2018 Girlcrush Gift Guide

Girlcrush Gift Guide

Guess what time of year it is?!

December is in full swing and the days are already flying by. But…. You don’t have everyone on your gift list accounted for yet. OOPS. Well, never fear, girlfriend, because we’re here to help you find something perfect for that special someone or even own girl gang!

We featured gifts for everyone on your list created by female-owned businesses!

For your man:

Put away those heart eyes for just a second and focus, babe! What has he been hinting at for the last few months? Are they Rangers tickets? What about a new IPA that he’s been telling all his bros about?

What we recommend:

For a boyfriend - a really thoughtful gift that shows you listen to his sports stats (even when you don’t want to.)

For a husband - a really thoughtful gift (ya know, keepin’ the romance alive!) and then a fun or functional present where he can enjoy it over and over again like an outfit that just screams him or his favorite cologne (which honestly is a present for you, too. ;)

Gifts for your man from female owned businesses:

For your girls:

Stacking rings are such a cute trend right now! And what is better than having a sweet memento of your lady crew? You can get a few of these on Esty and even customize them to fit y’alls personalities or a slogan you have!

Your gal gang not into jewelry? That’s fine, too! Keeping their own styles in mind, a monogramed journal or a bottle of her favorite wine (hey, if you’re on the nice list she just might share some with you!) will always be a homerun with your besties.

Gifts for your girls from female owned businesses:

For your boss:

Need any extra push to tell your boss you need that Christmas bonus? Kidding! But if you look at her as more than “just a boss” then she deserves a sweet gift, too.

Coffee and coffee accessories are always a good call. I mean just channel Michael Scott and get a “World’s Best Boss” coffee mug! Some of her favorite freshly ground coffee would be such a #blessing in her busy life, too! Is she more of a function over everything kind of woman? Get her some trendy organizing essentials from Target - a fun gift without having to break the bank!

Gifts for your boss from female owned businesses:

For your roomie:

Roomies are the ladies who have dealt with your messes all year, and sometimes even your dog’s, so she deserves something that’ll give her some relaxation!

Her fav scented candle, a bubble bath set, or even a new cookbook that her Food Network idol wrote would all be great ideas to allow for some down-time for your best, patient roommate.

Gifts for your roomie from female owned businesses:

For your pet:

Ok, so let’s be honest. Any gift for your dog is really just a gift for you to adore them even more.

Getting a matching pajama set with them would be SO adorable - and not to mention hella Insta-worthy. Check out the brand Pajamagram!

Glam up their everyday wardrobe with some sparkles on the collar or jacket, or if he’s too manly for that, man it up with some name brand athletic wear (Adidogs)!

Gifts for your pet from female owned businesses:

We know gift shopping is stressful, especially when you’re shopping for more than just one person. We hope this list helps you ladies out a little bit so that you can stay on track with holiday shopping this year and not be freaked out by what to buy! :)

Happy & safe shopping!
Madison

girlcrush collective holiday gift guide

Where to Find the Best Styled Stock Photos for Fall

fall stock photos

HAPPY FREAKING FALL YALL!

I am SO excited that fall is here. I love the colors and the scents and the weather. It’s fun to make your blog and social media accounts nice and festive! One of the best parts of fall is all of the beautiful stock photos - I live in Las Vegas now so I need to rely on these stock photographers to take great fall photos! And of course, they did not disappoint.

Maybe you also live somewhere without those beautiful fall colors, or maybe you are not great at taking photos. Whatever the reason may be, leaf your worries behind, these stock photos are spectacular.

Below is a compilation of fall/Halloween stock photos that will keep your blog or business in season!

 
 
 
 
 

Fall Stock Photos on Shutterstock

 
 
 

Do you have other stock photo resources that should be added to this list? Let us know below!

Xx,
Katie

 
fall stock photos

Font Pairings to Boost Your Branding (For Less Than $20!)

font pairings for branding

Confession: I am a font HOARDER.

I wouldn't be surprised if my computer told me that my memory is almost full due to the amount of fonts I have downloaded. And I only use maybe 10% of them. But I am just obsessed with pretty fonts.

I think that a beautiful font is a great investment for any brand. Think about some of your favorite brands - you'd recognize their fonts anywhere. Using one or two unique fonts on all of your platforms will tie your whole brand together and help your brand become recognizable.

Here are some of my favorite font pairings!

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

What do you think? What are some of your favorite font duos or trios? Let us know in the comments!

Xx,
Katie


font pairings for branding

5 Apps for Instagram That You Didn't Even Know You Needed

apps for Instagram

All the best instagrammers know that Instagrowth cannot be done with the Instagram app alone. Well, it could, but it would be a full-time job to run one account. Ain't nobody got time for that. If you haven't read our post 5 Must-Have Apps for Instagram, you'll probably want to do that before reading this post. Gotta crawl before you walk, girlfran!

This is a list of apps for Instagram that are a little more unusual than most Instagram apps you've used in the past. They're handy-dandy apps for a variety of different purposes, from engagement to design.

Source: Ask Lisa

Source: Ask Lisa

Ask Lisa

You know that one friend who, right before you post on Instagram, you always bombard with photos that you cannot decide between? And usually the pictures all look essentially identical but for some reason you need someone else’s opinion before you commit. 

Well, truth be told, your friends probably don’t jump for joy every time you send them a handful of potential Instagram posts. Luckily for you, Lisa lives for that sh*t!

Ask Lisa is your new best friend. Upload the photos that you’re choosing between, and Lisa will analyze them and tell you which one is most likely to get the most likes. AND, she’ll suggest hashtags based on the post!

But as great as Lisa is, hashtags are not her strong-suit. I uploaded pictures of pineapples and candles and some of the hashtags she suggested were #organ #hand and #number. I suggest using Lisa to help choose your photos, and Smarthash for your hashtags (we’ll talk about this one below)!

 

Smarthash

Okay so you’ve done your hashtag research and you’re using all 30 hashtags and everything seems fine and dandy because you assume your posts are doing well in each hashtag.

Ya ever hear that expression, when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me? So let’s not just assume that your hashtags are working, let’s confirm it!

Smarthash is an awesome app that actually analyses the hashtags that you’re using on your posts and tells you which ones are driving engagement and which ones are duds. By paying attention to Smarthash, you can adjust your strategy until you’re using 30 hashtags that are all bringing in the likes and comments!

 

Dollar Eighty

Dollary Eighty is a web-based tool that embodies Gary Vaynerchuk's $1.80 Instagram strategy. This strategy has users give their two cents to the top nine posts on ten different hashtags. When you add up all of your two cents, it is equal to $1.80. By choosing ten hashtags that are very specific to your niche and audience, you'll end up engaging with the top accounts for each hashtag. This gets your name out there! It's best to do this strategy once a day.

Gary Vee says, "It’s as easy as that. The overall process is incredibly simple. It’s .02 cents, on 9 posts for 10 hashtags every day. That all adds up to $1.80. No matter how much value you provide, this is still a game of numbers. You have to be willing to give yourself more at-bats. Everyone else is only leaving .02. You’re leaving a $1.80 Every. Single. Day."

So Dollar Eighty took this concept a step further and actually created a tool that allows you to enter your 10 hashtags, then gives you the 90 posts that you'll want to engage with. Engagement is really the most time-consuming part of Instagram, but it makes all of the difference.

As of right now, there is just a free plan, which allows you to select 10 hashtags and provides you with your 90 posts each day. But coming soon is a premium plan - users pay $1.80 per day (duh!) - that will have even more features such as detailed analytics based on your activity with dollar eighty, view the historical day's most popular posts, and the ability to see what posts within your community are working well!

 

Unfold

Don’t be basic with your stories, girl. Booooring! While Instagram has significantly improved the editing capabilities on Insta stories, they can still be pretty blah.

Unfold is an app designed specifically to help you create beautiful stories. The templates are clean and simple and you can add photos and videos. You can also add text and choose between a variety of fonts and colors.

What I also love about Unfold is that you create the stories almost like a book. So you can have a 5-page story and then save it, and upload all 5 posts to your story. It makes it flow very well!

 

My Insta Palette

My Insta Palette, another web-based app, is a little less useful than the other apps, but is SO. FREAKING. CUTE. You sign in to your Instagram account, and My Insta Palette scans through your feed and shows you your color palette.

Here's where it gets adorable.

It reveals your most used color and tells you what your color personality is! Mine is a light pink and it says I have a calming and non-threatening personality, which I like to think is true!

It also gives you your most liked picture and least liked picture, and tells you what filter you used. But because most of us don't use Instagram's filters, the answer will probably be #nofilter.

 

Do you know of any really awesome apps for Instagram that are not on this list? Let us know below!

Xx,
Katie

Did you enjoy this post?

Check out our boss babe’s guide to hashtags!

instagram

IGTV IS HERE: The Ultimate Guide

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Snapchat used to be the place to go to share your stories until Instagram swept in and launched stories.

YouTube has been THE PLACE to go to share/view videos on the internet since 2005.

Well, Instagram launched IGTV on June 20th and it has the potential to take YouTube's place in the video streaming world.

Next thing you know, we'll be ordering car services through Instagram instead of Uber! Maybe.

The launch of IGTV came at the same time as the Instagram community hit one billion users. More than 1/8 of the entire earth's population uses Instagram. Talk about a powerful platform! 

As founder, Kevin Systrom, says, "It's mobile first. It's simple and it's quality. That's IGTV."

IGTV logo

What is IGTV?

You may be wondering how IGTV differs from Instagram Stories...

Well, unlike Instagram stories, which can only be one minute long, IGTV videos can be anywhere from 15 seconds to 60 minutes long. However, the hour long videos are only for verified/huge accounts. Most Instagrammers will be limited to 10 minutes (which is still a long video)!

The long-form videos are posted to your "channel" rather than your story. Channels are created by Instagram users and each Instagram account is limited to one channel.

IGTV is designed to be viewed from your phone, so videos are vertical and full screen. Don't worry about trying to turn your camera horizontal!

IGTV is a standalone app, as well as an additional feature on the Instagram app. It is up to you whether you will use IGTV on the app or on Instagram! 

How to get started with IGTV

  • Download the IGTV app in the app store
  • Sign in with your Instagram account
  • Click on the settings icon and click create channel
  • Find creators to follow - IGTV will show you recommended videos, videos from people you follow, and popular videos
  • Like, comment on, or share videos

Note: you can also access IGTV from your Instagram app by tapping on the cute little tv icon in the top right corner of your home feed. Users who have created channels on IGTV will also have TV icons on their profile so you can easily view their channel.

How to upload a video to IGTV

igtv

When you're ready to share some great content with your followers, go to your channel by selecting your icon on the IGTV page, as seen in the screenshot (yes, I do plan on binge-watching videos of sleeping kittens). 

Once you are on your channel, click on the + icon to add a new video.

Choose a video from your camera roll (vertical is best)!

Enter a title and description. You should jam-pack this section with keywords to help your target audience easily find your video.

Ready for the really cool part? You can add links in your description! Yes! Traffic! Hurray! Love it!

Then add a cover photo! This is what viewers will see in the lineup of videos, so make sure it's awesome enough to capture your target audience's attention. 

Click post! Now you can view your video's analytics to see how well it is performing!

 

IGTV best practices

quality over quantity

Like everything else on Instagram, I highly recommend focusing on quality over quantity. You are much better off by posting one really great video per week than quickly-made, not-very-well-thought-out videos every day. You want people to continue coming back to watch your videos and if your first few impressions aren't great, you may lose those viewers in the future.

Don't forget about stories

When you create a video, decide whether it is story-worthy or IGTV-worthy. Are you eating a really pretty cupcake and dying to show your followers? That's probably story-worthy. IGTV videos should be high-quality and valuable. 

igtv

start right away

The earlier you start using a new feature, the less competition there is. Start putting some amazing content out there before your competitors do! Users are beginning to explore IGTV, so you want to be there for them to discover.

edit your videos like a pro

You don't need to go out and hire some fancy producer, but I do suggest putting a bit of time and energy into your IGTV videos. You can even make really cool videos with the iMovie app. Start testing out some different video apps and see what you can do!


So, what do you think? Will you be binge-watching IGTV?

In the comments, let us know what your IGTV channel is, and let us know what you'd like to see in the Girlcrush channel!

Xx,
Katie


Did you enjoy this post?

Check out our free InstaStory Challenge to learn 5 ways to drive engagement to your Instagram by using stories!


IGTV