How do you brand yourself on Instagram? It takes more than just a pretty feed.
Building a strong brand on social media will help you attract more followers for your account, make a great first impression, and keep you top-of-mind.
From establishing your story to identifying your content pillars, we’re covering it all – let’s get started.
Why It’s Important to Brand Yourself on Instagram
Gone are the days when Instagram was simply a space for sharing photos of your smoothie bowl. Don’t get us wrong, we still love a good smoothie shot, but the app has grown to become so much more.
Instagram is now a place where you can grow a community, sell products, and communicate directly with your customers.
But with so many brands and creators vying for users’ attention, you’ll need to stand out amongst the crowd.
How? With strong branding.
By consistently showing up on Instagram with a specific voice, point of view, and design, you’ll be able to build brand recognition and improve your discoverability.
Take Emma Mulholland on Holiday’s penchant for punchy prints and a playful aesthetic:
Or Mahdi Woodard whose simple design let’s his no-nonsense advice shine:
Whether you’re an aspiring influencer or building a business, branding yourself on Instagram can help you become instantly recognizable by anyone scrolling the app.
Psst, you can plan, schedule, and post your Instagram content with Later – for free! Sign up to get started today.
How to Brand Yourself on Instagram
When it comes to branding yourself on Instagram, here are four key tips to keep in mind:
Establish Your Brand Identity
Optimize Your Instagram Bio
Identify Content Pillars
Be Visually Consistent
Tip #1: Establish Your Brand Identity
Remember that scene in The Lion King when Rafiki asks Simba who he is? Well, your brand is Simba and now you need to answer the question.
Your brand’s identity is the foundation on which you’ll build upon. It’s your why and will help you shape your voice, the design of your posts, and how you connect with your community. Ask yourself:
How would you describe your brand in one sentence?
What’s your purpose?
Who is your target audience?
Why should Instagram users follow you?
Once you’ve established your identity, you can move on to optimizing your Instagram bio.
Tip #2: Optimize Your Instagram Bio
Your Instagram bio is your business card, portfolio, and website all wrapped up in one.
And with just seconds to make a great first impression, a strong bio can convert visitors into followers (and potential customers) right away.
To make full use of your Instagram bio, you’ll want to have the below details on lock:
Have a username that is easy to say, spell, and remember
Include a keyword in your Name Field
Succinctly explain what you do and who you are
Include a branded profile photo – this can be a headshot or company logo
Include contact info like your email or phone number (you’ll need to switch to a business or creator profile)
Incorporate a strong CTA directing traffic to a mobile-optimized landing page for links
Take a look at Later and Sammie Chan – two very different brands that manage to convey their story, instantly:
Both accounts use their Instagram bio to clearly communicate exactly who they are and what they provide.
DID YOU KNOW: With a link in bio tool, you can maximize the linking opportunities in your Instagram bio. Start driving more clicks to your website with Later’s Linkin.bio – for free!
Tip #3: Identify Content Pillars
Content pillars are 3-5 topics your brand will discuss and create content for on a regular basis.
Rather than posting sporadically about random subjects, your audience will come to know exactly what to expect from you.
Essentially, content pillars help you get clarity on your niche, tell your story, and make planning your content in advance easier.
Content pillars should be specific to your brand (and its story), but can encompass multiple themes.
For example, Ciara Johnson’s content pillars easily stand out as city recommendations, solo travel tips, and the realities of being a blogger:
And clothing brand MARY YOUNG frequently post about their products, mental health, and self-love:
Positioning yourself as an expert in your given niche will help differentiate you from those in your industry, build credibility, and help keep your posts on Instagram streamlined.
For more help identifying your content pillars, read this blog post (which includes a free workshop!): How to Use Content Pillars for Your Social Media Strategy.
Tip #4: Be Visually Consistent
Okay, you’ve established your identity and content pillars, and optimized your bio – now it’s time to think about what your content will actually look like.
PicMonkey’s Sr. Social Media Manager, Fabiola Millican explains “Instagram is one of my favorite channels. You’ve got carousels, Stories, Instagram Reels – there are so many ways to reach people.”
This is where being visually consistent with your design is important. Branding on your Instagram should be recognizable regardless of whether you show up on the Reels feed or the Explore page.
Beauty brand Apostrophe usually features shades of yellow or teal on their feed, while Wealthsimple is known for their signature “Money Diaries” illustrations:
You’ll want to keep a few key design elements in mind when you brand yourself on Instagram:
A color palette (we recommend creating a mood board that you can reference)
Any photo or editing filters (use the same or complementary filters)
Emojis that you’ll frequently use in captions
Text you’ll use on Instagram Stories (either use your own branded font or an Instagram Story font that’s customized with your brand colors)
And there you have it: four tips for branding yourself on Instagram!
With these in mind, you can tell your story, attract new followers, and grow your brand. So what are you waiting for? Go get them, Simba.
To learn even more about branding yourself on social media, watch Fabiola’s 5-minute tutorial on repurposing content below: