You are already a rockstar on Instagram. You're posting away about your delicious lunch, the new product in your shop, your much-needed latte and the cute guy in brown dropping off a shipment for your online store. But when I tap on your profile will I see a cohesive story about your brand? Will I see a rundown of offerings like a search on Amazon or will I see a beautifully curated scene of your business like a fashion look-book for the Spring collection? Let's work on the latter.
Here are 6 steps to being creative on Instagram
1) USE EXTERNAL APPS TO ENHANCE YOUR INSTAGRAM IMAGES
There are so many apps that your head may spin if you tried to use them all. I have three suggestions for you. Wordswag, Whitegram and Layout by IG. These three apps will make your images look amazing so you can post away with aplomb! I have a tutorial on Wordswag inside my free resource center you can access here. Wordswag allows you to add a beautiful text overlay on top of your images to provide an inspiration quote or to tell your followers about your news at a glance. Whitegram puts a lovely white space around your images so they don't appear square inside the app (even in search). Layout is a great way to choose a type of grid for your images to make your account pop.
2) VIEW YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT AS A FASHION LOOK-BOOK OR LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
Often we only focus on one image at a time, which makes sense because we can only upload one at a time. When someone clicks on your profile, they're going to look at your profile image and description along with the first six or nine of your images. What mood or experience will they get when they view you? Fashion magazines are really intentional about making sure they can connect with us at first glance. Think of the big picture and how you can express your brand story in literally two seconds.
3) USE A COLOR STRATEGY
When you look at your top nine images, do you see a pop of color peeking out at you? Could you be more intentional about creating a color story for your brand. What colors is your logo made up of? Are there 3 or 4 colors you could start to weave into your images? If you look at my IG account @cannonsocialmedia, you'll see that I'm starting to use gold, pink, black and white to tell my brand story. My messy desk also makes an appearance every 3-5 images or so. I'm weaving colors from my business life into my account to create a more cohesive look. How can you play with color?
4) DEVELOP A LAYOUT STRATEGY
Grids, front/back, diagonal, etc. are all ideas you can use to create a unique layout strategy. White borders are a popular option that create a cleaner and more sophisticated look. White space allows your image to stand out more when someone searches a tag that you've used on your image. Grids are great for before and after photos for interior designers or stylists. Stand out from the crowd by using a layout strategy that resonates with your brand and causes someone to go, "Hey, that's cool. I'm following!"
5) FOCUS ON YOUR BIO AND TOP 9 IMAGES
We've touched on this a little bit already, but you don't have much time to make an impression when someone lands on your bio. Your profile picture should be a professional photo of you or your logo. The description should not be just about you, but what you can do for your new follower. Why should they follow you. Use emoji's that speak to your brand, and use them in your posts as well. Then look again at your top nine images and see how you can improve them, play around with color and layout for the next nine. Be intentional.
6) USE YOUR ONE AND ONLY LINK TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
For now, Instagram only gives us one clickable link located on our profile page. You'll want to update this link as often as necessary to send people off the platform and into your event sign-up form or to your new product, webinar or cheat sheet. This link can be changed on the daily if you like and if you shorten it, you'll begin to see if your IG followers are clicking on it. You can also use a bit.ly shortened link for posts and make them memorable so fans can go to the url bar and easily type in individual links. You can also use Wordswag and put a link right on your image for where you want people to go.
There you have it! Six ways you can be more creative and strategic on Instagram. Tag me in some of your photos if you are playing around with any of these. I'd love to comment and share the love!