Hello creatives. Instagram can be quite the powerful selling tool. There’s something about going to someone’s Instagram page and being sure of exactly what their brand and vibe is all about. I don’t know about you, but I loooove beautifully branded Instagram accounts. The best part? You can totally have one too. It’s not even as hard as you’d think. Just following a few guidelines makes a huge difference. Here are 5 steps to a beautiful, breathtaking, and branded Instagram account.
Lizzie | Creative Life + Style // @octoberjuneblog
1. Pick Your Style.
This is where the ‘branding’ part comes into it. You know your brand and what you’re all about. Is your vibe elegant? Earthy? Vibrant? Know your brand characteristics and make sure that your images reflect it. Is your brand kind of vintage? Make sure that you images support that with the way you edit them to how you style them (more on those things coming soon). If your brand is vibrant and fun, you’re going to want to include colourful images with fun styling.
2. Edit your photos consistently.
Avoid major shifts in your editing style from one photo to the next because it disrupts the cohesion of the images on your Instagram page. For example, if you use a filter that tones down the colour and darkens the shadows to create a bit of a rainy day mood, that’s totally cool (if that works for your brand – see step #1). But don’t turn around and post a vibrant, bright, and playful image right next to it. Choose an editing style or filter and stick with it. It’ll create a cohesive collection of images that fit your style. I’ll be writing a future post on my picks for the best photo editing apps for smartphones, but now here is one of my faves – A Color Story. It’s fantastic, allows for lots of flexibility, and you can save your editing steps to be applied to future images.
3. Style your photos carefully.
Keeping in mind your branding and plan out your styling. Choose a few items that will compliment your products or images. You might find that some plant material (leaves, herb bunches, lavender, moss, etc), a unique piece of pottery, a vintage camera, or some cute cookies might really add to your image and make your audience swoon over what you’re selling. I know I swoon. I’m definitely a swooner. Just make sure that it's clear from the photo what the product is that you're selling. Also, showing some life in your image from time to time makes an impact as well. A hand, some wool-socked feet, your face, whatever works. Style up it, add some life, and watch your collection go from meh to daaaamn.
4. Keep is simple.
Having just discussed the value of styling your images, I also must stress – keep it simple. Too many elements in an image might be okay as a one-off but when you put them all together as they appear in your Instagram feed, it’s just way too much. It looks busy, chaotic, and just too much for the brain to process. Your audience is going to click through your account, take a look, and say… Nope. You don’t want to overwhelm your potential followers with too many details. They should show up, see simple, beautiful images and want more. Some ways to keep it simple include sticking to a general colour palette, keeping your styling minimal (but intentional and carefully selected), and being consistent with your editing as mentioned previously.
5. Always (always) use high quality images.
There’s nothing that messes up a gorgeous collection of images faster than one low-light, grainy, or out of focus image. There is just something about one crappy quality photo that brings down the whole works and says your brand may not be all that it’s cracked up to be. I know, that’s a lot of pressure. But that’s why you’re here, right? You know how important high quality images are. If you have a DSLR camera (and know how to use it), you’re going to get the best image using that. Use your highest quality camera as much as possible. If you do use your smartphone, just make sure that you’re using good lighting and edit the images carefully and appropriately. You can check out my post, The Key To Taking Better Photos With Your Smartphone, for more info on how to do that.
There ya go, friends! I hope you find this helpful. You can do this. I believe in you!
If you have any questions or additional tips, please share them in the comments.
Until next time,
Go-to product photography instructor for creatives since 2017
I'm a photographer and I teach makers, artists, and creatives how to take beautiful, compelling, and effective brand and product photos for their business.
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