I can still hear it now… the strumming of guitar strings + the smokey voice of Chris Stapleton singing “Whiskey and You” at 2016’s Country Music Awards in Nashville. He was a nominee in various categories + received the award for “Male Vocalist of the Year”. The Bridgestone Arena was an incredible space to host the event, which was speckled with stars being cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd of country music fans. I’m so thrilled I was able to go! Country Music is definitely a signature Texan sound – very different from the sounds I’m used to in South Africa! (more…)
Greetings! I was browsing some of my photos and I came across these delicious little moments from a trip to Miami! I felt inspired to write about my recommendations, especially seeing as it’s officially Summer here in North America. (more…)
This blog is about my travels and all the magic moments therein, and every now and then I get to write about some magic haunted moments! (lucky you😀) Inspired by all things ghostly, one thing I absolutely love to do in each new city is a ghost walk. (Hint: Check out this ghost walk company). Naturally, I have great stories and recommendations for you.
INSTAGRAM PHOTO STORY TIPS
- When was the photo taken?
- What were you doing during the picture? After? Before?
- What did the object taste or feel like?
- Does it remind you of something that other people can relate to? Elaborate on that idea [just a little bit].
1. I started networking within Instagram itself through the use of popular hashtags. Last week some companies + magazines have found me this way!
2. Provide a little narrative background for pictures. I’m not suggesting you write an entire blog post but use thoughtful words to further your connection with viewers and tell the story behind the image.
3. It’s a great way to make an announcement. Think business cards, work specials, new blog posts, upcoming events, important dates, cool behind-the-scenes stuff, product reviews.
4. Get out there and start a conversation. I click on every user who likes my photos. Follow them back if you can, and stay active in their feed through likes and comments.
5. Lump your social media tasks with Gramblr, an application that lets you upload photos to Instagram from your desktop.
6. You can add your feed to Hootsuite and save time catching up with everyone’s photos.
7. Cross-promote. Post your instagram photo on Facebook or Twitter with a catchy phrase to entice readers to click over.
8. The key to getting your following off the ground is engaging with the people who already follow you. The more your are out there in the Instagram-sphere the more likely new followers will run into you and click over. Especially if your comment provides extra value to the original photo. Tag your photos with related keywords. My personal approach to Instagram is to provide unique information that is mostly exclusive to Instagram itself. As you can see I have a live feed on my sidebar that offers my regular readers a preview of things they have not seen.
If you want to drive traffic to your blog from Instagram remind your viewers that there is a link in your profile [write in those words “link in profile” within the description] and only show the first or last step of the project. Think of the photos as an appetizer to your main course ( the blog post). I honestly don’t receive tons of direct traffic from Instagram itself. (Keep in mind—people might be manually typing the URL address in.) However it’s a fabulous platform to bring awareness to your brand. There’s something very powerful about constantly reminding people you’re there, and making great content as well!
9. If you’re posting a “preview” of a blog post you can always add a comment later on, letting your followers know that its #OnTheBlog.
10. Be consistent and persistent. Don’t worry about it too much. It’s not the health of your children or the engine of your car. It’s just Instagram. My best advice when you’re feeling down about your growth is to keep your head down and work. You’ll see results over time!
11. Use Padgram to add hashtags to your post. You’ll want to use this convenient app because it suggests hashtags as you’re typing. I found #instafood and #thatsDarling this way!
I shot yesterday at Roodebloem Studios in Woodstock, Cape Town. We had so much fun! The studios are amazing (huge kitchen, lounge, private makeup room, bathroom, beautiful modern finishings) I think they are every photographer’s dream! We did my hair the same as we did for the bridal shoot this past weekend in Stellenbosch. I actually rarely have it curly in real life, it’s more naturally wavy like in this shoot I did for City Lodge. All these photos were taken on my new gold iphone6.
+ Photography – Talitha Snow
+ Hair and Makeup – Pipa Cross
+ Assistance – Gabrielle Fortunato
I’ve learnt that the best experiences we have are the sum of multiple “wow moments”, not just one. It’s the same feeling as the first time you used a great product. It probably felt like it was designed just for you. Every action you took while using it felt right. Your senses (vision, touch, sound) were in tune with the experience.You might’ve said “wow” while using it. The product touched you on an emotional level and you remember it. You shared it. And you want to use it again.
I felt this type of positive emotion the first time I used Instagram. At first, it may seem like using Instagram would not be that much better than just using any one of the other social networking platforms. But the trick to Instagram’s stickiness is not just one, but multiple “wow moments” that make it substantially better than using other photosharing sites. The first time I used Instagram, there were a few distinct “wow moments”:
1. Will my photos be safe? Instagram gives you a privacy option. You can turn it on anytime.
2. How will my photos be shared? Instagram has one newsfeed where your photos will pop up for friends to see, and visa versa. Only people who follow you will see them, and visa versa.
3. How do I fit into the global community? Instagram introduced hashtags, where your photo is categorized for anyone anywhere in the world to see (if your profile is public).
4. Do I have to pay a subscription fee to use this service? Signing up to Instagram is free.
5. How do I upload a photo? Instagram connects to your phone’s camera + galleries, online or offline. You can choose any photo you want from anywhere you like at anytime.
6. How do I make my pictures look less boring? Instagram introduced editing features + filters so you can make your photos look better.
7. Do I have to be on my pc to upload to it? Instagram is only accessible via your phone. So all you need is you, your cellphone + the moments you’re capturing.
The way Instagram baked multiple “wow moments” into their product is one reason why their system is so strong. With each additional “wow moment”, your chances of using the app increases compared to not. Its simplicity is addictive. However, one of the challenges with creating multiple “wow moments” within your product is that they take time to construct. Instagram took over a year to build. You need to be patient and willing to go all-in on a problem to create an experience worthy of multiple “wow moments.” Creating the right experience is risky when you might not have all the signals to say what you’re building is the right thing. But that’s part of the road to building a differentiated product. You won’t have all the answers at the start. You might screw up a couple of times. The trick is persistance; bouncing back after you mess up.
To reduce risk, you can begin by focusing on the main one or two “wow moments”. This may not be good enough to create the full experience you’re after but as you build more and seek to reach that same level of quality of that one “wow moment,” your product will get closer to what you’re after.
Part of bouncing back is streamlining your definition of what you’re building. It’s often best to start by picking out the right problems to focus on + not get too caught up in solutions yet. How you solve each of the problems could be done a thousand different ways. To begin with, getting problems down is the focus. You can define potential solutions later.
Looks like bouncing back while in the process of building your dream product (blog, brand, service, item) could be summarised in a few sentences:
+ “Wowing” your audience
+ Making the experience as simple as possible
+ Defining what you’re building
+ Patience while you build
+ Persistance while you build
+ Learning each time you fall
+ Blog / Website
Your headquarters for content. The place you use to establish your reputation, share your expertise or portfolio, answer questions, talk in your natural voice, and wow your readers.
Your place to post text messages the whole world can see. Use it to share useful information, jokes, timely updates, anecdotes, quotes, inspiration, previews of blog posts, and your stunning personality. Engage in real conversations frequently on Twitter. Use Twitter for research, Twitter chats, and the power of lists (organizing connections into useful categories).
Your place to post everything visual that you want your followers to check out. Even if it’s information and not an image, you can make a beautiful image that goes with the information.
Your platform for connecting with people 25 or older. A great place to share visuals, links to useful information, promotions, and inspiration. Facebook has an affordable ad program that can help you target readers with specific interests.
Your place to share compelling, interesting, fun, meaningful, helpful, and inspirational photos and videos. Instagram is a great place to display some of your portfolio items and your behind-the-scenes processes and life. It is best used in a very interactive manner (leaving comments and responses often).
Your place to share longer insights and thoughts (that aren’t quite blog length), visuals, videos, tutorials, tips, and inspiration. Google+ is excellent for communities, deeper discussions, following key influencers, and educating your audience.
Your place to show your professional side, diverse capabilities and skills, and ability to provide useful information. LinkedIn is a great place to make connections for collaborations and to find talented individuals you might hire in the future.
Your place to share tutorials, product reviews, trainings, and your winning personality. If used, YouTube is best used consistently and strategically.
As a creative entrepreneur – artist, designer, actor, model, blogger, singer, freelance writer, editor, videographer, photographer (whatever it is you do) – there’ll be times you’re asked to work for free. Sometimes an offer of “exposure” is legit, but it’s up to you to vet every offer. As a business owner (your business being yourself), you’re tasked with sifting through all of the various “work for free” offers and ascertaining which ones are useless and which ones will lead to actual exposure for you and your brand. Exposure is good. We like exposure. Marketing leads to discovery which leads to business.
As you grow and your name gets bigger and bigger, people will begin to associate your name with certain positive or negative adjectives. These associations are not necessarily always because of what you do. Sometimes you make a name for yourself by just being in the presence of great (or sinister) people. So you need to monitor what brands you allow yourself to be associated with.
+ Next time you run by a “work for exposure” offer, ask yourself:
- Will being associated with, and working with, this person/business/organization boost my authority in my field of expertise?
- Will I be in the presence of captains of industry which could grow my network and help me build business contacts?
- Will be doing this add valuable credibility to my brand for my audience?
- Will it offer me experience I would otherwise not get or could use more of (building on your skill set, learning new stuff about performing on stage for instance)
- Will I have direct access to an audience that will buy my [service, art, expertise]?
- Will I have fun doing the gig?
If the answer to all questions is yes, consider taking the offer and at the very least get all of your expenses covered. At most? Consider negotiating your way into a paid gig.