Business + Branding Education for Fearless Boss Ladies
Looking for Instagram tips and tricks to help you grow your following and your influence this year? You’re in the right place, girl! I’m sharing my top 5 tips for growing your Instagram—specifically for your small business!
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Instagram! We love it and we hate it!
It can be an awesome place to connect with others in our industry and even find new clients! But the always-changing algorithm is enough to make you wanna pull your hair out!
But don’t worry, girl. I am here to help!
This month’s topic is Social Media—and in today’s video and post I’m sharing my top tips to grow your Instagram for your creative small business. So let’s get started!
If you haven’t already, you definitely want to sign up for a business account for your Instagram. Business accounts give you a bunch of great features that personal accounts just don’t have, including Call-To-Action buttons and analytics.
You also then have the ability to do paid advertising through your Instagram account.
Back when Instagram starting rolling out the business accounts, a lot of business owners were nervous to sign up (myself included), because Facebook owns Instagram. And only a few years before we’d all seen what Facebook had done to business page owners.
Facebook rolled out a new algorithm, and suddenly, companies that had built pages with thousands of followers, were now seeing a very limited reach. Only a fraction of their audience were now seeing their posts.
So, of course, a lot of business owners didn’t trust the new Instagram business profiles. But after a while I decided to check it out. Because the thing is, Instagram rolled out a new algorithm around the same time, and from what I could tell everyone’s reach was down (whether you were personal or business).
So go ahead and set yours up, and if you really hate it, you can always switch it back to a personal account.
When someone is checking out your Instagram profile for the first time this is a very significant event—it’s a make-or-break situation.
[BTW—if you haven’t already, check out my account!]
Listen, there are now a billion (yes BILLION, with a “B”) active users on Instagram. That’s insane, right? It’s over 1/8th of the world’s entire population. [source]
So if one of those users is visiting your profile for the very first time, it’s likely the very last time as well, UNLESS you can grab their attention right away. And here’s how to do that:
You get one very little, circular photo for the top left of your profile to represent your entire brand. So you need to use this real estate wisely!
And I’m sure you’re thinking, Moriah the logo designer is gonna say “put your logo there.”
But that is not what I recommend.
Unless your business is a massive corporation, or has a huge team, I would not use a logo. Instagram is a very personal platform—your audience wants to get to know you on there. So as a solopreneur, a one-woman-brand, I say ditch the logo, and get a great headshot.
It should be zoomed in, and we want to see your eyes sparkling, and your big gorgeous smile—which will be interpreted as “I’m approachable, and I can help you with exactly what you need!”
One big mistake I’ve noticed with other creative entrepreneurs’ Instagram accounts is their bio. Often I see a lot of flowery language or cliches—without getting to the point or adding value. Again, this comes back to the whole “first-impression”/ “one shot” scenario.
Your bio is limited to 150 characters—which is seriously small. So you need to make each word and each character counts.
My best advice is to tell them:
And as one of my favorite online entrepreneurs, Marie Forleo, says “choose clarity over clever.” That means that clear language is always preferential to an attempt at “clever” that could possibly lose the reader.
If you’ve been on Instagram for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed that the platform gives you one and ONLY one link. So use it wisely!
And that brings me to my next tip…
Not only do you get just one link in your bio section, you’re also not able to add hyper-links within your post captions. So yes, you need to use that one bio link very wisely.
That’s why I suggest creating a custom Instagram landing page on your website. That way you can direct all of your various calls to action in your different Instagram posts to the same link.
Then you can design your Instagram landing page to have all the info that your audience would need.
As you probably already know I design on the Showit platform which makes creating new landing pages super easy.
For my Instagram landing page I included three main sections:
At the top there’s a big “announcement” canvas, and I change this depending on the different events or launches I have going on in my business at the time.
Below that I have a blog feed with my 4 most recent posts. This is important because I’ll often post on Instagram when I’ve published a new blog post or video. So I need a way for my audience to check that out.
Lastly I have a list of “Important Links”—things that I want people to be able to find quickly, like my services, my freebies and opt-ins, etc.
If you don’t have the ability to create landing pages on your website you can use the Linktree app instead. It creates a simple landing page for you where you can add various links.
Listen, I have been a professional photographer for the last ten years, and the thought of being on “the other side” of the camera still freaks me out! I don’t really like getting my own picture taken.
More than that I still feel really self conscious about posting selfies on my Instagram account.
Do Selfies make you nervous too? Let me know in a comment down below!
But here’s the thing about selfies—when I actually went back and looked at my feed I saw, hands-down, way more engagement (meaning more likes and comments) on my selfies, than any of my other posts!
Like I said before, Instagram is a very personal platform. People want to get to know you! So they NEED to see your face.
That’s why I recommend always having at least one selfie in your “Top 9” (that grid of your last 9 posts at the top of your feed). And Ideally, I think you need to have 2-3 selfies in there.
And don’t be self conscious friend! People want to get to know you, and a big part of that is seeing your gorgeous face!
Pro Tip: I regularly get new brand photos taken so that I always have a cache of new, professional selfies, that I feel really confident in sharing to my Insta feed.
And I do the same for my clients—if you’d like more info about my brand photography packages, get in touch with me! I have clients that fly in from all over the country for their brand photo shoots—and I’d love to help you create gorgeous, Instagram worthy images too!
So, you’ve set up your business account, you’ve got a killer profile, you’ve created your custom landing page, and you’ve even booked your brand photo shoot for those next-level selfies. Way to go, girl!
But now what?
Well, you need to make sure you’re actually showing up for your brand on Instagram. And that means posting regularly.
I know for a lot of busy small business owners social media always falls to the bottom of the “To-Do” list. You know you need to do it, but you have other, more urgent tasks always screaming for your attention.
So, days, or weeks, or (oh my goodness!) even months may go by before you hop on and post again!
And when you do finally get a minute to post, you’re staring at a blank screen wondering what the heck you should talk about…
Well, you’re not alone. I know a lot of creative entrepreneurs who struggle with this.
That’s why I’m actually creating my first ever online course to help you plan a profitable social media strategy, so you know exactly what to post and when, and can build a system to have it run on auto while you get those other “more urgent” tasks done!
Sound awesome? It is! I know from my own experience how life-changing and business-changing this strategy and system are.
So click that link below to sign up and be the first to hear when my new course launches!
In the meantime, I highly recommend planning your content out ahead of time.
Being on the app, trying to think of what to post that minute, when you already feel like you’re behind, is definitely a creativity-killer.
That’s why I plan all of my Instagram posts out ahead, and I use an awesome app called Planoly to do it.
There are actually a lot of Instagram planners and schedulers out there, but I definitely think this one’s the best! Planoly is very visual and it allows me to see how my feed will look before anything ever posts. I can also use the app to plan out and post to my Instagram stories as well.
The best part is that with an Instagram business account, Planoly is able to post to my Instagram on auto!
That way, I’m posting on Instagram with an actual strategy—instead of freaking out because “oh my gosh! It’s been 3 weeks, and I haven’t posted anything, and I need to post something, but I don’t know what to post!!!”
You get it. So click that link below to sign up for your free Planoly account!
I’d love to hear from you! What tips do you have to grown your Instagram? Let me know in a comment down below!
And be sure to connect with me over on Instagram—let’s grow together!