Design Hack
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December 12, 2019

Two key ingredients for success? Trial and error

It took some experimenting for RJ Kaur to find her unique voice, but today this self-starter has a thriving side hustle.

Perusing RJ Kaur’s immaculately curated Instagram feed, you might be surprised at how unexpectedly it all came together. Just over a year into her vlogging career, RJ has built a massive audience that relies on her regular video tutorials (and motivation posts) to up their IG game.


So, what was the carefully considered master plan that got her here?

“It was kind of all over the place for the first six months,” she laughs. “My content was anything and everything I could think of – and that was actually on purpose. I decided to make whatever I wanted, to see what I enjoy making the most, and what gets the most views.”

Eventually, realising she was constantly seeking out Instagram design tutorials to boost her own efforts, she began making these, and sharing the knowledge. Her first few videos hardly caused a ripple, but that didn’t slow her down. “I didn't feel discouraged at all because I knew my content was valuable and could help others, I just wasn't getting discovered yet.”

That all changed after YouTube’s algorithm began suggesting one of her videos (10 creative ways to edit your insta stories using ONLY the instagram APP) to new audiences, and the floodgates opened.

“The video is currently sitting at 4.3 million views and it really kickstarted this whole journey. Because of that one video I went from 1 000 subscribers to 100 000 within two months, which is crazy!”


Not bad for six months of fumbling about. But with such a growing number of diverse followers , how does she decide what her audience wants to learn about, to keep them engaged?

“I love using Instagram's Poll & Question feature to see what my audience is interested in. I also get DM's asking about certain things and I just keep a mental note of those, and see if anything is trending for me to focus on for a tutorial.”

With 2020 just around the corner, we couldn’t help asking RJ what she thinks will be the dominant design trends on Instagram next year:

“Animated Stories will almost certainly be a big thing. And I think Instagram filters are going to be even bigger in 2020. We can already see a huge growth in filters and brands are jumping on creating their own custom filters. I might even try to dabble in filters myself – they seem so fun!”


Phew. Just as well we’ve created our own custom photo filters before the trend truly explodes!


The decisions to start somewhere, remain curious, and trust in her intuition, have undoubtedly made all the difference to RJ’s impressive rise. And you know what? It’s totally cool if you don’t get it right the first time.

“Don't be afraid to try different things and switch it up,” RJ insists. “I went through 10 different fonts before sticking to one, and changed my color palette at least 5 times. This is definitely going to be trial and error, but the important thing is that you don't give up!”


With that in mind, what exactly are you waiting for…?

Three on-trend design ideas from RJ Kaur

We’re stoked to hear that Over plays a major role in her creative arsenal. “I use Over for pretty much everything!” she told us. “It's seriously my one-stop shop for daily creating.”

Long-time admirers of her distinctive style, we asked RJ her to share a few of the design ideas she has discovered with Over – including templates to get you started.

Collage

Collage has been a major aesthetic trend this year, and we expect to see it going strong well into 2020. Blending a vintage aesthetic with modern techniques, RJ has some cool ideas for incorporating newspaper and book page backgrounds into your IG designs.

YouTube thumbnails

YouTube is RJ’s primary platform for sharing her tutorials, so it’s essential that her thumbnails grab attention right away. In this tutorial, RJ explains how to replicate the look of one of her vlogging role models.

Adding backgrounds to shared stories

The default setting when sharing IG Stories can feel a bit stale sometimes. But it’s super easy to customise your shared posts, and give them your own look and feel. RJ breaks it down.

Follow @rjkaur.xo on Instagram, and subscribe to her RJ Kaur Youtube channel for heaps of brilliant ideas you can try out with Over. And if you love her personal branding style (like we do!) you can play around with something similar using this graphic pack and font combination in Over.

Follow @rjkaur.xo on Instagram, and subscribe to her RJ Kaur Youtube channel for heaps of brilliant ideas you can try out with Over.