One of the best (and fastest) ways to gain followers on Instagram is to establish an aesthetic or theme. Before you tell me that I'm crazy or that you already KNOW, wait. I pinky swear, this post will attempt to show you that the idea of a theme might be different from what you typically hear. I am by no means going to tell you that every picture needs to look the same. Personally, I can't do it. What I mean by this is a cohesive look that will help attract new followers, up your engagement, and will help you to create a more recognizable brand. So, all the good stuff you want for your Instagram.
Instagram has completely transformed my blog. Out of all my social media accounts, combined, my Instagram (@heleneinbetween) has the largest following, interaction, and engagement. I tell you this because at first, I didn't think Instagram would help me…. at all. I thought it was more of a visual app (it is) that would never translate to anyone reading my blog. But I was wrong and very happy that it's become one of my biggest drivers of traffic (not to mention one of the best ways to make money.)
When I took deliberate steps to make Instagram work for me, my blog grew and even more, my income grew. Part of that is creating a theme or aesthetic for your Instagram. What this really means is that your photos flow together. When someone looks at your profile on Instagram they don't look at just one image, but at what you post. Truthfully, they look at the top nine images (that's what's visible on Instagram when someone clicks on your profile) and if they like what they see or it resonates with them, they follow you.
A lot of people think that having a theme means every picture needs to look the same. NO WAY! Instead, it's more about focusing on an overall story. Instagram, after all, should be an extension of you- your passions and purposes. For me, that can change, morph, and adapt, and my Instagram changes with me.
How to Create an Instagram Theme:
Lots of people will tell you that in order to have a consistent look, you need to have all pictures look the same. Now, if this is something you WANT to do, by all means, go on with your bad self. For example, the account @alishylishy focuses on fun colors:
As you can tell from her gorgeous colorful feed, she focuses on a lot of blank space, splashes of color, and high pigments. If you keep scrolling, you'll notice she keeps it consistent. All of her feed is bright and bold.
On the other hand, there is @oh.sopretty, here she doesn't stick to a color. Instead, she focuses on white and having lots of space between objects. Her bright and light feed is so soothing to me!
The idea here is to be consistent wit your hues. Lots of their photos are shot from above, and the background colors are generally the same – even if the color changes.
Whether you want to focus on color or blank space, this is a great way to really draw the eye. I will be perfectly honest with you. When I first started to grow my Instagram, I thought this was the ONLY way to grow. I focused with trying to keep white in every. single. image. And while I adore the look of that, it's just not something that I wanted to focus on. So I decided to explore other ways to grow your Instagram. And I've outlined those below.
You don't just have to stop with color, you can shoot whatever you like, and choose a consistent angle. Some popular ones are: from above, from the side, looking up, or holding your camera a specific way. The account @onmybed masters the view from above shots.
Similarly, a lifestyle blogger, @thelifeinbetween shoots most of her images from above, while keeping a bright and airy feed.
I swoon over @laurenswells lovely feed. She is a traveler and lifestyle blogger and you follow her journey via her Instagram. With every image, she tells you where she is and you feel like you are there with her.
One of my favorite storytellers is @thedailytay. She doesn't just post a picture, she uses her captions to tell a story and make you feel part of her daily life. She shares her dog, her t-shirt business, and she does it all hilariously.
To me, this is one of the best ways to grow your Instagram. It's simply creating authentic and engaging content that people come to truly care about. When the audience feels part of your story on Instagram, you grow.
[bctt tweet=”When the audience feels part of your story on Instagram, you grow.” username=”heleneinbetween”]
Another great way to create a frenzy around your Instagram is to develop a location specific theme. When you do this, you're really easy to be found, and you give people an immediate reason to follow you, since you're focusing in on things to see and do in that area.
Sarah is KILLING it with @dallaslovelist. This account was started less than a year ago and already boasts almost 12,000 followers. She take beautiful pictures that lead people all throughout Dallas.
An account that's been around the block is @prettycitylondon. This account focuses on the loveliness in London, often featuring others that take pictures of the city.
Similar to choosing a location, you can also choose one subject. For example, the account @coffeenclothes focuses on just what it says: coffee and clothes. They don't stray from posting pictures of anything else and this creates a recognizable brand. When you create this recognition people want to follow you and feel inspired by you.
Alternatively, with accounts like @travelgirlsgo, they focus on images of women traveling. You can see easily that they post images of wemn in the center of the image, usually facing away. This now becomes the theme of their Instagram.
One way to really to make a beautiful aesthetic for your Instagram is to edit your photos the same way. This is not the same as using color, instead you take different images and try to edit them in a similar way each time. The account @happilygrey expertly executes this with her feed. She's a fashion blogger, so she's always wearing different stuff in new locations, but her feed still flows.
Following her hippie lifestyle, @stuffhannahdoes always seems to have a dreamy effect to the images she shares on her Instagram feed.
I believe these six ways to create an Instagram theme are the some of the best ways to grow, create an aesthetic, and make your Instagram a place that others actively seek out.
So, you might be wondering, what do I choose? I like to think I'm a combination of both the story and the edit. I edit all my photos in the exact same way. I get lots of questions on what I use, I like this camera, this lens and edit everything in Lightroom. You can check out my Lightroom presets right here! (I swear by them.) I wrote a whole post on choosing my camera here. I also use Photoshop for cropping and adding text on the blog. Apps for the phone I love are A Color Story and VscoCam.
You can check out all most Instagram tips here. Here are some more helpful articles on Instagram:
Here's my free guide on how I TRIPLED my Instagram following! This follows the exact methods I use to really gain and establish my following on Instagram.
Learn how I tripled my Instagram Following with a FREE ebook:
The exact steps I used to bolster my Instagram and go from 0 to 130,000 ENGAGED Instagram followers.