Instagram is all visual. The better the photos, the better the engagement. You need to be a decent photographer, and use good editing to get good photos.
Or do you?
Is the "perfect" Instagram account really the holy grail we should all aspire to? Look, I've written countless articles and spoken endlessly about the value of quality images on Instagram. YES, they really are *that* important.
But the word "quality" is subjective. What is beautiful to you and your audience may not be what others view as beautiful. Or what you create stylistically may not mean a standard norm. And that is completely ok!
So, how pretty does your Instagram account need to be?
As pretty as you want it to be.
When Instagram started out, it was raw and original. It was spontaneous (hello "insta") and fun. Well, kinda like what Instagram Stories are now 😉 But things evolved and people started crafting content for Instagram. Gone were the days of random crazy content and along came the curated, edited, heavily filtered content we get today.
Is this bad? Not at all! And trust me, I never upload a random photo to Instagram! Each one is planned, thought out, edited, captioned, and posted at an ideal time. It's quite the process! Ask anyone who is actively using Instagram today and they will tell you the same thing about their process.
The problem is not with the process but with the outcome...
Today you can find training program, after course, after tutorial, after video series, after ebook, after everything about how to create perfect Instagram photos. But do you know what the problem is? .... They all teach the same dang style. Everything is light, airy, pastels, and "fresh". Your gallery is color coded to match a certain color scheme and layout for maximum visual appeal.
Sure, they're all pretty. But, my friend Julie Ann at Simply Social Media said it best: Everyone's Instagram accounts are turning into Stepford Wives!
They're all the same, perfect, pretty, happy, FAKE looking accounts that we see from everyone else. They lose their character and appeal. They look so processed that it's hard to connect with the person behind the account anymore.
I'm not saying that I want you to create ugly content. Far from it. I still think every post should be your best content.
But I want you to determine what best means to you. Do you use bright vivid colors? Do you play with shadows and long lines? Do you create antique looking content? Are you eclectic and mix patterns? Do you use a broad range of objects or subjects in your posts? And if you want a soft pastel or white washed color palette, go for it!
Just make sure that whatever styling you choose, you let it stay true to your brand. Your personality should shine through in your images and your captions. Your style should be true to your personality.
For example, I am not a demure, pastel, airy person - ha, to say the least! Have you watched me on a live video? 😉 If all my content was styled this way and then you met me in real life or saw me in a video, you'd be confused by the disconnect between my photographs and personality. Instead, when you look at my content, it's bold, colorful, a little harsh even, but composed and structured. Hmmm... I think I just described myself (if I do say so myself! lol). Trust me, I didn't choose to edit my photos that way for no reason.
So, before you go all Stepford Wife on your Instagram photos, stop and figure out what your brand is really all about. Then, create pretty, effective, evocative photos that translate to that brand style.