THE INSTAGRAM BUSINESS FAST TRACK

DAY 4 - DESIGN


TOPICS

  • Introduction
  • Business Roadblock: Perfection
  • Let's Talk Branding
  • Instagram Design Tips
    • Theme
    • Photos
  • Recap

Introduction

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In the last lesson you learned all about writing captions that convert.  These skills can be used not only on Instagram, but on your website, blog, email newsletters and anywhere you communicate with your followers.

Today we are going to dive into design.  

OK, let's get to work!


Business Roadblock: Perfection

Before we start talking about design, we need to tackle that ugly and nefarious foe: perfection.  

The desire to be PERFECT can in fact be PARALYZING.  I see too many business owners waste countless hours of time trying to create the perfect post or system when in fact, just putting it out there was more important than achieving some unattainable idea of perfection.

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.
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So right now, I want you to commit to implementing the systems and tools that you have learned here, EVEN IF every post is not Instagram perfection.  We will touch on analyzing and refining.  But for now,  you need to let the idea of perfection go.

When I first started my photography career WAAYYY back in the day, there were SO many things I did wrong.  I still wasn't sure what my style was.  Those earlier sessions had every different editing style thrown at it.  

But you know what?  I STILL booked clients.  My business STILL grew.  The fact is, I would have never figured out my style of photography if I didn't just slog through the mess.  But if I had been paralyzed because it wasn't perfect I would still be stuck in the same position I was a decade ago.


Let's Talk Branding

Now that we have that out of the way, it's time to get to the fun stuff - design!  Instagram is a visual and aesthetic platform.  Creating a beautiful Instagram feed that aligns with your branding is worth the effort you put into it.

Not sure what your brand is?  Don't let that stop you.  I have some free design resources that can help point you in the right direction:

Once you have an idea of what your branding is, it's time to put all of those ingredients together and bake a beautiful Instagram cake.

Want professional help with your branding?   I have packages for that. 


Instagram Design Tips

THEME

Before I jump into your IG theme I want to get something out of the way super quick.  Yes, we all want beautiful, amazing, and cohesive themes.  But also we have businesses to run.  So I want to refer you back to the first section in this lesson.  Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.

So maybe your theme isn't perfect.  Maybe you have the desire to go back and start mass deleting old posts.  STOP.  The goal here is to slowly transform your feed into a them that fits your brand.

 
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Theme Tips:

  • Complimentary Colors.  Pick 2-3 colors that compliment each other.  If you already have a bad ass brand, then you know exactly what these colors are.  If not, look at your website, your logo and see what you have going on.
  • Adobe Color.  When  I am starting on a new branding project, I often go to Adobe Color to help create some brand color themes.  They have beautiful themes that you can scroll through, plus your can build your own.  I love that you can even upload in image that you love and create a them straight from that.
  • Filters.  I love me some Instagram filters.  Especially on days I don't want to put makeup on.  But when it comes to filters on your business feed I recommend you NOT go crazy.  Pick 1 maybe 2 filters and stick with it.  A lot of good design often just comes down to consistency.
  • Canva.  If you don't already have a Canva account go ahead and set that up right now.  Seriously, I'll wait here.  As a designer I have several tools that I love including Photoshop and Illustrator, but I also work in Canva EVERY SINGLE DAY.  It's free and so easy to use.  You can quickly make beautiful social media posts and save your designs.  I have my own templates for each queue making it super simple to churn out different graphics for my Instagram feed.
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PHOTOS

We know content is king, and in Instagram that means photos.  Visually beautiful photos are an absolute must for Instagram.  These are several KEY tips that can help you take better photos whether you are using your phone or a fancy camera:

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  • LIGHT.  As a professional photographer I want to shout this from the ROOFTOPS.  Light, light, light is THE most important aspect in taking a great picture.  If you have the cutest outfit, the most darling office set-up, the sweetest cake, or the most interesting BTS (Behind The Scenes) photos, it doesn't mean a darn thing in bad lighting.
    • Use Natural Light.  Do whatever you have to do to capture your images using natural light.  Window light is simply to die for. If you're outside, use a garage or find a shaded area.  My husband has seen me crawl up on our kitchen counters to stand above a cake I've placed next to a window in order to get a decent photo.  It's not hard, but you must find the light.
  • COMPOSITION.  Composition is just simply how you compose your image.  Placing your subject straight on is great, but sometimes mix it up a little bit and play with different angles.
  • NEGATIVE SPACE.  Anytime I shoot images for a website or social media, I always incorporate several images with negative space.  This simply means offsetting the subject so that there is a lot of space in your image.  Images with a lot of negative space do about 30% better on Instagram than those without.  The lesson here?  Less IS sometimes more.
  • STOCK PHOTOS.  Don't be afraid to use stock photos to supplement your feed.  A lot of stock photos are free and there are some REALLY great and unique images.  I've listed a couple of my favorite sites for stock images below for you.

Recap

This lesson was all about your BRAND, THEME & DESIGN.  Start taking some time to find some Instagram accounts that you really love.  Begin asking yourself what it is that you like about those accounts.  But more importantly, be sure to not let perfection be a roadblock.