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Social media tips from March Meet the Makers

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This month our Instagram feed is brimming with snapshots of modern workspaces, photos of personalised packaging and littered with tools laid out in geometric forms. Yes, it’s the return of March Meet the Maker!

Giving us a glimpse behind the scenes of social savvy creatives and pandering to the nosy parker inside all of us, it’s safe to say  the online challenge,originally created by Joanne Hawker, has become an Instagram success.

We reached out to some of the VSCOcam veterans taking part in this year’s challenge to get their top social media tips for makers.

Emily Coxhead – @emilycoxhead

Best known for creating “happy gifts’, Emily adds motivational phrases to her stationery, mugs and greetings cards. She’s currently producing a newspaper which celebrates all the good stuff in the world.

How do you decide what to post and when?

I try not to post too much in one day but if I go a few days without posting I can feel a bit out of sync. I used to post a product photo every few days but now I’m trying to give people more of an insight into the ‘work in progress’ of the things I do.

What are your top social media tips for makers?

Edit and clean up your photos when necessary but also keep it real every now and then. We all know that social media isn’t real life but it seems more people are using it to compare their own lives to.

When taking Instagram photos, white or coloured backgrounds are always good if you’re photographing a product.  I usually edit the backgrounds to clean it up a bit. More often than not I use pieces of white paper stuck together to get a white background. You can edit it pretty simply and it can almost look like you have your own studio!

What do you use to take your photos?

Sometimes I just take them on my iPhone but I recently got a new camera – Sony DSCRX100M4. With this new camera I can send the photos straight to my phone which is amazing when I’m out and about. I’ll often use Photoshop and Snapseed to edit my photos. I also use VSCOcam on my phone to add filters.

Chloe Hall – @Chloehallillustration

Since being bitten by the doodling bug at university, Chloe has been putting her patterns onto a whole host of stationery products.

Does social media play a big role in your making?

Social media is so important, it’s a free way to connect with people all over the world that wouldn’t otherwise see your work.

It’s an easy way to show the process of your work and I think people connect with the journey you are on via social media. You can do flash sales, sneak peaks and have the opportunity to give your followers freebies or take part in competitions.

What are your top social media tips for makers?

The best place to start is to be being active on social media. Follow other makers whose work you genuinely love and tell them. Comment on their photos and become part of the community.

Be yourself. People warm to you when they know it’s a real person behind the screen. It’s good to sometimes share when things haven’t quite gone to plan or when you’re having one of those days when you can’t get anything done. We can all relate to that.

What should people think about when taking photos for Instagram?

If you have a nice background and good lighting you’re pretty much there. Once you’ve figured out the look you want your brand to have, you can start introducing props. It’s always nice to include photos on your feed of your products in their new homes too.

Hannah Daisy – @makedaisychains

Hannah makes art about intersectional feminism, mental health and chronic illness. Her ETSY store is normally stocked with zines, patches, pins, stickers and postcards.

Do you think that social media has changed the way that makers sell?

It definitely gives me a platform to share the things I make. I often try designs out on social media first to see if people can relate to them; which when making images about mental health is incredibly important.

What are your top social media tips for makers?

Listen to what people say and thank people when they give you a complement. I always try to think about how my page looks to someone on their first visit and ask myself, “Does this show who I am?”

When taking photos think about the composition and lighting to make sure that item you want to show is clear. Also if you have a cute cat you should definitely post pictures of her!

What do you use to take your photos? 

I use my iPhone 6s camera and the VSCOcam app for editing photos. I have a photo tent which disperses natural light, it really helps to have good lighting in photos.

Megan McNulty – @megantje

Megan focuses on products that put a smile on her face and loves adding a little pun or joke to make it a little quirky.

Which social media channel is most important to you?

Instagram is my favourite. It’s a much more visual platform than the others, so perfect for maker I think.

I’ve also met some really cool makers via Instagram. Even when I’m working alone at home I have a whole squad of fun makers only an app away. Whenever I’m in a dilemma about a design or just really want to share a new sticker, there’s always someone there.

How do you decide what to post?

This might make me sound crazy but I like to draw out what I’m going to post so I can make sure it all fits nicely in my feed. Normally I plan two or three days ahead. Sometimes my plan doesn’t work out and I improvise which prevents my feed from becoming stiff.

What are your top social media tips for makers?

Hashtags! When I first started using them right it really helped people find me. Don’t just copy them from someone big. Find hashtags that really suit you and your work.

When taking photos for social media try using little props to make your photos more fun. Find props that suit your style and your products. I’ve used things like pencils and a toy hippo spray painted gold.

Rosie Casson @rosebudcasson

Rosie runs Rosebud Casson from her home studio in the North East of England. She predominantly makes printed or laser cut jewellery.

Which social media channel is most important to you? 

Instagram is such an amazing platform for the creative community. It’s brought so many people together and put talented people into the spotlight.

What are your top social media tips for makers?

Use hashtags, take lovely bright photographs and be yourself! Friendly posts and lovely images will always draw people to your brand.

When taking photos stick to a certain aesthetic so that you can really show off your brand in your photos, and think about your feed as a whole. I think that feeds that sit together well generally attract more followers.

What do you use to take your photos? 

I take photos on my Canon SLR when I have time to go out and take photos and then edit them. Generally I will use my iPhone 6s for ease of use. The camera is great and  you can literally just upload straight away.

Thanks to all the March Meet the Makers for their social media tips and tricks.

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