Episode 123: Show Notes
We are so excited for today! On the show, we welcome Amira Rahim, also known as Amira The Abstract. If your eyeballs want some glorious material, you need to check her out. She is a contemporary abstract expressionist painter and she’s legit. Amira has been featured in numerous magazines and basically, in addition to being a painting bad-ass, she is also an educator. She has a program that helps other fine artists learn how to master Instagram.
Inside this episode, we take a really raw behind-the-scenes look of how Amira went from starving artist to Instagram all-star. We are talking about the real and raw emotions people have and go through, connecting with people and creating a community. We also find out how that has evolved into teaching and helping others create beautiful and strategic feeds that allow them to succeed in their own businesses. This is definitely more raw than normal, in all the best ways, so keep listening to hear more!
Artist to Educator
Before Amira decided to do her art full time, she tried a lot of different jobs and hated life for a lot of it. Her first job out of college was a school teacher. She has always been very fond of the instruction part of teaching. That was always in her background and she loves sharing what she knows. She thrives on finding out how to do certain things and once she’s mastered the skill, sharing it with others. For her, her thing was initially blogging and sharing her experiences. It got to the point where she jumped on the Periscope wave and it brought up the issues she was having as a business owner. One issue was knowing who she’s talking to. She needed to define her audience. She had one side of her business where she was selling her artwork and meeting great art collectors but there was another side where her blog and Periscope were behind the scenes. She wanted to know how to talk to art collectors as well as other artists. She didn’t know how to do both. She was very aware of the fact that what was lighting her up was talking about the process, journey, other artists and sharing resources. She started to find undercurrents that were happening in the online community.
Drawing Inspiration From Everywhere
What has helped Amira gain perspective has been looking at other industries and gaining inspiration from what other people are doing. It does not matter what your niche is. If you’re only paying attention to what your industry is doing, then you’re going to fall short or fall behind. Amira encourages other artists to check out people from all other industries to see what they’re doing then blogging and posting about it. You should not be doing it to copy their content but Amira gets really good ideas for Instagram posts by following some crazy housewives and many other people. She believes everyone should be doing that. Everyone should keep learning and experimenting. The landscape is always changing.
Attention to Social Media
Amira focuses her attention on her Instagram mostly but also on her Facebook group, Passion Color Joy. She took an Instagram course about two years ago by a graphic designer. The course was great, however, it was geared more toward overall branding. One of the things that did help Amira was when they were asked to come up with a hashtag for their accounts. Amira had no intention of doing anything with it but she could describe her account in three words: “passion”, “color” and “joy”. She feels that her work is very passionate just like she is. Color is the hallmark of what Amira is doing with her art right now. Joy is an aspect because Amira was really struggling with depressive events in her life at the time she started painting full time again. It’s what really propelled her to obsess over her art. It was her outlet, her form of therapy. Happiness is something that is fleeting. It comes and goes. You really have to work on it, so Amira found a more accurate word; joy. Those three words came together in her snazzy little hashtag and she started using it. She told other people to start using the hashtag and it ended up catching on. She created a separate Instagram account for “Passion, Color, Joy” and it eventually grew into a Facebook group as well. It’s still growing but it’s where Amira spends most of her energy. She feels like she has found her place.
Connecting to Business
For Amira, her inspiration for turning the course into more of a business advice course happened very accidentally. She was toying with the idea of teaching art for a while and she resisted it for a long time. Amira has been on Instagram for about 3 years and after taking that course she learned a lot, put some things into practice and forgot some of the stuff as time passed on. A year later she did a workshop about social media and putting yourself out there. She recounts coming back from Italy and just having reached 10,000 followers. She was stoked. She thought she was done. Soon after the Instagram algorithm changed and they also expanded their video allotment. She decided to make a video of her painting. She posted the video and it did really well. She posted another video a week later and within 24 hours it had gotten over 100k views. Amira realized that there was a market for this. She needed to take this opportunity in the industry. For her, it was a very conscious choice to grow her Instagram. She received a lot of questions around that time and decided to put all her knowledge and advice into live training. This eventually evolved it into a course.
Your True Authentic Self
A lot of what Amira speaks about in her course is being seen. Being deliberate and conscious about showing up. Taking the steps to show who you are. So very often, you will go to people’s Instagram feeds or website, especially artists’, and cannot find a picture of what they look like. Who is this person? The more willing you are to be vulnerable and be visible, the more your audience will be able to relate to and resonate with you. People often speak about perfection but Amira actually got paralyzed by this need of being perfect. She was depressed and saw everything through a negative lens. She has now designed her business in a way that no single sale is going to make or break her existence and she’s comfortable with that. It’s hard to adjust marketing in that way but you need to show is that you don’t always have everything figured out but you’re staying true to who you are.
- Hear more about how Amira went from painting in a studio to educating other people on how to grow their business on social media. [0:06:12.0]
- Looking further than your niche and industry to help you gain perspective and inspiration. [0:16:59.0]
- Find out where Amira is putting her attention on social media. [0:19:19.0]
- What inspired Amira to create her course and build this community as a business advice course? [0:29:30.0]
- Being deliberate and conscious about showing up and taking the steps to show who you are. [0:46:16.0]
- Be sure to try and post 3-5 times per day consistently.
- If you’re doing anything visual, try to bulk your photos, take as many as possible and re-share them.
- Stop looking at your Instagram as a blog.
- Try using your captions as a way to get a response from your audience.
- Make your audience feel like a part of your Instagram experience.