The Business of Longarm Quilting - Social Media
We're starting out nice and easy today, with social media! Specifically, Instagram.
However, before we get to Instagram, I'll quickly talk about Facebook. I have a "page" for "Kathleen Quilts" that anyone can like. My blog posts and instagram posts are automatically added to this page (using an iOS app called "if") but other than that I don't do much with my Facebook page. Once and a while I'll upload pictures that didn't make it to the blog or instagram, but other than that it's mostly automated. However, it is nice because it allows people who might not use Instagram or subscribe to my blog to keep up with what is going on. It also provides an easy to way to contact me.
I don't use my personal Facebook page for my business -- I only "friend" people who I know in real life, and people I actually consider to be friends. This allows me to keep my personal life personal -- I can post on my personal page about how many naps I've had, about how excited about something I am, without having to worry about what type of "image" I'm puttin out there. When someone who I don't know requests to be my friend, I send them I nice message saying
Thanks so much for the friend request! However I try to keep my personal facebook page for people I know in real life! So why not like my quilting page-- https://www.facebook.com/kathleenquilts -- and get all quilts all the time? That way you don't have to hear about how many naps I've had, but get to see lots of quilt pictures!
So on to Instagram...
Instagram is how I have gained 98% of my clients... 100% of my clients if you don't count the ones I already knew before I started longarming. I've made some fantastic friends & kept in contact with people I've met at QuiltCon and other places... basically, Instagram has, over the last 2 years, completely changed my life, in ways that I would have never even imagined. So before you go any further, if you don't have one already, go make an Instagram account. You can find instructions HERE. Then follow me @kathleenquilts.
Anyways, these are KATHLEEN'S RULERS FOR INSTAGRAM!
- Good photo's are the most important. I can post the same photo, one with good lighting & one with poor lighting, and the one with good lighting will get way more attention than the one with poor lighting.I'm super lucky in that my longarm is in my living room, which has great natural lighting -- there are great big windows on 2 sides of my machine.Not only do I have great natural lighting, I have great lighting above my machine as well. This lets me take great photos while my quilt is on the frame.
Most of my Instagram photo's are "on the frame" photos', because I find it easier to showcase the quilting this way -- I can get up nice and close, and get good shadowing of my quilting.
When I'm photographing my quilting, I don't like the lighting to be coming from directly on top of my quilt. I like the lighting to be coming from the opposite direction of where I am quilting... so in the photo above, I'm taking the picture facing towards the window. This means the shadows are on my side, where my camera can see them.
Vs this picture which was taken on a sunny day. The shadow's show up on a sunny day more than on a cloudy day.
This is pretty much the exact opposite advice than what you would find if you googled "how to photograph my quilt" right now. However, I'm not trying to photograph my quilt, I'm trying to photography my quilting. I want the quilting to show up more than I want perfect colour or whatever. So this is what I do.
Rule one was really long :D I think that the rest might be shorter?
- Rule 2 is that I try to keep 90% of my Instagram photo's quilt related. Which is also my rule for following Instagram accounts -- I'm sorry, I just don't really care about your kids or sunsets or food. I just want to see pictures of pretty quilts. Some of your other life is fine -- I do like knowing who you are. But I mostly only care about your quilts.
- One photo a day. Or at least, spread them out. 10 pictures in 10 minutes is no good. It's pretty annoying actually. I'll probably un-follow you. Plus, if you're trying to feel good about yourself, and part of feeling good about yourself is having an Instagram photo with a lot of likes, if you spread out your photo's more, they have more time to stand on their own, and then get more likes. Not that all of life is about getting a lot of likes.... I'm pretty sure.
- Use it to push people to your blog... but not obnoxiously. Whenever I finish quilting a quilt, I write a blog post about it, then post a photo on Instagram, which is a great way to send people over to my blog, but still is a nice pictures, not obnoxious advertising.
- Be involved... like other people's posts, comment on quilts you like... one of the best parts of IG is the people I've met... and you don't meet people if you doing try :D. Just sayin'
So that's today's post! Not super business-y, but since my business and success have been built almost entirely on social media, I think it's pretty important.
Later days! Kathleen.
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