I started my Instagram account @iammumpreneur at the beginning of 2016. I honestly had no idea about this platform. How to use it for my business, my podcast or my mumpreneur community.

I loved the visual aspect of Instagram, and I could see the potential.
How couldn’t I, with the statistics suggesting there are over 600 million active monthly users globally.

I had zero experience, and so in the beginning, I would experiment with different ways to increase my account following and engagement. I discovered very quickly that it is not about how many followers I gained each day but about attracting the right type of followers.

And that my friends principally happens through content.

Before you read any further, answer this question:

What is my main goal I want to achieve with my Instagram account?

Is it to drive more traffic to my website? Is to gain more brand awareness? Is it to grow my email list? Or Is it to sell my products or services? Perhaps it’s something entirely different to these examples.

Bottom line, understanding what you want to achieve on Instagram will help you create the right content which will determine who you attract.

If you need a little guidance to get going with Instagram, then be sure to download my Instagram Guide for Beginners. It will take you through the basics of starting your Instagram account.

INSTAGRAM CONTENT

It should be apparent through your content what your business is about. By this, I don’t mean content including product after product after product. That’s annoying!

It should be about the core message of your business.

For example, the wedding photographer may infuse their feed with content around relationships, exciting (and possible wedding) locations and fashion as well as their own wedding photography work. Imagine just seeing images of their work all day long with the caption saying ‘Book your session now!’ If you are not ready to book this photographer, there is nothing else to talk about and you may as well leave.

Let’s have a look at this in more detail, with a real example of an Instagram account I love to follow @talinegabriel from Hippie Lane.

CASE STUDY

Business: HIPPIE LANE

Hippie Lane is all about coming together – people, friends and family, over a delicious and nutritious spread of food.
They are focused on healthy food that will nourish your mind, body and soul.
Their products include Hippie Lane app (released in 2015), Hippie Lane – The cookbook (published in 2017) and personalised spoons and other small products.

Content this account likes to post is centred primarily around food and healthy lifestyle.

They are regularly showcasing a lot of vibrant images of food and trends to prepare and eat healthy food. Most of this content is their own but occasionally (approximately every 6th post) they will share food inspiration from another Instagram foodie creator.

They also share moments from their day, often to do with food or sourcing produce.

 Following: 472K

These posts offer inside into their personal life, what they like to eat including how and where they get to spend their day. Glimpses of their family life are coming through as well.

Another style is the post of dream destinations or locations to spend time relaxing and enjoying healthy food. In their feed these are carefully placed through with periodic regularity. The images often feature the beach or a quiet and relaxing nature spot.

Only a small amount of their posts are in text form, and they tie into their food and lifestyle focus. They are branded and so have a very consistent appeal.

How they promote their products? Cleverly though only some of their posts. Only occasionaly they have a product image where it’s clear that’s what they are selling.

Here are few examples of how they promote their products, new recipes and blog features.

To help you even more, I have prepared a break down of their post types so you can spot their patterns.

Green – HL food posts, Red – HL product promotion/mentions/blog, Orange – destinations/places, Yellow – text/quotes, Purple – personal, Blue – promotions of other accounts/mentions/collaborations

Note, this break down is my own observation of how and what type of content this account posts. It is intended as guide only.

If coming up with your content in the right consistency is proving hard, I can suggest two tools that worked for me. One is the old fashioned pen and paper (in this case colouring pens and paper), and the other option is scheduling app that also gives an option of a visual grid. Particularly useful if you struggle to create a cohesive feed.

1.My Instagram Content Planning Sheet

You will enjoy this approach if you like to plan the old fashioned way.
There is nothing complicated about it, just one sheet to help you plan your content weekly; It is actually a bit like my breakdown of post types I’ve done above in my Hippie Lane case study where you work on post pattern using your colour codes.

2.Tailwind for Instagram

Relatively new app but I have been loving using it so far as a scheduling tool for my posts. Other functions include a reminder to post, and if you are unsure when to post, then it can suggest best times for posting based on your existing audience.
What I particularly like about this app is the grid simulating function. You can view how your feed grid will look like ahead of your posting. If you need to change the order of your posts, it can be easily switched and moved around.

ENGAGEMENT

is not about numbers and seeing if it will grow by a hundred likes by the end of the week! No, that is called ‘chasing numbers’. Engagement is about building a network of followers that want to see your content because it holds value. They want to engage in conversation because they find it interesting, ispiring and helpful. It makes them feel understood.

 
If you struggle to come up with content then share content from others. It will demonstrate you care for others, not just yourself and you might build incredible relationships along the way.  Stay clear of never ending sale promotions and pitching all day long. Eventualy your following will grow tired of seeing the same message over and over again.
Through coaching, I see this to be the most common mistake my clients make on social media.

INSTAGRAM FEED

Okay, so, let’s chat about esthetics and why you should aim for a cohesive feed.
I know, when I see a feed that feels attractive and is interesting (meaning it’s what I’m interested in) I am most likely going to follow this account.

I am sure you’ve noticed, there are many different styles when it comes to creating an eye-catching and consistent Instagram feed. Overall visual aesthetics can significantly influence someone to keep consuming your content or to leave. First impressions definitely count on Instagram.

So let’s dive in and go through some feed examples and inspiration!

1. White background

Clean, Fresh and Bright look

2. Colourful

Bold, Happy and Fun

3. Pastels

Soft and Feminine

4. Consistency through shapes

Repetitiveness of particular shape(s) in each image for example

5. Black and White

Monochrome, B & W as primary colours with touch of another colour tone

6. Dark background

Moody and Luxurious

7. Colour highlight

Primary colour pops through feed

8. Filters

Softens and Unifies – on brand consistency to every image through filter

9. Alternating Image and Text

Text and Images – great way to incorporate in repetitive sequence

So this has been a long post, I know but what has been the biggest take away for you? I would love you to share with me 🙂

Petra Jones

Petra Jones

Founder

Petra Jones is a podcaster, mumpreneur supporter, founder of I Am Mumpreneur and in the past also a clothing designer.  Petra now helps women to find their right media connection in today’s chaotic, fast-moving and often confusing business world. She guides her clients to step into their spotlight with a brave heart.

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