Analytics & Authenticity on Instagram: Crafting Your Digital Presence | Sophia Chang™ | Skillshare

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Analytics & Authenticity on Instagram: Crafting Your Digital Presence

teacher avatar Sophia Chang™, Designer, Illustrator, Friend

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Setting Goals for Your Instagram Growth


    • 3.

      Inspiration for Your Feed


    • 4.

      Presentation on Your Feed


    • 5.

      Hashtag Strategy


    • 6.

      Followers and Following


    • 7.

      Using Analytics for Growth


    • 8.



    • 9.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Make yourself known on Instagram with this 45-minute class with designer and illustrator Sophia Chang. You'll follow along as Sophia walks you through how you can build your personal brand on Instagram — covering everything from photo editing to analytics and community engagement on her favorite platform.

You'll start by identifying your own passions by category, then you'll zero in on how to:

  • represent those passions through photography
  • engage the communities around them on Instagram
  • interact with them in a meaningful way
  • set goals for growing your following
  • track your growth through analytics

With tips on maintaining your authenticity throughout, this class is great for anyone looking to get their work or their personal brand out there in a creative, authentic way by leveraging the power of Instagram. By the end of this class, you'll have your own perfectly crafted online presence to share.

Meet Your Teacher

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Sophia Chang™

Designer, Illustrator, Friend


A new generation of pioneering entrepreneurs is emerging by virtue of the information age and the whole world is watching. Sophia Chang hails from the borough of Queens, New York and in less than a decade managed to champion a name for herself in the art, design and streetwear community worldwide. With her BFA from Parsons School of Design coupled with a natural acumen for business she has collaborated with a-list names across multiple fields such as Samsung, Nike, Refinery29, Adidas, Apple, Footlocker, HBO, and the NBA to name a few.

One of her biggest accolades of her career to date was the design of her own collection with Puma which touted their number one grossing lifestyle range and was exhibited at various international museums, curated by the American Federation o... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Sophia Chang. I'm an illustrator and designer based in New York. In the past, almost decade, I've done a lot of cool graphic work, everything from fashion, fitness, music, sports, bunch of stuff, you name it. There's a lot of cool things that I've learned and definitely grown a strong social media following off of it, and I just wanted to share with you guys a few tips and pointers of things that I've learned along the way. This class is ideal for anyone who wants to have a stronger visual voice via their social media platforms from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, grow your following, and increase your online digital interaction with their community. From the student whose just graduating school, someone who already has a strong following, but wants a few extra pointers, someone who has a brand or a store or some exciting product that you want to be able to share with the world. The class is all about creating an online presence. 2. Setting Goals for Your Instagram Growth: So, three different goals that I'd say we're going to be working around for this course, that you can probably fit yourself into is. You're looking for a job opportunity to work with a specific client, or you're just trying to grow your following, or you're just trying to better your content because your content isn't that great right now. If you're taking a class with the intent of getting more job opportunities. One of the things that you should be keeping in mind is how you upload that content, what hashtags you want to be including and what order and the frequency of your posts and of course the brand that you want to work with tagging them in the photos. Then we'll dive into all of that once we talk about whatever imagery you're going to be using in developing your visual voice and your content and whatever story it as you want to tell. For the people who want to grow their numbers and grow their following I think it's important to think of where you're at now and then developing a feasible goal for yourself. Where you'd like to be three months from now, six months from now. Then for people who are really just looking, who have the following or everything's all good, nothing is really broken and you just want to take it to the next level and curate your imagery. Little things to keep in mind is to just train your artistic eye with exercises like the grid, cropping and understanding color palette and then working in that nine grid, in the grid format. One thing just keep in mind that you're setting your goals whether it's a number, or having better content, or getting a job opportunity to just keep those goals in mind as we're progressing and during the course together. So, once we set our goals it's going to be super helpful because later on what we're going to end up doing is that we're going to dive into tracking. So using different websites and different tools that are available to us online that are free to see where you have the strongest following, what type of content, in what countries you have the strongest following, what hashtag is the most used, what filter it is that you use the most. So, we're going to dive into all of those tools and it'll be really helpful for you to measure that up with your goals. It's also very important for you to go back in every few weeks or every few months to just revisit these sites and just see how you've grown. I think when it comes to establishing your goals it's really important to just figure out where your at. Be reasonable, be honest with yourself. So, don't be like, I'm at 100 people right now and I want to be at 10,000. That's not that feasible within that given amount of time. Then the biggest thing too is also your frequency of your posts. You have to understand that there are so many elements that come into play when it comes to structuring and crafting your digital presence. So, I think it's important to set goals. This way it motivates you and pushes you but also be reasonable. So, if you want to increase your metrics, increase your number of followers, figure out something that makes sense to you within a specific time frame whether it's three months or six months or one week even. If you're targeting a specific client for an opportunity, give yourself a time frame like six months or once a week, five times a week I'm going to post but one of the posts is going to be dedicated towards specifically targeted towards a client. Doing that but also maybe doing some background research. Say, you're a photographer in New York and you would love to shoot for Nike in New York. Taking this course and developing your grid a little bit better, tagging Nike when you see fits. Say if you take pictures of runners with Nike sneakers on. Then also understand that there's also some footwork that you need to put in as well on the side maybe it's doing some research and finding out the right marketing people, the right agencies that work with them on these types of events. Then having posted content for the past three to six months now you can approach them and be like, "Hey I shoot for this. Also I've been showing you guys love, not sure if you noticed it." The notice me part. Here's a way to do it to not be annoying. No one likes thirsty people. So, I think that's what's really important for this course. To be able to get someone's attention but in a professional way. 3. Inspiration for Your Feed: One of the biggest questions that I get a lot of times is, "Okay, what do I post?" A lot of people have issues thinking of the content and the best advice that I give people is just post about you. Look at yourself. What are you interested in? What are your passions? What story you do want to tell? So, for me personally, I am born and raised in New York. I'm into fitness, I'm into the graphic arts, I'm into like street culture, I like hip hop music, I'm into sneakers and fashion. So, in all of these categories, five categories, there's endless amount of content that you can post, there's endless in terms of imagery, and endless amount of texts that you can integrate. So, for example, if I'm working out at the gym, I can add a Drake lyric into the caption. I put a lot of layers a lot of times because what ends up happening is that my audience, they can relate to it because it'll be, say it's a new song that's out, it's showing that you're relevant and it's just interesting content that people can definitely relate to. When I'm traveling, I love to show people where I am, what catches my eye and just be observant of my surroundings. For example, here are some images really quickly about New York, my commute home. Love to play with lighting and shadows, show people where I am, what I'm interested in. Recently, the New York Book Fair happen, and so I wanted to show people that I was there, cool things that caught my eye. One of the things that I actually really love to do that I didn't really realize I was doing until very recently is cross-marketing. In one photo, just capture as much content as you can. So, this one photo here's a good example. I was recently at a trade show, a capsule trade show. I wanted to show that I was in a trade show, I wanted to show people my outfit, I wanted to show people the sneakers I was wearing, and I also wanted to make a reference towards hip hop. So what ends up happening when you post an image like this and you put it out there people are interacting with it, people are liking it, people may captions, they tagged their friends, it's fun. But what ends up happening a lot of times is that the brands themselves will see this photo, and so the most important thing here is to have good imagery, which we're going to dive into later. So, let's click one of the hashtags. Let's click Air Max okay. When we click a hashtag for an event or a specific object or phrase, whatever it is, what ends up happening is that you see a compilation of all of these images. People are posting this one hashtag all around the world. But when you're looking through a grid, what ends up happening is that there are certain things that catch our eye. It's just something that we do. We look at these grids, and we might see one cool photo or one product that really catches our eye, and we're like,, "Oh, this is so cool. Let's look at the account and see if they have other stuff that's really interesting." So, that's when we decide whether or not we want to follow this person. Be open to mistakes as well. This is a cool photo that God knows how I did this. It was amazing. I was taking the train. I had just gotten into New York, and the sunset was just gorgeous, and I wanted to take a photo of it, and I was standing inside the subway, the train car, and what ended up happening was, I was definitely just looking outside, and then something clicked in my head visually that I was able to see my bun. So I get to do the #bun photo, and show a beautiful sunset of New York, and also in the caption I reference that I was from Queens. Create content around that specific market, within that specific community, what are they interested in. Let's say you're a foodie. You like to post pictures of food in photography, but how can you take a picture of eggs and make it look different? Maybe reference. So if you're in the food category, you just really have to just write things down. If you're a foodie and you want your account to be about food, what are some cool chefs? What are some cool ingredients? What about when you're shopping? What about when you're cooking yourself? What about what's paired with what? Live life but also how can I record it in a fun way? So, you can just kind of turn it into a fun game assignment type of thing. For me, I show a lot about my life, but if you want it to be very work-focused, so let's say it's product-focus, product, meaning your illustrations, you can show your work space, you can show the specific tools that you use, you can show the images that you've done, obviously post the jobs that you've gotten. But you just have to think about brands. You just have to think about commercial. Maybe it's a cup of coffee that you got from some town, maybe it's some pens that you used that you maybe like Prismacolor. Then you can tag all of these brands into one image but also showcase your illustration. So, it's kind of thinking about how can I show as much stuff into into one photo sometimes? But do it in a spacious, artistic way. The best way I think to come up with good imagery because a lot of times people will be like, "Okay, cool. I have all of these elements elements but how do I make it look a certain way?" Sometimes the best way to do things is to copy people. Because if you can't do it yourself and you haven't been able to find your own visual voice yet, say you see someone who's another illustrator who did a cool photo, rearrange it in the same way, move around in your room in your space to figure out how you can get the best lighting and then try to mimic that photo. So once you keep doing it, then it's going to train your thought process to place things a certain way, to shoot in a certain way, and it's almost like trial and error in a way, and it's progression as well. This image is cool in my mind because I'm showing a tattoo, I'm showing jewelry that I'm wearing, and I'm showing a product that I recently bought and I also tagged the store that I bought it from. So it's kind of jam-packed. But in terms of just the visuals, the eye is being led in a certain direction and certain angle that leads directly to the product. So we're playing with positive and negative space here and also the use of angles because, obviously, it's on a white background as you see where the focal point is. Same thing with something like this. That's simple. So, finding that focal point and playing with crop. This is a fun angle. Look at how the text leads the eye up in a direction that points directly to the sunglasses, which is the main focus of this image here. So, the exercise for this lesson is for you to do some self-reflection, figure out what are the top five markets that you want to tap into. 4. Presentation on Your Feed: Top apps that I use. So, I have different ones that I use for filters, different ones for color correction, different ones for say expanding a background which is really cool, and some if you just want to touch up blemishes or touch up outlet that's in the wall that's screwing with your image or something like that. So, the most popular one that I think most people know about is VSCO. The tricky thing with VSCO is that when I first got it, it's just like all icon, so it takes some time for you to screw around with it, play around with it to see which graphic, which button does what. This is a cool photo that I took, so I'm going to just open it up here. We can see that the lighting here is more on the yellow side, it's exactly how the photo would look like if you just took it. So, we're going to touch up the colors. It's fairly important for people to have a visual consistency with the images that they use. So, a lot of times, you can definitely use specific filters that help you keep that consistency. Some artists or some accounts are strictly in black and white, some of them are only in supersaturated tone, some are more in desaturated tones, whatever. I think the more you post, the more you'll definitely find that voice and I definitely think that with all of these apps that I'm suggesting, spend some time with it, take some photos and play with each of them. There's a lot of sliders. It's very simple to use and I'd say, really, if you can just sit down with for like 5-10 minutes with each of them, you'll start to learn. A lot of these apps, like for example with VCSO, it's free, it's a free download. However, if you wanted to have other filter options, you can definitely pay more for it. So, I'm just running through my usual filters. I like this one. I usually like to use more of a cooler tone. Let's see. This is cool. So, yeah, so you can just play with these sliders and see what and just get to a happy place about where you'd like to be. Let's see, I like more of a cooler tone. Okay, so I'm going to save the photo into my camera roll and then what I'm going to do is, let me pull up the picture again. So, this image is cool, but I feel like in the lower corner where the shadows are, it's a little bit dark, and then because my friend is wearing the black Yeezys, I'd love to show that like I don't know what it's called this like the pattern on the fabric a little bit more. So, what I can do is I can bring it into another app to bump up the colors a bit. So, I personally like to use Snapseed. Snapseed is operated by Google. They recently just did a whole rehaul with the actual app design so it's a little bit easier to use. So, I'm going to open it up and it has this really cool option again. This app can do like a gazillion things. So, definitely sit down with it. The one feature that I personally like to use is the color select. So, what ends up happening is that I can select say pink, let's do the pink here on the shoe and then I can expand with my fingers to see what area it wants to cover. Whether it's just a small area or a larger color. So, what it does is it selects only the pink because that's where I put the selector tool and so, I can bump it up super bright or I can turn it super dark or if I just want to, if I hold it down I can scroll between the brightness, the contrast and the saturation which is cool. So, I want to bring down the saturation. The shadows here a bit dark so I can lower the contrast here. So, ideally it's just editing and playing with a bunch of different sliders. So, other areas where you can use this feature is say you post a selfie or something like that and you have red lipstick on and you want to just bump up the saturation in your lips specifically, that's one way to do it or say you're taking a photo of something with a white background and you want to make the white a little bit more of an even tone or brighter tone, this is the perfect app to select specific colors and give it like just edit it specifically for that specific color. So, I'm going to save this and then that's it and you can pretty much bring it into Instagram. Now another app, super secret weapon App. It's called AntiCrop. I think this one might be a dollar. It was definitely a tough decision but so worth it. So, let's see. Okay, here's an example of how I can use AntiCrop. So, here's an image that I had taken. So, what this app does, it's going to blow your mind. So, it works really well with like a marble pattern or a wooden pattern or any type of color repeat panel I'm just going to let the app just work on its own. So, what happens is I get the image into the app and then I can expand these corners and it just builds the background for you. This way sometimes when things aren't fully cropped, too perfectly and you want to give it a little bit more space then this is the app that you can use. Like unfortunately, obviously it's not going to just build my arm for me, oh, wait, it did build my arm for me that's super weird but wow! That's cool and then you can save it and you can edit it whatever. Another cool app that I use, Retouch is great. Let's see, because there's cement flooring on the bottom say there's like little white spots in the corner here that I want to touch up. So, what I can do is I can select, use my selector tool to pull I guess a portion of the image and then just touch it out. See how I just did that, I'm touching out the corners of it basically that's what the app can do, which is super helpful if you take a picture of something on a wall and there's like I don't know like uneven. It's not as seamless background it just allows you to go in and edit it and save it in, so, a lot of times with my images, I'll just go, I'll bring it into a bunch of different apps and it's the little things that really does make a difference for one single image and I think it's worth it and what ends up happening is if you put in that much effort for every single photo, if you look at your entire grid that like seamless story definitely helps. So, it's a lot more work than you think. The best thing to do is download these apps, try it out. Bring in different images and play around with them, get familiar with each of the tools. I think it's important to continue to create new content and then adding these skill sets, new lessons onto each round. So, I definitely think it's important for you to just continue building that new content and then you'll be able to see that progression slowly. So, for this assignment I'd like for you to upload three new photos and just integrate all the skills that you've learned in this lesson plan into this round. 5. Hashtag Strategy: So, we're going to dive right into hashtags now. I'd say hashtags are super vital. It's a great way to put you on the map, helpful for anyone who is trying to get attention from a specific brand, anyone who's trying to grow their following because it's definitely a way that people can explore and discover you and your work. It's a great way to group your content and it's also a great way for you to find that niche where you can thrive. For me personally, I recently also just started using hashtags as a way for me to record my travels, almost like a journal. So, there's a bunch of popular hashtags. I feel there's a new one sometimes every other day that I can't even keep up with. So, let's just talk about some basic stuff like, outfit of the day. Women Crush Wednesdays, I had no idea what this was for the longest time and I had to ask people. Just a shit ton of acronyms but it's also a fun way to be able to put yourself on the map if that's what you're interested in doing. So, for an individual freelancer who's trying to get attention from specific brands obviously a good way for you to integrate that is to include the brand's hashtag. Say I'm posting a pair of Nikes. Here are a pair of Nikes that I was wearing and I just looked down and I liked the lighting and just thought it would be a good image so I wanted to include hashtag Nike, hashtag Air Max, hashtag Air Max 95 meaning anyone who hashtags or looks at the hashtag Air Max 95 is going to be able to see this image. So, without going overboard with the hashtags but to also just have enough, I would say a nice sweet spot would be maybe five to six hashtags. That's just my own personal opinion, some people don't like to use any hashtags at all. That's my own personal standard but again even with the hashtags, you can also tag the brands in the actual image. One thing to also keep in mind with hashtags, is that if you as a user don't put it in your image, it's not going to be on the hashtag map. So, if someone else comes in and writes hashtag Nike for you, that doesn't mean that your image will then be on the hashtag map. That's something to keep in mind. You increase your chances of being discovered because essentially it's, if you were to write cold emails or make cold calls, if you put out 100, hopefully one of them will bite. You know what I'm saying? So it's more so, if you only put out one hashtag, then you only have that ones to rely on. However, if you have five or six then definitely increases your chances. I'm not completely opposed to doing 20, I just think it's a little overboard. Just as a viewer and as someone who's browsing through the Instagram feed and you just see that huge stock it can be a little overwhelming and also give people anxiety probably. The thing is, I definitely think I consciously use hashtags, use captions, tag people, tag brands as much as possible so, it definitely gets my work out there in the mix so that people are able to discover me easier. If you show a little bit of personality, like I said with not only just having good imagery but just telling a good story, what ends up happening is a lot of times you tag your friends. So, say, I don't know, someone like Fuck Jerry for example, he posts hilarious content. So, you will see something funny and you tag five of your friends, your five friends that just got tagged are now going to tag their friends in it if they think it's funny too. So, it's this ripple effect that we want to keep in mind when we're posting and any image, any text, any hashtag that you put out there, it's definitely going to come back around at some point. So, okay, we're going to write the caption now, it's your typical footwear photo, I have tims here, my friend has Adidas Yeezys on. Is there a storytelling aspect that I want to tell the world? Well, the tims that I have are awesome, I bought them from the store named Procell and they're actually dead stock pink tims from the 80s and I luckily was able to get the last pair. So, that's a fun story to tell, or you can just even make a sneaker reference if you wanted. It's up to you. I mean, captions are pretty easy for the most part but it's also integrating the brands involved and seeing how we add that. So, I'm just going to write, pink timber lands courtesy of Procell. Okay, so what I wrote was "Pink dead stock timberlands courtesy of at Prosell". So, I'm going to do hashtag. So, the difference between me writing hashtag timberlands versus at timberlands is because I wanted the image to just be on the map rather than leading directly to the actual brand account page. Then I wrote courtesy of at Procell because I want the viewer, I want to encourage them to click Procell to learn more about the store. So, it's also understanding where your account falling is and what is the call to action a lot of times because that's what a hashtag and a handle does. Whether you're tagging a brand or tagging a friend, it's an opportunity for people to discover your friend or the brand. So I wrote my caption, I wrote my hashtags and now I'm going to tag my friend, thelino. I'm also going to tag Adidas and Adidas has Adidas Originals, Adidas whatever. Should I tag Kanye? No, I'm going to tag Timberland though, let's see Timberland. So, a lot of times, for example with Nike, they have 50 different accounts so, Nike sportswear or Nike lab, Nike, Nike running. So, I definitely try my best to tag all the ones that are relevant because why not? That doesn't hurt that. I feel it's always good to just just add the tags, timberland and Procell. Okay, cool. So, we have it here and then the fun way is you can also play with where you want it to be as well. I'm just doing the angle thing because I think it's fun and sometimes you want to refer to specific items or specific brands within the photo that's doable as well. Cool. So, I'm going to tweet it as well and boom, we're going to let it live and see what the world thinks about it. Let's see how it looks on my grid. Looks good. Looks like we have a really good diagonal angle thing going on here. I love when this happens. So, notice that I have a light background, this is medium background, light background. So, we have this cool X thing that's going on with the light background, dark background, light background, dark background and so, maybe this is an ongoing theme that I can keep up with. From my own personal experience, I personally don't prefer and don't recommend people to have is, when you're, "Hashtag, oh my God, this is so crazy I look at how long this one line is". It's just too much and it's overwhelming and it's useless because in terms of branding and marketing and all that stuff in that realm, no one's actually going to click along hashtag. I feel the chances of you getting discovered through the interwebs of social media is much lower when you have that type of hashtag etiquette versus keeping it straight to the point and more involved with branding and whatever specific niche category you want to thrive in and be discovered in. When we're using hashtags, it's just a matter of finding the right, keeping in mind what market you want to reach out to and where you want to be discovered. I just really think about brands and I think about just general references in pop culture and in music culture and I'm sure you'll find your own niche market as well. Now that you have your images again, let's do another three images again, integrating everything that we've learned so far and then creating your own caption and your own hashtag. Remember, try to keep it simple and sweet. Limit your hashtags down to five to six tags. Think about how we can integrate brands into an image and I think that goes across the board for anyone who's trying to get attention from a brand, from anyone who's just trying to curate their imagery a little bit better, or anyone who's trying to increase their following. Let's just add three more images to the grid and start playing with hashtags. 6. Followers and Following: So, from a professional standpoint, it's really important for you to have that social interaction with your followers or people that you follow. So, a lot of times it's everything from more than just liking a photo, but leaving a nice comment or leaving a comment even if it's with emojis that speaks any language, just to kind of show that recognition there or appreciation, a lot of times it's good to follow people back. It's kind of a weird rule of thumb that it's like an unspoken thing where it's not necessarily a good sign if you follow more people than followers that you have. I don't know what it is, it's probably a cool guy factor, but just a general rule of thumb, don't be too thirsty, don't leave too many comments, don't be needy and like crawling, and just like being like nails on a chalkboard asking for attention. One thing that my friend once said is just to have one post and zero likes and maybe zero comments as well, don't put stuff out there hoping and looking for that validation, put it out there because you want to, and it's a story that you want to tell. The same thing with the way you interact with other people, just leave one or two comments, don't do a whole back and forth, no one likes it when their Instagram turns into some sort of forum situation. A lot of times for people who show a lot of love for your imagery and comment, it's always good to kind of give them a pat on the back back as well. So, definitely you want to have that love and appreciation go both ways in a way, so you definitely want to show love back to your followers. If someone posts or reposts something and credits you, you want to make sure that you've noticed that by liking their photo or saying thank you in the comments. So, it's always good to be active and interact with your following instead of a one-way broadcasting system, especially say your brand or you are operating an Instagram account for your retail space, it's definitely very important for you to of be very active and talk back to people and have that social interaction with your followers. I'd say when it comes to trolls and haters, it's best not to respond or if you feel uncomfortable, then it's totally okay to delete people's comments, to block people, but you do have to understand that goes across a spectrum for everyone from whatever practice it is that when you put yourself out there and your thoughts and product out there on the Internet, people are going to have something to say about it, whether it's a good thing or bad thing. So, definitely grow tough skin, be prepared for the hate and if you get the hate, that's also a good thing too because that means you're doing something right. So, I think when it comes to interaction with brands, you have to keep in mind a lot of times they're huge corporations. Meaning there's probably just someone that's sitting at the computer that's managing everything and making sure that things are moving forward and what not. Don't follow a brand expecting them to follow you back ever, chances are that they probably won't. But what happens sometimes on Twitter or Facebook is that, on Twitter they might retweet something that you post which is great, but again, I think the most important thing when you're uploading content and interacting with people is to not look for validation, rather put it out there and just be yourself and just be authentic because good things will come like on its own, just work towards your goals, focus on you rather than looking for this validation, and so say you want to get a brand's attention, you follow them and you tag them and you hashtag them, I think that when it goes on over time that whoever is sitting behind a desk is going to see that you're someone that pops up in their feed very often, you've been tagging them and so forth. I am pretty sure in due time, they're probably going to come back and or like one of your photos and just show little like, ''Hey, see you. Thank you so much,'' type of thing. I'd say the chances are definitely much smaller when it's a larger corporation, but if it's a small home-grown brand, there's definitely a lot of love to be shared. One thing that you should keep in mind that the people that you're following, whatever accounts those are is definitely visible by the general public. So, if someone wanted to dive in and really just scroll through the list of people that you follow, you just want to make sure that the accounts there are appropriate. If you're going to be treating your social media presence as a business, you have to make sure you can create the product, package the product, and sell the product. So, one of the biggest things you have to keep in mind that when you're a freelancer, or this just goes across the board, you have to be your own PR, your own marketing, your own management and so forth, so one of the most important things that people need to keep in mind is to figure out your metrics. So, there's actually a lot of different online outlets that are free for you to be able to track your numbers and your growth and your progression to see what works for you and what doesn't with clear actual tangible numbers. This is always helpful if you're trying to grow your brand and trying to get say sponsorship or almost like a media deck in a away for your own social media account, and so that's what we're going to be diving into. Definitely spend some time to go back to some of the comments that people may or may not have left you, and sometimes it's nice to just sit with your phone and go through the hashtags and like some photos, be active so that other accounts can see that you're active and see that you're interacting with them and I'm sure there's going to be some sort of love reciprocation that's going to be happening. 7. Using Analytics for Growth: Now we're going to dive into some tools that are available online that are free where you can kind of explore and measure your interaction rate, whether it's through images, through likes and just kind of get some traction better idea of what your number specifically are because when your brand or your store or you're creating some sort of media deck and working with a client and they ask you what your numbers are, these are just some great resources for you to be able to track all of that. So, you kind of pretty much just log in. What happens is that every time you log in, they kind of go through your Instagram and they can send and email you fresh stats. So if I want to go to my Statistics section of it, I can see just all the numbers actually that are involved with my account: how high your love rate is, your talk rate, how often do people talk about you, interact with you. So, on the left panel, there's actually a bunch of really great tabs that you can be exploring, so rolling month analysis, content, the amount of engagement. Also, even optimization. So let's just dive right in and see what's here. So these numbers that it's showing is for a specific period of time since the last time that I uploaded. You can kind of see what my engagement was. It tells me the top photos that were liked, top photos that were commented. A lot of times it's just kind of good to see like, oh, people really like this one photo because of this occasion or this specific holiday, or believe it or not, most of the time, people will like photos of you as a person. I don't know why people just like selfies, but that's that. You can also see the most engaged followers that you have, which is great. If we go over to Content, we can see the first picture that you posted, what your growth has been in the past few years, which day, which hour you post the most, what is the most common used hashtag. In terms of online engagement, you can also see what your growth history is and your most commented images ever. Of course, that changes in time as your followers grow and so forth. Now, my favorite feature here is seeing optimization. So I can see what my posting habits are and when I have the highest interaction rates from my community. So I've been super swamped these days, but usually when I have more time in my schedule I'll actually go in here and add it into my calendar like, oh, okay, Monday at 7 o'clock, that's when people like my pictures the most. For Tuesday, it's okay, but looks like out of all the hours in a day, 10 p.m. is the best time for me to post. So you can kind of go through every single day when is the best time that your community and your followers interact with your account so you can set an alarm in your schedule, so that you can get the highest amount of likes or highest amount of comments and social interaction at that time. So this goes into all of your tags and so forth. Your community kind of talks about how many followers you don't follow back, reciprocal relationship, followings that you don't follow that follow you back. So, again these are all great numbers because when you're preparing a media deck and you want to turn your social media account into a business or say you're a full-on illustrator or a photographer or a chef and you have a media deck, you of course in 2015, want to be able to integrate and tell people about your social media following. And even just a few numbers makes it a lot more tangible for clients that you're going to be working with. So, Webstagram is just a great online website for you to kind of be able to see your account and your interaction outside of your actual phone. So, of course, you can go slash your account name, but Webstagram is kind of just a fun little website that I use as like an online viewer. So, I can see kind of the same amount of information, but I can also edit the View option to see it in a list format or three-grid format or four-grid format. And just the way the content is showcased and formatted, you kind of get to see how people are interacting with you, and also just to be able to see all of the comments in one area. That's Webstagram. I think initially, especially if you're starting a brand new account, don't get your hopes up. It might be tough because your numbers might be really low, but that's why it's even more of an open field for you to continue to grow your content. Keep posting, keep moving forward, keep looking to progress within whatever specific platform it is that you're working with. I'm pretty sure the followers will come, the interaction will happen. Start to appreciate when people tag their friends into the images so then you can see, wow, cool, they're tagging their friends, so there's this online interaction. People like whatever it is they see and they want to share it with their friends. Obviously, likes are always great to see what images people respond to the most because it's really easy to just see an image and scroll right past it. But for you to do the double-tap, for you to press the heart, definitely is a call-to-action, which is very exciting. And then, of course, just to see your following increase over time, I definitely don't invest too much of myself and my emotions into my Instagram. I think it's just an an extension again and just a small little outlet for me on top of all the other stuff that I already do. And that's something I would definitely recommend people like don't rely on social media as your identity and rely on projecting yourself, and that's where you can really live because how often do you meet the favorite person that you follow on Instagram and they're a total weirdo and super socially awkward. It's because in today's day and age, everyone feels like they can only live on the Internet, but I always tell people it's important to live in real life and the internet is just an extension of that. 8. Professionalism: Throughout the course, we've touched on professionalism, and what that specifically means when we're dealing with social media interaction from leaving comments, to liking photos, to following people, to your own followers. A couple things to just really keep in mind to sum up all of that when it comes to professionalism is that everything is public. Everything that you put out on the Internet over all, whether it's on social media or not, whatever you put out there, it lives on the Internet. It doesn't actually fully get erased. So, you just want to make sure that whatever content you put out there, that extension of who you are at that point in time in your life isn't going to come back and haunt you. So, there's definitely been moments where I've dressed a certain way that I thought was really cool at that point in time, when you Google me for some reason that's the image that comes up right away, it's like that definitely haunts me. But the reality is, you also have to accept the fact that that was cool during that time, and you just rock with it. So, when it comes to professionalism and really turning everything into something that generates revenue, couple things to keep in mind is that we've been creating good content hopefully, and we've been creating content, interacting with different brands, interacting with our audience. One thing to really keep in mind is what is the follow up? What is the call to action? Maybe it's a direct message, maybe it's actually doing some backend research outside of the phone and social media, and actually writing an email to someone. There's many times in my career where you just have to learn to be a little bit more proactive instead of waiting around for someone to come to you. No one's going to help you unless you help yourself. So, that's one really good attitude to have, but there's ways to go about it without being really annoying. So, pacing yourself, reminding yourself to do follow-ups, and to write very structured well written emails or direct messages. Treat every interaction that you have with a potential client or someone who's going to give you money as your like couple seconds of fame, where you can sell them on who you are. Keep in mind that they'll definitely google you, they'll definitely look at your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, to see what your falling is like, and what content you're posting. But because we've already been working on posts and creating curated content, you're probably standing on a pretty good platform now. So, next steps is really for you to strategize and take things slow, and figure out who you want to contact, how you want to contact, and what that action will be like. So, be sure that you plan everything out, and with your responses ask people or other professionals within your network what their thoughts are, and understand that those couple seconds are super vital and could change your career. So, some fun things that I've learned along the way, not that I've been around for a that long but just some knowledge that other people have shared with me. Just early on in my career, I would be so excited to launch everything all the time like, "Oh my God, I'm doing this right now, so I want to post it right now. Can you tell the world about this project that I'm doing?" Then this goes across the board, like everything. Sometimes it's nice to just wait on it, and let it sit. One of the biggest things to keep in mind is that when you're onset, and you're working on something, or the project hasn't officially launched, but you are already in talks with the client, it's really important to be professional and not share everything with the world until your client is ready to take it public. It's all up to your client because they're your client for a reason. Another thing to keep in mind in terms of professionalism is that when you have haters and you have trolls, it's really important for you not to curse them out, and be aggressive in your comments section, no matter what it is that they say. It's really difficult and I have problems with that myself but it really just takes training, and over time you learn to realize that there are certain things that you're just going to have to let go. Especially if you're putting all of your content out on a public space, a lot of people are going to want to share their opinion, and a lot of people are not going to agree with you, and a lot of people might just write a page on you because they're jealous. But that's just a reality of the situation, and always keep in mind to just maintain your professionalism. Stay professional, don't talk back, everyone can see everything that you do. Yeah. So, the assignment for this lesson I think it really is geared more towards the people who are trying to get a job from specific brands and whatnot, or just to get someone's attention. Definitely work on drafting a written message up to that potential client, and I'm sure there's a lot of resources online where you can just do that research. Treat it almost as an email. Don't give them too much information, don't give them too many links, keep it short, keep it simple, keep it straight to the point, and don't seem too thirsty. I think these messages can come in either direct message format or an email format. Keep in mind that your clients a lot of times, or whoever it is you're contacting, probably won't be messaging you right away. That's up to you to follow up, and I would say the best time to follow up is always within one to two weeks. 9. Final Thoughts: Thank you guys for taking the class so far. I hope that you've learned a lot of things just from design, to etiquette, to different resources from apps, to websites that you can integrate into your online digital presence and just have a better idea of what you've built so far, and hopefully, we can look back on your project gallery and be able to see that progression that you've made so far from having better imagery, better captions, and probably a stronger social interaction going on from likes, to comments, to followers, and so forth. I'm really hoping that plenty of you guys actually were able to get recognition from brands that you wanted to work with. I'm hoping that you guys were able to meet the goals that you had established for yourselves earlier on in the lessons. I guess, closing statement really is that this is just the beginning, this is just a foundation and somewhere for you to step on before you continue to excel and progress in. All these little tips and pointers, hopefully were helpful to you and it's something that you can keep in mind as you continue to post, continue to interact. Always remember to just stay positive, give back to your community. Hopefully, your account will now be very well-curated, and it will only continue to grow, and that your account can inspire your community and your immediate network.