Photo credit: @virtuallydone Instagram
by Jemma Broadstock
With marketing budgets increasingly being spent on digital marketing, you aren’t alone if you’re running around like a headless chicken trying to understand the ins and outs of using Instagram for your business.
So if you have no idea how to make money through your Instagram, here’s are 5 key things to bare in mind:
1. Consistency is Key
If you think posting an image every now and again is going to do it, you’re wrong. You need to be showing up consistently, not only on your feed, but on your stories too.
The message in your captions, stories, bio and hashtags all needs to make sense. If the content isn’t consistently sharing the same message or your content isn’t consistently being shared, people won’t become familiar with you as a brand.
You want to get to the point where people see a quote graphic you created pop up on their feed and they know it’s you before they’ve seen your name because the message, fonts and colours are all consistent with what they have seen from you before.
In an ideal world, people should be seeing something from you daily. This doesn’t mean you have to post something new and exciting every day, instead you can show up on your stories. Share an insight into your day, or upload your to do list – people love behind the scenes content, and this will keep your engagement up on the days you don’t post.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2. Make sales easy⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This might seem like an obvious point, but it’s a mistake I see way too often.
The average consumer attention span is 8 seconds. Someone should be able to click onto your profile and know within those 8 seconds who you are, what you do, and who your product or service is for. Your biography should explain this clearly and concisely, with a specific call to action and a link for people to click if they want to learn more.
“Mystical goddess helping millennial women do amazing things” might sound cool to you, but no one will know what that means. Who are you? What do you do? Who do you help? If you don’t answer these questions, they will not take the time to DM and ask you, they’ll simply click off your profile.
Your copy doesn’t need to be complex; it just needs to be simple and easy to understand.
3. Creating connections is everything
People often talk about the dreaded ‘algorithm’ which underlies some of the curious things Instagram does such as showing or not showing our account to other people.
Don’t let this scare you! Instagram is based on connection. If you engage with your target audience, and by engage, I mean follow, DM, comment and like, Instagram will connect you with more of those types of people.
This doesn’t mean you should be downloading ‘engagement’ apps or joining ‘engagement pods’. Instagram is clever and will punish you for any unnatural or fake engagement. Instead, each day spend some time genuinely connecting with people within your network. Vote on their story polls and send them a DM if you love what they are doing. This really is the secret to success on Instagram!
4. Being vulnerable works
You might feel that everything on your Instagram has to remain 10/10 professional at all times BUT this stops connections from being made.
As we all know, people buy from people, and to build that like, know and trust factor, you need to show your human side. You can do this by uploading pictures of yourself, running mini trainings on your stories, or writing captions that give an insight into your life.
Sharing video content has become huge on Instagram lately and with 4 in 5 consumers admitting they would rather learn about a product through a video, it’s no wonder why!
By being vulnerable and sharing the person behind the business, people feel more connected to you. Whatever your story, share an insight into your life and it will make a huge difference to the way your followers engage with you.
On the flip side, if you make your life look perfect, people can’t relate. Instead, show the ups and downs of your business. Talk about your insecurities. Share your journey. You’ll be amazed how many people DM you and tell you they can relate.
Miss the last post and panicking? Share it!
Spilt coffee down your shirt before a big meeting? Share it!
5. Good things take time
It might not be what you want to hear, but you won’t get 10k followers overnight or get clients with your first Instagram post. A successful social media profile takes months of hard work and good content to build up.
Be patient and it will pay off.
Jemma Broadstock is a Virtual Assistant and Social Media Manager specialising in using Instagram for online businesses. As well as working as a Virtual Assistant and Social Media Manager, Jemma also runs Virtually Done, an online platform for those wanting to learn how to be VAs.
Connect with Jemma on Instagram.
Learn more about her services here.