The 10 steps
So how do you do this yourself with your business or personal brand? Here are 10 tips that may help.
1. Know your brand, it is more than just a logo. It must come through in everything you do. What are your brand colours, font, filter, words and phrases that fit your business?
2. Instagram is all about the Hashtags. You can use up to 30. Some people will advise you to use only a certain number. I say use them all. Do your research and use words that fit with your brand. So for example I would use hashtags such as #femaleentrepreneur & #womeninbusiness. An Interior Designer will use #Interior #Design #Designer. You get the picture, pick ones that are relevant.
3 Complete your profile, including a profile picture. This will start your Instagram life, it will help people decide whether to follow you or not. You have up to 150 characters so make it count and make it consistent with your other social media accounts. At this stage you can also include your business or blog URL, don’t waste this space.
4. Know who you are telling your story to. You should have already done your avatar work and have a client profile. Know who you are looking to attract with your images and stories. Don’t try and be all things to all people that never works.
5. Make it public, this is such a bugbear of mine when people create their accounts, people fill out their bio with a link to their website and then make the account private. This is, to put it bluntly, a dumb move. I understand if it is a personal account then fine but if you promote your business then people need to be able to see your account.
6. Post and tell stories consistently. Once a week is not enough. If you look to any influencer, they post a minimum of an image a day on their timeline and from very casual research on average 10 stories per day.
7. Have a strategy, don’t just blindly plonk images on your timeline. Have an idea of what you want your timeline to look like. Look to your week and map out your timeline and different stories that you want to tell each day.
8. In order to grow your following you need to engage, you need to engage with them consistently, comment on images, send messages via strories, tag people (but be warned only do that for relevant posts). People will respond and you can build relationships that way.
9. You can promote your business but not too much. Be careful and clever how you do this. People want to get a sense of the brand they don’t want to constantly be sold to. However, it is an excellent package to acquire clients hence point 6 have a strategy mapped out. Do your research and look to other business who are successful on Instagram and see how they do it.
10. Learn how to take great photos, watch for opportunities when you are out and about that will show off your brands. Learn about light, composition and stories. There are award winning photographers who post to Instagram using only their smartphones. If you are not a great photographer there are a ton of free stock sites with excellent photos you can use. But make a point of posting good photos because it makes a difference you are representing your brand and you want to make sure you do it well.