An Instagram Guide

Dear Instagramer, 

Have you ever really thought about your grid and how it affects your business? Have you ever thought about how images are a part of your larger brand story? (Spoiler alert: brand isn't just about your logo.) Have you wondered if all the time and energy you put into social media is really worth it? You are in the right place if you want to dive in and grow your influence on Instagram. I hope these tips will help you! 


1. Brand:

How many of us got thrown into running a small business with no experience because one day we realized we could make money doing what we loved?  How did that journey look like for you? For me that meant for years I didn't sit down and ever think about my brand. My goals were simply to book more clients so I could continue doing what I loved. How was I going to do that without first developing a brand and a vision for my business? My business grew, but VERY slowly. I'm here now, telling you that once I sat down and really nailed down my mission and vision things changed dramatically! So, before you go any further, I want you to think about that. Grab a cup of coffee turn on your favorite record, and really think. Come up with your three branding words, your mission statement, your big goals for your business. 

2. Aesthetic:

Now that you have your identity down in words, it's time to start thinking about how that looks visually. For me it was helpful to make a Pinterest board for this as well as a broader list of words that described the vibes I was going for. Is your brand playful and colorful? Dark and moody? Light and bright? What colors will be a part of your feed? What textures will you incorporate? Is your vibe gritty? Or is it clean? Go ahead, grab another cup of coffee and keep digging!

3. Consistency:

Now take all of this brainstorming and make your branding consistent. This means that when you post a photo on Instagram you should be using a consistent edit or filter. Incorporate the same types of backdrops often, similar lighting and styling. Pick a home base color to run throughout your feed. This doesn't mean every photo has to be filled with one color, or even have that color in it, but as you plan your content make sure that your color story is consistent. For example I could post a photo of me in a grey sweater and the next photo could be a flat lay of pink tulips with a grey background and in the next photo maybe I would pick up on the pink from the tulips in a detail somewhere in that photo and so on. 

4. Diversity:

The feel should be consistent but the content should be diverse. What I mean by this is that you shouldn't flood your followers with three different angles of the same shot, or five shots of your kids in a row, or only share your product on your feed. Mix it up, keep it interesting. A helpful tip for this is to write down a series of things you will be sharing on your feed consistently. (These could be anything from your love of coffee to the product you are selling.) Then cycle through these subjects so that there are never (or rarely) two photos next to each other about the same subject. This will also give your grid a rhythm that will actually make it feel more consistent and interesting. 

5. Plan: 

So how do you get this consistent aesthetic while incorporating all the things you want your audience to see? Plan it ahead of time! I highly recommend getting an app like Plann or Later for planning your content and visualizing your grid. This will give you the tools to planning an awesome grid, not to mention save you energy because you can focus on planning content in advance instead of stressing about it every day. Lastly, this will help with your quality control as you will have to revisit your post on the day it is scheduled to go live. Reviewing your caption and making sure you photo quality is top notch is an important step to a successful feed that drives profit.