Meet Keri, the driven femalepreneur behind Always Yours Events, a wedding planning and design company based in the Boston/Cape Cod area. With a strong passion to offer couples romantic and awe-inspiring designs that are truly unique, and a dedicated work ethic, this woman is taking the world by storm and making her dream career a reality.
Keri and I were recently chatting about all things small business. One of the topics we discussed was about the powerful marketing platform Instagram provides to small businesses. If used strategically and with a curated approach, this app can spread the word about your business like wildfire. But, what if your Instagram isn’t representing the look of your business? What if you struggle to keep your feed looking cohesive and on brand? Keri is joining us today with an easy-to-apply strategy that will help you build an Instagram profile that aligns with the aesthetic of your brand and maximize your exposure.
Photo by Elizabeth LaDuca Photography
Have you ever looked at one of your favorite Instagram accounts and thought to yourself “how is her feed this pretty and this cohesive?” It looks so effortless, and her life looks so effortless. We are talking about an Instagram feed so coveted because the colors are consistent, every post feels “on brand,” the message is consistent, the individual is posting at least once a day. It feels like there is so much content at her fingertips. And you’re thinking to yourself “how on Earth is she this perfect?”
There are a plethora of courses and webinars hosted by influencers sharing their best tips and tricks, showing tutorials on their favorite editing apps, featuring the filters they use, telling you to be “authentic,” but one of the best-kept secrets to achieving a consistent, on brand and overall pretty feed is a very simple one. And the best part? It’s a tip you can implement today and within minutes after reading this post!
One morning, in late December of last year, I was sitting in bed working in Planoly and writing my annual end of the year blog post. I hadn’t posted on Instagram for several days since we were busy celebrating the holidays, and to be honest I was lacking content to share! Up to that point in time, my feed was feeling a bit all over the place, very much lacking consistency as I vacillated between green, festive holiday posts and blush, white and dusty blue wedding details from the summer. I began scrolling through my phone trying to find a photo that would look flawless in my feed. By the time I had scrolled all the way back to photos from the year 2016, I was beyond frustrated that I didn’t have one single photo to share that “fit” in with the rest of my feed. And so I started looking around our bright and light bedroom to see what I could photograph.
What resulted was an impromptu photo of myself holding a Starbucks iced latte while wearing white jeans, a white cashmere turtleneck, and with a fresh manicure in my favorite color (OPI Funny Bunny). I put my favorite custom filter on the photo and voila, I had a gorgeous dreamy, light and airy photo featuring my favorite iced latte (you can see my love for the drink in my IG profile) and in one of my go-to outfits. It was an extremely simple photo but when I popped it into my feed, it felt like a magic post! This Starbucks cup photo was practically a reset, creating a fresh clean slate. I began adding photos to my Planoly planner, keeping each and every post after the Starbucks cup as consistent in color and message as possible. Suddenly, those little squares were perfectly in sync and exuding my brand.
That was a lightbulb moment for me. I planned to keep this Starbucks cup photo tucked away in my arsenal whenever I needed a “reset” for my Instagram to get it back on track. The color, the editing, the on brand nature and the content of the photo were all attractive to my followers. It was simple yet perfect. And it got me to thinking — what other images do I already have that could offer this same effect?
I went through my analytics and retrieved my most “liked” and saved posts. Within those were two more photos that received an outstanding amount of love and engagement, and unsurprisingly they were ones that were completely on brand and filled with things that connected me to my followers. They both included the AYE signature dusty blue, shades of light blush, white and grey, a floral element, a modern romantic and feminine flair, various textures, they were taken from an artistic point of view in bright natural indirect sunlight, and were crisp without being grainy. Along with the Starbucks cup photo, these three images became my fool-proof and effortless way of keeping my feed consistent.
The benefit of reusing these three photos is two-fold; they keep our messaging and branding present (especially during those days when we lack new content to post), and they provide a simple and quick reset when inconsistency creeps in. Am I worried about posting the same photo more than once, twice or more? Yes, in the beginning, I was. Until I realized (after doing a little research) that every single one of those feeds that we admire so much are posting the same photos over and over again — they use this same exact trick!
So, friends, now it’s your turn! Here’s how to create your own arsenal of three photos that can transform your Instagram:
1 // Take a good look at your Instagram feed. Try to pinpoint three of your most color consistent, brand consistent and content consistent photos. Make sure your editing technique is consistent too (ie if you use filters, the filters should be the same for all of these images). Consider photos with identifying elements that tell people who you are — for me, they include flowers, iced non-fat lattes with almond milk, charming Charleston details, and our pup Poogan.
2 // Now look at your Instagram analytics and see which photos are performing the best based on your followers’ engagement! Do you see a little bit of overlap? I bet you do.
3 // Put all of your most consistent photos together with those that have the most engagement. Select three photos from this grouping that are aesthetically pleasing, yet still, embody you and your brand within the image and save them in a favorites album on your phone.
4 // Wait for that rainy day when this new arsenal can come to your aid. Remember, the caption never needs to be (and really shouldn’t be!) the same when reposting these photos. Change the caption to fit the day, or let this photo be the imagery to go along with a tip, trick, tutorial or even a quote you would like to share with your followers.
Friends, get ready for all of the comments asking you how your Instagram feed always feels so consistent! I cannot wait to see all the beauty you create. And please share any questions you have in the comment section below! Happy Instagramming!