A few nights ago, I went to an event that was all about Social Media and the connections you can, and should, be making there. It was presented by The League of Extraordinary Women – a group that support female-led businesses through hosted events. The guest was Emma Abrahams from Heart of Bone. She’s killing it in her industry with her unique style of what can only be described as badass jewellery.

Emma had some really good tips on how to grow your Instagram following through celebrities and influencers, as well as other brands. It’s something I’ve always known about, but I’ve never had any tangible tips on how to go about it. So here are just some of the ideas I took away from the night, some of which I’ll be applying to my own product; Greeting Cards for Situations that Suck.

  1. Linking Your Product to Related Products

Think about a product that complements your product. If it’s not so similar that you have the same audience, then that’s ideal! In my case, I’m looking for something that complements my product, greeting cards geared toward the mental health space and mums.

First thing’s first; I want to take a really cool photo with great lighting and colours, cropped perfectly…the whole gamut. In that photo I could have, for example, a bottle of wine from a local company next to my greeting card that says “Girl you need a f*cking break, you take wine, I watch baby.” I then post it on Instagram, making sure to tag the wine company and talk about how it makes the perfect gift for a friend who’s having a rough time.

Ideally, that wine company will re-post my photo and tag my company in it, exposing my brand to a new audience. The basic takeaway is: take great photos and tag other small brands in said photos (with your product too, of course). They’re likely to support you back with a repost. For them, it’s free advertising. How can they resist?

  1. Influencers/Celebrities – Finding the Right One

I want to explain what an influencer is first, because if I’m being honest, when I first heard this word being thrown around I thought it was someone that influenced you to drink or do drugs! I didn’t get why everyone was so keen on these people. Fortunately, that’s not what they are. An influencer is actually “an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience” (httpss://influencermarketinghub.com/what-is-an-influencer/). They’re the good guys and gals you want to talk about your product, NOT drug peddlers, turns out.

Now that you’re familiar with what they are, make a list of celebrities or influencers that you like and that you want to support your brand. In my case, I want to reach out to Magda Szubanski. She’s an Australian female comedian who is an advocate for mental health. Perfect for my brand.

  1. Influencers/Celebrities – Getting their Attention

Next; getting her attention. *cough ,cough* “Heeeey Magda, if you’re reading this…love your work…check out my funny mental health cards! xoxo” …I’ll let you all know if that worked, but assuming it doesn’t, Emma suggests direct messaging through Instagram and email. You’d be surprised how many famous people actually control their own Instagram accounts. They could very easily get your message and write back!

If they’re like Beyonce level famous, Emma suggests being a bit more strategic. One way is to be active in a positive way. Don’t put “Hey Beyonce, saw your last video. Girl what were you thinking wearing that hat…” Ummm, you can’t say that about Beyonce! But really, you’ve got to say cool stuff about her and maybe to her fans. Just be a decent person and hang out on her Instagram for a while, bouncing around, being positive and “seen.”

Once you’ve eased your way in, THEN direct message or email something like “Hey, love your stuff, you’re such an inspiration, I’d love to send you some product at no cost, is that ok?” Worst case you’ll get crickets or a solid no. Both are manageable. Move on… done… managed.

  1. Sending Product

Beware! Emma mentioned that some of the bigger names pay for their followers. She found that out the hard way. Do a little research first, check out their followers and see what kind of interaction they’re getting before shipping off that one-of-a-kind handmade vase… because your message could be falling on deaf ears.

In my case, my cards are only $7, so I’m in a good position to send them out and not bat an eye. But in Emma’s case, her jewellery is worth hundreds, BUT she says it’s been worth sending it and taking the risk that the receiver may not post it because she’s had such a good response when they do. Her best one was when Slash from Guns ‘n Roses posted an image with her jewellery!! :O So AMAZING!

  1. Last Bit of Advice

One last thing, mentioned in passing, but something I really held onto, was the idea of getting 100 no’s. When approaching influencers, celebrities or anywhere you want to sell your product or service, aim to get 100 no’s a month. Loved that idea. There are so many companies, people, and organisations that can be reached out to, you’d be hard-pressed to run out of contacts even if followed this rule for years.

Emma reminded us all that everyone hates the Instagram algorithm and there’s not a lot we can do about it but wait it out. In the meantime, I’m going to be working on integrating these five tips into my Instagram strategy over the next few months. Emma’s done really well for herself and her following. I can only hope to grow my own following as much!

Want to follow me on Instagram? Awesome! It’s already working mwahHAHAHaha… Just kidding: www.instagram.com/hardcopycartel or @hardcopycartel