DAY 5 LESSON: CURATED INSTAGRAM FEED / "THEME"
Before you proceed, make sure you've taken screenshots of your Instagram Profile (including the current number of follwers/following and your feed). Your screenshots will show you the transformation and improvements your Instagram will undergo through out the challenge. Ready? GO.
Some people find Instagram themes to be an interestingly controversial topic.
What is an Instagram theme, anyway? It is basically a way of making your Instagram feed look visually cohesive. Themes are used frequently by high-flying bloggers and people who have a specific business to promote. But since all of us here have PERSONAL LIFESTYLE Instagram accounts that reflects our life? What shall we do to "curate" our feed?
Now, first things first: if you don’t want to have a theme for your Instagram, then don't! THAT’S FINE. You do you!
Post photos of whatever you want to share however you wanna share it. It's your account and your own happiness after all! But if you really want to grow your lifestyle Instagram account – if you want better engagement and more followers – then, at some point, you’re going to have to look into developing a theme for yourself.
As a personal experience of how FNF Attire developed a theme, at first we wanted white, clean, and bright. This is what you usually see on famous fitness companies' feed nowadays. Clean, strict, and strong. But as we continue to build our community we realize that that's not what FNF stand for. If we are going to be honest with ourselves, it will look "too clean" and "perfect" that it won't even represent those who believe in our mission -- moms, dads, fitness enthusiasts, students, fitness professionals, business owners, industry professionals , you name it -- real people living real lives! So we decided to change our theme and represent what they represent: people under the sun, at the ocean, enjoying the park, in short - fitness not just inside the studio with white perfect walls but fitness outdoors, fitness everywhere, fitness that represent you. #FitnessWithACause.
You can see it through the brand colors we chose that are expounded more inside the FNF Brand Mood Board inside the Content Creator Guideline. (It's available in the classroom!)
So before anything else, be brutally honest with yourself: WHAT DOES YOUR LIFE REALLY LOOK LIKE?
You can obviously make your feed into whatever you want it to be, but it’ll be easier for you in the long run if you figure out what actually reflects your real life.
Remember, just because your life isn’t a "Pinterest dream" or "Instagram Worthy", doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful in its own way. Yes, even your home workout photos will and can work on a theme! Here's how:
How to Achieve An Instagram Theme?
- Keep your feed layout consistent by using similar filters
To ensure your curated feed flows naturally, stick to a particular approach when editing your photos. This doesn’t mean you that you should only use one filter. You should have only a few that go well with your chosen aesthetic. Let’s say you choose a golden aesthetic for example. You can edit all your photos to give them a warm feel. This way, each picture will look great on its own, and your feed as a whole will tell a story. You can develop a theme based JUST on a colour scheme, and some people do. I think it works especially well for businesses with a very clear cut aesthetic.
Here's an example of how we edit photos to "fit" in a consistent filter. We use VSCO and Snapseed (the apps we recommended inside the Instagram Toolbox!) to achieve batch editing - copying a filter and pasting it to other multiple photos.
2. Keep your feed in order
Be selective when deciding on what pictures to post. Do not add a busy photo to a minimalistic feed. It will look out of place even after editing. Similarly, a bright sunny photo will not go well with a dark aesthetic. This is especially important if it is your business Instagram feed. Just one photo that does not go well with the rest may cost you several followers (we're serious!)
Before posting a photo, step back and examine your Instagram feed as a whole. Do all the photos fit together? The most aesthetically pleasing feeds have a variety of subjects evenly spaced out.
To make your curated Instagram feed look awesome, you need to ensure that all the photos look great beside each other. You can easily achieve this by viewing your pictures in a grid format beforehand. This way, you can swap different photos of the same subject or move different images around to see what works best.
You can use the apps we recommended inside the toolbox for planning and scheduling.
3. Take your time to plan
To level up your Instagram feed, you need to spend time on it. You can set aside a day or each week to shoot, curate and edit content then post the material throughout the week.
Scheduling your post makes it easier to manage your Instagram account during the week. Planning and curating content ahead of time allows you to schedule your posts for optimal times and post more consistently. More on content ideas for tomorrow's lesson.
I hope this convinces you that having a cohesive profile that clearly reflects who you are and what you do, encourages followers to stay on. They clearly look forward to the next post that will "complete the look".
For samples of Instagram themes, I copied here some accounts that I've found on other guides. Please bear with me if I looked for varied topics and not just fitness. I've saved fitness-focused examples for tomorrow's lesson which you're gonna love!
Ideas for Instagram Themes:
If you have a ton of different interests and no other theme works for you, this definitely will. Putting a solid white border around each of your pictures makes your feed look consistent and put together.
Same goes for black!
Create a color palette of your favorite (or your brand’s) colors and put up images with those colors.
Pretty self explanatory. But works best to those who loves to post photos of landscapes! Why not posts every yoga photo / workout photos on landscapes? That's be a NICE idea!
Use the same filter on all your pictures to create a gorgeous, cohesive feed with a consistent, filtered, color palette depending on your lifestyle or mood: It can be vintage, bright, warm!
This is one of the more popular IG theme ideas.
Love clean simple lines and singular subjects? Just you posing a workout and a clear clean wall? Go for minimalist design.
If you love color and have kids, you’ll love this Instagram theme idea.
This brand's Instagram strategy is on point: creating an aesthetically pleasing feed, incorporating product shots, behind-the-scenes posts, inspirational imagery, and, of course, their signature yellow brand color, while the other one used green tones for cohesive visuals.
Horizontal lines, checkerboard, vertical lines, and puzzle. These accounts usually incorporate texts/quotes graphics.
DAY 5 MINI-MISSION: PLAN YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED
Your Instagram feed should represent who you are. Don’t just go with what the cool kids in your niche are doing. Carve out your own space on Instagram by creating a feed that’s completely you.
There’s an easy 3 step process to discovering a theme that screams you.
- Look for ideas and inspiration around you.
Some people are sure about what they want to do and what they like. However, if you’re not sure what you like and how you’d like your profile to be, start by looking around for inspiration.
Take a good look at the following and ask yourself:
- What are the colors of your room / house / backyard
- Are you minimalist or maximalist, or somewhere in between?
- When buying clothes, shoes, accessories, do you like monochromes or bright hues? Do you have a special color preference that you always go for?
- Are you bold and bright, or subtle and soft?
- What kind of prints and patterns do you like?
- Are you going for cute? Beautiful? Creative? What’s your aesthetic?
Try to assemble that in a mood board. That will help!
Here's FNF Mood Board:
2. Look to Pinterest for theme inspo.
Now it’s time to go deep into the rabbit hole of Pinterest – a gold mine of inspiration.
Search for keywords in your niche, and select 10 pictures that you relate to (and like) most. Don’t choose more than 10 pictures.
Make a moodboard of these pictures. Now look for common elements, and repeating styles, patterns and colors in the moodboard. Take this for example:
Right away you can tell the following things:
- The owner likes pictures in bluish tones and grayscales
- It is not minimalist.
- Preference for earthy elements like land, air, water
- Wants to use white spaces
- Wants to use quotations
According to this mood board, they could go with a multitude of themes: Line patterns, Grayscale, Blue Filter, etc.
So once you create these mood boards (you can create as many as you like, but the more pictures and mood boards you have, the more confusion it’ll create), start shortlisting themes.
3. Make a list of all your favorite Instagram accounts that is in your industry/field- TOP 3 ONLY!
Once you’ve started shortlisting themes that you think would work great for your brand, go through some of your favorite Instagram accounts.
What elements in their feed do you like best? Would you like your feed to be similar to one of them?
Make a list of elements you like about their feed. And then decide which theme would be perfect for you. Remember, you don’t necessarily have to choose a theme from the list we’ve mentioned above. You can create a theme completely by yourself. All your images should just tie to each other and reflect your brand’s personality.
1. Look for inspiration around your life, the places you go to, the things that are around you,
2. Look for inspiration on Pinterest for a mood board.
3. Look for Top 3 Fitspo Instagram account that resonates with you (the feed/content)
HERE'S THE CATCH:
The key to creating a gorgeous feed is amazing pictures. You can choose any theme you want and follow it consistently, but if you upload bad quality pictures it won’t work.
We have created a complete CONTENT CREATOR GUIDELINE that will up your photography and posing game for Fitness contents. It's available inside the classroom!
THAT'S IT FOR DAY 5!
Instagram holds enormous potential for your small business, and it requires hard work in order to reap maximum benefits. There are lots of tools and tricks that can help you achieve this. It's definitely hard (at first, I promise!) but it's doable and once you get the knack of it, you'll enjoy the process. AND IT WILL PAY OFF.
Don’t forget that all themes are a work in progress. Keep it simple, be honest with yourself, and most important of all: HAVE FUN. There's always lots of room to learn and experiment!!
Go Back to the Facebook Group to share your insights and catch up with the community. Make sure to engage with your team mates!