How to be awesome at Instagram for your Blog or Small Business

If social media's were drinks, Instagram would a lovely cup of tea that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It's by far my favourite social platform, and the first time I dared to share my work with the world it was with Instagram.

I've been lovingly nurturing my feed for a while now so here are my top Instagram tips.

Sugar and Sloth penguin dance

1. Numbers are so 2017

Stop obsessing over your follower count and start obsessing over your content instead (because we need *something* to obsess over).

I would much rather have a teeny, tiny amount of followers who are super excited to see my posts, than a whole bunch of people who would much rather be drooling over fitness models (they will be so disappointed with my chubby unicorn photos).

When you start obsessing over delivering content your followers actually want to see then your growth will come naturally and you'll have a lovely bunch of followers who also become encouraging Insta-friends.

Funny unicorn badges

2. Be Nosey

The bloody brilliant thing about being a blog or small business is that we, unlike the big faceless brands, can chat to our customers, and get to know them really well. I'm naturally very nosey anyway, especially if someone has a cute pet. I love stalking, I mean chatting, to my customers and finding out if they really do think Llamas are the new Unicorns.

Reply to comments, hunt out things you love (like cats) and comment on those photos. I often see people complaining that their Instagram engagement has gone down, and blaming algorithms and the like. But engagement is just real people, having real conversations, and like with everything else, you get back what you put in.

funny llama button badges

3. Ew, games are gross

I know some people love a good comment pod, but personally I don't think this is sustainable and I'd much rather have real comments (even if it means I get a lot less of them). I like to get a true reflection of what my audience love to see. If everyone went mad for the panda in a watering can mug, but not so much the puppy dressed a a cowboy then that's super helpful. So yeah bye bye follow for follow and all that yuk.

Sugar and Sloth How to be awesome at Instagram

5. Show your face

Here's where we beat the big guys again, because we're actual real people and there's nothing people like better than a big cheesy grin. So get over your fear of making video stories (ok, easier said than done, this one took me a long time and I'm still pretty scared). But nothing will make me trust a brand more than seeing the actual real human who will be making my order, or giving me advice. Your face is what makes you, you so show it off!

Sugar and sloth duvet day

6. It helps to be a bit odd

You have a creative Blog or Business so (hopefully) you have this amazing passion for what you do. Let it shine through, let your freak flag fly and you might just be surprised at how many other people are afraid of baked beans too (or is that just me...?) They say your vibe attracts your tribe so roll up all my PJ wearing, cat-loving, in bed by 9pm crew!

Sugar and sloth maker and proud

7. Believe in Karma

Share other artists work, people you love and who inspire you and people with amazing work but only 5 followers (share them the most). You're helping out your audience by recommending other blogs or creatives they will love, and they'll love YOU all the more for it (I promise).

Of course always ask if you can share the photos first, and always tag the original creator in the photo (not just in the comment, or they may not see it).

When I started out I really struggled with showing my art (I was so worried everyone would hate it!) But guess what? All the Insta lovelies were so encouraging and supportive! So I've started this hashtag #makerandproud as a safe space to encourage creatives to share. I love scrolling through all the colourful art, photography and makes, and I've been sharing the work regularly on my feed too.

The makers of the art this photo are tagged in my Insta post.

So that's all my Insta-wisdom, what do you think? If you have top tips to share, I'd love to hear them!

Find me on Insta here, and leave a comment so I can stalk you too 🙂