The Three C's of a Good Lookin Instagram
Instagram has become so much more than a collection of pictures that represent your life. Especially when it comes to using Instagram as a marketing tool. A jumble of dimly lit food photos, pictures of your dog, someone else’s baby and the trip you took last summer are most likely not going to describe to your followers, and potential clients, what you do and what service you have to offer. Even a collection of very high quality photos can seem messy if there is no flow. So today I’ll teach you how to flow with three C’s. But not like yoga flow…god I’m inflexible.
C number 1, COHESIVENESS.
You’ve probably heard someone say your Instagram page should be ‘cohesive’. But what does this mean? Cohesiveness means there is a clear pattern throughout the page. Sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle, but always enough to be eye catching. @CarlyCristman is a good example. Her page has a very grey and desaturated look, even images that have hints of bright colour are dulled to continue the neutral-coloured appeal. Secondly, @minimalistbaker, she does such a good job of incorporating a massive colour scheme and still creating a cohesive look. Her backgrounds, frame and depth may change image by image depending on what works for the dish but ALL of her photos are high quality, detailed, and of mouth watering food.
So how can you create cohesiveness? My best advice is to develop a pattern within your page. One way to do this is post something similar every other or every third image. We’ve seen this example with pages who post a quote every other image. The key to making this work is making sure that the quotes look similar; same background colour, same/similar font, and font colour. You can also create patterns by creating a colour scheme like @dreaming_outloud . Haley has an overall travel & vintage theme but every photo has a light blue or orange/rust coloured detail. This allows her to post basically whatever she wants but she adds the same filter/editing to get her cohesive look. And while we are here adding the same filter to every post is an EASY shortcut to creating cohesiveness no matter what the images are.
You can also create patterns based on what is IN the image, so alternating styled flatylays with with images of you, your family, your pets etc. Patterns can also mean posting just one thing. Every post - donuts. That sounds awesome.
C number 2, CONSISTENCY.
“How often should I post?”..well you should post consistently. For different brands this means different things. If you have enough high quality content to posting daily that’s amazing, but 3 times a week is definitely sufficient. It’s way better to post 3 times a week consistently vs. posting 7 days one week and then running out of content and not posting for another 2 weeks. But I’d say posting less than every three days isn’t enough to create consistent engagement. So find your balance and keep it consistent!
C number 3, CREATIVITY.
This can be really challenging if you feel like it doesn’t come naturally. It’s not easy to be able to stage photos, take and edit good photos, and write creative and engaging captions. It’s just not..and that’s why I have a job, because this is what I do for people. But for you, working on building your Instagram by yourself, I have a couple tips for keeping it creative!
1. Use original content. Using other people’s content for every post is very transparent and doesn’t create a lot of trust from followers, especially if you aren't giving credit where credit is due. Your own pictures will always be better because you are then posting something no one has ever seen. Pinterest is for reposting other people’s content, not Instagram.
2. Use a pattern. (< seems to be a pattern in this post, ha). Creating a pattern for your page forces you to also create images that are in-line with your pattern. So if your pattern is to have an image with coffee every third post then you already have a rough idea of what you need to do. This key here is to be relentless in holding the pattern- there’s nothing like being 30 posts into a pattern and then posting something random because you feel like you NEED to post. Your page needs to be cohesive as a whole. If you have nothing to post show up on your Instagram story instead so it doesn’t mess up your mojo but still says "I'm here!".
3. Watch what other people are doing. Being inspired by others is not copying. It would be very hard to exactly recreate a food photography flat lay because they are usually so dynamic. But at the same time I love using little ideas from other photographers and blogger I’ve seen and incorporating that into my images. I save images into albums using the little Save button on Instagram. For example if I’m going on a trip I create an album titled “____ Trip” and save photos that inspire me that are taken in that location. When I need some inspiration I look back through it, works like a charm!
Alright friends, let’s recap.
In order to have a good-lookin’ Instagram you need COHESIVENESS, CONSISTENCY and CREATIVITY.
In a sentence – post your own content on the same days every week and try and make sure it all looks similar and beautiful.
You got this.
If you got this far and you’re craving MORE information and MORE direction. I’m hosting two workshops in Winnipeg next week. Grab tickets here if you’re interested in a 3 hour masterclass on Instagram for entrepreneurs, side hustlers, network marketers and bloggers.
Hit me up in the DMs @johhhanna and I’ll give you a discount code for 20% off your ticket.