I began my business at the age of only 17 years old, and Instagram has been my secret weapon for marketing since the very beginning. I absolutely love the way that Instagram allows you to create relationships with your followers, build a consistent brand image and create genuine connections with consumers online. Even with the new algorithms making things tricky and Instagram becoming seemingly more exhausting to keep up with…it is still my favorite social media marketing tool! I’m going to be sharing all about this during my presentation at the 2020 Reset Conference, but today I want to break down one simple piece of the puzzle: having a consistent feed.
There was a period of time a few years ago where everyone became obsessed with the idea of having a “consistent” Instagram feed. It became such a trend that it completely determined what we chose to share online. If it didn’t match the visual consistency of our feed…the world didn’t get to see it! And, this was before Instagram stories were a thing. So, content truly went unshared solely because it didn’t match what we were sharing on our feeds! Some people thought this was absolutely insane…some people swore by the strategy of having a well-curated brand on social media. And, while I don’t think it should completely determine what you share online, I do think there is something to be said for the visual consistency of your social media platforms. And here’s why:
As photographers, we work in a creative industry by nature – which automatically means that we are held to a slightly higher, more “artistic” or “aesthetically pleasing” standard. Our job is to create pretty things…so we should present them in a pretty way! I have always referred to my Instagram feed as my “social media storefront”: when someone clicks on my page on Instagram, they are going to decide in a split second whether they want to follow me or not – solely based on what the first few squares of my feed looks like. When you think about it from this perspective, it seems a bit more intimidating (and important!) to ensure that those first few squares represent me, my brand and my work well. So, today I want to break down my FAVORITE apps to help me maintain a consistent Instagram aesthetic:
This app is a common one – but it’s probably one of my favorites! I use Planoly to view, plan and schedule my feed (and my Instagram stories!) It allows me to drag and drop images to see what they will look like on my feed, and it allows me to type my captions and pre-schedule my content. I’m not a huge “planner” when it comes to my content – I use this app almost solely to visualize content on my feed!
VSCO is a very common editing application…but there’s a very specific reason that I love it! When I am bulk-sharing Instagram stories and editing a lot of images at once, VSCO allows me to copy and paste my edits. It works very similarly to syncing my professional edits in Lightroom, and makes the process of having consistent story images much easier! For example, I typically take a TON of iPhone photos when I’m on vacation…but I never post them in real-time. Instead, I do an Instagram story “recap” after the trip and edit the images in VSCO all at once. It makes the process SO fast to just copy and paste the edits (and makes the images look more consistent than editing them as I take them!)
This one is my favorite secret weapon for consistent Instagram stories…and I’ve never shared it before! Color Story is a paid app (and I’m not getting paid to share it with you), but I truly love it SO much! It allows me to edit my VIDEOS in the same way that I edit my PHOTOS – I can brighten, saturate, sharpen and perfect my Instagram story videos to be consistent with my images (and my overall brand!) It is SO easy to use and truly makes a huge difference in the videos I share on social media!
Want to learn more about my Instagram strategies? Download my FREE guide: 5 Tips to Improve Your Instagram HERE!
Hope Taylor is an industry-leading wedding photographer located in Charleston, SC. Her journey of becoming a full-time business owner immediately after graduating high school gives her a very unique perspective on entrepreneurship and business. She feels very strongly about educating and inspiring other creative small business owners to fearlessly pursue their dreams while also providing the practical tools that they need to get there (while also obsessing over peonies, buttered popcorn, and mint chocolate chip ice cream).