Stuff the social media rules and do things your way with Colette Adwin

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Colette Adwin is a graphic designer, Instagram expert and founder of content branding system Postagrid.

She works with businesses showing them how to ensure their brands stand out on social media, with a seamless and memorable feed.

We chat about what it was like when Instagram made significant changes, doubling down on video and how this impacted her work.

Plus, falling in love with problems and challenges, building resilience, how important it is to keep looking backwards at what you’ve accomplished, and do things your way.

Colette has so many fascinating views and insights to share, I loved doing this interview and I hope you enjoy it too.

Listen in on the player link below or read the key points covered as a blog post. 

Hi, Colette! Tell us about you and your business.

I’m a content brander, which is a fancy way of saying I help people create content that is branded to their business and has an impact. 

I founded Postagrid as a way to create a seamless Instagram feed that makes a difference. 

What is content branding?

Content branding is a way to explain the process of creating content within a brand concept.

Many people will hire someone for branding, then try to squeeze their content into it. 

Others will create content and then decorate it with something that looks like their brand. All of them are doing double the work!

Content branding simplifies the whole process. You create your brand and a whole structure around your values, vision, vocation, vibe, and voice. 

Those five things combined are your brand.

Your branding is a preview of what customers will experience when they work with you – the more powerful the preview, the more people will engage with you and your business.

We draw out content and along the way refine those five points until you end up with a strong, clear brand and content that is specific to you.

Why is it important to be unique and be yourself?

I imagine it like being in a new city. You’re walking around exploring and you’re just tired. You decide you need a coffee. 

You look around and there are tons to choose from. All you want is coffee, but you’re not choosing a place based on your basic need or you’d just choose the closest one. 

You choose based on the experience each place offers.

You look for something that suits your needs, not just to get the product you’re looking to buy.

If you only share an overview of the product or service you’re selling and you are using the same language, expressions, tone, and stock images as the next person, you aren’t providing a potential customer with any incentive to choose you!

How does Postagrid help?

I developed Postagrid because I was doing brand design and wanted a way to showcase my portfolio on Instagram. 

But when I posted my branded content, my thumbnails looked a mess!

I started playing with the Instagram aesthetic and realised I needed a simple way to be able to post whatever I wanted and utilise it across multiple platforms, knowing it would always work well together. 

Postagrid can do all of that!

What makes it different?

Postagrid isn’t a series of templates. 

It’s one complete image of your business or brand that contains information in its own right so that you can use that single post on any platform.

There’s no generic vibe, just use your own creative method for content creation and once it’s created just plop your content on!

You can also use it for reels, carousels, static posts, gifs, and animations. 

Do you feel like engagement, likes and follows are important?

I do think they are somewhat important, but they aren’t essential for sales.

There are billion dollar companies who post every day with zero engagement – but they’re obviously still getting sales every day.

We just need to be in people’s worlds. They may not need you today, but they might one day and if you aren’t there, they won’t be able to find you. 

So showing up consistently, regardless of your engagement, will help connect you with your people.

What was it like when Instagram shifted its focus to video?

I was really concerned in the beginning because my whole business was based around the Instagram feed and grid. 

They changed a lot of things like the format of posts, priority, the format of the grid, and photo size.

Luckily Postagrid is flexible and it was easy for me to give my community some quick fixes.

I was able to challenge myself and find confidence in knowing Postagrid really could be a solution for everyone.

It also reminded me that there is beauty in the incompleteness of life – knowing there’s always more to do, more to accomplish. 

The creative process is essentially a state of being unfinished and the more we allow ourselves to embrace that feeling of discomfort, the better off we’ll be.

There is joy in being unfinished and if we revel in that as an opportunity, we realise how much potential there is in a problem.

What would you say to people who are afraid to be bold and do what feels right to them?

Just take the first step – even if it’s small and even if it scares you.

There are so many rules we’re following that we may not even be aware of. For example, I always wanted to shave my head, but there was always a ‘but’ attached. 

One day it hit me that the only thing holding me back was me! 

So I grabbed some clippers, my son, and a mirror and together we shaved my head in the garden.

Sometimes we are the only ones holding ourselves back. You CAN just do the thing you want to do. 

It comes down to a single choice. The choice not to fall into the trap of what other people expect.

We are only responsible for ourselves and the choices we make.

Is there anything that keeps you going when things get tough?

I know that this is bigger than me. There have been times when I just wanted to pack it all in and start over. 

I felt like there was no end in sight and I just wanted to quit and start again.

Keeping going was a bold decision for me and the thing that keeps you bold, that keeps you doing the uncomfortable things and moves you forward, is just your choice to do it.

You have to sit with yourself and decide if you’re courageous enough to step forward.

Get in touch with Colette!

Postagrid Website: https://postagrid.com/

Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/postagrid/

Think Wonky on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM89KymBlqciqN29ZRaAntw

Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coletteadwin/

Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/colettestevenson/


Enjoyed this episode? Then check out Postagrid user Kate Hoyle talking about how to overcome comparisonitis, Putting your passion and personality into your marketing with Alex McCann from Altrincham HQ or Building a community on Instagram with Helen Perry. 

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