Category 1

Category 2

Category 3

Category 4

Category 5

Category 6

Oh Sierra


First Impressions: Brand Messaging Tips for Instagram

We help creative leaders harness the potent power of community (online and IRL) with content strategy, education, and events.








Craft Your Unique Cocktail for Content That Connects.


When it comes to cohesive messaging for social media there’s a lot of ground to cover. With ever-emerging (and changing) platforms, mixed information about what effective marketing looks like, and cheeky algorithms at play, it can be BASICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to know your next best move when it comes to content communications.

Find the recipe to this beauty at the bottom of the blog post!

We’re diving into a series through our weekly Cocktail Quickies (a free education resource going down on our Instagram account, and a follow-up blog + recipe to go along with each convo) to tackle allll the moving pieces, with you. To kick things off, we’re talking about First Impressions. If video is more your vibe, you can watch the filmed version of this article right here.


Your mission should be clear from the outset, and when it comes to social media there are a few essential spaces where your brand messaging can make or break a love-at-first-sight connection with your audience.

When we say brand messaging, we aren’t just referring to the obvious (tag lines, key messages, brand words…).

The content of your captions, your choice of visual storytelling, the way you show up and the products you launch, are each uniquely integral pieces of the messaging puzzle. We won’t be covering ALLL of that today – but stay tuned. We’ve got so much more to give on this topic.

The brand messaging strategies we build at Oh Sierra give our clients a voice, a language, an avenue for connection, and a ticket to confident communication.

Alright, let’s get it into it.

The outline below is based off of an Instagram profile, but the tips can be applied to any online platform that your brand shows up on.

Choosing Your Social Media Handle

Your individuality should greet your audience at the door. While search optimization plays a role here, we absolutely love when a brand finds a way to incorporate a phrase or statement in their social handle. For example, “@sipsoonish” for Soonish (a GF beer brand we adore) and @cookwithbeautiful (Drew Barrymore’s homeware brand) both use clever wording to nudge the viewer into action.

Writing Your Social Media Bio

Holy shit, it’s time to release the boring bios. A few years ago, there became a phenomenon in the online coaching space that popularized the “I help” statement. You know the one… “I help XYZ to XYZ with XYZ.” While it’s incredibly helpful to know your I help statement, but not necessary to flaunt it at every opportunity (especially opportunities with a limited character count to catch your audience’s attention.)

Instead of following the classic “I help” cadence, is there a poignant way you can articulate your perspective in a way that prompts your audience to seek more?

For example, my friend Dallas (@mrsdallaslombardi) has a fantastic note in her bio that says, “read the caption.” I love this because it’s to-the-point, but it indicates that her writing is where she shines, and entices the audience to dig a little deeper – looking past the photo, and diving into her powerful words.

Within your IG bio, we recommend finding ways to infuse phrases or keywords not of the SEO variety, but of the branded variety. So for example, when we work with clients on messaging strategy we’ll include language banks and key messages. Keeping those in mind, what succinct statements can be made about you, or your business?

The Call To Action

I actually think this is an essential and OPTIMAL place to include brand messaging both in your social media bio and in your captions. For our bio, for example, we boldly – all caps – state, “LET’S WORK + PLAY.” It’s confident and precise, while tying in the enthusiasm and passion that we bring to everything we do. WORK and PLAY is also a huge element of our ethos, and a statement we repeat over and over throughout our content and communities. When we sign off in our captions, the CTA is usually equally erratic-but-pointed, with a laid-back statement, probably in caps, before a direct ask. A few other accounts who are using simple-but-effective CTAs include:

  • “Shop our harvest” from Flamingo Estate (@flamingo_estate), which gently reminding the audience that their products are cultivated on the founders farm
  • “Come hang with us” from Eyes Peeled Coffee (@eyespeeledcoffee), a friendly suggestion and an invitation to spend time in their welcoming space

Your Links Page

Whether you’re using a links page from an external platform like LinkTree, or you’ve got a custom designed page (which we recommend – and offer) this is a fantastic spot to infuse the energy of your brand voice. Not only should this page have a clear explanation of who you are and what you do (in a creative, on-brand way) it should prompt the reader through unique, researched messaging that encourages them to engage with your brand outside of the social media platform they found you on.

On-brand Emojis

There’s evidence to suggest that Emojis have essentially become a universal language – and there’s a place in your brand messaging for determining what your approach to Emoji code will be. We have a few brands that we work with on social media specifically, and there’s an explicit list of Emojis that are within brand bounds for each. When your brand loves something, is it more of a black heart kinda love, or that pink heart with the sparkles? Tell me you don’t feel the difference.

The questions in your head are probably things like, “k, but how…” and “what if I don’t know my brand message?” and “how do I keep it original?” in which case, we’d love to create a framework for content confidence, with you. Our bespoke brand + messaging strategy, The Atlas, is a researched roadmap to your highest potential.

Tune in to next week’s Cocktail Quickie (and subsequent blog post) where we’ll be exploring brand messaging for Instagram highlights, captions, and content.


The Campari Grapefruit Spritz

This beauty is a real treat to make, being that it’s A) foolproof and incredibly simple and B) there’s a gorgeous cascade that happens when you pour in the Campari. For a video version of this recipe, check out our post on TikTok.


  • 1oz Vodka
  • 2oz Fresh grapefruit juice
  • Top up of sparkling water
  • Campari float
  • Fresh lime for garnish

Combine vodka and grapefruit over ice, topping up with soda water. Float (or drizzle) Campari on top and watch the magic happen.

Garnish with lime, share with love.

Explore our other food and drink recipes here.


The Appleyards

Read the Comments +

  1. […] our post last week, we talked about First Impressions. Today, we’re taking it a step further, teaching you […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About The Appleyards

We Are Passionate Community Cultivators, Partners in Life and Business, And Firm Believers That Work Should Feel Like Play.

READ          LATEST


fancy a


I Found It. At Last, The Perfect Blazer

My Favorite Monochromatic Looks

This ONE Thing Will elevate Your Fall Looks




This marketplace of our most popular trainings is a one-stop-content-shop with everything you need to know about showing up online confidently, sustainably, authentically, and profitably.

binge our content

Our online presence is a steady dose of unfiltered entrepreneurship, spicy takes on content marketing, big LA energy, doing FUN sh*t in community, doing ALL sh*t on our own terms, the tasty side of travel, our sunny house in Echo Park... and romanticizing everything, along the way. It's often unhinged, always honest, and forever a f*cking good time.