Insta-savvy

PhotoGrid_1463830420875The DIY Decorator started a bit over a year ago via just an Instagram page. When I started I was more than clueless! I didn’t know why you had to hashtag. How you got followers. What brand repping was. Or that it was such a friendly and supportive place! By scouring other pages and getting to know the insides and out of Instagram, I feel that I’ve learnt how to make use of it to my full potential. And today I’m going to share my top tips for growing  Instagram pages for small businesses.

Be present. If you post one photo a week and expect people to be interested in your page,  you’re going to be sorely disapointend. Unless of course you are super attractive and take a great selfie while promoting your product or something…if you do, please send me the link to your page 😆. Post often. At least 2-3 posts a day if you can. Enough to get people hooked on your feed and see that you are socially present and are committed to your page.

PhotoGrid_1463830332180Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag. They are important! They are a direct link to people finding you. I use every avaliable hashtag in every post I make. If you aren’t sure what words to use, just make them relatable to your post. For example, if you were posting a photo of a giant slice of chocolate cake, you could hashtag words like #cake #chocolate #chocolatecake #Ilovecake #chocoholic #you #mmmcake #willneedtoworkoutafterthis etc. Anything which is relatable to your post. This way, if someone searches the hashtag #Ilovecake, there’s a chance they will find your post and you may gain a new follower.

PhotoGrid_1463830355491Make friends. Instagram is such a friendly and supportive place! I personally have met numerous lovely people who are as addicted to social media as me and who love to both give and receive support from fellow insta-lovers. And your followers will be supportive people too. If they are following your page, they are interested! I personally find that a real honor! So interact with them when you can. Be real-be approachable. Once you get to know a few people,  you’ll find that you will start helping each other out. Sharing, tagging, pointing in the right direction. It pays to make friends via social media as much as it does in real life-friends will always have your back.

PhotoGrid_1463830386781Be friendly and interact. A good rule to follow in everyday life really! Reply to people who comment on your posts. Comment on others posts if you like them-they may end up following you! Always, ALWAYS give credit to someone if you are reposting their post/image. Show your support-remember that it’s not a competition. Everyone is trying their best to do what they love and being negative towards other businesses will get you nowhere. You should thrive together-not compete against one another.

Tag. Find promotional pages,  bargain hunting pages, small business lover pages. Other pages who may be interested in what it is you do, And tag them in your posts. If you are a small business selling a handmade product for example, follow small business promotional pages and tag them in your posts. You may get lucky and have them share that post to their own page which again, can get yout new followers.

Keep it interesting. Mix things up. You dont just have to post photos of your product or service. Keep it interesting by posting other things such as quotes, selfies, your home styling, what you are doing etc. A variety of posts is attractive to wider audiences I find.

PhotoGrid_1463831812964Take part in loop giveaways and competitions. A great way to not only promote your business and items, but they are also a fantastic way to meet other small business owners and work together to build your page following. Who doesn’t love a giveaway? People will follow you for the chance to win one of your items and you may even get a sale or two these new followers as a result of them becoming aware of your business. Hold your own competitions when you hit milestones or be open to joining loop giveaway competitions. Every giveaway I have been a part of, no matter how big the prize, has been a success for my page! I highly recommend using them to help build your small business.

Most importantly, have fun! I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t enjoy it. I love keeping my page interesting by thinking of new things to post.  I love the interaction with my fellow pages and followers. I love discovering other small businesses and inspirational pages. Instagram has me hooked and I ain’t complaining!

Zoe – THE DIY DECORATOR

 

DIY Decorating

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One space.  Several different looks created by using different home decor items.

Interior decorating. A huge industry in Australia and around the world which can be mistaken as one which only the wealthy use. Wrong. Yes, there is a massive market in the decorating industry for people with fine taste and money to spend, but it’s becoming all the more easier for the every day person to have a home which is decorated to magazine perfection on a much smaller budget.

PhotoGrid_1463297713167Big retailers have finally realised that customers want reasonably priced, on trend homewares. Small business owners now have social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram to showcase their wares and reach target audiences.  There are magazines aimed at the every day you and me available at the checkout at your local supermarket.  Everywhere you turn, there are affordable options for the home decorator.

So where do you start? You need inspiration. Look at home decor magazines, browse places like pinterest, and follow other home decorators on Facebook and Instagram. Once your know what look you are after in your home, you can then start looking for items to decorate with. Don’t look at mansions if you don’t have one because, well you will never achieve that look! Don’t copy another’s exact interior-take ideas yes but add your own flair. It is your space and it should reflect you.

PhotoGrid_1463297686344My advice is that if you need furniture, spend your money on getting well made pieces. You dont need to spend a lot on the decorations for a room, but I do think it is important to have good quality pieces of furniture if they are going to be used often. Don’t follow trends too much when it comes to making furniture selections. Stick to timeless, straight edged, sleek pieces. Buy items in timber or colours including white, grey or black. Buying coloured furniture items may seem like a good idea at the time, but it will make it all the harder when changing your decor in the futute. Instead, add colour with home decor pieces and soft furnishings.

PhotoGrid_1463297699723Where do you start when it comes to selecting decorative pieces for your home? Personally, if I am starting with a completely bare room, I select the artwork first and then take colour and inspiration from that. If you have some existing pieces that you want to use within a space, use them as inspiration. Next, select your soft furnishings. Cushions, throw blankets and floor rugs. My tip is to use your soft furnishings to add in texture and pattern into your space. Add in a floor or table lamp of required and then finish off with your home decor pieces-and remember when it comes to home decor items,  less is more! You won’t get the full effect of a decorative piece if you crowd it with too many other items.

Here’s my top tips for home decorating:

1. Have a style plan and stick to it so that you don’t get distracted by new trends. If you try to combine too many styles together, you’ll end up with a cluttered mess!
2. Add in subtle patterns or textures to create more interest to a room. For example when selecting cushions you could have a fluffy one, a plain one and a patterned one.
3. Use indoor plants-guaranteed to work in any style of space! And if you don’t have a green thumb, there are some pretty amazing artificial plants and flowers available these days.
4. Use both the big retailers and small businesses to create your own unique style. This both saves you money and gets you items with a whole lot of love and uniqueness behind it. 
5. Have fun! Decorating shouldn’t be stressful. Play around with your purchases until you are happy and remember to keep receipts so that if they don’t work you can take them back and try something else. 

Happy decorating!

Zoe – THE DIY DECORATOR

The Kmart Effect

Can anyone remember what Kmart was like only a few years ago? It was (cover your ears Kmart) shit! I’m going to be honest because it was. Oh I shopped there-for crap basically. You knew the risks involved in buying something from Kmart and therefore you only purchased things that didn’t matter-like containers and pajamas. BUT! Kmart got smart. Kmart tuned into the fact that there was a market for realistic priced homewares for the every day shopper!  And Kmart did gooood!PhotoGrid_1462753327154

As someone who has worked in homeware and furniture stores,  I’ve seen customers turn over an item, check the price,  give the look of horror, slowly return the item back to its original spot and ninja style exit the store. I’ve been that person! If you are lucky enough to be able to purchase these higher priced homewares then I envy you! I love a designer piece more than anyone. My dream is to have a house (maybe a few) full of amazing designer homewares one day. But reality is we, like many, are a single income family and I have a homeware addiction so bargain buys are my thing. So somewhere like Kmart is perfect for me. I can buy on trend items within our budget. I can have my home decorated the way I like without over drawing our bank account. And so can you!

PhotoGrid_1462771824926I would gladly recommend certain items to my clients when decorating their homes. Spend the big dollars on big items like furniture and buy your pretties from places like Kmart, Target and The Reject Shop. A lot of the time people spend all their money on the larger items and are left with no money spare to finish the room. For around $100 you could buy a floor rug, a canvas wall art, a few scatter cushions and maybe a homeware piece or two from Kmart. Room done! And you can add to it later once you’ve saved up some dollars again. Smart decorating.

PhotoGrid_1462771903504Yes I still support small businesses but to be 100% honest I like the best of both worlds! Being able to combine big retailer items with one of a kind handmade or locally sourced pieces is great! It means that your house won’t look like the Kmart catalogue. It gives you your own uniqueness. By all means support local and buy from the little guys-I do. Even make your own items if you have the skills! My point is that places like Kmart are making it easier for the average Joe like myself to have a house where friends come over and say ‘wow, your house looks great! You must spend SO much on homewares’. No I don’t!  And I have places like Kmart to thank. Well played Kmart buying and design team. Well played.

Zoe – THE DIY DECORATOR