Instagram is a great way to tell your brand story

Branding Your Instagram

Guess what? I’m not going to talk about how to use instagram to market and promote your business, or how to gain followers or how to turn those people into paying customers.

Bummer, right? I know..  But, there are awesome people out there who are true insta expers (like Hilary Rushford, who has a great instagram class) – so I’m going to leave it to them.

What I can guide you to do is to create a well branded instagram – that communicates and expresses what your brand is all about, and will naturally help you to grow and connect with your right people – because that’s what good branding does. 

And I’m firmly convinced that instagram is taking over, so if you aren’t on there yet, I would get on ASAP, starting with today’s brand challenge! 🙂 (so bossy, right?)

I’m actually going to devote a couple of days to instagram because I think it’s that big of a deal. But, as before – if you don’t use and have no interest in getting started with instagram, just skip the challenge for today, okey, dokey?

Okay.. so Instagram..

One way to think about instagram is that it’s a magazine of sorts – or a portfolio – showcasing the best of your brand. Really well branded instagram pages will feel super consistent and intentional.

Here are some examples of people doing this excellently:

Hanna Mayo is a family+birth photographer and what you see on her instagram are examples of her gorgeous photography (and family). Who wouldn’t want similar photos taken of their own tribe? Wish she lived in Colorado.

Misty Mawn is an artist – she does a super nice job of including personal photos amongst her art. The snapshots of her life make sense in the bigger picture/story she’s telling and the color and tone of those images match the mood and vibe of her paintings.

Jessica Swift is a pattern designer and also teaches online classes. She recently had a baby, but you don’t see baby photos bombed all over her instagram page – but they ARE there, just not what her page is all about. She blends them in nicely while showcasing her work and life as an artist.

Bicem Sinik is a crazy talented tattoo artist and that’s mostly what you see on her page – it’s a wonderful showcase of her work, with a few snaps of the artist herself thrown in to keep things personal (and to show off how fabulously cool she is).

Angela Liddon of OhSheGlows is a vegan food blogger and her gorgeous super yummy food is what you get to experience when you visit her page. (PS – her recipes are THE BOMB if you haven’t visited her website or tried them, I highly recommend). 🙂 mmmm…

Elsie Larson is one of the co-founders of @abeautifulmess – a lifestyle and creativity blog that is totally fun and gorgeous and her personal page is exactly that. You’ll see snapshots of her home and her life – but it’s all well curated to tell the brand story of A Beautiful Mess. You don’t see the messy bits – you see bright pops of color and pure, extreme fun.

Courtney Pilgrim is another artist who paints with vivid color! All of her personal photos that are intermixed are full of color as well, which is intentional and well thought out. Another thing to note is that even though she uses ALOT of color, there’s a pretty clear color pallet that shows through.

A question that comes up ALOT is whether to have separate accounts for your personal and your business. There’s no right answer to this one – it’s really going to depend on your brand.

If you’re a mom blogger, talking about balancing work and life – then having images of your kids, baking a pie, working in a coffee shop, meeting with other moms – all of that would be consistent with your brand.

If your business is making handmade boho jewelry – photos of you doing crossfit may not fit in with your brand. But it might – if cross fit is something that is VERY much part of who you are, something you share and talk about a lot and something that people would connect to you and your biz? Then, include those. But, if not, I would say to leave them out.

It’s really tricky and there are people who have strong opinions from either camp. I think you have to seriously consider your audience – what would THEY love to see and what would have them feel a deeper connection to you and your business?

Do they really need to see a snap of your lunch? Does it further the brand story that you’re wanting to tell?

I’ve actually been having a bit of an identity crisis about instagram. I’ve been wanting to use it to promote my business more and my brand is very bright and bold, full of saturated color. But then my personal photography tends to be more moody black and white, or more desaturated and “hazy” – so my instagram hasn’t been really feeling consistent.

A snap shot of my instagram page, which is a little all over the place and why we sometimes need to take the time to go in and revamp the branding of our Instagram. #30daybrandchallenge

Like, it’s sort of consistent and if you know me, it makes sense.. but I haven’t felt free to fully shout from the rooftops my brand story – I always hold back a little because I’ve felt confused. And I hardly ever share my actual ART – my paintings or artsy photography – on instagram because I’m not sure where they fit in.

So because I’m doing this challenge right along with you – I decided to make a big change that I’ve been putting off for awhile now – I’ve decided to create a new – strictly personal instagram page and convert my current page to all things branding and design. I’ll share more about this on Day 16 – the process I’m going through to change things up.

Now, what YOU decide to do – a personal page and a separate business page – or both combined into one – is going to be entirely up to you. Again, you’ll have to think about your brand story, your dream clients and what makes the most sense for YOUR brand. 

Today’s prompt should help you figure out where you want to take your instagram from here – with some of the new found brand clarity you’re getting from this challenge and an intention to having your brand be consistent everywhere that you show up and share what you’re up to.

Inside of the #30daybrandchallenge, I’ve created a free worksheet to help you get clear about how you want to use your instagram. Or, brainstorm this out on your own to get clear about the PURPOSE and intention of your instagram page. What do you want it to say? What part of your brand story could be beautifully told over on instagram?

Join the #30daybrandchallenge to get access to the Instagram Brand Planning Worksheet

What is the story you want to tell and how will the images you share on instagram do that for you?

Tomorrow, I’m going to give you some tips and tricks for taking better photos for your instagram page and the day after that, I’ll guide you through updating and cleaning up your instagram page so that it’s 100% on brand! whoohoo!

LOTS to do here with this instagram business, so that’s why I’m breaking it up into 3 days of action steps. I’m so nice, right? 😉