Instagram Success Story
I have a video to play. After I announced Holly again, she is in the back end of insta gal. I've You may remember her from my last course. So much has happened since, and I just had to bring her back so that you all could hear her Instagram success. Like many of you, she is an artist. She's a designer, and she's very passionate about what she does. So first we have this little video for you to enjoy. It's a little over almost under two minutes, so enjoy this. I'm excited to be here with Holly Nichols, who is a fashion illustrator extraordinaire. I met Cali December 2013 at the Massachusetts Women's Conference. She sat down at my workshop where I was teaching Instagram to business owners. And what resonated so much about Holly to me was the questions. Smart questions that she was asking about how to use Instagram to market her are in her passion. So, Holly, I'm excited to now see that you have over 14,000 followers, which is a huge success. Congratulations. You and also I would love for...
you to share with so many of the listeners your journey Because you're 23 years old, you have left your full time job. You are now doing what you love every day. And to me, that's called Instagram Success. Yes. So once I started the account that was able to develop a way of posting and why was posting toe gain my ideal audience and share it with people all over the world? Said the context together crazy from Russia. 11 on every play of a global alliance. Let's talk about like if you were to say, three of the things that you're doing consistently that is working for your featured account and in the space of being an artist in a fashion illustrator, what would those three things bay if you're gonna teach somebody? Yes. So when when I do a post, they think about the lighting. Is it clean and bright? Um, I think about the content. I like to keep it simple. I don't want I want I want it took here cluttered and too much. It'll be a little bit confusing for the person looking at it, and then when it creating, I think about what's trending. So, for example, this past bidding music award, it created a Nostra ation of Beyonce's costume, and I knew people being searching for it and turned it. See my art, um, insane thing. When Ellie Saab released his collection a few months ago, I did a sketch with one of his guitar gallons because a lot of people are searching for it. So so when you say searching for it, there's a certain hash that they're searching for. So in Beyonce's case, was it just her name? It would be the a lot of people were being and they This isn't Beyonce. So you knew exactly what hashtag to be. That was trending right. Teoh use and also create visual content. Amount that so you seize thes current events. Opportunities as an artist, which is really brilliant. So, Holly, what is it about instagram? It actually gave you the confidence. Teoh. Follow your passion. Well, I'm able to share my work with a global audience, and I developed a community that's excited to see what I'm creating every day. I think is an artist. That's what everyone wants. They want people to be excited about their work, so it's very reassuring to see people going. Oh my gosh, I love this so much. Where can I get it? And then, of course I have my etc. So I can say this print is now available on NC, and that's that kind of leads the people there toe to see what else I have going on on my little leftie shop. Right? So it's like the immediate responses interaction end connectivity with your super fans that you have certainly attracted to your account. Wow. Huh? So let's welcome Holly back on. Creativelive staged. I know that she's been cheap. Great. Did a great post this morning. Had over 400 likes and a lot of engagement. There she is. A high. Last time it was pink background. I actually looking a picture. This looks good. Thank you. So, my job in my new studio, my share with Lindsay Who you guys met yesterday? Yeah, It looks awesome, Holly. So did you just watch that video? I did. I sorry. Okay. So I really want you to share with everyone. Now they know who you are, what you do. And a lot of people watching. I know. Saw you last time. I want you to talk about your sales and how they've grown since you've been on creativelive, um, last time and how you're using it. I mean, the word strategic. You are so strategic with how you post. And I think it's really important for the artist and the designers who are listening toe understand your strategies because they really work. And you're really making money. Yeah, Um, so I kind of use instagram is my digital storefront. Whenever I have a new print, um, or cards or stationary, whatever it may be, I take a picture of it. Um, I, of course, have it listed on my Etsy account prior to posting the picture. Um, so I take the picture I posted, I say, Hey, guys, check out this new print. It's now available and etc Um, go check it out. And then I geo tag the Etsy shop, um, link, because I try not to have a lot of wordy text in the comment or the caption. Um, I just think it's a little confusing to read it all the hash tag. So I like to separate the two. You geo tag it is it. Is it a mock geo tag? Are you listing exactly where they can buy it on your Etsy store. Yeah, it's a mock geo tag. I'm usually, um, actually in the studio I share with Lindsay at the store. So, um, it's kind of an advantage to both because I can see where I am. Honestly, if they really want to come see me, they're gonna end up with the store. So your geo tagging it physically where your shop is now, right? But then I'm also writing the SC shop. Got it? Got it. So she's doing two things because she has a physical location and she has an Etsy shop. So she's driving traffic to where she is and also to the Etsy shop says really smart. And, um, for you, we've talked about this in the past, I'd like for all the listeners to hear, especially since we just went through a little bit of staging and photography. You have a very specific way on how you take your pictures before you post them to instagram and the editing process that you use. So can you go through the whole process after you've created your art? Right. So I create the art. My desk is also white, so either shoot it on my desk with a few with the markers that I used to create it or whatever medium I think I've used to create it. But I also have I think you mentioned this before. I have, like, a jumbo piece of foam core that I'll take Teoh a large window, and I like to shoot it in the natural light. Um, then, after I've taken taken the shot, um, once you go into the app, um, and head to the filter part, I skipped the filters entirely. I actually go to that little icon which looks like a wrench, right? Look at the brightness tool. And I just bumped the brightness up a tiny, tiny bits. And that's the only thing I touch only on the brightness. You only use the brightness in the wrench that we showed you a couple times. That's really good. That's a really good tip for people that need great photos. Yeah, and I mean some of the if you have really good lightning lighting, you might not need that. But, um, I kind of consistently used that and you do it such a good job bringing things. And you mention this in the video like what's trending in the world of fashion on. And how can you not only create awesome art within that trend from the dresses and the shoes and everything that you draw? But how you strategically post within that trend, can you talk about that little bit more? Right? So, like I mentioned the ambience, the amazing the Elie Saab this morning, I actually just listed of an original illustration that I did have a girl wearing a sequin dress because, you know, it's pretty early, but people are really getting into the holiday state of mind in Pinterest is full of those sequined dresses. So I created a girl wearing a sequin dress. Um, and I use the hashtag sequin in fashion illustration, which I always dio. So hopefully the right person searches that hashtag and discovers it. So fashion illustration is what you put in every single post. That's your post? Yes. Are there other hashtags that you use that are your that the ones that work well for you? Um, I do fashion illustration fashion illustrate or, um, Boston blogger, Boston and, um, and then I d like whatever the subject, I'm growing. So if it were, um there were like a handbag. I might do hashtag handbag. Or if it's a specific handbag, do hash tag and then insert the design of the hand back. But yeah, could you do do are a lot of designer handbags. So you always got the design? Yes. I drive this because you want them all. Exactly. So talk about the technical way that you actually get your illustrations. So from paper to instagram, you can even talk about the different mediums that you use because I love looking at all your tools and your markers and you have a lot. You have, like, chest chest. Yeah, but I think that's important for people to understand that you invest in a lot of tools and art supplies to create the beautiful art that you use a new showcase that in a very artistic way, ideal. Yeah, eso I use a specific kind of artist illustration markers, and that's kind of my main tool that I use. But I also use watercolor sometime, um, in different inks. But I like to shoot the illustration with markers because then people will comment and say, Oh, what kind of marker using and it's kind of Justin. Easy way for them to CEO. Here's the market. She is there. Only one brand that you use. Yes. So when When you were with, Every time I'm with you, it's another 1000 new followers. So the last time you and I were together at my house in the living room, shooting this video, you told me that you get 100 new followers a day and a day and thes air target followers it. Once you look at her feed, you're gonna be taught tagging her. She's gonna be on the cover of Vogue soon. Just wait. I know it. I know it. So So how do you manage all that engagement? You mentioned to me that you've hired an intern. I know that you like to, um, get in there yourself, but But you are your notifications and just blowing up all day. And you need to be an artist and produce your art. And you know you're creating art to sell and make a living. So how do you manage all of that? Right s So I do have a lovely interning Emma who helps me manage the instagram comments and notifications direct messages, but I like to comment back to people as much as I can. Um, and I get a lot of, um, requests from people that kind of inspire my new prints via comment. Um, one girl yesterday, um, wrote and told me how she wanted to see a specific bag sketch, so I'm gonna take her request. Didn't turn it into a print eventually. Eso I really like talking back and forth to people do are are a lot of people direct messaging you and asking you questions and instagram through direct messaging? Yeah, Frequently in, um, I kind of prefer to communicate via emails that were easier for me Toe track eso. When someone does that, if if it's a more complicated question, I'll just direct them to my email and communicate with them that way. That's good. So I I I want to save questions for the audience here in the live audience. But you I love listening to how successful you are and how you use it. And anyone here that has questions all the artists at home, you know, for Holly, I think this is a great opportunity to ask. She's 23. She left her full time job to be doing what she loves on Instagram. She is making money using this app. And it's been a year We met December 2013 Right? So it's been about a year, a year service. So you had a question? I think, Yeah. So for me, kind of that same thing, I think, as a photographer struggle with this continually where you know, you need to be editing and shooting. But yet you've got emails and you know, the instagram thing going on. So do you, like, logistically Do you budget a certain amount of time? Like I'm gonna spend this much time or I have to finish this part of my work, like, mentally. How do you work that out? So I think that's something that a lot of creatives really really struggle with. Yeah, so I guess like, a lot of creative people are very spontaneous, so I might draw something, and I usually like Oh, my gosh, I need to draw this. Get about I take a picture of it. Um, so that's kind of like a spontaneous side of it. But I also tend to post in the morning. It's evening after my work day hasn't as either not begun yet. Er is finished. So I guess that's kind of when I post. If that answers your question, I don't have designated instagram time. OK, have a question on line. Gonna come to Julie next time. But really in the Lillian Online is asking just holly have to get licensing before she creates a print of a of a bag or other Any other copyright problems. So I don't put logos or anything on any of the illustrations I've created and most of the work I do or custom illustrations of people so I don't usually have to worry about anyways, yes. Oh, well, I have two questions, actually. First of all, you are amazing. What's your being here with us, like blown away? Um, so I guess my question is almost a follow up to yours just around like the structure of your day and like how you find yourself balancing everything a za entrepreneurs like Instagram is a piece. And then, you know, there's so much more. So I think that would be one question. And then if you would just share maybe like one of your favorite tricks or tools that you use Instagram for. It would be awesome. Yeah, um, so it's very hard to structure your day when you don't have someone structuring it for you. Yeah, by eso I come into the studio, and when I come and I kind of answer all my emails, um, and then in the middle of the day is kind of when I do the creating, um towards the end of the day, I'll do an email check in again. Um, at that time, I've kind of made, um, made illustrations that my clients need to see if their custom illustrations, um and then the FC side of things. I'll be getting orders during the day. Eso at night. I kind of, um look and see what orders need to be filled for, um from etc. Um And then it just rolls and I go home at night and it's check instagram and continue answering emails. It just never ends, but it's the work I want to be doing. So I'm happy doing it. And it's not work anymore, which is maybe you are. Look at that face. She is smiling. She is beaming. So I only got a couple of questions on coming in online about trending. How do you know what is currently trending? And Michael's asking, Do you use a tool particularly to find out what's trending is I don't use a tool, but I do pay attention to pop culture and fashion a lot. So I guess it's kind of intuitive. And, um, yeah, I mean, sometimes Twitter. You can see what's trending on Twitter, but I'm not a big Twitter person. The honestly, um, more so on instagram. But the people I'm following on instagram to tend to be paying attention to pop culture as well. So I'll see what they're posting and kind of feel like any top on the bandwagon. Make sense. Now when I hear photo is asking Holly how to you. It's how did you experiment with Hashtags? How did you learn which hashtag is work for you and which ones were quality hatch tax? Yes. So when I started out, I kind of felt the need to use all 30 hashtags that you're allowed. Um, but I was finding that was getting me a lot of followers that he didn't necessarily want Um so as I built my audience and got a larger following. I kind of had more confidence and say All right, I only need four. Hashtags are freer. Whatever it may be, eso I've kind of weaned off of using too many hashtags, right? We talked about that to the more successful that you get, and I think call and I talked about this movie together. The less hashtags you need are the ones that you know that work. So you have your community. And because toe Holly's point, when you use 30 it looks kind of desperate and a little spammy. And then that's when you tend to see people popping up that you really I don't want to be following you, but it takes a while. And did it take you a while to dwindle down to the ones that you know work for you? Yeah, definitely. Yes. How long would you say if you were to tell people how long it took? Um, maybe, like, six months. So it s so it takes time to really know what hashtags work to attract your ideal follower. Holly. It's so I'm but some of my clients are in their twenties and I know, maybe for you. It's easy to know what's trending in your ideal client, and they're probably around your age. So what would you recommend? I don't even have TV. So, like half the time, I don't know what is popular culture. Like what? But I would read, um so, like, what would you recommend? That I could connect to that? That an age and that age? The age group, The 20 something young woman? Well, a lot of the bloggers I work with are definitely great sources of to see what's trending specifically in fashion. But then there's also a lot of lifestyle bloggers. There's a lot of book covers that people might see popping up frequently, or even like different beverages. Like there was a certain brand of seltzer that was going crazy a few months ago. That was in everyone's instagram feed. So the bloggers are a really good source. Um, for that, that's good. Thank you. You're always been amazing. Happy? Thank you so much, Ali. Thank you for having me