Staying on Top of Instagram + 6 Tips


 

A while back I asked you guys to send me your questions, and I got some really great ones back so thank you! Sometimes when you're running a business and have been doing it for a while, you turn some things on auto. So you forget that, while it comes easy to you now, there are people just starting out that might be able to use some direction or advice. Keep sending them in via email, instagram, or wherever else you find me. We listen and have a long list of topics to touch on!

Instagram is one of the main categories people ask about, and one of my favorites to talk about. I'm not an expert (is anyone though?), and I don't have a million followers... or even a fraction of that. BUT, I have figured out things that work for my business and have helped others get organized, grow their following and in turn grow their own businesses.

One of the questions I get asked about insta is how to stay on top of it. Coming up with content, 7 days a week, and in some cases, 2-3 times a day... that can be daunting and exhausting. I'm not going to say it isn't, because IT IS. It can become a full time job even for the small brands. Over the years i've come up with ways that help keep me sane because the hardest time to come up with something to post, is when you have nothing to post. Then you produce junk which is just filler and you don't really want on the internet anyways. Here are 6 tips that have helped me stay on top of Instagram. Most of the time;)

 

Plan Ahead

I use Planoly, it's an app (you can pay monthly or yearly) that basically keeps an archive of your images, captions, hashtags, and allows you to rearrange and schedule them. There are a ton of other perks like analytics and they now let you schedule your stories for instagram. I do use this to try and keep my feed cohesive, I like things to be balanced and show a variety of my content, especially for new followers that click over. It's essential that they see what you're about without scrolling. You want to capture their attention right away! I also use the scheduler. I know what times my audience is online, so I try and post at those hours. Work can get crazy, so the little notification that pops up telling me to post is so helpful. Even if they are pictures I AM taking that same day, I schedule them for peak times.

But, the best part is, you can take and save your images in here. You don't have to scroll back through your camera roll looking for that one picture you planned on posting today. It's right there, with your caption ready to go. This can help you when you've taken a ton of pictures one day and want to space them out, have a sponsored/collab post that you have to save for a specific day, or want to plan out promoting blog posts ahead of time. This app has been the biggest help in keeping me on top of my insta feed!!

My Top 6 Tricks for Keeping Up With Instagram | A Fabulous Fete
Instagram Tips | A Fabulous Fete
 

Capture Ahead of Time

This is especially helpful if you are going to something like an event or even grabbing drinks/dinner with friends in a cool location. Take pictures first. 9 times out of 10, once you are in the moment, you'll forget and there's just not time. Plus, it can become super annoying if, everytime you go out, you're making people wait on you for a picture. So, say we go down to the beach for brunch, I'll get a cute outfit photo, take a few of the scenery, grab one with my mimosa. AND YOU'RE DONE. You get to enjoy yourself instead of worrying about what you're gonna post later.

Use Every Opportunity

If your job is at all creative, this should be a really easy one because you probably work through several steps of a process to achieve your final product. So take every opportunity to capture part of your process. For example, I could share inspiration I'm sourcing for a new client, I could share concepts that they didn't go with, lettering their envelopes, peeks at their printing process, and finally the full suite. It's really just a matter of remembering! I forget all of the time to shoot stuff before it's packed, but put it on a check list next time and you'll have a full story behind just one project.

 
Letterpress Wedding Suite | A Fabulous Fete
Custom hand lettered letterpress suite | A Fabulous Fete
 

Capture Multiple Angles

I started doing this, most specifically with stationery, but I see a lot of fashion bloggers doing it as well. Who says you can't share something multiple times? I like to take pictures in different angles, close ups, or restyle certain elements of it... keeping the main content the same, but getting several images to post rather than just one.

Know Your Top Three Performing Categories

This always helps me out when I'm in a rut. If you're a business/brand, you probably have analytics on your account. OR, you can just take a look back and see what images perform well. Using that info, you can get an idea of what people like to see from you. Mine? They love flowers, hand lettering and wine! All of which i'm truly passionate about, so it works out perfectly;) So if I'm stuck, I know where to look for inspiration. Most of the time those things are in and around our house/office so it's easy for me to dream up something fun to share quickly. Knowing your top three is also great for incorporating new content into your feed. For example, I shop a lot, but I'm not a fashion blogger and I know people to don't come to me for that. So if I do want to share that new dress I bought, I can mix it up with a happy hour post or show how I wore it to grab my flowers over the weekend. Make it work for you and your audience and everyone will be happy.

 
6 Tips for Creating Consistent Content on Instagram | A Fabulous Fete

Shoot Days

Ah, I love shoot days. And yes, sometimes we (friends) just plan them to go get some content specifically for the gram. Being stuck working at home and at the computer can really put a damper on those cool pictures you can capture when out and about. So, even if it's just meeting a friend for a drink, we always schedule a little time to walk around and get a few pics. It might sound silly but I actually love doing this and the pictures end up being a great way to fill in your feed in between promoting your work. Plus it's always good to incorporate some real life moments.

My Tips on Creating Content for Your Instagram | A Fabulous Fete
 

I hope there are a few nuggets of knowledge in there for you! I'd love to hear what your tips are for staying on top of social media!

 

May's Free Desktop Wallpaper | 010


 

More times than not, there is a reason the phrases I write for these downloads pop into my head or stand out to me when I'm scrolling along on the internet. And when I landed on "keep it real", I was just like yes. This basically sums up what I've been trying to accomplish the past few months. I've been chatting a lot with my creative friends and partners, and one thing that seems to come up a lot is, what does it mean to create (whether it be content, art, lettering, writing, whatever...) in a style that is all your own. Honestly, with the internet, that is pretty close to impossible, but I think the end goal is for people to say, "I knew that was your work before I even saw a name or credit pop up". 

No matter how clear we are of our "style" or our "brand", I've found the best way to create something that is instantly recognizable is... keep it real + genuine. Duh. If you like it, do it. Over the months of re-branding, I've struggled because I think there are things that I SHOULD like or trends I SHOULD be trying. In the end, it always comes back to creating around what you like though. It's what you do all day and you should enjoy the end result. I like a little mess, and I like a little pink, I like to be a smart ass sometimes when I write my instagram captions... I like a million more things, but let's keep this (kind of) short. Basically what I want to say (mostly to myself), let's all stop trying to be edgy, or hipster, or romantic, or colorful, or minimal or whatever you think you should be. Let's just do what we like and find that audience out there that likes it as much as we do ourselves, K?

And to remind you of that, EVERYONE DOWNLOAD THIS AND PUT IT ON YOUR DESKTOP. Because I said so, kidding;)

 

iPhone Wallpaper

And I know that we all spend more time on our phones than computers, so here's a version for that as well!

Image links from above: bougainvillea, dress, beach, flowers, pink smoke, lights, pink jacket, water

ALL DOWNLOADS, PRINTABLES AND ARTWORK Β© A FABULOUS FETE.  ALL ARTWORK IS MADE AVAILABLE FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY AND CANNOT BE RESOLD, DISTRIBUTED OR MODIFIED WITHOUT PRIOR CONSENT BY A FABULOUS FETE. IF SHARING ON ANY FORM OF SOCIAL MEDIA, A FABULOUS FETE MUST BE GIVEN CREDIT IN ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION/COMMENT. PLUS, STEALING IS DUMB. DON'T BE DUMB.


24 Hours in Laguna Beach


On of our favorite spots to dine, drink + stay in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
 

Follow me on social media, and you've probably seen us in Laguna Beach a few times. Being just 20 minutes away from this gorgeous place means we spend most of our free time here. So, not having a guide to our favorite places on the blog is just a shame. But we're obviously changing that now! Pacific Edge Hotel invited me to stay with them and share my guide to planning a staycation. And while 24 hours didn't even allow us to hit all of our faves, we did get to enough to get your started. And the best part, since the hotel is located centrally, we didn't have to get into the car once... spending all of our time enjoying why we are there, the outdoors. Oh and that also meant pit stops for champagne were not a problem;)

 
Settling in for a staycation in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Coffee table book displays at Vertigo Home in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete

Vertigo Home

Our first stop. I eye this store from the street every time we pass by, not always having time to browse. But with a full day dedicated to exploring, I finally got to spend lots of time in this spot. 

These monkey lamps have been on my wish list for a long long time. And while they didn't make it home with me this time, a few new candles did. A new to me brand, Maison Louis Marie, is carried here which basically makes this a must stop, at least monthly from here on out. Try scent No. 05. You're welcome.

Visit Vertigo Home Online Here

or Stop by in person

Dream coffee table at Vertigo Home in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Light and airy decor at Vertigo home in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
New fave candle brand found at Vertigo Home in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Shop dog at Vertigo Home, Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
A hand picked bouquet from my fave flower stand in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Flower stand in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete

Flower Stand on Diamond

Ok, hello dream job. This cute little flower stand sits on PCH and the corner of Diamond St. (right next to Laguna Beach Inn). The same sweet lady is always there making bouquets and turns my picks into gorgeous bouquets that I carry around and take pictures of the rest of the afternoon;) They have some seriously fresh blooms here. Typically the flowers I buy last around 2 weeks... and if you buy the tropical stems they always have in stock, you're looking at an even longer life. They're prices are affordable and you'll get a much better looking arrangement than you could at the store. GO!

See them on yelp here

The best FRESH selection at my fave flower stand in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Flowers by the stem at a cute little stand in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
One of the best happy hour views in Laguna | A Fabulous Fete

Champagne Break

After browsing the shops and picking up your flowers, stop by Mozambique and grab a glass of sparkling rosΓ© on their rooftop deck. They have one of the best views that isn't actually on the beach, which means it's not a total pain to get into like some of the other restaurants can be. 

Visit them here

The cutest home shop in Laguna for trinkets and home decor | A Fabulous Fete
Home inspiration at one of my favorite shops to browse in Laguna | A Fabulous Fete

Nuance Home

If you're looking for anything to decorate your home, this is the place.  I held back and only bought a cheeseboard... some towels... a ring dish. Ok, I didn't hold back.

Visit them here.

Where to shop in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Where to shop if you have 24 hours in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
A decorators dream at Nuance Home in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Cement gilded bowls | A Fabulous Fete
My favorite stops in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Make this pit stop before your beach picnic | A Fabulous Fete
 

The Pantry at Sapphire

We had time for one last stop before it was time to check in. And after checking out the pictures of our room online, we new that we were going to be spending most of our time out on the balcony. So, rather than planning on leaving and trying to get into another spot for happy hour, we prepared our own! The Pantry (right next to the restaurant, Sapphire) is a tiny little shop that serves breakfast + lunch to go, but is also home to some of the best cheese and wine that we have found locally. They have a dedicated room for their cheese (which I really enjoy going into and feeling fancy) that makes decision making a difficult task. We also stop here and grab snacks if we plan on finding a spot on the beach for sunset.

Stop by their site here to read more.

 
A warm welcome at Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach, see what else we did on our staycation! | A Fabulous Fete

Pacific Edge Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Hotel

After lots of walking, we finally made it back to our hotel with nothing planned but to enjoy the space. There are just a few hotels that are updated and worth booking a stay at in Laguna, in my opinion. This is one of them. We were lucky enough to stay in one of the ocean front rooms with a stunning view. It's far enough from Main Beach that you don't have a ton of beach goers RIGHT in front of your room, but close enough that you can walk to almost anything. Since we frequent the area around the hotel, and eat at their restaurants (The Deck and Driftwood Kitchen), like.. more than we eat at home, we decided to stay in. Our room was equipped with a kitchenette which made it perfect for prepping our own cheese plate and other happy hour items (ie. WINE, WINE, WINE).

Visit the PEH site and book your stay here.

Happy hour on our deck at Pacific Edge Hotel  | A Fabulous Fete
Pink sunsets in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Enjoying our deck at sunset at Pacific Edge Hotel | A Fabulous Fete
Hotel room cheese boards for happy hour, more on the blog about our fave cheese shop in Laguna! | A Fabulous Fete
Settling in to our room at Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete

Photo Op

This Wall! I had seen this wall on instagram, but had somehow never noticed it in real life... even though I had driven/walked by it several times. It's right outside the ocean front rooms in the alley where you valet for the hotel. I think it's part of someone else's house, but we totally didn't disturb them to take this... we aren't jerks;)

So while we were out looking for my instagram wall, we took a quick walk to take in (more) of the view. In Laguna each little street has it's own set of stairs down to the beach. I love that each one feels different... with it's own cliffs and rocks and plants, it's like exploring a new place on each street. Not to mention the houses. Take a walk down the coast to check out the real estate. It's insane and totally entertaining.

Free people dress + Loeffler Randall booties | A Fabulous Fete
This cute little succulent wall is a must see in Laguna Beach! Right outside of Pacific Edge Hotel | A Fabulous Fete
DIY succulent wall | A Fabulous Fete
Dream house hunting in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
Ocean views at Pacific Edge Hotel | A Fabulous Fete
Laguna Beach Sunsets, see more of our view and stay on the blog at Pacific Edge Hotel | A Fabulous Fete
 

The Pacific Edge Hotel sits on the beach where you have a killer view of the sunset and all of the different rocks and cliffs and coves that Laguna has. I know it's kind of spoiled to say this, but most of the other beaches we go to are a tiny bit disappointing after spending time here! Come, and you'll get it;)

 
Waking up on the beach | A Fabulous Fete

This was our friend... until he stole part of Ryan's breakfast shortly after this.

Cliff side mansions in Laguna | A Fabulous Fete
 

The next morning we grabbed a coffee and hit the beach. Like I said above, this is really the best place to check out the amazing houses that are built on these cliffs. Not to mention the spectacular succulent gardens almost all of them have. HOW?! I can't even manage to keep a cactus alive.

After our walk we headed back to get ready for breakfast. I packed 3 of my favorite dresses... and YES, I actually wore them all (patting myself on the back for not overpacking). Outside 2 were from Free People and the middle is from Anthro. This light in the room was too good in the morning, so yes, they got their own pic.

 
What I packed for a 24 hour staycation | A Fabulous Fete
That morning light | A Fabulous Fete
Mimosas in bed, the best part of a staycation! | A Fabulous Fete

Breakfast on Our Balcony

We ordered our breakfast from The Deck which is who offers room service for the hotel. We weren't going to find another place with a better view to enjoy it. I'd actually never eaten breakfast here and am happy to report we'll be going back. The Laguna Beach omelette has me drooling all over again as I write this. Crab, avocado and cheeeeese. So good. Add a mimosa and you're set.

Breakfast on our deck at Pacific Edge Hotel | A Fabulous Fete
Mornings with this view are my favorite, see more of our Laguna Beach staycation on the blog | A Fabulous Fete
 

Soooo, I tied to make a video of all the fun things we were doing! And then when we got home, I realized I just really like to video the ocean. Oops. I did manage to get a few other peeks in there, of the room and happy hour. But it's pretty so what the heck right? You'll get a look inside our room and on our balcony, the views (if you've never been) and you'll get to meet the bird friend that stole a bit of our breakfast. I promise to get a more diverse look next time I put a video together!

 
Crisp mornings in Laguna Beach | A Fabulous Fete
 

So if you're local and looking for a night away, or planning a longer vacay, check out Pacific Edge Hotel! And I'll be back with a few more of my recommendations that we couldn't fit in this time!