How to Build a Following on Instagram

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Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms right now, and the good news is that visual content can really help you to build your brand! Not only this, but you’ll also be able to connect with your followers (and potential customers!). We’ve asked one of our talented creators Charly Clements for some tips on how to gain followers, after her latest Instagram account @reallifelines grew from zero to 25k followers in just a few months. Read her simple, practical steps to becoming a pro below:

Post Regularly

Posting frequently will help you become a notable voice amongst the white noise, as people are more likely to see your posts. Charly advises posting every day if you can: ‘consistency is key when trying to build a strong following on Instagram. People will become very familiar with your work and it will lower the risk of your followers forgetting why they followed you in the first place.’

 

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Find your Niche

It’s best to establish a general theme which reflects your brand, and make sure that all of your posts reflect this. ‘Find a niche and stick with it,’ says Charly. ‘Experimenting with different content can confuse your audience, so once you’ve found your niche try hard to build on that.‘ This might be a running visual theme, or perhaps more of a personality which is put across through your posts, but either way it needs to be built around a general theme. If your brand is doing well without including lifestyle shots or quotes then don’t get distracted with them! 

Offer Insights

Your Instagram is the perfect place to give followers little insights into the day-to-day of your work. This can really help to pique their interest, and make your brand relatable. Why not get a shot of your (relatively tidy!) workspace, or a design in progress? Just make sure the posts are relevant, interesting and fit with your brand’s personality. If you’re keen to show a less-manicured side to your brand then Instagram Stories are made for you: aligning themselves with the likes of Snapchat, Instagram have created this tool for you to give real, relatable insights into your world, and Instagram often sends users notifications to encourage them to see the videos before they’re gone!

Engagement is key

Engage with your audience – whether that’s through the content of your posts or actively finding people in your niche and commenting on their photos,‘ Charly says. Think about who your posts appeal to, and once you’ve established your target audience then think about what more you can do to make your posts relevant to them. As Charly explains, this might mean creating a post to specifically pique their interest, replying to their comments and feedback, or even finding key followers and commenting on their posts where relevant. ‘Posting content that your audience can relate to will drastically improve the engagement on your posts as well as help build a community.

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Hashtags Increase Views

Hashtags are often used as a fun way to express your personality within a post, but they can actually be used to expose your post to more users. Adding popular hashtags means that people who are looking for this content can easily find your posts, so they’re more likely to discover you this way. Ones such as #makersgonnamake, #independentdesigner and #illustratorsoninstagram are regularly searched by users, so by tagging your posts with these you’ll be putting them in front of a captive audience.

Link to your profile

Charly advises using your bio to link out to your website or a different platform, so that it’s easy for followers to find out more about you and your brand: ‘Instagram is a great way to showcase your work/brand, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket!‘ If you’re looking to use your account to drive sales then regularly linking out to your thortful profile or featuring it in your bio is a great way to make sure potential customers can find you!

Find Charly’s own range of cards here, her Real Life Lines range here, and find her on Instagram here and here.

Mother’s Day Sharing images

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We’re back with some handy sharing images for you to drop your card designs into and share away! Right-click or ctrl + click to download them, then use the programme of your choice to slot your own designs in. Make sure to link through to your profile when you share!

See below for ideas on how to caption them:

Make sure your mum knows how much you love her with one of my Mother’s Day designs from @thortful!

Give Mum a token of your appreciation with my card from @thortful 

Ralph Waldo Emerson got it right when he said that ‘men are what their mothers made them’! Show Mum some love with my card from @thortful

Mother’s Day is coming soon! Make sure Mum isn’t disappointed: get this design @thortful

They say home is where your Mum is! Remember to send her a card this Mother’s Day: get this one from my @thortful profile

 

Just right-click or cmd + click to save!

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7 inspirational photographers you should be following on Instagram

A picture can speak a thousand words and evoke so much emotion, so with that in mind, we wanted to celebrate all things photography here at thortful this month.

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Aside from our talented photography creators who capture beautiful moments from behind the lens, Instagram is an exceptional platform to seek photography inspiration.

Search a host of popular hashtags such as, ‘#photography, #photographer, #photooftheday, #photographylovers’ etc. and you’ll discover a treasure trove of imagery waiting to be devoured.

Here’s some of the best photographers we uncovered on Instagram who left us wanting to brush up on our photography skills…

1. Simone Bramante: @brahmino

Simon Bramante

2. Victoria Siemer: @witchoria

Victoria Siemer

3. Sarah Palmer: @heysp

Sarah Palmer

4. Theron Humphrey: @thiswildidea

Theron Humphrey

5. Annonymous: @sejkko

Sejkko

6. Will Burrard-Lucas: @willbl

Will Burrard-Lucas

7. Dirk Bakker: @Macenzo

Dirk Bakker

Check out our photography collection on thortful here.

If you have stunning images you would like to share with the world in the form of a greeting card, we’d love to see them in our catalogue. Size them perfectly using our downloadable template and guides and upload away!

Get inspired by @tonyfutura

Feature of the day: @tonyfutura

There are so many ways to be creative and that’s what we enjoy when discovering new creators that inspire us. We came across the work of @tonyfutura on Instagram, counting more than 17k followers and we just wanted to learn more about him and his work!

1) How do you find inspiration?

Instagram and the social web is a good source of inspiration, because it provides me with many different perspectives, topics and news…often I just need to see a random object and a process starts in my head where I try to set up a new view on it or to put this into a special actual situation. Read more

Creating ‘Smart Art’ with Kristián Mensa

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Creativity can be found everywhere, even in everyday objects. Kristián Mensa and his art prove that an orange, a pasta, or a brush may lead to impressive results.

Kristián is a young artist from Prague that loves using normally uninteresting objects, using his imagination to give a new meaning to them. With more than 32 thousand followers on his Instagram account and press coverage from Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Elite Daily, and so many others, we couldn’t help but discover more about the ‘smart art’ of Kristián.

– How did you come up with the idea of ‘Smart Art’?

I’ve received a lot of comments and positive feedback – Most of the time I was told how smart and clever I am. Sometimes even a genius was mentioned so I’ve decided to call my work Smart Art – since it nicely describes what I do plus it has a playful rhyme. But to make things clear. I definitely do not call myself or think of myself as a genius. Practice during long nights or on Fridays when everyone else was having a drink is what helped me to expand my creative thinking and improve my drawing skills. (But there is still a lot what to get better at) Read more