Instagram Made Easy

Who would’ve thought that a little ol’ photo and video sharing app created in 2010 would become SO HUGE for business owners?!

Not gonna lie, Instagram overwhelmed me up until a few years ago. I used to look at other people’s IG feeds and ask myself, “How the hell does she come up with that stuff?!”

I mean, come on! It really can’t be that hard, right?! Some people have even become Instagram influencers and have the luxury of quitting their jobs and getting paid to travel or review certain items after receiving a few brand deals.

>>Instagram is only hard if you make it that way.<<

I know I’m not the only one that has been intimidated by social media! Have you ever felt this way? If so, I’ve got good news for ya friend: there’s hope!

>>Over time, I found my stride, and now Instagram is my #1 way to gain clients.<<

If you’re looking to make your IG game stronger, follow these tips to make Instagram easy for you.

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General Tips

Identify the pillars of your account

First things first, ask yourself what your audience wants to see. 

>>You’ve got five seconds to make a good first impression for someone to decide to follow you. What are you offering them that will make them click that “follow” button?<<

Identify the pillars (or subjects) that will give your followers what they came for. Think of these as 5-7 bullet points to describe your feed through the eyes of your target audience. 

For example, I’ve got 7 pillars for my profile, one for each day of the week.

  1. My relationship

  2. Relatable 20something experiences

  3. Entrepreneur life

  4. Tips & tricks that serves my audience

  5. Relaxation & self care

  6. Motivational quotes & inspirational stories

  7. Promote the newest podcast episode (every Friday)

Once you’ve determined the pillars for your Instagram feed, creating content is SO MUCH EASIER. Simply use these pillars as templates for your captions and you’re ready to rooollll!

Batchwork

Our brains are wired to work on one task at a time. If someone tells you that multitasking is more efficient, they’re lying to you, boo!

Batch work your content so you're only sitting down like once or twice a month to come up with captions and corresponding photos. It’s really going to help you be strategic in your posts. 

>>Hammering out a bunch of content all at once will not only take less time, but it will ensure that you’ve got a flow throughout your feed.<<

Consistency is key. A well-known quote thrown around in network marketing really relates to this: “You have to be willing to do today what others don't, to get tomorrow what others won't.”

Posting every day on Instagram helps with the algorithm, so people will tend to see your post at the top of your feed. Why? Because the Instagram algorithm wants you to spend time on their app, so it will reward you for posting so often!

Once you’ve come up with captions, match them up with scroll-stopping images and schedule your posts. I recommend using Planoly. This tool allows you to play around with images to see how they’ll look on your page before they’re posted.

You can also save your most commonly used hashtags, making it super convenient to add them to your caption. Planoly has an auto-post option, making it that much easier to have your weeks or months planned out ahead of time!

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Engage with followers

Now comes the fun part: virtually hanging out with your followers!

>>Be sure to login to Instagram at least once each day to engage with your IG besties!<<

Like & comment on their posts

Respond to followers' comments on your posts

Add to Insta-stories

That reminds me, last I checked, it was reported that over 400 million people watch IG stories EVERY DAY. That means that someone is far more likely to see your story than your posts. So, your story is arguably more important to your personal brand.

>>Your stories are where the “real stuff” goes. Show your true self. Be goofy. Be relatable. Be funny. All the things that make you YOU, show that in your stories.<<

Use your feed to promote your business and services. Use your stories as a way for people to get to know you and trust you. That way, they’ll be more likely to hire you when they see your jaw-dropping image and caption as they scroll through their feed. 

Speaking of images & captions, need some advice on how to make the whole process easier? I thought so. Keep on scrollin’, girlfriend!

Caption Tips

Become a member of Social Curator

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Social Curator is a subscription-based tool that provides caption ideas and stock images that can be used without having to give anyone credit. Created by Jasmine Star (my mentor & a total boss babe), Social Curator gives you the brain fuel you need when batch working your content for the month. 

I guarantee you will NOT regret this investment!

(In fact, ALL of the photos used in this post are Social Curator photos!)

Tell a story & invite engagement

Sharing relatable stories or experiences with your followers gets them more engaged, and even more likely to buy into what you’re saying. 

Always be on the lookout for teachable moments that you’ve gone through that you can relay back to your audience. *And trust me, no matter how boring you think you may be, we ALL have stories to share!*

By simply being relatable, your followers will feel more invited to comment and tell their own stories. However, it’s always best to actually invite engagement within your caption.

>>People don’t just drop likes and comments willy-nilly, so you need to ask for that double tap or response!<<

Use hashtags

I cannot stress this enough. Literally, every single time you post, USE HASHTAGS. This is the best way for non-followers to see your content.

Use a hashtag generator, like this one, to search for a keyword and find all relevant hashtags used around that specific word based off of what people are searching for.

A general rule of thumb that I use: reserve 25 hashtags that are related to your overall brand. These will remain consistent throughout all of your posts. Since Instagram allows 30 total hashtags, use the remaining 5 to cater to each specific post. 

Image Tips

Commit to posting high-quality pictures

Something that many people struggle with is finding images for their feed. Unfortunately, some people settle on posting low-quality or even blurry images just to get it over with.

DO NOT BE ONE OF THESE PEOPLE.

Hire a brand photographer, ask a friend to snap a few pictures, or take matters into your own hands and get comfortable using a tripod and an auto-timer. If you’re really looking to up your game, buy a camera instead of using your phone.

However ya do it, Instagram is ALL ABOUT the images. Be sure you’re using pictures that will be aesthetically pleasing to your followers and showcase your work in the best possible way.

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Scatter similar images throughout your feed

Confession: one of my pet peeves is scrolling through someone’s profile and seeing 20 pictures posted back-to-back of the same outfit/same location/same pose. 

Look, I get it! You were having a good hair day and want to show the whole world. But, do yourself a favor and post these photos sporadically throughout the month instead of all at once.

It’s more pleasing to the eye and keeps your grid fresh.

Concentrate on aesthetics

The key to tackling Instagram pretty much boils down to an overall appealing look, so aesthetics are top-priority.

Some people swear by only using one filter for all of their photos. Others tend to stick to similar backgrounds and color themes. 

My advice? Just use bright and airy photos. They’re eye-catching, which is your number one goal. Stick a fabulous caption along with it and you’re good to go!

Instagram can be easy for you. All you have to do is dedicate the necessary time it takes to learn how to work with it.

>>Go get ‘em, girl! There’s no telling what being savvy on Instagram can do for you!<<

PS~ If you are one of the lucky ones to become a social media influencer, you HAVE to take me on a tropical getaway with you, since I gave you all of my IG tips! Deal?!

PPS~ Oh, and one more thing. Follow me on the ‘gram if you don’t already and let’s be besties!! Hit me up @coffeewithkristi and I’ll see you there :)