too late!)

At first I was scared that I would loose my audience if I posted too many jewellery photos, but rather the opposite happened. People love to see photos of my jewellery, whether they are behind the scenes peeks in my workshop, pieces being worn, or beautiful still life's and flat lays. Not only has Instagram increased my sales, it has been such a wonderful creative tool for me, offering me a simple way to experiment with photography and styling. I found the wonderful The Photo School Online Class a great way to learn more about iPhone photography and capturing the pretty light. I watched a class with Sue B Zimmerman (the Instagram Expert) and learnt some really valuable information (you can get a free Instagram Strategy Guide on her site). And most recently I took part in the five day Makelight Online Taster Course, dedicated to creating beautiful photographs and flat lays.

I have little vintage bits and bobs all over my home, in printer trays, bowls and baskets, so using them as props made perfect sense. Adding leaves, flowers and berries to my collection is a joy shared with my three year old daughter. Usually once a week, I try to gather up some interesting bits and pieces, take my jewellery out of the safe, and start playing around with different back grounds, props and lighting. Then I edit the pics in VSCOcam, and I have a selection of images waiting to be used in my feed, while also taking photos as the mood takes me, or as I am working.

And it's not just jewellery. Sometimes it's just flowers, a shot of my work bench, or a video of my baby starting to walk. I only have one Instagram account, and it is still my account, just as it is my business and my name on the business cards, so I don't want it to become impersonal. I love the community that is a part of Instagram. I love that being a small business owner means that I am always dealing on a personal level. And I love being able to share my thoughts and creations both here on my blog and on Instagram.

A few links you might love -

Emily Quinton's Instagram Feed
Sell More With Instagram
How To Grow Your Instagram Following
Step By Step Flat Lay
And of course, my Instagram feed! xx

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