If you have an Instagram account, you know how important it is to have a great feed. It’s like the homepage of your Instagram account now. For me, Instagram was the hardest part to brand for my business especially since I always wanted to try something new. If you’ve been following since the beginning, you’ll see how much my Instagram has evolved. I’m going to tell you my secret on how to brand your Instagram feed so that you can have more time to focus on other aspects of your business.
How to brand your Instagram feed
First, I’m going to tell you about my struggles with Instagram. As a graphic designer, I thought I had to showcase my skills, so it started off as an account for my business. I was using my brand colors as overlays on my images, but I wasn’t satisfied with the overall look of my feed.
Then I started using my brand colors as backgrounds and then added pictures of myself because no one wants to buy from someone they know nothing about. Also, I started showcasing my portfolio, but those portfolio pieces didn’t fit my own business brand.
In the end, I hated the way my Instagram feed looked, so I started experimenting with photo images only. I totally went rogue because I still couldn’t find what I wanted, but it helped a lot in knowing what I liked and didn’t like. Just posting on Instagram itself helped me develop my style and voice, but having less time made me really buckle down and create a theme for my feed.
Like with everything in life, it took a lot of practice for me to find my voice. Just like with my blog posts, I had to reprogram myself to write in a more casual style. Basically, I try to write the way I talk to people in real life vs how I write an essay for a school or work project.
It’s hard, but I pushed myself to create an Instagram post every day, well now every weekday. If you’re having trouble finding your brand voice, just write the way you talk. You shouldn’t try to pretend to be someone else in real life anyway.
Your image style should be consistent. I never had an issue with this because I Photoshop all my images to have the same style, even the photos I take of myself. When I photoshop my images, I like to brighten up my images, add contrast, and lower the saturation a little. I also like to stick to black, white, and the teal-ish color I use for my brand.
As long as you stick to a style, your theme will look professional. For example, Boryana Kolf likes to use a color theme for her feed. I love the images she chooses for her colors. If you’re not following her on Instagram, you should because she gives great Instagram tips.
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Another way to stay consistent is by content. Jackie Kossoff is based in L.A., so she likes to use photos from L.A. in her feed. The one thing that always stands out for me in her feed is her ‘Food for Thought’ posts. They are always pictures of food and include tips on upping your social media game.
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Instagram templates are the easiest way to brand your feed
I had to take like 3 weeks off from Instagram because I became too busy with client projects and my own business projects. Even though I really disliked Instagram when I first started, I fell in love with interacting with people. Who knew I would have so much fun with it?
Since I was experimenting with images, I never really had a goal with my Instagram feed. Since I wanted to save time and energy, I decided to implement what I would for my clients. The answer was to create a template. I have one for my blog, but I never made one for my Instagram account because I liked being spontaneous with it. Now that I had no time, I had to throw spontaneity out the window. I had to work smarter, not harder, for my business to get more stuff done. In the end, I created a template with 10 images that fitted the type of content I needed for my business.
When I created the template, I had misgivings. One of the big ones was my creativity would be stifled. Surprisingly, after using the template for a few months now, I love the style of my feed. Since everything is uniform, my feed looks so much more professional.
Even after using the theme for so long, I have not gotten bored of it. I love uploading all my images to Later. I like looking at what my feed will look like in the coming weeks.
Switch and swap
Since the template is the same, I only have to add the images to each template and I’m done. I don’t have to think about the style because it’s always the same. Just like with the images, I just have to switch out the title and paragraphs. The fonts stay the same.
I have saved so much time by creating a template. It used to take me hours to create my images for Instagram. I would have to choose the images, edit the images in Photoshop, create the Instagram post and where it will go in Illustrator, think about what to write for the caption, and then upload the images to Later.
Now, it probably only takes me 30 minutes to create 2 to 3 weeks worth of Instagram images. It takes longer to create the captions, but that’s probably less than an hour.
I don’t have time for this…
Don’t have time to read this post? Here’s the gist of it:
- Branding your Instagram feed is dependent on your images and your voice.
- The simplest way to brand your feed and save time is to create a template for your feed.
What are some of your tricks for keeping a consistently branded Instagram feed? Let me know in the comments below.