In the last volume of the Step Up Your Instagram Game series, I talked about the importance of paying attention to your grid--ie, the "grid view" of your profile page, which is the default view someone will see when they click on your name.
Why is it important? It can be a huge determining factor of whether or not someone will follow you. Sure, there are those people who know your name or relate to something in your bio (career, hobby, location, etc), but there are millions of Instagram users out there, plenty who won't care about your name or profile.
They'll care about your pictures.
They'll take one look at your grid and decide whether to hit Follow or move on. You've got about one second to hook them or lose them forever. Intense, but true!
So how do you make sure your grid's compelling? The short answer is good pictures, which I addressed in Volume 1, but the second one's perhaps even more important and that's:
What do I mean by consistency?
I mean your photos should look like they go together--unlike Facebook, the most successful Instagram feeds (unless you're like, Taylor Swift) are the ones that have a consistent look.
Think of it this way:
If someone looked at one of your Instagram posts and it didn't have your name/face/child's face or anything specifically related to you, would they know it was your picture?
For most of us, probably not. But check out some screenshots of my favorite feeds:
All gorgeous, right? But consistently gorgeous. Each Instagrammer has her own vibe boing on:
The first is soft whites and pale pinks.
The second is vibrant, unabashed color.
The third is another pink/white favoring feed, but notice the difference from the first one. It's higher contrast, the colors a bit brighter.
You see what I mean about them having a distinct Instagram brand? When scrolling through my feed, I know when one of these ladies has posted a picture by the photo itself, long before I register their handle.
That's because they're consistent. Any one of us could have posted any of of these individual pictures, and we'd probably be pretty proud ourselves, but these ladies are bringing it every time.
Not just good content, but consistently good content.
Yeah. Great question. One that I'm still trying to figure out myself, to be perfectly honest. I've only been on Instagram for about a year, and only using it "seriously" for about six months, so I'm still trying to find my right "look."
But here are some ideas I've played around with!
Try to get the same color in every photo. Pink's a popular one on Instagram among the women-folk, and relatively easy to work into every day life. Everything from fresh flowers, a favorite lipstick, strawberry frappucino, cupcakes ... shortcut: consider pick up some pink fake flowers. It's an easy way to make sure you always have on hand!
Add an extra "element"
This one takes a bit more work as it requires an extra editing step, but I've seen Tiffany & Co do this the best: they take a picture of their latest jewelry line (diamonds, natch), but then they'll put a thin strip of Tiffany blue running across the top or bottom of the photo. Not enough to be in your face, but enough so that your mind registers "Tiffany" instead of "random tennis bracelet."
Use the same filter ... over and over and over ....
Filters get a bad rap, but they can be a great way of adding consistency, and probably the easiest. You never have to worry about what colors are in your original photo or what you're taking a picture of. Pop the same filter on every single picture, and your feed will start to look cohesive.
This one's not my favorite, as I like my Instagram feed to be pretty, but if you care less about aesthetic and want people to pay attention to what you're actually posting, post the same thing every time. For example, if you're a book blogger, resist to urge to make 50% of our posts a book cover of what you're reading, and 50% everything else. Let people know what sort of content they can count on from you every time. And don't worry, it doesn't have to be boring! Maybe post your Kindle from the same place every time, but change the accents around it, adding in fun elements like fresh flowers or a wine glass or a new piece of jewelry you got for your birthday. Yeah, every picture will be of your Kindle, but trust me, if you do it right and they're good quality photos, people will eat it up.
Fake your background
I tried this for awhile, and I think it was my favorite "phase." I love Instagram feeds with lots of white in them, but my apartment at the type was decorated with black walls, lots of bold colors. Whenever I took a picture at home, I'd start putting the picture on a white square background in Canva. This allowed me to take pictures of whatever I wanted, but it gave the feed a very consistent look because of the white.
Got any more ideas on how to create a consistent Instagram feed? Comment below, I'm always looking for ideas!