Looking for a quick and easy tutorial for adding icons to your Instagram Story Highlights?

If you answered yes, then this marketing and branding tip is for you. 

No need to have a tech overwhelm, or a branding overwhelm moment.   I mean, what is whelm anyway? Sounds like a sad sailing term!  And as a mum in business, there are plenty of other life things where whelm can crop up, so lets just put this instagram hack in the bag and call it a day.

As you get to know me, you will notice I am 63% productivity and brand nerd, 47% daggy joke lover, and 110% entrepreneurial supporter of mums in business, so any way I can help a sister from another mister out with sharing some quick wins, I’m in like carrot in a vegan carrot cake! 

After spotting eye catching highlight icons on some of my favourite instagram accounts, I was intrigued, yet I couldn’t quite find the full picture to do it even after a good dose of googling research. 

So what’s a mum to do?

Throw in a little trial and error (bit like parenting) and I got a nice smooth process down pat for getting my lovely branded icons onto my instagram story.  Winning!

So without further ado,  drumroll please….

How to easily add branded icons to your instagram story highlights.

Instagram story highlights are a great way to put little snippets that relate to what your brand story and personality are about in your instagram account.

There is a little trick to getting your icons there. Instagram stories work off content that is fresh, and created within a 24 hour time frame.

Even though I tend to focus on facebook, I have had a few mums in the current round of the mumpreneur course ask me how to create these little story icons in instagram, and what can I say, the nerd in me could not resist the share on the blog

To easily make your instagram story highlight icons, you will need the following:

  1. Your brand colours and/or brand icons. 

If you have not had any iconography made by a graphic designer, just creating some little coloured squares that are the same brand colours and adding bold text in the centre will help. 

If you are just starting out with your business and want to be on the front foot with your brand, there are some links at the bottom of this post to other blogs that will help you on your marketing and branding journey.

2. A cloud storage app.

The reason for using a cloud storage app is to ensure that you can access your brand icons on your phone.   I use dropbox, however google drive will also work.  Both are free, and great for sharing across both desktop, laptop and mobile devices.

3. Your phone’s photo editor

This is for editing a screen shot of your graphic.  The first few times I played with this, I didn’t edit out the “edit” parts” – whoops!

4. Phonto (optional) 

If you are wanting to put your own branded font on a colour square or over your icon, phonto is ideal. Not only is it free, but for any one worried about the font police, you can install your custom fonts right on your phone to make on brand quotes for your social media.    Just make sure your fonts are readable

I like to use it during this process as it helps in centering the icons with their square template, and keeping sizing fairly consistent.

Also, if you do not have icons, you can create on brand coloured circles or text to act as your icon.  Be sure to have your brand colours in RBG format as opposed to HEX colour codes.

5. Instagram

Yep, I know its a captain obvious, but of course, we are going to need instagram to create the instagram story highlight.. Cue reader eyeroll.


From here, I find it easier to show you how to do this with the video of my phone screen below.

I use an apple iphone, so if you are an android user, it may look a little different, except when you get into the instagram app.

The video to create the instagram story highlight icons goes for about 5 minutes, and even then the process should take you 5 – ten minutes max to start setting up your own branded highlight icons. 


If you would like more tips on how to get your brand humming along, you might find these posts useful:


 How to get brand color consistency across platforms 

Marketing Tips: Image size guidelines and templates to grow your business online

Best Social Media Scheduler for Multiple Images in One Post


I’d really love to see if you put this marketing tip to use, so feel free to leave me a comment and even a link to your instagram account and I’ll be sure to check it out.

If you are trying to figure out another tech tip, feel free to flick me an email – I love a little challenge.