10 Tricks That Will Drastically Improve the Appearance of Your Instagram Feed
These simple tips right here are the bread and butter to recovering your Instagram right now. No more guessing what might work, I have figured it all out for you (easy peasy, right?)
The following are pointers you must know to create a feed that is visually pleasing and cohesive. When your profile looks good, people are more responsive to liking your photos and following you. Think of the last time you were scrolling through your news feed. Which images caught your attention? They were probably well-lit, uncluttered and in focus, correct?
As a business owner, I cannot stress enough the importance of finding your visual voice. Think of it like this: your feed is your business card. When you hand that card to someone, they instantly make a first impression by it's appearance. The content you post becomes your personality.
Now onto the list!
1. CHOOSE A LAYOUT & COMMIT TO IT
There are several ways you can structure your feed to stay consistent. To read a brief explanation of all 7 layout options, click here.
2. DETERMINE YOUR THEME
This is where your questionnaire from last week will begin to play a role (missed that e-mail? Click here.) You chose a "vibe" or mood when you listed 3 strong words to represent your brand, along with selecting a few colours to invoke a certain emotion. Whether you are going with a moody and dark look, a tropical one or maybe minimalistic, you must carry this style throughout your feed.
It is also important to narrow down 3 things you are very passionate about. This breaks up the monotony of constantly posting past work or promoting sales. On my Instagram feed, I share my love for crystal gems, plants and mindfulness through photos I post. This becomes my content and story.
3.PICK A SINGLE FILTER (& STICK WITH IT!)
By applying the same effect or filter on photos, it is the easiest way to begin your theme. Add colour, brighten up or darken your posts to remain consistent and appear more professional. Too many styles = too busy for your audience and they will move right on.
4. REALIZE SPACING IS CRUCIAL
This is all about creating "flow" throughout your feed. In other words, knowing which photos look nice when next to each other. Don't go posting 2 images of cupcakes consecutively in between 5 days of other staple #girlboss items. If you are a macaroon bakery who solely sells those yummy goodies, then you really have no choice but to post the same dessert. Try switching up colours or flavours in this case! Overall, you want to create balance in which it engages viewers to scan through your feed and appreciate your content much easier.
5. APPLY COHESIVE COLOUR
Remember in tip #2 where we mentioned last week that you chose 2-3 shades to represent your brand? Well, this is where they will apply again. For example, I selected white, black and hints of green in my branding. I mix up these colours throughout my posts, but still have a pattern that utilizes each one separately or together.
6. MAKE NATURAL LIGHT YOUR BEST FRIEND
You may have heard this trick before, but snapping photos next to a window or glass door creates the best lighting. And what does this do? Allows for higher quality and more details images. Extra tip: taking excellent photos is most effective first thing in the morning or at sunset as the light outside is not as harsh. Even try capturing at the same time each day if you can.
7. ONLY POST HIGH QUALITY IMAGES
Think about what your eyes would rather see; pixelated, dull and blurry photos OR crisp, clear and "inviting" ones. This is really a no brainer if you think about it. Using your front camera, reposting screenshots or saving images from a search engine all have horrible resolution and should be avoided. If you truly cannot produce great images due to time constraints or location, there is nothing wrong with downloading or purchasing royalty free stock images from a reputable website, as long as they comply with your theme.
8. USE PROPER SIZING
If you've ever had it happen to you, you know there’s nothing worse than uploading a spectacular photo that only gets cutoff or doesn’t upload the way you originally planned. For reference, Instagram image size is now 1080px by 1080px to keep up with high resolution devices. Although the app scales each photo down to 612px by 612px, you will never have to worry about it being cropped in the wrong spot.
9. DON'T BE AFRAID TO VIEW YOUR COMPETITION
For some business people like myself, competition is a major motivator. I see what strategies they are using and determine what is working and what may not be. I would never encourage copying another's work, so I always suggest being original by putting your own twists on these methods. Consider it all a learning curve rather than getting down if another brand is surpassing your own. Always remember that we all started somewhere.
10. LET YOUR PASSION TAKE OVER
If you are not passionate about what you do, it will show in your posts. In the previous questionnaire, I made you answer why you got into the field of work you did. This was so you could constantly go back and re-read the reasons for beginning your business journey. Let these points pour into your posts.
The last part of our Instagram Improvement series will include methods for boosting your engagement and ultimately, creating sales. This comes next week!