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Connect With Your Customers on Social Media

Lesson 3 of 11

Create Content using Your Design Process


Connect With Your Customers on Social Media

Lesson 3 of 11

Create Content using Your Design Process


Lesson Info

Create Content using Your Design Process

The Next thing we're going to talk about is creating content using our design process. So as creatives, we already have things that we're doing on a day to day basis around the creation of our creative work. We're working in our studios. We're developing things. We're writing. We're making music. There are all sorts of different ways that we're acting as creatives to create these pieces of work. And we're gonna try and capture some of the elements of the behind the scenes process to engage our fans and kind of learning more about what we do. Seeing the process first hand and getting excited about all of this different work that we're sharing. Essentially we're gonna start by examining our day to day process. And we're gonna, I think the best way to start with this process is just to make a list. To sit in your studio as you're creating your work day to day, and just make a physical list of all of the different things that you're doing. For example for my business, I'm cutting down fabr...

ic that I'm gonna get ready to do some print making with. I'm answering emails (laughs). I'm doing a little bit of shipping orders. Packing up orders and shippng them. On a good day I'm drawing patterns and designing new things for future collections. And these are all things that I can pick out of my day to day process and make a note so that I can return to those things and photograph them and be able to share them as I have time. Because we know we can't always break into our creative process in the moments that it's happening. Sometimes it's just not convenient to do that. We have deadlines. We have things that we have to finish. But, having this moment of taking a day, taking a couple of days, and really examining kind of what the nuts and bolts of our process is, that can help us to separate out ideas so that we can return to in the future to document and share with our fans and followers. And we're really here looking for opportunities to share what makes our process unique. The things that make our work really special or our process really different from what other people are doing, because this is what draws people in. Something they haven't seen before. Sometimes they go, "Oh, what is that?" "I wanna know more about that, I've never seen that type of process, or I've never seen someone make work just like that." Being able to share those pieces that are really unique to you and special, that's gonna get that engagement on a little bit of a bigger level. So like I'm saying, make a list to mine that for content in the future. And I love this process because you can really just have almost a database of things to follow. So that same idea of never wanting to start from a blank page. When we're feeling most stressed out we know we need to log onto social media and we need to share something everyday because we wanna have that consistency. And showing up, making sure that we're keeping the conversation going with our fans and followers, so showing up on a daily basis is really important. But sometimes that can feel overwhelming when you're like, "I don't know what I wanna share today." "I don't have anything going on that's really interesting, I'm just packing orders." "I don't know what to share." So being able to have this list to then refer back to, can kind of free up your brain for doing the more creative work that you wanna be focused on. You don't wanna spend the best part of your day struggling to come up with a post for social media. That's not how we wanna spend our time. And so this is gonna be a way for you to basically have a resource guide that's tailored to your business. That's focused on the things that you're really known for and that you are really focusing on. So that you can draw from that content on a regular basis. And that's gonna make content creation a little bit easier. When I say content creation I'm mostly talking about creating visuals. That can also be if you're thinking of things that you can share in long form writing on a blog or that you might be able to take a video of. Make special note within this list that you're creating for things that might lend themselves well to video. This is something that I'm gonna dive into a little bit later for finding bite sized content that you can kind of create a little bit more of a story through video or through these other different types of posts. So here's just a sort of example to get you started of some things that could be on your list, right? And this isn't exactly tailored. All of you guys have different creative businesses. You're making different types of things. So this is just a little bit more general. Your list could look a lot more specific. But essentially we could start by thinking about what tools or materials are really unique to our process. What are the things that are on our workstation that are in our studio that we could share, that maybe someone hasn't worked with before? You have to remember a lot of the people who are following us who are excited about our work, aren't creative or don't think of themselves as creative. And so these tools and processes and materials are very foreign to them and gonna bring them a level of excitement that maybe you don't find these things interesting anymore because you work with them everyday. In the same way that print making as a huge part of my business and something that I come back to every single day to be printing new work. You know, it feels a little bit more banal to me but to your followers this is something they've never got a chance to do, gotten a chance to do before and so they're excited to experience it through your work and through what you're sharing on social media. So, another idea is kind of showing a glance of what's on your desk. What's in your workspace right now. Kind of showing where you're making this creative work. Being able to give people a regular sort of peek into a sketchbook and show more of your inspirational process and how you're developing ideas into finished pieces. If you work with a production partner for your business, that can be an opportunity to go to them and try to document their process so you're sharing more of how things are being made that you're selling either in your shop or as part of your sort of brand. You can talk about, if you have a retail space, maybe your displays are really beautiful. Maybe you wanna share how you're storing all of these beautiful goods that you have to offer that are either made by creatives or made by you. Then even just something as basic as packing orders. That can be really interesting to someone who maybe works in a very different industry. You could be using very beautiful materials to wrap these things up. You can kinda of capitalize on that excitement of someone getting ready to receive your original work. That's such an exciting thing to be waiting for something like that in the mail. I think these little basic snippets of your day, sharing those on a consistent basis helps to get people excited about you, about the work that you're doing, and just feel a little bit more engaged with who you are as a person and kind of what you're doing behind the scenes besides creating these products or this work. One person who I think does an amazing job at this is my friend Keiko. She runs a business called Small Adventure. She is a stationary designer. She creates original artworks, all with her illustrations and they're beautiful. They're really, really gorgeous. We can see in that top six or top six and a half, we can see that she's sharing visual, interesting, sort of creative work right from the start. We can see that she's an artist because we can see some of the snippets from her table. We can see some of her illustrations. There's a couple of more personal post thrown in, but even just from that quick glance we know that this is a creative person. And if you like her illustrative work you're gonna feel comfortable hitting follow right away. So here's some more snippets that I was talking about in terms of sharing your day to day process. These are all from the Small Adventure feed over on Instagram. And she's sharing these beautiful photos of her workspace. She has a gorgeous studio. I'm so envious of that light. Ah! It's in L.A. and she has all these beautiful plants tucked in there. You can some of her cards on the shelf behind there. So you know, even this which may to her, she might think, "Oh god this looks messy." "I don't know if I wanna share this right now." You know, as an outsiders, I'm looking at this and I'm thinking, "Oh my gosh this person is leading an incredibly rich, creative life." "Look at all the work she's created." "Look at her beautiful work station." I can imagine her siting there and creating this work, and to me that's a really rich visual experience as an outsider. To her, she might be kind of more worried about letting people in and letting them see that space because it is a really personal place. The place that we make our work feels so precious to us and we don't always wanna share that with other people. But by letting others in, we can help get them excited about what they're doing and have them be more invested in the process as a whole. On the left here we show her just packing up an order. This is a really sort of basic part of her day. It's something that she's doing every day because she has a bustling online shop. But she's captured it in a really beautiful way and that's a compelling thing that she's sharing on Instagram. It's reminding people, I have a shop, I have products. But it's not salesy it's not go buy this right now. It's someone just bought this and I'm excited to send it out to them. It's all about kind of setting up this context so that you're not feeling, "Ugh, I feel too salesy today, I'm just sharing my products," we're never gonna feel that way because we're gonna be sharing it a different context. We're gonna be sharing our products in the context of how we're experiencing them on a day to day. And so here are a couple of more photos from her feed. You can see her gorgeous peek into her sketchbook (laughs). Which I'm just, I'm blown away by her talent. Being able to see these things as they're in progress, as they're making their way towards being a finished piece or a finished good, I think that, that's such a rich process because it really shows that there's effort there. It helps to increase the value of our work because people are seeing how much effort you're putting into your creativity on a day to day basis. And something like this where she's showing her tiny little paintings that she's done on her fingernail, oh my gosh, this is such a wonderful reflection of her strength as an artist. Her ability to render at such a tiny detail and it's incredibly powerful when you're scrolling through. "Oh, what was that?" "Oh my gosh." And you're gonna stop and you're really gonna wanna engage with that. I think being able to share your creative content in a variety of ways through these behind the scenes peeks, is a way to get people excited and keep them engaged. So I'd also like to show what this looks like for my business for cotton and flags. So I'm sharing some behind the scenes like I was saying. Cutting down fabric, making some new patterns for my business, the kind of regular creative work that I'm doing. This is the sort of stuff, the type of stuff, that I'm trying to share on a regular basis to let people into my design process and get them excited about the products that are gonna be coming down the road. So I don't always post the sort of, "Okay this is what's launching." I try to give them a glimpse of what's coming through the sort of visuals that are happening in my studio on a regular basis. And if you're feeling overwhelmed by this process, because I know it can be hard to think, "Ah, I'm alone, I just have my Iphone, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to take really great photos of my process," this is a photo that a friend of mine took while she was there while I was printing, just handing your phone to a friend, a spouse, a partner in crime, having them just document a small part of your process, take a couple photos while it's happening so you'll have things to share. Maybe down the road in a few weeks when you're ready to kind of leak some of this content out. This is a great way to kind of take some of that stress off your plate and let someone else have a look into what you're doing and let them capture it for you. So now that we've talked about all of these different ways we can share this sort of behind the scenes part of our process, I'd love to issue another challenge to our followers out there out on the internet who are watching live. Let's go back to Tagboard and share what part of the creative process that we're most excited to share with our fans and followers. I love to hear too from you guys here in the audience. Is there something that sticks out that you're really excited, now okay, this is the part of my process I haven't shared yet and now that I kind of know a little bit more about how to share behind the scenes, is there something that's sticking out that you guys really want to share? Nothing yet? It looks like we've got examples on Tagboard. We do, we've got a couple of great ones actually and I wanna bring up a couple from Lindagermainart. The first one is noticing themes in my brand, Cool. that she's tagged for us. Yes! And then the next one is texture subject and mood. Nice, nice. Yeah, and you can see that these are obviously very visually connected, just through the imagery, through her use of color and tone. And I think that's great that she's kind of pulling these examples out and thinking, "How can I share more within this theme?" "How am I gonna kind of create this visual consistency and continue to share things that fit in with the theme and the color of her creative work?" That's amazing, thank you for sharing that. And I'm excited to see what you guys post with this next challenge. If you have ideas for things behind that scenes that you wanna share or if you've already shared some behind the scenes photos, feel free to go ahead and tag them and we'll get those into the feed as well. I'm excited to see kind of your behind the scenes process and more of what you guys are sharing already. So if you need help getting started through this process, we've talked a little bit about how to make this list, how to start to really focus in on how to make a very specific list that's just for our businesses that's really gonna help us through this content creation process. If you're coming up short of you're feeling like, "Ah, I'm really struggling to make a few more of these ideas so that I have a lot to draw from on a regular basis," one of the bonuses is gonna be really helpful for you. One of the bonuses that I've created is 45 smart content ideas that we can share from our day to day as well as some of our creative background that's gonna help you jumpstart this process. So you're not gonna feel like, "Oh, this is a lot of pressure." "I have a lot to kind of write down here." This is gonna be a great jumping off point and then you can just get more specific from there.

Class Description

The prospect of having to find time to maintain your social media accounts and continuously create content can be overwhelming for some creative entrepreneurs. Deciding what to post and how to engage your audience can paralyze you before you even begin. Connecting with Your Customers on Social Media with Erin Dollar will give you all the tools needed to create an authentic social media presence so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to open your business to a new base of customers.

Incorporating social media into your business doesn’t have to be an all-consuming experience. Join Erin Dollar for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to create a visual story on Instagram and Pinterest
  • Content creation strategies that use your design process
  • Ideas for memorable promotional posts that build your brand online
  • Proven techniques for enhancing your Pinterest boards and Instagram posts

Follow Erin behind the scenes of her own business Cotton and Flax, where you’ll learn actionable tips and tricks that allow you to stay engaged on multiple social channels, without losing time to run the rest of your business. Take it from her: learning to use social media in an engaging and effective way is a must-have skill for any budding entrepreneur - and it can actually be fun!

Take the first step in gaining long-time and repeat customers and catapult your business with to the next level with stand-out social media.  



I really enjoyed Erin class. I'm pretty new to social media so it was a little hard to keep up with all her great ideas. Don't get me wrong I don't think she moved too fast it's just my brain works a little slower. I took lots of notes and can't wait to implement them in my business. This is only the second time I've watched Creative Live . The first one was close to my heart and I loved it loved that one also. Thank you for offering free courses, it's a great way to get us interested in the other ones. I look forward to watching again. Thanks, Candace Romano

Anna Campolo

Great class, Eric was super clear and helpful..and so inspiring! Thank you Erin and thank you Creativelive! A pleasure to follow you!

a Creativelive Student

This course was great! I am so excited to try some of the tricks Erin suggested. Erin was super helpful and encouraging to her students. Thanks for letting me be part of the audience!