Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hashtags for Creatives to Follow and Use on Instagram

Instagram is by far my favorite social networking platform. And as I mentioned earlier this month, a single photo post and/or the right hashtag can open up endless opportunities.

If you are using your Instagram account to grow your blog or business, you must use hashtags.

Hashtags for Creatives to Follow and Use on Instagram


WHAT ARE HASHTAGS?

Hashtags are a word or a series of words (without spaces) that follow a hashtag symbol(#). They are used to tag a photo so it can be easily found. Much like the tags we use for Etsy or our Blog, these word(s) help us find all the postings or photos that pertain to that specific hashtag.

CREATING YOUR OWN HASHTAGS

You may have gone to a wedding where they have a sign posted at the guest book table that asked you to use a certain hashtag if you post a photo to Instagram from the event. This is a super easy way for everyone to see all the candid shots that were taken throughout the day.

Hashtags can be used in the same way for your personal or business Instagram account. You can create your own hashtags and tag photos that you want to find easily.

USING HASHTAGS TO INCREASE YOUR FOLLOWERS 

If you are using your Instagram account to grow your blog or business, you must use hashtags.
You will be amazed at how powerful these little words can grow your followers. They are super valuable! They are hugely beneficial for getting your Instagram out to the right audience.

It’s important to know that the idea isn’t to just add a bunch of hashtags to your photo without thinking about whether they relate or not. Look through each photo and decide which of them truly match the hashtags and the communities they represent. You want your photos to relate to the tags and to stand out so you attract new followers who are intrigued and want to check out your account.

INSTAGRAM INFLUENCERS 

There are “influencers” (individuals with the power to influence others in their social media circle) who create hashtags with the intention of creating a community. A Beautiful Mess is a prime example of this. They are highly influential on Instagram and have created several hashtags for the purpose of identifying photos that they can share on their Instagram account.

You can only imagine the exponential growth of your followers list if they choose to share your Instagram post! It is beneficial to you to use one or more influencer hashtags on your photo in hopes of getting chosen for a post on their account, but it also allows that hashtag community to view your photo. This may not open the door to the enormous growth of getting featured but it certainly makes others aware of you.

I have found that my Instagram community grows every single day just from using influencer hashtags!!

POPULAR HASHTAGS FOR THE CREATIVE COMMUNITY

#ABMLifeisColorful / @abeautifulmessofficial
Beautiful Mess has a good number of hashtags that they use and they add more as the seasons change or as they add new features to their blog. Some of their other hashtags include #ABMLifeisSweet  #ABMCrafty #ABMathome #ABMlittlethings #ABMtravelbug #ABMhappylife

#FlashesofDelight / @glitterguide
Glitter Guide started this hashtag to feature anything fun and girly. They also look through this hashtag feed and feature selected photos on their Instagram page.

#ThatsDarling / @darling
This hashtag was started by Darling Magazine. The idea is to share darling moments in your life so it’s a pretty open-ended concept and you can really get creative! Darling also reposts photos quite often. Other hashtags they use are #DarlingWeekend #DarlingMaker

#DSColor / @designsponge
A Design Sponge hashtag that features colorful photos which they often repost to your Instagram page. Some of their other hashtags include #DStexture, #DSpattern, #DSart

#Craftsposure / @craftsposure
All things creative

CREATE A HASHTAG REFERENCE GUIDE 

With so many hashtags to keep track of I have found it difficult to remember them all. What works for me personally is writing them down in a notebook. Every time I find another one that works well for me, I write it down.

Using hashtags can be a little overwhelming at first, but the most important thing to remember is to stay true to yourself. Search for hashtags you might be interested in by looking at the tags other creatives are using.

What are some of your go-to hashtags? Have you found any that have significantly grown your community?



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Don’t Put off Opening Up Your Own Shopify Shop

I know it can be a bit scary to actually take the step to set up that online shop you’ve been thinking about for a long time. I held onto that thought during all of 2014 and never acted on it. When 2015 rolled around I was determined to set up my Shopify shop before summer started. Yes, it was a bit daunting at first especially because I kept going about doing things with an “etsy” mind set. 

A new series on Shopify Tips to help you get past the fear of taking the first step to opening your shop


I remember the night about 3 weeks ago when I opened a chat with a customer service “guru”. I’ve always put backl inks in my Etsy shop listings and was wondering how I could do that in my Shopify shop. I was totally blown away at how easy it is!!

When I have a question I’ve never waited more than a couple of minutes on the chat line and their answers are always on the money. I really appreciate getting my questions answered so quickly!!

So here’s the thing…..I know that taking the first step is the hardest. Staying in your comfort zone, even if you aren’t getting the results you want, is the easy answer. It takes hard work and a lot of brain energy to make decisions and get it done.

I’m starting a new training series here on my blog to walk your through all the things that I have learned about setting up a Shopify shop. My hope is that it will take some of the fear out of taking the first step toward your dreams and goals of having your own website.

Some of the great things about opening a Shopify shop is that they offer you a 2 week trial period for FREE. After that you can choose a plan for as little as $29 a month. If you are ready to get started and have things going for the holiday shopping season I’d appreciate it if you’d use my affiliate link to sign up.

One of the first things I was overwhelmed with was choosing a template. I didn’t know where to begin. Shopify has so many great choices and I had a hard time narrowing it down. So how did I choose? I started looking at other Shopify shops and seeing what templates were appealing to me. It was a process of elimination that turned out to be a pretty easy choice after all. The beauty of it is that you aren’t stuck with your choice forever. If you want to change it later you can.

I am looking forward to sharing lots more with you in my SHOPIFY TIPS series in the coming weeks. In the meantime…...use this link to get signed up and get yourself one step closer to your dream!!

I’d love to hear from you!! Share your questions about Shopify. What are those nagging questions that are holding you back from getting started? Or, if you have opened your Shopify shop already, what questions are still hanging around in your head?