If you’re in my IG Collaborative Facebook Group, then you’ve for sure heard me yammer on about Weekly Themes and 9 Grids, and maybe you’ve been a little confused and wondered what in the hell I’m talking about. Are those even things?

YES my friend, they are things, and they are THE THINGS that have made my life on Instagram so much freaking easier.

Photo A Day Prompts

Photo A Day prompts were something that I participated in before I really even got intentional about my Instagram Feeds. Back when Instagram was less of a Social Media Platform, and more of a Photo Filter Platform, I would see a lot of photographers host “photo a day challenges” where they would put really obscure ideas for every day of the week in a list and their followers could create photos based on the prompt and use the hashtag associated with the Challenge. For example, maybe “blue” is the prompt of the day, so I would hunt all around my house and find something blue to photograph. You could see everyone’s unique perspectives and photography style and it was fun to kind of stretch your creativity and shoot things you weren’t use to taking pictures of. Being a portrait photographer at the time, those challenges got me to be be more creative and branch out instead of just shooting faces all the time.

I took the idea of a “Photo A Day” monthly list and did my own version of it in the Instagram Collaborative Facebook Group. Instead of really obscure random prompts, I try and add in a list of things to share your Personal Brand on your feed. Sharing things about you and your business such as a quote from your favorite book, or something you learned from a Mentor are designed to build trust and get people more invested in you and your business. If you want to jump in and use these prompts, visit The IG Collaborative.

Recurring Themes

This is the approach I’ve been using the most over the last 18 months. By knowing the themes I use each week, it has taken a TON of pressure off myself to come up with fresh content. My Hot Mess Monday posts are always my posts with high engagement, and I decided I wanted to use other weekly themes to simplify my strategy. Now I share tips on how to use Instagram effectively on Tuesday, I share what I’m working on, and what wine I’m drinking on Wednesdays, and I share a little Happy Hour hurrah & introduce myself on Fridays. It’s made it really simple to just sit down and list off 4-13 ideas around my theme and plan ahead for the next 1-3 months.

9 Grid Articles

This is the last approach I’ve developed for Instagram, and it really revolves around using Instagram like a magazine. I take 9 images that all fit together and try and tell one story with those posts much like an article in a magazine. You can take any one topic and break it up into 9, and then even mix your current recurring themes in or the Photo A Day Prompts together with the 9 Grids if you’d like! The audio cast below explains how I mix & match these three approaches with a story of A Trip To San Diego or Back To School. 

The freebie below is a simple editorial calendar layout you can use to sketch out your ideas of how to put your posts together and use in conjunction with your 9 grid stories worksheet or your Photo A Day prompts. On Wednesday I’ll be filling out a calendar to show you a case study for a client using these three approaches on Facebook Live at The Rosemary Watson | Productions Facebook Page.


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