Creative Business Goals: How to start a creative campaign

And Smile

Connect in a way that will grab attention by using some unique techniques to share your makes…

Marketing your makes isn’t always easy, but if you use a bit of imagination there are lots of ways you can get your message out and make connections with likeminded makers.

To get noticed, we’ve asked the brains behind some of 2016’s best creative campaigns to share their secrets and inspire you to come up with out of the ordinary ways to raise your profile…

And Smile

Insta videos

Video is the way to go. With most social media sites prioritising video posts, it’s not only a fantastic way to get seen, but a brilliant way to connect directly with your followers. Viktorija Semjonova of And Smile shares her stunning paintings with her Instagram following mixing work-in-progress videos with behind the scene shoots…

What made you decide to start creating Instagram videos?

Initially I wanted to show how drawings come to life, but the reaction to the videos was so amazing – the posts were more popular than photos – that I decided to do more showing my process. I try to only post videos or boomerangs, which I think my followers will to want see and that I enjoyed creating. I also keep in mind things important dates like holidays, special occasions, events I am taking part in, workshops I’m teaching and blogposts. For me it’s all about the story behind the post. When a person stays true to who they are, and if the content was created with joy, that’s what works the best.

How long does it take for you to set up for a post?

Around 1-2 hours, depending on the drawing and light in the studio. If it is a dark day I might postpone for better conditions or set up next to the brightest window.

How often should you post and why?

Just be consistent, don’t post too much and try to find your own pattern. Have a list of things you want to post about and a selection of photos for days when you are not feeling inspired.

What are your top tips for creating Instagram videos?

Think of something you would like to share, download hyperlapse and go! Good light always helps. If you don’t have a tripod it’s easy to build a DIY structure to help you film. Try it, it’s fun!

The House That Lars Built Facebook Live

Go Live!

Facebook Live is the new kid on the block and Brittany Jepson of The House That Lars Built is one of the first creative bloggers to embrace the format to chat directly with her fans…

What made you decide to do Facebook Live Q&As?

I had tried to do it on my YouTube channel, but it was so much work pairing the audio with the images and producing a really fantastic video that I decided to go with a medium that felt more authentic. I’d been told by other bloggers that Facebook Live would be great for it, so I tried it out. I like the immediacy it provides and the ability to ask questions on the spot and answer straight away. Additionally, Facebook notifies people when it’s up so I found that I got more views because of it.

What can makers gain from doing them?

I found that I got a lot of feedback on all platforms, not just on Facebook, which was fun to hear. I think it’s great to make a personal connection with your audience and for them to connect with your work. Video is also a great way to show your personality.

Do you put video on any other social media sites?

I LOVE Snapchat so much and found a new loyal audience from outside of the crafting world, which I thought was fun. I’ve kind of forgot about Snapchat when Instastories came out because there were just too many platforms to keep up with.

Hello DODO patches

Collaborate and listen!

Working with like-minded makers is always rewarding and Hello DODO’s Ali and Jam have worked with both their friends Designosaur and fellow Brighton maker Toby I Like Cats to create successful collaborations that have even scooped them a Mollie Makes Award…

How did your collaborations help your businesses to grow?

Collaborations, when done right, are a brilliant way to reach a whole new customer base for both parties and to make you think in a completely different way. For us both our collaborations pushed us and helped us to break out of our routine!

Apart from creating a product together, were there any other ways it benefitted your businesses?

When you collaborate you not only create a product together but marketing strategies and ideas and figure out pricing and profit together. Basically a collaboration makes you bring your A game to the table and it helps you to listen better to other people’s thoughts and ideas.

What are the key ingredients for a successful collaboration?

Firstly, both parties should benefit from a collaboration. Ideally we think that your businesses should be at a similar level (so you both benefit from reaching each other’s audiences) and it makes sense to collaborate with someone on a product that you couldn’t necessarily just do yourself. If profits are being split equally then the workload also needs to be equal too. The best thing is to sit down together and work out all of the nitty gritty details before going ahead – Who’s in charge of what? How will you both market the product? What does it cost to make and how are the profits distributed? Being open, honest and chatting it all through is the way to avoid any problems!

Folksy

Create a hashtag

Hashtags are a brilliant way to find a group of likeminded makers and share your crafts with a wider audience. Folksy are experts at fun and informative hashtags from #folksyhour to their newest hashtag #celebrate_handmade which asks people to share the things they love most about craft. Folksy’s Camilla Westergaard explains how you can make a personalised hashtag work for you….

How can a hashtag like #feelingfolksy help a maker to grow their business?

Using hashtags can really help you get seen and if you use the right ones on Instagram they can put your images in front of not just shoppers, but influencers too. That means that as well as growing your following and potentially getting more sales, they can help you reach bloggers, Instagrammers and press as well. #feelingfolksy is a nice hashtag for anything handmade because it’s a mid-size tag (at the moment, it has around 4.5k posts) which means your posts won’t disappear in a torrent of other images.

What can makers gain from doing creating a hashtag?

It’s a great way to generate content and get people talking about you, especially if you join up with another maker or Instagrammer as then you’re combining your audience and boosting each other’s reach. It’s also a great chance to get your voice heard, but you need to decide what you want to say – think about who are you as a maker and what you want people to know about you, then choose a hashtag that expresses those qualities. Advertising companies used to spend millions of pounds creating campaigns, but you can do the same now with no budget at all. If you don’t use hashtags you’re basically posting to your own circle. Hashtags allow you to reach out beyond that audience and gain new fans.

What other creative campaigns have impressed or inspired you?

I really like the #sgiew challenge which is a collaboration between Incredibusy, Red Ted Art and Willow Day. It stands for ‘So Good In Every Way’ and the idea is to celebrate the good things in life. There are now over 20k posts on that tag and it’s a great example of Instagrammers working together to grow their audience – and introducing a different guest judge each week is a clever way to keep expanding their reach.
#feelingfolksy - image by Felt Me Up Designs