Liam Smith Creative | Illustrator and Designer https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk Freelance Graphic Designer and Illustrator Sun, 05 Jan 2020 18:08:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.3 https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/cropped-liam-smith-favicon-01-1-32x32.jpg Liam Smith Creative | Illustrator and Designer https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk 32 32 How To Automate Instagram – eBook Guide https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/how-to-automate-instagram-ebook-guide/ https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/how-to-automate-instagram-ebook-guide/#comments Sun, 03 Jun 2018 20:27:47 +0000 https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/?p=61857 As of 2018, Instagram has around 150 million users. Quite daunting if you want to make a name for yourself on the platform. For over a year now I have been learning about automating Instagram accounts in different niches to earn money and publicity via...

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As of 2018, Instagram has around 150 million users. Quite daunting if you want to make a name for yourself on the platform.

For over a year now I have been learning about automating Instagram accounts in different niches to earn money and publicity via shoutouts and other methods. For most people this would take weeks, months, if not years of work to get an Instagram account to a point of earning money. This is why I learnt about automating the growth, to save time and effort. And now, I’m passing the information onto you.

instagram on iphone

In this guide on how to automate Instagram accounts, I cover everything from bulk accounts, VPS, proxies and the automation bot itself. This includes a guide on how to set up the bot which could otherwise be complicated.

The PDF available to download below will cover everything to do with automating Instagram, with a step by step guide, screenshots, tips and tricks, and general advice.

The most important thing for me was to make this no thrills. There’s no fancy illustrations, I don’t go off track, and I’m not trying to sell you anything in this book. The whole point of this guide is to SAVE YOU TIME.

How To AUTOMATE Instagram Guide - Get Insta Famous Fast! Earn money!
How To AUTOMATE Instagram Guide - Get Insta Famous Fast! Earn money!
A guide on how to automate your Instagram accounts!
£4.99

Please remember this guide is for informational purposes only.


 

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My First iPhone iMessage Sticker Packs https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/first-iphone-imessage-sticker-packs/ https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/first-iphone-imessage-sticker-packs/#respond Sun, 17 Sep 2017 14:22:35 +0000 https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/?p=61765 Recently I have been working on illustrating and creating my very first iMessage sticker packs, and I’m happy to say at this time, they are now in the Apple App Store! My first pack ‘Fun Multi-Character Stickers’ is a compilation of old characters I have...

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Recently I have been working on illustrating and creating my very first iMessage sticker packs, and I’m happy to say at this time, they are now in the Apple App Store!

character sticker pack

My first pack ‘Fun Multi-Character Stickers’ is a compilation of old characters I have designed in the past, with a couple of new friends for good measure. Towards the end of creating this pack, I started on my second as I had an idea and this is where The Bear With Many Disguises came about. The idea was to have one main bear character that liked to dress in different costumes, which would give people different variations when using these stickers.

The stickers were certainly the easiest part of the process originally, although naturally at least 18 per pack can be a little tough to fill. But it was the uploading process that was more time consuming at first, as simple mistakes made the stickers impossible to upload, and promo material would still need to be designed. Thankfully the process has gotten quicker.

bear with many disguises stickers

The plan is to make a large number of sticker packs, at least 20, so it will be a long process overall but I’m sure it will be worth it. Having my own illustrations on the App Store I think is something to be quite proud of. I remember the first time I tested the stickers on my iPhone through Xcode and there was a great sense of pride to see them actually working.

This blog post is an announcement as it could be a consistent new direction for me but I’m wondering, would you like a more detailed post? A full description of the process from designing your stickers, to uploading to the App Store? Let me know in the comments or through Twitter.

Check out my current packs of iMessage stickers in the App Store here. Obviously any support would be much appreciated!

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Infographic Guide: What Should I Take To University? https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/infographic-what-should-take-university/ https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/infographic-what-should-take-university/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:46:17 +0000 https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/?p=61745 The post Infographic Guide: What Should I Take To University? appeared first on Liam Smith Creative | Illustrator and Designer.

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An infographic on what to pack for university as a fresher entitled What Should I Take To University?

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12 Tips to Raise Your Instagram Game https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/12-tips-to-raise-your-instagram-game/ https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/12-tips-to-raise-your-instagram-game/#respond Sun, 06 Aug 2017 09:59:55 +0000 https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/?p=61678 Instagram and it’s ever changing algorithm can be a tough nut to crack. Here’s my 12 tips to help boost your Instagram profile and get noticed! 1. Engagement Want to be noticed? Then notice other people. Search hashtags relevant to your interests, brand or niche and...

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Instagram and it’s ever changing algorithm can be a tough nut to crack. Here’s my 12 tips to help boost your Instagram profile and get noticed!

1. Engagement

Want to be noticed? Then notice other people. Search hashtags relevant to your interests, brand or niche and engage! I tend to ignore the top 9 posts and aim for the newly posted images. The idea behind is that the users will still be online after posting so they’ll be more likely to notice when you interact. Liking a photo from a user that has thousands of followers means more chance of the interactions being lost.

Here’s my top tip within a tip: Find a decent sized profile within your niche; lets say the Redbubble Instagram account if you’re an Illustrator/Designer. Naturally the people have interacted with and follow Redbubble, will have the same interest in you – art. This is where you can target people easier so take a look through the followers and likers of your chosen account and get interacting!

“Want to be noticed? Then notice other people.”

2. Comments

In relation to the first point, commenting is an important part of ‘true’ engagement; as long as you do it the correct way. Don’t leave a comment less than 4 words that says something like ‘cool!’, or ‘this post is awesome!’. Let’s be honest we’ve all seen it before, some of which would have come from bots, some from users trying to get noticed. It looks like spam and doesn’t look like you actually care. When people put photos on Instagram they want real interactions, real comments that relate to the photo so do this along with a like and follow, and you’re onto a winner.

3. Hashtags

Instagram allows 30 hashtags – use them. With Instagram’s algorithm, utilising your hashtags has become extremely important. Here’s the real tip – try not to use the most popular hashtags such as ‘instalike’ and ‘travel’. Why? Once you post your image, within seconds they get lost due of the amount of people posting under that hashtag.

The aim is to primarily use hashtags with a smaller amount of uses – say 4 million and under. This way your post will stay towards the top for longer and is more likely to get noticed. Makes sense right! Search hashtags related to your post and profile and notice the list of similar ones that appear. Pick hashtags that have around 400 000 – 4 million posts and then save them to a notes app on your phone. This will save a lot of time for future posts! It will take research and time to find the right ones, but you’ll soon find reward.

Once you have a bit of a following, check each hashtag you’ve used around half a day after posting. You may notice that your image is in the top 9 posts for that hashtag – congratulations! You know what that means – even more exposure. It may still take 100 – 200 likes for your post to be seen there, but it’s a huge difference compared to the thousands you’d need for the bigger hashtags. Test each hashtag you use and if one consistently doesn’t get you in the top 9 posts, then it’s time to change it out.

image of the word hashtag cool

4. Optimal Post Times

There has been talk about optimal posting times not being as important anymore because of the way Instagram shows posts in your feed. But if you want go down this route, of which I still do and believe (slightly) in, then test, test, test! Posting will get you an idea of when your posts are more popular so try posting different times of the day over a week and see if you notice any spikes or flurries. If you want more specific results, Instagram has it’s own analytics tool if you use have a business account or there are other options such as Socialbakers that will give you ideal posting times.

My current tactic? I think about when people are more likely to use their phone. Maybe in the morning before work, lunch, 5-6pm when people are commuting, and late evening when people are settling down. I find the best time for me is lunch and 9pm. One thing to remember is the countries where your posts are more popular which could mean the ideal time to post is in the middle of the night! Instagram’s inbuilt analytics can help with this.

5. Scheduling

It’s important to be posting at least once a day to gain a consistent audience. Apps like Buffer, Hootsuite and UNUM are great scheduling tools for Instagram. Unfortunately no legit tool can post fully automatically for you due to Instagram’s TOS, but you can schedule multiple posts, and receive a notification on your phone when it’s time to post. The app will ask you to copy your description, then open in Instagram ready to post. One tip is to spend an hour or so on a Sunday and schedule for the rest of the week if possible, saving you time over the course and so you don’t forget!

6. Quality

You open Instagram and what do you see? Images. So make them stand out. Take some time planning your photos if possible, use a good quality camera, and edit! There are plenty of filter apps out there including my favourite – VSCO, and of course Instagram’s own which has improved over time. Try not to go mad with the editing though, people like to relate to the image, so don’t take them away from it by making it look over done and fake.

7. Shoutouts

Shoutouts are the best way to advertise on Instagram, in my opinion better than the actual ad service Instagram provides. This is because of influencers, and this is who who need to be targeting. There are two ways to do this, one being paid influencers, the other being what I consider a mutual shoutout.

For paid, search a hashtag related to your own profile, find the most popular posts and check out their profiles. Ideally you want to find somebody somebody with 20 000+ followers to message, asking them how much they charge and how long they put your post up for. Popular times are 4/8/12 hours, sometimes permanent. I recommend emailing them if they have one available as these influencers will get sent DM messages a fair bit and you’ll want yours to stand out.

image of a megaphone

Similarly, use sites like Hype Factory where they allow connection between yourself and Instagram influencers so you can choose one right for you. One important point here is to find an influencer with good engagement. It’s possible these big profiles have thousands if not hundreds of thousands of followers because they use follow bots etc, which means your post will be seen by almost nobody!

Mutual shoutouts are where you will find somebody in a similar field, around the same level as you and ask them if you could could get a shoutout on their profile in exchange for you giving them one. As both profiles are similar, you could be reaching a different audience that has a genuine interest in your posts but doesn’t know it yet. This may not work well if you’re just starting off as it still needs the similar profile you want to swap shoutouts for to have a decent amount of followers to share to, but at least you won’t pay.

Try to warm up to these that you’ll be contacting, especially for mutual shoutouts, as you’re more likely to have luck if they notice you follow them and have interacted with their posts before.

8. Contests

How do you get somebody to notice you and stick around? Give them something! (Or at least the chance to). Find something you can give away that is relatable to your field and the field you want to promote to –  you want genuine interest. Running giveaways where you ask Instagram to follow/like and tag somebody in a comment can be a hugely successful way of boosting your follower account and engagement which in turn makes your post more visible across Instagram. Run a giveaway once or twice a month and your account will grow in no time. If you’re an artist, you could giveaway a print; it relates to you, can be cheap to produce, and will be of genuine interest to people who follow you.

9. Bio

Let’s start with the basics; your name. People may well search your name to find your account to follow, and it helps people look further in acknowledging the person behind the account, rather than just the account itself. Same goes for your hobbies and interests you should be listing in your bio; let people relate to you, get an idea about you and whether they should be following you. Tell them what you offer!

Use 1 or 2 certain hashtags in your bio to make your profile more visible. If you’re a Designer, using the hashtag #Design in your bio makes it easier for people to find you if they’re searching for design related media.

hello my name is

You have use of one clickable link on Instagram and it’s part of your bio so lead it to your website if you have one. Update the link depending on your latest posts to link to a certain place on your site. For example if you have posted about your latest blog post on Instagram, change the link in your bio to point straight to your latest blog post. In the description of your image post you can then say “check the link in my bio to see my latest post”, or words to that effect. It saves followers (and yourself) from typing out a long link, making them more likely to actually read your blog post straight from Instagram.

Finally, use a bit of creativity. Emojis are a fantastic way of splitting up sentences and remain visually appealing. Also, using line breaks to create a list (of hobbies/interests) is a great way to get to the point and make it easy for potential followers to read. Remember, you haven’t got long to grab people’s attention.

description example of the coffee and ink bible instagram profile

10. Tag Accounts

Have you tagged a friend in a photo before? Try tagging several larger accounts that are of similar interest and reposts and/or takes submissions. If they have thousands of followers and they post your submission on their profile, it’s a larger audience you wouldn’t normally reach, and could garner some profile engagement for yourself.

11. Captions

My biggest tip here is to ask a question in your caption, related to the image. Spark some discussion and make sure you get involved. The more comments you get, the more people are going to see the image and are likely to interact, so add your own opinion if you can and reply to others.

Personally I hide the hashtags in the caption by using a 5 dot line break, which means you have to click ‘more’ on the image to see them. This leaves a cleaner looking caption, so make the most of it!

emoji icon laughing with speech marks either side

12. Be Creative

With over 700 million users, you’ll have to think outside the box to get noticed on Instagram. Utilise videos, apps and Stories to gain attention and keep your audience entertained. With Stories being more popular than Snapchat now, there’s no better time to use this to bring people in. The ability to use stickers and filters along with features such as ‘Boomerang’ and ‘Rewind’ brings a new level of creativity and the options are endless!

Try not to go overboard on your actual posts though. They can end up looking messy, inconsistent and like you’re trying to hard, so keep the fancy features to Stories.

 

Find any of these tips useful? Have any tips of your own? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter.

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From Illustrator to Photoshop – A Small Preview https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/illustrator-photoshop-small-preview/ https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/illustrator-photoshop-small-preview/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:51:54 +0000 https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/?p=61652 The post From Illustrator to Photoshop – A Small Preview appeared first on Liam Smith Creative | Illustrator and Designer.

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FROM ILLUSTRATOR TO PHOTOSHOP – A SMALL PREVIEW

Ahh Gin…

Although I may expand on this in the future, I wanted to give a small preview into part of my process in illustration.

A few months ago I started an illustration on Hendricks Gin as I’m a big gin drinker! It gave me a chance to expand on my style, using grain/grunge Photoshop brushes to add texture along with the burn/dodge tool for shadow and light.

Although I enjoy flat vector illustration for many reasons (speed being one!) there are times when it doesn’t quite feel complete depending on the subject matter, and that’s when I utilise Photoshop.

So take a look below and you have any questions about the process, ask away!

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7 Methods Used To Manage A Design Project https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/7-methods-used-manage-design-project/ https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/7-methods-used-manage-design-project/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:05:24 +0000 https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/?p=61547 The post 7 Methods Used To Manage A Design Project appeared first on Liam Smith Creative | Illustrator and Designer.

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7 METHODS USED TO MANAGE A DESIGN PROJECT

At every step of your business, designing is required for everyone involved to be on the same page. Each step of the business revolves around following a designing process to create a product. The creative strategy can be challenging, but the route to success is to follow a concise process throughout the design project with specific criteria to appraise the work. The key to success is to thoughtfully coordinate the project.

Every design project passes through two major stages:

Concept: is the first stage of designing, where a designer chooses the layout of the design and general message.

Execution: starts where “Concept” ends. This stage brings life to the concept where designer decides which images, colour, layout, fonts or copy will be reflected in the design.

To accelerate your process, focus on the right elements such as design brief, analysis, research, etc. at the right time.  It’s quite easy to focus on initial concepts and get stuck on execution elements instead of the concept itself.  For instance, if a designer provides you with 20 logos, you may be attracted to those that use a particular colour palette.  Yet, the colour palette can be applied to any of those logos; so, you should first conclude on which concept works best for you, then apply colour.

SET YOUR GOALS

This is very important to your designer and creative writers throughout the project execution. It is much needed to meet the original requirements, design deadlines and background of the design. You can explain your brief, analysis, research, specification, problem solving and presentation here. Develop precise plans for your piece, whatever it is. Make the applications as objective it can be.

 

THINK ABOUT YOUR CLIENT’S REQUIREMENT

Don’t just design and simply present it, that alone shouldn’t be the only goal for design managers. S/he should think about the relationship which has been developed with the client. It may take a week or a month for planning at first, so it is important for the project manager to find how to present the design. If the project managers have this in mind, then it will be easy for designers to make the design as per client’s requirement.

 

DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET

The next thing is to ascertain your budget. Then decide what will be your timescale and expected output.

 

DETERMINE THE LEVEL OF CREATIVITY

This is important for any creative person working on the project. Is your project design highly conceptual and unique? Sometimes design processes differ from thought processes. Therefore, project managers should know the level of innovation and creativity required.

 

BRIEF THE SPECIFICATION & DELIVERY TEAM

It is vital to brief the interested people who will be the part of the team. Always make sure you have an illustrator on your team to create a design that would evoke positive emotions while passing the client’s message. Before taking this decision, have a clear idea of the qualities, scale, style of the agency and the team that will be participating in the project.

 

MANAGE AND MOTIVATE THE PROJECT TEAM

Project Managers should praise loudly but criticize softly. You should think critically before giving too much freedom for each delegated task. Project managers should manage the team and activities in meetings, supporting, and helping with decisions. It is recommended to use empathy and conflict handling skills and point out for signs of stress and manage it accordingly. Always know that a happy team will perform much better than a miserable team.

 

REVIEW PROJECT PERFORMANCE AND COMPLETE IT

It is very important for project managers to assess the progress of activities against the plan and review the performance of the team regularly. One can also plan team review meetings for it. This analysis helps to learn from mistakes. After submitting the design, managers should analyze the errors. S/he can even write a review report containing observations and recommendations concerning the issues.

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Welcome to Liam Smith Creative https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/welcome-liam-smith-creative/ https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/welcome-liam-smith-creative/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:29:41 +0000 https://liamsmithcreative.co.uk/?p=1 The post Welcome to Liam Smith Creative appeared first on Liam Smith Creative | Illustrator and Designer.

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WELCOME TO MY NEW WEBSITE!

As you may or may not know my website had been out of action for the past few months while I completely revamped the look and add some elements. Before WordPress, I was using Squarespace, and while it did a job, I wanted more than just a basic portfolio website.

And so finally here we are! It took longer than I expected with multiple projects running along side it, and my lack of knowledge in web design and wordpress, but I’m finally happy with the outcome.*

*That’s a complete lie, I’ll never be full happy with it but it’s passable for the moment.

So what can you expect? A store! 

Yes there are products available for purchase that will go through a UK company to be printed and sent to you. It’s looking *slightly* bare right now but this will progress over time.

A blog!

Clearly – you’re reading it now. The blog will be more personal at times, as I feel I have a lot to get off my chest. How easy that will be though – we shall see. Rest assured they’ll be plenty of creative posts if you don’t want to read any drivel.

What’s next?

I’d like to say take a break for a couple of weeks, but I can’t get *needing to do more* out of my head. To be fair I’ll be in Italy shortly but 100% I’ll be thinking about blog content.

I’ve missed illustration for the past couple of months, and with a couple of vector illustrations half done, I’ll be producing content quick.

The biggest goal though is branding myself. If I need to? A question I’ve asked myself over the past few years. But lets save that for another blog post shall we?

Thank you for reading, let me know your thoughts on the new site!

Liam x

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