When you first started on Instagram, you had a very different business model to what you have now, can you talk us through the transition?
Sure! I first started out by providing stock photos for Instagram. They were styled scenes like flowers and iPhone mockups. Back then (feels like ages ago) businesses were posting several times a day in order to keep their hashtags at the top (before the algorithm really kicked in) so, if you had a LOT of photos… your hashtags ruled the roost.
That’s where stock photos came in handy. It gave small businesses and influencers more photos to post, which meant more opportunities to get noticed.
Over time, IG changed things up a bit and stock images were not needed as much… however, photos were still a necessity! And that’s when I began offering Lightroom Presets. As a way to help people easily and beautifully edit their own photos for social media from the convenience of their mobile phone.
What is your favorite thing about Instagram?
Hashtags and the community! I love being able to find anything in my local community, or the world, simply by using hashtags. I love how I can find other people decorating their houses or doing a DIY project and I can gain ideas or inspiration from their posts and captions.
What did life on Instagram look like before scheduling?
Messy and chaotic. I would get an idea for a post and tell myself that I would remember to draft the caption later or find the perfect photo later. Hahah. It was stressful and time-consuming.
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Ahhhh. Nothing brings a feed together faster than a good set of presets. Each of these photos were edited with my signature, JBC presets for products and interiors.💛⠀ ⠀ I know we’ve talked about it before, but if you notice…my style of photography is very light. My photos have a lot of room to breathe (plenty of space around the subject) and the items in the photos are simple, with layers of neutral texture. Even my wardrobe consists of very basic, neutral items (when I’m not in my pajamas). 🤣⠀ ⠀ If you are trying to master your preset game, keep these things in mind:⠀ ⠀ • Look for photo examples on the ads/website that remind you of your current style, or a style you are growing into. ⠀ ⠀ • Ask for help! If you aren’t sure if a certain set of presets will work for you, ask the creator. I’ve told several potential customers that my presets are not a good fit for their current style. Most preset providers are genuinely invested in helping you. Don’t be afraid to ask! ⠀ ⠀ • Remember, Lightroom Presets are a tool, not a singular solution. When I was first starting out I tried every preset out there until I found what I liked. I didn’t consider it a waste of money to try out a variety of editing tools. Even if I didn’t quite like something, it still helped me! And honestly, the ones I struggled with the most ended up becoming my favorite presets because they pushed me to grow and really learn Lightroom. It’s all in the perspective. 🤩⠀ ⠀ If you are intimidated by Lightroom Presets, don’t be! They are so much fun and the Lightroom Mobile App makes it easier than ever to get a professional edit on your photos! Give it a try…I bet you will love it! ⠀ ⠀
What concerns/doubts did you have about scheduling your Instagram?
My number one concern was doing it the right way. Especially in the beginning when people were getting their accounts banned because they used a scheduling software that did not abide by Instagram’s rules.
“Plann was so easy to use and it followed the rules, which provided me with an enormous amount of peace and convenience.”
What was the first thing you noticed when you started using Plann?
It was so easy to use! I was able to move my photos around and create a gorgeous feed that I was proud to have represented my business. The hashtag feature was the biggest lifesaver and planning out my feed in advance made me stick to my posting schedule.
“Plann gives me everything I need to easily stay active on Instagram!”
How has Plann helped you?
It’s helped by allowing me to stay consistent. So many businesses give up too soon because creating content is time-consuming or at times, boring.
“Plann allows me to create consistency and dependability in my brand by planning out my feed in advance.”
On a practical note… as my engagement grew, my income did too! People love finding a product and then doing some research about it online. One of the FIRST stops for most people is Instagram.
Having an active, dependable feed gives me a chance to interact with potential customers each and every day. I have been able to build trust and get instant feedback on ideas or products. Plann gave me the strategy and ability to keep posting and the tools needed to stick with it. I am forever grateful!
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Q: Is it better to shoot interior images slightly underexposed? ⠀ A: If you are going to edit them, yes! Here’s why…⠀ ⠀ Highlights are tricky and if you overexpose them too much they will make your photos look extremely bright or “blown out”. Especially when dealing with bright spaces like the image above. ⠀ ⠀ If you have ever dealt with this, don’t worry. Everyone does! Here’s how you can get the perfect shot, every time. Even on your iPhone. ⠀ ⠀ • Make sure the brightest part of the photo determines the exposure. ⠀ ⠀ • For instance, in the photo above I focused my camera on the white, round vase in the upper left hand corner. I made sure it had perfect exposure. Meaning the little exposure dial on my camera was in the middle. If I were to shoot this same scene on my iPhone, I would tap the screen to focus on that vase and then move the little sun ☀️ dial up or down until that vase wasn’t too light or too dark…and then snap the pic. 🧩(See my story highlights • iPhone 📷 Tips • for a real life example using the cabinets as the focal point)🧩 ⠀ • I edit my photos. I used my JBC Home and Decor desktop presets (since this was a RAW image) on the photo above to really bring it to life. ⠀ ⠀ The good news is, this process was less than 5 minutes. Because my photo wasn’t too bright when I went to edit it, it allowed me to utilize the power of Lightroom to save time. I’m all about making Photoshoots and editing as easy possible. ⠀ ⠀ What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to taking photos of your own home?
What features or functions of Plann do you love and use the most?
The hashtag feature! Seriously, worth its weight in gold.
What is your top tip for brands on Instagram building out a beautiful aesthetic?
Use consistent colors/hues and backgrounds. Find your favorite accounts, you know the ones that you think are GORGEOUS and ask yourself these questions when you look at them:
- What 3 colors are the most noticeable?
- What kind of background is in their photos? Outdoor or Indoor. Dark or Light.
- What can I do that is similar by using my favorite colors and photo settings?
There’s your roadmap to creating a feed you will love!
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If you are 35 or older and trying to grow your Instagram account this post is for you. 🙌🏻 . I have a few secrets to tell you about this amazing platform! As someone who built an account solely on stock photos, reluctantly implemented stories and hates being the center of attention, I pretty much made ALL of the mistakes in the book while successfully growing my account and my business at the same time. And despite all of those hiccups, I’m still growing at a fast clip. Here’s what I did and rest assured you can do this too. . 1. I showed up. Meaning I was active on Instagram on a consistent basis. Listen, I don’t like having my picture taken, so I knew I wouldn’t be one of those girls with a pic of my mug in every square. But that didn’t keep me from showing up. I posted what I felt comfortable with (mostly stock photos) shared about my life in the captions and I interacted with other accounts. That was, and is still is something that matters quite a bit. Keep showing up in the best way you can to keep your account alive. It’s like a plant…feed it and water it. . 2. I embraced stories. They are so popular and something that cannot be ignored. Again, I’m not really one to have my face everywhere…so I do stories my way. I do tutorials, give away free stock photos, and I show my face when I want to. But I make sure to post to my stories at least 5x a week. If you hate video and feel shy when it comes to stories that is okay, but it doesn’t mean you can skip this important piece of the puzzle!!! This is a place to get creative and think outside the box. What can you share that relates to your life and business but doesn’t require you to have massive amounts of face time? Start there. . 3. I tested different strategies & gave up the fear of doing something wrong. I used hashtags when they worked and stopped when I saw a decline. I posted 3x a day when it worked and reduced it to 3x a week when my engagement dropped. No one here holds the keys to the kingdom. We are all learning as we go. My BEST advice is to just got for it. Your intuition will tell you when to make a pivot and that real time feedback is the best teacher. . 4. I use ads! Continued in comments
What’s next for you?
A podcast! Wohoooo. I’ve learned so much about business over the last few years. Especially about being a Christian female with big income goals. That’s basically taboo in those circles. I’m excited to give back and help other entrepreneurs, moms, and business owners unlock their full earning potential!