What's Your Instagram Strategy? | Rachel Mae Smith

Confession: I am obsessed with DIY's. Let me be clear, I don't actually DO any of the DIY's. I just hoard them on my Pinterest boards. Pinterest is where I learned all about Rachel's blog, The Crafted Life. I noticed that most of the DIY's I was pinning were from a little place called The Crafted Life. I began exploring her blog, pinned a bazillion more things, and vowed to one day interview Rachel. 

What I love about following Rachel on Pinterest and Instagram is that absolutely everything is branded with her signature style. Lots of white space and pops of color. I can't even explain it. You'll just have to follow her and see for yourself. 

You can hang out with Rachel and pick her brain about all things DIY at Craftcation this March. This will be our first time attending Craftcation and we are beyond excited.


1. Who are you, what do you do, and how did it all begin?

My name is Rachel and I run The Crafted Life, a DIY blog that focuses on accessible and fun projects as well as small business tips. I originally started blogging three years ago as a side project. At the time I was working 60+ hours a week at my day job and just wanted a creative outlet. I started 52 Weeks Project, a blog where I shared one new craft project a week, so that I’d be held accountable for actually doing the work. A few of my projects took off, so I just kept at it after the year passed. Last March I rebranded to The Crafted Life and it’s now my full time job!

instagram.com/thecraftedlife

instagram.com/thecraftedlife

2. Where can we find you on social media?

@thecraftedlife (on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook)

3. What is your favorite hashtag?

To actually look at on Instagram, #flashesofdelight. To use just for fun, #nailedit.

instagram.com/thecraftedlife

instagram.com/thecraftedlife

4. Why do you use social media?

It’s a great way to connect with other people beyond what’s written on my blog. I’m able to share more of myself and interact on a completely different level.

It’s also a great tool for meeting new people. I’ve worked with brands and bloggers I wouldn’t have otherwise met in person all because of a Tweet.

5. Which tools do you use for creating or posting content?

My camera is obviously a go-to. Lightroom, Photoshop and Picmonkey are all key too.

instagram.com/thecraftedlife

instagram.com/thecraftedlife

6. What effect does social media have on your business?

I think at this point, it’s the main reason it can be my full time job. It allows me to reach new readers every day.

7. How do you measure success on social media?

Engagement! If people follow you, but don’t like what you’re posting, or they never comment, you’re not really connecting. Social media is well, about being social.

instagram.com/thecraftedlife

instagram.com/thecraftedlife

8. What aspect of social media do you find most challenging?

The upkeep. Some days it’s hard to come up with 5 different ways to say the same thing without feeling like a broken record.

9. What makes you follow another brand back?

I have to like what they’re posting in order to follow a brand back (or at least like what they’re doing). I try to keep my own feed as inspirational as possible. I don’t follow people back for the sake of keeping them as a follower.

instagram.com/thecraftedlife

instagram.com/thecraftedlife

10. Which brands have social media you admire?

Where do I begin?! Instagram is my favorite, so I’ll just list a few of my favorite accounts:

@studiodiy, @shopbando, @justinablakeney, @creaturecomforts

Honestly I could go on and on here.

instagram.com/thecraftedlife

instagram.com/thecraftedlife

11. Any advice for other brands just getting started on social media?

Stay true to yourself and your brand. Publish stuff that promotes your work, but give your followers something more. For Instagram, I like to look at my feed as a whole, rather than image by image. It helps me narrow down what works and what doesn’t. Also, have fun! Interact and meet people. A few nice encounters will help your business more than you know :)


f you have a fever for more Portland-based businesses, be sure to read our interview with Anna Reed of betsy + iya.