How-To: Instagram Edition

Ahhh, Instagram. The wonderful world of influencers, ambassadors, and affiliates. Does Instagram confuse you? Shock you? Befuddle you? (it’s a word, calm down). Time to stop crying into your phone every time you lose a follower- I gotchu.

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Social Media is so much more than a millenial’s creative outlet these days. These days, nothing can make or break a business like Instagram, Yelp, and Twitter. Influencers on Instagram are making hundreds of thousands of dollars each year promoting businesses. Kylie Jenner makes an estimated $1 million per post. Now, most influencers aren’t making that much for every post, but can still afford to quit their day-jobs and spend their days curating their own photoshoots and traveling the world. The great thing about this business, is that there is room for everybody. That’s right, learn a few tips and tricks, and you can do it too.

The Lingo

Let’s walk through some lingo before getting started to make sure we’re on the same page.

Caption: The description on each post, or photograph.

DM: Also known as Direct Message, this is your Instagram inbox where you would receive private messages.

Engagement: The likes and comments on each post.

Follower: An individual who ‘follows’ your account.

Hashtag: a word or phrase that starts by using the ‘#’ sign and is used to organize content/material by the description. It’s a great way to reach out to a larger audience who is looking to find similar content under specific hashtags.

Handle: Your Instagram username.

Newsfeed: Where you find the collection of all the posts from the people you are following.

Post: A photo that you put onto your Instagram.

Tag: Identifies a person or place in a post.

Grid: The posts on your profile.

Set Up the Gram

Having the perfect profile is definitely an important part of growing you social sphere. Let’s walk through the diagram below:

Prof Pic: I would argue that having a profile picture is one of the most crucial parts of the Instagram game. Think about it – when was the last time you were excited to follow someone without a profile picture? That’s what I thought. So how do you choose this mega-important snapshot? I highly suggest using a picture of you, unless you are a store/ company. People will only give your profile a second or two of attention, so you need to choose a photo that really draws them in and stands out from the crowd. I chose one of my most colorful photos, since I felt that it would stand out and was also a great representation of my profile as a whole.

The ‘About yoself bit’: Your bio is your chance to tell your audience what you’re all about (in 150 characters or less). Have fun, but be concise. I like to use emojis to separate mine, making it easier on the eye. Stick to your niche!

Website/ Blog/ Store: You should 100% take the opportunity to link your outside-insta page! This is free space, so use it. Make sure to keep this updated; for example, every time I put out a new blog post, I update the link to reflect the new blog page, making it easier for people to access your hard work.

Highlights of Your Life: Story highlights make a page look profesh. Plus, it’s a good chance for those stalking you to learn more about your life. Love makeup? Do a makeup tutorial and add this to your highlights. Crazy about your dog? Bam, story highlight. I make mine look similar by using the ‘Typorama’ app. I simply chose one of the colors on their app, and then used the type tool to create a title for my highlight. Aesthetic, b*tch.

‘OMG Buy My Preset’: You might have seen hundreds of influencers selling their presets through Instagram. Why, you ask? When a potential follower is scanning your profile, a grid will look more put-together if all of the photos are edited similarly. My suggestion? Try Adobe Lightroom or VSCO. I pay for both (there is a VSCO free version), and they are SO worth. Lightroom is totally do-able! Just watch some courses on YouTube and practice, practice, practice! Better than spending $80 on someone’s preset package, amirite? If you do want to go the preset route, gather referrals first. There’s nothing worst then spending a ton on a preset that you end up disliking (these are non-refundable, friends). Etsy is a great place to start since they have presets for around $5 a pop.

Once you’ve sorted your profile, I’ve gathered a couple tips on how to be successful on the ‘gram.

Don’t Forget Why You’re Doing This: Trying to spread a message? Get more creative in your daily life? Remember to hone in on your purpose and let that drive you when you’re feeling stuck. It’s difficult to go into this only wanting the fame and fortune (I mean, who doesn’t, but still). It’s important to have a reason outside of that, or your posts won’t feel authentic.

Get REAL: Nobody cares if your life is perfect, and you’re rich, and your puppy never seems to age blah blah blah. We get it, and we’re jealous ok?! Want to really connect with your followers? Get real. Be authentic. Show us your vulnerable side! There’s nothing better than realizing that someone who seemingly has it all is actually just like us.

Ready, Set, Engage! Don’t ignore your followers on IG, LOVE them! Spend at least one hour each day going through your followers and potential new followers and like/ comment on at least 3 of their photos. Spread the loveee and it will come back atcha. Find a cool profile? Follow them and share to your followers. They’ll most likely do the same for you!

Okay, you are OFFICIALLY ready to go rock the world of Instagram. Remember, this should be FUN! So enjoy! Make friends! Spread loveeee. And never doubt yourself, cuz honeyyy you are amazing.

All my love,


While you’re here, follow me on the gram to see other Instagram hacks @harpergreylifestyle.

1 thought on “How-To: Instagram Edition”

  1. Thanks I am the first. The winner to add comment. You have the right time and you are not going anywhere else but the first time you can see your email 📧 this week. Haha

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