Since it’s founding in 2011 Instagram has quickly become one of the most important social channels for influencers. Brands have learned they can use the platform to quickly gauge an influencer’s aesthetic fit for their campaigns. The current aesthetic trend is away from individual photos and towards a cohesive looking “grid” (the classic 3×3 Instagram layout). Influencers are embracing this shift and we are seeing amazing layouts that approach works of art.
There are two crucial steps to creating your best Instagram grid. First, select a preset which will maintain the same general color levels for all your pictures. Second, plan your grid. Planning your grid is adding photos in a way that all the photos fit together and users see a coherent look when viewing your profile. Let’s dig deeper.
Step 1: Selecting a preset.
If you’re looking to experiment with presets and don’t want to make a huge financial and time commitment we suggest the VSCO App. It is free and you can choose from a number of free presets (you can also purchase additional Preset Packs for $0.99-$3.99). If you want to make additional tweaks to a picture you can do so in the Instagram app. VSCO also allows you to post photos to a feed automatically creating a tumblr-style blog. The app is only available on mobile and thus is a great on-the-go option.
We suggest Adobe Lightroom ($149 annually or $9.99 per month) if you are ready to make a greater commitment with time and money. It’s available for download on your desktop or laptop and allows you create a Lightroom Preset or purchase one. Purchased Presets have a huge range in prices, but quality ones are around $35-$40 and are worth the money. These presets work best when used on RAW images out of a DSLR or Mirrorless camera but an iPhone is also a good option if you haven’t invested in a camera.
Step 2: Planning your grid.
After your photo is edited you’ll want to use a planning app to design your grid layout. We like PLANN as a free option. While it doesn’t synch with Instagram or give you insights, it’s a great free option for putting together your photo layouts. PLANN makes it easy to see what your feed would look like if you want to delete a photo or drag and drop new ones.
At $8.99 per month Planoly is the best option if you are willing to make the investment. It automatically syncs with Instagram so you don’t have to update it when you post a new photo. Plus, it gives you the same stats as Instagram Business and it also works for personal accounts. If you’re not sure you are ready to shell out the money they have a great free 30 day trial.
If you’re serious about attracting brands, thinking about the instantaneous aesthetic you convey is a worthwhile endeavor. With a cohesive looking Instagram grid, brands are better able to see your aesthetic and who you are as an influencer. It is a great step for creating a professional presence.