Curating Your Dream Instagram Feed Without The Stress

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The IG struggle is real.  The side hustle is real.  I hate the word hustle, but you know what, it’s very real. 

Did you know that our human brains only have enough bandwidth to make 120 crucial decisions a day?  Many people decide to eliminate some of that by wearing the same thing every day, (i.e. Steve Job’s with the closet full of black tees), or creating a daily routine and planning ahead so that you don’t have to scramble yourself together later on. 

I decided I was going to tackle my Instagram feed and make it actually fun, and not another added stress that I didn’t need! 

Instagram is a valuable tool, but it shouldn’t consume you, cause you stress, or make you anxious.  Period.  So to make my little IG life easier, I have a few rules of thumb when it comes to planning out my feed.

1. Post Only Your Best

My first rule of thumb is to post only my best work.  And sure, I’m still learning, and my best isn’t perfect, but I get better and better with each post and learn so much every time I snap my camera. 

There have been so many photos that were great contenders for the gram, but did not end up there, simply because they aren’t amazing, in my opinion. 

These days everything is so saturated, that photos need to really wow me in order to make me stop scrolling and "tap-tap" a photo. 

I need a wow factor in order to make me really engage with a photo, but I need a photo to SPEAK to me, in order to make me want to hit the purchase button on a product. 

You don't get a dollar for every follower, but your photography is an investment worth making in the long run.    

 

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2. Pick a Pattern

I use a “grid” system when planning out my photo, making every other photo either light or dark to create a nice balance when you’re scrolling. Since most of my photos are dark to begin with, I make sure every other photo is black, or very very dark, compared to its two neighbors.

 

3. Discover and Define your Style

I hone in on a particular style and stick to it.  This is key especially if you’re curating products for a brand. 

I love mid century design personally, but that doesn’t really tie in to my brand at all.  I love so many different styles of design, photography and art, but I decided on really simplistic, natural, antiqued, emotive, and provincial decor, locations, and content, that services Hiraeth in the best way. 

To help me stay inspired, I am always scouring Pinterest for beautiful interiors, vignettes, and colors that really speak to me.  

4. Choose a Palette

I have a palette for my feed that I never deviate away from.  My palette is black, gray, white, and blue, with flashes of blush pink, green, copper, brass, and sometimes a little yellow candlelight. 

If a photo I take doesn’t only contain these colors, it doesn’t go on my feed. 

I may use that photo on my website for a product description, in a blog post, and on Pinterest, so it definitely doesn’t go to waste! 

I tend to alternate between posts with pops of color, and more monochrome photos to help balance out the feed.

Here's some examples of photos I've taken that have intentional pops of color

And here's some photos I've taken that are a bit more monochromatic, but still align with my base and accent colors so that my feed stays cohesive.  

  

5. Plan it in Advance

I use Planoly to help me figure out exactly how I want my feed to look, and I can plan and schedule IG posts weeks in advance so that I don’t have to have the, “What do I post today?” and “What do I say”? conversations with myself. 

Planoly has been a huge game changer for me and my business.  I would not be able to achieve the visual impact that I want to without it.  

*not sponsored at all, I genuinely adore Planoly and couldn't run my business without it*

6.  Be Selective

I share just enough.  For now at least. 

It really helps me when I’m struggling for a caption or content to write about. 

I am a HUGE fan of Jenna Kutcher, and her “Jenna Kutcher Five” method really helped me hone in on what to post about. 

How it works is that you pick 5 aspects of your life that you choose to share on your business platform.  For her, it’s Wedding Photography, Education for female entrepreneurs, Marriage, Yoga Pants, and Mac & Cheese. 

For me, it’s Handmade goods, Interior Design, Ballet, My Childhood Home and My Family, and Slow Living in the City. 

These five topics aren’t set in stone.  Maybe I’ll decide to change it up sometimes, but for the most part, my content sticks to these 5 principals, just so I don’t have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for content ideas.  

Your Turn

Start defining your style today, and take a moment to think about your brand's style and aesthetic.

Palette - Pick 3-4 base colors, and 3-4 accent colors that best highlight you and your products.

Temperature - Most feeds are either cool, warm, or neutral.  Mine is cool!

Mood - Is it bright and airy?  Is it dark and moody?  Is it elegant and whimsical, or colorful and poppy?

Props - Decide on some solid props that you can easily style in your shots.  Flowers, ceramics, table linens, a favorite antique...

Voice - Is it down to earth?  Funny?  Poetic?  What would best describe you?

Your "FIVE" - What is it about you that you'd like to share with your audience?  Showing facets of your personality, quirks, and unique self is what is going to help you stand out and help people relate to you in a more personal way!  My five are: Handmade goods, Interior Design, Ballet, My Childhood Home and My Family, and Slow Living in the City.  What are yours?

 

 

 

Margaret Perkins