So, you think you’re ready to post your first Instagram photo? Not so fast, fam.

Before you hit that Share button, there are a few things (okay, a lot of things) you need to consider.

Now, we’re not trying to scare you out of posting your first photo on Instagram. The last thing we want to induce is posting paralysis.

But, like with any new venture, it’s always good to have a game plan.

This helpful guide has everything you need to achieve a successful first Instagram post. Trust us when we say you’re not going to want to miss this.

Should we do this thing already? Yeah, we thought you might say that.

Why Your First Instagram Post Matters

Whether your Instagram account is personal or for a business, your first Instagram photo is vital to your account’s future success.

Why?

Well, when you share your first photo on Instagram, you’re establishing your brand. And, like our moms always told us: you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Did we lose you at “brand?” We know that word gets tossed around a lot these days, and we’re the last ones who will throw any shade if you’re not entirely sure what it means.

Let’s keep it simple: your “brand” is everything people think of when they hear you or your business’s name.

With the way people in marketing talk about brands, you may think its something tangible. Ha!

The truth is you don’t even have complete control over your brand. You see, your brand exists in the hearts and minds of clients and consumers.

While you may not have complete control (controlling people’s thoughts and opinions is kind of like trying to herd cats), you can do quite a bit to influence the public’s perception and understanding of your brand.

Social media is a fantastic tool for cultivating your brand, and right now, no platform is hotter than Instagram.

When you hit Share on your first Instagram post, you’re introducing your business or yourself to Instagram (and, hopefully, your ideal followers/clients).

You want to make sure that first Instagram photo aligns with what you or your business are all about.

It may just be the first step, but it’s a big one.

That first photo on Instagram will serve as the foundation not just for future content but for your brand as a whole.

Photo by: Unsplash

Do This Before Sharing Your First Instagram Photo

Okay, we know we just hit you with a lot, but don’t feel overwhelmed.

Because we care (seriously, we do care), we’re breaking this whole brand thing down even further with a fun, little exercise.

To start, grab a piece of paper or open up the notes app on your phone.

Set the timer for five minutes. When you hit Start, write down everything you want people to think of when they hear you or your business’s name.

For example, let’s say you’re a travel blogger, and you’ve decided to start an Instagram account to share your adventures.

When a potential new follower comes across your account and starts scrolling through your posts, what adjectives do want them to associate with you?

Adventurous. Inspiring. Honest. Down to Earth. Funny. Brave. Bold. Uplifting.

Consider how you want your ideal followers (and potential clients) to describe you.

After five minutes, you should have a pretty good list going.

From that list, select three to five words that best capture what you are all about.

That’s your brand. That’s what you’re trying to convey with your first Instagram photo.

Photo by: Unsplash

The Ultimate Checklist For Your First Photo On Instagram

Over time, your brand is most likely going to change (at least a bit) as you or your business grows.

As you move beyond your first photo on Instagram and engage with your followers, you’ll learn and be able to finetune your overall direction.

However, if you did the above exercise (and we sure hope you did), you’ve put yourself in a great place to start.

While your brand is the most important element to consider before sharing your first Instagram photo, it’s not the only thing you need to think about.

To help you out, we’ve created the following checklist to run through before your first Instagram post.

We highly recommend you bookmark this guide to refer back to before all future Instagram posts until you’ve committed this checklist to memory.

Is your first Instagram photo high quality?

Don’t take this as you need to run out and buy a super expensive camera right this second. No way.

Current smartphone cameras are actually really, really good. And, for your first Instagram photo, they’re more than capable of getting the job done.

But, if you’re still rocking an iPhone 4, you might want to find a friend working with something a little more recent to help you with your first Instagram post.

And, we probably don’t have to say this, but we will just in case: no blurry photos.

Does your first photo on Instagram tell a story?

Contrary to popular belief, not *every* picture is worth 1,000 words.

While you obv want your first photo on Instagram to be aesthetically pleasing, you also want it to tell a story.

We’re not out here posting just for the sake of posting.

Think back to our exercise and the brand image you’re trying to cultivate.

Is your photo telling a story? Is it the story you want to tell?

Would you like/comment on your first Instagram post?

It’s crucial to create not just your first Instagram post but all your content with your ideal follower/client in mind.

To be successful on Instagram (and business, in general), you need to identify exactly who it is you’re trying to reach. The more specific the better!

Once you have that person, imagine yourself as them. Would your first Instagram photo attract them? Entice them to engage?

If not, it’s back to the drawing board! Or, at least, time to do a little refiguring.

Remember: you’re on a mission to create content with a purpose. That purpose is to attract your ideal follower/client.

Photo by: Unsplash

Your First Instagram Photo Isn’t The Only Thing That Matters

You’ve heard us go on and on about how important your first Instagram photo is, but it’s not the only thing that matters.

An Instagram photo is just one part of an Instagram post. If you stop there, you’re not giving yourself the best chance at social media success.

To round out your first Instagram post, you also need a killer caption and dynamite hashtag strategy.

Not to mention, you’ve got to find the best time to post your first Instagram photo.

Oh nooooo, say it ain’t so!

Dude, by now, you should realize we’ve got you covered. Check out these helpful posts to ensure a totally lit first post on Instagram:

After Your First Instagram Post

Whew, that was a lot, but hopefully, you’re feeling prepared and excited to hit Share on your very first Instagram post.

Make sure you run through the checklist mentioned in this guide before sharing your first photo on Instagram.

If you do that, you’re sure to have a successful Instagram debut. We want you to lay a solid foundation for all the awesome content to come.

To help you with all that awesome content and continue growing on Instagram, check out these helpful posts: