4 inspiring photos you need on your Instagram feed
Ready to kick up your Instagram feed just a bit? Me, too. No 2018 goal required.
Because you and me? Well, we can see the Instagram potential. Truth be told, it’s probably not going to give you direct sales or bookings.
Before you ever get a sale or booking, you have to build the know-like-trust factor with your potential customer. And Instagram? Well, it’s a great way to make that happen.
4 inspiring photos you need on your Instagram feed
When you’re planning your feed, you’ll want to find a balance of consistent imagery and brand messaging and also keeping it creative and unexpected enough that your audience feels inspired.
Your account could be centered around your hilarious personality. Or it could be about saving elephants one shirt at a time. Here are four types of photos you can start adding to your feed to add in a little unexpected moment here and there. Or, hey! You could even develop an entire content strategy around one of these types of photos.
Instagram isn’t about creating the perfect images or the perfect captions.
No matter what business you’re in, it’s about sharing your story. Don’t worry about driving sales. Focus on getting to know your community, showing them who you really are and what you’re about so they will trust you and let you lead them.
1. Add user-generated content to your feed
One of the most trusted types of content on Instagram? That’d be user-generated content. Whether you sell a product or offer a service, here’s how you can start sharing content generated by your community.
If you need photos for your feed, start with user-generated content by featuring your client’s images in your feed.
If you need words for your feed, consider featuring something your client wrote about your work.
When I was shooting weddings, I loved doing this for my clients! They would post a wedding photo, use the #jordanbrittleyweddings hashtag, and say something like “There’s no one else I’d rather move across the country with.” Or something like that. You get the picture!
I could then share any photo from their wedding and include the quote from them. This did two things: (1) it reinforced my brand message around valuing marriage and includes the big and small moments and (2) it encouraged my wedding client to continue sharing their work.
As a good rule of thumb, always request permission before you share someone’s work in your feed. Even though most people would be delighted for you to share their work, not requesting permission could result in being billed for using someone’s image to promote your brand. That would be a commercial photo rate and that doesn’t come cheap!
2. Create shareable content for your feed
Hello, hand-lettering and graphics with quotes. These pieces of content are so easy to create — just whip open Photoshop, use your brand fonts + colors, and write something inspiring! Make sure to credit yourself at the bottom of the post so that when people do share the image, their audience knows how to find the inspiring person who created that graphic — ahem, ahem, you!
If you’re in an industry where there are a lot of collaborators (looking at you, wedding photographers!), then you are already creating shareable content — especially if you’re the one taking the photo.
This is why you’ve gotta send the wedding team the images after you send the gallery to the client. Struggling to create a workflow around this? Mark it in your calendar to send it one day or one week after you email the gallery to your clients.
Feel like you don’t have time to make this happen? Hire a virtual assistant to take care of it for you. This is one of the best-kept secrets to marketing your work. People want to recommend your business. They’re just looking for a reason! Send the photo and show them the reason.
3. Use brand message content throughout your feed
Wait, Jordan. I thought we wanted to weave our brand message throughout all of our content?
Hold on there, young hand-weaver. See what I did there? I once said something quite humorous in the middle of a group photo (no clue what it was) and the whole group laughed. Picture me doing a fist pump and saying “Win!” I followed it up quickly with “sometimes I just need a minute to be funny.”
For some crazy reason, that’s what made the whole group double over with laughter. I think part of the challenge in being funny is when you don’t know why it was funny (you can laugh here). Or when it’s supposed to be funny and no one laughs (you can laugh here, too).
So this is me giving you permission to laugh at my young hand-weaver joke. Because see what I did? I swapped out young grasshopper with young hand-weaver because I was pretending that you asked me how to weave your brand message in…
Yeah, it’s probably time to get back to brand message content. Ha!
Tell your brand story. Why do you do what you do? What did your journey into this career look like and what challenges have you faced? We are obsessed with superheroes and good triumphing over evil — it’s woven into us.
So tell us your story and tell it to us again and again.
And to support that story, show us what that story has looked like.
Oh, hey there! Just popping into the photo to tell you that you can do it. And no… I’m not talking about whether or not you can rock a hat because obviously you can.
You can do this creative entrepreneur thing, friend.
4. Don’t forget to include action-oriented content
I’m not saying you’ve got to go out and shoot your little sister’s next softball game. Although, that’s definitely been one of my favorite ways to love on my sisters throughout the years and I find it therapeutic to photograph softball if one of them is on the field.
This part actually has a lot more to do with what you’re writing, but finding a photo that fits the action-oriented caption you’re about to write? That’s going to work.
How can you inspire your audience to go and do something? You know, besides continue the endless scroll.
You could share a book you’re reading or a goal you have for the year.
Encourage them to take action on something specific: tell a story about how a very specific part of your service or product made a difference in someone’s life and encourage them to take the same action.
Share about a new hobby.
I know this seems simple, but it works! Because we’re craving time away from our screens now more than ever!
You and me both! Pin this image so you can come back to it anytime.
Name your board "Light & Airy Photo Tips" so we can find your favorite posts!
Were you surprised by any of these types of photos? What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to your instagram feed?