Bite-sized lessons in building an online business that feels good.
The Digital Product Kickstart Kit: Your guide to creating and launching a digital product that sells.
I help online entrepreneurs (like YOU!) launch and relaunch digital products and podcasts to reach more people, grow their audience and become the go-to geniuses in their industry
Instagram, oh Instagram. How I love you so. But, if you show me yet another cookie-cutter feed comprised of aspirational photos and very little creativity, I think we’re going to have to end this. Sorry. It’s not you; it’s me. I’m simply craving a little more excitement. That's why today I'm sharing how to create an Instagram puzzle feed grid (often referred to as an Instagram collage).
I’ll admit that I also once went through the white, clean-looking feed phase. And the bright colour phase. And the VSCO filter phase. And the funny quotes phase. If I stumbled upon a perfectly planned feed with on-brand colours, I used to hit follow quicker than you can say #instacrush.
But times have changed. I don’t know about you, but I've found that it takes a little more than some pretty flowers and a white background to get more Instagram followers these days.
Enter, the Instagram puzzle feed grid (or Instagram collage grid). The perfectly planned Instagram feed’s handsome cousin from overseas. This one takes high-maintenance to the next level, but, boy is it nice to look at.
(PS. Have you downloaded my free Instagram cheat sheet yet?)
Creating an Instagram puzzle feed (or Instagram grid template) is a lot easier than you think. The puzzle feed instructions in this post require Photoshop, but you could easily swap it for my pre-made Canva Instagram puzzle feed template.
I've put together a pre-designed Canva Instagram puzzle feed template, so that all you have to do is drag-and-drop your images, change the colours and fonts, and voila! A beautiful Instagram grid in under 10 minutes.
Here's a sneak preview of the Instagram grid template (and some examples of how you can update it for your own brand look and feel):
If you have a good idea of your brand colours and aesthetic already, you can skip this step. If you don’t, then this step is non-negotiable. What you really want to get clear on is your brand imagery, colours and general vibe. Is your brand full of florals or is it clean-cut and neutral? Is beachy or is it earthy? I give you full permission to go wild on Pinterest.
Unsplash is my dirty little secret – shhh, don’t tell anyone! Completely free stock photos that don’t suck. Spoiler alert: you’re about to lose ~4 hours of your evening browsing through their amazing photos.
If you're after some higher-end, styled stock photos, you can't go past Styled Stock Society. Their photos are next level and guaranteed to help your brand sparkle. Creative Market also has a wide range of stock photos that won't break the bank.
And, when you’re finished with Unsplash, head over to Creative Market to download other graphics and brushes to jazz up yo’ feed. They’re not free, but they’re reasonably priced.
(This is how you'll set up your Instagram grid template).
This will create 15 images in total. If you want to create more in one go, be my guest. Once you’ve set up your PSD file, you’ll need to add grid lines so you can see where each square is.
In Photoshop CC on a Mac, you can do this by going to the View menu > Show > Grid.
Then, go to the Photoshop CC menu > Preferences > Guides, Grids & Slices and enter the settings you see below. This might be slightly different depending on your version of Photoshop and your operating system.
If you’re after a more minimal looking Instagram feed grid, you could choose one image for every two squares. If you’re after a more crowded look, choose more than one image per square. You get the gist.
You might need to replace some images here if they don’t quite fit in with the others. Resize them, rotate them, change the order. Crop them into different shapes. Erase parts of the image. Whatever fits your brand.
This is my favourite part. Go nuts! Add illustrations, quotes, borders, handwriting, icons… anything that fits with your brand vibe.
You'll need to create slices in your Instagram grid template. You can do this by selecting the Slice tool. At the top of your screen, change the settings to fixed size, 1000px x 1000px. Then, click in the top left-hand corner of each grid square in your PSD to create a square slice.
To save the slices into separate images, go to the File menu > Export > Save for Web. In the window that opens, click Save at the bottom of the screen. Ensure that in the next window that pops up, your export is Images Only and not Images + HTML.
I recommend Planoly for planning and scheduling your puzzle feed as it allows you to plan out the look and feel in advance, and you can see how it's going to look on Instagram before you post it.
I've put together a pre-made Canva Instagram puzzle feed template, so that all you have to do is drag-and-drop your images, change the colours and fonts, and voila! A beautiful Instagram collage in under 10 minutes.
Here's a sneak preview of the Instagram collage template (and some examples of how you can update it for your own brand look and feel):
You might also like: Best Instagram Templates of 2019
Heads up … Creating your winning digital product needn’t be a series of unfortunate events. Skip the stress and scoop up your FREE step-by-step framework for creating your next digital product.
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I help online entrepreneurs (like you!) to build a profitable online business that keeps growing even when they're offline.