Instagram is an awesome platform to reach potential clients that you haven’t yet connected with. Other platforms often require an established connection for your content to be seen, but hashtag searches on Instagram provide an easy way for you to get your content in front of people who are looking for it!
Because you can reach such a cold audience on Instagram, their first impression of you will determine whether or not they follow you.
Following you will lead to knowing, liking, and trusting you, which eventually leads to them being a loyal customer. So – your first impression is a big deal!
Creating an Instagram that entices followers is all about creating a visual pattern.
If you look at the top Instagram accounts, you’ll find accounts that are always on brand, recognizable, and consistent.
This may seem like an overwhelming task, and it definitely can be… but I’ve listed out some super simple steps you can take today to get yourself one amazing looking Instagram!
1. Have a Branded Photoshoot Done for Your Business
My first piece of advice is actually neither easy nor cheap… but it’s important!
I strongly recommend having your own brand photoshoot done. Really, you could do a photoshoot once or twice a year to keep your images fresh.
It’s well worth the investment just to get the first photoshoot done, even before you invest in any other visuals. You can convey the vibe of your brand while still being authentic, because your beautiful face will be the one in the pictures!
If you don’t have the budget to do a photoshoot, you can still make an amazing Instagram by creating a pattern in your feed with photos and graphics!
2. Use Canva.com to create custom + branded graphics
You’ll want to alternate between posting photos, and posting branded text graphics. These graphics could feature quotes, testimonials, etc.
The easiest way to create branded images is by using Canva.com. It’s a free, online, graphic design software with tons of pre-made templates and easy to use features.
The number one thing you want to keep in mind when creating your images is consistency!
Make sure to keep your colors, fonts, and patterns the same each time, and true to your brand. The easiest way to do this is by creating some branded templates.
You’ll want to create square graphics for Instagram. You’ll find lots of pre-made templates on the side of your screen in Canva.
If you choose one of the pre-made templates, be sure that you tailor it to your brand – don’t just use it as-is. So match the colors and fonts to your brand.
When creating your graphics, keep in mind that you’re creating something that you can duplicate and use on a regular basis.
For example, you may create quote templates that you use often to post different quotes you like other people posting.
Instead of reposting other people’s graphic and quotes, you can quickly take the quote and contributors name, and put it onto your branded graphic.
Now, you will have a branded feed, instead of an inconsistency in the style of your feed.
Even if sharing quotes isn’t really something that fits with your brand, you can still create text images with things like past client work, testimonials, blog titles, etc. Whatever your business shares on Instagram.
You’ll want to create a few different templates that are all consistent with your brand, but vary slightly.
For example, one template may highlight one color from your brand, another template highlights your secondary color, and another template may highlight both colors with a patterned border.
When you re-use a template for a new image, make sure to make a copy of the page and not just type over the previous content.This ensures that you have all your content so you can repost them in the future if you need to.
This may sound like a lot of work, but once you’ve created your templates, making your own branded images becomes super quick and easy. It can be something you pass off to a virtual assistant or team member as well.
3. Use Later.com
Once you have all of your beautiful graphics created, you can go to later.com, which is a free online tool for scheduling your Instagram posts.
You’ll be able to schedule your posts out for an entire month, so you can plan out the alternating pattern of photo, branded graphic, photo. This will make your Instagram look amazing and consistent with your brand with little effort.
Using a scheduling tool will save you so much time since you can hammer out your content creation in one afternoon, instead of trying to come up with something on the fly every day.
4. Stay On Brand!
When posting your pictures on Instagram, try to stay away from using filters.
If you do decide to use a filter on your instagram feed, make sure to use the same one every time. Otherwise, your images will be inconsistent and won’t match your brand.
If you have a special image that you want to post, like for a birthday or special occasion, (but it doesn’t really match with your brand) you can simply make the image black and white.
This will prevent it from sticking out like a sore thumb in your feed. Additionally, you can put your black and white image in Canva.com and overlay the image with a transparent version of one of your brand colors. This will help keep your Instagram looking on-brand and amazing!
If you have something that you want to post, but don’t feel like taking the time to make it match your brand, you can always use it on Instastories.
Instastories are more of your real, candid life, while Instagram is for your on-brand images. So if you have something you love, but don’t want to mess up your carefully crafted feed, just post in on Instatories for the world to see.
I can’t wait to see your killer-looking feed! What are some things you do to make your Instagram feed look stylized?
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Melissa is a graphic designer who crafts strategic and profit-driven brands and websites for business owners who want a remarkable first impression. On the blog, Melissa shares branding, business and marketing tips to help businesses grow, reach more people and earn more profit at the same time. She is passionate about teaching how consumers decision to buy is based highly off of the visuals. Join her free Facebook community here.