How to Create a Killer Instagram Feed
Hey, girl! If you’re stumbling through the Instagram hustle and wondering if you’ll ever figure out how to make your feed look pretty and get noticed, then this one’s for you. It’s no secret that algorithms have made it extremely hard for individual users to be seen. Despite this, I’m here to tell you that there are ways to be more intentional, relevant and noticed. I want to help you get started with some simple tips for creating a visually appealing and aesthetic Instagram feed.
Because visuals matter.
Your Instagram feed should be an extension of your brand. And what you’re putting out there every day could make or break your ability to reach your dream audience.
1) Use your brand colors throughout your feed
One of the most important things you can do is to infuse your entire brand’s “look” and “feel” into your feed. How? By starting with the simplest of ways: post images that have one or more of your brand colors in them. Alternate the colors in your feed so when you’re scrolling through, you automatically can get a sense of your brand colors.
Here is an example of my own current brand colors. The green is my most prominent color, simply because it’s “me.” I have green eyes, green is my favorite color, I love nature and plants, and much of my work is outdoors and very natural. It’s a given that that is the main accent color of my brand, and it’s also what you will consistently see throughout my Instagram feed. I’m not into pink and frills and bold colors. Therefore I don’t showcase those in my images. I love neutrals and browns and grays with pops of color, so that’s what I choose to show.
2) Share YOU, your face and your heart
One thing that we creatives so often forget about (or maybe sometimes intentionally avoid) is showing our own face. Girl, I cannot tell you how important it is that you share about yourself to your audience. Think about it. When you visit a brand or organization, what is one of the first tabs you click on their website? Probably the “About Me” page or the “Get to Know the Team” section. That’s because we are relational beings, and we so desperately want to connect with who we’re doing business with. If you are only posting your photography or artwork, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity to make a connection with your followers!
- Step one: if you don’t already have professional images of yourself, then connect with a friend or local photographer and invest in beautiful headshots. Or do a trade for services!
- Step two: make sure they are edited to your brand to fit right into your feed
- Step three: post your photo and write about yourself. Share funny facts, random info, your personality type and interests, or your biggest dreams or lessons. Ask your audience to share things with you too. You may find that there are people just like you out there! Ps. You can never really over share. This is social media. The more vulnerable you are, the more real you are.
Here are some recent photos I’ve shared of myself that friends have taken for me. Notice how I’m even wearing my colors!
3) Curate your feed with alternating types of images
This is the tricky part that requires a little more work. But don’t worry. “Curating” sounds like an intimidating word, but it really just means arranging your images in a pretty and appealing way. What you don’t want is a feed that is cluttered and chaotic with no rhyme or reason. Even if you’re doing great with #1 (infusing your brand colors), that can be pointless if you still have a messy feed with no organization.
Start with one image - perhaps a portrait. Next, post a flat lay. Next, a landscape/far away image. Then a close-up. See how that works? Each image sits next to one that is different. So if you’re a portrait photographer, then don’t post three headshots in a row. Post a close face shot, then a faraway pose, then a closeup detail. I like to make sure that the 4 images surrounding every photo looks good together.
Even more importantly, share other images of things you’re interested in beyond your artwork. It could be your relationship, family, pet, home, fashion, books, travel, nature, etc. Narrow it down to a few major topics, and rotate between posting those along with your work! It will give you so much more personality and interest.
Here’s my feed for example:
Notice how in these 9 squares (and throughout my whole feed), I post an image of myself with an introduction. And in the rest of those squares, I show my professional photography, my marriage, and my love for nature and home and personal things.
Tip: I use the free app Snug to curate my feed! It allows me to move around images to see what they will look like and it’s simple and clean. Definitely my favorite!
Now I may not be immensely popular on Instagram (in fact I rarely get more than 180 likes per photo) but these tricks have done wonders for me. I’ve seen my reach grow and my followers slowly increase. Putting myself out there in a more professional and intentional way has been so important. Along with posting at prime times, hashtagging, and engaging (all more tips for growing your reach), creating a more visually appealing and aesthetic feed is exactly what I needed to boost my Instagram game.
I hope it helps you, too!
Charity White is a photographer, wife, writer, and dreamer. She lives in Southern California and works in a residential treatment center for at-risk youth where she mentors and monitors teen girls. On the side, she is the social media manager for Delight & Be, runs a part-time portrait photography business, and is a passionate homemaker. She loves cereal, fitness, and binge-watching Netflix with popcorn and cuddles. Her dream is to inspire young girls to fight cultural pressures and low expectations and believe that they can make a difference in the world. Follow on Instagram or view the website.