Is a 9-Grid Instagram Feed Right for You?
Instagram is the go-to social media platform for women who want to share their ideas, create real connections with their audience, and really highlight their brand. But the truth is, Instagram has changed.
It’s no longer the place to simply share our energy with followers; how last night's sunset made us feel, or an image of a moment where you felt truly magnetic.
Instagram transformed because how we use the platform also transformed, and the ever-mysterious algorithm feels like it’s entirely out of alignment with the amazing content we create.
With so little information on how to keep engagement consistent, it’s easy to feel out of alignment with the app — and it feels like we can no longer post what feels most true to us at the moment. Instead, Instagram requires data and hashtags, trending audio, expertly-crafted grids, and so on. We are less focused on creating from an aligned, inspired space, and more focused on likes, comments, shares, etc. We are completely driven away from the cloud of creativity.
But we are creative creatures who want to use tools to our advantage, which is how some amazing women started using something totally new: The 9-grid Instagram feed.
The 9-grid acts like a mini landing page or website for your amazing work. It’s the first thing people see when they find you, it’s the impression that you want to make and then leave on people visiting your profile. The more aesthetically pleasing the first 9 posts (this makes up the grid) are, the better your engagement — and the first impression someone leaves with.
We are like moths to a flame, except in this case the “flame” is creative and eye-catching content. The grid is all about presentation, spotlighting the most poignant aspects of what you want to offer your audience. It should be coded to what you do best so you can impress clients & leads.
Plus, you can use your grid as a funnel for existing or new audiences to get them the answers they have about working with you or your business. It’s like a directory of the questions they have about you — what you do, what you offer, how to enter your business universe.
Talking about the 9-grid, picturing what you think yours should look like, is one thing…seeing it work in action is another.
Here are some amazing examples of how the 9-grid has been used successfully:
Kristen @goingultraviolet who also shares a blog post on her decision to switch to the 9-Grid!
Hunter @theagenshe, who uses such amazing examples of both color coding and puzzling with her grid
Jordan @systemssavedme, who also shares a video on her decision to switch
Megan Dowd @withmegandowd created a grid that helps define her brand's personality and values
These inspirational ladies have taken the 9-grid challenge and turned it into their own gorgeous magic, all while boosting engagement and leaning into how they want to show up online. I love that!
Is a 9-grid right for you?
It’s clear that social media is one of, if not the most, effective tool that a small business or brand can use to reach their audiences and elevate their goals. If Instagram has been making you feel out of alignment with how you share and receive feedback on your content, and if your soul is not feeling led by the work you’ve put in, you need to try embracing new changes with the 9-grid method.
Brainstorming, planning, creating, AND posting daily/weekly social media posts can drain our energy and remove us from doing the things that truly light us up. When used in your own way, the 9-grid helps eliminate this. The grid will take some time to plan and design (we can help with that!), but once you set it up it only needs updating when you decide it’s time. You can stop worrying about what you’re going to post next and how the algorithm will affect the flow of visitors to your page.
You need to free up time in your schedule as a divine feminine leader – you shouldn’t have to spend hours and hours on social posts only to have the Instagram algorithm bury them in a curated content feed, leaving that inner magic feeling underappreciated. There are so many other better ways to use that energy, and higher forms of expression to focus on.
Worried about all the amazing content you’ve already got? You don’t have to do away with it — you can feature it! Use your best-forming posts in your grid, or refresh posts that have done well in the past to adapt to your new grid format. You’re also not beholden to one grid.
When you’re ready to switch things up, start fresh with new ideas, moods, and offerings in a new 9-grid. I expect we’ll see people “layering” their grids, having one set of 9 on top of the other. There are no rules around how often you can update your 9-grid, or how you use it. Archive all your old posts, create just one 9-grid, or layer them on top of each other. The rules are yours to set!
Archive your progress
Changing to a 9-grid might feel like you’re losing all the years of content you’ve been sharing — but you don’t have to delete anything. Use Instagram’s Archive feature to help with this. Simply hit the three dots to the upper right corner of your individual posts and select Archive in the menu that pops up.
Archiving a post also keeps all of its likes and comments, which makes going back to look at the data and engagement of previous grids painless.
You can also archive multiple posts at a time (yay!). Simply hit the three lines at the upper right corner of your profile page. Then:
- Select Your Activity
- Select "Photos + Videos"
- Select "Posts"
- Sort + Filter From Oldest to Newest
- Select by Tapping
You can archive 100 posts at a time this way!
In with the new (content, that is)
While the 9-grid stays as is on your main Instagram profile page, that doesn’t mean that you have to halt the flow of all your Instagram content – and actually, I don’t recommend that! The 9-grid is the “archive” of your core business offerings, practices, and values, but you want to be creating content in ways that light you up.
Posts to your feed are only one piece of the Instagram pie. There are also Stories, Reels, and IG Videos to consider — and the algorithm arguably prefers these over static feed posts!
Each of these formats are important if you want to be “seen” regularly on the platform, and they help you show up in the places that your audience looks first.
Regardless of the way your posts show up in the feed, Stories are always at the top of users' feeds. They are the go-to for quick content consumption when “the click” is easier than “the scroll.” It’s a speedy way to be constantly engaged with your audience, and share posts that align with your business values.
Video content (Reels & IG Video) are arguably getting the most reach, much more than static posts. Even if Instagram has never flat out said they prioritize this type of post over others, there’s nothing more eye-catching or attention-grabbing than a video.
This is especially helpful when you consider that these videos don’t need to be full productions – especially with Reels – they can simply be a point-and-shoot uploaded clip from a different video or material from a recent IG Live that you did.
Think of posting Stories and videos as a way to keep the energy flowing into your Instagram account. Plus, Instagram now lets you post Stories and/or videos in a way that will not affect your grid, using their own tabs to keep your account and content separate and organized.
We believe in the power of the 9-grid
Are you feeling inspired by these changes yet? The 9-grid is new for me, too, but I’m already feeling more aligned with this work. I aim to protect my magic – to keep my soul fed and led by the content I’m creating for my socials, which is why I will be making the switch to the 9-grid.
If you’re feeling totally overwhelmed by your social media presence lately, especially on the design front of your Instagram feed, I’d love to continue talking with you about the 9-grid feature.
If you’re curious about how to get started today with templatizing and planning your 9-grid Instagram feed, hire us a for a VIP day and we can help create it for you (on top of offering so many other design options for future content!).