A guide to crafting a beautiful Instagram feed
Long gone are the days where we use Instagram to snap the food we just ate and upload shameless selfies before a big night out.
The candid snaps are still a focal point of Instagram, but when you’re a business – you’ve gotta be more strategic.
But I see too many strategies on acquiring Instagram followers focused on the numbers.
What about the quality of the content?
Let’s break down the numbers
You follow 20 new accounts in hope that these people will check out your account and follow you back:
- 15 of them check out your account
- 7 of them interact with you (like or comment on one of your images)
- Only 3 decide to follow you back
Now, my goal isn’t to bring more viewers to an Instagram account.
My goal is to get more people to turn that blue follow button green.
How cool would it be if you followed 20 new accounts, and all 20 accounts followed you back?
This is called increasing your conversion rate.
You are converting your visitors into new followers.
Your conversion rate doesn’t just apply to your followers number.
How many of your followers like your photos?
And how many of these interactions turn into a sale?
Knowing these numbers and more importantly, knowing how to increase these numbers is your ticket to gaining more Instagram followers.
One sure fire way of increasing your conversion rate is to post quality images.
And admit it; you’re more likely to follow an Instagram account if you find the photos genuinely pretty? Right?
So here are my tips to help you craft a beautiful and consistent Instagram feed that will get you more followers.
Shoot your photos in bright light
Taking your snaps when the sun is out will result in beautiful, bright photos. Light will help to bring out the details in your photos. Not to mention its super flattering!
Photos taken with bad lighting usually results in a loss of detail, graininess or a blurry photo.
Edit your photos
Playing around with the Photo Editing tools in your Instagram app can quickly take your photos from eh to wow.
Brightness – I abuse the brightness function perhaps more than I should. Don’t be afraid to jump your brightness up to give your photos the crisp white look.
Contrast – I increase the contrast slightly to give the colours in an image more pop.
Warmth – When shooting indoors, I usually run into the dreaded yellow photo curse. It doesn’t help that my apartment walls are painted in warm cream. Adjusting the warmth down will give your photo a nice minimalist stark white look.
Saturation – I use the saturation tool when posting brightly coloured photos. Saturation helps to bring the colours out even more when used subtly.
Shadows and Highlights – I don’t use these functions very often. However, sometimes when you brighten your picture, you might find that your image loses some detail. Increasing your shadow setting will help darken the edges and corners of your objects again.
Sharpen – When used sparingly, sharpening your photos can result in a crisp and clear finish. I sharpen images when uploading photos of very detailed products (like embroidery or artwork).
You can also use a third party editing app like VSCO Cam to give your photos more oomph.
Look at your Instagram feed as a big picture
To create a consistent feed, you need to view your Instagram as a whole rather than lots of separate images.When you are posting an image, think about how it will look like next to your other photos. This means that all your photos should have a consistent element or theme to tie them together.
Follow a theme
Settling on a theme or style can help you direct your shoots and look for similar elements. Your theme should be a style or ‘look’ that you love and would like to replicate in your images.
I’ve highlighted a few of my fave Instagrammers and how they use themes to mesh their photos together.
@canarygrey uses a minimalist approach to her photos. There is a lot of white. A lot of bright. Bold edges. And a lot of negative space.
Dark + moody
@ameliemancini achieves beauty in her photos by using dark backdrops and elements to frame her handmade items.
@cestmaria uses bright coloured backgrounds and a minimalist approach as a recurring element in her Instagram.
A pop of pink and blue
@noellekramer uses shades of pink and blue and beautiful sunsets throughout her images. The result? A beautiful, consistent and pretty lookin’ feed.
Your feed can follow any theme you want.
The main rule is to stay consistent.
Be strategic in what you post next
Whenever I post a new image to my feed I always think about what it looks like next to:
- My previous post and;
- My third post
Why do I focus on the first and third photo?
Simply because when you upload, your new image will appear next to the previous photo and above the third photo.
I analyze my image to make sure that it fits in and is balanced against the other two images.
This helps me hone in my focus to just 3 images. Instead of trying to figure out if my photo is consistent with my entire feed.
Before I hit the upload button, here are some of the factors I consider first:
- The colours of the latest post should match or coordinate with the first and third photo.
- If the first and third post are detail heavy, the newest photo should be clean and simple to balance out any chaos.
Don’t be afraid to go through your Instagram feed on a regular basis to delete any images that just don’t fit. I regularly conduct an Instagram purge to keep my feed fresh and the new ideas flowing.
I hope this guide has been useful. Crafting a beautiful Instagram feed is not hard. You just have to be strategic and keep posting until you find a consistent theme.
Please comment below if you have any other tips to add or if you have any questions you’d like answered about Instagram branding.
You can also see how I integrate my tips over at my very own Craftsposure Instagram feed.
Would you like to learn how to increase your IG following?
Join Five Minute Instagram Growth: a free Instagram course that will help you get more followers. Five growth lessons. Five days. Five minutes a day.