Ok. So I have been on vacation. I spent two weeks in New Zealand with my family. And it was fabulous. For the first week I pre-wrote all of my blog posts so I didn't miss a day. For the second week I was just on vacation. Sorry but sometimes a girl has got to take some time off. (And thanks for all of your emails wondering "where "in the heck" were my blog posts?")
So I am back. And trying to get caught up. As you all know, it's hard to take vacation when you own your own business. There is nobody back in the office to take over while you are gone. There is also no one that can finish your paintings. So stuff piles up. In a really big way!
I did hit a big milestone while I was in New Zealand. My Instagram account @my100yearoldhome surpassed 10,000 followers. That was a really big goal for me and I am thrilled I reached it! But please understand, I worked really hard to reach this goal.
Speaking of Instagram, this week's AHA show is going to be about some new things happening with Instagram. There's a lot of talk about Shadow Banning and if you don't know what it is then you had better listen to the show. Because I can bet that many of you have accounts that have been "shadow banned" by Instagram and you don't even know it. There is also a really cool app you can use called linktr.ee. It's a great solution for a common Instagram problem that you are going to want to know about.
It's good to be back. I am not home for long as next week I am teaching a Marketing Boot Camp in Atlanta, GA! I cannot wait!!!
Nine weeks ago I started a new Instagram account called @my100yearoldhome. The account is all about our 102 year old home, my love for farmhouse style decor, my Rae Dunn collection (and quest for the COOKIES canister!) as well as tips, recipes and much, much more.
I have previously shared that this endeavor has been a lot of fun. Most importantly, I have met the most amazing women through my new Instagram account. I have also learned a lot. I also started a blog (called My 100 Year Old Home) and now have linked pages to a new facebook account and a Pinterest page. And the best part? I only need 150 more followers to reach my goal of 10,000.
I have been fortunate to be able to share a lot I have learned about this Instagram journey on the Artists Helping Artists podcast. I thought I knew Instagram really well, but that wasn't the case. I do think you really can't understand Instagram fully until you are in the trenches and using it everyday. Trust me, this is so true!
If you aren't on Instagram then sign up now. If you are on Instagram then add a new account to help find something that you are passionate about. Trust me, it's so much fun.
And don't forget to follow me @my100yearoldhome. I am still trying to reach that 10,000 goal!
It's hard enough keeping track of my schedule when I am home. But now that we have been in New Zealand for a week I am still having trouble with the time change.
It's just so strange that today is actually tomorrow back home. What I mean by that is it is currently Tuesday at 12:09pm. But in California it is Monday at 5:09pm. That is just so odd to me.
The good news is I feel a bit like I get a "practice" day since today hasn't really happened yet. I know, you are starting to think i am crazy. Crazy is going on a helicopter ride to the Milford Sound and stopping the helicopter on top of a glacier. We did that yesterday which of course is really today for the rest of you.
We are heading out to try an ATV ride which sounds pretty fabulous. Can't wait until we leave on Saturday because we travel 13 hours and arrive home before we left. Now that is crazy!
This month we celebrated another anniversary of the Artists Helping Artists radio show. The funny thing about that last sentence? The AHA show isn't really a radio show, it's a podcast. But seven years ago no one knew what a podcast was. So that's why I always call it a radio show.
Let's just say it is both.
On April 15, 2010 the very first AHA show aired on blog talk radio. I cannot believe the show began seven years ago. That's a long time ago! I also cannot believe we are now in our eighth year. I never imagined the show would last so long. And now I cannot imagine my life without the AHA show. I think that's pretty cool.
You just might want to go back through the archives and listen to one of our previous shows. You can find all of the previously recorded shows here. Enjoy.
Artists are always struggling for motivation. We have to be creative ALL of THE TIME and it's not easy. In fact sometimes it is brutal when we just aren't feeling it. But I think I can help.
On this week's Artists Helping Artists show our topic is "How to Energize Your Art World". My co-host Margaret Sheldon and I have put together a great list of some very fun and exciting things you can do to to create excitement and fun in your art world. You don't want to miss this show as I think it's a great list every artist needs!
Listen to the show here.
Nowadays most of us use our cell phones to take photos for our business. Before you panic, I do use my 35mm camera to take the good photos of each painting. But I use my iphone for all the other photos. The photos seen above were taken with my iphone. The second photo was edited using my new favorite app, VSCO.
VSCO (formerly VSCO Cam), according to their website, is the best mobile app to edit, share and discover your photos. Best of all, this powerful photo editor is free to download. Capture an image, then enhance it with your favorite filter to get the look you want. Choose from a host of free editing tools like fade, clarity, skin tone, tint, sharpen, saturation, temperature and more, each with manual adjustments. Transform your photos into something beautiful and express yourself creatively.
The app also offers:
Film-like presets give your pics a high-quality, professional film look.
Download hundreds of free and paid filters in the store.
Includes 19 of the best editing tools including exposure, contrast and crop.
RAW editing, including high-resolution images.
Easily capture moments with the in-app camera, including manual controls.
I love this app. I use it before I upload every photo on my @100yearoldhome Instagram feed and blog. It's very easy to use and takes less than a minute per photo. Well worth the price.
Oh wait. It's free.
There is a to-do list that has been sitting on our kitchen island since Thursday night. And it has haunted me for the last three days. Why?
By the time this blog post goes live I will be on a plane to New Zealand. If you listened to the Artists Helping Artists show last week then you might remember I mentioned that we had a trip planned to New Zealand. My husband is competing for the USA in the World Master's Games (in volleyball in the 55+ age bracket) and my oldest son is also competing (in swimming in the 25+ age bracket. We planned this trip a few months ago but we knew there was one catch. If my youngest son's volleyball team made the NCAA Championships then I would be staying home.
I honestly thought I would not be going to New Zealand. In fact, I was in complete denial and hadn't done anything to prepare. Including some of the trip planning. Sadly, on Thursday night, UC Irvine lost in the MPSF Championship semifinals. I was so sad for my son. And then I freaked out that I had to plan for the trip. Uh oh.
Don't get me wrong. The packing part is nothing. It's the "getting everything done because you are going to be gone for two weeks part" that had me completely freaked out. Make that present tense, "that HAS me completely freaked out".
The good news is we don't leave until really late on Monday night. So I have 26 hours to get everything done.
Of course by the time this blog post goes live I will be on the plane to New Zealand. Which means I will have everything done by the time you read this. Right? Ok. Wishful thinking.
And one more thing. Tuesday pretty much is non-existent this week. We take off at 11:40pm on Monday and arrive 13 hours later on Wednesday morning. Good thing I didn't need Tuesday to get stuff done. I hope you all have a nice and productive Tuesday.
Look at this photo. It was sent to me by a wonderful interior designer who I just love working with! Isn't it amazing?
And it not only shows off this gorgeous master suite but it also shows off my painting. Don't you think this room is just gorgeous?
Half the secret in getting a great photo of your art is to ask. Once a client receives your painting just ask them to send you a photo of the painting in their house. Nine out of ten times I bet they will say yes. And if you are working with a designer there is a very good chance they will have photos taken of their finished design!
//photo credit - Louise Wade
This week I have been offering lots of advice about using hashtags on Instagram. So go back to Monday's post and start there if you are just joining me this week. Trust me you need to know this.
Once you have figured out which hashtags to use, here are the things you need to remember when including hashtags with your Instagram posts. Most importantly, you should only use relevant hashtags. Don't try to tag something that is popular but has nothing to do with your art or your photo. You should make a list of your hashtags that you think will apply to almost every post. Then add a few to each post that pertains to that photo specifically.
You can even save your list to your phone and then type a keyword and all of your hashtags will automatically appear! If you have an iphone, go to Settings, then General, then Keyboard and then Text Replacement. Press the plus sign to create and then select "Phrase". For your "Phrase", type in all of your hashtags (and leave a space between each one). Then under "Shortcut" type in a keyword that when you type it in all of your hashtags will appear. Don't use something common, rather, use something like "#art". When you are in Instagram and you type on your iphone "#art", all of your hashtags will appear and you just need to tap the space bar for the hashtags to be copied in to your post. You should do this as it saves so much time!!!
Finally, you should also do some homework to help you determine how many hashtags you should use. Instagram allows a maximum of 30 in each post. Look around at your fellow IG'ers and see how many hashtags they are using. Then take a good look at your hashtag list. Are all of the hash tags ones that already have a million posts? That's fine but try to also find some smaller hashtag groups so you don't get lost in the crowd. And be sure to come up with a hashtag for your business. Try to find one that isn't already monopolized by another artist. You can be creative but keep it simple and easy to type. You want to make it easy for your customers to find you and your art. Please don't forget that.
One of the questions I get asked all of the time is "How Do I Find the Right Hashtags to Use?".
The first thing you need to do is search for your hashtags. Go to the search icon in Instagram and start typing in a word that you think might be a good hashtag. For example, if I type in #coastal, this is what pops up:
Instagram makes it easy as they instantly start making suggestions for you. Start by thinking of some keywords relevant to your art business. Or better yet, find hashtags that are relevant to your potential customers. You want to find hashtags your target audience would likely search for and use on their own. If you sell landscape art, what hashtags do you think your customers would use if they were looking for art?
Next I typed in #coastalart. Here is what I found.
As you can see, Instagram can help me find more hashtags to use.
There are also some hashtag tools on the internet you can use to find which hashtags pertain to your art business. Go to hashtagify.me and type in a hashtag you think might work for your business. Hashtagify.me will then suggest other hashtags relevant to your search. Each of the suggestions can also be clicked to identify even more suggestions. I love this!
Does this information help? Let me know.
Mom. Wife. Artist. Marketer. Teacher. Radio Show Host.
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