Maybe you are new to social media or maybe you’ve just been focusing on other platforms and now you want to join the other 1bn users on Instagram. Whatever your reasons, it’s a great platform to hang out on for both personal and business use. If you have a business presence, you want to match your name to your other platforms, or get it as close as possible. But how do you create an Instagram account with impact from day one?
When people click on to your profile, they need to know exactly who you are and what you are offering. It’s as simple as that, but it’s surprising how often people get this wrong. Here’s how to get it right…
Bottom line: you need a decent profile photo. We’ve come a long way from 2006 where you can join a network and not have a photo. Also, you’re using this as a professional space so it’s not the place for blurry taken-in-the-pub shots. A high-quality headshot, a really good photo of you doing something aligned with your business, or your logo is ideal. You could also use photos of your products or something that sums up your business in one glance, eg a photo of an amazing armchair if you’re an upholsterer. Even though this is a tiny pic, it counts. Everyone sees it so, if you really want to go to town, consider how you can get creative and give it impact.
Think of your profile as a landing page or shop window. You need the same look and feel across every aspect of your business. If someone is already a customer and wants to follow you on Instagram, they need to know they are in the right place. If you want your socials to drive website sales, you need to make sure what people like about your feed is in keeping with what you offer away from the platform. This starts with a click on your profile, so stick to your brand colours. If you’re a bright and colourful kids’ brand, let your profile pic and any emojis reflect that. Anyone clicking will see your last 6-9 photos so they need to be reflecting your style for both colour and content too (I’ll take you through this in another blog). See it holistically.
Is your profile page scannable?
If someone is coming to you cold, can they drop on to your profile and instantly see what you’re about? Don’t assume people know what you do already. The photo, the vibe, the bio, the contact details, your name – always push to get as much info across as you possibly can and make it very obvious what you do or sell. For example, don’t just have your name, give them a headline to go with it. Mine says ‘Faye – Instagram/Facebook ads’ so it’s immediately clear what I do and, therefore, what they might expect from my feed.
When it comes to a bit more description, what keywords might your audience search? Get them in here! Sum up what you sell, or the service you offer, in a few lines that emphasise your niche and the value you add. Are you an ‘Award-winning graphic designer for parent-focused businesses’? Or do you offer ‘Organic, nutritionally-balanced dog food, delivered straight to your door’? This is a good place to add any social proofing, ‘As featured in Vogue, Good Housekeeping and The Times’ or reference to a TV programme you have been on or national/local awards you have won.
How can people contact you?
Add a URL (and check it works). Pretty obvious, but once you have warmed people up with your elevator pitch of who you are and why you interest them, you’ll want somewhere to nudge them over to. How else can they sign up for your newsletter, book a discovery call, enrol in your course or buy your products?
Use emojis. You can say so much without words, which is helpful for limited spaces like an Insta bio. They’re really useful for your call to action. What do you want people to do? Email you? Call you? Click on a link for a download? Arrows, pointy fingers, lightning bolts, rockets. They can all help draw the eye to where you want people to look for that all important CTA.
An action button is also a powerful tool. These link up with other online services to help support your business: Eventbrite for booking tickets, various scheduling apps for appointments etc. At the very least you need your interested customers to be able to call or email you so make sure you add your details and enable that option.
You should always go for the Professional Account option (set up a personal profile and then change it). This allows you to track and measure what’s happening on your account via insights. Insights are really valuable information on who is following you, where they live, what time they are online, how many are following or unfollowing you and how many people are seeing and reacting to your posts. You get these for your grid and for Stories, letting you know what content is performing well and what engages your audience. Use the info to deliver content people love, at a time they want to see it BUT my advice is don’t be beholden to these insights. There’s room for you to post what you love too. Not every post is going to go down a storm and that’s OK. Equally, if everything is bombing and no one is seeing your content, it’s time for a rethink of your strategy.
In my next blog, I’ll go through creating your first 9 posts, with tips for both content and visuals. I’ll cover content buckets, ideas for images and how to make your grid really stand out. Hint, I’m a big fan of a template and that’s why I’ve created three new templates all for FREE. Get yours FREE when you join my email list HERE.