Insta Organizing for Visual People (and a handy free template!)
Do you ever look at gorgeous Instagram feeds and wonder “how do they make it look so pretty and cohesive?” The secret is organization and a little planning. But that sounds boring, and we are all visual people, right? This is where our Instabrandguide comes in.
To make the most of this tool, we have some homework for you, but note that this should be fun. We rarely like to “should” on anybody’s business, but we feel strongly about this one because it is what will make your brand stand out on Instagram, regardless of what algorithm is the new craze.
Your Homework (or mission, should you choose to accept it)…
You will need: an Instagram Brand Guide template (make your own or you can download our free template at the bottom of this post, unless you have it already–go you!)
**Please note, to use our template you will need Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator
- Place your logo or Instagram profile pic at the top (you can look at our sample for reference).
- Pick or bring in your brand colors and hex codes. Don’t have any yet? Take this opportunity to select them now. They should be colors you enjoy using in your brand, but also think of colors that tend to show up naturally in your photos. Don’t stress about these, your brand can always evolve and change. Make sure you include the color hex codes here too, so it’s an easy reference whenever you need to remember what the heck that color was. One thing I always ask our branding clients to do is to name their colors. It is easier to refer to Bay Water blue than “that bluish, greyish tone”. Plus, it gives your brand personality and the colors can refer back to something that has value to you in your brand. For ours, all our colors (except Marsala which is an actual Pantone name for that color) are named after things we care about and have something to do with our work, so lots of nature elements and Milk Coffee allude to home and comfort. Have fun with this one, guys! Don’t overthink it. They can be funny names that will be easy to remember. Think of nail polish names and how hilarious those are (how do I get that job??)
- For this next step, jump to the bottom of our guide. You’ll see I listed Monday through Sunday. This doesn’t mean you have to post everyday, it will just give you an order to follow. Now, pick some categories you want your feed to have. They can be however many you want, just be consistent. These categories should mirror your brand pillars (my what, you say?? Make sure you check this fabulous article from our buddy Nic at Working with Dog) and what you and your brand stand for, value, believe or want to share with the world. By dividing these themes into categories, you can forget about stressing with “what do I post today!” because you already have a guide. Boom! Clap!
- Now, let’s go back to the middle. The Grid. According to the categories you listed and the order you chose, place a photo in the grid that matches the category. So, the top left square would be Monday’s category, so on and so forth. This is where you can visually see how this order makes your feed look at a glance. More importantly, this is where you can move stuff around so it looks how you want it to look. Just make sure the photo you place is relevant to the category and the “day” you want to post it on. Again, don’t stress if you don’t get to post anything on Monday, it is simply an order of categories, not necessarily a specific day.
- Finally, on the bottom right of the guide, you’ll find a handy space to write down any hashtags you want to make sure and use for your brand. Only type up tags that are relevant to your brand, leave all the other generic #weeklyfluff and stuff out.
That’s it! Have fun, be yourself, and make it awesome… Oh, and print the guide up or keep it handy on your phone or desktop. Next time you start panicking about what to post on Instagram, Ta-dah! Guide’s out. 😉
Is there a design template you wish existed? Let me know in the comments or send your suggestions firstname.lastname@example.org.