Welcome to our first #rarebitsocialstories! This is our new weekly series where we interview entrepreneurs about how they use social media. Whether it’s growing your following, creating content or converting your posts into sales – these guys know how to make an impact.
For our first ever post, we’re chatting with jewellery designer Claire Hill about creating a community and being true to yourself online.
RS: Tell us about yourself and your business?
CH: Hi I’m Claire and I run Claire Hill Designs, which is a jewellery and hair accessories business. I’m based in Cardiff and the focus is on making effortlessly wearable jewellery and accessories inspired by nature. I also have a bridal side of the business where I create handmade hair accessories using a range of silk, leather and traditional millinery skills.
RS: How has social media helped your business to grow?
CH: Social media has been a great way to not only promote my products but also to connect directly to my customers and to build relationships with other people in the industry. It also allows me to speak directly to shops, photographers and journalists and to look for models and collaborate and work with other creatives. It’s definitely a key part of the growth of the business and has gone hand in hand with other aspects that have helped the business grow like paying for professional images and working with models.
RS: Is there anything you’ve learnt about social media that you wish you knew when you started your business account?
CH: I think don’t be afraid to put yourself out there or shout about what you do and work out what you are happy sharing, don’t worry about others. I was one of the co-founders of Dirty Protest Theatre here in Cardiff and I used to run all of our marketing and social media. I found that really easy to do and build an audience from scratch as I didn’t have to focus on me. When it came to my business it always felt a bit different and I think it has taken a while to feel confident talking about me or my products. I am also happy with the boundaries that I have set for myself – I don’t talk about or show my child and keep personal stuff to a limit – that might mean my social media might not grow as big or as quickly as other people but I’m comfortable with that.
And I think my key takeaway is not to put all the eggs into one basket or take it too seriously. Social media can be a really great tool but it’s a platform that can be changed and can disappear tomorrow so I’m working hard on creating an audience that is also off the grid.
RS: Do you have a strategy that you use and do you follow a theme?
CH: I go back and forth with strategies, at the moment it is trying to be consistent and post on the grid daily sharing beautiful pictures and talking about the business, my ethos, the products and I keep it a bit looser and behind the scenes for Stories. I much prefer talking on Stories than having my photo taken so hopefully everyone can cope with me chatting. I see Insta as an extension of my business and not the whole business so I try not to let it take up too much of my time.
RS: What are your favourite Instagram accounts to follow for inspiration?
CH: Some of my favourite accounts at the moment are @rosemarinoramsay, @nobullschool, @sheflourished_, @theyusufs, @patirobins, @funmifetto, @eleanorbowmer, @drybylondon, @katiejanehughes, @frombeewithlove