Instagram Tips + Inspiration

January 18, 2018

New year, new focus, right? So the first thing I wanted to tackle was making my Instagram feed attractive and really reflect me, my style and my philosophies. And to make it easy to do those things! I have developed a process and even though it may change throughout the year I am so happy with my efforts so far. I'm going to share with you what I'm doing so you can try these tactics out for yourself.

First, a shoutout to Rosemary Watson. To say she is the Queen of Instagram (at least in my book) is a bit of an understatement. She offers online courses and, best of all, much free advice that really, really works. I purchased one of her Instagram packages on Creative Market (a great resource for graphic designers) and used it as a starting point. That and her excellent, intuitive and detailed support were enough to get me started. Here is a link to her shop, check it out!

Then, I had to figure out how to get these gorgeous images uploaded to my Instagram. I checked out a half dozen ways and found the one that works the very best for me. I use Buffer, the free version, and I cannot believe I found such a simple, easy and comprehensive way to handle all of my social media! (Insert tiny happy dance here.) I can post pretty much anything to all of them (social media sites) or one at a time. Each post I prepare goes into a queue and you can set up the times you want Buffer to post them. Yes, easy and awesome. I love it is not an understatement!

Of course, being a graphic designer I do use Adobe for image preparation. But there are free sites out there like PicMonkey for Windows users and Canva for Mac users. Both of these sites offer lots of tutorials and you can find hundreds on Google and YouTube. One thing I like to do is keep my images square even though you can upload different ratios on probably all of the social media sites to give a uniform appearance (especially on Instagram.)

So... where can one find excellent, free images? That's easy. Unsplash is just amazing! You can find almost any image you might want or need and they are all FREE. Yes, free. And of course, you can find beautiful stock images on Creative Market and other sites, like Etsy to give uniformity to your branding which I think is essential. Mixing the two of these sources with your own photos is the perfect combination and gives everything a polished, professional appearance and makes you look like a pro to the world!

Do you have a favorite program, app or process for Instagram? Feel free to share it here and help the rest of our small business tribe be more successful. And if you have an Instagram feed you want to share we would love to check it out and get some inspiration from you!

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