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Not to sound shallow but looks matter! Instagram is a visual platform where we use imagery to build themes and tell stories about ourselves and our brands. Click to learn how to develop you unique visual style on Instagram or pin for later!

I hate to sound shallow, but looks matter!  More than on any other social media platform, visual aesthetics play a key role in the growth, engagement and overall success of your account.  Instagram is a visual marketing platform, and it presents unique challenges for business owners and corporate marketers alike. It’s not enough to find and share interesting articles, funny memes, and how-to YouTube videos. On Instagram, we use imagery to build on themes and tell stories about ourselves and our brands.

On Instagram, we use imagery to build themes and tell stories about ourselves and our brands. Click To Tweet

Now with over 400 million active users, Instagram is larger than Twitter! With most brands posting between 1-5 times per day, it is becoming a busy place. When a potential customer clicks over to look at your bio, you have just seconds to communicate who you are, what you are about, and what kind of value you will bring to their feed every day.

When I say your “bio,” I’m referring to everything someone can see when they click over to your bio. The few posts that they can see are just as much a part of your bio as your profile photo, description, and link.

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So how does one go about creating a consistent look and feel on their Instagram feed? It’s no accident! The most beautiful Instagram feeds are carefully curated, and utilize one or more of the following ideas to achieve a cohesive look.

Filters & Lighting

After reviewing literally thousands of Instagram feeds, I can tell you with conviction that Instagram accounts that use consistent lighting look the most professional and pulled together. When you have a few light and bright photos, mixed in with some dark or even (heaven forbid) grainy images, it just doesn’t look nice. It appears haphazard and “off the cuff,” like little forethought has gone in to your visual story.

There are tons of photo editing apps out there, but VSCO Cam happens to be my favorite. It has lots of really slick editing tools that can kick your photos up a notch.  If lighting and advanced photo editing has you in a sweat, you can also utilize filters (either one of the preset ones found in the Instagram app, OR VSCO Cam) to give your photos that tied together look.

Composition & Layout

Or more simply stated… the amount of “stuff” in your photos. Some people are great at perfectly stylizing photos and including lots of props without making their photos look busy.  On the flip side, some people prefer to post photos that only have one or two objects in them.

You can do what is called a “flat lay,” which is a photo taken from a birds-eye view, with all of the objects laying flat against a surface (usually white). I’m not sure what to call a non-flat lay, “regular” photo… 3-D maybe? 🙂 But taking all of your photos in a similar style is another way to achieve that consistent look.

Color Palette

Finally, sticking with a particular color palette is probably one of the easiest ways to tie your feed together in one, beautiful package. When I talk about color palettes, I always get asked what to do for businesses whose products aren’t tied to a particular 2 or 3 colors. So maybe the term “color palette” is a little limiting… A family of backdrops can create consistency too, regardless of what objects are put on them!

I’ve seen some really amazing feeds that incorporate all of the colors of the rainbow.  Here are two of my favorites:

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One of the tricks to incorporating many colors is being aware of how all of your images are working together (or against each other). Even if you just put a batch of images in to a folder on your computer to look at all the thumbnails, you can get a sense of what images are competing for your eyes.

There are many, many other ways to achieve a cohesive look and feel on your Instagram feed, but these are some low hanging fruit that any business can employ. Check out my list of favorite apps (below) for Instagram to create your beautiful visuals.

Which one is your favorite? What other ways can you think of?

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Molly Marshall teaches small business owners and online entrepreneurs how to systematically and simply grow a profitable online presence through social media. Get your FREE Instagram Strategy Guide now!

Get your FREE Instagram Strategy Guide

Learn what's working now to build your brand, authority, and credibility on Instagram in 2022.

Get your FREE Instagram Guide

Learn what's working now to build your brand, authority, and credibility on Instagram now.

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