Tips for Creatives in the World of Fashion, Photography, Decorating, Graphic Design and More
You are the creative type. You are at your best when you start from nothing and build your vision. The result is a captivating photo, a cozy bedroom, an amazing gown or a beautiful website.
When it comes to social media, however, you may be drawing a blank. Consider this—the World Wide Web isn’t yet 30 years old. For those who are over 30 and have been building their portfolios, using social media may not come as naturally as it does to Millennials. Oh, and just because you are a Millennial doesn’t mean you’re a wiz at social media (but beware, because you’re expected to be).
Designers are Thriving on Instagram
So, where do creatives even begin when they want to show the world how they see it? They start with image-centric social media channels. Instagram is the place to be.
- Adweek calculated 400 million active users in 2015 (and that’s 400 million active logging on users EVERY MONTH).
- Instagram is not gender-specific. It’s pretty much 50-50 when it comes to males and females using the platform; so you’re sure to reach a cross-section of people who are interested in your work.
- There are more phones with cameras in use on our planet than there are people (some use more than one phone). That mean most of the world has a chance to be a part of the mobile-only Instagram app.
- Instagram is easy & fun!
Look at any social media study and the results say that an image is what makes people stop and, hopefully, click. When your entire career is built around something that is beautifully creative, you want to take advantage of Instagram’s visual platform. Whether you’re a landscaper, makeup artist, chef or photographer (and a whole lot more), Instagram was designed to showcase people like you.
For fashion bloggers, graphic designers, and others whose collections might not be easily snapped with a cellphone, you can upload collages and edited images from your computer to your phone to post them directly on Instagram. Not everything on Instagram is a cell phone photo.
Plus, with Instagram video, you can post yourself creating—in action! Look through Instagram and you’ll see many artists and artistic types who have made a video of a specific process (e.g., painting a picture, assembling a meal, doing a photoshoot) and then turning the video into a 15-second time-lapse clip. For newbies, this may sound complicated, but don’t worry – it really isn’t.
If you prefer to let an Instagram expert manage your account, see the Instagram Master program (and go back to your own brilliant work, with no more worrying about your social media marketing).
Regarding posting frequency with Instagram, you have to be consistent. If you follow a lot of people, you may not be seeing all of their posts. This means your followers may not see everything you publish to your account. Focusing on a weekly theme is a great way to keep your posts organized and consistent. For photographers, a theme could be portraits of blondes one week, tiny dogs the next, then churches and then a week of bridges. You get the idea. This way your followers can expect this from you and anticipate your posts.
Want to track your results? Use www.iconosquare.com so you can see what time of day your followers are on, what hashtags are popular, and how your posts are performing.
Familiarize yourself with popular Instagram hashtags such as #love, #instagood, and #beautiful, and work them into the text you include with your post. You’re not expected to write a long paragraph with each image, though you do have that option.
Although all online channels can be used effectively by graphic designers, contractors, artists, and other creatives, if you’re just starting out in your career or on social media, try Instagram first. Give yourself at least a month of really working with your Instagram, or hire someone else to work it for you. (Ghost Tweeting does a fabulous job representing your brand on Instagram. Find out more here).
What other Social Media Platforms are Good for Creatives?
Once you have a firm understanding of how to use Instagram and what works and what doesn’t for your portfolio, then explore other options. Creative people gather together in online communities to discuss their passions on Google+. Go there and you can pick up fans and make new friends across the globe. Basically, everybody is on Facebook and you should be too. And since Twitter connects so easily with Instagram (use www.ifttt.com to make sure your image posts as an image, and not a link) you should explore the Twitterverse. If you’re looking for gigs, don’t leave out LinkedIn. Consider that platform your online resume. Many consumers and employers use it to research people before they hire them.
Social media is the perfect vehicle for creative professionals to share their work and ideas. Remember, social media success (whether you determine that by people who’ve hired you or number of followers) doesn’t happen overnight. You need to put forth a lot of effort in the first three months especially. Also, it’s supposed to be fun! If it’s draining your creativity instead of inspiring you then by all means, hire someone else to do it for you. Your job as a creative professional is to make the world a more beautiful place. Can’t wait to see it through your eyes!