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Whether you are looking for an alternative to Facebook or Etsy, or if you want to broaden your customer base, Instagram may be right for you. If you aren’t familiar with Instagram, it is an image and video social media site – utilized mainly from phones. Instagram boosts over 200 million registered users, and is a great place to offer items for sale. It is free, and best of all, the handmade community is exploding on Instagram.
How to Get Started on Instagram
1) Download Instagram from the App Store or Google Play.
2) Register for an account.
3) After registering, the first thing you will want to do is update your profile. From the main screen, choose “Edit Your Profile”. You’ll want to add your business name, website address or store URL, and a short description about your company. This is the only place on Instagram you’ll be able to list your business details, so be sure to fill it in.
4) That’s it! Your account is ready to go!
Best Practices for Instagram
Don’t be intimidated by Instagram. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy to use.
- Instagram is highly visual, and beautiful photos perform best.
- The text that accompanies your picture is referred to as a caption.
All images must be square.Update: All images do not have to be square.
- Filters are overlays that can be applied to your photos when you upload them to Instagram. Try not to drastically change the look or feel of your photo by using filters. Personally, I skip using filters most of the time.
- Hashtags are a must. A hashtag is merely a keyword with the “#” sign before it, and a way to categorize images across all of Instagram. When you put a hashtag in your caption, other people can tap on it and see all the other images that have the same hashtag.
- Your profile must be public to run a business. Put simply, people can’t follow your business if it is set to private.
An additional method to set up a store on Instagram
There are also a number of websites and apps that will integrate with Instagram to help you sell, keep track of orders, and some accept payments for you. The easiest one to use based on my quick trial of a handful of them is Instaorders. Setting it up and getting running takes just a few minutes. I won’t add a full tutorial, as there isn’t much to it. First, visit instaorders.com. Next, sign in with your Instagram log in information, and fill out your profile, then price your items. That’s it! Publish your new store link to Instagram and start collecting orders!
Ready to really rock hashtags on your new Instagram account? Head to this post for an easy to implement strategy.
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Disclosure: I received no compensation from the companies mentioned in this article, nor was I approached by any company to write this article.
Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.
Wednesday 13th of December 2017
Hi, first of all thank you for this useful information, I want to start my own Instagram business and I am new at this. I just want a small information, after posting pictures of our products and getting orders how exactly can we sell them? I mean if I have to sell any item locally within my city how can I sell them to my customers? Should I go personally and deliver it to them? Or should I ask my customers to visit my place to take their orders?? Please help.
Monday 18th of December 2017
Hello! You can deliver them to your customer or ship them. Shipping tends to be easier and faster.
Friday 15th of May 2015
This is such a great blog...thinking of starting up a biz and was wondering if you had plans to make any guides on craft-show tips/tricks?
Monday 18th of May 2015
Yes, stay tuned in June for a whole week on craft shows!