Comprehensive Guide to a Cohesive Instagram Aesthetic

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Not sure how to create a cohesive Instagram aesthetic?

There can be a lot of mystery surrounding creating a cohesive Instagram aesthetic, am I right? Like, how do they get all their pictures to look the same? If there is anything I want you to know, it is that your favorite Instagram feed is most likely curated.

If you are a business owner or a mom attempting to grow your online business, a consistent Instagram aesthetic is a must have. This blog post is your comprehensive guide for getting started with a cohesive Instagram aesthetic.

Branding

The first order of business is determining your branding, if you haven’t worked that out already. Here are some questions for get you started:

What are you brand colors?

What colors do you want to be associated with?

What feeling do you want to invoke in your audience?

My brand colors are orange and yellow because they are associated with sunshine and optimism. I can often come off as very serious, but the real me, for those who are close to me know that I am very optimistic. This ensures that my personality of optimism and positivity to come through to my audience. It can be incredibly to show people the real you through a phone or computer screen. Using colors in our branding and in our Instagram feeds is just one way that we can communicate who we are or what our brands stand for.

Choosing your brand colors is incredibly personal and should be very based on who you are serving and what you want to stand for in the world. Here’s a simple list of what’s the color psychology of certain colors mean:

Yellow – happiness, optimism, health 

Blue – peace, responsibility, trust 

Green – growth, harmony, wealth

Purple – mystery, spirituality, royal 

Pink – feminine, playful, upbeat

Orange – creativity, youth, vibrant 

White – purity, minimal, modern 

Once you know what your colors are it’s easy to figure out what color should be used within your Instagram feed. As you can see from my Instagram feed I work yellows and oranges into my Instagram feed. I do this by using personal artwork and hand lettering and through the filters of my images.

A final thought on branding, while branding is very personal it is also a business decision at heart. It is important that your branding speaks to what your business represents and what you want it to say to the world. It is your corner of the internet, make sure you are doing it right so the right people come to stay. 

Layout

Fortunately for you, layout of your Instagram feed isn’t as important as your branding. Layout is definitely more of a personal choice and what you prefer in an aesthetic.

There are a variety of different layouts to choose from such as all photos, or tiles. If going the tiles route, choose how often you want to post a tile and what sort of graphics you will use.

If you choose to use tiles in your layout, ensure if matched your branding. Do the colors match? Does the copy writing follow your brand image? Consider this question, will this speak to my audience?

Personally, I use a tile every 3 images. Personally, I enjoy having mostly photos on my feed but I also like having wiggle room. Hence, having a quote or art tile every fourth image allows me to have a ‘free’ day. Therefore, it means less stress in finding an image to post that day. And instead, I get to use my creative side and doodle something using Procreate.

On a final note, if you are considering using all images in your feed consider the type of images you will be taking and using. Sometimes, you won’t always have the energy to provide a photo for every day. However, there are great services out there for stock photos.

Here are some recommendations:

Unsplash – free images

Ivory Mix – paid but beautiful and lots of variety!

Photography

Having well-taken and well-lit images is one of the most important aspects of having a cohesive instagram feed. You can take decent images with both a phone or a DSLR. It suggest using whatever is most accessible and whatever is most comfortable.

Many of the same ‘rules’ apply to taking images on your phone as they do with a DSLR, so I am going to lay out so of the key rules below. Keep these guidelines in the back of your head when taking images and it will make a world of difference.

Focus on Light

Make sure you have lots of light. Whether you are taking images on a phone or DSLR, light is your friend in photography. Open the windows or go outside. Do anything but use the weird overhead lights. The lights in our home are not made for general photography and often cast either a harsh blue or orange tone on everything. These tones can be difficult to edit out of images with just basic photo editing.

Space is Your Friend

No seriously, when you look on Instagram, you will see lots of space in images. Negative space that is. Empty space. Empty space is a free and valuable tool to draw the eye toward the subject matter (you). It also helps the viewer focus and adds to a pleasant viewing experiencing.

Edit Your Images

Whether you are using a DSLR or your phone, ALWAYS edit your images. Pro tip – use a custom filter. Filters or presets (on Lightroom), ensure you are getting a consistent look and color scheme across ALL of your images. Look on IG, you will find themes that are very neutral, or orange or mauve and this has partly to due with the filter or preset being used to edit the images. If you don’t have a preset to use in Lightroom mobile, you can grab my FREE preset here.

Make a Schedule

Finally, a big complaint that I often hear is how difficult it is to have images to post all the time. I get it, it can be time consuming. My best advice (and it’s taken me a long time to get in the hang of this), is shoot your images for the week on a a single day.

For example, I shoot most of my images for the following week on the Saturday or Sunday prior. Since I post a combination of my kids and myself, I aim for about 4 images of myself, 2 of my kids, and 1 quote tile. Using this tactic ensures that there doesn’t have to be so much of ME and there is variety within my feed. However, this will totally depend on your business, your brand and what your goals for Instagram are.

Instagram Highlight Covers

If you don’t have Instagram highlight covers, please go get some! Covers are an instant facelift to your Instagram feed. Instagram highlight covers make your feed look more professional and put together. The covers can mimic your brand colors and show off what is most important to you. Using covers provides the viewer a quick look into what you are all about! This is important because you only have SECONDS to capture your audiences’ attention.

You can find instagram covers for free or for a cheap on a variety of places online. I actually sell a set in my shop, right here that you could go grab.

Final Thoughts

Creating a cohesive Instagram aesthetic does not have to be hard. But taking the time to think it through, to be strategic will save you a ton or work and missteps in the future. One of my biggest challenges was figuring out the cohesive feed thing, so I totally understand how hard this process can be. I hope this guide provides you some clarity, so you can start taking action, like right now. Get out there, keep chasing your dreams and keep taking those messy little steps. You got this. 

Onward and upward, friends! 

Free Lightroom mobile preset

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