branding

1. FIND YOUR SHOOTING STYLE

The best way to find your shooting style is to study other accounts that you love, and determine what it is that you love about them. Some people use LOTS of negative space, some people fill the frame in all, and some do a good mix. I like using a good mix because it allows me the freedom to mix it up and not be tied down to one shooting style. Here are some good examples to check out:

2. HAVE A COLOR PALETTE AND STICK TO IT. 

Sticking to a set of colors will bring consistency to your feed. For my feed, I steer clear of bright colors, so if there's a picture that I want to post that has bright colors included, I either tone them down, or I choose not to post the picture. How everything fits in the overall grid is MUCH more important that individual pictures. Here's some examples of some distinct color palettes:

3. CHECK YOUR LOCAL ART SUPPLY STORES, HOBBY LOBBY, AND MICHAELS FOR SCRAPBOOK PAPERS, COLOR BOARDS, FABRICS, AND SURFACES/BACKGROUNDS THAT MATCH YOUR COLOR PALETTE AND BRAND

  • dickblick.com - Color Boards

  • papersource.com - Marble Paper
  • Also check your local marble and granite businesses for scrap marble pieces (they will give for free!)
 
 

EDITING 

1. WHEN USING TEXT, USE THE SAME GRAPHIC FORMAT, AND/OR THE SAME FONTS CONSISTENTLY. 

Also, when posting a text graphic in the same format, post every 4, 6 or more. If posted more frequently, they will stack oddly in the grid (Remember: the grid is what is most important!) Also, when using type, remember that smaller is better! Oftentimes people thing they must go bigger so it's easier to read, but it looks odd when in the grid. Smaller is better for type! If you have an event with los of information, put it in the caption, not the graphic. Here are some good examples to check out:

 
 

2. USE CANVA.COM FOR MAKING TEXT GRAPHICS FOR FREE

3. HAVE ONE CONSISTENT FILTER THAT YOU USE ON EVERY IMAGE.

This tip will create immediate consistency in your feed. Once again, look at other accounts to determine what look you love the best. Do you like high contrast and bright? Muted and matte? Blue or Pink hues? Determine what you love and and stick to it! Note: you will more than likely still have to edit each image some after you apply the filter because one image may be darker than others, etc. I use the Afterlight app. It allows you to create a custom filter. Here's some good examples to check out:

 
 

4. GRID TIPS

  • When posting black and white images, post them every 4 images or more. 
  • Text posts are best every 6 images. 
  • ALWAYS fill the frame. Never add a white or black border. If you post a horizontal or vertical picture, it is going to crop it to the dead center. Be conscious of how it will look in the feed if it crops in the center. 

5. SNUG

 

  The Snug app is a great way to test your shots before you actually post them. It's $.99 and well worth it! You can post one or more images and post them in a different order to see how your overall grid will look. Just search "snug" 


GROWING YOUR ACCOUNT

1. YOUR BIO IS OPTIMIZED FOR SEARCH ENGINES

Be sure and place all keywords related to your business in your bio. Your location, your target market/ideal customer, your name, address, etc.

2. USE (AND HIDE) HASHTAGS IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOU POST

  • In order for your hashtags to be fully affective, you must post them as soon as you post your picture. If you post them later, they will fall in at the time you posted, putting the most recent posts ahead of you. 

  • You can now hide hashtags! You do this by creating a note on your phone, and adding about 5 stacked bullet points followed by your hashtags. This is great also because you can just copy and past the whole note. Post your image, then post the bullet points and hashtags as a comment below. See example:
 
 

3. ENGAGING WITH OTHERS ACCOUNTS IS ONE OF THE MAIN WAYS YOU CAN GROW YOUR FOLLOWING

The best way to gain exposure, new followers, and more profit is to engage with other accounts on instagram. You can do this by liking and commenting on other peoples pages. There is a general rule that 3 likes and 1 comment will get you noticed by whomever you are targeting.

4. INSTAGRESS!

Don't have time or interns to engage for you? There's a website for that! Instagress.com has been a game changer for my business and instagram. It works by targeting, liking, and commenting FOR you. And the best part is, it's $9 a month- and well worth it! You enter the accounts and hashtags you would like them to make, and then tell them what you would like them to comment. 

Tips for Instagres:

  • Keep your accounts and hashtags specific, and your comments general. Target large accounts that with similar target markets as you, and hashtags specific to your business. Avoid hashtags like #happy or #enjoylife. And avoid specific comments like "that looks great on you!", or even "LOVE this!!!". You can't control which images they comment on. I usually use emojis as comments, or comments like "Great feed!" or "Love!" because that can usually apply. 
  • Do NOT select follow or unfollow. If you do, they will follow hundreds of accounts that will clutter your feed. Only select like and comment.

EXTRA TIPS

1. STYLED SHOOTS

Consider doing styled shoots that give you a bank of images to post randomly throughout your feed. Most creatives wil participate in a styled shoot pro bono, knowing that their images will be well promoted by the others in the shoot. You can do model calls, get a fun venue, etc. and create a shoot that truly matches your brand. Again, this helps to build up a stock of images that you can pull from when you don't have anything spur of the moment to post.

2. GIVEAWAYS

Giveways are a great way to grow your following! Have followers tage their three best friends, share the post, and of course follow you to enter the giveaway. I have personally gained hundreds of followers by doing giveaways.

3. THE WEBSITE LINK

Take advantage of the website link in your bio. You can use this link to grow your email following by linking to a giveaway, blog, sale items, etc. Have users enter their email in order to access the page you have linked.

4. HASHTAG GUIDE

This hashtag guide does the leg work for you! Copy and paste the hashtags you want that are specific to your market. http://www.smalltalksocial.com/shop/getfound