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There are Instagram accounts and there are INSTAGRAM accounts. You know the ones – the ones that are irresistible day after day and month after month. The ones that grow followers, secure influencer deals, and build their businesses one distinctive photo at a time. What would that kind of account do for your business? It’s time to find out! And we have just the Instagram themes to inspire you.

We’ll take it a step further, though, and dig into what makes each work and how you can make it work for you, too. I asked around Tailwind to get an idea of the accounts we love to follow and why. Keep in mind that you can adopt any of these great themes for your own Instagram account – no matter what industry you’re in.

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justin_mw | Salt Pepper Skillet

Sure, it’s beautiful. After all, Justin is a professional food photographer. But when asked why it was his pick, Customer Success Associate Taylor didn’t focus on that:

“I always love looking at Justin’s Instagram because it highlights everything that food should be. It’s beautiful, it’s comfortable, it’s about exploring and about spending time with loved ones. It’s just more of the good things in life – the connections, the comforts and the pleasures that make up my most memorable moments.”

So, aside from standout photography which would be easily identifiable in your feed, Justin’s account captures a warm, homey feeling that keeps Taylor (and others!) coming back for more.

How to reproduce this inspiring Instagram theme: Adopt a consistent look for your photos or stock photos. Use similar lighting and filters so people know at a glance that it’s YOUR photo. More than that, though, decide what kind of feeling you want your account to elicit. Do you want people to feel comforted? Energized? Empowered? Keep that consistent across all your posts.

Plan a cohesive feed with Tailwind’s 9-grid preview for Instagram. 

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akilahh | Comedian, It’s Akilah, Obviously!

Now, here’s a lady you want to have coffee and a laugh with! Akilah’s images follow a color theme for a time and then she switches is up. Check out the comments on the plain color block images that signal an upcoming change and you’ll see just how much her followers look forward to the next color.

Customer Success Manager Mollie says, “I love her color themes and how they change regularly. She expresses her personality in every post and they never seem forced – yet they’re fitting into this beautiful color thing she has going on. Love love love!”

How to reproduce this inspiring Instagram theme: Be authentically you! Don’t worry about trying to appeal to everyone.

Keep people coming back for more with your positive vibes AND by changing it up on a regular basis. Choose a color scheme or a theme for the month and really lean into it. Over time, your followers will start to look forward to it and may even give you an engagement bump each time you switch it up. Plan ahead as much as you like with Tailwind’s 9-grid preview for Instagram. Try it now.

You’ll also be able to gauge what they like best. Did “Get Healthy January” flop, while, “Indulge in October” was a runaway success? You’ll learn a lot about your followers and how to build engagement over time by giving them more of the content they love.

bydawnnicole on Instagram

bydawnnicole | Dawn Nicole Designs

Dawn Nicole is a hand lettering pro with over 90K followers. Her feed is beautiful, but also uplifting and ever positive.

Marketing Associate Justine explains why this is her pick:

“I found her a little over a year ago when I started diving into the world hand lettering. Her account is inspiring because it’s not just about posting gorgeous photos, it’s about building a community and connecting with others who love and enjoy the art of hand lettering.”

How to reproduce this inspiring Instagram theme: What is it YOUR community really cares about and what do they want from you? If, like Dawn Nicole, you’re an expert on something, show off your work! Inspire others to give it a try, and provide resources, tutorials, and materials suggestions to help them get started.

Even if you’re not quite expert level like Dawn Nicole, you likely have something to teach. Take them on that journey with you by sharing your projects with a side of your challenges and a bit of a local feel. Dawn Nicole mixes in mentions of her hometown of Charleston, SC, which makes you feel even more like you’re pals IRL. Remember, you can also tag Instagram posts with your location.

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womenirl | Women In Real Life

Curated by @healthmagazine, Women in Real Life brings to your Instagram feed “Life’s real, unfiltered moments.” Because none of us really live an Insta-perfect life, this account’s fearless portrayal of the reality of life can feel like a welcome escape.

“When browsing Instagram, it can be easy to get caught up in the filtered perfection showing up on your feed. What I really love about the ‘Women in Real Life’ account is the celebration of what’s really going on behind the lens. Life isn’t perfect and we should celebrate the flaws that make us human.” Melissa Megginson, Community Manager.

How to reproduce this inspiring Instagram theme: Two things stand out in this account. One is the message – we are flawed but wonderful and we are all in this together! The other is the fact that this is a feature account – made up almost exclusively of other people’s images. While this account pulls from any image with the #WomenIRL hashtag, for most of us, it’s a good idea to get explicit permission to post. Reposting other people’s Instagram photos can make for a fun, cohesive feed if you stick to a theme. Psssst… Tailwind’s browser extension makes it really easy to regram… Try it now.

TSA | Yes, that TSA

Do you like bad puns and marveling over some of the puzzling things people do (eels in a ziploc, really?)? Me too. That’s why the TSA’s Instagram account is my pick. The TSA has a Twitter account where they invite travelers to post photos of things they’re not sure they can bring on a plane. This gives them a tremendous amount of material to choose from. They also encourage individual agents to send in photos of the strange things they find in screenings. Add a clever caption and voila! A fun and clever account that makes a faceless agency more human.

For instance, in a caption for a photo of “Nun-chuks” (yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like): “These are fine to pack in your carry-on. I imagine not traveling with your “Nun” chucks would be a hard habit to break.” Groan … But also, cute.

How to reproduce this inspiring Instagram theme: Empower your employees and customers. If you have employees out in the field or interacting with customers, make sure they get into the habit of looking for everyday moments that can be used for customer support or just to help people get to know you a little better. When your customers send messages and photos to you via Twitter or elsewhere, could that be repurposed as an interesting Instagram post?

erinstanczyk | EatMoveRest🍍Ⓥ

Erin Stanczyk’s Instagram profile is gorgeous. Always bright and cheerful, her posts are guaranteed to make you hungry for something healthy.

“I am blown away by Erin’s passion to share with the world how simple clean eating can be. Touching on 3 basic things that humans do every day – eating, moving, and resting. I am inspired to incorporate these colorful dishes into planning a meal or snack for my family! On top of all the recipes, she makes thinking consciously of the products we by easy!” Sarah, Customer Success Associate.

How to reproduce this inspiring Instagram theme:  Gorgeous photos aside, all Erin’s photos have the same bright lighting and happy colors. Try a consistent look for instant recognition.

Also, take something that can seem difficult (eating vegan) and make it fun and accessible. Provide tips and recipes and support the way of life you’re promoting. Whether you’re a lifestyle blogger or a SAAS company, illustrate the promise your product makes for how it makes life better. Let your passion shine through!


Dubbed “The World’s Most Comfortable Shoe” by Time Magazine, Allbirds has a noble mission – making sustainable, eco-friendly sneakers – but their Instagram account is anything but stodgy or self satisfied.

“The Allbirds feed always feels fresh, vibrant, fun (and a little weird.) I keep coming back for the trendy fashion, polished photos from their customers, creative illustrations, and whimsical photos that always brighten my day.” Matt Woods, Inbound Marketer.

How to reproduce this inspiring Instagram theme: Allbirds’ Instagram bio states, “At Allbirds we make the worlds most comfortable shoes for life’s everyday adventures.” You can tap into everyday adventures, too! Be on the lookout for scenes from your day-to-day routine that support the ideals of your brand. Share images of your products in the wild (and use Instagram’s shoppable posts!) when you take your own photos or (timesaver!) feature user-generated content.

Conclusion: Choosing The Right Instagram Theme for You

So many inspiring Instagram themes, so little time. Which one appeals to you? Which one do you think you can maintain long term? Commit to it and see if giving yourself a theme can help you be more consistent, increase engagement, and grow your business with Instagram!


 Pin me:

Alisa Meredith is Pinterest Product Specialist at Tailwind — — your new Marketing team, helping you create social media designs, schedule posts, and optimize across Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest with one easy-to-use social media management tool.  She is a sought-after speaker and teacher on Pinterest and Promoted Pins in particular, having spoken at Social Media Marketing World, Agents of Change and appearing on The Art of Paid Traffic and Social Pros podcasts. Alisa has invested heavily in becoming an expert in her craft – realizing (and loving) the fact that the learning never ends!  She lives in coastal North Carolina with her pampered pets Pepe the couch potato Cavapoo, and more cats than she’d like to admit to.

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  1. Avatar

    Love this Alisa!

    Great post that isn’t just covering Instagram accounts that have beautiful grids. A theme doesn’t mean your account needs to have a specific color flowing through it, it simply needs to have something that connects your audience with the content & some of these accounts are brilliant.

    I think National Geographic does a great job as well, but with most of the value lying in their descriptions.

    P.s. obviously, consistency is also key. 😉

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      Thank you so much for stopping by, David. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 Not all of us can take gorgeous images ALL the time, so it can feel out of reach sometimes, but we can all find something that helps us to connect with our audiences. I’ll check out National Geographic, too!

  2. Avatar

    Wow, I’m beyond honored to be included among so many talented creatives! Social media can be so amazing and it can also feel like a chore when it’s a part of your business. Reading your kind words are exactly what I needed to read today to re-inspire my love of IG. Tailwind is such a vital part of my business plan for Instagram and Pinterest and I literally don’t know how I’d manage to be a solo creativepreneur without it. Thank you, thank you! 🙏🏻

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      I’m so glad! You absolutely belong in the company of other greats. 🙂

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