Recap: Turning Your Instagram Into Insta-success

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Follow #riferainbow on Instagram

Last week, freelance photographer and colour-obsessive Jessica Siggers stopped by Rife HQ to talk about her journey from newbie androidographer, to being one of Bristol’s best Instagrammers. 

Jess has lived in Bristol her whole life. When she gave up office life to care for her child, she found herself walking a lot and began to appreciate elements such as bold and bright paint on vintage cars.

Armed with just her smartphone and an eye for detail, not necessarily a keen photographer, Jess began to capture the hidden spots of Bristol and show her the city in a new light.

Photo Courtesy of @porthjess

Photo courtesy of @porthjess

Don’t worry if you missed the masterclass — Jess gave us top tips on how to get your photos out there, gain followers and join a tight knit community of fellow Insta-lovers in Bristol. You can still contribute to conversation by hashtagging your colourful images with #RifeRainbow. We’ve currently got 160 posts (and counting) from all over the world, so get Instagramming.

Jess walked us through some dos and don’ts:

let the instagram world know what you’re about

Once you have an idea about the kind of photos you’d like to post, or a style that’s true to you, make sure you write them down in your bio.

Don’t pick more than three things to include in your bio. If you’re interested in colour, the seaside and vintage cars, let prospective followers have an insight into what you’re going to be posting.

Photo courtesy of @sammyjaynejones

Photo courtesy of @sammyjaynejones

#findusefulhashtags

#Theres #No #Point #In #Hashtagging #Irrelevant #Words to get your work seen. You won’t gain more followers and you will look like a spam account.

Think logically. Will you be mainly posting in #Bristol? When Jess was feeling poorly, a friend of hers created a hashtag #ColoursforJess to cheer her up. Lots of the Instagram community joined in. Also remember, it only takes one big account with lots of followers to ‘like’ one of your photos for you to gain exposure.

Photo courtesy of @leilaa81

Photo courtesy of @leilaa81

Be Consistent And Constant

Consistency is key if you want to build up your followers. Keep to a style you’re comfortable with and you genuinely like.

So if colour is your thing, make sure your photos are colourful, bright and eye-catching.

You should be posting a certain amount of images to engage with your followers. This doesn’t mean posting the same photos every hour on the hour (you’ll probably lose followers that way).

Jess finds structuring and streamlining her content works. If you’d like to post once in the morning and once in the evening daily, then go for it. Use any strategy to keep your followers happy.

Photo courtesy of @robmuch

Photo courtesy of @robmuch

VENTURE OUTSIDE  OF INSTAGRAM FOR PHOTO EDITING

Jess isn’t too much of an Instagram filter fan, and uses VSCOcam to give her photos an authentic, crisp finish. She stays away from wacky editing techniques, and keeps it simple by manipulating the exposure, contrast, saturation and sharpness. Slightly tweaking photos will make a huge difference between a good Instagram post, and a not so good one.

Photo courtesy of @caiburton

Photo courtesy of @caiburton

 know your rights

If your amazing photos pay off and your account gets such a large following, you may fall victim to a plagiarising account (congrats). There are some eager beavers working under the guise of a follower. Unfortunately, they’re just out to steal your work. Luckily Instagram has rules that look after its users. Make sure you do your homework.

If you post a photo of someone else’s property eg a car, their home, or even a candid shot of them, be prepared for backlash. It’s really easy for someone to spot himself or herself or someone they know in an Instagram post. Respecting this is vital.

Photo courtesy of @rosiejam

Photo courtesy of @rosiejam

Say Yes To Things But Remain True To Your Brand

Jess reminded us to decline opportunities we think conflict with our personal brand and what we stand for. We should always make sure that if we’re taking promotional photos for another brand, it’s not just something gimmicky to gain followers. Your own followers won’t appreciate blatant advertising.

Photo courtesy of @jezzle

Photo courtesy of @jezzle

Join a community, both online and in irl

There are some nice people in Bristol. Make sure you go to as many meetups, hangouts and social events where you get to spend time with likeminded people. You can skill swap and share the best secret spots to take photos. Jess runs IGers Bristol.  If you follow their Instagram page, and tag your photos with #igersbristol, you work can get featured on their account.

Photo courtesy of @igersbristol

Photo courtesy of @igersbristol

We hope Jess’s top tips will get your photos more exposure, so keep your eyes open and get snapping.