Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Build Your Own Brand / Create Content Effortlessly

I love taking pictures of pretty things, things I like, and documenting the process of making things. If you are already taking some time to take pictures of things it is really easy to compile the pictures and publish them onto 2 major social media sites as well as a blog effortlessly.

*Quick picture of one of our Record Accessory Stands for this blog demo*
You may ask why build a brand for myself? I am just playing around or I am the only one who finds the things I focus on interesting. Maybe this is all true. For argument sake what I am advocating is the collecting of information on any topic you may be interested in taking pictures of, remembering facts for, or highlighting notes for a process of doing something can all be packaged on a blog using just a smart phone. Pretty cool huh?

So, what's the catch you ask? You just have to spend a few minutes setting up 4 apps / programs and once everything is set up it does all the work for you. Seems too good to be true, but I promise this is super easy!

First things first. You need a smart phone. I personally use a HTC Evo which is an android phone. These instructions will be both iPhone and droid friendly. There are pros and cons to any phone so I will only be speaking to the pros I have found with my droid.  I  must first acknowledge that this easy way to get your brand out there is all thanks to Instagram!! Now that Instagram is available for android phones this is something that having one particular model isn't a deal breaker. Previously to use Instagram you had to use an iPhone.


Has become quickly one of the largest social media sites. I was very jealous last spring at Craftcation when we were discussing at length how cool the app was and how frustrating it was that I couldn't join in with my fellow attendees sharing pictures of the conference. Now that I have been able to use it for awhile I can tell you the low-down.

Every time you take a picture on Instagram it goes on a feed where your followers can see and comment on your pictures.  It is a really great way to get feedback on what you are working on as well as a simple way to see what people like and whats "trending". People can also search for your images based on how you "tag things" which is done by using a hashtag. You use the hashtag symbol "#" before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) to categorize the pictures which makes it search-able. To speak with friends or "at someone" you use the "@" symbol attached to their username and they are looped into what you are saying. So @makeshoplive will notify me that you are talking to me, then a hash tag like #rad would make your picture found by everyone searching for something rad.

Note: Since Instagram is one of the best Twitter picture sharing apps you will want to set up the same @Username for both Instagram and Twitter.  When you are referring to someone "@" on Instagram and then you tweet it out it will "@" the same person. This makes having the same usernames on both pretty important.


Instagram is a great content generating and picture capturing program but then you should have a blog to showcase your ideas. The blog will be the "container" or journal for your content and pictures. The easiest platform for this in my humble opinion is Tumblr. A major portion of Tumblr is photos so if you want to start a photo blog this is a perfect fit! Plus, the interface to "follow people" and read others posts is super slick. Some of my favorite blogs on Tumblr include: The Dainty SquidUnhappy Hipsters, The Daily What., Please Don't Squeeze The Shaman, P.S.- I Made This, for the love of Bokeh!, and Sweet Home Style

Setting up an account is easy and you can easily change the name of your blog so don't let worrying about what to name it keep you from signing up. Also, the design and background template can be changed after starting the blog hassle free.


Twitter is my favorite way to keep in the loop about all kinds of important info and social happenings. Tweets are limited size (140 character limit) and are used to express a topic in a condensed and public fashion. Just like on Instagram to speak with friends or "at someone" you use the "@" symbol attached to their username and they are looped into what you are saying. If there is a theme, description,  or adding snarky context you add a "#". So agian a hash tag like #rad is a great way to maximize the 140 character limit. Once you pick a Twitter username you should use this handle for your Instagram as well because adding Instagram pictures to your tweets is a great way to express your thoughts and build followers.


IFTTT or If This Then That is a MUST for anyone who wants technology to work for you for a change. So often it seems overwhelming to have a Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, and any other accounts you have to maintain, and IFTTT takes the content you put into one account and automatically "puts it to work" in another based on what recipes you choose. The main ones I want to recommend for this "seamless blogging" is Instagram to Tumblr found here. This makes every picture (including your commented text) a blog post as soon as you post your pictures. It is a handy way to have all of your pictures in one place too where you can view everything. The Instagram interface isn't set up to look at all of your pictures very easy so having a Tumblr to show all of your pictures works nicely.

Also of note: There is an app Followgram which I also use to show off my Instagram when linking from my website.  you can check it out, but for the purpose of this post I am just linking to it - it is pretty self contained so I think you can figure it out if interested.

Hope this info helps and encourages you to try out something new if you haven't tried them already. Please share your @Usernames and blog links for us to check out and to share with others in the comments or our Facebook page here.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...