When it comes to a beautifully curated Instagram feeds and a soulful business that has grown organically with love, I can't really go past my dear friend Melina at the Infinite Love Society.
I always swoon over her gorgeous Instagram shots, so I wanted to take a peek behind her "Instagram filter". She kindly obliged and I share it with you on the blog today.
If you have ever wondered how to build your following and extend your brand with Instagram, read on as you may just learn a few tips from this amazing lightworker.
Tell me about how you got started with The Infinite Love Society? How the idea sparked and what you did to grow your business?
I actually didn’t know what the Infinite Love Society was going to be when I first thought of the name!!
I knew I wanted to start a business themed with spirituality, love and kindness but I couldn’t put my finger on what I wanted to express.
The business name “The Infinite Love Society” actually came to me in a meditation and on a whim I registered the business name and domain name.
They both sat unused for many months and I even started to question why I wasted my money registering them that because I wasn’t getting any inspiration.
The year I registered the domain, my step dad Peter gave me a Christmas present of a beautiful triangle timber shelf to put my crystals on which he handmade from reclaimed/recycled timber. I posted a pic of the shelf on my personal Instagram account and got a huge response!!!
Something clicked and I decided I should get him to make more shelves and I could sell them through The Infinite Love Society I also decided to sell his beautiful handmade timber bowls as well. My thought was to sell handmade and intentional products to inspire individuals to invest in their spirituality and meditation practices, products for individual’s sacred spaces in their homes.
I engaged a professional graphic designer to create my logo which gave me the inspiration to design my website which I did so myself.
Some months after creating the website and selling bowls/shelves I decided to start importing The Wild Unknown Tarot card decks from the US and also added crystals to the shop.
Instagram has been a huge part of my little biz, I have connected with so many likeminded people and some customers have even become friends.
So far most of my sales are from my Instagram posts.
You have a pretty impressive follower ratio on Instagram - 1634 followers to 395 following - can you talk about how you have built it over time. Do you have any tips you could share?
Just be your authentic self. Don’t get caught up in how many followers you have, or how many likes you have on each pic – in a way put the blinkers on and start enjoy the process of building your account, take beautiful pics that are inspiring instead of rushing and cutting corners to get more followers!!
To build my account from 0 followers to where it is at the moment I just started posting a picture a day, in the beginning I didn’t put any thought into a consistent theme and feel of my account and was randomly posting pics which was getting a small response.
However a couple of months later I decided to start experimenting with my photos and started creating a consistent theme of 3 – 4 photos and then an inspirational quote post (only ever on a white background).
I also started putting my pics in a frame (Diptic) so the feed became more pleasing to the eye.
When I started putting more thought into the pics I was posting and the pattern of my feed my following definitely increased quickly.
I also don’t make myself post on Instagram if I don’t feel inspired to do so as that is not being authentic. If you make yourself do something because you feel you have to it’s not putting good energy out to the world, if I do end up doing that I usually delete the pics later as they make me feel blah (lol)!
When you look at my Instagram feed you are getting my personality and my energy, my essence. Followers definitely feel that, I get comments all the time on how they love my feed and how it makes them feel full of love and inspired. That makes me feel pretty awesome (really heart-warming) because that is the message I am trying to convey to the world.
I also find that my IG feed changes in colours and the general feel as to how I am feeling at the time. At the moment I seem to be going through a “pink phase” …other times my feed is filled with blue hues or really colourful, this is not on purpose just how I am feeling at the time and that is how it is expressed through my photos.
Let’s talk branding now. What would be your top three tips for creating a beautiful and cohesive Instagram feed?
- Create a consistent theme with colours and feel. I pretty much use the same photo filter on each pic.
- Put a thin white border around your pictures. It looks better in your feed, keep your photos the same size otherwise it won’t flow as nice. (I use Diptic App).
- Be authentic. Your feed is who you are, don’t try and be like someone else, dig deep and find that creativity, people will love your authentic expression. I constantly have to keep my blinkers on! I constantly have to remind myself to stop comparing my photos to others. I also post some personal photos of my life in my feed here and there to show I am a person and its not all about selling products!!
Do you have any special tools you use to manage your Instagram account?
I always use the VSCO App to filter my photos which also crops them to an Instagram size square, I also use Camera360 App Shade options to put on pretty rainbow effects.
I use my iPhone to take most of my pictures however I do have a good camera that I use to take photos of all the products for my online store, I also use those pics on Instagram.
What’s your fave go to Instagram filter?
I really never use the Instagram built in filters. There are so many awesome photo editing apps to play with, I find them kinda boring!!
Do you dive a bit deeper into the Instagram settings? If so, what do you generally tweek?
I don’t really!! I have just linked my IG account with Facebook so I can easily share the pics I post but otherwise nothing.
I thought about sponsored posts on IG but there is something that doesn’t sit right with it just yet, but maybe in the future?
What are your future plans for Infinite Love Society?
Well, I am going to keep doing what I am doing. This year I want to really focus on meditation and how my products can make you feel inspired to start a meditation practice.
I am also going to start an interview series on inspiring people who meditate to find out their practices and feelings on the subject.
Melina's 5 Fave Pics
I would love you to talk our audience through your five most favorite shots on your profile. What you like about them, talk us through your thoughts around the staging of the shot, any other tips or tricks you could recommend?
Flower Crystal Mandala
I adore this pic because it was so fun to create!! There was no agenda, no product to sell just for fun on a Sunday morning.
As with most of my posts they are randomly inspired in the spur of the moment. I get this itch to post something and then I am like hmmmmm what can I do and I start thinking and creating.
For this pic, I went out into my property and collected some pretty flowers, rolled out my yoga mat into a nice sunny spot in the house and got some crystals and started playing!!
After I got a good shot, I then had fun playing with some photo apps.
This is also one of my most liked posts.
Timber Bowl + Crystals
This pic was taken with my good camera (not iPhone).
It is one of my photos of a product for my online store.
Whenever I have new products to post on the store I always make sure I purchase some fresh flowers as they look amazing in photos and are necessary props to my photos!!
I have a bedroom in my house that has the best golden light in the afternoon so I usually drag everything in there.
I take a heap of photos and just pic the nicest ones (which was this one).
If you are using natural light with your photos, taking photos in the morning or middle of the day don’t work. The lighting is really important and the afternoon light is pretty special and kinda magical.
I adore this pic because of how simple it is, how the light highlights the amethyst and the background is not distracting to the product.
This was taken with my good camera outside on a macro setting in the afternoon sun.
To post on IG I just add a photo filter.
Wild Unknown Tarot Card
Once again incorporating flowers, crystal and tarot - my favourite things!!
This pic was taken on my iPhone on an impulse to be creative first thing in the morning!
Rose Quartz Wooden Bowl
Taken with my iPhone, I love how this picture turned out, just a nice big bowl of tumbled rose quartz against the green grass – the colours really go together and are pleasing to the eye.
I featured one of Melina's gorgeous bowls in my 2015 Gift Guide. You can find her hanging out on Instagram here.