Instagram is my social media platform of choice, as a content creator as well as a business owner. Strangely enough, I only started using it seriously in mid-2019, well over a year after I launched my business.
Check out my Instagram Profile
Why Instagram is great for Coaches & Business Owners
Within just a few months I observed that Instagram was a wonderful place, especially as a coach and small business owner. It was apparent that Instagram was where my target audience hung out. It was the place they asked me questions, connected with me over direct messages and watched my videos.
And probably the best thing? It was how they learnt about my newsletter, my coaching services and my workshops and became my loyal audience.
I thought I’d share some tips that have worked for me when it comes to Instagram. Specifically, I’d like to start with tips on optimizing your Instagram profile. It’s my hope that my experience will help you , if you are a fellow business owner too or if you’re hoping to use Instagram as a way to reach your target audience.
Ensure you have a Business Account on Instagram
Your Instagram account should be a public account and it should be an Instagram Business Account. (Read this on how to create/convert your account to a Business Account)
Benefits of an Instagram business account include things such as the ability to add a booking button, study insights and analytics for your content, analyze reach for your posts and also enable quick replies.
You’d notice I’m not referring to the more ‘fun’ parts of Instagram such as reels and filters, because, honestly, I don’t use them. They have their place and I do know business owners who use them effectively.
Personally, I don’t have the bandwidth to test these things out. Plus I think I’m past the threshold of testing out new-er and more updated versions of engagement. I stick to the tried and tested versions.
How to stand out on Instagram
Next, let’s look at the things you need to do to make sure you stand out on Instagram, especially for your target audience. Here’s a snapshot of my profile (from January 2021)
When seen on mobile, these are the things you see
Your Instagram Picture
This is the first thing you need to keep in mind when you are a brand/ coach/ service provider on Instagram.
Make it professional looking.
Use a proper profile photo or business logo. Ideally, make it the same one as that on your website and other social handles.
Research shows that people like to see a face instead of a business logo, because it’s more relatable.
Ideally, don’t use a selfie, if you can help it.
Your Bio Description
Next, you need to work on your bio description.
Ensure that you are sharing something about what you do and how it can help your followers. Meaning, the focus is on your followers, not on you.
Instead of saying. ‘I am a blogger who does book reviews’, say this: ‘Book reviewer who loves to share tips on books you’d love to read’. Notice the difference?
You can either write it as a regular run-on sentence or use bullet points to highlight the things that you cover on your profile.
Feel free to add a few emojis as signifiers or labels for your core topics.
Also, review and change your bio after a few months if you find your focus shifting.
Using Highlights on your Instagram Bio
Highlights are a very useful feature of the Instagram platform.
These are things that you’d like to bookmark as reference points for your audience. You can only create and use highlights from your Instagram mobile application.
*I will do a more detailed video tutorial of the same and upload it shortly.
Here are the steps to creating a highlight:
- Add a new ‘story’ to your Instagram using the + icon on your profile image on the home screen.
- In the story, either add a direct image or share one of your Instagram posts.
- Create a highlight cover that signifies what the highlight will be about
- Add a name for the Highlight
- Hold and choose as many ‘stories’ that you want and add it to the Instagram highlight of your choice
How you can use it:
A) You can showcase your account expertise
B) You can reference detailed tutorials
C) You can add links to a step by step recipe (as a food blogger)
D) You can link to a group of testimonials from clients
Using the ‘Book Now’ Button
The ‘Book Now’ button is particularly useful for coaches and service providers who offer consulting calls and workshops.
For this, you need to have access to two things:
- A Facebook Business Page (which is free)
- A Scheduling tool (requires the paid version)
My favourite Instagram/Pinterest scheduling tool, Tailwind, has a detailed tutorial on how you can enable the booking link on your Instagram page.
Link In Your Bio
This is a solid bit of useful real estate, because it is the only clickable link on Instagram.
There are a number of things you can link this to: your website’s home page, your brand’s shop page, a list of free downloads or resources that you give your followers.
There are three things you can do to go around the single link in your bio:
A) Use a dedicated landing page on your own blog.
B) Use Smart.bio by Tailwind
I was using option A for over 10 months and wrote a post on how to do it yourself: How to Drive Instagram Traffic to your blog without Linktree
There’s a video on the same topic. Check it out below
I currently use option B and absolutely love it.
If you need a link to a free Instagram bio template, I’ve got you covered. Click here to use this free Canva template
Need a step by step approach to growing your Instagram page and getting organic followers?
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I’m a blog & content coach with over 13 years of writing, blogging and social media experience.
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