After graduating from college in 2016, I have been trying to unfold the mystery of Instagram. I tried desperately to post consistently, use all the right hashtags, like people back, but to no avail. My engagement was a pitch, and I only gain followers that would unfollow me the next day.
Within the last few months, I got my branding together, watched a BUNCH of videos, and read soooo many articles. I believe that I am finally making progress, and I wanted to share what has worked for me. So, here are my Instagram secrets.
Laser Focus Content
Think about the people that you follow. Not your friends and family who post to Instagram like they post to Facebook, but the people that you get really excited to see what they do next.
Why do you get really excited to see their stuff? I’ll take a wild guess that it relates to an activity or topic that you enjoy. They probably are really consistent about posting about that topic too. Here are some examples of people I follow:
Each of these people has a theme that I can rely on seeing. Sugar Studio is a designer who shares branding tips and her work. She has a consistent color palette and even a pattern. We’ll talk more about that too.
Karina Cornelius has awesome illustration work! I love seeing her characters with comical and elegant expressions. She does though in selfies time to time to make it more personal. I enjoy seeing that artist behind all the work too.
Lavania Gomez capitalizes on her color pallet, but I can always expect to see cute pink outfits and pastel stock-photo-like images. ❤️
Every Last Bite is my co-worker, who makes fancy cupcakes and treats for special events. I love them because they are usually super decorative and very creative!
Looking at all these, you can see here that there is a theme. If you want to show something that doesn’t relate to your theme, show it in an Instagram story! You could also create a personal account and a business account too if you would like that option.
Power in Patterns
Let’s talk about patterns. Instagram is made up of a 9 square grid. This allows for patterns to be created, but they don’t have to be obvious. This idea totally blew my mind! Take a look at some of your favorite Instagrammers. Try to see if there is a pattern going on.
Here are some pattern options:
- Alternate between and quote and an image.
- Alternate between a colored background and a white background. (Light and dark_
- Alternate between a selfie and a product
- Think about creating a diagonal pattern, like Sugar Studio. See how “Branding Tips” is in a line? Yes, that was intentional. It draws your eye through the feed.
Twigy Post is an AMAZING stock photo photographer! She explains more examples in her video.
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Schedule with Tailwind
To get that pattern flowing, make sure your images match your content, and best of all, save time, schedule your post with Tailwind. Tailwind is an app that will let you plan out all your post in advance, and remind you when it’s time to post.
This is great to see if your images:
- Clearly show off your theme
- Stay within your color palette
- Plan out in advance to save time!
- Save a list of hashtags to copy and paste! ❤️ My favorite feature!
Try Tailwind out for 30 days and then tell me how much you loved it!
Pick Your Palette
Picking your color palette is really hard, but essential to nailing down your branding or look. I personally love feeds that have a clear color palette. It can be tricky to find stock photos that match your colors, so neutral stock photos are really handly.
You want to type hashtags that your ideal followers would be typing. This sounds simple but was really eye-opening to me.
Get my list of hashtags for creative business owners
Most Important Question to Ask Yourself:
Fill in the blank:
If want people to say ____ then I should post ____.
This is a really helpful question to ask yourself to keep your content on track. Here are some examples:
- If want people to say “she is a talented graphic designer” then I should post “examples of my work and blog post about design and marketing”.
- If want people to say “she has great style” then I should post “pictures of my outfits”.
- If want people to say “she is so funny” then I should post “pictures of silly things I do on a typical day”.
I think you get the idea!
The Secret is Out!
I hope these Instagram secrets give your Instagram feed a mini-makeover! If I learn any other juicy details, I’ll be sure to add it and update you on Instagram, @Crystal_Whitlow. Be sure to follow me over there for more of my work and branding tips!