What’s your most-used downloaded app on your phone? If you’re like the other 100 million active users on Instagram, you’re not alone. How do you make your Instagram grid stand out against the 100 million crowd? Well, it may be a challenge, but In The Lights is here to break it down for you and make it fun! Instagram is supposed to be an exciting platform, so take our tips and have a great time with it.

Clarify what you want to sell

First and foremost, you need to identify your online presence and what you are going to offer to your audience. Even if you’re not selling an actual product or service, you are still telling a story to your audience—you’re “selling” what makes you unique, which makes them want to follow you. What makes you unique? Do you have an upcoming show? Are you an optimist giving advice on careers? Are you a yogi giving yoga workouts? Are you a fashionista giving style tips? Identify your brand and the story you want to tell before tackling the feed.

Get an awesome planning app

Plann is one of the best apps we’ve found. It helps you put in exactly what you should have in your grid. For example, if every fourth post needs to be a quote, the app shows you a grid and will say “quote” on every fourth photo. It’s the easiest way to keep track of what you’re posting without having to do calculations…because math. A few other of our favs are Preview, UNUM and A Color Story.

Plan your copy

It may seem like visual planning is the hardest…but copy can be the toughest part! When you clarify what you are selling and how to tell your followers who you are, you will have a better understanding of your copy, i.e. should it be funny, serious, inspirational, etc. If you’re wanting your audience to purchase a ticket or product, click on your blog, or book a service, include call-to-actions (but don’t go crazy with them, remember the 80/20 rule). We recommend having less than 50% of your posts include call-to-actions (and not all of those being blatant promotional content). When you do include call-to-actions you don’t always have to leave them last! For example, if you are selling tickets to a ballet you may say something like “Swan Lake premiers in two days. Click the link in bio to grab your tickets today!” If you always stick call-to-actions in the end of your caption and want to switch it up, go for it! Try out something like “Swipe up for Swan Lake tickets! Don’t miss out on this hot new performance.”

Engage

Congrats! You started posting some awesome insta content. Feel free to use relevant hashtags and include cute emojis to your posts! Now you have one last task! Show the love to your followers, particularly those who comment or send DM’s. Send a reply, even something simple like a heart or thank you can go a long way in building a follower’s trust, so don’t miss this important step. #ProTip: take the extra mile and go to the profiles who follow, like, and comment on your feed and do the same for them.

Happy Insta Planning!

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