Not Your Mom’s Instagram Feed
Hey Tribe, Aleksa here, SimplyBe.’s Creative Director. I’m here to talk allllll about the power of visual branding.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. When Jessica launched SimplyBe. four years ago, the first dollar she spent was on a style guide for the brand. She worked with an expert to curate the perfect feel — through a logo, fonts, colors and vibe — for the company she was building. She had an idea of the function of her company in that she knew she wanted it to be a personal branding firm, but before she wanted to run and fully build that out, she was intentional about getting the form right.
As SimplyBe.’s resident style guide creator now (you can learn more about that here), I know that Jess was spot on in that decision. And as the creative brain behind SimplyBe.’s current visual branding, I know that the original visual foundation for the company has had an ROI that’s through the roof. Although our visuals have evolved, just as the company has over the past few years, they have served as a rock-solid foundation for who we are and what we’re about.
If you think I’m exaggerating, check this out: we have full-time employees who have said that they decided to apply for their position after seeing our website’s home page.
Here’s secret number two: humans are visual creatures. Full stop. Before we can even begin to process what a brand is telling us, we can fully understand how it makes us feel. We’re hardwired that way. The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and particularly in our fast-paced digital age, the importance of this cannot be overstated. Your visuals are your first impression, elevator pitch, whatever you want to call it; they get you noticed. This means that if all people remember after spending a millisecond with your brand, is what you look like, you’ve succeeded (no offense copywriters!!).
For these reasons we believe in the absolute power in cultivating a strong creative direction and style for your brand. And we know that one of the easiest and most effective ways to do so is through an active, intentional Instagram profile. Before I get into the technicalities of building your brand on this platform, I need to give y’all some context. Every day on average, there are 100 million posts posted to Instagram, garnering 4 BILLION likes total. This means that about 10% of the platform are active contributors, while the other 90% are consumers. This leaves an ENORMOUS white space - read: opportunity - to get noticed.
But how do you get noticed?? Yes, valuable and interesting captions matter, and I’ll get to that in a second, but the best way to get eyes on your page is by curating a feed with a clear, cohesive brand aesthetic. Especially as Instagram continues to evolve as a platform, visuals have continued to grow in importance. Following hashtags, in the same way you’d follow an account, has grown in popularity. And while some tags provide value through the text associated with the pictures and videos around them, most gain their follows due to the images they provide — #cutepuppies might gain followers looking for advice for dog owners, but more likely, people are just looking for cute pictures of dogs, and will follow the accounts with the images they like best. While text plays a bigger role with more serious subject matter (not that we don’t take cute puppies VERY seriously here), you get the jist.
What’s great about this app is that you don’t need to be a graphic designer, photographer or influencer to achieve this. You simply need to know how you want your brand to make people feel. For example, perhaps you want to tell a story that is calming, cozy and natural. Fill your feed with cool colors, foggy landscapes and soft textures. You don’t even need to source all of these pictures yourself. With websites like Unsplash, or even crowd-sourcing your content (which is also a great community- building technique) obtaining high-quality images to blend with your own is super easy.
All that’s left for you to do is to match your brand voice (your copy) with the visuals you’ve selected. This is where a lot of brands struggle. It’s tricky to get the hang of perfectly aligning your look to your messaging every single time. But that’s where SimplyBe. has developed a clear, functional methodology to help you gain clarity.
At our Authentically Austin Masterclass (Friday, September 20th from 9-5), Jessica is getting into the nitty gritty of how to make your Insta visuals and messaging sing in harmony. She’ll walk you through:
Optimizing your bio and feed
How and where to effectively use hashtags
When to use short quippy captions, long copy, and CTAs (calls to action)
And all of SimplyBe.’s tricks to drive engagement and grow your audience organically
She’s demystifying the connection between image and text, helping you build an engaging, clear and strong presence on one of the most powerful apps in the world.
You can’t miss this. Head on over to www.simplybemasterclass.com to learn more on how we approach visuals in building your personal brand, and save your spot in Austin today!