Monday, 22 May 2017

Growing Your Instagram & Finding Your Tribe Workshop

A few weeks ago Naomi AKA ran a workshop about all things Instagram & I just couldn't resist attending! I have been following her for sometime now & I mean come on have you seen her Instagram feed? Have you watched her stories? I even own two of her pears! She is just fabulous- Christ, I sound like such a fan girl right now!

The course is intended to help people who are beginners when it comes to Instagram. You will be shown how to grow your following, style your photos to their best potential & find out all about the best tools to help you on your way.

The course is located in Lewes, a really gorgeous, quaint little town, which is about 15 minutes away from Brighton (just in case like me you have no clue!) The workshop itself is held at The Good Times Homestore, which is located in the Needlemakers, an old converted factory which has lots of small independently run businesses all unique in their own right.

This particular morning, you know a morning where I need to be organised, calm & basically have my shit together Seb decided that he wasn’t going to wake up at his normal earlyish time so whilst I was up at 6.00am he was still dreaming at  8.00am- the time we needed to leave the house in order to get there in time for the 10;30am start!

After eventually waking him up, getting him in the car & having him whinge as if he’d been left without food & water all his life we were finally on our way.

The journey down was pretty standard, me & Jay arguing over the sat nav & my inability to give him directions when looking at a phone, which is giving me instructions on where to go & Seb moaning in the back. Oh the joys…

I had messaged Naomi letting her know I was going to be late & she was so lovely about it, which put me at ease- I can’t stand being late, biggest pet peeve ever!
When we finally arrived I was dead nervous, I was actually going to meet Naomi! She’s real, there’s an actual real life person behind those little squares!

I walked up to the shop, knocked on the window & everyone turned around, staring at me- God knows why I didn’t just walk in like a normal person, I literally felt as awkward as Baby in Dirty Dancing when she carries that watermelon!

Now let me tell you a little bit about The Good Times HomeStore- it is an Instagrammers dream! When you walk in the first thing you notice is the stunning exposed brickwork, decorated with some of the beautiful products that Emily & Naomi sell. The flooring is old stone tiling, which is worn & distressed, the smell of fresh coffee filled the air, whilst the vinyl player, played old records- it was like stepping back in time. Emily has such an eye for design & style, which is represented throughout the shop, products & even herself. Wide wooden ladder shelving units with simple yet effective displays of her products fill the walls, each shelf with unique gifts & homeware.

There was a table set up in the middle of the shop where we all had our own place setting- an itinerary for the day, small parcel tags with our names on, vintage side plates to fill with pastries & a postcard from Lovely Ink Prints with “#Beautiful” printed on it which were made especially for the day. It was a such thoughtful finishing touch, all tied up with a simple piece of string.

They welcomed me in with massive smiles, Emily was right there offering me fresh coffee & pastries, which was amazing! Naomi assured me all I had missed was some introductions so after that I didn’t feel too bad.

I sat down admiring my surroundings whilst listening to Naomi chatting away about all things Insta. To my delight the next thing on the agenda was how to style your Instagram pictures which I was dead excited to learn about (I love a good flat lay.) Dotted around the shop were several boards each one different to the next, specifically designed to style flat lays on. We had all been told that if we wanted to bring any props of our own to use for styling on the day then we were welcome to, this was especially good for the business owners who wanted to experiment with their own products & see how they would style their own items on their feeds.

However if you forget to bring anything then don't you worry my friend-  Naomi has an actual prop box filled to the brim with things you can use to style your flat lays with. From ribbon to feathers, fairy lights & even quails eggs! Seriously, it's insane.

Before we started to style our own pieces Naomi gave us a tutorial on how she styles her pictures & flat lays. She set up some props, explained the positioning & how to use your camera/iPhone to its best ability. Then it was our turn!

After all the faffing (love a good faff) it was time for lunch! Food is provided by Seven Sisters Spices & oh my goodness it was the most colourful, tasty & healthiest meal I think I have ever eaten! We all sat down around the table munching on our food whilst excitedly discussing what we had learnt & what was to come that afternoon.

After we had demolished lunch we were taught all about marketing, hashtags and the importance of engagement. How to create your own hashtag to get people involved in your feed & grow your following.
Naomi also discussed Instagram stories with us and how they too can increase the chances of your account being viewed.
I don’t want to give too much away but I found this segment of the course incredibly insightful, I had no idea about proper hashtags and how to use them and just how helpful they can be if you want to gain engagement & visibility.

Then it was all about tripods – Which one to get, the different models & what best would suit the types of photos you want to take. Naomi set up a flat lay and explained the benefits of being “handsfree” when photographing & showed us different accessories which can be used.
One of the fabulous things about Naomi is that when she is teaching you something you want to listen, you want to learn from her. She never says more than she needs to, she’s insightful without babbling & will keep you interested. Everyone was always so eager to hear what she had to say, taking notes, asking questions which she was more than happy to answer.

When we had finished discussing tripods we had another styling session, people had become more confident and were using their own items for their flat lays which was lovely to see. Taking on board what they had been taught and now using it and putting it all into practice. It was amazing to see what people had learnt in such a short space of time- their style coming to life through their pictures, each one different to the next.

When the final styling session had come to an end there was just enough time to run through some photo shop basics. I couldn’t wait for this as I’ve had photo shop for a while now, opened it once, took one look at it and shut it down. Could it look anymore complicated?! Luckily Naomi was on hand to teach us the basic editing techniques so we could get to grips with it all & she made it seem a lot less scary.

Once Naomi had given us the lowdown on photo shop- that was it! The workshop had sadly come to an end. Everybody said their good byes and one by one left the shop filled with inspiration & knowledge from the day.
I can honestly say that this workshop opened my eyes to the world on Instagram, Naomi really knows her stuff and has some great tips to help you start up you business, advertise your blog or just get to grips with your feed in general.

I asked Naomi a few questions all about the workshop so if you're considering booking up for the next one then hopefully this will help your decision. (Not that you should need any persuasion!)

↠ What Can People Expect From The Workshop

The day is focused around looking at the basics of Instagram and the importance of engaging with the platform to meet others and find potential customers. There is also a lot of time dedicated to styling photographs and flat lays alongside how to edit these so your feed looks curated. We aim for people to leave feeling more confident about 'putting themselves out there' on social media and to feel less daunted by the task. It is also a chance for people to meet others in a similar position and to spend the day with like-minded people. How fabulous is it to meet others also trying to find their own way and taking the time to meet these people, find out more about them and share experiences and tips.

↠ Why Did You Decide To Start The Course

I think it is important to share the love. We are all trying to find our own way and everyone has something different to offer- it is all about community over competition. Emily and I felt that we needed to offer our experiences and share our findings from our journeys so far. Also Emily has the most gorgeous shop in the heart of one of the prettiest towns. The space was crying out for workshops. Emily and I both love sharing tips with others and supporting others so what better way than to organise a whole day doing so around the platform we are both enjoying at the moment. 

↠ How Much Does It Cost

So it is 85 pounds which includes lunch, drinks and pastries.

How Long Is The Workshop

The course starts at 10.30 and finishes at 4. 

↠ Do I Need To Bring Anything On The Day

Super important to bring any camera or phone you are using so you can take photographs on the day and play with settings. It is also a great idea to being anything you'd like to photograph with our props if you fancy.

↠ I Live Really Far Away Will You Change the Location

At present we are just doing workshops in the shop in Lewes. However, although it may be far for some people it is totally worth it because if you haven't visited Lewes then you must. It's beautiful and a great excuse for a day out. 

So there you have it, my day with the gorgeous Naomi & Emily. I can honestly say that even for a more experienced Instagram user I still learnt a lot! But most importantly I had a wonderful time whilst doing it! I cannot recommend this course enough, especially if you are wanting to learn how to grow your Instagram feed, business or anything else, the Instagram community is your oyster! I may be bias but on serious note Naomi really knows her stuff & has two very successful accounts, one including her business so she can advise from both a personal & professional point of view. Emily is wonderful & has an amazing shop which is absolutely beautiful & the perfect setting for the workshop. Big big thank you to the both of you for having me & teaching me some fabulous knowledge which I continue to use day to day.

As always I hope that you enjoyed the post, below I have set up links to the companies & people mentioned.

The next workshop will be held on Sunday the 2nd Of July, from 10:30am - 4:00pm. If you want to grow you Instagram & find your tribe then just click on the link below & you'll be taken straight to the website!


↠ Featured Companies 

↠ Naomi

Instagram- @Styled.By.Naomi
Website- Styled By Naomi

↠ The Good Times Homestore

The Seven Sisters Spices

Instagram- @SevenSistersSpices

Lovely ink Prints

Instagram- @LovelyInk.Prints

                                                         ↠ With Love, As Always, Gem 


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