What is Stan Store, how it works  + my review

What is Stan Store, how it works + my review

What is Stan Store, how it works + my review

Stan Store is the new kid on the block in terms of monetisation for content creators, offering shopping for digital products and courses that integrates seamlessly with platforms like TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. And costing from $29 a month with no commission, it’s no wonder you’ll find Stan Stores used by some of the biggest influencers. Here’s a breakdown of what Stan Store is, who might use it and my experience of setting it up.

This page includes affiliate links. If you click and purchase or sign-up, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I recommend only those tools I have tested and like.


Stan Store is an e-commerce shop that allows creators to sell their digital products, host and sell online courses and memberships, sign-up for email lists and book meetings. Creators add Stan Store to their profile link and when visitors click through, the shop looks like part of the platform they’ve just been using, whether that’s Instagram or TikTok. 

Stan Store has a minimal interface, so options to buy, book an appointment or sign-up for an email list are clear. Effectively, it’s the Swiss army knife of monetisation for content creators.


You can try Stan Store with a 14-day trial, after which it costs $29 at Creator level or $99 a month for Creator Pro. (Pricing correct in November 2023). Both options include the mobile-optimised store, calendar bookings, courses, subscriptions and email sign-up. Creator Pro also has email marketing, funnels, discount codes and upsells, payment plans, affiliate commissions and pixel tracking.

So if you want to sell digital products, have people join your email list, book 1:1 meetings or offer courses/memberships, the $29 Creator option is going to do all that for you. You also have the option of saving on the monthly fee by paying $300 for the annual plan. The Creator Plan annual plan is $948 a year.

One of the huge advantages of Stan Store is that the monthly fee is the only cost. It does not take transaction fees like Stripe or Paypal do. Typically, Stripe charges around 3% of the transaction and a 30c fee per transaction, depending on where you’re located and Paypal charges a similar transaction percentage. With Stan Store, you’re keeping 100% of what you sell; the only cost is the monthly fee.

Click here for a free 14-day trial of Stan Store.



I set up my Stan Store in less than 17 minutes, including:

  • adding my email address + profile photo
  • writing my bio
  • adding social media profiles
  • adding a branding colour
  • setting up Stripe’s payment system; and
  • creating my first product.

I call that nothing short of a miracle, in comparison to having spent DAYS setting up WooCommerce on my WordPress website and the Stripe part of that probably taking an hour or more of multiple steps. Even setting up an Etsy shop took much, much longer and there are fees to pay every time you list a new product. The Stan team has certainly made the experience of setting up a store easier than I thought it was possible to do and I’m impressed.


Prior to Stan Store, many creators were using Etsy to sell their digital products. As a creative marketplace, Etsy works well to sell digital and physical products, but there’s a major drawback: the moment you send someone to your Etsy store, you’re immediately taking them to your competitors. You’re giving a potential buyer access to similar products from others, which is not good for your sales.

Cost wise, the two have different approaches. Etsy charges a listing fee of 20c every time you create a new product or renew a product listing and 6.5% of all sales. Stan Store does not charge listing or transaction fees – just its one monthly fee of $29 or $99, depending on the level you choose.

While Etsy does have its own traffic, it’s competitive to rank for popular products and requires substantial work on your product title, description and visuals so it’s found in Etsy’s search. Stan Store is designed for traffic that you’ve built on your social channels.

The only time I can see Etsy being the better choice over Stan Store, would be if you were offering a large number of products, which might overwhelm the minimally-designed Stan Store. And even then, if you have significant traffic from one or more social platforms, you might want to move away from Etsy to your own store on something like Shopify or WooCommerce.


I have a WooCommerce e-commerce store built on my WordPress website and chose to add a Stan Store to use with Instagram and TikTok because of how well it integrates with them. It feels like I’m staying on the original app when I visit the store. In contrast, clicking the link to my website’s WooCommerce product opens up in another window and involves more clicks to get to the checkout than Stan Store. It’s just clunkier and less likely to convert click-throughs into sales because of the extra steps.


Anyone who monetises their social platforms with digital products, 1:1 appointments or runs courses or memberships would be a good fit for Stan Store. It could also work well for someone with a large following who wants email sign-ups, as the integration with social platforms is so seamless, it is likely to give a better sign-up rate over other options such as a regular website form. You can also use it for external links such as your website if you want.


Your Stan Store can host courses with multiple modules, text, videos and downloads such as workbooks and checklist PDFs. Each course has its own landing page with an image, course description, reviews and price, to help convert browsers into buyers. The intuitive interface makes creating learning modules straightforward and quick. 


Linktree has one job: it’s a place for links that take the visitor away to other platforms. Stan Store, on the other hand, is a whole e-commerce package that keeps the visitor feeling as if they are still on the platform they came from. The functionality of the two is therefore very different, as is the experience of any visitors.


To answer this question, we need to look at what a website is. Websites used to be the only option for finding out everything about a business or a person. Now that we have such active social platforms, sharing what a person or business offers, the combination of that with a Stan Store with its products, appointments and email sign-ups can replace a traditional website.

Another point in favour of social platforms combined with a Stan Store over a traditional website is the rise of platform search or SEO (search engine optimisation). Many people are using social platforms to search for things they may have once used Google for. It makes sense to search for a new London brunch spot or the best aesthetic matcha glasses on Instagram or TikTok over Google results: the results come from accounts that have people behind them we can see, hear and connect with. And with this kind of shift, we want to make the most of our content that may appear in social searches and monetise it.

Stan Store is the simplest, most integrated option for all the technical back-end of online sales. Rather than needing an appointment scheduler, an e-commerce store, a course or membership host and an email sign-up form, it’s all combined in one. Yay for someone dealing with all the technical headaches so easily! Also, with that taken care of, it’s easy to think about creating a mini-course or a PDF product when you can have it online in a few minutes. It allows creators to take action on inspiration in the moment, which can only be a good thing.



You start by creating your Stan Store. This took  about 17 minutes including creating my first product – a 1:1 Strategy session complete with options to book particular days in my calendar. It starts by asking about your business or niche.

How to set up your StanStore in a few easy steps.

Once you have that and you have verified your email address, you can create as many or as few products as you wish. When you click ‘Add a product’, you’ll see these options:

StanStore: How to create a product

The back end of your Stan Store allows you to see the number of daily click-throughs to your store, the store itself, so you can easily add new products and see immediately how they look in your store, all using a drag and drop builder. It has a separate page for income, listing product sales and email sign-ups, appointments and, if you’re on the Creator Pro level, email flows.

The layout is clean and easy to read and gives you all the numbers you could need to optimise your products and sales.



Theoretically, you can sell an unlimited number of products in a Stan Store, however, any more than six can cause sales to drop. This is because a large number of choices can cause people to not buy at all, rather than make a choice, as this study with jam sales found.

If you have many products you would like to sell, here are three options you can test to find out what works best for your store and audience: 
– Offer them all
– List only your best-sellers
– List up to six and test which ones bring in the most revenue / sales. 


Yes, you can have as many Stan Stores as you like, as long as you create each one with its own email address.  Multiple Stan Stores would work well if you run more than one business or have very different audiences. 


You can use Stan Store’s email sign-up in two ways. The first, is to use email flows that are available on the Creator Pro level. The other way is to integrate the sign-up with either built-in provider MailChimp or integrating it with other email providers with Zapier. I integrated the sign-up with my email provider Active Campaign, which I did with one click from a host of options inside Stan Store. So now, anyone signing up for my lead magnet inside Stan Store is automatically added to the right list inside Active Campaign and tagged, so I know where they came from.


In my opinion, if you have at least one low-priced ticket to sell and are active on at least one platform from Instagram, TikTok or Facebook, then yes. It’s so easy to use, your sales conversion rate is likely to be better than any other platform. It uses Stripe for its card transactions, a trusted name and there is no commission, which I don’t see being offered by any other shopping platform.

It could also be worth it alone if you want to make money from your email list. The email sign-up is so easy to use, that the monthly fee might be worth it for the increase in conversion rates over a regular website sign-up form. Certainly, it’s worth testing for at least the 14 days of the free trial to see if there is an improvement over your current sign-up rate.

To try Stan Store for free, click here for a 14-day trial.

Click here to try out Stan Store for free



The fourth quarter of the year is the time when service businesses can hit their yearly goals, even if they’ve not been on target earlier in the year. With Black Friday / Cyber Monday, holiday spending and end-of-year budgets all in the mix, the rewards can be great, but you need to be prepared.

To help you make the most of the fourth quarter, here are some steps you can put in place to maximise your sales and avoid overwhelm, so that when the holidays start, you can relax and enjoy a break.


CLIENTS: The first step in getting ready for the fourth quarter is to look at your existing workload and commitments. Check the client work you already have booked in or that is likely to book. Contact potential clients who have said they want work done at some point and let them know this is their window to book in with their deposit before the year ends. Given you are about to launch promotional plans, your availability is likely to become extremely limited and your clients will appreciate giving them a heads-up now so they can plan too. You might even add in an early bird bonus to galvanise them.

CALENDAR: Also look at your calendar for personal commitments. Now would be a good time to check with family and others in your household about their expectations for the fourth quarter, especially plans for late December and into the new year.

PERSONAL: Are there any tasks you need to do – either personal or business – that you want to complete before the fourth quarter to have them out of the way? This could be anything from a dental check-up to bringing your paperwork up to date. Think of it as clearing the runway!

The goal of this is to assess your workload and to proactively manage your clients and maximise your revenue from existing clients.


Now you’re going to find out where the other ‘edges’ are in your fourth quarter and define some of your own.


  • Check with your main suppliers, delivery firms or any other businesses you work with on their holiday deadlines. Put them in your calendar.
  • Based on these, set your own client deadlines with time for you to do your work and including a cushion to cover epic courier failures, mistakes and illness. Add these to your calendar.
  • Tell existing clients about your deadlines, preferably everywhere: social media platforms, social media profiles, newsletters or a one-off email to current clients.


Black Friday 2023 is Friday November 24. Mark this and Cyber Monday on Monday November 27 on your calendar.  Even if you don’t run any Black Friday promotions, this period affects spending patterns, social media ‘noise’ and ad costs, in the 10 days or more leading up to this promotional long weekend.


Now that you know the landscape for the final three months or more of the year, you can plan. Big picture planning for most small service-based businesses is best on a few sheets of paper so you can see how everything fits together. I’ve designed a free printable planner of Q4 for 2023 which you can DOWNLOAD HERE. (No email needed).

Choose the promotions you’re going to run, if any. You may already be close to fully booked (go you!) and your main job here is to manage client expectations. If not, then look at your financial goals and plan one or more promotions that could meet those goals, given your availability.

For instance, if you are a yoga teacher who is going to run a Black Friday offer on yearly online class memberships, you might team up with a local artist to create a limited edition yoga mat: those signing up for the year receive one. To do this, you would need to find an artist, set up the commission and have at least one yoga mat printed so that you can check quality and use it to promote your offer. Then you promote it for a week or two leading up to Black Friday.

There are a HUGE number of advantages to being this organised.  For a start, you’re so much more likely to hit your revenue goals. You’re less likely to be overwhelmed and it means you can take advantage of early bird specials or bulk discounts on printing marketing pieces or telling the local newspaper about your yoga mat commission and arranging a photo shoot of you, the artist and the yoga mat.


What are all the supplies you could need for this quarter? Check printer ink, sticky tape, Sharpies, bubble wrap, brown paper, labels, scissors, batteries. Either check everything now and order or make a note on your calendar when you are going to do this.

If you usually give your suppliers a little extra something at Christmas, now would be a good time to schedule that, perhaps even using Black Friday discounts.

Ditto, if you send holiday or New Year cards, schedule in time for those which could include: planning, shooting, designing, ordering, writing and addressing.


An inbox is not a task list. So if you have hundreds or thousands of emails in there that want actioning, move them to a sub-folder so you don’t get drawn in every time you go to your inbox.

Going forward, you’re going to empty your inbox daily Monday to Friday or whatever your business week is. Check your inbox between one and three times a day and close it at other times. This will allow you to concentrate on the big chunks of work you need to get through without email being a distraction.

Answer anything that you can do inside a couple of minutes and for anything that will take longer, turn it into a task. Copy and paste the relevant piece of the email to the task. If you have a system that links emails like LightBlue or Daylite, that’s fabulous.

Once you’ve either replied or turned the email into a task, file the email in a sub-folder. Given that you can search for the email by content or sender, you could just have one sub-folder for ‘dealt with’ emails.

This system of handling email is based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done. It’s a fabulous book for managing your business and life generally – perhaps a holiday read?

You also need to go through your current inbox for the past month or so and triage it: either respond inside a few minutes or turn into a task. You do not want one of these coming back in a few weeks to trip you up when you’re at your busiest. Schedule your triage session in your calendar in the next few days if you can’t do this today.


When you’re planning your client projects, it can be useful to keep the notes and thoughts for each project in a separate folder. Breaking down projects helps prevent overwhelm and keeps them on track.

For instance, ‘do album’ may include:
– Request favourites from client / choose favourites
– Import image folder into album design software
– Check size of album + number of pages
– Design album
– Export design as double-page spreads
– Resize spreads and save for web
– Upload to online review software, write intro blurb, publish.
– Email client with link, next steps and album deadlines.

For sets of repeating tasks such as the steps in designing an album, it can be helpful to keep a list of them which you print and tick off. Electronic task managers can have their own versions of this; for instance, Daylite has activity sets.

Although you may know all the steps, remembering them in the right order can take up space in your head that you may want for other things.


If it looks as if you have too much on your plate, there are a few things you can do.

One is to truly look at how efficient you are. For instance, designing albums and making album changes all on one day is more efficient than doing an hour a day for the week. This is because when you switch context between different tasks, it takes us time to adjust from one to the next.

This means that a one-minute email in the midst of album design is more like a five to 10-minute email as you lose your train of thought on the album. There is also something intrinsically rewarding with getting something as complex as an album design done in just one or two concentrated sittings without distractions.

If you are being efficient, then what support could you get? Concentrate on removing or reducing tasks that suck your willpower. For one person, this could be using social media hashtags, for another, it could be the thought of what to cook for dinner. Social media management or food boxes with recipes such as Hello Fresh might help.

Also keep in mind services such as Fiverr and Upwork for online business tasks and Helping Hands and local teenagers/parents to deal with physical ones such as packing orders and post office runs. Try to get your support set up before you need it.

Schedule time in your calendar for you too. This includes time off, family/friends time and workouts.  You can download a free printable planner of your 2018 fourth quarter I’ve designed just for you – no email needed HERE


You should now have a calendar with important dates and deadlines and a set of projects, each of which contains tasks. These two pieces can help you stay on top of this quarter like a boss. Check your projects each week – it will probably take you less than 30 minutes – to make sure that everything is progressing as it should be: clients or suppliers have responded to emails and nothing you were meant to do has fallen through the cracks.

We’re all human and things WILL get lost along the way, but the weekly checks will bring you back on course quickly and help you plan your tasks for the week. Don’t forget, you can download a free printable planner of 2023 fourth quarter I’ve designed just for you here. 

I hope this helps you plan your fourth quarter success, staying sane and delivering a great service to your clients.

How to add a link to Instagram Stories

How to add a link to Instagram Stories

How to add a link to Instagram Stories

Stories is one of the few places where Instagram allows a clickable link, so knowing how to add a link to Instagram Stories is a business essential for building your email list and sales. Here’s how to add a link to an IG Story and style it to match your branding.

How to add a link to Instagram Stories in three easy steps

Once you have created your Instagram Story and are ready to add a link:

  1. Click on the Stickers button in the top navigation of four circles
How to add a link to ig story - three easy steps to adding links to Instagram Stories.

2. Choose the link sticker and type in or paste your link. You can share the link as it is or customise the sticker text. Click ‘Done’ when you’re finished.

How to post a link on ig story - step two of three steps to posting a link on Instagram Stories.

3. Customise the link’s styling by tapping the link – there are three options to suit various backgrounds.

Three Instagram Stories link styles you can add to your Stories in 2023.

Custom styling the Instagram Story sticker link

Instagram gives you three native link styles: bright blue, black with a pink and orange rainbow and white text on a transparent background. You can use any of these quickly and easily.

But with a few simple hacks, you can style the white text to work with your branding, so it’s visible against the background and appears in your brand colours. The first custom styling option is to use the Draw tool with one of your brand colours to swipe a fat line or two that is a bit longer that your link sticker. You can move the link sticker to sit on top of the coloured line.

Custom styling an Instagram Stories link with the drawing tool and your brand colours.

The second custom styling option uses the text tool with a background. Hit the period / full stop and then as many spaces as you need to create a coloured block to run behind the white link. change the colour to one of your brand colours and put behind the white link. You may need to juggle the text slightly to hide it behind the link text.

Custom styling an Instagram Stories link with the text tool and your brand colours.

The third custom styling option uses a block of colour from a sticker or a custom graphic of your own. You can search Instagram’s own stickers for colour blocks with text such as ‘orange rectangle’ – or whatever your brand colour might be. If you need to delete any unwanted stickers, drag them towards the bottom of the screen and a trash can in a circle will appear. Drag the sticker into the trash to delete. To add your own colour blocks, you’ll want shapes saved as PNGs with a transparent background.

Please note that for the PNG’s transparent background to stay hidden, you’ll need to cut and paste the sticker from your camera roll rather than adding it as a sticker or photo through Instagram’s sticker menu. You can do this by going into your camera roll, selecting the png file and clicking on ‘Copy photo’ in the menu at the bottom of the screen. Return to the Instagram app, click on the screen and hit ‘Paste’. 

Custom styling an Instagram Stories link with a branded transparent PNG and your brand colours.

Can everyone post links on Instagram Stories?

Yes, every account can post links in Instagram Stories. Instagram introduced this in 2021, after the link only previously been available to accounts with more than 10,000 followers. Although Instagram does warn that new accounts and accounts that repeatedly share content that violates its Community Guidelines will not have access to the link sticker.

Why your business should be adding links to Instagram Stories

As much as you might love Instagram, your account can disappear at any time. You could be hacked or Instagram / parent company Meta could choose to remove your account. Therefore, you want to move as many followers as you can onto your own mailing list and links are an essential part of doing that.

Instagram offers links in your profile – up to five of them – and on Stories. It doesn’t offer them on regular grid posts, Carousels or Reels and Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has said (in 2023) that it’s extremely unlikely to add links to the feed.

In order to move followers from your Instagram account to your own mailing list, you want to be adding links to Instagram Stories regularly, that take viewers to a sign-up form to collect details such as a name and email address. You can entice them to do this with what’s known as a lead magnet or freebie, which they receive in return for their personal details. This might be something like an ebook, a template or checklist.

Whenever you are sharing a Story that relates to your lead magnet, share your lead magnet opt-in page so that anyone who is interested in that topic has the option of joining your mailing list and downloading your lead magnet.

Using Instagram Story link stickers also helps with engagement on your Stories: clicking those links is engagement and Instagram does love engagement!

Canva brand kit: how to set it up (free + pro options)

Canva brand kit: how to set it up (free + pro options)

Canva brand kit: how to set it up (free + pro options)

Let me introduce you to the Canva brand kit – an essential element of any business that helps it appear with a consistent look and feel across its social platforms, website and other marketing. And with free and paid options, the Canva brand kit can work for new or established businesses on any budget.

Canva is an online design tool with a drag and drop interface that’s easy to use, templates and a relatively short learning curve, so it’s perfect for business owners who are not graphic designers. You can create everything in it from social media graphics to websites and business cards. Most options are free to use, with paid plans for some photos, graphic elements, templates and team working.

What is a branding kit?

A brand kit is a collection of elements, colours and fonts that are associated with your business or brand. It can be as simple as a single font and one colour or include multiple logo variations, several fonts and multiple colour palettes.

Its purpose is to create a recognisable cohesive look or feel for a business or brand. This means that when it appears somewhere like Instagram, followers can instantly identify which account has shared a post, which helps develop a relationship with the brand.

Canva branding kit contents: a logo, a colour palette and fonts.

How to create a brand kit in Canva

Canva has its own Brand Hub in the sidebar in the tools section. When you click on this, you’re taken to the Brand Kit and Brand templates, each with their own tabs. A free Canva account allows you to add up to two colours, so you can have a brand kit in free Canva, albeit a minimal one. The Pro Canva account allows you to add multiple logos, colours, photos, graphics and icons, along with fonts for your title, subtitle, headings, body text, quotes and captions.

At first glance, the free Canva account is very restrictive, but when you sign up, you’re offered a free 30-day trial of its Pro membership, during which you can set up your Brand Kit. The Brand Kit remains, even if you cancel your Pro membership after the free trial. So, I suggest that you use the free trial to set up your Brand Kit – it saves you so much time when creating or adapting designs.

You add brand colours to Canva by clicking ‘Add colour’ and typing in the hex codes. Logos are added into their own folder with the upload button. For fonts, you can upload your own or use one of the hundreds of popular Canva fonts. There’s even a font ‘notes’ section to allow comments about font usage such as when to make headings all capital letters or changing letter spacing.

What does a brand kit do in Canva?

A Canva brand kit helps you create graphic designs more quickly than starting from scratch, because it contains all your branding elements such as colours and heading / body fonts as well as other graphics such as logos.

If you have Pro membership (it’s around $13/£11 a month if you pay monthly), you can also customise the colours of templates in a few clicks: pass your cursor over the colours in your brand hub and an option to ‘shuffle’ will appear. Click on the bar of brand colours and watch the template colours swap around. Keep clicking until you have the colour combination you most prefer.

How to set up brand templates in Canva

You can set up Brand Templates inside Canva’s Brand Hub with the Brand Kit. This is one of those tasks that you do once and you reap the rewards repeatedly afterwards. In this case, set up templates that you regularly use such as Instagram carousel posts, Reels covers and Facebook posts and add your brand fonts, colours and matching colours or graphics. This would also be a great time to add any custom photography you have, putting it in the photos folder.

This is especially useful when you’re working in teams and want others to work on graphics: these pre-approved templates are going to steer your colleagues or freelancers towards creating work that is on brand. Having brand templates set up is also going to save you time going forward, especially when you’re in a hurry.

In the Pro account, you can have multiple brand kits. It’s easy to swap between them in a couple of clicks.

Where you can use your Canva brand kit

You can use your Canva brand kit EVERYWHERE! This means you can use it to create:

  • Social post graphics
  • Video text overlays
  • Ebooks
  • Presentations
  • Business cards
  • QR codes in a brand colour
  • Brochures / flyers
  • Canva websites

How to share your brand kit

Imagine that you have your brand kit inside Canva and want a freelancer to create graphics for you that fit your branding. One way of working would be to add them to your Canva team. Another is to have them create inside their own Canva account and supply you with either the finished graphics or a template link, that allows you to open a copy of their work in your own account with one click, so you can update the template at will.

In this case, you would want to supply them with a branding guide, that explains your brand kit in one document, so that they understand your brand visuals. This is where you can create a Canva brand guide or guidelines.

I’ve created a free Canva brand guide template to make this easy for you: click the graphic below for access. Just swap in your own colours, fonts, logo if relevant and photos if you want to help flesh out the look of your brand, download as a PDF and send to your designer. This is also helpful if you are working with any freelancers or web designers.

Free Canva brand guide template - just add your name and email to download this brand guidelines template for Canva. Download into your Canva account in one click.
Instagram Story views: everything you need to know in 2023

Instagram Story views: everything you need to know in 2023

Instagram Story views: everything you need to know in 2023

When you understand Instagram Story views on your account, you can use this to improve your content and have it shared more and grow, which is what we all want, right? Let’s go through everything you need to know about Instagram Story views, including what Instagram Story views are, how to see them, why you should be using Instagram Stories in 2023 and how to be seen by others. In other words, understanding Instagram Story views is a big step towards growing your Instagram account with your ideal followers.


Instagram Story views are the number and names of accounts that have seen a particular Story.  They’re visible for up to 48 hours, via Instagram’s Archive feature.



There are two ways to see Instagram Story views.

  1. The first, is by clicking on your Story while it’s live – in other words, in the first 24 hours of its life either in the Instagram phone app itself or on the desktop. You’ll see the total views and a list of accounts that have seen it.
  2. You can also click on the Instagram hamburger menu (the set of narrow lines on the top right), choosing Archive /  Stories / Stories Archive from a drop-down menu at the top of the screen. Story views are visible in the archive for 48 hours.

Find viewers of your Instagram Stories by checking your account archive within 48 hours of your Story going live. Once 48 hours has passed, details of Story viewers disappear.



Given that Instagram Story views disappear after 48 hours, you have several options for tracking them. One is to track them manually, adding figures to a spreadsheet or Airtable every 24-48 hours. Another is to use a third-party tool such as Later’s scheduler in the Growth or Advanced plans. Later’s Free and Starter plans exclude this tracking.



Continuous monitoring of your Instagram Story views gives you a feedback loop on your most popular content and top Story followers. This helps you see your most successful content and the content that failed, so you can create more successful Stories and fewer failures. It also allows you to test new types of content, happily knowing that it will be clear within 24 hours whether you should continue.



One of the easiest ways to help increase Story views on your Instagram account is to post when your followers are online. You can find out when this is by checking your analytics. Analytics can be seen via the hamburger menu / Insights / Total followers and scrolling down to ‘Most active times’. Here, you’ll see a graph showing the days and hours when your followers are online the most.

This gives you a range of best times to post. From these, you can choose when you’re going to post and test what times consistently bring you in the most Story views.

Find out when your followers are on Instagram by checking Insights in the menu and going to the 'Followers' section. Scroll down to see a graph of when your followers are online for each day of the week.



Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri suggested in mid-2021 that posting two Stories a day is right for growing your account.  Other Instagram experts suggest posting regularly throughout the day so that whenever your followers visit Instagram – and usually it’s multiple times a day – there’s a new Story from you for them to see. Ultimately, you need to choose what is right for you, your business and your lifestyle. If you’re unsure, perhaps start with twice a day, at the start and end of business hours and see how that works.

A good rule of thumb for the maximum number of Stories a day, suggested by Fohr founder James Nord is that if you can’t easily count the number of white lines along the top of an account’s Stories, there are too many. Instagram allows you to post up to 100 Stories a day before it starts deleting the oldest ones, even before their 24 hours of life have expired.



Instagram explained on its blog in May 2023 that there are many factors that go into ranking your Instagram Stories, including:

  • VIEWING HISTORY: How often you view an account’s Stories, so the ones you view the most appear first
  • ENGAGEMENT HISTORY: How often you engage with that account’s Stories, such as responding with an emoji or message
  • CLOSENESS: Your relationship with the account overall.

This is similar to information Mosseri shared on his Instagram account in June 2021, explaining how the company tries to find content that best suits viewers, when he said ranking factors included post information such as whether the Story is a video or photo and account information such as how often it’s posted recently.



Instagram Stories are one of the best ways to build relationships with your followers AND one of the best ways of being shared by other accounts, increasing the number of accounts seeing your content and potentially increasing your followers.

Stories are the ideal ‘snackable’ size of content for viewers with an ever-decreasing attention span. Photos last five seconds in the Stories feed and videos up to 60 seconds, which are perfect for simple ideas and updates. And because they’re so bite-sized, you can share a variety of topics that help viewers get to know you and your business.

They’re also easy to create when you’re pushed for time. You can go from “Oh, my followers might like this” to sharing it within minutes, unlike a grid post or Reel that do best with a thoughtful caption, carefully chosen hashtags and impactful visuals. They’re an update for your followers in between grid posts.

Choose whether other accounts can share your Instagram posts via the settings. By default, these are left on so that others can share your content on their Stories.

Also remember that when your Stories appear multiple times a day in someone’s Instagram account, it’s an excellent way for them to get to know, like and trust you, which in turn leads to bookings and sales for your business.

If you’re sceptical about this working, try going onto your Stories every day for a week and watching all of them. Check in with yourself after that week to see how you feel about those accounts, compared to the previous week. (If any accounts are posting an overwhelming number of Stories a day, you can mute them by going to their profile and tapping the ‘Following’ dropdown menu that will allow you to ‘Mute’ or hide their posts and/or Stories).

Stories are an important part of the Instagram ecosystem, given that everyone uses Instagram differently.  Some people will look mainly at Stories and very little at regular grid posts. Others will go straight to Reels and others again will browse their feed, Stories and the explore page. Using Stories as well as grid posts and Reels increases the touch points of your account with your followers, increasing the chances of you being seen.



Knowing how to choose the best board names on Pinterest in 2023 is an essential part of being found on the SEO-based platform, alongside creating the best pins and best strategies. In this article, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about naming Pinterest boards so you get more re-pins and traffic.


You start or create a board on Pinterest in three easy steps. These are:

1. Making sure you’re logged into Pinterest, click on your profile photo on the top right-hand side. This will display your boards.
2. Click the + button on the right-hand side and select ‘create board’ from the dropdown menu.
3. Name the board, choose if you want to make it secret and press the red ‘create’ button. You’re done!

How do I start a board on Pinterest screenshot from Pinterest showing how to press the + button and create a new board for your account.


Your board names on Pinterest should use  words that people are already searching for inside the app, so that your board has the best chance of being found. You can find out the best terms – often called keywords – by searching yourself and seeing what Pinterest suggests for you.

As an example, if I put ‘yoga tips’ into Pinterest, there are suggested terms just below including ‘for beginners’, ‘for beginners 30 day’ and ‘for beginners flexibility’. I can also see a range of pins below these suggestions. In the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the search bar, you can also set it to ‘boards’ and see what boards are called ‘Yoga tips’. There are a LOT of results!

So while you CAN name your board ‘Yoga tips’, it’s going to be difficult to set it apart from all the other boards with the same name. If you niche down more in the name, perhaps with ‘Yoga tips for beginners’ as Pinterest suggested, that would help beginners find your board.

To target more advanced yogis, you might type ‘Advanced yoga’ into the search bar, which will suggest terms like ‘advanced yoga flow’ or ‘advanced yoga poses names’. If your board names on Pinterest are these more niche terms, they’re more likely to be found and your pins are more likely to be re-pinned and clicked on. In other words, you’re competing for terms with less competition.


A Pinterest board name can be up to 50 characters long. You want the most important words at the front, because those are the ones that will show on your profile or in a search for boards.

Here’s what that looks like:


You can have up to 500 Pinterest boards including secret boards and group boards you didn’t create. Secret boards are those that only you and other Pinterest users you invite can see (Pinterest calls these other people ‘collaborators’). Group boards are public boards that have more than one person able to add pins.


You have 500 characters for your Pinterest board descriptions. That gives you room to describe clearly what your board is about, using keywords near the beginning of the description. These can be a mix of popular, broad keywords and long-tail phrases. Long-tail phrases often start with ‘how to …’ or ‘how can I …’.

Mention if the board serves a particular niche, such as Etsy sellers or what transformation they can expect eg ‘learn how to take your own product photos’. Use keywords you found when searching Pinterest for your board names. Although writing a board name in capitals can make it appear bolder, it’s also more difficult to read, so using upper and lower case text is best. 


Edit a Pinterest board by:
1. Clicking on your board to open it and selecting the three dots for board options. It will show you an option to ‘Edit board’.
2. Here, you can change the board name, board cover, description, collaborators, make it secret, show pins inspired by the board in your home feed or delete the board.
3. Click the red ‘Done’ button to save your changes.


You can manually assign one of your pins as the board cover or Pinterest will choose a pin itself. This means you can make a board cover graphic and pin it to the board. Give it the board URL as its link.

Once you’ve saved the pin to your board, edit the board and choose ‘CHANGE COVER’. Choose the pin you have just saved as the cover. The pin you have chosen as a cover will usually appear as a square

The jury’s out as to whether this has an impact on gaining followers or repins, but speaking for myself, if someone has gone to the trouble of creating board covers, I’m more likely to think they’ve curated pins with some extra thought as well and am more likely to look at their content and follow them.


Arrange your boards on your profile in a way that works for you. Pinterest offers automatic arrangements based on the alphabet or showing boards in order of boards where you saved your last pins. A third way is manual – you drag and drop your boards in exactly the order you prefer.

You can set which of the three options you want by looking at your boards and finding the ‘settings’ icon with two circles on two lines. Click on this to select your option.

I recommend you choose the drag and drop option, putting the most important boards for your ideal clients first. Click on a board and drag it to a white space between other boards. The first board will automatically contain all your pins or all saved products. You cannot move this board.

How to rearrange Pinterest boards with drag and drop.


Pinterest boards appear to have unlimited sections. You can have at least 20 sections in a Pinterest board, which should be more than enough for one board.


You can delete a Pinterest board in three easy steps. These are

1. Making sure you’re logged into Pinterest, click on your profile photo on the top right-hand side. This will display your boards.
2. Move your cursor over the board you want to delete. An option to edit with a pencil icon will appear.
3. Scroll down the board editing options and click on ‘Delete board’. Click the red ‘Delete forever’ pop-up button that appears.


To upgrade your Pinterest account easily and quickly, I’ve created this set of Pinterest pin templates you can download and be using in minutes inside online design tool Canva. The set of 31 minimal pin designs opens in one click inside your Canva account. All the fonts and design elements contained in the pin templates are free, so you don’t need the pro version. Just add your brand colours, drop in your own photos and swap the fonts/text and you’re done!



If you’ve ever wondered how big to make your Facebook header or found your uploaded photo looking pixelated, here’s the complete guide to the perfect Facebook header size and making sure it works across desktop and mobile in 2023.


The Facebook page header size is a horizontal image in a 16:9 image ratio. Facebook recommends the image is at least 400 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall and suggests it be 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels high for the fastest loading time.

However, this image shows up differently in computer browsers to the Facebook mobile app. On browsers, you can see most of the header clearly; on the mobile app, the profile photo overlaps the the header significantly.

Here’s what that looks like:

Facebook header size shown on desktop and mobile in 2023.

As you can see, the image needs to have its essential elements on the top left or top right. In this example, there’s text on the top left and an example of the products on the top right. If a text-free photo had been used, it also would need to make sense with the central area missing.


Facebook suggests that the fastest loading header image is a JPG file that is less than 100 kilobytes. For header images with your logo or text, you might get a clearer result with a PNG file. Facebook also suggests using the sRGB colour space for accurate colours.


Your page’s profile photo appears as a circle with a 176 pixel diameter on computer browsers, as a 196 pixel diameter circle on smartphones and 36 pixel diameter circle on most feature phones.

Like your Facebook header, you may want to double these dimensions to keep the images sharp. Many business owners choose to use a logo in this place rather than their face. Although this may be appropriate for larger businesses, using a friendly headshot is more welcoming.


You can simply upload a photo that is the right dimensions and you’re done. You might also choose to add your logo and/or text that explains more about your business or what you currently have on offer.

To create either option in the correct size, you need a photo or graphics editor. My favourite for this is free online graphic design tool Canva. It has built-in Facebook templates and it’s easy to compare layout variations with one-click layout duplication.


Ideally, you want your Facebook header photo to give as much information as possible, as quickly as possible. This usually means very simple photos or layouts.

You want your photo to be super clear because Facebook users are often scrolling quickly on their phones while they’re out and about. You only have a few seconds to make it clear what you offer and most of the time, on a small mobile screen.

For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you want a photo of you working with a couple on their wedding day, so you’re visible. Simply having a photo of newlyweds says ‘wedding’, but could also be promoting a make-up artist, florist, venue, planner or dress designer.

Apply the same principle of clarity to text or a logo. This means using five words or fewer for text and only using a logo if it’s clearly legible at a small size. Use your branding colours and fonts if possible. It helps existing fans of your business recognise you and helps build brand recognition for those who are new.


The best photos for Facebook are authentic ones – some would say ‘messy’ or believable, rather than perfectly taken, photoshopped commercial images. Your clients might share perfect examples of this with you, using your product or sharing how they benefitted from your services. Just get their permission! This is also known as user generated content or UGC.

If you are going to use stock images, try to avoid the very common ones that have been seen multiple times across other businesses, especially those from free stock sites. If that’s not possible, then take a little time to think of less common search terms. For example, look for ‘designer-makers’ rather than ‘creative business owners’. And spend some time scrolling through the search results rather than picking one from the very top – it makes it less likely that the photo you choose is already familiar to your page visitors and associated with other businesses.

Also, make sure your header fits Facebook’s terms. This means avoiding misleading claims, swearing and being appropriate for all ages as the page is open to everyone on Facebook.

That’s everything you need to create a Facebook header that works flawlessly across desktop and mobile and clearly shows what your business has to offer in a few seconds.



When you start your own business, you need to learn so many new skills: financial, social, motivational and beyond. Given that you’re the one responsible for making everything happen, it’s easy to think that you need to do it all yourself, but that’s just not true. In fact, experts say you need to build systems for others to follow as soon as you can, so you can stay doing the thing you love and let others do the rest. Doing this prevents frustration and burn-out. One of the easiest systems you can introduce to your business are Canva templates for your social media graphics. Here are seven reasons why you might want to use them to grow your business and stay sane at the same time.


Time is one of the scarcest resources of a business owner. Do you really want to spend hours creating graphics, when you could take a short-cut with templates, updating with your branded colours, fonts and text in a few minutes? And once you have your favourites updated with your branding, simply duplicate pages in your design and swap out the text and photos. It’s that easy!

Using brand fonts and colours consistently means your followers recognise your posts as soon as they appear in their feed – an easy way to build your brand. And templates make it possible to batch weeks or months of content at a time and schedule out your posts, so you have time and bandwidth to work on other parts of your business, secure in the knowledge that your social media posts are going out when they should. 

Even if you ‘like’ designing social media graphics, is spending hours on them a great use of your time? Is there something else that would be a better use of your time? Hint: it may be something you don’t want to do and designing social media graphics is a displacement activity. If you really need a break from work, you could choose an activity that is completely unconnected.

Canva business templates - an example of a carousel template for Canva that could save you hours.


We often start a business because we want to work in a particular field on our own and we’re passionate about that – or certainly about the freedom that working for yourself can bring. What can remove the shine from that vision are the other tasks that are not part of your chosen profession. For instance, if you’re a yoga teacher who loves helping their clients build stronger and more flexible bodies, it doesn’t automatically follow that you also love running an Instagram account, learning to set up an online shop to sell classes or completing tax returns. You may not be skilled at these either. 

Give yourself the gift of freedom and outsource or minimise those tasks where possible, so that you can spend most of your time connecting with your clients. Canva templates are an easy stepping stone that give professional results for your marketing without needing to learn design principles yourself. Just add in your own fonts, colours and text. 


It can be easy to be stuck in your own design world – the way it’s always been done. By tapping into Canva business templates, you’re staying current with trends and your business reflects it’s moving with the times.

This can be simple updates such as using a gradient rather than a single colour or using trending elements. And because someone else is doing the designing, you don’t have to stay on top of the latest looks. Win-win!

You can still retain your brand colours and fonts most of the time, with the trending elements or designs swapping in to keep your social media graphics and other marketing visuals fresh. 


In order for your business to earn more, your average hourly rate has to increase. Whether that’s raising what you charge for professional services, or spending your time creating products that can be sold multiple times to leverage your time, your hourly rate matters. 

Given this, you need to ask yourself if it makes any sense to spend hours creating a graphic that someone else – an expert in THEIR field – has already 90% created. This is their leveraged product that is available at a much lower price point than it would cost to have a custom design created. 

Unless your outgoings need to be as close to zero as possible or you’re outsourcing your social media completely, Canva business templates are the efficient middle way to create marketing graphics efficiently. 


Yes, we’re talking about your time again and how to make the most of it. Canva templates can help you publish in minutes rather than hours. This can mean you’re able to create and schedule a social post in a small pocket of time between meetings or at the end of the day.

And because you’re not wasting time thinking about text size or balancing elements, you never end up taking five times as long as you planned to work on your socials, abandoning other important tasks in your schedule. Apart from anything else, having your daily plans hijacked by a marketing graphic is discouraging.  


Many Canva business templates make the most of recently added functionality and new additions to the library. They could feature animations, text variations or simply using the latest elements, which add the ‘ooh’ factor to your social posts. It also means you don’t have to ‘stay up with the latest trends’ – as they’re already baked into the templates. 


When starting your business, you want to create systems for efficiency. It also means that when you’re ready to delegate tasks, they’re ready to hand over. In the case of creating weekly Instagram content, for example, this could be tasks that include reviewing the past week, choosing topics (based on your content pillars), writing posts, recording and editing video, creating graphics, scheduling and daily engagement.

You might make these into a checklist, a set of Trello cards or a section in Notion, depending on how you like to run your business. You can link the URL of your Canva templates quickly and easily into any online system – even a PDF checklist.

Once you’ve built your systems, you can see easily which parts – if not all – you can delegate to others.  Systems also keep you on track: it’s easier to work through a checklist than remember what you need to do and in what order every time. Systems also mean knowing how long a set of tasks take, so you can plan enough time in your diary. 

What do you think? Do any of these points resonate with you and your business? Have you tried using Canva templates for your marketing? There are a range of them available in the shop



Creating an Instagram carousel – the grid posts with multiple photos/videos – can be a challenge and yet the upside is so high: greater engagement, content that serves your audience and is perfect for sharing and saving. Here’s what you need to know about creating a carousel for your business that gives you the most saves, likes and shares for your time. There’s even a free PDF checklist at the end of this post you can download.


Carousels are the way you post multiple photos on Instagram on the grid. This grid post can have up to 10 photos, videos or a mix of the two. Viewers swipe through from right to left on the screen to view each slide, one at a time. A series of grey dots under the posts shows how many slides are in the carousel, with a blue dot marking the position of the current slide. 

Carousels are the same as regular posts in other ways including captions, the ability to share, comment, like and save. Instagram introduced them early in 2017 as an ad format, extending that to all users soon afterwards.


You can make carousel posts any size from square to a 4:5 ratio vertical or portrait image, as long as they have matching dimensions. If you try adding differently sized photos or videos, they will crop to the same shape as your first slide. If you’re choosing a non-square size, you might want to consider what your first photo will look like cropped in your grid. 

In pixels, a 4:5 ratio for Instagram is 1080 pixels wide by 1350 pixels high. This format takes up the most amount of screen space available, so is the best format for impact in the scroll.

You can also use horizontal images or videos up to a 1.91:1 ratio, which is 1080 pixels wide by 566 pixels high. This is not an ideal format, because it takes up so little space in the feed, which means it’s easy to scroll past without noticing it. If you want to keep your images wide and narrow, you could use a photo or graphics editor to add white space above and below your image, helping it stand out in the feed.

Videos can last up to 60 seconds and need to be smaller than 4GB.

Be aware that your carousel will show in your Instagram feed as a square, with the top and bottom of your first slide hidden, so make sure that your design and any text you want seen is in the centre of the carousel’s first slide.


How to create a carousel inside the Instagram app

  1. Tap the + sign on the top right, next to the menu.
  2. Tap the post option (with a grid icon).
  3. This will bring up the ‘Recents’ album. Navigate to another album if needed and tap the multiple photo option. 
  4. Tap on the photos or videos you want to include in your carousel, in the order you want them to appear. 
  5. Tap ‘Next’ on the top right of your screen. Select any preferred filter options.
  6. Write a caption, adding tags and other details as you would for a regular grid post.
  7. Tap ‘Share’ on the top right of your screen! 
Scheduling an Instagram Carousel in Facebook - screenshots of how to upload your carousel slides and schedule to publish inside Creator Studio. You can rearrange all the slides or delete and replace slides.

How to create a carousel inside Facebook Creator Studio on desktop

  1. Navigate to Creator Studio inside Facebook (find it in the options down the left of your screen on a desktop). This assumes you have a Facebook page attached to your Instagram account. 
  2. Create a new post and upload your carousel slides. They will automatically display in the order you uploaded them.  You can drag and drop the slides into a different order if needed. 
  3. Add your caption and hashtags to the text area. Add your location, if wanted. 
  4. Schedule or publish your post. There’s also an option to save as a draft. 

Please note: Facebook is replacing Creator Studio with Business Suite, on a gradual worldwide rollout. You can also create and schedule carousels inside third party apps such as Planoly and Later.


According to Social Insider, Carousels have an average engagement rate per post of 1.92%, compared to 1.74% for images and 1.45% for videos. The engagement rate hits 2% for posts where all 10 carousel slides are used – a great reason to think about using them all! However, most carousels have between two and four slides. Other studies suggest that carousel post engagement rates are even higher than this. 


There are multiple reasons why carousel posts receive more engagement. One is time spent to see all of the post: looking at multiple photos or videos simply takes longer than looking at one. 

Another reason for increased engagement with carousel posts is that Instagram can show your post multiple times in the feeds of your followers.  If the first slide doesn’t stop the scroll, Instagram may show the second or third slides, to encourage swipe-throughs to the rest of the slides. This increases the chances of followers engaging with your post. 

There’s also the fact that a post with multiple photos or videos is more likely to contain more value than those with a single slide, especially if you know your followers well and cater to their interests. This might be photos of a product and multiple details, a variety of styling for clothing or  inspirational quotes on one theme. 

Regina Anaejionu uses carousels for mini-lessons that lead into her courses for thought leaders. She’s creating huge value for her ideal clients, without even leaving Instagram. If they like what they read, they’re primed to click her bio and check out what else she could offer them. 


Multiple photos or videos can show many aspects of one product or idea or you can tell a story in bite-sized chunks spread across the slides. Curiosity is key here – make sure at least some of the information is shared in later slides, so viewers swipe all the way through your slides. 

  • Carousel posts can act as cornerstone content for your feed, providing valuable information for your ideal audience. This can include:
  • User generated content, possibly with a cover image, so they fit your feed’s aesthetic.
  • An introduction to a product or service
  • A list of tips
  • A range of testimonials
  • Transformations: showcase ‘before’ and ‘after’ your service or product
  • Tutorials
  • Features on others in your niche
  • Your origin story

Want a list of 27 carousel ideas that work for any kind of business? You can download the list by clicking the image below and adding your email address.

Instagram Carousel ideas list in a PDF as an instant download. Written by a social media manager for any niche or any business.


Instagram carousel templates help you create a set of cohesive slides which work together, without taking hours or needing a professional designer. This also allows you to concentrate on choosing your words and images or graphics carefully, to tell the story that best works for your business. 

Instagram carousel template example with 10 slides, overlapping elements across the slides, a cover slide that will be seen in the Instagram feed and a call to action at the end. Carousel templates can save you time when creating your Instagram content.

I’ve created multiple carousel templates for free online design tool Canva. You can find the templates here.  Canva templates can be swapped out to your own brand’s colours and fonts in seconds, ready for your own text and photos or video.

Hopefully, you now have all the details you need to create your own engaging carousel on Instagram! 



You always want your Instagram feed to show clearly what you or your business is about. One of the best ways you can do that is by regularly curating your feed using the archive Instagram post feature: here’s a step-by-step guide to archiving posts.


The first step is to learn how to archive Instagram posts. To archive a post, click the three dots on the top right of the post and click the second option – to archive. Your post will disappear from your Instagram grid but the post and its insights are kept in the archive, where only you can see them.

How to archive Instagram posts in 2020 - a step by step guide. HOW TO FIND ARCHIVED INSTAGRAM POSTS

You can find archived Instagram posts by going to your Instagram profile and clicking on the three lines at the top right of your account and clicking on Archive. It has a drop-down menu for you to access either posts or Stories. Click on the post option to see all your archived posts.

To move an archived post back to your grid, select the relevant archived post and select the option to ‘Show on profile’. It will automatically move back to your grid, showing in date order and containing all of its likes and comments.


Instagram introduced its archive feature in mid-2017 after testing it several months earlier. At the time, many Instagrammers were removing posts that didn’t get the number of comments or likes they wanted, sometimes leading to moments of regret

Posts that are archived are only able to be seen by the account owner. They’re especially useful when you want to create Story highlights on a particular theme – just go into your Story archive and add the relevant Stories which expire after 24 hours.


Now that you know how to move Instagram posts into the archive and back again, have a good look at your grid. What does it say about you or your business? If someone glanced at the photos without reading the captions, would that give a clear picture of what you have to offer and your style – especially for creative businesses?

Try removing any posts that detract from the main message or style of your grid to leave behind a well curated feed that tells visitors in a few seconds what’s on offer. If your feed has a pattern, it may take a couple of rounds of changes to curate your feed so that it maintains an aesthetic look while showing only the very best of your work. This can work especially well if you’ve updated your brand or feed colours and want to phase in the new palette.

You could even try archiving some of the colours or content in your grid to test the look.  If you don’t like it, just un-archive the posts  In fact, any time you want to curate or freshen your Instagram feed, you can use the archiving feature, knowing you can always return a post if you change your mind.

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