Social Media for the Creative Entrepreneur: Exposure, Tips, and Pros & Cons | Peggy Dean | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Social Media for the Creative Entrepreneur: Exposure, Tips, and Pros & Cons

teacher avatar Peggy Dean, Top Teacher | The Pigeon Letters

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

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.

      Let's Begin


    • 3.

      Social Media in Biz: Cons


    • 4.

      Social Media in Biz: Pros


    • 5.

      Using Hashtags Effectively


    • 6.

      DOs and DON'Ts


    • 7.

      Tips & Tricks


    • 8.

      Best Practices


    • 9.

      How Social Media Affects Mental Health


    • 10.

      Moving Forward


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

While social media is a driving force in brand marketing now, it’s important to discuss the pros and cons so we can properly arm ourselves with tools to use social media work to our benefit. Through any negative, we have the power to spin it to our benefit into a positive. But we first need to familiarize ourselves with what those things are. In addition, it’s crucial to learn the best practices to capitalize on the all of the benefits of social media and how they affect our online reach.

This class covers the pros and cons in the aspects of using social media for business by addressing the following:

  • That dreaded algorithm and how you can work around it
  • The benefits of sharing content
  • Brand awareness
  • How to produce the best content for your brand
  • Best practices for engagement
  • Using hashtags effectively for optimum reach
  • Creating ideal imagery to grab someone’s attention in a split second
  • Definite DOs and definite DONTs of using social media

You’ll also be exposed to the positive AND negative effects that social media can have on our mental health. At the end of the class, you’ll have a number of actionable items to apply to your social media game, including a 40-page eBook on using hashtags effectively and a 4-page comprehensive worksheet that caters to your unique brand. This class is for you if you use social media of any kind and want to learn exactly what you can do to escalate forward, beat the competition, and maintain a healthy balance in the process.

You'll also enjoy:

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Peggy Dean

Top Teacher | The Pigeon Letters

Top Teacher

Snag your free 50-page workbook right here!

Hey hey! I'm Peggy.

I'm native to the Pacific Northwest and I love all things creative. From a young age I was dipping everything I could into the arts. I've dabbled in quite an abundance of varieties, such as ballet, fire dancing, crafting, graphic design, traditional calligraphy, hand lettering, painting with acrylics and watercolors, illustrating, creative writing, jazz, you name it. If it's something involving being artistic, I've probably cycled through it a time or two (or 700). I'm thrilled to be sharing them with you!

Visit my Instagram for daily inspiration: @thepigeonletters, and head over to my blog for more goodies curated just for youuuu.

I'm the author of the best selling... See full profile

Level: All Levels

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi guys, I'm Peggy Dean. I am an accomplished artist, bestselling author, and award-winning educator, and none of that would have been possible without social media. Well, social media is a driving force and brand marketing. Now it's important to discuss the pros and cons so we can properly arm ourselves with tools so we can use social media to work to our benefit. But first we need to familiarize ourselves with what those things are. In addition, it's crucial to find the best practices to capitalize on all of the benefits of social media and how they affect our online reach. This class covers the pros and cons and the aspects of using social media for business by addressing the dreaded algorithm, how you can work around it, the benefits of sharing content, brand awareness, and how to produce the best content for your particular unique brand. Best Practices for engagement using hashtags effectively for optimal reach, creating ideal imagery to grab someone's attention in a split second and the definite Do's and Don't-s of using social media. You'll also be exposed to the positive and negative effects that social media can have on our mental health. At the end of this class, you'll have a number of actionable items to apply to your social media game, including a 40 page e-book on using hashtags effectively, and a four-page comprehensive worksheet that caters to your unique brands. This class is for you if you use social media of any kind and you want to learn exactly what you can do to escalate forward, beat the competition, and maintain a healthy balance in the process. So no more waiting, let's jump right in and learn how we can escalate that growth. 2. Let's Begin: Welcome to the class. I'm thrilled to have you here. Allow me to tell you a little about my personal success with social media. Instagram social platform is where my brand was born. If I combined all of my online audiences, in just three years I've managed to grow my audience to over 250,000 followers. I've been extremely fortunate to have stumbled upon the benefits from early on in my creative career. Naturally, I've encountered both the good and the bad in social media, and I've experienced these aspects to the fullest, and can bring you what I've learned so it can help you along your own creative journey. In the time I spent over the last few years, I've discovered two key points that I want to discuss in social media for the creative entrepreneur. The first is obvious, business, #the more you know, the better you create your business. We're going to dive into the good and bad in business on social platforms and how to get the most bang for your buck without actually spending a buck, not even a penny. It's one of the benefits, we'll get into it. The second key point is something that not enough people talk about, and it may feel like a mute point on a class learning about social media for ideal exposure, but you've got to trust me on this one it's incredibly important. Mental health is something that we need to continue to talk about, even if we think that's not the information that we want to or need to gain. The state of our mentality drives forces like none other, especially in creative endeavors, and there are a ton of factors that play into it through social media, and yes, it 100% pertains to your creative entrepreneurship. So I beg you, pay close attention to the mental health segment of this class. It will absolutely help you along your road to success. But first, we'll jump into the nitty-gritty of business. 3. Social Media in Biz: Cons: As we dive into the good and the bad of social media for business, I want to start with the bad because these factors are realistic pain points that we all experience and well, solving problems is just plain fun. That said, I think using social media for business, it has many more pros than it does cons, in my opinion. Let's address the obvious elephant in the room. The algorithm, the fight with social media is real. It's not just you, your fellow creatives, other businesses, and even your competitors struggle with figuring out how to be seen on the Internet. A few years ago, new algorithms rolled out as a rude awakening to those of us who aren't in the friends and family category of our audience. We were no longer buzzing the same exciting engagement and reaches before, the algorithm is a big slap in the face of a computer-generated code that tells us what we want to see the most, because God forbid, we have our own interests in ideas. Algorithm hut says, we can't post about exclusive flash sales or promos for business on some platforms anymore because people just won't see it for six days. Then we're the ones to blame for not keeping the sale up for those who didn't see it in time. Yeah, no. I'm sure we can post about things like this on our stories that run for 24 hours. Then it'll be timely, but the algorithm comes into play there as well and shows people the stories of accounts that they interact with the most first. So by the time your story could pop up, they probably already got off with Instagram. I get it. People want to keep up-to-date with those that their closest with. That's great. But I hope that the accounts on all social media platforms have the option to just toggle over to a recent posts instead of being forced to follow the algorithm. Don't worry, this isn't going to end on a bad note. I'll get to the positive spin in a bit when we cover all of the glorious benefits of the workarounds, when we cover how to use hashtags effectively. Another negative in using social media in our business is that we have very little control over what is shared on our behalf. Anybody can tag us with the not so desirable captions and information that they choose to share with their followers. That said, because social media is so community oriented, chances of positive reviews are much higher than negative. So don't stress on that so much. Just know that it's something to be aware of. There's always a possibility of being misunderstood. Think about the conversations that you have via text and they turn into a full-blown fight with someone just because the tone was misread. It's like if we're not using a million exclamation points, a sentence could be misconstrued as sarcasm or ungratefulness, etc. However, if you use too many exclamation points, sometimes you're that annoying, overeager, bubbly, cartoon-y person that makes people want to truly avoid you at all costs. Finding a balance in simple punctuation can make a huge difference. What we actually say with our words is a whole other story. So it's a good idea to read your caption aloud before posting it. This also helps you find spelling errors and oddly structured sentences. Then there's the possibility of being misrepresented. I know a lot of folks who have VAs, virtual assistants who manage their social media for them. I have a very perfect example of a fun empowering idea gone completely wrong due to a simple yet crucial mistake. The owner of the account to botanical line-drawing on Instagram. It's an account that re-posts others beautiful botanical work. The idea is to get artists additional exposure for people who want to follow a collection of lovely floral illustrations. Unfortunately, due to a busy schedule, I've handed this responsibility off, one of those posts neglected to credit the artist who created the original post out. Of nowhere, as far as I was concerned, my email and my DMs and my main account, the Pigeon Letters, were blowing up with the, "shame on yous, how dare yous". I was completely blind sided. The only thing I could do was to take responsibility, apologize, and make it right by immediately rushing to credit the artists. Because the account's purpose is to give other artists exposure. It was an obvious innocent mistake, but unfortunately not everyone always sees it that way. The takeaway, this is an easy lesson to learn from when it comes to ensuring that you or anyone on your behalf, while social media is a great place to represent what you do, there's always the risk of copycats. Any idea, design you name it, can get people a little too inspired at times. Depending on who those people are, they may be able to monetize off of your original idea before you get the chance to. Social media is incredibly time-consuming. What platform should you be using? Where should you divide your time from Instagram to Pinterest to Facebook and more, each has benefits for particular target audiences and leads. I stand by this recommendation, spend only 10 minutes daily max for each platform. This will give you plenty of time to respond to messages, comments, and even view a few posts of others and comments on their stuff. This is always a good idea. So it's clear that you're interacting and engaging with your community. If you know that you're only going to spend a total of 30 minutes. So three platforms, maybe even twice a day, that's significantly better than getting stuck in the scrolling trap, that turns into hours of lost time. Our competition is alive and well on social media. This can be bad for business and bad for our mentality because we're bound to overthink it. I suggest staying true to yourself, doing what you love, and sharing what is authentic to you. Believe it or not, people can see right through your posts that have value versus the ones that don't. The vibe simply exists if you want to stay true to you and what you do, people follow you for a reason and they follow your competition for a reason. Nobody does exactly what you do, and you don't do exactly what someone else does. So don't let that be a roadblock in your mind because comparison is the thief of joy. 4. Social Media in Biz: Pros: Now we'll move into the positives for business on social media. The first positive for social media is easy. You can build brand awareness because social media is a one-stop eye candy wonderland that you can curate exactly how you wish to. It's cost-effective. You're representing yourself on accessible platforms with ease, without spending a penny. Word-of-mouth is your most valuable reach, "hey free advertisements". Don't be afraid to ask people to drop your name on a review posts of some kind or even just share your work once you establish yourself, people begin doing this on their own and I'll tell you word of mouth is priceless. Establish loyalty with your audience by responding to people and giving them a reason to buy into your brands. When you are accessible, it creates loyalty and I can't tell you how many times people send me messages and then are overjoyed because I actually responded. People, why do you have your messages turned on if you're not going to respond to them? We're in a day and age where social media is a primary resource for reach. Big brands are using it as a customer service portal and it's not just the millennials that are catching on. So take time to also respond to questions and longer comments. It's nice to feel seen. I promise your followers will appreciate it. Represent your brand exactly the way you want to. If you want to pull all the professional cards and call yourself a "we" when responding to people you can do that. If you want to remain a solo individual doing rad things, you can do that too. When we expose our humanity, people can relate to that. Ask yourself the following questions about the content that you post. Your posts should always add value to your feed and to your audience's experience. You should be able to have a clear answer to the following questions regarding your content, be it an image, video, or caption or combination, you only need to answer yes to one of them, but it needs to be a big fat, obvious yes. These questions are great to come back to time and time again as a quick reference to ensure you're providing quality and value to your followers. Does this content offer guidance? Will this make someone laugh? Will the content teach something? Would someone want to share this? Does this ignite a feeling of want? Will the content motivate somebody? Will the content inspire someone? Is this content relatable? Does this content spark emotion? Most importantly, ask yourself, would I get excited about this content if I stumbled upon it? Because you have a landing pad on social media, you can curate your content to reach your target audience. You have an opportunity to challenge yourself to develop a business savvy side in social media that you probably never thought you'd dive into. Guess what? We have a secret weapon that's not so secret, but it's benefits and curated features may be, and you can use it to maximize your reach and engagement and furthermore, reach new audiences who haven't met you yet. We'll get into it in the next lesson. 5. Using Hashtags Effectively: Did you know that hashtags aren't just cute little ways to emphasize your point. They have a purpose and that purpose could be just what you're missing to get yourself seen. Hashtags are used all across social media including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and more and they categorize content and file it inside of its hashtag keywords. If you click on a hashtag or search for a particular hashtag, you'll see a page of all the posts that are tagged with it. In this segment, we're going to cover some of the benefits of using hashtags effectively. The first benefit of using hashtags is that they are 100 percent free exposure. Using hashtags is an easy way to get content out there without being salesy because we all know that we scroll right past those annoying promoted posts. Hashtags have an excellent advantage by keeping your content more relatable, more human and more approachable. Unless he had paid for this content to show up on your feed 500 times in the next month. People follow hashtags just like they follow you. When someone follows a hashtag, they'll get occasional top posts from that tag using this image for example. If you used hashtag lettering in your post, yours will show up under that hashtag when it's searched for. If the post does well, you might just land a spot in the top. You can create instant branding for yourself. My brand name alone has been used thousands of times. Think of what you can do with a specific campaign. I launched a campaign, "Creativity without Brutality", that focused on art supplies that don't include any animal products and their ingredients, along with not being tested on animals, using the hashtag, "Creativity without Brutality". This was a big ask of people because it was a short time-frame for people to produce a unique piece of art that would also spread the word and bring awareness to the benefits of leaving animals out of the picture unless they're the picture being created because how cute. That's that. Over 70 people participated. That's 70 accounts that have their own following and their following, can learn all about it, whether they participate or not. Then comes word of mouth, et cetera. You can see how quickly all of that can trickle through the grapevine. You can foster community. If you spend a little time diving into your target market, you'll find some hashtags reoccurring that aren't necessarily no-brainers in your industry. These are hashtags that had been adopted for one reason or another. Tapping into these communities authentically with curated posts will foster a smaller community of higher engagers. You can work around the algorithm. Algorithms arrange a different priority of what they show to each user's feed. It's based off of who they engage with the most. Instagram revealed that there are three main components that factor into what shows up in your feed. If you're an artist or a business, you have less opportunity to actually be seen with algorithms. To put it bluntly, competition reduces reach. This is why hashtags are crucial. When it comes time to choose hashtags, think of it this way. What would you search for if you were trying to find that content yourself? There are two types of hashtags, universal and specific. Using both of these hashtags will be beneficial to identify the types of content for people searching for big topics, while also catering to something more specific tone in on what the post is about. For example, a post about a tutorial could use a universal hashtag like tutorial Tuesday or the more you know , then it could get more specific if it's a drawing tutorial adding how to draw flowers would narrow it down a bit, or one could use hashtag woodworking video for a video involving woodcraft. Let's use another example. A blogger could take advantage of universal hash tags blogger life and today on the blog to announce a new post. Getting more specific, however, a parenting blogger could use hashtag parenting tips or a social media post showcasing a blogger's office could use hashtag workspace goals. Searching for the best hashtags can seem daunting and I always recommend coming back to this thought. What would I search for if I was looking for this content? Probably the easiest tip of all is to begin typing in a hashtag. That's it. As soon as you begin doing this, you'll see an abundance of suggestions pop up below. Don't worry, at the end of this class, you'll find a few resources to help you find more hashtags in your category of choice, along with a downloadable list of 50 popular hashtags. 6. DOs and DON'Ts: Now I want to give you some quick tips on the do's and don'ts of using hashtags and this will help more than you know. First, keep it relevant. You want to use hashtags that actually make sense with your brand and with your posts. Change it up.The more hashtags to use over and over only gives access to an isolated audience. So getting creative with your hashtags allows you to get more creative with your reach. For example, if you're an illustrator posting doodles, instead of just reaching the illustrator community, you could easily use your content to reach the bullet journaling community. Get conversational. Try inserting hashtags in captions as if "hashtag they belong", see what I did there? They save room on platforms like Twitter when you have a limited amount of space and they certainly look better than a cluster of hashtags hanging out together at the end of the caption or a post. Take advantage of branding. Hashtags can help you brand yourself when you come up with unique hashtags to represent your work, a campaign or project, your company's name, your blog, etc. People will start to catch on, not only that, it will help someone because they can click on that hashtag and see all of the content that has been curated to fit that specific tag in one place. Popular generic hashtags can be fun to cater to on occasion and are always fun for viewers to see. You can participate in hashtags like motivation Monday or hashtag tip Tuesday, throwback Thursday and hashtag follow Friday or FF, and then hashtag Friday introductions. You'll see a lot more at the end of this guide on my list of 50 popular hashtags. Now that you've got some do's, we'll head into the definite don'ts. Don't get spammy, Instagram's rule generous with their hashtags, they allow 30 in a caption. Although this can be beneficial at times, it's also unnecessary. You may have some post that could benefit from going hashtag crazy but doing so often is a little too much. It's also been rumored that using all of your hashtags every single time and especially the exact same hashtags for your post can flag your posts as spam, this is hearsay, but I can see how it would look maybe like a programmed bought to use the same stuff over and over. I can't verify whether this is super accurate or not, but it's better to be stay safe than sorry. So what I can't say for sure is that Instagram's community guidelines specifically states that "posting repetitive comments or a content is spam and against their rules." Did you know that if someone uses a hashtag and a comment, it won't do anything at all? You're the only one who can fire up hashtags on your posts, whether they're in the caption or the comments. Don't use more hashtags than words, need I even go into this. It won't get you your ideal audience and you want loyal followers who are genuinely interested in your content, not bots that pick up on hashtags like follow for follow or like for like or back-end stuff because these accounts are just robots and they just want to be followed back. I don't know why, but it's fine. Don't hijack trending hashtags. Twitter shows top trending hashtags but that doesn't mean that you should be jumping on the bandwagon and using it just to squeeze into the spotlight. Not to mention some platforms will allow users to select the don't show for this hashtag button if it's irrelevant or if they don't want to see so if enough people do that, the algorithm will be all over it and it's fair to assume that your posts will just stop showing up. So if you want to use a trending hashtag, curate your content around it and make sure it's relevant. Remember the deal, always keep it relevant. 7. Tips & Tricks: If you're looking to get noticed by a particular company, simply tagging their username and their caption probably won't do the trick. Large accounts either don't get all their notifications due to restrictions on the platform or they simply don't check the notifications. That is a lot to keep track of when the numbers are pouring in. If you really want to grab their attention, head over to their page, look at their bio, the short info at the top of the main page. A lot of these companies will show a unique hashtag to use when you post content that involves them. It might be their slogan or it might be something more specific. For example, lifestyle bloggers might get noticed by the organic clothing company made the label with their simple hashtag, dressed clean. If you post a lifestyle image wearing their brand or use the hashtag, they check that hashtag, Boom. It's also worth mentioning that hashtags and bios are clickable. You can see all of that content in one place. You have probably seen giveaway post or people hashtag re-post in an attempt to win a prize. Although this is an excellent idea to get people back to your page. Why not capitalize on that idea by getting people to share what actually matters to your feed. My most successful giveaway campaign was where I ran one free online course. In order to enter, people were instructed to re-post any image from my feed that helped them learn along with a caption on what they learned with the custom hashtag, Peggy Dean skill share. This giveaway benefit me tremendously because it covered four things in one post. The first one is that it got people to re-post about my giveaway leading new eyes to my account straight forward. Second though, each image was different across the community because they got to select it on their own rather than having the repetition of the same giveaway graphic images from my feed, we are all over Instagram in different ways. Because each image was different, each topic was different and each caption was different, which provided a variety and in turn reached a broader audience. I got a little creative with the hashtag that I chose. It included my name and where my online courses could be found. That stuck around and is now being used by people who take my online courses which continues the cycle. This giveaway strategy can be applied to any industry. In online boutique could do a giveaway with focus on a new seasons collection. There audience could share their favorite piece from the new launch on their feed with a unique hashtag. An SEO Pro could launch an e-book and have their audience share something from the SEO Pro's feed that helps them advance their site to a new level and include a unique hashtag, a makeup, vlogger could do a hashtag, favorite things giveaway and their audience could share their favorite tutorial. That is a lot of content for new lives. Again, with the unique hashtag.Get it. This idea is a gold mine. You will thank me for it later. Yep, you're hashtags can be used in stories. When you search for hashtag, the story icon also appears on the top left of the post feed. Utilize stories floor behind the scenes, sneak peeks, anything else you want to share that doesn't make the cut to your posts. You can always hide your hashtags so they don't clutter up your captions. You can either leave them out of the main caption or choose one or two specific hashtags to keep inside of it after you publish your post, return to it and add hashtags as a comment. Extra tip in order to really bury the hashtags so they still aren't an eyesore in the comments. Create line breaks, Instagram hides captions after three lines so they won't be seen unless someone taps the More option. If you have an Instagram business account, you didn't see exactly how well a post is performing. Analyzing these metrics will give you additional insights on just how beneficial hashtags are to your reach. Here is how to do it from your post. Click on View insights. After pressing insights, your post will go dark gray and a small insights tab will pull up to view more insights information. Swipe up from the bottom. This will pull up the full view. At the top, you will see how many likes, comments, shares, and saves that the post has gotten. Below that you will see how engaged people are through the interactions section, you'll see how many people visited your profile after viewing that particular post and how many people went to click on the website that is in your bio further down it shows the Discover section, follows shows how many people discovered the post and started following you after seeing it. Impressions reflects how many times your post has been seen. While the reach shows how many unique accounts has seen the post. Impressions could reflect the same account viewing the post several times, for example. Your reach is per individual, impressions also goes on to show you where your posts was discovered. Home is from someone's general feed. Hashtags is from the Explorer feed or from users who either follow or look at that specific hashtag. If you have promoted the post, you'll see those insights here. As you continue exploring hashtags, hashtag search resources can be beneficial. Their key purpose is to help you find similar or additional hashtags that fit the category of your content based off of one hashtag that you plug in. The first is easy and built right into your platform already. Using Instagram as an example, if you search hashtag flowers, you will see relevant hashtags at the top just underneath your search. All dash is a great website resource that finds a plethora of relevant hashtags based on a keyword search. Insert a keyword into their search bar and instant results will give you the 30 best hashtags found based on your search. Even more, they provide a drop down of additional hashtag groupings based on your search. Another easy to use website is seek other simple user phase that displays relevant hashtags based on a keyword. offers a unique look at hashtags by basing relevant tags gathered on social media by the percentage of use. As mentioned before, I have got a little project for you to finish this hashtag segment. I've included a full workshop and the project tab that you can use to create the perfect hashtags for your content that get you to the next level with your social reach, you will then be well-equipped with enough hashtags to get you exposure five times the reaches before. If not more, I encourage you to swap out hashtags frequently so you reach a broader audience. Before you know it, this stuff will be second nature and you'll be able to effortlessly apply hashtags to your workflow. 8. Best Practices: The number one most important thing that you can do to grow your audience and establish a loyal following is to engage. Do this in three main ways: write good captions, more on this in a sec, respond to comments on your posts and DMs, or turn off your DMs if you can't. Visit others' pages and interact with them as well, give people a way to find and contact you. If someone stumbles upon your Instagram account and wants to view your portfolio or hire you, and you don't have a link in your Bio, how will they find you on the Internet? Let's say you want to guide people to multiple links, like your website or recent article you wrote, a feature or anything else, you can always use free services like link in bio, Linktree. Things like that to add links to just one URL. Did you also know that a lot of people, big companies, browse social media on desktops? And platforms like Instagram? Don't let desktops press that nifty e-mail button that the app has. So put your email address in your bio as well. Utilize Instagram stories to show exclusive behind the scenes takes on something that you're working on right now. You could include snippets of new content, coming soon, or just released. You can also interrupt the algorithm by teasing posts. Simply share the post to your story, add a darling little GIF over the top, and get people clicking on it. Using stories to highlight reviews that people have left you is also a great way to express your gratitude and also getting you leads. Testimonial show others that you are worth the investment. You could also save stories that you want to have accessible, by saving them to your highlights and those will show up at the top of your profile. Write engaging captions that tell a brief story or a thought behind your post. Think of captions like many blogs. They can tell the story as something that happened that day, or they can share insight into something that you're working on, something you're super excited about. Share a random fact about you, about your dog. Give people something that they'll be interested in reading in just a couple of sentences. Ask questions or challenge your audience. Do this even if you think that you won't receive a response, because sometimes you won't. But it's still a thought-provoking caption. Be sure that all of your posts are good quality, and maintain consistency in your cadence. You have two seconds to grab someone's attention, so your posts should be clear and crisp with good lighting and good focus. Your posts should be relevant to your brand. Using social media for business isn't your personal Facebook, so keep personal content brief, unless your personal life happens to be your brand. You certainly don't need to post every day, but twice a week is a good place to start. Just don't drop off the planet. People are expecting your content, and you don't want to be forgotten. Let's talk about the ideal post. You want your post to be attention-grabbing content with a good caption. Take your caption one-step further by including an actionable item. In this example, my post is a video. Side-note, videos do much better than posts of images when it comes to discovery because of how eye-catching they are when people are exploring Instagram, like on the explorer feed. You can also make your content attention-grabbing with an awesome color palette, a really clean flat lay. Shameless promo, take my 15-minute class on staging the perfect flat lay for your social media. The link is in the project resources. My actionable items in this example include multiple elements. For one, it immediately prompt people to participate on their own by suggesting that they draw along with me. Secondly, I've asked people what they might right inside of this banner. This gets my not so artsy followers engaged and participating as well. Lastly, I've included a teaser into where a lot more of this type of content can be found by leading people to one of my classes and mentioning that they can find the link in my bio. This particular posts reached 0.5 million people, because the algorithm was in my favorite due to the engagement that I stirred up from my own followers. You might be watching this and wondering how you can execute the perfect post formula in your own industry. So I'll use a floral designer as an example. Flowers are always easy on the eyes, and if you've mastered how to capture gorgeous bouquets and floral installments, you've got the attention grabbing content in the bag. You can include actionable items and your caption with a comment about the bouquets color palette, and asking people what their wedding flowers were or will be. Ask them what mood the flowers in your post evokes for them. Perhaps, you can conclude it by asking if they have dabbled in hashtag self care, then that's the hashtag magic that we talked about, by buying a bouquet for themselves recently, which might convert into a sale or two. Now, for some basic Dos and don'ts of your posts to summarize what we just covered: do engage often, you know why. Do be reachable. Do utilize both posts and stories. Do maintain quality content. Do create actionable items. Do use hashtags. Avoids using only emojis and only hashtags as captions in comments. Avoid using too much personal content in your feed. Avoid poor lighting. Do not talk about politics, religion, or sex, unless that's on-brand for you. That summarizes our Do's and Don'ts for business and social media, and in the next segment we're going to be talking about mental health, and how that can significantly impact our reach and the mindset behind what we're putting out into the world. 9. How Social Media Affects Mental Health: Let's just get the obvious out of the way. We care a lot. Thick-skinned or not, people in the creative industry are highly, highly affected by social media. The bad and the good in social media and our mental health can balance out. We can focus more on the positive if we're mindful and cautious about how we use it. I'm going to start with the bad and the segment as well. Because again, pain points are very real and opening up some of these icky to think about topics will allow you to stay mindful and resilient to your own self-doubt. Social media is addictive. It's easy to get into the refresh trap. I can't tell you how many times I've jumped on Instagram or Pinterest, and just for a quick reference and 15 minutes goes by. I didn't realize that, didn't even remember what I was doing or why I had it open. It's an easy tunnel to get lost in. Pretty pictures dance on our screen and we have full control on how quickly we pass them by or how long we stare in awe. We've curated our feed to our liking and we get inspiration from it until we don't. While inspiration is a great motivational drive, it often crosses the line of comparison and envy. We can be mad with the delusion of what we thought would inspire us and instead can make us feel jealous and envious and even inadequate. We begin comparing ourselves to the accounts that we're viewing. Like, I love that dress turns into, I hate my wardrobe or my body type wouldn't look good in that. Admiration of a living room, then can be turned into shame on how you have clutter in your house and the socks from last night or on the floor of your living room, and your living room has mismatched furniture and cat hair. The awe of a new artistic technique can turn into questioning why you never came up with a cool idea. Comparison is a native, shameful, lonely place that too many of us begin making ourselves at home in. This is a toxic cycle and we need to recognize it. There's also this little tip. Remember that what you see on social media is that person's best. You're not going to see that dirty behind the scenes. You see content that has been produced, edited, staged. The content is great for reach, but don't think that for a second, it determines worth. I guarantee people have viewed your content with envy as well. We all do it. In America alone, 44 million people who have been diagnosed with mental illness. That's one in five people. The world we live in is produced to brainwash us, into a commercialized society to make us think that we need to change ourselves. That we need to upgrade, that we need newness, that we need to be anything and everything that we're not. Naturally when we jump on to social networks, that cycle begins almost immediately. This triggers anxiety and depression, which can lead to sleep and eating issues. It fills us with a sense of loneliness that we believe. We experience FOMO, fear of missing out, thinking that there's something bigger and better out there and you're the only one who doesn't get to play. Guys, I used to be cool. Like so cool. Let's take a minute to reflect on how cool I was, what a joke. Well, I absolutely believe in documenting experiences and photos and videos. I also believe in being present and actually experiencing moments. When we are glued to our phones taking pictures and video updates of, what we think people are going to want to see and how we might edit it later, takes us half a moment. I never grasp this concept because I enjoyed looking through photos and remembering that my memory is worn as rich as they could have been. Instead, I posted images of myself that I knew would get reactions. I craved to be liked just as we all do. In my personal life, attention seeking picture series, seriously like 20 images of the same things slowly came to a halt. I started actually experiencing moments that I would snap one or two photos up to remember that day, and that's it. Don't let a false sense and really a false sense of fear of missing out hurt your business because you see something that seems a little cooler than it probably is. Lastly, if all of our own self-doubt and inadequate feelings that we're trying to battle through isn't enough. The next negative is easily, trolls. We're all smart enough to know that people who are behind a screen pouring out insults are self-congratulatory and that we should really take them with a grain of salt and just ignore them. But when they're the icing on the cake of so much of the already bad aspects that we've just discussed, those comments start to really stand out and the negative cycle repeats. Negativity from others occurs across the board. These are just a small handful of very real unnecessary comments that I received just recently. They are not constructive or helpful. They're just plain mean. I've been shamed for what I look like, criticized for my lack of talent, judged for what I personally enjoy. I could collect comments like this. But what we need to remember is that for every one negative comment, there are 50 people who love whatever it is. At the end of the day, we're not doing what we do to impress people hiding behind a private profile. We do what we do because we love it. We do what we do because we're passionate about it, because it fills us with joy. We bring what we do to social media to connect with people who share that same passion. Those are the comments and the interactions that mold the reason behind what you do, now by putting yourself out there. Let's look at all the benefits of the term mental health that we can find where social media. We have an opportunity to connect with like-minded people pursuing the same passion. We can foster a community of people who get it and get us when we align ourselves with people who understand and experience the same ebbs and flows of what we love doing and what we pour our energy into. It becomes an automatic support system. Your support system turns into life-long friendships. These are your people. You have an opportunity to take the achy comparison feeling away, by relating to those people and becoming allies. Spin this in your favor and lift each other up. When you walk parallel paths with someone who can relate to you, you suddenly not only have a friend, but you have a mentor buddy. Success together is much better than failure alone. Putting yourself and your content into the world allows you to feel pride in what you do. Confidence comes later. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there, vulnerability is strength. At the end of the day, do not, do not, do not, let social media determine your worth. Stay mindful and conscious as you proceed in your creative business endeavors. If you know that these obstacles exist and that they'll visit you time and time again. You can build resilience and you can rely on your support system to help get you through it. What you have to offer matters and the world needs to see it. 10. Moving Forward: In summary, the best practices to maintain a healthy mind on your social media journey is, limit time spent on each platform. As mentioned in the business part of this class, it not only increases productivity, but it also helps keep your mind where it should be on what you love. Focus on connection. We crave humanity, create community, provide, and participate in an authentic, safe space, and show genuine interest in what people share. Thank you guys so much for walking through this class with me. I know this has a lot of information, but it's all going to be helpful and excelling your reach online, don't forget to head to the class resources from your desktop or laptop to download your 40 page e-book and hashtag worksheets. I'd love to see your process if you want to upload your work to your Project tab, but more than anything, this class is meant for guidance in the long run. Now that you have the pros and cons, pro tips, hacks, tricks, that along with the best practices, you'll be well on your way. Use the discussions tab for any additional questions that you may have. I'm always here and I'm happy to help. Thanks again, everyone, and I will see you next time.