I love social media. In fact, I’m am on quite a few platforms.  To optimize my brand awareness I testing new platforms and strategies to reach my audience.  Instagram, with more than 300 million users is a very engagning visual platforms.  It is one of my faves because it’s a casual and a visual platform for followers to get to know my personal side.  Here are strategies and tips on how you can use Instagram to build your personal brand.

All the major social media platforms are unique and have a different vibe.  Instagram is no different. Instagram is a photo sharing platform where you can add special filters, hashtags, text and mini videos.  Instagram is a great platform for allowing your audience to get to know more about you, especially if you are a personal brand.


As a brand and visual design strategist, I seek out ways to share my brand story.  Why?  Because I want to build my audience with people who want to work with me.  In order to attract my target audience, I have to share about me, what my values, mission and story.  Instagram is a great way for people to see you, your personal side and behind the scenes of what you do and how you work.

Brands doing a great job sharing their story:

Brian Fanzo shared his top 40 tips to building his personal brand.

Strategies, tips and tools to use Instagram to Build YOUR Personal Brand

Share about you, your life & biz

Use Instagram to share about you and whats going on in your life.  I share about my family, friends, awesome clients and even vacations. Because I share openly, I have met some amazing entrepreneurs and mentors and even new clients!  I believe if you are a personal brand or a business brand, you need to share about you, what makes you tick and about your brand personality.


One of the first tips I suggest is to link your Instagram account with your Facebook page. You can then choose to share your instagram post to your Facebook page.  You can go into your settings to set it up to go to either your personal account or biz page.  I have mine set to go to my business page.


Be personable and be yourself:)  I find this platform a great way to share more about me and my personality.  Be you and share about things going on in your life.  Share behind the scenes of what’s happening in your biz and when working with your clients.  The more authentic you are the more relatable you will be to your followers.


Make sure you are liking (giving hearts) AND engaging on other people’s post.  Strike up a conversation and comment on post.  Another great tool I use to share other’s great post is the Repost app.  Repost finds your followers post and will repost it giving them credit.  This is a great way to share other’s post and videos!

Darla Kirchner on Instagram

Instagram loves hashtags

Unlike Twitter, where you are limited to 140 characters, you can get hashtag happy on Instagram for more visibility.  Personally, I don’t like to see a sea of hashtags.  You can find popular hashtags in apps like TagsForLikes to help you find a list of popular hashtags to add to your post.  Populargram is a website that host popular tags, users, locations, and filters.  A great tip is to create a personalized hashtag.  Remember to use it on all applicable social medias and post.  If you want more popular hashtags, visit here.

10 Most Popular #Hashtags for 2015:

  • #love
  • #instagood
  • #me
  • #tbt
  • #cute
  • #follow
  • #followme
  • #photooftheday
  • #happy
  • #tagforlikes
  • #beautiful

Use Videos on your Instagram Account

A fun way I’ve used Instagram to engage and share is through video.  A video is HOT and a great way to share your personal brand.  You can also share very short videos, 15 seconds to be exact:)  I found a fun and free new app called Hyperlapse (available on iOS now) that will speed up your videos from 1x to 12x.  Hyperlaps will even stabilize your videos.  I’m planning to use it and think it will be a fun and creative way to share longer videos on Instagram!


Get creative and think outside the box with sharing your brand story on Instagram.  I try to seek new tools to use and share.  One app I love using is the Flipogram app for making photo-video stories. Creating them is easy and another great way to share my personal brand story in a creative way. Flipogram is free and available on iOS, Android, and Window mobile devices.  You can also embed your Flipogram videos into your website, which is another great way to share your visual content!


A Flipogram example from another blog post.


Create great Visuals for your Instagram Account 

Instagram is visual and a GREAT place to share your brand images.  Using your phone’s camera to take images is so easy to do.  Make sure you edit your images and keep the images in your brand style before posting them to Instagram.

There are several photo editing apps you can try:

There are several filters you can use on your images available on Instagram and many apps to choose from.  I always brighten my images first then I have specific filters I use.  Try to limit your filters to 1 or 2 so you create a consistent format on your images.  Take a few images of your subject and select the best image with the most clarity.  You can crop your images or add them in a collage format.  I ALWAYS suggest ou edit your images before adding them into a collage or posting.

Another great tool I LOVE is the WordSwag app.  It’s great for adding words to your original images or use there’s.  You can also use images that you can download from Pixabay by searching images right on WordSwag.  It’s a great app for creating Instagram images and the best part, you can do it all in your phone!  Keep your brand colors and font styles in mind when creating your designs:)   Another app that is similar is called Over, which is available on android too.

[Tweet “Keys to brand success: self-definition, transparency, authenticity, accountability. S. Mainwaring”]

how to use instagram to build your personal brand

Ready to take your brand to the next level?

I suggest two options:

For those of you DIY’ers, start a file of designs ideas, quotes, and images that reflect your brand style.  Start designing post as square 640 x 640 pixels in size.  You can make your square as large as 900 x 900 pixels.  Design your brand images in either Canva or Picmonkey.  I suggest you block time to create “batches” of designs.  This will save you time later:)

If you are limited on time, don’t think you are creative or want your brand to shine hire a designer to create your branded visual designs for you.  I’ve designed hundreds of shareable images for many different business types. I’m happy to chat with you about design options🙂  Reuse your new branded images on other social media platforms like Google+, Pinterest, and Facebook.

[Tweet “Use Instagram to build the personal side of your brand. Darla Kirchner”]

If you want to learn more about branding, visit here.  I have another article on Instagram tips for entrepreneurs, where I’m sharing other insta-tips:)

The keys in developing your personal brand are to be true to your unique style and keep your brand consistent. This is true in sharing your personal brand everywhere online on all your all platforms!  I just read a great article by Brian Fanzo where he shares his top 40 tools for personal branding success.  Many I would have on my list!

I strive to give credit where it’s due and love to share great content from other entrepreneurs I admire, Brian’s one of them:)  Like Brian stated, the first thing you need to do is “find your story and identify your voice.”  Be patient with yourself and know that everything starts with you and your core values.  Keep defining your brand voice and your personal brand style will take shape!

[Tweet “First find your story and identify your voice. @iSocialFanz”]

Who’s your favorite personal brand on Instagram?  I’d love to know:)  Share them with me on Twitter!




Have a branding or visual question?

If you have a question or comment about creating professional looking branding and visuals, click here.  I love to hear from you:)

About Darla Kirchner

As a Brand + Visual Design Strategist, I guide entrepreneurs to define their brand story so they successfully connect to their right audience!