Instagram Stories Ideas: Growing Your Creative Business | Iva Mikles | Skillshare

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Instagram Stories Ideas: Growing Your Creative Business

teacher avatar Iva Mikles, Illustrator | Top Teacher | Art Side of Life

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

17 Lessons (1h 36m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class and Projects Overview

    • 3. Basics of Instagram Stories

    • 4. Advanced Basics of Instagram Stories

    • 5. Marker Tools

    • 6. Advanced Marker Tools

    • 7. Designing with Text Tools

    • 8. Special GIFs and Stickers

    • 9. Instagram LIVE

    • 10. Special Filters and Filter Gallery

    • 11. Poll, Question and Quiz Features

    • 12. Challenges and Location Tag

    • 13. Resharing Posts

    • 14. Boomerangs and Reels

    • 15. Story Highlights

    • 16. Out of Ideas?

    • 17. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Spice up your Instagram stories and grow your creative business!

I started using Instagram 3 years ago, and it quickly became my top social media channel to connect with my fans and followers.

In the beginning, I focused mostly on Instagram posts, but when Instagram overhauled Stories and made it such a cool experience, I realized that it’s an awesome way to connect and engage with my almost 150,000 followers even more. 

In this class, I will share with you 10 Instagram Stories ideas you can use to spice up your Instagram profile, engage with your followers, and grow your creative (or another type of) business. 

+ ‚ėÜ BONUS ‚ėÜ - 30+ creative Story Highlights covers
+¬†‚ėÜ BONUS ‚ėÜ - 10+ creative Stickers



You will learn hands-on tips and tricks on how to record, zoom and use the grid, how to use the markers and text tools to the full potential,  how to make your stories more fun with stickers and gifs.

I will share how you can engage Instagram’s algorithm using advanced features like Instagram live, filters, reels, and boomerangs. And you will also learn how to engage and grow your community using features like polls, questions, quizzes, challenges, and re-shares. 

Instagram stories will help you:

  • Maintain visibility in your followers‚Äô feed, because Instagram shows them first
  • Stay top of mind of your followers, because you can share them on a daily basis¬†
  • Connect with your followers on a deeper level, because while you share stories of your life, they get to know you much better and create a better bond with you.¬†

Are you ready to spice up your Instagram stories and grow your community?

Enroll and let’s get started!

¬©ÔłŹ Copyright Iva Mikles | All Rights Reserved | Class content & structure for educational purposes only

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Iva Mikles

Illustrator | Top Teacher | Art Side of Life

Top Teacher


I am super happy that you are here! :)

I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”), and I'm a full-time illustrator, teacher, and nature enthusiast.

I love illustration in all its forms and my goal is to bring you to a world full of happiness, color, and wonder in the form of fun and helpful classes. 

I'd love for you to have fun while learning, so I always aim for a fun, positive, actionable, and inspiring creative experience with all my classes.

I love when you share you had many “AHA” moments, learned valuable time-saving tips, gained confidence in your skills, and that it is much easier for you to illustrate what you imagine and you are very proud of your finished work.

I want to help you on your art journe... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hey, guys, it's time to spice up your Instagram stories. I'm Iva and I'm illustrator, teacher, content creator, and I would also say Instagram enthusiast. I started using Instagram three years ago and it quickly became my top social media channel to connect with my fans and followers. In the beginning I focused mostly on Instagram posts, but when Instagram overhauled stories and made it such a cool experience, I realized that is an awesome way to connect and engage with my almost 150,000 followers even more. I like to use stories to enhance my blind art posts with behind the scenes moments of my day to day life as a creator and illustrator. I also use them to actively interact with my followers, entertaining them, asking them questions, their opinions. Creating community around common interests. If you are new to the whole Instagram game, Instagram Stories is basically a slide journal or a reel of multiple photos or videos which will let you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your Instagram profile in the feed. In this class, I will share with you 10 Instagram story ideas and more. How you can use and spice up your Instagram profile, engage with your followers, and grow your creative community or other types of business even more. You will learn hands-on tips and tricks on how to record, zoom like a pro, use the grid, and how to use markers and textiles to the full potential. In addition to these, also how to make your stories more fun with stickers and custom GIFs. I will share with you about how you can engage Instagram algorithm using advanced filters, reels, and boomerang effect with different settings. You will also learn how to engage and grow your community using features like polls, questions, quizzes, challenges or re-shares. Are you ready to spice up your Instagram Stories and grow your community? Enroll and let's get started. 2. Class and Projects Overview: During this class we will have many examples and four main project ideas which you can do separately or combine them together. The first one will be to use the marker tools to make your stories more unique. The second will be to play with the text tools to describe your stories. The third will be to use the special GIFs and stickers to make your stories even more fun. The fourth will be to create custom highlights for your stories. So you can follow along at your own pace. We will start with simple and get more advanced as we progress with the lessons. Each lesson and exercise, we'll teach you new skills, like how to record, zoom, use the grid, marker tools, layer texts, different backgrounds, GIFs, stickers, and utilize all the special Instagram stories features. We will also talk about how you can work with Instagram algorithm or my tips and experiences so your stories are discovered by more and more people. By the end of this class, you will create a lot of cool stories and learn a lot of new tricks. I also have a package of class resources for you to download so you can have extra fun creating. You can find them by going to and just enter your email to unlock the download of the resources. You will receive a link to all the reference photos, Insta story highlights, which we will be using throughout this class. Just the heads up, submitting your email unlocks excess to my newsletter with more freebies and cool beeps, but you can unsubscribe anytime you want. So there is no commitment there. Now, let's start creating these awesome Instagram stories. 3. Basics of Instagram Stories: In this, and the following lesson, we will cover the basics of Instagram stories so you can get more comfortable using them. If you are already familiar with all the basic functions, you can skip this part and dive right into the first project in the next lessons. For the demonstrations, I will be using Instagram on my iPhone, but most tricks will work on the Android too. Please be mindful that Instagram updates are very often, and some of the workflows I will be showing may change. However, the creative concepts should stay the same. For some of the tricks, it may be easier when you use an iPad and Apple pencil when you draw and sketch. But you will be, of course, able to create these concepts and ideas only with your finger. Now let's talk about the navigation and where to find all the buttons and features. You will find your stories in the top bar in your Instagram app. To access them, just tap on the profile picture with a pink-orange gradient highlight. This indicates that the user has a current active story. They are displayed in form of a reel and you can navigate back and forth. Here, I will walk you through how I would typically post a basic story. First, let's go to the home screen in the Instagram app by selecting the home icon on the bottom left corner. To access the stories, tap the icon on the top left corner of your screen. You can also swipe left from the home feed to access the camera for your stories. I use this option more often than the other one as I usually don't create stories live when I'm outside. Because I don't want to spend all my time online, I skip the camera roll feature here. I create the stories separately. I go directly to the option to upload images and videos from my camera roll. At the moment, the Instagram algorithm doesn't seem to care, so it doesn't really matter which option you use. To access the images and videos tap on the icon on the bottom left, or just swipe up. You can access the images either from the camera roll, favorites, or other folders you have created. One more tip, the videos are cut to maximum 15 seconds. Keep that in mind when creating a story. When you upload an image, or video, into the story from the camera roll, you can swipe left, or right, to scroll through the basic filters. One of my favorites is Paris, if there is a face in the image, because it smoothen the skin, and it looks like you have a glow. Other filter I like to use is also Cairo, because it gives very nice warm tones to the images. Next step is adding text, and this is one of the most important features for me. I usually want to describe what I was thinking when creating the story, and why I'm even sharing it. Here you have few font options, and we will talk more about how to put together interesting text layouts in the lesson about layering text. My current favorite is a typewriter font. Basically we have few font options, and you can change alignment to the left, middle, or to the right. You can also add background color to the text by clicking on the button with an A. I usually choose the text background color related to the warm color palettes I use very often in my feed. If it doesn't work well with the image, I select another color from the photo. To select different colors, tap and hold on the bottom, and you can get access to the whole rainbow of colors. When you are happy with the text, you can scale it with the two fingers, and move it around the screen, and place it where you like it. To access the marker tools, just go to the squiggly icon on the top right. You can use the marker tool with different colors, which you can see at the bottom, or you can utilize the color picker as I just mentioned, and not just selecting the color dots at the bottom of the screen. The next thing is to add some fun GIFs. In order to do this, tap the button with the smiley to access the different sticker options where you find all the GIFs. Stickers are a great way to spice up your photos, and videos, in the stories. I will come back to this selection with more ideas in the lessons about the GIFs. But for now, select the GIF option and you will see all the trending animations. These don't always have to feed your style, so you can use the search function to look for something which would be more related to your image and your liking. For example, sunshine or clouds. As with the text, you can pinch the screen, resize, and reposition, or tap the GIF once and it will flip horizontally. If you have a creator, or a business account, and more than 10,000 followers, you can also add a link to your website, product, or service, by clicking the chain icon on the top. If you don't have this available, you can always add a GIF saying "link in my bio" and add the active link to your Instagram bio because there it will work. If you want to add a link into the stories, tap the icon and paste the link. To make this process faster and easier for myself, I usually have all my frequently used links saved in notes on my phone, to have them at hand, and quickly paste them into the stories. After pasting the link, you can click preview to test if the links work. Voila, we are done. After adding the link, you can always write, swipe up with the text tool, or use swipe up GIF, or you can just use little arrows GIF if you want to be more subtle to enhance the action to check out your link. I like to vary these options so it's not the same all the time. If you choose a GIF option, there are plenty to choose from. You can always select the ones which fit well with your image or video. Usually placing at the bottom works the best because there is where you would start swiping up, where the Instagram also shows the small arrow icon to swipe up. You can combine these two. To post your story, just go to "post your story" at the bottom right, and then click on the top, "share your story". If you are part of any Instagram groups, you can also share your story there too. I usually like to re-post the stories on YouTube to re-use my content. To do that, I usually save my stories with the arrow button on the top left corner, so I can post them on YouTube separately. I also connected my stories to Facebook, so they're automatically posted there too. This saves quite a lot of time. To check out how your stories look live, tap on your profile picture to see them. Static images are shown for five seconds, and the videos are cut up to 15 seconds as I mentioned before. Some people are not aware, but if you like to pause the reel, you can just hold the finger on the screen, and the story will stop. To go back to the previous story, tap left, and to go to the next story, you can tap right. Usually, when you see in the analytics that people go back in your stories, or they pause the story, it's a good sign because this means that they find it interesting. In this lesson, we covered the basics of Instagram stories in terms of the features and user interface. In the next lesson, we will talk about recording videos for your stories, and the cool feature of zooming and using the grid. See you there. 4. Advanced Basics of Instagram Stories: In this lesson, we will talk about two tips about recording videos for your stories. When recording videos for your stories, you can either record them and post them in real-time or you can record them and save them for posting later. That's what I usually do. You can record the videos with the Camera app or Instagram app. I prefer to record videos with the Instagram app because it captures more of the scene, the ratio, and also the effect and tools you can use. Just don't forget to always save the recordings so you can work with them later. You can do that with the arrow pointing down on the top left corner. There are two pro-tips, I would like to share with you now when it comes to recording your videos. This is something I find very handy. When you want to zoom in while recording with your phone and you are holding the phone with one hand and you are trying to zoom with the other hand with two fingers, so that's quite clumsy, at least I find it quite hard to do. Now in the Instagram app, when recording a story, you don't actually have to use two fingers to zoom but you can just swipe up with one finger to create zoom-in footage and swipe back down to zoom out again. Quite cool. Another fun thing is also super zoom option. That sounds quite fancy. So now if you simply open stories and on the left side, open more options with an arrow, you will see the super zoom. There are quite a few of the super zoom options with effects there now. I like to use this sparkle zoom option. You can see here that it zooms in automatically and it increase the sparkling effect with the color. Once I'm happy how it looks, I can just pose the story or save it in my camera roll and post it later. Now let's move on to another pro-tip. When you are in the stories, there is a new feature called layout in the grid template. This is very helpful because you don't have to prepare layouts before posting anymore. Sometimes I used to go to Photoshop or Illustrator to create more interesting and put together layouts. So here now you can either take pictures like this or even select the image from your gallery, which you prepared before to place into these layouts. You can also reposition the images in the grid, which is quite helpful. When you are happy with the images in the grid, you can also customize further. You can add lines and borders. To do this, I use the underscore and copy it more times and reposition on the screen. You can choose from various grid templates options, which is pretty awesome. Now when we cover the basic overview and some pro-tips about recording your stories, let's go ahead and dive in into the first project in the next lesson. 5. Marker Tools: In this and the following lesson, we will look at how you can use the marker tools to their full potential. Marker is basically a drawing tool so you can use it with your finger. Or if you have an iPad, an Apple pencil, you can circle something to write words, draw arrows, or anything else you would like. Here are some of my favorite ways to use the marker tool. First of, I really like to share color pallets from the major. I usually take a picture somewhere, and then I use the color picker to select colors from the image. I draw these colors on the side, then I erase some parts of it so it's more put together. Then I use another color from the image to draw a blob, where I can write text on top of it. As a nice thing, I draw an arrow usually to point back to this color palette. Here you go. Super nice color palette from the succulent garden or the botanical garden. As a last small batch, I usually use the hashtag which is related to this post. Maybe you can use color palette hashtag. Here, I would just go for outside of live hashtag. By now, you notice that you can also resize the brush tip on the left side on the screen which is quite helpful when sometimes you want to draw something with very thin and narrow brush tip and the other times with big chunky brush when you want to feel more of the screen so you can experiment with this as well. Now let's move on to another idea. It is a rainbow effect. Who doesn't like rainbows? Here I will take an example of a leaf, and I would select few colors from this leaf. It's autumn leaf, so we have these nice warm colors and I would start with the darkest color I can find on the leaf. I will start drawing an outline little bit further away from the leaf, then I will select a lighter color and I would continue like this, drawing outlines going from the leaf to the outer edges of the image. This will give us super nice cool effect which almost feel like the leaf is radiating. From a simple picture of a leaf, we have this nice fun colorful post. As a last detail, you can also write the text, and here I can write autumn colors, and I will use the background for this text with something similar to the colors of the leaf so we have this whole image coherent with the color palettes. Here is another idea how you can enhance your stories by drawing something on top of the images and videos to make them more fun. Here I have an image of Lama. You can use the same rainbow effect and then you can write it's so cute or you can just write something what you assume the Lama is thinking or other ideas. I'm sure you can come up with something. For example, you can imagine that the food is all that the animals can think about, especially this Lama, because it just won't eat something, what I had in my hand, which is not that great. Here I just created a little speech bubble and then I wrote, do you have some food? Or, what can I get from you or anything you like. Another cool thing you can play with is drawing glowing effects on top of your images to emphasize the story moment. Here I'm selecting an image with a cool evening light so the glow effect would fit nicely here. Select the glow brush or a glow pen and select the color from your image. I'm taking something yellowy or orangey, then draw a line or a shape on top of your image or the main subject. Here I would try a few times to get the line right, or exactly how I would imagine it. I will draw a little heart and then the line going around the pillars and around me and ending on the bottom right corner. Then select an eraser and erase parts where the line overlaps the object, in this case the pillars and me. It can be difficult to get these edges right so I usually make the peak of the eraser smaller to be more precise. I don't think this erasing take so much time. When you are done with cleaning up the line, you will end up with these awesome looking story which didn't even take me a minute to do. You can get creative with the shapes and colors and the placement of the objects around which you will draw these lines. You can experiment with circles, more bobbly lines, zigzag lines, or triangles. Now let's move on to the next lesson where we will continue talking about some more awesome things you can do with the marker tools. See you there. 6. Advanced Marker Tools: In this lesson, I will show you some more advanced tips and ideas how you can design and use the marker tools to spice up your Instagram stories. As an illustrator and creator, I especially like to share stories about what I'm working on behind the scenes, work in progress. But also simple stories as promoting a new post in the feed. This is a great way to engage your audience with your creative process. You can also ask them about their opinion of your art and ideas, and of course, draw their attention to your new posts and creations. Here are the two creative ways. I like to use the marker tool to create new stories. First idea is to take a photo of my work in progress or video while creating a story, I type on the squiggly icon on the top to access the markers as before. Then I would select the solid deep marker pen on the left. After that, I would select the color from the image with the eyedropper tool on the bottom left. When I'm happy with the color selection, I would tap and hold on the screen to fill it with a solid color. As you can see, it feels the whole image with the solid layer of the color you just chose, and there is no transparency. To reveal part of the image, I would use the eraser tool and draw a line or a creative shape you would prefer, like a circle, triangle or whatever you like. Then you can add some text and little elements to explain what is going on in the story. Here I can just write work in progress, and then I can use Leila GIFs or sparkles to feel in the empty spaces. There is other ways which are quite similar to reveal your work in progress and new posts and other things you would like to share with your audience in the stories, and that is to fill the image with the semi-transparent color. To do that, you can follow the exact process. You can tap on the wiggly shape to access the marker tool, but this time you would choose a different marker. Here, I would select the flat-edge marker pen tool, then select the color from the image again with the eyedropper tool, and type and hold again to fill the screen with the color. As you can see, now it's more transparent than before. Now let's reveal part of the image again with the eraser tool, so you can show your audience what to focus on. You can erase the color layer around it, for example, here, I will do a circle. To decorate the story even more you can select the solid tip marker and circle the edges of your cutout. These thin lines around the circle will make your story look more painterly and creative, and hide the possible verbally edges of your erased area. To make it look even more nice, you can add glowy sparkles around the circle with the glow marker tool, so it would look like it sparkles. At the end, you can always add more elements like layered forms and GIFs and so on to make your stories look more fun and unique. Here I will go to the gift selection and select the new post from my GIF collection, when I just tap Art Side of Life, and then I also select work in progress GIF, and you can just write work in progress in the search bar. As you can imagine, the marker tool is not only awesome for filling the parts of the image and the stories, but also creating shapes. It's also super useful for handwriting, and I like to use it in combination with typed text. As in this example, I would use a picture from the weekend sketching outside, and I would use a heart-tip marker tool, which we used to create the solid color before, and with a finger, I would write hello. You can use the tablet with the Apple pencil or other drawing tool to be more precise with this calligraphy. But as you can see, I managed to do it with a finger and it still looks quiet okay. Then I will combine it with the type text 'weekend', and I can post the story. Now, go ahead and create your own stories using the marker tools and share them in the project section. I'm looking forward to see all of your creations. In the next lesson, we will talk about designing your stories with the text tool. 7. Designing with Text Tools: In this lesson we will talk about using the Text Tool and font to spice up your Instagram stories. Since I first started using Instagram stories, Instagram guys have been adding more and more fonts, which is super cool. Let's look at some of the examples. As a proud plants owner, I took a picture of my orchids and tested few different fonts. Actually, this is pretty cool with all the new font types and backgrounds and colors you can add to that. You can also add font with a drop shadow, marker style, and you can change the foreground and background color of the font now from dark to light version of your selected color. But what I like the most, is that you can get creative with text alignments and you can combine the fonts. Here I will just select the image from the gallery and upload it to the story and I would go to the Text Tool. As an example, I will be using image from Lisbon. Lisbon is well known for its super cube trams that drone the city. I just love the look of them so I will use the text to write something about the trams. I will test out different fonts to see what fits with my design and I will settle on the Typewriter font. Here, I will also play a bit with the text color by clicking on the "Rainbow Wheel" icon on the top, to access the color and select the color with the color picker or the bottom left from the image so that text will fit nicely with the video. By clicking on the "A" icon on top, you can change the pink color of the text from the foreground to the background. Either the text is pink or the color behind the text is pink now, as you can see. Next, I will write trams, but this time in a different font. I will select the font which looks good in a bigger size and I will write texts in the Neon font because I feel like this Calligraphy font fits nicely here. At the end I will write, "In Lisbon are awesome" to finalize the text. Here you can test other fonts and place the text below the word trams. There you go, we have interesting story created within minutes with a cool layered text. As you can see, you can experiment with combining different fonts and font sizes. As a next example, let's create an effect of hanging texts shop sign. Here I will go with my sketches or a behind the scenes drawing video and I will write, "Work In Progress." You can test out different fonts again but for this one I feel like the first font fits nicely. Then by tapping on the rainbow wheel icon on the bottom and selecting the color picker, I will choose some of the colors from the background and settle on one I like the most. By clicking again on the "A" icon on the top, I changed the solid color behind the text. To create the lines for the sign, tap on the "A" icon again to get your keyboard and keep holding the underscore. These creates a solid line. Before doing anything else, you can copy the selected underscore text, then take this line as an object and reposition it with your two fingers so it looks like it's hanging from the ceiling, similar to a shop sign you may have seen before outside. When you are done repeat this process, select the "Text Tool" and copy your underscore text and then this will create a second line. You can reposition this line again as well and when these lines are parallel with each other, they will create these hanging sign. Now we have a hanging sign look, I quite like this look. Now let's move on to another example. In this example, let's use the underestimated vertical text and let's add little something special to it. First, as in the most of the cases, I will use some of the basic filters by swiping left or right on the screen. I usually swipe right. I like the Cairo one the most because it creates this warm feeling to the image. Then I will select the font with rounded background color behind it when it's highlighted and in this case is the second to last font. I will write only one letter at a time and select the color from my image. Then I create the second letter of my word color. This time I will select a different color from the image so the background of the letter is different. I will place the letter O under the letter C and continue like these with different colors, always selecting another color for the background of the text. When I'm done with this part, I will write word explorations to test how it works with the keyboard. I hit "Enter" every time I write the next letter to create the vertical look. You can keep the layout like this with the background color or you can add a different text to balance out the composition on the bottom right. I actually like to balance the composition in a different way as I mentioned so I will try different fonts and different background colors in the right bottom corner. As you can see you can always try and experiment with the different themes, different fonts and different layouts, and you can of course have fun with it and see what you like the most. As a final detail, I will go to the smiley face I can again on the top to access the GIFS and I write, "Lines". The fine nice simple GIFS of wobbly lines to make the texts even more visible. It looks a little bit more like it's shining now. As I said before, there are many other ways how you can play and experiment with the Text Tool, using different layouts, different backgrounds, and positioning the letters around the image. Here are two more examples, how I try to play with different fonts and placing the letters around the image. At the end I will add a link to my color palette class in case someone seeing the story gets inspired by the colors and would like to check out how to find the perfect color palette they like, or they just want to experiment with colors. Now go ahead and create your own stories using the Text Tool and experiment with different layouts, different fonts, and share them in the project section. I'm looking forward to see your creations using the Text Tool and in the next lesson we will talk about using GIFS and stickers to make your stories even more fun. We've looked at this already a little bit here, but let's explore more. See you there. 8. Special GIFs and Stickers: In this lesson we will talk about using special GIFs and stickers to make your stories even more fun. In simple terms, GIFs are short looping animations and stickers are static illustrations and texts. You can access them by tapping on the smiley icon on top of your stories. As I mentioned, we already looked at it a little bit before, but now let's explore more. Here as you can see, you will find a lot of different stickers and GIFs and when you open the stickers or GIFs, you will see all the trending options and you can browse through this search. As you can see, there is so many of them. This is an extensive database of GIFs from GIPHY website. There is also an option to make an import of your own GIF animations and they will be connected with Instagram, and then you would be able to import them as well and other people will be able to find it. I talk about it more in my class, design your collections of Illustrated GIFs. Make sure to check it out, if that's something you would like to explore. The GIF search may look a little bit overwhelming and you might feel like you'll never find what you're looking for, but if you know what to search for or how to search for, you will discover so many options. I love using various GIFs and stickers because it makes my stories more fun and unique. I actually also created my own. Of course, I want to show you my GIFs which I created. To find my GIFs, you can just search art side of life or Eva Miklos and you can use them in your stories. You can scroll through all the GIFs I have created over time. I will be adding more for sure because it's so fun. My current favorite ones and the ones I use the most are definitely the sparkles. When I was creating them, I was thinking I would like to have just small addition to make my stories look more moving or cooler and just small detail to add at the end. There are many to check out, so go ahead guys and use them to spice up your stories. You can also tag me if you want, so I will get notified and I can re-share your stories. If you have ideas and suggestions for new GIFs I should add to the collection, please let me know. Now let's explore some of the other creators I love. My favorite creators currently are, for example, Gladdest, Vipapier, Ohlalalita, Hanmade, Haley Ivers and I hope I'm not butchering the names, which I probably am. But you can see at least how to write them and how you can find them. I'm sure you will discover your favorites too and I like to research Pinterest for new artists for GIFs, to find their GIF selections and collections of stickers on GIPHY on Instagram. Then also, depending on your passion or focus of your creations and the business, you can use the special search. Because of my art style, I like to search words like bohemian, boho, decor, handmade, handwritten, calligraphy, washi tape, or just a tape, special colors like white or orange, yellow. Then you can also search for arrow or heart and if you want yellow heart, you can always write yellow heart or white heart. Basically whatever would fit your video or a story, just add the color to the word you are searching for and usually it gives you pretty nice result. Another funny thing, what I like to use from GIFs are blobs, which is a round blob or shape of color, which I can use as a spot behind the word or a simple small text paragraph. Washi tapes or simple tapes as a GIF, it's nice for sharing about your new posts on my profile, for example, or if I'm resharing some other people's posts and you can just add them on the corners of the post. Then you can just write new post or whatever you like. These washi tape would add these nice, handmade, scrapbook style touch. Here you can see few examples how I like to use them, especially the blob shape and washi tape. Another fun thing you can search for in GIF section are collage letters. You can find different letters of the alphabet and you can try to spell whatever you want to say with your post. What is cool about this style, that you have a small and big letters to choose from. As you can see here, I'm selecting the video of a cute cat during the sunset and then I can just write something simple as cute kitty. Now you can go ahead and create your own stories using the GIFs and stickers from the GIPHY selection through Instagram and share them in the project section. I'm curious to see what you choose and your creative stories. There is another way how you can use stickers, select it from your camera roll. In case you want to be creative with the different stickers and try something else, I prepared downloads which you can find in the resource section. Save the PNGs from the resource section to your camera roll. Then make a story. I will take the tram video from before because it has nice colors. Go to your Images in your camera roll and select "Copy The Image", which is the PNG. Then go back to your Instagram app and select the story you prepared. The sticker will automatically appear on the bottom left of the story, because you copied it before. When you tap on it, it will be added to your story. Reposition and scale the sticker so it fits your layout. Then you can add a text and reposition it so it fits the composition and voila, you are done. This looks quite cool as a simple sticker on top of your video. Let's take another example from the PNGs I shared with you. Select an image from your gallery, I'm taking an image of me sketching on the rooftop cafe. Now you can go to the marker tool, the squiggly line on top, select the color picker and select the color from your image. I like the neutral gray tone of the building on the left, so I will select that color. Tap and hold on the screen to fill the screen with color. Then go to eraser on the top and erase as much as you would like to uncover a part of the image. I will erase the circle shape, but you can also erase in a triangle shape, star, or an egg shape. That done, when you are happy with the erased shape, then go to the stickers, smiley face on the icon, scroll down to find the camera reel option next to the mouth icon there. Then tap on this icon to access your files from the camera roll. Then you can select the PNGs you'd saved before. First, I will take the pink blob shape and scale and position it on top-left of my story with two fingers. You can select more of the stickers to your story. The app will automatically remember that you want to add stickers, so by pressing "Cancel", you can go back to the other stickers and GIF options. You can repeat and add more elements to the story as you can see me doing here. As you can see, it's quite similar to using GIFs from the GIF selection, or copying the images from your camera roll. This is a third option how you can add the GIFs or stickers to your story. Here, I continue adding more elements as PNGs to create interesting layout. I try to overlap them to create a nice composition. Do more solid color elements in the corners, do line art botanical drawings on top left and bottom right corner and I place them on top of the color blogs. As you can see, I also have these small darker spots to balance out the composition with the darker, a little bit different shapes. You can add the text, what this moment was about. Here I'm selecting the neon calligraphy type and bright weekend vibes, or you can select the GIF with the same text. Then I'm placing it on the bottom left corner, because I didn't have anything in that part of the composition. Tada, there you have it. Maybe I will stop making these sounds. To test this, download the PNGs and add them to your story. You can change the colors in the drawing app and you can fit the style and branding before using it. Have fun. If you use my stickers, don't forget to tag me, so I get notified and check them out and share them with others. Now let's move on to the next lesson where you will learn about the features which Instagram offers. See you there. 9. Instagram LIVE: Instagram constantly offers a lot of new features in their app. When you keep an eye out for them and use them, the Instagram algorithm sees that you engage with the app and very often it rewards you with a more exposure. That's why it's a good thing to test out all the new tools and the features. I will take you through some of my favorites in this part and upcoming lessons. I think one of the best ones to bring your Instagram profile in front of your followers is live stories. The live stories are always shown as first in your real and Instagram even notifies all of your followers when you go live. This is a great feature for all of you who are brave to go live and engage with your community in real time. It's also a great idea to do collaborations with your fellow creators. For example, if you are an artist, you can do a live drawing session for your followers with someone with maybe similar style or with someone with completely different style. The Instagram algorithm is usually quite happy about that because it creates a lot of engagement from live commands and questions from your community and followers. So it's a good thing to notify your followers that you will be going live even beforehand, because then they can schedule the time for you and join your live session. Here's another tip. If you are a camera shy, you don't need to talk directly to the camera or your phone. Just set it up so it's recording your artworks or your hands creating something, show something else, what is happening around you. So you can maybe create something like a studio vlog. If you want to draw and record it live and focus on the questions from the followers, you can prepare the line art for your artwork and color it during the live sessions, so you don't have to stress out about designing something new when you are focusing on the questions. You can also share other ideas, not only drawing, of course. So for example, if you're into cooking, you can share how you are cutting vegetables or preparing special recipe with your followers. During this time you can answer questions from your audience. I'm sure you can come up with lots of awesome ideas. 10. Special Filters and Filter Gallery: Now let's talk about special Instagram filters, because this feature has worked pretty well for me in terms of algorithm, new followers, discovery, and engagement. To use the filters, swipe to the right to access the camera to record the story first. Then on the bottom left next to the Recording button, you will see the filters which I already have. On the right side, there are filters suggested by Instagram for you to explore. As I said, on the left side, there are filters I have used before and save them to my selection. You can scroll through to see them how they look in your image or the video before using them. Another thing what I really like to explore is browse through the different filters in the filter gallery. For example, when I tap on the filter effect here, as you can see, like this DustyRose, underneath I see who created the filter. When I tap on the creator's name, there is a filter menu. You can see that is already saved in my selection and I can also send it to my friends or whoever I like. I can also browse the other effect as I said. When I click on Browse the Effect, this is pretty self-explanatory, but you need to know it's there. I will enter the filter gallery, and here I can browse the filters in selected areas like selfie, love, color and light, funny, and so on. You can also explore more extravagant filters like immersive filters or appearance. If you like to talk into the camera in your stories, these are quiet fun to use and some of the other filters which are quiet funny, you can find filters like, which Disney character am I or Harry Potter filters. I'm sure you will find something what you really like. As you can imagine, these type of popular topics are fun to watch for your audience. So try to check them out. I am sure you will find something interesting to fit your style and preference. Going back to the gallery, one of my favorite filters are color and light selection. The great Bohemian warm feel, when I liked the filter, I can click Try It to test it on my image or video in real time. Then I can also save it, if I really like it and I plan to use it again. I usually use maximum up to five filters to keep consistency in my stories because if you have too many filters, the story might look inconsistent to your community and your followers. You might divert too much away from your branding and the colors you usually use. As I said, don't use all the filters in the world, but it's fun to try them and you can definitely use at least some of them. Another cool thing you can do is to save a filter from different account or the creator if you like it and see it in someone else's story. There is also very often how I find filters. When you like a story of a creator, you follow, as I said, you can see the filter name just under their profile name on the top left. Then click on the name of the filter there and then you will see the button, Save the Effect. Next time you will create your own stories, it will be available for you. Now let's move on to the next lesson. See you there. 11. Poll, Question and Quiz Features: Another great idea on how to interact with your community is to give your followers and opportunity to ask questions, vote in a polls, or shared quizzes to guess the right answers. Usually people like to express their opinions, so it's a great way to connect with your audience. Let's start with the voting or the poll option. At first, these tool can seem limiting. With just yes and no predefined answers that you can use the text box tool, which you can combine with this poll tool or voting to expand on your questions before asking them to vote. I will show you how to. I will start with the basic text tool to give a little bit of background when I'm asking them to vote on this poll. We were on a hike and we met the super cute dog and I was actually wondering what breed the dog is because it looked like an Australian shepherd but I wasn't sure because the fur look different and I wanted to know what other people might think. As we talked about in the lesson about designing stories with text, I will select the one I like and I will add the color background to make it more readable. Then I will place it where it doesn't cover the dog in the video. After that, I would go to the gifts selection and right hand side to find the butterfly GIF I created and I can place it on top of the video in the top right corner to even out the composition. After that, I would type on the smiley icon to select the PO option. Here I can write my question and define weather I'm actually asking them. I'm asking my followers and my community if they agree with me. If this is Australian shepherd that with the short fur. When I'm creating these type of questions for voting, I suggest asking simple questions so your community doesn't have to think about their answers too much. Something quick and fun is always a great option. If the question is too complicated and too time consuming to think about, many people would skip it. Here as you can see, you can adjust yes or no, to how would you like the answers to look like. You can write for example, no, nope, guess not or something like that. But there is a limit to the amount of characters so I suggest short answers. Shortly after posting the story, I can already see some of the answers from my followers in the analytics section. What is also fun for people is to see what others before them voted. At least I find it always fun to see when I vote on other people's stories. Am I part of the group which agrees, or am I part of the group which disagrees with the story? Here is another fun example where I asked my followers for their opinion and also a question about the kids in our neighborhood. That is this one kid which I usually see and meet near one of the farms in the area when we go on hikes. I've wrote in the story that I would call the kid probably Luna, if it is a girl or Oliver, if it is a boy. I was curious to see what names my followers would choose and vote for. As in the previous example, when I had the first answers, I shared them with my followers so they can have more fun together with me. This creates more connection with my community and it's all about sharing common interests and entertainment. In this case, pets, animals, cats and dogs. Because lot of people like cats and dogs, if you are not sure where to access the analytics in your stories, you can just click on the eyes and bar icon. You can see there are already a few people that saw and replied to the story. You can see the answers to your questions in the responses section and you can view them all. You can also reshare the answers to your questions like a speaker. As you can see, here we have two examples, voting on polls and also asking a question when you receive a lot of answers, you can also reshare these answers as a speaker. As I mentioned, it's quite fun for other people to see the answers. If you would want to share the answers, you can tap on individual responses in the menu, in the analytics, and then tap on shared response. Right now you can't share all the answers at once so you can share them one-by-one. To make it look nicer, you can either take a picture for the background or you can select something from your camera roll. I will go for this option. I will select an image, my filtration and scale it up to fill the whole background. I will reposition the answers so I will have a space for more of them, which I will show you in a second how you can add them. When I'm happy with this story and will save the image to the camera roll by tapping on the arrow icon with a line on top left corner. Now, it will be saved in my camera roll as an image also with this answer. Then I will close this and go back to the stories and select another answer and repeat the process. But this time I will select the new image with that one answer we just shared in place it or use it as a background for the second answer I want to share. Now, I have two and then again, I will have to save this story to my camera roll as a new image and I will have two answers here. I will repeat this process until I fill in the page with more answers and then I can post this story. When I'm done with this process of resharing all the answers I wanted to share, I will also add a text as a context to the answers I'm sharing with others. I will write here cat name ideas because the answers are related to the cat names. At the end I can add a simple sparkle GIF or other fun animated the small GIF to spice up the story and to help more people to discover my profile, I would add a hashtag. I encourage you to always test and experiment with the hashtags and research what is feeding the best to your story. In this case of cats, I can also write something like #CATNAMES or cat mom or cat pets or something in this category. I share these answers because I always enjoy seeing these types of stories in other people's profiles as well. Another thing I do is when I get the question through the messages, I like to share it with other folks. 12. Challenges and Location Tag: Another awesome way to engage and grow your community and show your skills at the same time is to take part in challenges. For example, if you're an artist, there are so many art challenges you can join on Instagram. I even wrote a blog post about it, and you can find the link in the Resource section. In order to take part in challenges, you can use "Challenge" sticker to nominate more artists or your friends to join the challenge. To show you how you can do this, I will take one of my drawing videos as an example for the story. As you can see after the upload, it's quite long, so Instagram separate it in three parts for the 15-second videos. I want to use only one of the stories, so I would want to delete the first one and the last one. I will tap on the first story and hold and small trash icon will appear and then I can delete the first part of the video. I will also delete the last part. So now I'm left with one 15-second video story, which is Instagram's limit for one video as you already know. Now I will tap the smiley face icon and search for a "Challenge" sticker. Here because it's art video, I will go for art challenge. As you can see, if you start writing, you can nominate somebody by taking them in the story. When you take others in the challenge, they can easily reshare your story in their stories if they want to. At the end, I would add a hashtag, and this time I would use a hashtag dailysketchbook. Because there lot of people following this hashtag so they can discover my story easier. Another tip is to use hashtags, this or that. I'm sure you will find more related hashtags which you can use with your stories. At the end, I would add a cute sparkle GIF for fun. As you can see, it's all done. Another feature I like to use is location feature to find new followers and grow the community in my area. There were actually quite a few local companies and clients who found me through Instagram, thanks to this feature. So it's a great way for you as a creator to get discovered. On the side note, to protect yourself and stay safe, don't use automatic location and don't share your full address, but maybe only the area, country, or city. This is up to you. In this example, I'm using cafe in Vienna, even though I don't live there, but they can connect with some Austrian creators and accounts if they find me through this story. In this example, for the text design, I selected the second font in the font selection and I created it in a full color, then I copied the text and selected outline version and placed it on the top of the text in a full color. It creates this nice drop shadow effect. As a nice touch, I use the marker tool to draw a line behind the text, and as already mentioned, the location tag of the coffee place. This coffee place can reshare my story if they like the design and maybe people who follow this coffee place can discover my account if they like art and what I create. There are so many other fun tools which you can explore in the category, for example, countdown sticker, which you can use for a launch of your new creation or a gallery exhibit or update for your shop. Another one I like to use is sliding scale sticker to see if the followers like my art work, maybe the view on the hike, or a product, or whatever you have in the stories. I am sure there will be more features added on a regular basis, so keep your eyes open for them and try the new features as they come. Now let's move on to the next lesson where I will talk about resharing posts. See you there. 13. Resharing Posts: One of the things I do to increase my visibility, or visibility of my profile, is to share the new post in my stories. Sometimes people are more interested in watching your stories rather than visiting your profile. You might get even more people there. In addition to this, with the algorithm with, so many other content creators, your followers might not know this that that you posted something new in your field. Therefore, re-sharing new posts in your stories is a nice thing to do. Let's look at the example, what I usually do and how I share the post in the stories. Let say I have a new post and I want to share about it in the story. I tap on the post to see the detail, then I tap on the arrow to select, "Share" and add to the story. When I first tried to do this, I discovered that the background is either very boring or sometimes even uses these very strange gradient based on the post. I usually use the marker with a pointed tip to create the solid color for the background. Then I also like to hide part of the post so it intrigues people to check out the new post in the feed and comment and share their opinion, and hopefully, a positive one. Then I can also reply to their comments and interact even more with my community. I always try to reply to all the comments on my posts if the time allows. Regarding the text, you can see that here I selected the text tool. I also selected a solid background color for the text. I would choose the same color as the background of the story, and I would create the dot, then I will hit the space bar a few times and create another dot. This will help you create the rectangle which you can use to partially cover the post. Then I would add the text on the top, which can say "NEW POST" in capital letters in one color. Then you can copy the text and create the rainbow drop shadow effect. This will be a little bit different. There is a similar effect in the predefined fonts, but i like to create it this way because you have more control around the design and you can adjust the text based on your preferences. To make the story even more engaging, I usually add call to action. Very often, I select interesting GIF, for example one saying," Tap here." My followers would visit the post I shared and comment there. As a last fun detail, I will use the new arrow tool in the marker section and draw a line with the arrow on the screen, which is super cool because this new tool was very much needed feature update. When you click on the draw icon on top right corner, you might have noticed these new arrow icon. As you have already noticed, these new tool creates perfect arrow for you, which is actually not perfect. It looks still quiet sketchy, but it's so much easier to create than just draw everything manually. I'm not sure about you, but I was very often trying to draw a perfect arrow in my stories just with the basic marker tools. I always ended up with something looking off and too crooked, or I just couldn't match the lines. This tool is definitely super useful for me and it makes my life easier. If you don't see this tool in your app, make sure to update your Instagram and have fun creating some arrows in the stories. Voila, now you have new custom-made story promoting your new posts. Of course, in the same way, you can share someone else's post in your story. But please keep in mind that they have a public account and they allow sharing their post, so you should always make sure you either ask them or you know that you can share their posts. In addition to this, if someone tags you in the story, you can share it and add it to your own story. I find it very nice to share and re-share other people's stories so we can grow our communities and help each other. Maybe someone already tagged you in the stories but you haven't noticed them, to find the tagged stories, you need to go to the message requests. When you have a creator account or business account, this request can go either to generic messages or the normal inbox. In addition to re-sharing their story, it's always nice thing to thank them in the message for re-sharing your content. When resharing the stories which are related to my class or my shop, I like to add a link and swipe up on the screen, so whoever sees this content can get even more inspiration and value if they would like to learn more. In addition to replying to the message, sharing the story, I also like to check out the person's profile and comment on their posts to appreciate their creations too. Another popular thing to connect with your audience and help grow your account is to share and re-share your own or other people's disordered templates, because people like to learn more about you as a creator. For example, you can share, are you more tea or coffee person? Or are you more into books or movies? As I mentioned, you can create your own templates or find lots of different templates like this from other creators. If you create your own, don't forget to write your name as a creator at the bottom. Usually people tag you when they use your template. Again, this is another way how more people can find out about your profile. Because it's fun to do, I thought maybe you would like to try to fill in something like this. I created this older template for you, which you can download in the resources. I created this visual in procreate with a simple background and text overlay. If you really like the idea of sharing more about you, you can find similar ideas like this ended template. For example, current mood template or tag someone who and other templates like this. Just go to Pinterest and you will find so many other template ideas. Now let's move on to the next lesson where we will talk about Boomerang post and videos. See you there. 14. Boomerangs and Reels: If you are not familiar with a Boomerang video yet, it's a mini video that moves back and forth. You may have seen it already from other creators you follow. When you are creating new story, select the Boomerang option. Record a story. Before posting the story, select the Boomerang icon on top right corner to adjust the effect. In this way, you can change either the style of the Boomerang you created or you can crop the length of the Boomerang story. If you look at the style of the Boomerang options, there is a slow mo version, echo version, and these ghostly looking Hayes duo version. It's a great way to have options and have more adjustments. Don't forget next time you create the Boomerang story, you have various options here too, to make it even cooler and more to your liking. When you are happy with the Boomerang video story, here are other examples, how you can enhance it. Select different GIF options for example, work in progress, because this is behind the scenes of me drawing some new artwork. Or you can write new work, or you can select the GIF which says new work or behind the scenes, which as I said, this video is for behind the scenes or write whatever you like and feed to your story. As you know from the title, we are talking also about Reels. Recently Instagram released new feature called Reels. They are inspired by the popular app TikTok as you might already know. Where Instagram TV is more series based content. Reels is filling the gap on the market of high quality content, but still informal, maybe not like some of the creators, highly polished YouTube videos, but it has longer shelf life. Then Instagram Stories, which are valid for 24 hours. You can find the Reels from other creators in the Instagram Explore page. According to Instagram, if your Reel is featured in Explore, you will receive a notification, featured Reels on the Explore page are selection of public Reels chosen by Instagram to help you discover original content. They hope it will entertain and inspire the users. You can explore other creators to get new inspiration before creating something on your own. Just like TikTok, you can find music or other audio you like, and you can tap the music and select, use audio in your new Reels video. Instagram Reels also has a new mode for the Instagram Stories camera menu positioned either between the default normal mode, and create mode or on the bottom menu next to the Instagram Story. To access the Reels, simply open the Instagram Stories camera and find the Reels icon. Very much like on TikTok, you can start and stop recording multiple times during your 15 second video by pressing and holding the "Record" button. Once you are happy with the result, you can edit your videos and share the Reels to the stories. You can also use the draw and text tools like in the normal Instagram Stories and select from various Instagram stickers and GIFs. Now let's move on to the next lesson where I will talk about Instagram Story highlights, which will allow your stories to live longer than 24 hours. See you there. 15. Story Highlights: Because the stories disappear after 24 hours by default and because some of them are so good that you want to keep them as a evergreen content for your followers, Instagram came out with a feature called story highlights. They are these circles under your Instagram profile bio. As you have probably noticed, you have very limited space in your bio section of your profile and this is a nice addition when your followers want to know more about you and your process. Even though there are super cool, I would suggest that you don't put every story in your highlight, but pick the ones and choose the most interesting one for your followers and the community, and the ones which makes sense for your brand and the presentation of who you are as a creator. Even after a long time, you usually get visits to the highlights, which is great because you can put more effort designing these as they will not go to waste and disappear after 24 hours. What can you put in highlights? I'm thinking like work in progress, sketchbook highlights, sketchbook bits and pieces, maybe food, favorite recipes, and other ideas. Let's look at my profile as an example. I already have quiet few Instagram highlight groups. For example, featured artists, art courses, life behind the scenes, and other ones as you can see. As you can imagine, you don't have to have the same categories as I have, but to come up with these categories for highlights, you can look at other creators in your industry in the category where you create your content and get inspired by their highlights as well. Every time you add a story to the highlight, it will be shown as a first highlight in your bio. Your followers can tap on these highlights to go through the entire group of these stories highlight. To add a story to a highlight, you can tap on your profile image to access your current stories if you just posted some. By tapping on the heart on the bottom right corner, you can add them to the new highlight, by tapping on the new, or you can select one of the existing highlights. When your story is added to your highlight, the small heart icon on the bottom right will turn into heart icon with a solid background, as you can see here. You can also remove a highlight. Here, I will show this to you on my art videos highlight. First before deciding to delete the highlight, you can also rename the highlight, or as I said, you can delete it completely. In order to do this, de-select the videos which are already added to the highlight by unticking the blue checkmark, the same as in camera roll. When all are de-selected, you can press "Delete Highlight". You can scroll through your highlights and whichever you want to change, just select "Edit Highlight". In this section, you can change also the highlight covers, one of the fun things to do to dress up your profile in the new colors or new designs. You don't have to actually upload new images and you can select any of the images from the story as a highlight color. Or another way, the version I really like is to upload my favorite images or new icons through the camera roll. As you can see, I created new custom illustrated icons with digital art topic and flowers. I created these illustrations in Procreate, and I set the images to 180 pixels by 1920 pixels and save them to my camera roll before uploading to stories as a highlight cover. I also prepared few cover images for you which you can download in the resource section so you can play with the new highlight covers too. If you have a special branding color or color you use very often, I would suggest you to go for these colors or the highlight covers. If you are not sure which are your branding colors just yet, you can just take one of your posts and select the colors from the post, which would represent your favorite colors the best, and then use these colors for your highlight cover images. As you can imagine, the story highlight covers can also be just a solid color to support the color palette from your feed. As you can see me doing here, you can go through all your story highlights and replace the covers which fits your grouping. There is also a new way to create highlights, which was not available in the past and it is to access your stories from the archives or from the past. In order to try this out, go back to your profile and in the highlight section click on "New". This will take you to the overview of new suggested highlight. First, it will show you recent stories on the top main screen overview and on the bottom you will see other stories and stories from the archives and you can edit and add these to your new story highlights in your profile. As you see, you can look through the suggestions if you would like to add any of them, do the highlights and you can also remove these from the suggestion by unticking the images and the videos. Looking at the main screen overview, you will see all the stories you have posted in the past and as I mentioned, by selecting some of them, the same way as in your camera roll, you can scroll way back and create new highlights like this in your profile. Try not to select too many highlights for one highlight grouping as people might not watch all of them. For example, here I would choose few related stories to my sketchbook and create new highlight called sketchbook. As you can imagine, I thought about this before and I created sketchbook related cover icon and now I can hit "Save" and add to the story highlights, and we are done. Now go ahead and create your own story highlights and share them in the project section. I'm looking forward to see your creations in the covers for your study highlights. 16. Out of Ideas?: In this lesson, I will share with you some content ideas about what I usually post. So you can get inspired when you are running out of ideas, but you would still like to create more stories for your audience. One of the first ideas is to connect with your audience through the same topics or courses you like to support. Maybe it's marine life, climate change, or other courses you like to talk about. Another idea, what to share in the stories is to show that you are grateful. You can post the story where you have new followers and they are very happy about it, so you can share new round numbers when you reach new followers, or any other stories to share that you appreciate your community. I'm always very happy to share about this because I am so happy to have the followers and community there on Instagram and YouTube, and other social media. I am very happy to talk with everyone and I'm always grateful and doesn't matter how many followers you have, if you have 100 or 100,000. Another idea which you can share in Instagram Stories, is to share your vulnerable side. For example, share what you would like to advice on, maybe what stresses you out, or what would you like to improve. In addition, what you are great at. For example, if you are very good in color and light or you are very good in characters but you are still struggling with environment, you can share the side of you as well and ask for advice from your community. Another idea is to share work in progress. If you're an artist as well as in many of my examples, because I have an art account, I like to share bits and pieces from behind the scenes. For example, I can show some of my process, and I can also share what I think about while creating because I always like to see this as well from other creators and get into their creative thinking as well and maybe learn something there or just be inspired. Following on the idea of sharing behind the scenes, from your creative thinking is to share your creative space on your studio space, how you organize it, what new tools you got or you are planning to get. Another popular thing you can share in the Instagram stories are pets and animals. If you have pets, share about them. If you like and meet other animals, you can share about them too. As I already mentioned, food and cooking, you can share what you are currently eating or cooking. There are also various GIFs in the sticker section which support these topics. So you can just search for currently eating or currently cooking GIF. What I would show you here are also favorite recipes or ingrediencies showing how you cut vegetables because it's actually quite fun to watch. Or you can give tips where you found special ingrediencies for your cooking, and or what's great about them. If you are into cooking, you can share your kitchen or your new tools for cooking, new spices, or whatever you like. Another topic is, if you are into fashion, you can of course share your outfit. You can describe where you get them, why you like to wear this, or maybe if the brand's supports on special courses you like. Another popular topic is travel. You can share in your Instagram stories the places you are visiting, or you would like to visit. Maybe interesting locations, cute towns, color inspiration from these towns. This is something I really like to share because I kind of obsessed about all the houses and colorful cute crooked buildings. Then you can also share hiking views if you like to go to nature, and you can share about other trips and travels you like to do. Another idea is also related to trips and travel and visit new places. What I like to do is share my inspirations from museums, if you are allowed to take pictures or videos there. Especially design museums, maybe architecture, shapes of the buildings, as I already mentioned, and maybe interesting objects you see around you, their shape, their texture, or their color. One of the last ideas I want to share with you is the feature called Lyric Story, which is quite cool. Because you can, for example, take a picture of your headphones or whatever you are doing while listening, and then go to Stickers, select Music, then you can select the song, and add a GIF with small lines to indicate the sound. You can add other fun GIFs, currently listening, or maybe Play button GIF. This cool feature, Lyric Story, will show all the lyrics of the song you added to the story when people will watch it. Another cool idea related to sound, if you like to go to nature, there are many natural sounds. For example, chirping birds, leaves in the wind, waterfalls, rain, you name it. You can take a video in the nature and add the GIF sound on. You can search in the GIF selection with lead gifts, and you can just search for the sound icon. I hope with all of these tips, now you are full of ideas, how and what to share in your stories, and I'm looking forward to seeing your creations. In the next lesson, we will wrap up. So see you there. 17. Final Thoughts: Congratulations, you finished the class. Thank you so much for being here. I do hope that you had fun and learned a lot of new things. I also hope that you followed along with the project and you will share them in the project section. I'm very much looking forward to seeing them all. On the side note, Instagram can look like a treasure trove with all of these cool features and it can be easy to get lost and feel overwhelmed so please take good care of yourself. Take regular breaks in enjoy the real life through. After all, there is so much interesting things out there which don't feed into your phone. If you like the class, please leave a review because I really appreciate it and also you will help other people to discover this class and you may even contribute to their learning and creative journey. If you know others who would want to learn more about Instagram stories, feel free to share these class with them. If you have any questions or suggestions as usual, please leave a comment in the discussion section. I would love to help out. Thank you so much again for being here and see you in the next class.