8 Easy Instagram Stories Hacks

Yellow, White and Black Quotation Social Media Graphic

I spend way too much time creating content on Instagram Stories, but I love it. It’s creative, fun and addicting. So today I am servin’ you up some good ole’ tips to make your Stories way more exciting and keep your followers comin’ right on back! Enjoy.


NOTE: These are EASY tips for your Stories. Just to add a little more “flair,” if you will…

8 Easy Instagram Stories Hacks

  1. Add/draw lines. Add a border around your photo with the highlighter tool. Or add a line on top and bottom of your photo. Or even draw a line across the corners (like pieces of tape).
  2. Make it extra cool. Have a photo of a cup of coffee or a cocktail you want to use but make it more fun? Add a GIF of a diver jumping into your drink. Or a shark GIF swimming in your Quarantini. Or add a GIF of Michael Jordan flying over some buildings.
  3. Add music by genre. When you want to add music and not sure what kind, just search by genre. You can search for words like “french cafe jazz” or “bossa nova” and some fun stuff will come up for you to choose from (under the Music sticker). Just adding a little background music to a video makes it so much better.
  4. Use the Explore tab religiously. And then repost to your Stories. This is where I source a lot of content. You can find so much fun stuff to post. And the more you look at things, the more Instagram will start to show you what you want to see. (i.e, my Explore feed is now coffee images, ballet, beautiful homes and Brad Pitt…)
  5. When you go to add a GIF, try searching for some of the following words (exactly) by custom GIF creators:  Haylsworld (love her GIFs), Mailchimp, Darcy (super cute), “laptop” or even search a letter or search “line.”
  6. Start a story and add a solid background (click pen tool, pick a color and hold a finger down on the screen for a second), then add a fun GIF and then just draw a line on both sides of the GIF. Easy peasy. (See image below.)
  7. If I could tell you one thing, it would be to simply take that extra second to add more layers to your Story. Add music. Add a GIF. Add a custom background color. Add an emoji or a border. Whatever. Adding another element to your image will make it more fun. So many times, I see people just report quickly, but what if you took an extra second to add a GIF or draw a border in your brand color?
  8. Finally, click on these 18 Instagram Stories Hacks from Later Media for more fun ideas.

Try one of two of these today and I promise you your Stories will be so much more fun for your followers!

Instagram Stories

Why the name “Westfield Creative”?

In 2016, I had just relocated from NYC to Lake Tahoe and was trying to find a way to work from home, so that I could be around my then 6-month-old little boy. I have never been an office person and never will be. I had to find a way. In early 2016, after a call with my friend, Val Geisler (now an email marketing guru/expert), I started my virtual assistant business, “Emily Ryan Works,” which was helping entrepreneurs and small business owners with really anything they needed. From WordPress website help, to Mailchimp email newsletters, to graphics, to social media and much more.  They thought of something, we did it. It was really my dream at the time…just to be working from home.


Elizabeth Bogh and Emily RyanThen, this little business grew very quickly. And maybe too quickly. I kept taking on more and more clients and in 2017, my sister, Elizabeth, came on to help me manage it all. We grew to a full-time digital marketing agency, specializing in Mailchimp, social media and WordPress. As our business grew, we desperately wanted a new name. I hated the name “Emily Ryan Works.” It was a name that I quickly chose because www.emilyryan.com was NOT available on that day in 2016 and this was the only domain name I could find. And over time, as my sister took on 50% of our workload, I hated standing behind just my name. She never minded and actually preferred it that way (she always says that I should be the “face” of the business, but it feel right). So we began the search for a new biz name.


And it took FOREVER to come up with something that made sense for our business, for both of us and where the domain was actually available (harder than you think!). I think we went through 100 names. It had to be special for us. It had to be cool.


And then one day, we landed on a name that made so much sense to us both — Westfield Creative. Westfield (Road) being the street that we grew up on together in Charlotte, NC.  Liz and I lived at 3000 Westfield Road for 18 years (14 of those together) and it was truly a magical home to grow up in.


We grew up in an old, big blue house, covered in ivy. We could both tell you every corner of that house. We had a pool and a trampoline and our yard was a giant playground of awesomeness. We also had computers in several rooms of our house (which in the 80’s was pretty techie). Elizabeth actually went to a magnet school for science and technology (she was the real techie in our family) and I went to a performing arts school (I was the crazy, artsy theatre kid).


Westfield was our home and now with our new business name, it can be forever.