You probably know by now that visuals are a powerful way to communicate with your audience. That’s the main reason Instagram is such a powerful and popular tool for your business. Hey, Instagram has over 400 million users! That’s insane to even comprehend that amount of people, right?!
And that’s not it, Instagram is growing more and more every day. It is the most powerful social media platform to engage directly with your audience so I want to show you how to do it up right.
You can have pretty photos for days on Instagram, but if there isn’t a cohesive theme it can get overlooked by potential clients and customers. I know you don’t want that. No one does, obvi!
When you think of Instagram being an extension of your brand, it will be easier to have things fall into place visually for you. You don’t need to photograph the same props or use the same colors over and over to create something cohesive and beautiful. Repetition like that can be a bore not only for you, but for your audience.
You really don’t need to be a professional photog to create a stunning theme. It’s an easy skill and formula to creating a cohesive branded theme. Do you want to know how? YAY! Let’s dive in!
Have your color palette, extend it further, and make it more general for Instagram.
I’m all about color! You can think of me as your color guide always around here. But seriously, color is one of the major things that will tie all of your post together into a cohesive feed. If you have a specific color palette for your brand then awesome we are going to start with that. If not, be sure to go to this post here to start developing one.
Here’s the deal, it’s a little challenging to have all your photos in the exact same color palette all the time, every day. This is why we need to make it more general and extend your color palette so you have the flexibility to post content on a consistent basis. You can either create a secondary color palette for Instagram that would include more colors or you can use your main color palette and reference it when you are creating your Instagram content.
You can keep your color palette general by creating guidelines for yourself and your Instagram brand standards (rules that you follow to keep things consistent and branded). For example, in my own brand I have bright colors (can you tell? 😉 ) and I try to keep things in more cooler, blue tones as opposed to warm, orangey tones. I try to stay away from romantic textures and colors and stick with bolder elements. See how that doesn’t create a specific color palette you must follow it’s more flexible guidelines to stick to.
This will help keep your colors consistent while giving you the freedom to post your beautiful content whatever that may be. Here’s a challenge I see some people run into – they freak out because their feeds aren’t consistent so they freeze up and stop posting content. Ah! I can only feel their Instagram anxiety from here. I’m here to tell you that when you create these flexible brand standards for Instagram you don’t have to freak out because you have a styled plan. You also have the confidence because I told you that you don’t have to keep a super strict color palette on Instagram. After all, it’s not your actual website, but just an extension of your brand in photo form.
You can always add in quote graphics with colored backgrounds every now and then to create those branded pops of color. I do this often so you can check out what I do here.
Plan out your feed like a pro.
This is one of the fundamental things that can make your feed look 100x better if you stick to it. When you are about to post your beautiful photo make sure you are aware of what’s going on in the previous photo you posted and the 3rd photo. This is what will border the photo you are about to post so make sure when it is all put together that visually it looks right.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about…
If you are going to post a photo with a lot of negative space and the other photos also have negative space than the photo you are about to post will not visually stand out and will fade into the other photos surrounding it. But say you are about to post a more textured, busier photo and the 1st and 3rd photo are also more textured and busier than your feed can become visually overwhelming. It’s best to keep some juxtaposition in there so your can stand alone looking fabulous while creating something visually beautiful together.
Let me show you some examples…
You don’t have to replicate exactly what I showed you above. Your brand may not be all about mixing bold colors with white space, but think about ways you can keep each photo balanced in your feed. When you are aware of what is surrounding the photo you are about the post you can plan ahead for a beautiful looking feed.
Create a cohesive editing routine and create that consistent magic here.
So half of creating cohesive content is about taking the photo, but the other half is editing. You can create some awesome cohesive magic in the editing. I highly, highly suggest sticking to a consistent editing routine that you use over and over on your photos. This will really create that consistent magic that everyone is looking for.
If you don’t have a certain way of editing your photos yet, I suggest playing around with a couple apps. I use VSCO cam for almost everything because I’ve been using it since my beginning Instagram days. The C3 filter on there works magic for creating beautiful, vibrant colors.
But there are so many other awesome ones to play around with as well. Here are a few of my all-time favorites!
- VSCO cam
- A Color Story (this is my new favorite)
- Anti-Crop (for extending backgrounds + adding more negative space)
Now that you now my favorite apps, here’s a couple editing tips to help keep things branded and beautiful!
- Play around with the temperature in these apps. If you like things a more cooler blue tone or a warmer tone then you are able to do that with this type of setting. Keeping this consistent will really help keep your photos cohesive. Try to not go overboard with it. Make sure it’s a subtle tone difference. You don’t want your whites to look like a funky shade of blue or orange.
- Contrast is something that can really make your photos pop or keep them soft and romantic. Increase the contrast if you want them to pop and decrease if you want a softer look.
- Saturation is a great thing to adjust too! You can increase or decrease in relation to your color obsession. But wait, don’t go overboard with this either. Subtle changes make all the difference.
Remember, that each photo is a little different depending on the light where you took the photo, colors, etc. so really give each photo its own attention. Your routine should be set, but adjust accordingly so every photo looks consistent. It’s great to keep your favorite edited photo in front of you to reference to make sure it’s consistent with the next. We go deeper into this process in my INSTA workshop.
And another to thing to keep in mind is that your style will develop over time so be patient and don’t be afraid to try something new. You’ll find your unique style when you jump into something new and see how it worked for you. I know you’re totally going to rock at this and become a Instagram genius! xo
PS – If you want to dive in deeper on this, I’d love to have you in my INSTA workshop! The cart closes on April 18th and I’d love to rock it with you in the course and our private facebook community. If you feel called to learn exactly how to create a beautiful brand experience and grow your own loyal following on Instagram then this 8-module e-course is totes for you. Find out more details and enroll here!