You know what drives me crazy? A gorgeous Instagram account with a strong voice that has fewer followers than I do. I was dying to work with Lilah Higgins, of The Higgins Creative, for a long time before she contacted me for some consulting. We met on Instagram and I got to know her a bit more in my private Facebook group, Creative Biz Owners. Lilah has a beautiful minimalist aesthetic that I absolutely love. Read on to discover how she uses Instagram to grow her creative business.
1. Who are you, what do you do, and how did it all begin?
Hi! I'm Lilah, one half of The Higgins Creative. My husband, Zac and I started "Techne Arts" back in 2011 on a whim to sell my art for extra income. We moved from Southern California to Wyoming right after we married and needed an outlets such well. We dreamt about eventually adding services like website design, social media management, logo design, and all kinds of other stuff we didn't have a clue about. Fast forward a few years and we rebranded in 2014 with a better name and a simpler plan. The Higgins Creative was born and we boiled everything down to "modern design for simple homes." Now, we design logos and graphic work on the side, but graphic design is really a means to provide for our real passion: making.
We take what we've learned about good design and mesh it with things you can actually use, like tea towels, coasters, unique jewelry, and art prints. Design meets purpose.
2. Where can we find you on social media?
Our main site is www.thehigginscreative.com. You can find us on Instagram @thehigginscreative, and my personal account at @mrslilahhiggins. We tweet at @higginscreative & @zhiggins2010. We pin design work we admire, home decor, sailing & rving inspiration, and diy ideas on Pinterest @higginscreative. And we also post major updates and announcements to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/thehigginscreative)
3. What is your favorite hashtag?
Our favorite hashtag is the one we made up (fancy that!) #waketomake! It is filled to the brim (over 1,000 photos!) with an authentic, gorgeous community of makers and shakers. When we're bored or discouraged about our influence or if what we do matters at all, all we have to do is scroll through #waketomake & everything is suddenly right in the world.
4. Why do you use social media?
We live in a rural area (a difficult thing for our adventurous & artsy souls!) and we don't have easy access to a large city or its amenities. Small town = small amount of customers. Selling online and using social media to promote our shop is THE best way for us to get our products out there.
5. Which tools do you use for creating or posting content?
Ha. So many. My main buddy is my Canon Rebel XTi. He comes with me everywhere. As far as apps go, we use the VSCOcam app for editing, Over for text overlay, TakeOff for managing Instagram, HootSuite for managing Twitter & Facebook, & IFTTT for picking up where the other apps lack.
6. What effect does social media have on your business?
It's the main way that we sell, communicate with our customers, and reach out to the world outside of our little town. It's like uber crucial.
7. How do you measure success on social media?
That's a tough one. Some days I measure it in how many interactions/likes/comments/follows I get, but that can be devastating to depend on if I'm not careful. Not gonna lie, I've cried like a baby over it before. When I'm a little LESS insane, I measure success in reaching people. Not in quantity, but in quality. In making someone feel a little less alone, in making others feel welcome to join in on the exciting things we've got going on, and in making a difference through whatever level of reach we have. And making a sale feels pretty darn successful too. 🏼
8. What aspect of social media do you find most challenging?
The most challenging thing for me is the constant need to keep up. The desire I have and the expectation I put on myself to post multiple times a day, with content good enough for he likes of Darling Magazine to MAAAYBE share, is so. Much. Work. Most days I love the hard work and the challenge, but some days I just want to quit and move to an island somewhere and fish.
9. What makes you follow another brand back?
On Instagram, good photography. I like to get inspired when I scroll. On Twitter, thought-provoking words. I like to be challenged to think bigger. In general, if it's a clean, well-made, thought-out and beautiful product or website, I'm a fan. 🏼
10. Which brands have social media you admire?
I love @woodwoven (www.instagram.com/woodwoven) for their product displays and photography. I love @darling (www.instagram.com/darling) for the community they promote and how much I feel a part of what they're doing, even if I'm mostly a spectator. But we did get featured once for our magazine hanger https://instagram.com/p/1BiCpANPlG/! WOO! 🏼)
11. Any advice for other brands just getting started on social media?
Find your thing. What means the most to you? What is the message you're trying to get the world to listen to? Ours is focused on the importance of making, and we also (conveniently!) make good quality items for our followers to buy. Our voice screams "we make! you can make too! making is important! buy our handmade items!" And that's our thing, and we own it like its our job (oh wait...)
So, to sum up, find your thing. Own it. And learn how to take good pictures of it. White balance.