Recently I was doing some research for an upcoming project, and I realized that my natural instinct when it comes to looking for a certain type of business owner is to start with Instagram. Whether it’s looking at who’s following me, people my friends or favorite business owners follow, or just plain searching a keyword I typically find new business owners on social media before anywhere else.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that does this, either. I know several friends online who actually teach how to use different platforms, including social media, to do research for different types of things.
While I was doing my research a few weeks ago and realized that I was on Instagram (not Google!), I started thinking about how important it is to make a good first impression on Instagram so new people want to follow you and learn more about what you do.
So today I’m going to break down 4 things that you can do to help make sure you’re putting your best foot forward, encouraging new people to hit that “follow” button and sticking around!
Write a clear bio about what you do
Obviously the first thing you look at when you first find someone on social media is their bio. It’s always been important to make sure your bio on social media clearly conveys what it is you do and who you do it for. It can be difficult to be concise when writing your bio but it boils down to this sentence:
I help (your target audience) (the problem you’re solving).
Now, it doesn’t have to be that exact sentence, but use it as a starting off point! For example, my bio on Instagram says:
I make WordPress themes and design templates for creative business owners + bloggers that make it easier for you to hit your goals.
Don’t forget to make it about you too
I know that there’s not a lot of room in your bio, but I also love to see a little personality! For example, in the screenshot below, I love how Lacey is clear about what she does and still includes that fun line about tacos!
One other note – if you have multiple accounts, link people to what’s most relevant! I recently started transitioning my primary account to be more personal and private, so I now link to my Coded Creative Instagram account and as well as one for a podcast I co-host for designers.
Be strategic about the link in your bio
The debate about the link you include on your profile is one you’ll probably hear from a lot of Instagram experts. However, as someone who finds a lot of cool new people to follow on the platform, I’ve often felt like I have a lot to say about this.
Don’t just link to a sales page or email sign up
One of my biggest pet peeves with the #linkinbio is people who only link to a sales page or email sign up and nothing else. The first time I find you, I don’t want either of those things. Yes, those are probably great for your existing audience, but it’s so much better to include a landing page with a list of links so new followers can continue to take action after following you like heading to your site and learning more about you.
In fact, I love how Shunta has positioned her Linktree as a great place for new followers to “start here”. By doing this she can grab new followers and then send them to her most important links, but also include strategic links for things her existing followers would be interested in.
Show up and post consistently
I know I’ve said this several times this year, but showing up consistently is half the battle when it comes to growing your business. Of course you have to know your stuff and be good at what you do, but that doesn’t matter if you’re not regularly getting online and actually talking to people.
The key to doing this is knowing how it works best for you. Some people are totally comfortable creating content on the fly and posting a few times throughout the week and can be consistent doing that. However, if you’re like me, you just have too much going on to even remember to think about what to post let alone actually taking the time to do it. Scheduling platforms like Planoly were created for people like us.
That goes for both posting on your feed or in your stories. As a content consumer, I watch and post consistently to Instagram stories much more than I do to the feed. However, I still see friends and other brands successfully grow their brand by posting to both. So don’t forget about your feed!
Share a mix of personal and business content
Last but not least and building straight off of my last point, try to do a mix of content when you’re planning what you’ll post. Regardless of the type of business owner or blogger it is, I always connect with them more when they share more than just educational or promotional content on their Instagram account.
It’s so much fun to see my favorite business owner share what a day in her life actually looks like or when one of my favorite bloggers posts videos on stories of her and her family dancing and singing along to the most random songs.
At the end of the day, yes, your educational and your promotional content are establishing your expertise and leading people to your site to get them on your email list or inquiring about working with you. However, those little sparks of your personal life really drive that connection with you so that when they’re looking for a recommendation for home decor or need a new virtual assistant they immediately think of you.
Creating a good first impression on Instagram is all about consistently showing up as yourself, communicating what you do, and sending people to the right places.
I hope you’ll take some of these tips and apply them to your account in the next couple of weeks! Once you do, make a note in your planner or on your calendar so you can track your new followers and conversions to see if they’re helping you grow more than what you were doing before.