How to create a cohesive Instagram feed
Not unlike a lot of other creative entrepreneurs, Instagram is definitely my social media platform of choice. Being such a visual platform, it’s a great way to show off your creative work, and designing the perfect little grid can be a lot of fun. Today I’m sharing my top 5 tips for creating an cohesive, engaging Instagram feed.
Stick to a pattern
My first suggestion is to come up with a few themes of your posts, and create a pattern for the order that you’ll post them in. For example, I share a lot of finished illustration work, alongside photos of my work-space, sketchbook etc. so I keep this quite this quite simple and alternate between a photo, and a full colour illustration/logo/quote. If you look at my grid you’ll see that two photos will never touch side by side, and neither will two illustration/logos/quotes. This breaks up my feed nicely and avoids any large blocks of colour or white spaces. I also make sure photos with very similar content are a few posts away from each other to avoid too much repetition.
You could also pick a list of 5 themes, and rotate through those in the same order each time, which will mean no two posts of the same theme will ever touch each other on any side or corner.
Here’s a couple of mock-ups of how this method looks on your grid:
Use a consistent colour palette
Sticking to a consistent colour palette will really help make your feed pop. If you’ve had branding work done, chances are you’ll have a colour palette all ready to go, so you can just make sure you only use those colours in your feed. If the majority of your posts are photos, this can be a little harder to stick to, as the content of your photos will vary so much. The best way around this is to find a filter or Lightroom preset that suits your brand, and use that on all of your photos. This will give them a lovely, cohesive feel and its super easy to stick to!
Use natural lighting
Lighting can have a huge effect on your photos, and massively vary the look and feel of each image. If you have three posts with natural light, and then one taken under artificial lighting (with that strange yellow tone), that forth photo is really going to stand out in your feed, and usually not in a good way. The easiest way to avoid this is to always take your photos in natural light, either outdoors or next to a big window.
This one is particularly important if you’re going to be using filters or presets as suggested above, as they always work best with natural lighting.
Have “mini photoshoots”
If you’re like me and live somewhere where natural daylight is limited for more than half the year (hello cold & grey UK!), it can be tricky to find content to post during the winter months. So one option is to take extra photos on days where the lighting is at its best. Rather than taking just the one photo at a time when you want to post it, take a dozen or so in one sitting, and save the rest to post later. Not only will this help with the lighting issue, but it will add some consistency to your feed, and give you something to post on those days where you’re totally stuck for ideas.
I highly suggest using a grid planning app (I use Planoly) to plan your Instagram feed in advance, rather than posting in “real time”. Planning ahead will help you stick to all of the tips I’ve mentioned above, and gives you a chance to see how each post will look in your feed before you go ahead and post it.
Before I started using Planoly, I would regularly post a photo to my feed, only to delete it 30 seconds later, re-edit and re-upload because it didn’t look quite right in my feed! This is a big time-saver and also avoids annoying any followers that may have notifications turned on for your posts!
Overall, the best way to create a consistent Instagram feed, is to be (you guessed it) consistent. Stick to the same colours, lighting & filters for all your posts, but mix up the theme/content of each image so you don’t get too repetitive.
These are a few examples of some Instagram feeds that do this really well (I may have included myself here…):
I’d love to hear if you use some of these techniques on your Instagram feed. Leave a comment with your handle below so I can take a look!