Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Creative Girl Tips & Tricks Part I: Insta Q + A


START SOMEWHERE

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt

Hey ladies! Is everyone doing well and thriving this summer? I sure hope so... I hope your hair is flourishing, skin is poppin', money is stacking up nicely, and your energy is still and at peace. Basically hope y'all are living your best lives! Me? I'll give you a very quick update. I've reached a few of my summer goals (still working on the rest), secured some brand collabs and sponsorships, and I've started plotting for the next Creative Girl Hangout! I'm getting my life, or whatever...

Let's jump into this post. Almost everyday, at least one or two people ask me a question about my Instagram, InstaStories, camera, graphic design, or my creative process overall. Sometimes, I even get the same exact question back to back! I figured it was time for me to create a little resource for it that kind of stuff, especially as I grow, discover new things, and connect more closely with my followers. 

I plan for this to be a mini-series of tips, tricks, and how-to's for the creative girl, starting with this Q + A. Now I'm no expert and I don't think know everything, but what I do know works for me and I'm very excited about sharing it with you all.  So here goes... 


1. How do you make your InsaStories so lit??? Different colors and stuff lol

I do a little bit of graphic design and I really enjoy creating digital media, arranging fonts and script. The whole InstaStory thing pretty much came naturally to me. There are so many features now, from type-font to music, USE IT ALL! When it comes to colors, the featured range seems a little dry, but if you select a specific color and drag up or down while pressing the screen, you'll see the shade change. You can go lighter or darker with any color. My favorite one to use is the lightest shade of pink. 

In addition to that, there are a few third-party apps I use in order to make things really pop. My favorites are: 

- InShot
- Unfold
- HypeType

For those of you who asked "How do you get the colored box around your videos on your story?" The answer is InShot!

2. How do you get started? How are your pics so epic? Help!

To be completely honest with you, the best way to start is to START! As far as blogging, I researched. I started by finding a few bloggers that really inspired me and looked up what they had. They had websites, domains, bios, and contact information. I thought up a name for my blog, created a separate email address, went on GoDaddy to buy a domain, and followed a simple tutorial on YouTube to set my blog up. I use Blogger as a host, formerly known as Blog Spot, which is filtered through Google. I found a cute and affordable blog layout/template and made it work for me. I made sure to advertise my blog by letting my social media followers know about it. I'd release a new blog post and simply post about it on my Instagram and Twitter. I made my own business cards and attended events to pass them out and network with other girls. I continuously looked for ways to grow in the blogging world, on and offline. 

As far as my pictures, girl I still haven't mastered that. You calling them "epic" is a major compliment to me, so thank you for that. I've gone from trying to take my own pictures, to investing in affordable contracts with local photographers. Right now, my best friend Whitney and I just take turns taking each other's photos. It's quick, affordable, and allows me to enhance my photography skills. Invest in a photographer if you can afford it, but finding a fellow creative to barter services with is excellent networking and practice for you both. I have a camera, but I mostly use it to film. My iPhone is lit, okay?! I use it for my selfies and product pics, and even film and edit videos and vlogs on it. This may be extra, but I always make sure to have the most updated version of the iPhone. I'm currently using the 8+

I download and utilize all the best apps for editing and make sure to try new ones as they are released. My favorites are: 

- Lightroom
- Facetune
- VSCO
- Afterlight
- kirakira+
- Pic Fx.


3. Do you think it's important to post on IG everyday?
Hmmm... yes and no. I feel like it is very important to find a schedule or routine to post your content that works for you. I personally try to post 1-2 times a day, during the week. I neglect the weekends, lol, but I'm working on that. I haven't figured out the algorithm or cheat code for Instagram, but "they" say posting 3 times a day is key. I think you should do whatever works for you, as far as when you post. The real key, in my opinion, is ENGAGEMENT! Like people's photos, comment and respond under your posts, share content with your friends, actually read other's blog posts, watch their videos, support the people you follow! If we're talking brands, that's what they like to see. They want to see you online being active. We'll talk about that later *wink*

So maybe not every single day if you find that overwhelming, but at least 2-3 times a day should be be good, to start off.

4. Any advice for businesses looking to partner with brands?

Research and support the brand, find out who's who in the marketing, pr, and creative departments, and be professional when pitching or writing a proposal. LinkedIn is your friend when searching heads of departments! Sometimes Instagram holds this information, too. People like to list their job tittles in bios. 

Seeking sponsorship? Be sure to let the brand know what you want and how their help will benefit your cause and be a return on investment for them. Want to pitch an idea? Let the brand know how you're valuable, why they need you, and the benefit of merging your audiences together. 

Knowing what a brand is all about and stands for is key. If your visions align and you properly express their need for you and vice versa, they're more inclined to partner with you. Be honest about numbers and budget from the start. If it's a brand you've worked with in the past, be sure to mention how you'd like to foster that relationship for the benefit of you both. 

Quick Tip: Create the content in advance. Something small like a flat-lay or non-sponsored video utilizing the brand's products is a great gesture and forward-thinking tactic to get the brand's  attention. Plus it's something you can include in the pitch or proposal. It works! I've done it. 

5. What is your daily schedule? How do you stay motivated?

Girl, I wish I had a daily schedule. For big planning, I typically go week by week. I'll write out my tasks for the week then break each down onto a smaller to-do list everyday. I work 4 days a week and try to make the most out of the other 3. My off days are Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. I try to meet up with my best friend for photos at least once, plan out my Instagram posts, check and respond to personal and business emails, create and edit content (flat-lays, videos, pictures, blog posts. etc.), read creative material, search for new places to take pics in my city, and perform a little bit of self-care. I do most of these things in a face mask and deep conditioning cap anyway. I also like to spend hours on Pinterest looking for inspiration of all sorts.

I chart my growth to stay motivated. I like to split my year up into quarters, so that's four opportunities to look at my big growth. I set goals by season, so there's four more opportunities to give myself a review. I set big tasks by the month, and small ones by day and week. I write these things down because I can visually see it and hold myself accountable. Going back to why I started is the best way for me to keep going. Always remember your "WHY!"


6. How do you do your graphics? You should consider teaching.

I'm slowly learning how to use Photoshop, but I pretty much create all my graphics on my phone. I've been doing it forever and I love how I can create cool, original content for my platforms. The apps I use for graphics are:

Phonto
- A Beautiful Mess 
- Rhona Designs Suite (Designs, Collage, & Designs Magic)
Canva *can also be used on the computer*

Keep in mind that I do use an iPhone, so I'm not sure if these apps and features are available for Android and other devices.

As far a teaching, I'm starting that by sharing my knowledge here and creating valuable resource through Creative Girl Hangout. There's so much more to come.

7. What do you use to organize your IG feed?

UNUM!! I swear by it. I use the free feature, but I'm thinking about upgrading really soon. It allows me to arrange future posts to get a look at the way my feed will look before I post. I typically go a week or so out. I heard Planoly is good, too.

8. What kind of camera do you use?

I own a Nikon D3300, but I mostly use that for filming videos. I promised myself I'd learn how to use it for everything very soon, so I'm working on it. I mostly use my iPhone for everything though. It works just as good, if not better in my opinion.

I know this was a little lengthy, but I wanted to make sure I got this out for you guys. As a blogger, influencer, and content creator, I recognize that I am a voluntary source. Please feel free to ask me anything! I enjoy helping and I'm actively working on teaching skills and techniques that will allow me to be more concise. 

I hope you ladies find this helpful!! Any other questions or suggestions, send me an email or DM. I love you and appreciate all your support, as always!

xo,
Janée

P.S.: As you go through your journey, always remember that you have more than enough! Start somewhere and use what you have!

Quote Graphics by WK Creative


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14 comments

  1. Thank you for this Janee!!! I have been trying to find a consistent theme and aesthetic for my IG but I've been struggling. I will be sure to apply those tips to my IG.

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    1. Hi Sam!! You’re very welcome, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Definitely give it a try and be sure to let me know how it works for ya!! Thank you so much for reading it. xo

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  2. Sakiyna Jones8:09 PM

    Wow. Janee, you truly dropped some gems in this post!

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    1. Thanks so much Sakiyna!!! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 💕 xo

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  3. Great post Janeé! Love it ��

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  4. Great Post! Keep growing so proud of you��������

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    1. Thank you soooo much GM! ❤️

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  5. Loving this! You answered so many of my questions. I'm sure I speak for so many when I say thank you for sharing. Xo

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    1. Thanks girl!! So glad you enjoyed it. 💕✨

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  6. I loved this blog post! I am always looking for new inspo and editing apps. Thanks for these! Inshot is one of my favorites for videos too!

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    1. Thanks Sterling!!!! You’re very welcome. InShot is to good for al of us, lol. Glad you enjoyed it. ❣️

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  7. Yassssss dropping knowledge!

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    1. Ahhhh thanks Jayla!!! Love ya. ❤️

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