How to Create the Ultimate Instagram Feed, According to an Expert
Founder of newly launched creative agency, BOSSY. Creative, Alyce Cowell is a mastermind when it comes to words, styling, and social and has spilled her secrets on how to curate the ultimate Instagram feed. From creating your own personal brand, to finding the perfect tone, and the importance of consistency —Cowell has all the tricks to making your profile a follow-worthy one.
"When I was little, I had big dreams. Like, really BIG dreams. Some kids want to be astronauts, some want to be doctors or singers… I wanted to be a secretary. Or a post office worker, either one. I loved paperwork, filling in forms.
Then I became a teenager and discovered clothes (of the hot pant, boob tube variety) and I got a Nokia 3310 for Christmas. My whole world, and career trajectory, changed. It was 2003, and life was turning digital.
Who knew that almost 15 years later, I’d be launching my own creative agency that was all about writing, fashion, and social media.
At BOSSY., Instagram is a huge part of life. I spend most of my day on my feed, barely miss a post, and get in trouble from my boyfriend for not listening to him when he asks me what I want for dinner. 'Hey!' I say, 'It’s called research—look it up.'
Between my own Instagram (@alycealyce) and working with businesses to improve theirs, I’ve come up with a handful of tips that put in serious work when it comes to creating the ultimate Insta feed.
Considering this is like, a basic human right, it’s only fair for me to impart these pearls of wisdom onto you."
Creative direction is everything
"Take a look at any of your favourite Instagram accounts and you’ll notice one thing: they all have a theme. Like Kim Kardashian’s brand, everything is a carefully thought out, calculated move.
Decide on the look—will your account be minimal and monochrome or bright and busy? And the feel—think moody, cheeky, fashion-focussed, fun—to determine your “personal brand”."
“Are you… talkin to me?”
"Think about it: have you ever ‘liked’ a photo just because the caption was so funny/relatable/clever? How you caption your photos and talk to your followers can be just as important as the shot itself.
What’s your tone of voice? Mine is conversational and cheeky, and I probably use hip-hop lyrics as captions a little too much, but I do what I want, and you can’t tell me how to live my life."
OK, but what do we post?
"It’s all well and good to talk about what your Instagram should look and sound like, but ahh… What the hell are we actually posting?!
Obviously, a personal account is like a snapshot of your amazing, fun-filled, never-boring life, so you’ll be mostly documenting these moments. But if you have a business, or even an Insta-blog where you post lots of #ootds, it’s a good idea to have a few ‘content themes’ in your back pocket that you can move between and never be stuck for content. Outfit pics, coffee shots, cute photos of your Chihuahua while he’s sleeping, whatever!"
Do you A1, C5 or E9?
"Ohhhh you didn’t think those pictures got that perfect '70s tinge or the white background is actually that white IRL, did you? It’s secretly all a result of the perfect editing or filtering, which has been chosen to work perfectly with—yep, you guessed it—the creative direction of the account.
Apps like Photoshop Express (or even the Instagram editing tool) are great for making small adjustments like contrast and brightness, while VSCO Cam is my favourite for finding your perfect match filter.
My Instagram is moody and boasts lots of shadows, so I always work with the same VSCO Cam filter (HB2) and tweak the intensity, brightness, and shadows so all my photos have a similar vibe. Cheeky!"
I’ve absolutely nailed this pic. Can I post it now?
"WAIT! What are you doing?! It’s 11 a.m. on a Wednesday. Just because your work colleague snapped a cute pic of your outfit today while on the office coffee run, doesn’t mean you should go posting it right now. Who on earth is going to see that? People have jobs you know, so save it in your camera roll and post it later today at about 6 p.m. when everyone is sitting on the couch and catching up on the day’s feed.
I’ve found the best times to post are in the morning before 7.30 a.m., and after work from 5.30 p.m. Weekends are a bit more forgiving, but avoid Friday and Saturday nights because everyone is out having fun and doesn’t really care about anything you have to say (post)."
It’s all about the flow
"If you’re a bit OCD like me, you might want to consider the flow of your account before posting too. You’re posting a selfie? But wasn’t that the last photo you posted too?
Variety is the spice of life, and makes your Instagram look on point, so mix it up and keep in mind what will be appearing around your newest Instagram post.
Remember: a potential new follower is going to judge you based on your overall feed, rather than inspecting each individual photo."