How to Create a Cohesive Instagram Feed that Stands Out

Instagram Feed that Stands Out

Social media marketing is a powerful tool to market your business and sell more—whether that’s more products or more services.

Businesses can and should use Instagram to create brand awareness and increase their revenue, but accomplishing this can be overwhelming, confusing, and time consuming.

Establish a Cohesive Brand Aesthetic

Your online presence should be a reflection of your total brand aesthetic from the fonts you use to the colors you’ve chosen to the overall feel your brand conveys.

I like to create a brand board for every client I work with. I use images, colors, and fonts alongside their logo to give me something to continually reference as time goes on.

This keeps the feed feeling nice and cohesive whether we’re in January or August.

Canva is a great tool for creating this kind of board. Search for “mood board” templates, and you’ll find a drag and drop template perfect for it!

Once created, the next step is to translate your inspiration board to your Instagram feed.

I like to start by noting the words that represent a brand. They might be: fun, bright, colorful, happy, and family.

Then look for images that convey those feelings because people connect with stories and emotions. You’ll also want to be sure that your captions support the brand’s messaging or your followers may feel there is a disconnect between your content and your images.

Sourcing Images for Your Instagram

We’ve all seen the pristine white and grey Instagram feeds where everything feels light and bright and airy. If crisp and polished is your jam, totally go for it on Instagram.

It’s absolutely right up my alley. I personally don’t like clutter, and I’m still recovering from living in an older home with very few windows, so the lighter the better!

But another direction you can go in is to be more raw. Snap photos of your everyday life and start live videos without looking perfectly polished.

Either option can still have an authentic feel, and you can always aim for a balance between different approaches similar to what I’ve been doing on my Instagram lately.

My goal is to balance my love of light and bright with my desire to show what my life is really like as a work at home mom.

If you’re comfortable doing your own photography, your smart phone should work great, but you can also make a small investment in a professional camera. I personally love my Canon Rebel.

Finding images for your Instagram feed when you’re not taking your own photos doesn’t have to be any more complicated than taking them yourself.

Professional photographers can be amazing for this, but stock photographs are also great!

I’d recommend purchasing stock photography bundles if you’re going that route to allow you a way to more easily maintain consistency across your feed.

My favorite stock photography sites are Haute Stock because it is membership based instead of priced per bundle and Canva’s pro plan, which includes access to premium stock photos.

But free alternatives you might also love include unsplash.com and pexels.com.

Plan Your Content Ahead of Time

Use a visual editor to plan your content out ahead of time!

I love Later for this, and it’s what I personally use. Later allows you to see a working grid of all of your scheduled posts, and you can choose whether those scheduled posts will be published automatically or by sending a notification to your phone.

By planning your Instagram content in advance, you can make sure all of your images work together cohesively and create a cohesive feed.

It also makes creating content crazy easy.

Drop in the photos you’d like to use that week or month. Then preview your layout and drag your photos around until you’re happy with the way your grid looks.

Don’t Sell on Instagram

I know that sounds counter intuitive, but if you want to create a cohesive feed that stands out and makes you more money, you have to stop selling to people in every post.

Instagram is not the place to be focused on sales.

Don’t get me wrong! Social media is a powerful platform to grow your revenue on, and the sales will come. But you have to focus on connection, engagement, and building authentic relationships first.

As my sales coach, Ryann Dowdy, says, you have to earn the right to ask for the sale.

From a social standpoint, Instagram users flock to the app to see entertaining content from people and brands they love.

So be personal and authentic! Instagram is a social media platform—get social!

I recommend a 1:3 or 1:5 ratio of posts where you publish 1 post directly related to your business for every 5 posts about other things.

Your business posts might be announcing your new eBook, course launch, or product, while your other posts might be questions for your followers, polls about their personal lives, or quotes to inspire them.

Absolutely look for ways to tie your business into the topic of all of your posts, but your hard sells and hard asks should be less frequent than those created to nurture your community.

As a business owner, you’re already juggling more than enough, so if social media planning and engagement isn’t your thing, I can help.

Many of my clients hire me to manage their social media because they need direction and strategy, but just as many simply don’t have the time to consistently create content or engage with their community.

Let’s chat about how I can help you!

11 thoughts on “How to Create a Cohesive Instagram Feed that Stands Out

  1. A Nation of Moms says:

    I love instagram, but I have to say that I don’t always have a cohesive theme. It’s so nice when you look at someone’s IG and the pictures have a similar tone to them. It would be nice to try to tie everything together.

    • Tiffany Barry says:

      You’re so right! The style of an Instagram feed is a great way to showcase a business or blogger’s brand. I recommend finding a few photos on a free stock photo website like unsplash.com to use as inspiration. Then reference those inspirational photos alongside your branding colors/fonts to plan out your feed so that it is cohesive.

      This is also something I help businesses and bloggers do as part of my Social Media Management services! Feel free to set up a time to chat with me if you’d like to work together.

  2. moondreams says:

    I guess I’m the opposite. I’m not a fan of feeds where there’s a set “theme” or “color” because to me it looks “fake,” and not as authentic, especially if I see stock photos. I do think quality photos are important, but when everything starts looking the same, it’s just too much for me. I’m probably the oddball as I know that stuff sells and gets followers. I just stick to using the same filter on my photos so there is some cohesiveness.

    • Tiffany Barry says:

      Yes, that is definitely a great way to establish that cohesive feel. Stock photography can be a great way to do it on a budget, but Lightroom presets on your own photography are another option that I highly recommend.

  3. mamawritesreviews says:

    I don’t really like IG feeds with too much of a theme either. I like to see personality and creativity. I lose interest when I’m scrolling an IG feed where everything is the same color or exact style. To each their own… we definitely can’t please everyone. 🙂

    • Tiffany Barry says:

      You’re so right. It can be a big turn off for some. More, too perfect can seem inauthentic. The key is definitely to know your target audience and then use a strategy that works for them. Pristine feeds that are light, bright, and airy are more beneficial for some businesses while more raw feeds can be better for others. It’s all about finding what works for your target audience and then creating a cohesive brand around that. Cohesiveness doesn’t have to be too perfect or seem inauthentic.

  4. Leah Wade says:

    I totally agree about feeds not being ALL sales. I love to get a feel for the person behind the feed. So great captions and real story telling mean so much to mean as a consumer.

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