Instagram algorithms have got small businesses in allllll sorts of muddles recently, and I thought to myself, what can I do to kick the new year off with something positive not only for myself but for others too? Ta-dah! A little instagram challenge for January (and February if you want to join me although I’ll be in America for half of it, so you’ll get inundated with food and disney imagery!).

For this to work, everyone who decides to follow the schedule will need to do the following…

Post at least three times a week using prompts from the list. They are mixed personal and business prompts, to allow your followers and potential customers to connect with the person behind the brand – people buy from people, right?

Use the designated hashtags. Using #daintybiz and #daintyengage you’ll be able to interact and connect with others following the prompts. Click on the hashtags now to see all the posts I’ve shared so far about the challenge!

Engage with others on the challenge. In order for it to work efficiently, please follow the people who post on the hashtags and engage on their posts, and fingers crossed, they’ll return the love! This will not only boost following, visability and engagement accross your pages but potentially build new business connections and potential custom for your products.

With likes disappearing (Boo!) the best way to engage on someone elses post is via commenting, and it is advisable to spend approximately 30 minutes before you post your image, and 30 minutes after, engaging with other profiles.

To join the instagram group chat where I will support throughout the month with ideas and reminders, simply send me a DM on Instagram @Daintylaine and ask to be added! No opt in e-mail spam, it’s entirely up to you how committed you wish to be.

I will be following this schedule daily and in order, but you can also pick and choose. These aren’t sales prompts, but they do relate to what you are selling and/or promoting but fit nicely inbetween the sales to add some personalisation into your feed.

January Insta Biz challenge prompts

Wednesday 1st: Re-introduce youreslf. Over time, followers grow and change and it’s likely that people might have missed your personal posts (if you’ve already done some). So share a selfie, introduce yourself, and ask your followers a question about their New years eve. Always end each post with a question to give your followers something to respond to!

Thursday 2nd: Throwback thursday style post. Share one of your earlier makes, how does it compare to now? For me, my style has changed massively and I love to see how far others have come as well.

Friday 3rd: A close-up preview of something new. Do you have something waiting to be released? Why not ask if your followers can guess what it is – maybe if someone gets it right they can win a discount code for that product when it’s live. Throw in a promotion somewhere to bring traction.

Saturday 4th: Share a quote or photo that resembles your weekend vibes! I’ve always been a firm believer in weekends being a “No work zone”. If you have a family are you out doing something fun before the back to school rush? Are you still celebrating the start of the new decade? Let your readers see that you are human and have a life too!

Sunday 5th: Share a product that has a story. Is there a product you have with a unique inspiration behind the creation, or a purpose for the make? Maybe it’s a best seller, or maybe it was made in a moment of creative madness and your customers love it? Share the story behind something and invite your followers to see what inspires you.

Monday 6th: Start the first full week off with a photo of your work space. A lot of us have creative spaces at home that allow us to work, some have full-time jobs in the community and some create from the sofa! What does your work space look like? If it’s super messy (Like mine) you can do a close up!

Tuesady 7th: Share your favourite materials to work with. Vinyl? Liberty style fabric? Chunky knit wool? GLITTER? What is your favourite mediums to create with. Obviously if you aren’t in a creative business, what about something that is your favourite to use to make your business successful, i.e “Hey you, I’m going to let you into a little secret about how I work, Do you know about Canva?” and explain how it helps you take your business to the next level and create unique media. People like to know things!

Wednesday 8th: A Pick-me up! The ‘hump day’ as it’s called, share something that will lift your followers. Why not hold a free raffle with discount codes, or a game of tag to win a prize? if you don’t have a product to offer, why not simply share a photo of your day and have a conversation with your followers.

Thursday 9th: Share and grow. Share someone elses creation. It may be someone that makes something similar, a brand that you have bought from yourself, or someone who makes something the opposite end of the spectrum to you but you love it all the same! Send some love their way and promote a photo of their work to your audience – Afterall, there is room for everyone!

Friday 10th: Share what your currently working on. Are you printing? sewing? weaving? Share a “in process” kind of photo and let the followers see you at work. Take it up a notch and share a time-lapsed video of you at work if you’re brave enough!

Saturday 11th: Invite people to engage with a Social Saturday. Welcome your followers to share their favourite small businesses, or tag people that they think you should know of! (Engage on others social saturdays for a little self-promo too).

Sunday 12th: Flatlay Photo. Share a flat lay of your work, maybe even one sent in by a customer! Invite other customers to send you theirs for future use.

Monday 13th: How did you start your business? What’s the story? What was it that made you decide, yep, today is the day! You may have introduced this once upon a time but as mentioned, following changes, re-tell the story of day one.

Tuesday 14th: Sparkles. Share something with sparkles in. If you don’t have something – make something small for the challenge and see how your followers react. If you really hate sparkles then promote someone elses sparkly creative magic.

Wednesday 15th: What’s outside? Share a photo of a sunrise, sunset, frosty morning, rainy day – what’s outside of the office today? Engage and have a conversation with your followers.

Don’t forget to share on Pinterest!

Thursday 16th: Talk about your branding. Let your followers and potential customers know how they will recieve their products, or the story behind your business name. Why did you choose THAT colour theme?

Friday 17th: Making monochrome. Make something black, white, grey or a mixture on this day and share with your followers or share something you made before. If monochrome is your typical theme, why not share something bright and bold and out of the ordinary? It’s interesting to see how followers react to new styles appearing; it may inspire something new.

Saturday 18th: What do you enjoy creating the most? We don’t always love making the things we sell, some products can be a right mare to perfect, but what products do you really enjoy seeing come to life?

Sunday 19th: A Motivational quote. It’s nearing the end of the month and payday seems further and further away – bare that in mind with sales! it’s probably a good idea to work on connecting than pushing sales at the end of January. Share something motivational, either that works for you or that you want to use to help your followers make it to February!

Monday 20th: What is your creative process like? Share an insight. Are you a planner? do you have illustrations? Mood boards? do you work on a whim? Share an insight to the process of something coming to life!

Tuesday 21st: Share your favourite customer image. Careful not to cause arguments amonsgt your customers, but share your favourite customer image and share why it is your favourite! Again, invite customers to send you their imagery for future use.

Wednesday 22nd: Inspired by another. Create and/or share something you have made based on someone else. A business friend, a insta-bestie, a family member. Share the connections and reasons behind the make.

Thursday 23rd: Wild. Share something with a ‘wild’ theme, flowers, animals, mountains – whatever works within your products.

Friday 24th Share a top tip. “Did you know?” This can be about business, creating, managing social media, purchasing from trusted sellers (It’s crazy how many customers do not realise that Paypal F&F is a red flag). Share something that is going to make someone elses actions a little easier today!

Saturday 25th: Self-care. Share the last thing you made for yourself and/or speak about the importance of self-care whilst running your own business.

Sunday 26: What have you learnt this month? It’s ok to let your customers know that you are still learning – we all our in whatever our jobs may be! What have you learnt this month? a new method of crochet? a new style of vinyl layering? Get your followers to have an input on how they see this new skill coming to life!

Monday 27th: January favourite. What has been your favourite make this month? Give it it’s own little square of limelight and explain why.

Tuesday 28th: Promote four other businesses on your page. Hopefully through this challenge and the hashtag you will have discovered some new businesses who create things that you love. Promote them along-side hardcore favourites, everybody enjoys a little bit of love.

Wednesday 29th: Texture. Share a close-up of some texture, something you’re working on, something you have created that you love. Tell the followers what it is or leave them guessing?

Thursday 30th: Achievements. What is your best business achievement to date and what is next on the list to achieve?

Friday 31st: Overview. How has January been for your business? think new followers, website stats, best month for sales? How has the first month of the new decade compared to the last? If sales have been poor what about personal growth and connections you’ve gained this month?

I hope you find some prompts useful, and I would absoloutely love to follow you throughout the schedule so pop up over on instagram and say hello!

Posted by:Lorna Rose

Creative adventure seeker based in the western Lake District.

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