How to Create a Cohesive Instagram Feed

Creating a cohesive Instagram can seem daunting, I get it. There’s always something with the algorithm, a new feature, or some speculation about hashtags to be on top of. And my guess is the things that used to work for you last year just aren’t cutting it anymore. So you can spend your day trying test allllll the hashtag strategies while cursing the algorithm. But I think working on a cohesive Instagram feed is a way better use of your time.

You only have a small window of time to catch someone’s eye so you definitely want your feed to look good. However, attracting followers with a beautiful account is just step one. Sharing yourself and providing value so people stick around is what’s going to create engagement and growth. Being cohesive on Instagram doesn’t mean being perfect. People want to see real images, take a peek behind the scenes and get to know who’s behind an account.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or building your existing brand, these tips will help you create a cohesive Instagram feed.


Instagram Planning

9 Simple Tips for a Cohesive Instagram Feed

1. Know your people: 

I have good news! There are people out there that want all the goodness you have to share. And for a cohesive Instagram, you just need to get really clear on who you’re speaking to and the value you can offer them. An account sharing quick cocktails for college students on a budget won’t look the same as one sharing the best specialty cocktails in your city. Once you understand your person (that aforementioned one that wants all your goodness), you can figure out what you should post. Which brings me to my next topic..   

2. Figure out what the heck to post: 

Now that you know who you’re talking to, ask yourself what your person wants to know. Does your college student want to know about a $100 bottle of champagne? Probably not. Would they be interested in tips for getting cocktail mixers from the university cafeteria? I think so. Think of yourself as the go-to friend that knows a lot about {your topic here}. Once you decide the types of content you want to post, commit to them. And then share using engagement-driven captions (I may have to write a whole post on just that). The goal is for your followers to know what to expect from you and want to stop and read your post cause they’re always that good. And remember that your followers want to get to know the person or people behind the account. So make sure to include different aspects of you and your business in your categories. Have fun with this part and choose categories that you’re excited to share. Because Instagram burnout is real if you’re not posting the things that excite you.

3. Pick a mood.. any mood:

Getting clear on number 1 and 2 should already give you an idea about the mood of your feed. If not, choose what makes sense with the content you’re sharing and the personality of you or your brand. Clean and white, bright and colorful, dark and moody are just a few options. Once you have an overall mood in mind, get specific.

4. Choose your main color: 

Pick one neutral color to weave throughout your photos. Do your best to incorporate at least a little bit of this color into as many of your photos as possible. I use white as my color base and incorporate it through my backgrounds, surfaces, napkins, props and even my outfits. To make sticking to your color plan easier, choose a color that’s in your life a lot. If your whole house is white and you choose black, you’re making a lot more work for yourself. 

5. Choose 2-3 supporting colors: 

I don’t think it’s necessary to limit yourself to really specific colors all the time but it is helpful to choose types of colors or to weave common pops of color through your page. For example, if you choose green, you can incorporate a fresh mint garnish in one photo and a cute greenery wall at brunch in another photo.

6. Get your light right:

It’s really all about the natural sunlight. The camera you’re shooting with matters a lot less than the quality of light you’re capturing your photos in. Great natural light on your phone can give you better results than shooting on a high end camera with indoor lighting or at nighttime. Find your favorite window and stick to it whenever possible.

7. Be picky:

This can be a hard one but for a cohesive Instagram, avoid posting photos that don’t fit with your aesthetic or theme. If you only share cocktail recipes then post a picture of your workout, followers may be confused and new followers may even unfollow you. The good news is that people today want more than just that one thing from you. So if you want to share that workout, share it regularly in a way that makes sense to your person. Showing the real parts of your life and/or business make you  relatable. It all goes back to having your followers know the type and quality of content you’re providing. So make sure that you’re covering everything you want to share when you decide on the categories you’ll post (tip 2). 

8. Pick an editing routine and stick to it: 

Commitment issues? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Pick an editing routine and/or preset and stick to it. We edit camera photos in Lightroom and iPhone photos with VSCO then finish them with a very light filter. There are a lot of apps available and even filters on the Instagram app to choose from.

9. Use a planning app: 

Lastly, use a planning app to lay everything out. Think of your planning app as trying on an outfit before you buy it. Test how things look next to each other, move them around. Keep visual balance between your photos as much as possible. Place a photo with a lot of negative space next to a busier photo. Use a variety of perspectives. A planning app will make this much easier.

If this seems like a lot, don’t worry! Instagram doesn’t need to be perfect. However, keeping some of these tips in mind should automatically result in a more beautiful and professional Instagram feed.

If you’re a food or beverage brand or influencer and want take amazing photos that attract customers, followers and brand partnerships, let’s connect in my FREE Facebook Community – On Brand Food Photography & Content 

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