Biz Tips,  Lifestyle

My best tips to grow your Instagram with Preview App

Instagram is tricky. Right? Taking half decent photos and editing them to within an inch of their life. Wracking your brain for a caption that people will actually read, let alone respond to. Working out the best time to post and then actually remembering to do it. And then there’s the question of hashtags. Do you still need them? How many?

If you’re trying to increase your IG following and build your blog / business brand – you’ll need more than pot luck on your side. You’ll need Preview App. I started off with the basic version and paid for a couple of filter packs. But I love it so much that I’ve just signed up for the Desktop Pack and couldn’t be happier.

But first …

Think for a moment about the accounts you love to follow. And then write a little list of why you love to follow them. For me it’s great images and videos, personality, relatability, consistency, thought provoking captions, and a well curated grid.

Now imagine that people might like to follow YOU for the same list of reasons.

Here’s a few points to think about

  • IMAGES – do you just post your images straight from camera into your grid and hope for the best?
  • PERSONALITY – can you followers see you? Do they know what you look like? Can they hear your genuine voice?
  • RELIABILITY – Do you show your normal everyday life as well as your hi lights? Do you use stories to share behind-the-scenes so people can feel they know you.
  • CONSISTENCY – Do you have certain days where you post? It might be 3x/week, 5x/week or every day. Your followers will learn which days you post and be expecting to hear from you.
  • CAPTIONS – Posting without a caption is like meeting someone you know in the street and not speaking. Captions are an opportunity to give a life update, share a thought that might be helpful, give some advice on your expert subject. Ask a question that will get people chatting.
  • GRID – Before I decide to follow someone, I always have a look at their grid. It tells me whether the post I’ve just seen is a one-off or whether it sits happily in a joyous grid that I would be happy to spend 10 minutes scrolling through and commenting on.

Why choose Preview App?

There’s quite a few instagram grid apps to try and you might already have your favourite, but let me tell you about my favourite and see if I can convince you to change. Preview is a great intuitive app that allows you to do everything you need and more.

It is a paid-for app, but completely worth it – in my opinion – if you want to step up your IG game.

Preview has all the basic feature you would expect with a few significant extras thrown in. The main difference (which I love) is the ability to edit your images inside the app. All the standard image editing tools are there, with a whole suite of filters to suit your brand.

Alex and Andrew set up Preview app 2 years ago from their home office in Australia and they’ve just tipped 5 million users. There’s a free growth guide you can download to get you started.

Here are a few reasons why I love Preview:

1 See the Big Picture

Preview App allows you to see the big picture of your Instagram rather than just posting a “passable” picture whenever you remember. It will bring a coherence and consistency to your page that will lift your brand and give people a reason to follow you.

2 Organise your Grid

There are many different ways to organise your instagram grid. That’s for another blog but whichever you choose, Preview will help you set out your grid, move your squares around and find the best layout, which you can change up as much as you like.

[Insider Tip – My blog is all about lifestyle and travel so I layout my posts in diagonal lines of 3. 3 portraits or selfies, 3 wellness images, 3 travel images, and 3 floral / plant images. I keep my colours natural with pinks and greens and use a cream filter. Every time I create an image that I know will fit my grid, I pop it in – for future organising. I’m currently working about 3 weeks ahead but changing the order as I go. It’s brilliant and so helpful.

3 Beef up your Bio

Your bio should clearly give your full name, what you do, where you are based, your key messages and your website link.

Your bio should reflect your personality but more importantly give a clear summary of who you are and what you do. So easy on the emojis and don’t say anything that would embarrass you in a professional context. You want the world to take you seriously, after all.

If you want to link to a number of sites, consider using LinkTree, a very easy free app which I used to list my latest blog, my business website, my Cake Website and my Tropic Skincare Website.

If you sign up for the Preview emails you’ll get lots of really useful information about how to improve your IG community.

4 Edit your Photos

This is one of Preview’s unique features that other similar apps do not include. Preview offers a full suite of editing options for your images allowing you to resize and colour edit your image to fit with your brand.

5 Enhance with Filters

Preset image filters used with a light natural touch can really lift your instagram grid. If you wish your Instagram looked consistent and aesthetically pleasing then you might want to try out a few filters and see what suits your brand. I use the Cream filter for my grid and really love the natural, slightly vintage look it gives my images.

Here’s the current list with 8 filters within each category – Essential, Winter, Summer, Blogger, Fun, Orange, Cream, Retro, Hair, Make up, Nails, Jewellery, Fitness, Food, Teal & Orange, Fall, White, Grunge, Brown, Tropical, Moody, B&W, Pastel, Colourful, Pink, Dark, Vintage.

They’re regularly adding new categories and these are all including in the full subscription.

6 Write great Captions

Hot off the press. The very latest super-amazing feature from Preview is a game changer. Hands up if you think writing captions is the hardest part? Me too.

Preview has just introduced a searchable ” Find Captions” section full of brand based ideas, quotes and questions to really up your caption game. Formatting can be tricky too. So Preview will help you. I struggled with paragraphs for ages until I realised that whatever I type into the caption box will exactly translate onto your grid. No more faffing with copying formulae. It’s all really easy.

7 Help with Hashtags

The guys at Preview work really hard at keeping a bank of hashtags up to date and relevant to all aspects of your content. You can create your own groups based on your particular type of content. You can add your chosen hashtag groups with just a click and amend very easily.

8 New features and tips every day

The follow up care and support with this app is like nothing I have ever come across. If you start by following their Instagram page @preview.app you’ll get an idea of what I mean. Its chock full of helpful tips, guides and creative ideas.

9 Insights for Inspiration

Preview insights are the only insights you will ever need. And if you think you can grow without checking your insights, then think again. You’ll need to be watching your impressions, your reach, your follower count, your profile views, your engagement rate and your website clicks. You’ll need to know your best time to post and your top hashtags. Insights will tell you which are your most successful posts so you can focus more on this type of content.

Not only that, but you can analyse (spy on) your competitors, brands you follow, and instagrammers you admire – in a lot of detail. You can see what type of posts work for them.

10 Work across Devices

I’ve recently signed up for the Premium package which allows me to use Preview across my iPhone, iPad and Desktop.

Once you’ve stepped up your Instagram game, you’ll need some great accounts to follow to keep you inspired, so here’s my favourites.

MY FAVOURITE INSTAGRAMMERS

Some of the accounts I love to follow are

@bethsandland – 69K – inspirational travel blogger who’s making a pretty amazing job of being confined to her London flat

@nancystraughan – 15K – super talented stylist, business mentor and lovely lady living in Northumberland

@huntersandheels – 82.5K Lauren has the “perfect” country lifestyle, an adorable family and a glorious grid.

@theworldaccordingtoharris – 32K – tales of Harris and Bracken, adorable miniature wire haired dachshunds living their dreams in Edinburgh.

@hannahargyle – 218K – Hannah’s photographs are the most glorious thing on my feed.

@glosterspottery – 8k – I bought a mug just because I love Myfanwy and can’t get enough of Arthur, her sausage friend. Also her North Wales made ceramics are pretty great.

So what will you do?

I’m really passionate about this little app. It really has changed things for me. I feel in control of my grid now, rather than running around trying to find something to post every day. I’d be really happy to talk with you about your grid if this would be helpful. Or I could take a look at your account and give you a few easy tips to improve it.

This blog isn’t sponsored in any way. I pay for the app with my own money and will continue to do so in the future. I just love it and wanted to share my thoughts.

Do you have any instagram tips to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts?

That’s all for now.

Judith xx

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