Managing your social media can be hard. If you’re like me, you may fall into the trap of panic posting… not being strategic and posting on the fly, often times leading to remorse, poor performing posts, and sometimes dare I say it, the inevitable delete photo. It’s a vicious cycle, one that I used to fall victim to. Until I got smart and implemented an Instagram strategy.

You’d think I would have started with a strategy since that’s what I do for my 9 to 5, but it took me getting serious about my business before I created one for myself. If you’re still falling into this trap, I promise it doesn’t have to be like that.

I stopped posting inconsistently when I took some time to think about my Instagram Strategy. I can’t say I don’t ever panic post, but it’s definitely down to a minimum because I follow a few simple steps to get ahead of my social content.

You can easily take control of your Instagram feed, with the steps below.

Create an Instagram Strategy and stop panic posting!

Follow the 80/20 Rule

This is a good rule of thumb to help you determine your content mix.

80% of the time you should be sharing content that allows you to connect, engage, and be helpful, and only talk about your business or services 20% of the time. I know, it may seem counter-intuitive, but think about it, if all you did was walk around and try to sell people on your services or products and never tried to connect, they’d walk run away from you.

So the idea behind this rule is that you are giving more than you are asking.

Connect and Build Relationships

Another marketing basic to keep in mind when creating and sharing content on social media is that people want to do business with people or businesses they know, like, and trust. These three factors are so important in getting someone to convert to a paying customer. Social media is a great way to build this relationship of know, like, and trust.

Create a Handful of Topics to Cycle Through

Keeping those two rules in mind, create a list of 5 to 6 topics you want to share on social media to help potential customers know, like, and trust you. These topics create a system that is easy to follow and is repeatable, removing the question of “what should I post today?”!

To give you an example, the following themes and topics are what I use for my Instagram feed:

Motivation
I want to encourage and help other creative entrepreneurs, so I offer encouraging words, often times related to things I need to hear as I naviagate this journey to full time!

Personal Spotlight
Showcase a picture of me or my family (me, the hubs, and Mr. Miles, our 9-year-old dog), while sharing a personal experience (good, bad, or ugly typically related to my journey of becoming a full-time entrepreneur), fun fact, and/or my why.  

Services / Products / Work
Highlight my services or work, and what I have to offer, sometimes this may look like a client or project spotlight, behind the scenes day-to-day activities, or an actual call out of the services I offer.

Travel Adventures
Share my love for travel and my latest adventures, along with helpful tips for traveling.

Teach / Give
This is where I offer helpful tips to my core audience, creative entrepreneurs, to help them market and brand their business. This is where I focus on providing value! 

Our Home
Another way to connect on a personal level is by sharing our home with the latest DIY projects we are tackling, decor decisions, and entertaining.

All of my posts somehow relate to one of the topics listed above, focusing on building that know, like, and trust factor. It allows me to share personal aspects of my life without straying from what I am comfortable sharing. But it also serves as a guideline and reminder to post about those topics, because I want to make sure I am engaging, connecting, and building relationships more than I am asking my audience to work with me.

Creating an Instagram Strategy is as easy as using Planoly to plan out your Instagram content!

Use Tools to Help You Plan Ahead

Once you decide on the various topics you want to highlight in your feed, use this outline to determine how often you want to post about each topic. I am not so strict with the grid layout as shown in the download, but it provides a really helpful reference sheet to make sure I’m not overdoing one topic over another!

 

DOWNLOAD YOUR CONTENT GRID OUTLINE

 

After your topics are selected and you create a rough outline of how often you want to post about each, use tools like Planoly or Later to visually plan out your posts.

These scheduling tools allow you to write your content and load up your images ahead of time, sending you a notification on your phone when it’s time to push your post live.

Have questions about creating an Instagram Strategy? Let me know in the comments below!

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PS – If you’re looking for additional Instagram tips this one helps you create the perfect flat lay, this one has 8 Instagram story hacks, and this one is for creating a landing page for your link in profile.