Since I’ve been doing free consultations for so many early-stage entrepreneurs now and a lot of them have Instagram accounts set up and hanging out there in the web bringing absolutely ZERO value to their owners. WHY? Because they aren’t being put good work in, duh!
I have collected some general but very needed advice that almost 8 out of every 10 early-stage entrepreneurs need to elevate their Instagram appearance.
- Run all your photos through the presets. Use VSCO app which has a variety of editing presets. Pick several and stick to them when you pick the content for your page. The paid version of VSCO has even more presets and it costs just $20 per year. Don’t be lazy, spend a couple of minutes on each photo before it goes on your biz profile.
- Treat your IG profile for biz seriously. If you’re a coach, for instance, don’t post your kid’s homework, or breakfast, or husband on the feed. You might post that kind of stuff in your stories just to sort of show people some behind the scenes material, show them your REAL SELF. But do not put too much of that, especially in your feed. After all, it’s your business profile so keep it professional. You wouldn’t book a lawyer who posts his breakfasts every morning, right? That kind of material is for the travel, lifestyle, food bloggers. Try to keep only the most relatable content. The rest should go to your personal profile.
- Niche down. Again, it means, you should not post about everything. Don’t give out relationship advice every evening if you’re not some sort of relationship coach. Talk about the things that relate to YOUR NICHE. If you post about one thing all the time, it builds up a reputation of an expert in that one specific niche. If you’re a designer who starts to post about nutrition plans, fabric quality comparisons, or anything else totally unrelated to your niche, you might lose your existent followers. People should know you as “she is an expert in that thing”, “she is my go to page for this”, you know what I’m saying?
- Post consistently. 2–3 times a day is perfect, but let’s make it at least once per day. 1 feed post and 1 story set. If you know you’re going to have a hard week packed with all sorts of things you gotta take care of — use planners! Buffer, Later, Hootsuite, whatever. For IG specifically, I recommend the app called “UnUm”. It’s free and it really helps to choose the visuals according to the general visual theme you have on your IG profile.
- THE THEME! Your feed theme is what gets your followers. You may make a great post. But when people click on your profile and see that your account is not so great (posts have different unmatching designs, colors are not related to each other and stuff, the quality of images is bad), they won’t follow you. The app I mentioned before, UnUm helps to see how the design you created for your newest post relates to everything you have posted before.
- Learn to talk to sell. Don’t make posts with hashtags or emojis only. Write a short description, share thoughts, ask questions. Cause ENGAGEMENT, PEOPLE!
- Collaborate with other accounts in your niche. Of course, if you have 500 followers and ask for a shout out form somebody with over 500K followers, it won’t work. But if you find somebody who is doing something related to the sphere of interest of your followers, and has more or less the same of amount of followers, the chances of you two doing a cross promotion of each other are quite high.
- Hashtags! Use all 30 that are allowed by Instagram. But don’t use the same hashtag cloud on every post, Instagram lowers engagement for that. Use different hashtags and use hashtags that haven’t been used more than 1M times. This means your post has more chances to be discovered since there won’t be that much competition for it.
- Be yourself! As much as I love to make every post customized and run through the presets, I actually prefer real life photos rather than royalty free images from photo banks. If you’re handy with designing and customizing, I advise to use it to give your feed a more organized look and recognizable style, however, do not forget that people fall in love with personality, not just with the looks ;)
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