Day One : Reflecting

Hello and welcome!

I'm Emily Quinton. It's lovely to have you with me for this inspirational little Instagram kick-starter.

Over the next five days you'll receive a video from me and something to be thinking about to help you grow and improve what you're sharing on Instagram.

I have three accounts on Instagram, one is my personal account: @emilyquinton where I share my personal work, @thequinskis is all about creative family life and ties into our blog of the same name, and the third is @makelight that's more about connecting up the Makelight community.

Your first video

Each Makelight course is made up of a series of videos that we shoot ourselves in our home studio space. You'll often see my husband Stef popping in with technical videos on a few of our courses, but you'll mostly hear from me on this introductory course! Here's today's video for you:

Every Instagram account should have some kind of purpose. What is it that you're sharing and why? For me, I've divided up what I'm shooting into three categories:

@makelight is all about supporting, promoting and inspiring the Makelight community. So thought-provoking posts that are about something that's happening or an interesting book to read, like this. Super simple:

I learnt a while ago that mixing up images of your family adventures with business and your own creative work can be a bit of a turn-off for some of your followers, so along with Stef (who's got one of the shortest Instagram usernames ever - he's just @stef on Instagram) I run a family account, sharing images like this:

So then my personal account is all about what inspires me, and I only occasionally stray into "family life" and "business". So images like this:

Your first Task : Ask yourself 'why are you using Instagram'?

Now I've shown you how I'm approaching things, I'd like you to take a moment to really think about the following questions. I know this sounds easy at first glance, but if you take a moment to yourself you might be surprised.

Take a break from your day and use a note pad or your phone to jot down your thoughts. We'll refer back to your answers later on.

  • What are you mainly using Instagram for at the moment?
  • What do you like about your Instagram stream?
  • What do you want to use your Instagram stream to achieve?
  • What is the audience that you want to attract?

If you find yourself whizzing through these, stop for a moment and ask "why?" to each of these. I sometimes like to think about the "five whys". If you repeatedly ask yourself "why?", and then "why?" to your own answer, you can often come to an interesting realisation about what it is that you're trying to really do.

With Instagram in particular, it's sometimes hard to understand what it is that you're really trying to achieve. Is it important to you to share images of your holiday? If you're running a small business, does that help you in any way? Could it even be detrimental?

On the other hand, if you're mainly trying to share images of your home life, knowing that you're not trying to directly sell something can be something of a relief and enable you to think about emphasising your authenticity.

Take a moment out of your day, pen and paper to hand and see where you get to!

I'll be back again tomorrow with your next video, or if you like you can press the "next" button to skip ahead!

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