Are you an aspiring creative entrepreneur or artist? Do you have some great products you’d love to share with the world but not sure how? In a world full of distractions, you need to have your brand stand out amidst all the noise and crowded market. One essential way to do that is to master the social media platform with a storm. It’s one of the most affordable ways to get your message and products across to the masses.
We’re excited to introduce you to our Guest Contributor, Marryam Lum, the founder of Life Of My Heart, who offers beautiful brush lettering quotes from the Quran, Du’as and important spiritual figures in history. With over 17,000 followers, Marryam shares her secrets to creating the ultimate visual platform on Instragram for business which will in turn speak volumes..to your audience!
Continue reading to find out how she does it and how you can, too!
While I had been on Instagram for my photography business for a long time, I never really appreciated the effectiveness of Instagram for business until I started Life Of My Heart about one year ago. My first account was mainly filled with my fashion and lifestyle photography work but I never really took posting seriously – I’d just upload a random image here and there, inconsistently and with no real aim. My main reason for opening Instagram was to go through my insta feed and see all the inspiring imagery from artists I admired, which to this day is what I really love Instagram for.
Despite my half-hearted attempt at posting on my photography business account, when I started Life Of My Heart I knew instantly that Instagram was going to be the social media platform that I put most of my focus on – it was at a time when I felt frustrated with the lack of effectiveness of Facebook for business with their ever-changing algorithms and I had decided to put a big effort into a different platform.
I’m constantly learning and experimenting with my Instagram marketing strategy for business, and I’m very passionate about it – I’m always telling everyone I know about how much I love Instagram (sorry guys!) and indeed, it has literally changed my life’s direction in the last year.
So here are a few tips I have learnt from my experience (and many mistakes!) growing my Instagram over the last year:
1. High Quality Images
Instagram is very much a visual medium so I think it’s super important to make sure your images are of a certain standard of quality – and the most important factor here is good lighting. Take into account the time of day, direction of light and amount of light where you are taking your photo, and make sure to use an editing app like Snapseed, or program like Photoshop or one of the many others to edit your image before posting.
Also, for this reason, if you are just starting your Instagram account for business, it’s useful to have posted about at least 9 to 12 images already so that when people first see your account they can already quickly get an idea of your style and what you and your business are about.
2. Offer Great Content
Post up images that will keep people coming back to your Instagram, and that people will want to follow purely because you are in some way helping them out, inspiring them, providing something useful, or even just making people feel happy when they see your brand. Having unique content will facilitate your followers tagging their friends and therefore help your Instagram to grow.
Choose a posting schedule and stick to it! If you think you can’t post everyday, then however many times a week you decide to post just do it with consistency. If you make a promise to yourself to stick to your consistent posting schedule then you are less likely to just give it up, and it builds trust between you and your followers. Be prepared to schedule posts for when you go on vacation or are unwell, and build up a buffer of extra posts ready to go just in case.
4. Attract and Repel With Your Content
For every business, it is vital to know who your target market is and how you are going to reach them. Once you know who your target market(s) are, then go ahead and BE TRUE TO YOURSELF! And by that, I mean be your BRAND. Post images that you know will attract your ideal customer, and more importantly, will attract people who are like you, who have similar tastes as you, and are therefore more likely to appreciate your product or service. Your aim is to attract these types of people, and arguably even more importantly, to repel people who aren’t attracted to your work, and who therefore are not your ideal customer.
In the Muslim market it can get a little tempting to try and please everyone, as unfortunately there is an abundance of judgmental comments on some Muslims’ accounts who are more in the public eye or just more visible on Instagram – and many people like to judge others on a sort of faith-o-meter which can get frustrating.
However if you take into account the principle of attract and repel, then you will allow yourself to be more true to yourself and your brand, and post what you want to post without worrying about pleasing everyone. Do what you can to attract your ideal customers and repel those who aren’t, and inshaAllah you will begin to grow your own insta community of people who truly appreciate your brand.
5. Engage With Your Followers and Potential Influencers
This is probably one of the most important tips. Instagram is all about ENGAGING. Like and comment on as many of your followers feeds as possible, as well as all the Instagram accounts you follow. Likes are great, but comments are really the meat of engagement on Instagram – but definitely note that it’s so important to be genuine with your comments and likes – no spam!
I used to have a little giggle at the posts with a million hashtags after it, but then I realized just how useful they are, and now have quite a few hashtags with each of my posts 😀 It is a great way to get your content out there to a broader audience, and if the image you ‘hashtagged’ is unique and great looking it will stand out in the hashtag and lead people to visit your feed. Once at your feed, people can then decide whether or not to follow you based on your content and style, but the hashtag is often what got them to your feed in the first place.
7. Timing of Posts
Use a service such as Iconosquare to check your Instagram statistics to find out which countries your followers come from and which time they are most likely to engage with your feed, and post accordingly – this will help people to actually be able to see your post, rather than it get buried somewhere deep in their Insta feeds before they have even woken up in their timezone. There are many apps to schedule your posts, I mainly use TakeOff.
So start your Instagram account today if you haven’t already and take your platform to the next level! What other tips worked for you?
photo credit: Marryam Lum, Life Of My Heart
About Marryam Lum:
Marryam Lum is a South Australia based photographer who finds daily inspiration in the beautiful verses of the Quran. She is an artist and business owner of Life of My Heart which seamlessly merges her passion for beautiful brush lettering and reflective quotes.
“My work came from a need I had when struggling through issues that life presents to us as humans, to be able to make the beautiful, inspiring verses of the Quran accessible to the non-Arabic speaker. I, as most Muslims, obviously turn to the Quran for guidance when experiencing hardship and for inspiration, however as a non-Arabic speaker with a lot of beautiful Arabic calligraphy in my home, I also wanted daily reminders of beauty, inspiration, strength, patience in contemporary artwork which I could see and read and understand, in my own language as well as in Arabic.”
Marryam’s lettering specifically focuses on Quranic verses, spiritual quotes and duas in the artwork which double as a visual remembrance of Allah (swt) but also a way to be making constant dua and dhikr.
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