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When it comes to growing on Instagram, you need look at the bigger picture – namely, your whole feed. You shouldn’t treat the photos you share as standalone posts. They should form part of a cohesive aesthetic that encapsulates your brand identity. If you take a look at any successful influencer’s profile, you’ll see that it’s not a random selection of photos but rather a carefully curated series of images that blend together perfectly. Your cohesive Instagram feed should show off the style and tone of your brand to let your audience know what you’re about.
If this is all starting to sound daunting, relax. A beautiful Instagram feed is a very achievable feat. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time and money, just a little planning and forethought. In this guide I’ll be sharing my top tips to help you create a beautifully cohesive Instagram feed that will leave your followers desperate for more.
Before you choose an aesthetic to aim for, it’s important to get a clear idea of what you do and don’t like. Take a look at your competitors and see what works (and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t work) for them. I’m definitely not suggesting you copy anybody, but there’s no harm in doing market research and getting a little inspiration from accounts you admire.
Choose a color palette that reflects your brand. Think long and hard about the vibe you’re going for. Do you want to be relaxed, whimsical, exotic or edgy? You don’t match your brand to your Instagram feed, you match your feed to your brand so knowing exactly who you are and what you’re about is key to creating a cohesive Instagram feed.
Once you’ve got that down, make a firm decision. Pick an aesthetic and stick to it. You need a look you’re totally in love with; how can you expect anyone else to love your Instagram feed if you don’t?
The standard Instagram filters just don’t cut it for top-tier content creators. Adobe Lightroom is the gold standard of photo editing software for influencers and it’s very wallet-friendly for when you’re just starting out. You can use the desktop version of Lightroom for $9.99 per month and the mobile version is free.
Part of Lightroom’s popularity is due to its presets, which are custom filters that you can use to achieve the exact aesthetic you’re looking for. Presets are much more sophisticated than those basic filters we all used back in 2013. They look super professional and they’ll save you a lot of editing time. Once you’ve applied your preset, you can still make tweaks, of course, but the bulk of the work is done.
Many influencers out there sell presets. It’s one of the main ways content creators make money. Presets usually come in packs, so you have a couple of different options to choose from whilst ensuring that your Instagram feed remains cohesive.
If during your research phase you came across an influencer who’s vibe you really admire, check whether or not they sell presets. If not, you can find them pretty cheaply on sites like Etsy.
Once you’ve grown your Instagram account sufficiently and mastered the art of Lightroom, you can even start selling your own presets.
Too many “busy” photos with lots of detail on-screen can clutter your feed and diminish its visual appeal. Remember to create a balance between busier and more minimal photos to keep your feed captivating. You might also want to think about creating patterns this way.
Okay, okay, I know I was just telling you how to pick a theme and stick to it, but there are times when it might be necessary to switch things up. It’s perfectly okay to do this. You might want your aesthetic to reflect the changing of the seasons or a shift in subject matter. Travel bloggers, for example, need to find a visually appealing way to shift from beachy content to city breaks or skiing. With a little forethought, you can do this and still keep your feed looking fabulous.
Plan out your new theme as carefully as you did your current one – see the above tips. Make the shift gradual. Use the color wheel as a guide and start out with new theme pictures that have some colors in common with (or at least close to) the old one. This will ensure your theme transition stays cool, subtle and classy.
There are lots of fantastic apps out there, such as Planoly, that allow you to create a mockup of your Instagram feed. That way, it’s easy to see exactly what your feed will look like – and make any necessary tweaks and adjustments – before your photos go live. I promise you, this is a total game changer.
Instagram stories are definitely more casual than the grid. They’re more raw and real-time, so they don’t have to be as carefully curated but you should still pay attention. The least you can do is use filters and presets to ensure your stories fit the vibe of your theme. Your stories should reflect your brand identity and complement your now beautifully cohesive Instagram feed. For more on how to create engaging Instagram stories, check out this guide.
So there we have it! My 7 secrets to a beautifully cohesive Instagram feed. For more Instagram tips, tricks and guides check out the lowdown on Instagram Reels or take a look at this list of tools you need for social media success.
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