When I first started using Instagram I had about 200 followers (almost all of them from my personal account that just carried over), but I knew Instagram was right for me because it was visual and I’m visual and so is my work.
BUT, it was becoming a burden and quickly.
I didn’t want to spend all day solely on Social Media...
Every morning I would wake up, grab my phone, scroll through my photos and find one to post, select it, type a caption (all on my phone still), post it, go back comment and manually add my hashtags. This would take about 30-45 minutes each day and that’s not including scrolling through your feed and commenting on other posts... YIKES! That’s such a huge waste of time…
So here’s my question for you. Do you do this?
It’s okay! I just admitted I used to and the truth is, I did this for almost an entire year.
I always felt a little crummy in the mornings, unmotivated and agitated... I think it was because I was starting my day on Social Media. One solution would’ve been choosing a different time, but the mornings always have my best stats, I was in the habit already and people even started expecting it!
If you are in this boat, I want to encourage you that there’s an alternative to this. You may know that already, but I want to show you exactly how I go about it so you can do the same.
I started using Later (which is free!) and then switched to Planoly (paid) schedule my posts ahead of time. This saved me over 4 hours a week! That’s some fun math...I enjoyed getting those 4+ hours back. :) I’ve also gained over 700 followers since I started using this scheduling method and that’s because it’s given me back more time to actually engage on Instagram (which of course is the whole point).
I’ve met several amazing people through Instagram now and teamed up with them for collaborations, challenges and giveaways. PLUS, I now have my mornings back and I am WAY more productive than I’ve ever been before. I start my day by reading a bible verse and writing down at least 3-5 things I’m grateful for. I look forward to waking up now and starting my day. :)
Needless to say, Instagram is my jam, but more specifically...planning ahead is the best thing I’ve done for myself.
Now I’m going to show you how to do the same:
Step 1: Plan it out.
To plan out your Instagram, I want you to ask yourself this question: What do I want people to know about me and my business? What do I want them to see/feel?
Look at your top 9 photos on Instagram. Do those photos accurately represent the answers you thought of to the questions above? If not, it’s time to game plan.
See my previous blog post, click here, to download a free Social Media Content Calendar and plan your posts out in advance.
- Decide what day you will plan out your Social Media. Personally, I’ve chosen Sunday evenings, I find it relaxing to much more leisurely plan out my week ahead.
- Decide how far in the future you want to plan out your content.
- I plan out one week in advance. I like to plan and schedule my content in one night for the whole week.
For example: In my top 9 photos on Instagram I want to always show that I’m a Brand Designer, Branding Photographer, Silly goober, Encourager and Supportive of other Businesses. Just for fun I like to throw in things like the fact that I’m a tea drinker, not coffee and I have a really sweet and precious kitty. :)
What do you always want to show in your top 9?
Step 2: Sign-up with a scheduling program
Step 3: Upload your photos
One of the best parts about Planoly is how easy they make it to upload photos. They have both a desktop and app version of their program. So I can easily upload photos from my phone through the App or I can easily upload photos from my computer!
Uploading is super easy; Drag & Drop or click “new media” or click the plus icon on through their app.
Give yourself a nice variety and upload as many photos as you can.
Step 4: Arrange your photos
I recommend arranging your photos on the computer. Once you’ve uploaded lots of different photos to choose from I use the Planoly link to drag and drop and rearrange my photos in a aesthetically pleasing and branded way.
*Note: Don’t feel obligated to arrange ALL of your photos at once. I simply arrange 1-2 weeks worth at a time.
Step 5: Caption & Schedule
After I’ve arranged my photos I select one at a time and write a thoughtful caption and then schedule it for my normal morning time, around 6:45am. This part takes the longest, but I usually complete a whole week’s worth of posts in about 45 minutes (like I said, it has saved me over 4 hours to do this each week).
Step 6: Post to Instagram
Once you’ve scheduled your post in Planoly you’ll receive an alert on your phone when it’s time to post it. The alert will open up Planoly, which will then automatically copy your caption and connect you to Instagram so you can post it like normal.
Step 7: Posting Hashtags
I took the time to type out several hashtag combinations inside my phones “notes” section. After I’ve posted my content to Instagram, I open up Notes, select the hashtag combo I prefer, copy and then paste it as a comment on Instagram.
Done & done.
Personal review of Planoly:
I started by using a program called Later (it's free!), but they limited me on how many photos I could upload and I personally like having a good variety to choose from each week.
Planoly also give you stats, allows you to search for and discover new hashtags, respond to comments and see your best performing posts for the week, month and year. Planoly is by far my favorite way to schedule and plan out my Instagram feed, because it’s all right in front of your eyes. You can see how your Instagram feed will look before you even post a single picture.
Now it's your turn!
If you've been planning out your Instagram, comment below and let us all know how you've gone about it. The more methods to learn from the better!
If you haven't been planning out your instagram, what's been stopping you? Comment below.
I'm co-hosting this free LIVE workshop Jan. 5th @ 1pm. Click below to register.