With over 400 million active monthly users, standing out amongst the thriving and often innovative Instagram community is not easy. Cutting through the noise takes a keen eye, clever positioning and a continually evolving creative style. Great brands, and the creatives behind them, know how to think forward while remaining on point. Much easier said than done.
Alisha Johns of LISH creative has worked hard to establish her bold, colorful standout brand on social media. She certainly caught my eye with her deceptively simple yet playful visuals, on Instagram & Pinterest, that use color and texture thoughtfully. Multi-talented and able to juggle strategy, copywriting, styling and photography, Johns has evolved her brand into a blooming business that has recently become her full time focus. Did I mention she also has a blog?
We recently caught up with the lovely, talented (and busy) Alisha Johns to get her insights into business, branding and community building…
It’s great to meet you Alisha, can you tell us about your design career and how you got started with LISH creative?
I actually don’t have a formal background in design or photography, but I’ve always had an interest in art and stunning visuals. I studied marketing at Virginia Tech because I think it is the perfect combination of creativity and business. When I graduated, I worked in the advertising industry on everything from copywriting, to social media, to wardrobe and prop styling, but I was always freelancing and working towards starting my own business. When my Instagram started to take off, more and more people started to reach out and wanting to work together, so I combined all of skills and experiences into a single, full-service agency: LISH creative.
You’ve grown an incredible following on Instagram (over 14k followers), how did you set about crafting your signature, colorful style?
My Instagram started as and still is a creative portfolio – the audience has just shifted. When I started, my goal was to get a creative job in the advertising industry and now, I use it to build a community and find clients. It was always a creative escape from my day job, my space to be as crazy, colorful, and over the top as possible without any corporate restrictions or judgment. And even now that I work for LISH creative full time, I don’t want to lose that spirit.
Do you have any tips for other creatives on how to create a unique and compelling social media presence?
Creating compelling content in a consistent brand voice is key. Consistently good lighting and editing is just one thing that makes a huge difference. And then from there, you can think about props, colors, and locations that tie into your brand. For example, my goal is to appeal to fashion, lifestyle, and hospitality brands, so the content that I create falls into and supports those verticals. I also love to plan the overall look and feel of my feed out in advance. VSCO’s 3×3 viewer is the best free way to do this – it has been a game changer for me!
You’ve recently taken the leap out of a 9-to-5 job to work on LISH creative full time. Congratulations on the big decision! How did you know the time was right?
I knew I wanted more flexibility and I was incredibly burnt out. I was working 50+ hours per week at my agency job then going home and working on LISH creative until I fell asleep at my desk, and then I was back at it all weekend. It was exhausting but I knew I had to build a foundation. I felt comfortable taking the leap when I had my first few months of 2016 covered (income wise) and when my social media community hit 10k. Knowing that I would have the support of an engaged community definitely helped with the decision.
Can you give us a sneak peak into what’s next for LISH creative?
I’m excited to start sharing more about the brands I’ve been working with! When I was working in advertising, everything had to be “hush hush”, but now I can finally show the world what I’ve been up to. I’m also excited to help educate others on how they can get started on social media and how they can work to leave their 9-5. Those are two topics that I will be blogging about more this year.