Instagram Collaboration – Step by step guide to run your own collaboration

Nail Art for New Year's Eve

Instagram Collaboration Guideline

Recently I have become more active in Instagram collaboration, including hosting my very own collab for Valentines Day (follow my IG to see the end result when it’s posted: So I have created this guide for anyone running collaborations which can be very daunting for the first time and for those who are wondering what is normally expected when participating in a collaboration.

One of the biggest issues I am finding is that everyone seems to have different rules and when you enter a group that has worked together before they can forget to tell you the rules. I completely understand how this happens. Its like writing instructions for a computer program when you know the software very well and forgetting the most basic yet vital steps.

So to help you out I have created a checklist, a few templates and some basic rules when engaging in group conversations. I have also included a few tools that can be used to create the final product.

Starting the collaboration

To start a Instagram collaboration you have two options. The first is to join a collaboration. If you haven’t been involved in a collab before I would highly recommend joining someone else’s before hosting your own. This will help you to understand what is involved and what the general rules are. It might be worth mentioning to the group if it’s your first collab so that they can explain the rules in more detail.

For hosting a collab the easiest way to recruit members is to post an IG image advertising the collaboration.

If you belong to any group chats you may also advertise in the group but make sure you check with the group admin first.

Once you have a least two members you may create the group chat. Follow this tutorial to create a group chat

Etiquette for Instagram Collaborations

Hopefully, you don’t need to share these rules although it may be helpful to post them when the group chat is started just to prevent any drama.

  1. Respect each other.
  2. Support each other’s work.
  3. If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. Feel free to give advice when asked but don’t criticise a design a design. Art can be subjective and not everyone will like the art.
  4. Don’t talk about people who are in the group chat in the third person (eg She should do this).
  5. Have fun! This is a chance to share ideas and work with like-minded people.

Also, this is a rule for the host. Ensure each image is close to the same size as the others. It’s awful having put effort into a collab and discovering that your image is smaller than others who have likely it in the same amount of effort.

If you have any other etiquette suggestions please pop a comment below.

Guidelines for the collaboration


Use the following template to create your own rules. This will ensure all rules are covered. See below for an example

  1. Theme:
  2. Due date:
  3. Can the design be posted before the collage is created: Y/N
  4. Number of designs that can be submitted:
  5. Any other special rules:

When setting the due date remember to take into account different time zones. In the example below I set a date of 12 Feb. This was because by the time it’s Feb 13 in my timezone, it will still be 12 Feb in the US. This will also give me a day to complete the collage.


  1. Theme: Valentine’s Day
  2. Due date: 12 February
  3. Can the design be posted before the college is created: Yes
  4. Number of designs that can be submitted: Max 2
  5. Any other special rules: N/A

Time to get organised!

With messages flying everywhere in the chat it can be easy to loose track of who has posted their images. To prevent issues such as posts being missed in the collage, I recommend following these steps:

  1. Start a word doc, notepad or even hand write with a list of all participants as they join. Take extra care to ensure usernames are correct.
  2. Add in a table with three columns titled name, image recieved and added to column
  3. As particpants submit their images mark it as receieved.
  4. Depending on how many images the collage app accepts, I would begin to combine images as soon as you can. In my case, every four images I would create a section of the collage. When this is created check it off in the table.

When your ready this list can be copied into the chat and will mimise the risk that anyones names have been missed typed. It will also ensure that everyones images have been added

Apps for creating the Instagram collaboration collage

So far I have only one a few apps. Let me know what apps you have used and I will add them below! Otherwise I will continue to update this section as I find more Apps.

There are heaps of Apps available for creating collages. Here is a list of some that I have tried out:


That’s all folks!

I hope this helps your collaboration endeavours! If you have any tips or have any questions post a comment below.

The Nail Chronicle

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