A couple weeks ago, WeBlogNorth headed to the #CreativesUnhooked event with Sara Tasker, Instagram expert and blogger at meandorla.co.uk
Hosted by Unhooked Communications at the Portico library, it was an evening of creativity, inspiration and thinking outside the box.
The library was the perfect venue, everywhere you turned there was a beautiful Instagrammable scene - bookcases scaling the room, beautifully worn, original covers and ornate interiors. We loved having a look round before the main event!
Of course, Instagram was the main topic of conversation. Sara shared her journey from working in the NHS to growing a thriving business online as an Instagram expert - How she found a love of photography when searching for a hobby on maternity leave, how she made deep and meaningful connections online that would go on to buy her courses, and the steps she took to create a successful business doing what she loves.
“Spend more time in other people’s grids than you do your own. Get it good, get it up, but then get out there and talk to people” - @meandorla on growing your following on Instagram. Engage! #CreativesUnhooked #WeBlogNorth pic.twitter.com/ep3UEQVxpX
— WeBlogNorth (@WeBlogNorth) April 25, 2018
We learnt so much from the evening and feel truly inspired to get out there and get creative with our Instagram accounts thanks to Sara. Here are our main takeaways...
Don’t focus too much on the numbers
“If you couldn’t see the numbers, what would you create?”
As important as it can be to track growth, Sara encouraged everyone to focus more on the creativity behind WHY they were posting, than the numbers.
Don’t be a slave to the algorithm and allow it to dictate your every move on Instagram. It’s allowed us to forget the joy of creating content - which is what gives your account the uniqueness people love when they discover you!
The best thing you can do for your account is ENGAGE with the community
“Spend more time in other people’s grids than you do your own. Get it good, get it up, then get out there and talk to people”
Do unto others as you would want done to you, as they say! If you want to grow your following, go out there and talk to the people in your niche!
Follow hashtags and engage with the people using them, find accounts you love and let them know about it - be a member of the community you’re hoping to build, and people will begin to notice you.
Diversify your income as a blogger
“Getting all my income from sponsored content feels a lot like putting all my eggs in one basket”
Sara really drove home the point that waiting for opportunities to land in your inbox can leave you feeling desperate and anxious each month - especially if your online work pays the bills. That’s why she launched 1-on-1 services and went on to develop online courses - tangible services and products that she was in control of.
This is a point we always encourage WeBloggers to address if they’re thinking about full time freelancing online - think outside the box of the traditional ‘blogger business plan’ - sponsored work is great, but don’t rely on it to solely support you. What other skills do you have that can top up your income in between brand work?
To end, I want to say something really important to us that Sara reiterated many times throughout the evening.
It’s never too late to build a thriving community on Instagram.
You’ve not missed the boat if you’ve only just made an account. There are millions of users, many of whom are ready and waiting to find content just like yours - and that number grows everyday. Don’t let algorithms and numbers take the fun out of a beautifully visual, community-based app.
And if you’re feeling stuck with your creativity - get stuck in and have a go. Take on a challenge - you can find loads online run in different communities. Or why not challenge yourself to post a photo everyday for a year? WeBlogger and pro photographer Georgie Glass is doing just that - check hers out and follow the hashtag if you need inspiration. (Psst - Georgie is sharing all her pro tips and tricks in our photography workshop - check it out!)