How many of you are Instagram fans? I know I avidly follow a number of gorgeous accounts that are constantly updating their feed with beautifully styled images and inspirational settings that make me wish I was better at calligraphy, and had a beautiful office, and ate macarons all the time….
But what about the rest of us who might not be artists or don’t have beautiful workspaces or don’t eat desserts for afternoon snacks? What can we post in our feed that will bring value to our followers, support our brand’s message, and all the while provide an exclusive behind the scenes look into creative professional lives?
HOW TO BRAND YOUR INSTAGRAM
When working with my brand clients, we spend a great deal of time focusing on the major “W’s” of their brands; WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, HOW (I know HOW isn’t a “W” but they always group that one together too.)
When branding our Instagram accounts, besides working on picking a filter we use all the time, or a new app that makes all our photos look consistent, and worrying about if our flat lay looks good, another important element to think about is the content you are sharing there and what its purpose has for your brand? If a potential client were to come to your IG feed, what would they learn?
WHO ARE YOU?
Do you ever share any personal posts about yourself? Any selfies of you or professional images of you working and providing a face to go with the name on your IG handle?
INSTA-INSPIRATION: Take a look at our own Instagram feed @whiskeyandred and you’ll see a number of very on brand styled photos of both Steven and me working, designing, and engaging with one another the way we would if we were working on a project or in a meeting with a client. This helps us to “paint the picture” of not only who we are, but what it looks like when you work with us. It supports our team element and the individual focus and attention we put into every client project.
WHO DO YOU WORK WITH?
What kinds of clients do you work with? Who seeks out your services? What does your ideal client look like? Help your followers envision themselves working with you through the inspiring branded images you share on Instagram.
INSTA-INSPIRATION: Britt, Graphic designer behind @brandedbybritt is constantly sharing client projects and showcasing beautiful new brand introductions for her clients, helping 1. introduce them to her audience, and 2. showcase the kinds of clients that she works with, helping followers on IG imagine working on their blog and brand designs with Britt too.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
What do you do professionally? What is your job title? Are you a designer, writer, teacher, coach, athlete, blogger… etc. Is this clear in the images you are sharing. If I came to your Instagram account, would I be able to know what it was you did?
INSTA-INSPIRATION: Abagail Pumphrey of @thinkcreativekc does a great job of promoting her blog content and professional services on Instagram while also sharing fun, bright colorful images that give you a strong understanding of who Agabail is and what she stands for. You instantly know what Abagail does and why it’s important to her.
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
Now that we’ve cleared up WHO you work with, and WHAT you do, HOW do you do it? What is your creative process? Do you have specific steps that you follow in your professional services? Do you have a unique way in which you conduct your business? What is it about your brand that makes you unique?
INSTA-INSPIRATION: Saffron Avenue owner and designer Angela Mondloch @saffronavenue is constantly utilizing Instagram’s video feature to show her working on her calligraphy and writing messages to her IG followers as it relates to her professional and personal life.
WHERE DO YOU WORK?
Now all of us have the luxury of working in big beautiful office spaces, but that’s ok. Showing where you work opens up more information about the world in which you exist in. That may sound so scientific, of course people know what world we exist in, but really, this element can often be underemphasized in social media where we get used to watching life happen on a screen. Do you work in a local coffee shop? Do you drive to your client’s homes? Do you work virtually? Help us picture what your creative world looks like.
INSTA-INSPIRATION: Regina A at @byreginatv does a beautiful job of showing her doing her thing all over the United States. From coffee shops, to kitchens, to offices, to couches and beyond! Plus, she is always showing really creative behind the scenes shots of her actually working, allowing her audience a sneak peek at upcoming projects.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? (To you and to your followers.)
This might seem harder to portray in images, but this is where your text comes into play. Thinking about the message you are sending with each image. Why is this post important? Why is it important to you and your brand? AND why is it important to your followers? It’s this commonality that will help make your brand more relatable and identifiable for your target clients and encourage them to click your links and explore further.
So, how do we actually capture all these important brand elements into our Instagram images?
INSTA-BRAND PHOTO CHALLENGE
31 Day’s of Intentional Insta-Business Action to Build Our Brands on Instagram
For the next 30 days, I challenge you to post to Instagram, sharing relevant, interesting, and artistic behind the scenes images that don’t only include food and babies. Think outside the box with me as we tackle our Instagram feeds this month with inspiring and creative business-focused daily photo challenges.
- STEP 1: Download the Insta-Brand Challenge Photo Checklist HERE!
- STEP 2: Head over to Instagram and follow me @whiskeyandred to see our daily shares for each post.
- STEP 3: Be sure to include the group hashtag: #InstaBrandChallenge so that way we can all follow along and see the insta-behind the scenes look at your brand.
The Daily Shot:
*Note: Day 1 starts on a Monday in order to keep with the weekly/daily focuses.
MONDAYS: The lady or gentleman behind the brand! Mondays are a great day to share a little more you. And not just the typical selfie, but an action shot of you living and breathing your personal brand.
TUESDAYS: Technology and Business Organization. Each Tuesday, you’ll be prompted to capture and share a business resource, be it your favorite tech, your calendar system, or your tangible tools. Tuesdays are for supporting HOW you do what you do by focusing on the tools and resources you use to manage and maintain your brand.
WEDNESDAYS: Client Project and Professional Workflow. Take the midweek to share a behind the scenes glance at your creative process. Be it featuring a recent client project, a particular phase in your workflow, or your creative materials in action (workbooks, notebooks, post-its etc… This helps your followers envision not only HOW you work, but WHO you work with so they can then begin to picture themselves working with you too.
THURSDAYS: #ThrowbackThrusdays. Have you read “Leave Your Mark” by Aliza Licht? She talks about taking #selfies, but not your traditional “turn-the-camera-around-and-take-a-rough-photo-of-yourself” kind of selfie, but a selfie of where you are at today v.s. yesterday, last week, last month, and beyond. Thinking in terms of your brand’s growth, share a throwback memory of how far your brand has come. This provides social proof and supports your creditability as a professional in your niche by showing how much time has gone by and how much you’ve grown.
FRIDAYS: #CreativeGeniusFriday. Each Friday, share either an accomplished week by showcasing a finished to-do-list, empty inbox, celebratory cup of coffee, or recognize another creative who’s inspired you in some way that week. Part of being a leader is also knowing how to be a follower. By supporting other brands and artists, you only make yourself look more credible. Fridays are a great time to recognize those that have inspired your brand and help spread some Friday love.
SATURDAYS: Celebrating Saturday. Just as important as how we manage our work time, is how we allow ourselves to relax during our downtime. How do you unwind from a busy week? What are some of your favorite creative outlets? Do you like to binge watch Netflix on Saturdays with your dog or are your the avid outdoors adventurer taking on some crazy nature adventure? Or are you the nighttime socialite? What do you do when you’re not hard at work?
SUNDAYS: A Sunday well spent set you up for a week of content. How do you prep for your new week to begin? Do you have any specific routine for your work week? Or are you family focused on the weekends?
So, what do you say? (in the voice of Barney Stinson of ‘How I Met Your Mother’)…
Be sure to start with prompt 1: “Your Introduction” so all the fellow creatives partaking in our little challenge can get to know you and what you’re all about, and then jump right into today’s challenge: Calendar, Schedule, To-Do List! A new month means new schedule. How do you organize your time and track your monthly brand growth?
I’d love to follow along with you as you brand your Instagram and partake in our epic #InstaBrand, so comment below and include your IG handle so I can find you and help expand your brand this month on Instagram.
Ready…. set…. GO!
P.S. If you know of any other creative entrepreneurs that would benefit from this challenge, be sure to help spread the word!