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Made in Britain

October 15, 2018

How to stand out on Instagram

By: Luke

Dashes Graphic


While we’re partial to a tweet, there’s one platform that’s got a special place in our heart – and that’s Instagram.


You might be surprised but just a few years ago, we didn’t even know what Instagram was. Yep, really. But with the right know-how, a can-do attitude and a dash of creativity, we’ve grown it into our most popular channel. In fact, it’s the place most of our customer enquiries come through.


For lots of independent businesses like ours, Instagram has been the secret to increasing sales – and we want to share the love to help you thrive on the ‘gram. So if you fancy getting handy with hashtags or funky with flatlays, keep on readin’ and learn how to snap your way to success.


Find your tribe

At its heart, Instagram is a visually-focused app, making it a haven for creatives to share their art. We’ve found it to be the best place to have a natter with crafters, designers and artists simply because it feels like a real community.


The best way to spark some interest in your brand? Join in and have some fun. When we first started out on Instagram, we followed loads of independent creative brands – just like us. We chatted, shared tips on branding and gave shout outs to designers we liked. Pretty early on we got lots of engagement back and that follower count started to creep up. Boom.

Get hashtag happy

Finding the right people to connect was easy once we knew where to look. That’s where our obsession with hashtags begun.


Essentially, a hashtag is a ‘filing system’ for your social posts. Tag an image using a hashtag and more people searching for that particular topic will find it. When we were starting out, we’d just tag elements in the photo (#avocado, #llama, #cactus – you get the idea) when our social media expert asked: “who on earth would be searching for those hashtags?!”

We realised simply tagging what was in the photo meant our snaps would just get lost in the noise, so we went on the hunt for something a little more creative. After finding hashtags such as #MeetTheMaker and #MakersMovement we found our squad and have never looked back.

Want to up your hashtag game? Our tip is to search one hashtag you use regularly, underneath you’ll see that Instagram offers suggestions for similar hashtags. We like to create a ‘bundle’ of about 10-15 creative hashtags, switching them up regularly in order to e-meet more lovely people. And when you’re feeling really confident, why not create your own hashtag like we did.

Take sensational snaps

There’s no getting around the fact that lookin’ good on is important. But that doesn’t mean you have to worry if you don’t have a big budget and fancy equipment. All we use is an iPhone and some snazzy backdrops (we go through a lot of fabric).

Ultimately, Instagram is all about being off-the-cuff. So anything too overproduced won’t be effective anyway. The style of photography that works best for us is a flatlay, which helps to put focus on our products.


And if you’re a designer, a flatlay photo should be your best friend too. It doesn’t just help to highlight details, it allows your followers a glimpse into your creativity. We like adding props around our products to create a different feel every time.

To create your own professional-looking flatlay, we think a textured fabric or clean, white background always looks crisp and sharp. Then grab some autumn leaves, balls of wool or even scraps of fabric to build a ‘still life’, behind-the-scenes look at your brand. Easy.


Be yourself

Instagram success doesn’t come in a day – especially if you’re uber-niche like us. The best advice we can give to budding Instagram entrepreneurs? Authenticity always wins. The most successful Instagrammers are always true to themselves – and you can apply that to your brand too.

For us, it was less about growing the numbers and all about telling the stories of the awesome brands we work with. That’s how we came up with the idea to launch our brand spotlight series, a space to celebrate all the cool creatives we discovered on Instagram


If you like to chat, why not do regular Instagram Live videos talking about your products? If there’s a cause close to your heart, collaborate with a charity. There’s loads of brilliant ways to show how your brand is different, all you need to do is choose one.

Tell us about your Instagram journey

Has Instagram taken your business to soaring heights? Tag us in your tips and we’ll share them with our super-friendly, creative community.

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