A Beginner’s Guide to Instagram- for your handmade business

September 29, 2020 0 Comments

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A Beginner’s Guide to Instagram- for your handmade business
Speaking from experience as an Artist who has built both an online community and a profitable creative business on Social Media, here i will articulate why it's the prefect platform for us, The Handmade Artisans, to explore.  

Instagram has long evolved from being just a simple social media app to share your holidays photos with a witty caption. More and more users are turning to a new and growing trend of building online, profitable businesses with the use of Instagram. Many of my coaching clients have proudly hung up their hats from their 'day job' and cemented revenue streams from Instagram alone. If you are looking to create a second income stream.. today is a great day to start!

Why should you choose Instagram?

  • Instagram has registered over 1 billion (active) users worldwide. This makes it one of the most popular social apps today with a vast audience.
  • It’s user friendly. Instagram’s appeal is the simplicity of its user interface which makes it so much easier to use on a daily basis than other platforms.
  • It utilises hashtags. Hashtags help categorise posts and make it easier for users to search various topics of interest. This also enables you to find engaged purchases and like minded individuals. Looking for Macrame Patterns? Search #macrame to explore.  
  • You can quickly add filters to photos, effects, text and make short videos that represent your brand voice with ease whilst maintaining a professional looking aesthetic. 
  • It’s free. Instagram is free to use and download. If you choose to run ads, there is a fee attached but for the average user it’s totally free!

How can you boost your small business using Instagram?
For many small businesses that do know have the know how to build a hosted website or the finances to pay a graphic designer to create one, Instagram is a great place to market online. As an artist you can showcase your handmade items and services for sale by creating an Instagram profile. There is a business profile option that also allows you to check out stats and analytics as well as link to your business email.

Using a platform with such a wide user base means you can get more visibility. This means more potential customers and the ease of usage makes it quite simple to connect with and respond to comments or queries on your profile posts. Creating connection with like minded individuals not only enables your business to gain momentum, but it creates what marketing agencies call the 'know like a trust' factor. Individuals get to know you, they like what your business offers, and they trust your knowledge. From here they are more likely to purchase.

Some other ways to make the best of Instagram to market your business or brand are:

  1. Use appropriate hashtags. Hashtags are essential to get your posts seen. For example, if you have a small macrame business you can use tags such as:

#macrame
#macrameartist
#macramemovement

#weaversofinstagram
#handmade
#bohostyle
#homedecor
#art

Users who follow or search these tags will see your posts and be drawn to your page. Here you are skipping the usually long marketing queue. You are finding a warm, connected audience who will love what you do.. all with a free app! no letterbox drops, they have found you!

  1. Post frequent, relevant content. If you have a particular business niche such a Macrame, create posts that keep up the consistency of your genre.
    I have a Fibre Supply Store, it is important for me to post craft related content to keep my consumers interested. Apart from the products or pieces i have for sale, it’s a good idea to post supplementary content around DIY, client reviews and product information. I wouldn't however post about motherhood or fitness. Even though these categories do tie in nicely with my personal life- it is important to keep your business page on brand so not to alienate your audience. Its advised to save personal topics and non brand related items for your instagram stories.. this is where its considered an okay place to give a behind the scenes look into the person behind the brand. 
  2. Using Instagram stories to connect with your audience. Using Instagram stories can help you to post exclusive content about behind the scenes, flash sales or other tidbits to gain attention to your business. Instagram stories are visible for 24 hours so it helps you to post content without clogging up your main page.
  3. Scheduling posts, creating catchy captions, or going live and posting stories are all tools you can use to market your business. It keeps your account active and fresh. Providing high quality and well edited images is also a must. Further to this, having a marketing strategy is also key to further grow your account. An email list is a great place to start, here you can communicate off the platform with your audience, a great way to stay connected. 
  4. You can collaborate with other accounts, do giveaways or have an influencer following promote your brand, business or service. Instagram is a community after all, it’s a good idea to network and build an affiliation with similar accounts and work together to boost each other’s pages.

How can you start a business page on Instagram?
If you are totally new to Instagram, don’t worry.
It’s simple to start up.

  • First download the app.
  • Use your email or create a business email to create your account.
  • Create a username with your business name and fill in your profile information
  • Upload a profile picture or logo
  • You’re all set!

Once you have the page set up, you just need to figure out your marketing approach.

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is their age bracket?
  • What are you selling?
  • What content are you going to post?
  • How and when will your audience see your posts?

These are questions you may want to figure out before you start posting content. An important thing to remember is to set goals and work towards them. Another important factor is to pay attention to certain metrics like the performance of posts such as the number of likes, comments or views. What type of posts get the most feedback or reaction? What are the peak times for users to be online? You can also expand your audience by linking a business Facebook profile to your Instagram for added visibility.

You should also have a good business communication system set up. Inform clients how they can order or purchase from you, outline your payment and delivery system and provide efficient customer service. You can use the Instagram highlights feature to store informational posts for easy access and visibility.

Engage your audience, follow your customers and encourage them to tag your page when they purchase from you. Keeping an active chain of communication keeps customers engaged, seen and heard. It also shows that your business is active, personable and appreciates the customers. 

Takeaway
Technology and online business continue to evolve. The Covid pandemic made the shift to digital business and marketing even greater as more businesses began to rely on online operations to provide services.

 E-commerce also takes away the risk of personal contact and brings a new form of convenient shopping to housebound consumers. If you are starting a new business or trying to find a way to adapt to the changing environment of business, a simple way to evolve is to try Instagram to bridge the gap. It’s important to research strategies and practices before setting up your account. Having a game plan is a top priority in order for your online presence to be impactful. Luckily, there are many resources online to help you navigate the world of Instagram business!

 

 

 





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