If you’ve been following Braid for a while you already know that Tara and I are avid fans of Pinterest as a tool for gathering inspiration and collaborating with clients. I’ve recently had a few small creative business owners (typically ones selling goods & products vs. a service) tell me that they really want to get into Pinterest but don’t quite know how - especially when it comes to self-promotion. I think it’s as simple as this: If you are someone who is constantly right-click saving inspiration images to your desktop then Pinterest is for you. It’s about sharing your taste and the things you like (not necessarily your own content) with others.
If Pinterest doesn’t come naturally for you then it’s probably not the right social media platform for you. And that’s okay.
But are you guys familiar with Instagram? It’s not the newest kid on the social media block but it’s gaining traction - fast. In fact, Facebook just bought it out for a billion dollars. Instagram is a fast and fun way to share your iPhone pics with the world - think of it as a digital Polaroid. Instagram even has multiple filters you can run your photos through to give them lots of style.
When it comes to business here are some great ways to utilize Instagram:
1) Share your goods: If you are a florist or a handmade jewelry artist Instagram is a great way to get instant feedback on new styles or creations. Pro tip: use hashtags like #flowers #stampedjewelry #handmade to make your photos more searchable. If you click on the hashtag you can also see what other people are contributing to that particular category. You can use more than one hashtag per photo.
2) Share your services: A creative entrepreneur friend of mine who is an interior stylist has actually gotten jobs from strangers by posting snaps of her work on Instagram. So you can tell people how awesome you are or you can actually show them. A photo speaks a thousand words.
3) Share your skills: I follow some amazing photographers like Jason Hudson (@jasonhudson), Ryan Marshall (@_ryanmarshall), Carl Zoch (@carlzoch) and Jamie Beck (@_frommetoyou) to name a few - and while their iPhone snaps might not be as technically sound as their professional work it proves that their talent goes way beyond their gear.
4) Share your personality: Instagram can be a great way to integrate your personal brand or company culture into your professional world. It provides an opportunity to authentically share the more humanizing “day in the life” moments of your business. Pro tip: You can pick and choose which photos you would like to automatically publish to your Facebook or Twitter stream directly from Instagram.