Instagram Static 9 Grids: This is the Guide, Y’all

When I first wrote this post, I was early to the static 9 grid approach. Once I made my own in 2022, I was hooked, recommending it as a way to save time, and creating ones for clients who wanted that free time back too.

I first talked about it with Kristen over at Going Ultra Violet and I couldn’t wait to really dive into this idea and see what I could come up with.

I put up my own static 9 grid in September of 2022

A screenshot of Deanna Seymour's Static 9 Grid on Instagram. With the words, "Showing up on Instagram less, but looking good doing it..." with cassette tapes over a yellow background.

Since then, I’ve made a ton for clients.

It’s quickly becoming my favorite project to work on with entrepreneurs who are ready to get clear about what they offer, stop feeling pressure to show up every single day on social media, and give potential clients clear and concise directions on how to learn more about what they offer and work with them.

Plus, the results of my own 9 grid after 1+ year have been very promising.

What is a 9 grid for Instagram?

The static 9 grid is nine Instagram posts that overlap and align, so as a matrix of images, it delivers your core messages in a cohesive, branded look. Leave it up for the long term, so that you don’t have to worry about creating posts and instead can focus on Reels and engagement.

You can create as many as you want; update it for the season, or update single images as you have more news to share.

As you can see in the screenshot, my first version had 12 posts. But usually, 9 is enough for my clients to highlight the things they want to.

The images don’t necessarily need to overlap or flow into each other, but the way a creative design grabs your eye when they’re viewed altogether can really be powerful.

And just like I say for everything in business, you get to decide what works for you! There’s no ONE right way to do things.

Why you might want one

I like to treat the static grid like I used to treat making a mixed tape for a friend back in the day. Remember choosing the most important songs and then making sure they were arranged in a certain way? With an ebb and flow to take the listener on a journey?

Each song could stand on its own, but as a collection… it was an unstoppable work of art. A hand-picked collection of the best songs in the world at that time.

That’s what your static 9 grid should feel like to the person who stumbles upon it over on Instagram. [cue the song Dream Weaver like that scene in Wayne’s World] 🤣 ✨ 💖

Why you might not want one

Maybe you’re not on Instagram at all, and your potential clients aren’t there either. If you’re choosing to invest in a few specific channels, you might not want to sign up for the ‘gram just to put up a 9 grid.

That said, can it hurt? Probably not! So have fun with it if you have the time and energy to do so. If it feels like a distraction, feel free to decline.

9 Things you should include in your Static 9 Grid

1. An Introduction Post

I think the first one in the top left should always introduce you. Choose your favorite headshot and write a caption that really sounds like you! I also like to address the fact that you only have a handful of posts, and why that is.

  • Maybe you want to run your business with a more anti-hustle approach
  • Maybe you love showing up on TikTok or Linkedin or on another platform entirely
  • Maybe you really love making Instagram Reels, so you’re gonna hang out there

Just mention that you are aware that you only have a few posts, explain why, and invite them to read through them to get a feel for you and how you can help them.

Think of this first post as an extension of your Instagram bio where you have WAY more words to work with!

Static 9 grid Instagram example made by Deanna Seymour. This one has a yellow and pink vibe for That Moxie Life.

2. An Invitation to Follow

If you’re planning on still showing up in Instagram Reels and/or Stories, I recommend that the second post let the viewer know that. You can use a little arrow in your design to point to the reels tab and let them know to go check out your reels!

Some people might not even know that there’s a reels tab there, so it’s super important to point it out and let them know so they don’t miss your newest content.

Does order matter?

Other than position #1 and possibly #2 if you’re doing reels, the rest of these things can be in whatever order you want. Like I said, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to things in business.

When I work with clients I help them map all this out in a way that works with their own customer journey, and the offers and resources they have to share with potential visitors to their Instagram grid.

But you should also include…

3. Your Most Valuable Opt-In

Think about what that might be, a quiz, a PDF, a free course. It looks different for everyone, but you’ll want to highlight your best one or two in your static 9 grid so that you can get people on your email list! That’s the real golden ticket because you own your list. So whatever opt-in you have, should get its own square for sure.

Publicity by Christina hired Deanna Seymour to create this blue, gray and orange themed Instagram 9 grid. The grid highlights her services as a PR pro.

4. Your Main Offers

The whole point of having a business is to sell your ish, right? So don’t be shy about telling people what you offer. You’ll want to include your main offers. If you sell a signature course, that needs it’s own square. If you have a membership, or do custom work, those will each need a square.

Like I said, it’s different for everyone, but you’ll want to highlight your main offers. Let’s say you have a lot of small workshops. I would create one carousel post about your workshops, and then have them swipe through your most popular ones, with the last slide telling them to click the link in your bio to learn more.

I absolutely LOVE adding carousel posts into a static 9 grid because it’s like little hidden doorways into more information. And, let’s be real: not all people are going to read your captions, so the more you can give them visually, the better!

Don't be afraid to include carousels in your Instagram nine grid. In this example, retro and fire-themed purple graphics are the backdrop to highlighting Christy's copywriting services.

5. Your Podcast or Podcasts You’ve Guested On

If you have a podcast, definitely dedicate a square to that. And if you don’t have a podcast, but you’ve guested on podcasts, I recommend making a square to shout out your guest spots. You can link to a Spotify playlist in your bio (like this one) so they can go listen to all your interviews in one easy place.

If you have a podcast AND you’ve been on some, I’d think about making a square for each. It’s authority-building gold! And you can turn both of these posts into carousel posts. You can add up to 9 more slides highlighting the shows you’ve been on, or your favorite episodes of your own podcast.

Like these:

A narrow banner showing 10 different podcast episode highlights, that you can use in carousel format in your 9 grid for Instagram.

6. Client Testimonials

Another opportunity for a carousel post to show off your skills and build some serious clout is in your client testimonials! Gather up all your best quotes from happy clients and create a carousel post that new visitors can easily swipe through to see how amazing your work is.

7. A Call to Action

For the last slide on this one, I love adding a call-to-action for them to book a call with you. I mean, we’re trying to take things to the next level.

One thing I really love about the static 9 grid is that you only have 9(ish) squares so there’s no need to be shy, just tell them how you can help them, and how they can learn more.

8. Talk About What Makes You Different

I like helping my clients add at least one square to talk about what makes them different. Odds are, there are other people out there offering the same services as you. So how do you do it differently?

It’s a great place to talk about your frameworks, things you disagree with in your industry, the main pillars of your program, basically… how you do what you do differently than others in your field.

A super fun example of a creative static image grid for Instagram homepages. It's got quirky animals on mushrooms and flowers with birds and it's just so fun. See more examples of static 9 grids on this page.

9. One More Chance To Connect

I like to usually add one more photo of my clients to the last square. Although that isn’t ALWAYS the case. Like I said, everyone’s mission and business, and style is different.

Regardless of whether there’s a photo of you or not in the last square, it’s important to #1 thank the visitor for reading your posts, and #2 remind them where you’ll be for when they’d like to connect more.

If you’ll be in reels and stories, remind them again. If you’d like them to hop on your email list, or go find you on TikTok, Linkedin, Substack, or wherever you hang out. It’s OK to tell them again so hopefully they’ll go find you!

Your Static 9 Grid Graphics Have to Be AWESOME to stand out

When you only have a handful of squares to impress someone, they better be good. Ya feel me? When people stumble upon your 9 grid and it looks like nothing they’ve seen before they’re going to stop and take a few extra beats to see what’s up.

It’s a disruptor to all the things they see every day on social media while they’re scrolling.

When you land on a beautiful static 9 grid it shakes things up and you stop to look. Hopefully, they start poking around. Swiping through your carousel posts. Reading your captions. And by the end, you’ll have a true fan.

A successful static 9 grid is just as much about repelling your non-fit clients as it is attracting your perfect-fit clients. And I think when you use a template that looks like all the other things they’re seeing every day, it’s hard to do either of those. It just ends up being one more Instagram page in a sea of templates.

An example of a stunning static 9 grid for Instagram made for Raina Willick. Check out that sunset view in the middle! It also highlights client testimonials and a graphic that says "Find Your Friday" with a yellow and peach floral theme.

As you can see, all my clients have very different styles. But they all commit to really pushing the envelope and being bold when it comes to their static grids.

How often to change it

The best part about the static grid is that it’s exactly that – static. You can leave it up as long as you want, but it’s also fun to change it up based on how you’re feeling and what’s happening in your life and business. Just remember it’s there to present your best self consistently so that you can spend that energy elsewhere – engaging with your audience, showing up live when you want to, or taking an afternoon nap.

  • Seasonally: So many fun options to choose from across Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, traditional and nontraditional holidays, or the seasons in your business.
  • Big News: Got something to share? If something big happens in your world, highlight that! A new product launch, a new podcast season, even your new house if that’s the kinda thing you like to share with your audience.
  • Big Offers: Holiday sales, new freebies or downloads, partner launches… They’re great reasons to swap out your 9 grid, but you can also cover them in Reels and Lives too.

So what do you think?

Is this something you could see yourself doing in your business? If you’re not ready yet, getting strategic about your 3 pinned posts is a great place to start. And I can help you with that too.

You can learn more about working with me, or set up a call here. I’d love to learn more about you and your business!

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